"Everything she thought she knew had shifted, which reinforced one fact: she needed to be very careful whom she trusted."
Leaving everything familiar behind, based on the contents of a cryptic letter, Cassandra Hale enters the small town of Anston with a mystery to solve; her parentage. With a small sum of money to fund her stay, Cassandra slowly becomes ingratiated into the community, which looks upon her with the same measure of suspicion that she feels towards some of them.
Becoming acquainted with the local vicar, who seems to have a certain propensity for anticipating her every need, Cassandra is grateful for his knowledge of the area's history. But it is the master of Briarton Park, James Warrington, who catches Cassandra's full attention, their awkward introduction serving as only the beginning of their curious and somewhat awkward interactions. Yet, how much does she really know about him and the swirling accusations about the area mill owners and their business practices, not to mention her vulnerability as a single young woman who is virtually alone in the world . . . for doubts are accelerating into danger.
So many questions. So few answers. And a plethora of details that don't make any sense . . . until they do.
What a sweet progression of relationship! Like hummingbirds, James and Cassandra flit in and out of each other's presence, not knowing quite how to pause long enough to acknowledge what their hearts are saying to their heads. Cassandra had always been told, 'Emotions will cloud your judgement and weaken your ability to react rationally'. But now? It was time for everything to be made new.
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
In Regency England, one letter will alter a young woman’s fate when it summons her to Briarton Park—an ancient place that holds the secrets of her past and the keys to her future.
Cassandra Hale grew up knowing little about her parentage, and she had made peace with the fact that she never would. But Cassandra’s world shifts when a shocking deathbed confession reveals a two-year-old letter from Mr. Clark, the master of Briarton Park, with hints to her family’s identity. Stung by betrayal, she travels to the village of Anston only to learn Mr. Clark has since passed away.
James Warrington is a widower and the new master of Briarton Park, where he lives with his two young daughters, his sister, and his mother-in-law. When Cassandra appears at his doorstep with a letter from the previous owner and then proceeds to assist his family in an unexpected way, he is honor bound to help uncover the answers she seeks.
The more time Cassandra spends in Anston, the more she begins to suspect not everything—or everyone—is as they seem. As details emerge, the danger surrounding her intensifies. Using wit and intuition, she must navigate the treacherous landscapes between truth and rumor and between loyalty and deception if she is to uncover the realities of her past and find the place her heart can finally call home.
Sarah Ladd’s latest Regency romance, first in the new Houses of Yorkshire series, combines mystery and intrigue with the best of historical storytelling.