Tuesday, May 7, 2024

HIGHCLIFFE HOUSE by Megan Walker, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas #ReleaseDay

(Proper Romance - Regency Series)

Set in Brighton, England in 1813, Highcliffe House is a delightful, charming tale with an enemies to friends and more trope. Talented author Megan Walker has spun an enticing story with engaging, realistic characters that tickled my fancy. Anna Lane, who has been humiliated by a man who’d been courting her wants to flee London. Her father’s friend and business partner, Graham Everett, wants to invest in property in Brighton, so Mr. Lane sends Anna with Graham to Brighton to check on it. Anna has detested Graham since he takes her father’s attention away from time spent with her.

I felt Anna was quite spoiled and petulant at first, and Graham was a bit judgmental. I enjoyed seeing Anna and Graham’s relationship change as they got to really know each other.

Walker has penned some delicious stories and I would recommend her books to those who enjoy clean and wholesome historical fiction.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Shadow Mountain through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.4.5 stars 

BackCover Blurb:

The daughter of a wealthy investor and a handsome young businessman clash in this enemies-to-lovers romance from the author who brought you Lakeshire Park.

1813, Brighton, England

When Anna Lane offered her heart to Alexander Lennox, she did not expect to learn he had secretly promised his suit to another. Hurt and embarrassed, Anna begs her father to take her to the seaside where she can escape the gossip of the ton and recover, but her father insists they remain in London so he can attend to some business. Feeling the sting of rejection again, Anna longs for the day when she can dictate her own future and find a companion who will love her for who she is.

Born into modest circumstances, Graham's hard work and ability to spot a good investment has allowed him to provide for his mother and younger sisters. Now, with a new opportunity in his sights, Graham approaches Mr. Lane, his business partner and mentor, hoping to persuade him to travel to Brighton to close the deal. Graham must act fast or else he might lose his chance to turn his meager earnings into permanent financial stability.

To Graham's relief, Mr. Lane is interested in his proposal, but he counters with one of his own. He has business elsewhere, so Anna--whom he trusts with his business affairs--will accompany Graham to Brighton, and if she gives a good report, he will invest. Both Anna and Graham hesitate. Though they have a passing acquaintance through Anna's father, the two have never truly got along. Anna feels that Graham is only interested in money, while Graham feels that Anna is stubborn and self-absorbed.

The two reluctantly travel to Brighton together, and Anna is determined to find fault with every inch of the seaside town--including Graham. She is tired of feeling like a pawn being moved about by other people's desires. But while staying at Highcliffe House and seeing the kind and gentle way Graham treats his family, Anna wonders if there is more to her rival than she thought.

But it will take more than a day at the beach for these two headstrong hearts to admit that if they set aside their misconceptions about each other and be vulnerable enough to share their true selves, they might have a chance at real love. 

Shadow Mountain Publishing, May 7, 2024

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