STORY: When All Seemed Lost…
Katherine Gardiner, a young English widow, has only one dream: to protect her son—a future duke—from her merciless father-in-law. Determined and desperate, she has no option but to take the guise of a housekeeper and escape to Yorkshire where the only hope is the enigmatic Earl of Kenrick…
…Love Saved The Day
In all his years spent roaming the world, Jeremy Chilton never braced himself for the burden of a much-damaged inheritance. Now, the new Earl of Kenrick must save his family legacy and raise his motherless young daughter as a proper English lady. His only salvation is his beautiful housekeeper, Kate. But as her secrets unravel, much that is puzzling about her falls into place. No wonder the Earl has caught himself imagining her more wife than employee. Clearly she belongs at Kenrick—safe in his arms. Now, if only he can convince her to agree…
REVIEW: It is 1815 and after a long journey, London solicitor, Thomas Logan, has finally been able to find fur trapper, Jeremy Michael Chilton, in St. Joseph Missouri. Jeremy is informed that his father and two older brothers have died and he is now the Earl of Kenrick. While he likes his new life in America, he knows that he must return to England and take up his duties. Jeremy is informed that due to his father’s unrestrained lifestyle, the estate of Kenrick in Yorkshire is heavily mortgaged, but with care, can thrive one again. During his time in America, he married an indian woman who gave birth to his daughter, Cassandra (Cassie) Margaret. Now age 5, she was also called Little Willow. As his wife has died, Cassie will of course go with her father to England.
The following year, Lady Katherine (Kate) Emma Newton Gardiner, widow of Lord Authur Gardiner, has been living with her father-in-law, a Duke, at his home, Wynstan Castle. A complete tyrant and cruel man, he is determined to form Kate’s son, his grandson and heir to the dukedom, into the man he wants him to be. At age 8, young Ned is trying very hard to follow his grandfather’s instructions but is having a difficult time pleasing him which results in punishments and beatings. Kate can take no more of her son’s treatment and wants to escape with him. She has already been told by the Duke that if she attempts to take her son away, he will find her and have her imprisoned. But when she gets the chance, she and her son escape with literally just the clothes on their backs.
Through a solicitor friend, Kate is able to find a job as housekeeper to Jeremy Chilton at Kenrick. To keep her secret, she is known only as Mrs. Arthur, her late husband’s name. She soon settles into Kenrick and works hard to clean up the neglected estate. In the meantime, Jeremy is busy doing all he can to repair the neglect of the grounds and businesses and find a way to pay off the mortgage.
We then meet Mr. Mortimer, an arrogant self-made man who has made lots of money but has no class. As he has bought up all of Jeremy’s debt, he wants Jeremy to wed his daughter and take his family name. That way he would own it all. Thoroughly disgusted at this, Jeremy is determined to find a way to get out from under the debt.
Jeremy and Kate work closely together to find ways to improve the house and grounds while seeing to it that Cassie and Ned get the love and attention they need. This togetherness leads to an attraction, however, Kate fears that Jeremy is a cold man and he fears that Kate is not simply a housekeeper, but is hiding something.
The set-backs that Jeremy encounters in trying to save the estate are heart-breaking but he is a very determined man and refuses to give up.
This is a sweet book with lots of intrigue and plots well knitted together. As it is due for publication on September 1, 2014, I have attempted to set the stage for the story without giving out spoilers. I think readers will take a great interest in these well-formed characters and not want to put the book down until they reach the end.
Connie for b2b
Complementary copy provided by the publisher