By Kelly Bridgewater
the fallout of her deceased father's financial ruin, Annabelle's prospects are
looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains
at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces
the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run
away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a
teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life
forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and
roles she's taken for granted are called into question.
Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely
protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on
keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually
purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him
to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time
since his wife's tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.
Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought
they'd found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at
Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to
stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.
is something about Sarah E. Ladd's writing that grips my attention. She knows
how to create unforgettable stories with enjoyable characters. I know her
stories are Regency novels, but I am drawn to Ladd's ability to tell a story
and capture my imagination. Every book she has written has done just that.
writing is clear and concise. I really enjoy how much attention Ladd takes with
her settings. In A Stranger at Fellsworth,
she took the time and energy to bring Uncle Edmund Langsby's cottage and the
school of Fellsworth to life. I could see the community with the students and
the teachers who mingled with the garden and blacksmith shop. Inside of telling
me that the time of the year was late summer, Ladd allowed Annabelle, the
heroine, to show me by allowing her to wave a painted fan and comment on the
stifling heat in the room. The attention to detail drew me into the setting as
I observed the key points through Annabelle's perspective.
is a woman who I could totally relate to. No I haven't had a bunch of scandals
that followed my name, but I understand what it is like to not belong somewhere
and wanting to run for the better of oneself. I could feel Annabelle's struggle
while she lived at home in London, not wanting to follow the path her brother
had laid out for her. Her demise and triumph poured from the pages. While the
spiritual life of Annabelle really wasn't important to her, she did find
comfort in the prayers of her prayer warrior mother.
Locke, the game warden and the hero, vowed to protect women and not allow
another one to die if there was a way to protect them. Ladd used Owen's promise
to turn him into a hero for Annabelle who needed protecting. Owen is a loyal
man who protects the woods, his daughter, Hannah, and Annabelle. I found him
endearing and worth rooting for. What woman doesn't honestly want to be
protected? As for spiritual matters, Owen does claim a faith in God, even if he
did spend a lot of time questioning his faith after the death of his first
pace of the novel moved just right. There was a heavy romance thread through
the novel, but it is a historical romance novel. The emotions between Annabelle
and Owen weren't forced, and I felt they flowed quite naturally from them. As
for the plot, it held an element of mystery with poaching and a gunshot early
in the book. The story does reflect quite a bit on the poaching element and
brings the betrayal to light at the end. To be honest, Ladd did a nice job of
weaving in the mystery with the historical romance part. I applauded her for
A Stranger at Fellsworth is an original
and predictable novel, but I really enjoyed reading it. I can't wait to see
what Ladd comes up with next. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good
romance and mystery.
received a complimentary copy of Sarah E. Ladd's A Stranger at Fellsworth from Thomas Nelson publishing, and the
opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars