Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Michelle Griep: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor

By Kelly Bridgewater

A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger...and love?

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancĂ©, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I, personally, have never read anything by Michelle Griep. I do have a number of her books downloaded to my Kindle, but I haven't had the time to read them yet. The book 12 Days at Bleakly Manor was my first introduction to Griep's writing. With the setting being in London, I was interested in the plot right away. The story is a historical romance, so I was pretty sure the historical setting with the characters would be interesting.

Griep's writing is top notch. I had no problem picturing Bleakly Manor at all. Griep sprinkled in just enough description to capture my attention as Clara and Ben moved through the house. I could feel the cold outside and imagine that I was belonged in the house during the twelve days of Christmas. She did a great job at inviting me into the Manor just like she did her characters.

The characters were interesting too. I loved the strange cast of characters that she used to tell her story. All of them were different, but each one of them had their own vices that made them stand out. I loved seeing Clara and Ben interact after so much trials and misunderstanding which had affected their relationship. They were a nice couple to watch as they loved blossomed after their misunderstanding came to light.

As for the plot, it did remind me of the 1980's movie Clue, but with a British Christmas twist. I enjoy the mystery. The entire time I couldn't wait to meet who the master of the house was. Griep did a great job at intertwining the mystery into the Christmas story. When I started the novel, I was drawn in right away to the plot. I had a hard time believing it was a novella. Most novellas feel short and not fully developed, but I didn't feel this way with Griep's novel. It felt complete, and I really can't wait for the next addition. Next fall seems too far away.

Overall, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor captured my interest because of the mystery, London setting, and the Christmas time of the year. I highly recommend this book to fans of Charles Dickens and fans of  a good mystery. I can't wait to see what the next book entails.

I received a complimentary copy of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep from Barbour Books, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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