Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play…
The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor’s past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.
This catches Abigail’s attention. Hoping to restore her family’s finances–and her dowry–Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn’t the only one secretly searching the house.
Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.
As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger?
Wow. This book was amazing. This was a book that had me hooked from the first couple of pages. I felt the tension rise up in me and it continued until the last page. As I was reading I had to remind myself it will all work out in the end but I had doubts.
Abigail is a very likeable character. She is the good, sensible daughter, the one that does what is expected and lets her younger sister receive all the attention. At times I thought she too nice and I wanted to tell her to speak her mind.
Julie did such a masterful job with this book. William is a curate (basically a pastor) and I loved how she had him do some bold, un-pastor-like things. That’s what made him even more intriguing and a great hero.
The mystery in this book was wonderfully built. Small hints given throughout, just enough to keep you coming back for more.
As the story wrapped up I had to remind myself of all the plots going on and what needed to be resolved. Julie resolved each and every plot line beautifully and with great satisfaction.
This is a book I was thinking about even when I wasn’t reading it. I couldn’t wait to get back to it and get to the end, even though I was sad to say good-bye to this wonderful cast of characters. I highly recommend this one. If you like romance and mystery (that does get a bit creepy at times but not too much) then this is a book I think you will definitely enjoy 🙂
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An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.