Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Manor of Secrets

The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .

Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance.

Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage -- or the means -- to break free and follow her passions.

Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.
from goodreads.com

Beth says 3.5 Stars...
I'll admit, this book appealed strongly to the part of me that loves Downton Abbey.  The cover is gorgeous and the model looks oddly like a cross between Lady Mary and Lady Sybil.  Plus, all sorts of drama both upstairs and downstairs?  I'm sold.  However, despite how short the book felt, it took most of the plot to really get into the interesting story.  The set-up filled over half of the novel and didn't even provide hints as to the secrets waiting to be discovered.  When things finally got going all of the revelations piled on top of one another.  I found pacing the biggest issue of the book.  If some of the ending excitement had spread throughout the rest of the story I think it would have been a major improvement.  It wasn't too bad for me because I don't particularly mind a lengthier buildup, but I can see impatient readers deciding it isn't worth their time.  The end was super fun and delivered some super juicy secrets both upstairs and downstairs

The characters were decent, but nothing remarkable.  I occasionally wanted to shake Charlotte for her entitlement and shortsightedness.  She is sometimes so absurdly absorbed in her idea of what the world is that she completely misses reality.  She does really mature throughout the book and has a great moment at the end.  I may or may not have given her a well-deserved fist pump.  I distinctly preferred Janie, with her no-nonsense attitude and focus on accomplishing her goals.  Her practicality coupled with the repressed desire for more endeared her to me.  The secondary characters were serviceable, but there were a few individuals I wish had received more page time.

Overall, this is a fun book if you're going through Downton Abbey withdrawal.  If historical fiction or the British aristocracy dealing with the changes of the 20th century isn't really an interest of yours, I'd skip this one.  However, if any of that sounds appealing this is a quick read that goes well with a nice cup of tea and fake posh accent.
ebook from publisher


Post a Comment