Book Summary (Amazon)...Amid the Great War in 1918 England, munitions worker Rosalind Graham is desperate to escape the arranged marriage being forced on her by her ruthless guardian and instead follow her own course. When the Chilwell factory explodes, killing hundreds of unidentified workers, Rose realizes the world believes she perished in the disaster. Seizing the chance to escape, she risks all and assumes a new identity, taking a supervisory position in Gretna, Scotland, as Miss Tilly Lockhart.
RAF Captain Alex Baird is returning home to Gretna on a secret mission to uncover the saboteur suspected in the Chilwell explosion, as Gretna's factory is likely next. Fearing for his family's safety, he's also haunted by guilt after failing to protect his brother. Alex is surprised to discover a young woman, Miss Lockhart, renting his boyhood room, but the two eventually bond over their mutual affection for his family--until Alex receives orders to surveil her.
Rose squirms beneath Alex's scrutiny while she struggles to gain her workers' respect. But when her deception turns to danger, she and Alex must find a way to put their painful pasts behind them and together try to safeguard the future.
My thoughts...If you enjoy well written fictional characters intertwined with historical events, you'll love this book! I didn't know much at all about this time period, but Kate Breslin did a great job of helping the reader understand the pulse of the time without overwhelming with too much information. Rose was a character that I empathized with, as she becomes an innocent bystander of a tragic wartime encounter. Innocently, she uses this tragedy to help start a new life free from the harmful circumstances she was in, only to find out that she had entered into a different kind of danger. I loved that plot twist! I also enjoyed the growth in her character along with the hero, Alex. As always with Kate Breslin's books, I had a hard time putting it down. While I will say that For Such a Time is still my favorite, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.
When Miss Rebecca Lane returns to her home village after a few years away, her brother begs for a favor: go to nearby Swanford Abbey and deliver his manuscript to an author staying there who could help him get published. Feeling responsible for her brother's desperate state, she reluctantly agrees.
The medieval monastery turned grand hotel is rumored to be haunted. Once there, Rebecca begins noticing strange things, including a figure in a hooded black gown gliding silently through the abbey's cloisters. For all its renovations and veneer of luxury, the ancient foundations seem to echo with whispers of the past--including her own. For there she encounters Sir Frederick--magistrate, widower, and former neighbor--who long ago broke her heart.
When the famous author is found murdered in the abbey, Sir Frederick begins questioning staff and guests and quickly discovers that several people held grudges against the man, including Miss Lane and her brother. Haunted by a painful betrayal in his past, Sir Frederick searches for answers but is torn between his growing feelings for Rebecca and his pursuit of the truth. For Miss Lane is clearly hiding something. . . .
My thoughts...I have been a Julie Klassen fan for many years now. Her books have a bit of mystery, surrounded by light romance. Her characters are interesting, which is another aspect that makes me come back for more.
In this particular novel, I loved the mystery aspect the most. Up until the end of the novel, there was a question of who was the character in the hooded gown. I'll have to admit, I was reading late one night and nearly scared myself! I would still consider it to be light suspense. Julie also does a great job building the romantic tension. I love the connection between Rebecca and Sir Frederick as they try to figure out if they can trust one another to solve the mysteries at the abbey.
This book is a clean read and the author is a must read for this genre!
I received complimentary copies of these books from the publisher via NetGalley.