Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father when his boarding school fails, accompanies him to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But soon after they arrive and begin teaching the two younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte at night, only to find the music room empty? And who begins sneaking into her bedchamber, leaving behind strange mementos?
The baronet’s older sons, Phillip and Henry Weston, wrestle with problems–and secrets–of their own. They both remember the studious Miss Smallwood from their days at her father’s academy. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her…
When suspicious acts escalate, can Emma figure out which brother to blame and which to trust with her heart?
I have read all three of Julie's books previous to this one and thoroughly enjoyed them so I was anticipating another good read and I was not disappointed. These are billed as romance novels, but have quite a bit more mystery than your typical romance. There are plenty of hints along the way, but always something that (at least I) can't quite figure out.
I also appreciate the depth of character development in Julie's books. I begin to feel like I can understand why each character acts they way they do because she's shown us their thoughts, feelings, and even past experiences (through letters and memories) that contribute to the way they act.
This is one of those books that I read (all 400+ pages) in less than 24 hours. Just my kind of novel!
***Purchase: The Tutor's Daughter
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Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.