Now this is my kind of book! I can't help myself, The Girl In The Gatehouse had me intrigued by page two!
This book opens with Mariah Aubrey being sent away from her family home due to some sort of horrible scandal. We aren't sure what the scandal is yet, but it was bad enough to send her away with only one faithful servant as her companion. Upon arriving at the last refuge afforded to her, she is not allowed to live in the main house, but is sent to dwell in the gatehouse!
O.k... let's go ahead and add in here, what a gatehouse is! I knew before reading this book, but not everyone might. A gatehouse house that is attached to the gates that lock the main gates to an estate. They were normally used only for a lone gatekeeper, typically a male in this era. For a woman to live in a gatehouse would be quite unusual to start with! A few gatehouses were quite large, but for most estates a large one was not necessary.
So here is Mariah, living in a gatehouse, and her Aunt who lives in the manor is very ill, and dying. To top that off, Mariah realize she is living next to the parish poor house. And now she is rescued a horse, and the man that was riding that horse, Captain Bryant.
Before anyone knows it, Captain Bryant is the new renter of the manor! Mariah has secrets her Aunt wants her to find answers to, and meanwhile Mariah is struggling to support herself by secretly writing novels! (Oh I love that part a lot!)
While this is my first book by Julie Klassen, I would really love to read some of her other books to see how they compare. Lots of wonderful dynamics are in play in this book! It is a romance, and a mystery, and it is exciting, and peaceful all at the same time. A beautiful "classic" type writing style is sure to please any one who reads this book! The characters are vivid and full of mystery and history which draw the reader into the book quickly and easily, and did not disappoint!
Julie says: My background is in advertising and marketing, but I am blessed with a dream job—working as an editor of Christian fiction. I have been writing since childhood, but Lady of Milkweed Manor was my first novel. It was a finalist for a Christy Award and won second place in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards. My second novel, The Apothecary's Daughter, was a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year awards. I am currently writing one novel a year.
I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends.
My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made.
When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant and sets out to uncover her identity, and her past. But the more he learns about her, the more he realizes he must distance himself. Falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans. The old gatehouse holds secrets of its own. Can Mariah and Captain Bryant uncover them before the cunning heir to the estate buries them forever?
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Girl in the Gatehouse, go HERE
The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764207083