Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of the book.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
When Olivia Shaw’s mother dies, the sophisticated food editor is astonished to learn she’s inherited a centuries-old English estate—and a title to go with it. Raw with grief and reeling from the knowledge that her reserved mother hid something so momentous, Olivia leaves San Francisco and crosses the pond to unravel the mystery of a lifetime.
One glance at the breathtaking Rosemere Priory and Olivia understands why the manor, magnificent even in disrepair, was the subject of her mother’s exquisite paintings. What she doesn’t understand is why her mother never mentioned it to her. As Olivia begins digging into her mother’s past, she discovers that the peeling wallpaper, debris-laden halls, and ceiling-high Elizabethan windows covered in lush green vines hide unimaginable secrets.
Although personal problems and her life back home beckon, Olivia finds herself falling for the charming English village and its residents. But before she can decide what Rosemere’s and her own future hold, Olivia must first untangle the secrets of her past.
Well that was refreshing. It was such a delightful mix of women’s fiction, mystery, English countryside, and romance; I want to go back and do it all over again. Am I the only one who’s never read Barbara O’Neal before? (hides face in shame)
One of my favorite parts of this book was the fantastic imagery. I’ve never been to England, and doubt I’ll ever make it there. But let me tell you, I feel like I just got back from a trip visiting Rosemere Priory, where I ate so many delicious pastries and all the Indian food. *sigh*
The mystery surrounding the estate, as well as Olivia’s mother’s past, was fantastic! I honestly didn’t guess a single thing about how it played out, and I so appreciate when an author doesn’t make it obvious. It was really fun trying to put the pieces together with Olivia, learning about her family as we went.
And, of course, the characters. I loved them! Well, ok, not all of them. There were some less than savory folks who balanced the cast nicely, but I loved all of the rest. The personalities blended nicely, without being redundant. It was one of those reads I walked away from feeling like I made new friends. Also? I think it’s fair to say that Rosemere Priory was a large enough presence in the story to qualify as one of the characters. And she was perfectly nuanced. (I have such a vivid picture of the estate in my mind; I wish she were real and I could go explore.)
This was such a perfect blend of literary components that sucked me in from the very start. So much so, in fact, that I read it in two sittings. I know I’ll be thinking about Rosemere Priory, Olivia, Samir, and Pavi for a long, long time. (I’ve already plotted their next 10 years.) I’m highly recommending this one to fans of women’s fiction, mysterious histories, and beautiful English settings. You can thank me later. 😉
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for organizing this tour.