Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Historical Fiction / Regency / Romance
Series: A Treasures of Surrey Novel, Book 3
Be sure to check out my review of the previous novel, Dawn at Emberwilde.
About the Book:
Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley? In 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.
Owen 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.
As 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.
Wow! Where do I even begin?! A Stranger at Fellsworth is a new favorite of Sarah Ladd’s novel. If you enjoy Jane Austen or anything to do with the Regency era, then this is not one to miss. Beautifully written, Ladd takes on a story of a woman who is struggling to figure out who she is meant to be and belong. Of course, the twists and turns of a bit of mystery make this regency romance even more fun!
No worries if you haven’t read the previous novels in the series. This can easily be a stand-alone. Those who have read all of the novels prior will enjoy returning to the scenery of Fellsworth.
The characters are memorable and relatable, although their situations are far-fetched and something I cannot relate to at all. Annabelle is a unique character who is selfless, always trying to help someone who is in need. She is neither a weak or exaggerated strong character. She’s well balanced out which is one of the things I love about her. She struggles with fear and trust which were probably two of the biggest themes in the novel. Despite the fear, she’s a strong woman for how she perseveres through the crazy circumstances that are thrown at her.
And then there’s the amazing, handsome, and swoon-worthy, Owen Locke. One of these days I am going to have to make a post about some of my favorite swoon-worthy characters because this guy definitely makes that list. He isn’t your typical guy you come across in historical fiction. Locke is a gamekeeper, a widower, and a father of sweet little Hannah. He’s more on the rougher side, but he is kind, respectful, and a true gentleman. He loves and cares about his daughter and will do anything he can to provide her the things she needs. Oh, and it helps that he loves Jesus. -swoon-
Ladd’s descriptions are amazing. I felt as if I were there physically in the novel observing the scenery, the conversations, the mystery, the romance, basically everything! It was as if I could see, touch, smell, taste it.
I also really enjoyed the faith element that Ladd brings into the story. The biggest themes would be that despite what life throws at us and no matter how much others will hurt and betray us, God is still God. God will never change and forsake us. We have hope that things will eventually get better even when life’s circumstances don’t seem like it ever will. That was my takeaway at least.
Overall, I really enjoyed this latest installment. Be prepared to just sit back, relax, and read because the pages will be flying like there’s no tomorrow.
Highly recommended for all of those who love the Regency era.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
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About Sarah E. Ladd
Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky Golden Retriever.