My very first book review! Yay! *ahem* Bear with me, there may be rambling.
So, let me just start by saying, I LOVE Julie Klassen's books. I have five, and they're all great. She really knows how to snatch you from your place in time and throw you back to another era. This is the *checks list in the front of the book* fourth book in this sort-of series (the books don't intersect, but they're all in the same sort of time period? Maybe? Whatever. They're all in the same list).
So, a quick synopsis of the story. Except not really a synopsis, because there won't be spoilers.
Due to an indiscretion, Mariah Aubrey (awesome name) was kicked out of her home by her really stern dad and forced to go live in the gatehouse on her rich aunt's property with only Dixon--her old nanny--as company. Soon she has to support herself by something ELSE that was generally frowned on by society:
SHOCK AND HORROR, A FEMALE AUTHOR! WHAT SCANDAL! WHAT IMPROPRIETY!
Then a new guy comes to town and there's a bunch of drama! I don't want to say too much and spoil things, but there is a certain amount of JUST EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN OR WHAT'S WRONG AND AVOID ALL THIS KERFUFFLE.But it's not too bad. I found parts of their misunderstandings humorous, actually.
For a cast, we have (Mariah and Dixon, of course,) the aunt, a jerk of a cousin, a few oddball servants and estate workers, a poorhouse (I accidentally typed "poofhouse" a few times) full of adorable children and a less adorable matron, a navy captain that may or may not exist, and of course *cue drumroll and fanfare* THE LOVE INTEREST!! Because what's a historical romance without...romance?
UGH but the love interest is interested in someone ELSE, and you're like, "Dude, just tell Mariah you love her already. You obviously do. You just want the other woman bc your pride was hurt. You know you're going to end up with her anyway, that's how this WORKS." lol but it makes for good conflict. And a surprising reveal!
As a random side note, I love how a lot of the names in this story are names used in Pride and Prejudice. Mariah. Lizzy. George...Brighton! Although that's the name of a place, not a person. But they mentioned Brighton in P&P, so... yeah.
The characters are all very well done, as is the description, and of course, the story itself.
You definitely feel for Mariah as she goes through this loneliness and shame. When you are finally shown the reason for her outcast status, you want to drag him from his horse and beat him *cough* or was that just me?
Captain Bryant (the love interest) is the kind of guy you fall for. And then slap in the face and say WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?! And then fall for.
Some of my favorite characters though, are the secondary characters, like Martin, and Will Hart! When you first meet them, you're a little taken aback at their A) appearance B) attitude C) mannerisms or whatever, but as you get to know them, you melt into a little puddle of AWWW. XD
Again, that might just be me.
BUT! After all the drama and heartache and anger and sadness and scandal and lonliness and frustration and a couple of deaths *coughwhoops*, there are HAPPY ENDINGS ALL AROUND AND IT JUST GIVES YOU THE WARM FUZZIES!!
Basically, of the Julie Klassen books that I've read, it's my new fave. It didn't make me want to jump up and down and scream and run in circles and thrust it into the face of everyone I met saying YOU HAVE TO READ THIS, but, it was certainly a very very enjoyable read. I recommend it to you, and I would definitely read it again!
4 and a 1/2 out of five Zelda hearts.
I loved it, it just didn't give me that WOWZA! factor.
(p.s. this is my tenth post! woohooo milestones!)