Published: December 29, 2011
The manor behind the mists….The man behind the mystery.In 1873 San Francisco, spirited Ann Lovell takes a position no one else dares — as governess to the motherless sons of the enigmatic Benedict Trevelyan. It has long been whispered that Trevelyan Manor hides dark secrets and sinister deeds — including the murder of Benedict’s wife. But Ann refuses to pay heed to spiteful rumor.
As she grows to cherish her young charges, Ann also finds herself powerfully drawn to the handsome Benedict, whose passionate persuasion introduces her to a new world of sensual pleasures. But even while falling in love with the master of Trevelyan, Ann wonders if his attentions are intended to blind her to the secrets of the past — and if Benedict holds he key to her destiny…or her destruction.
Tags: Romance, Historical, Suspense, American West
Time Frame: San Francisco, 1873
Heat Level: 2
REVIEW RATING : 3.5 stars
REVIEW BY LEE ANNE:
I actually read the second book in this series first and decided to go back to read this one and get the rest of the story. While I thoroughly enjoyed this book I did have a hard time getting in to it. It started out so wonderful and full of suspense and then started lagging. After a few chapters it did pick back up and I flew through the remainder of the book.
Ms. St. Giles has wonderful heroines and Ann Lovell is no exception! Ann has faced some horrible hardships in life, none of which were her doing. These are hardships that society and her absent father have placed on her. In spite of this, she continues to be positive and take charge of her future. She refuses to let anything keep her down.
Benedict is trapped and tortured by what happened to his first wife with the rumors surrounding her death. He’s doing everything he can to raise his sons and keep the family business thriving. He’s attracted to Ann but feels he only has dishonor to offer anyone, so he stays away.
Ann takes the position of governess in the Trevelyan household. She falls in love with the boys, Justin and Robert as well as Benedict, their father. She desperately tries to deny her attraction to Benedict, but as circumstance after circumstance puts them together, she finally takes charge of her destiny, consequences be damned.
During all of this, Ann deals with Benedict’s family treating her as an unwelcome insect, someone going through her personal items, and threats on her life. Ann keeps her practicality around her and continues to face these problems head on. She refuses to be a victim!
I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more from Ms. St. Giles. I would have liked for the suspense in this book to be a bit more prominent in the story. There was a lull in the story when Ann was settling into her role as governess and getting to know the boys, Justin and Robert.
San Francisco provides a wonderful backdrop to this story. We get to watch the story unfold as women are fighting for equal rights, steamboats are becoming more prominent and let’s not forget the horseless carriage!
I was completely surprised at who the villain was in the story. I was not expecting that at all! It was well done as I had the same information as the characters in the book but didn’t see it coming. I was extremely pleased by the outcome of both the mystery and the love story!
I did read the second book prior to the first one. It’s not necessary to read them in order, as they are independent stories. However, having read the second book first, I already knew several things about the Trevelyan family. This may have contributed to me having a difficult time getting into the story.
**At the time of review this book was available from Amazon for $2.99**
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
I am a happily married mother of three very busy children. Most of my time is spent chauffeuring my kids to their various activities. I cram reading into any spare moment I have. Some days I can have an hour or two and others I’m sneaking in quick reads while waiting on the kids to finish their soccer or gymnastics practice. I like to read a wide variety of genres but I definitely prefer romance. I can’t really pinpoint a favorite author as it changes on a regular basis. I absolutely love finding new authors and giving their stories a chance to be heard. We all have a voice in our heads writing stories and those voices should be given a chance to be heard.