Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor
Isn't that a lovely cover? This is book two in the Cornwall Novels series.

Let’s begin with the summary:

In Regency England an advantageous match could set up a lady for life. Julia knows Matthew Blake, copper mine owner and very eligible bachelor, is the gentleman she should set her eyes upon. But why can’t she steal her gaze away from his younger brother, Isaac?

Cornwall, England, 1818

Julia Twethewey needs a diversion to mend her broken heart, so when her cousin invites her to Lanwyn Manor, Julia eagerly accepts. The manor is located at the heart of Cornwall’s mining industry, and as a guest Julia is swept into its intricate world. It’s not long, though, before she realizes something dark lurks within the home’s ancient halls.

As a respected mine owner’s younger son, Isaac Blake is determined to keep his late father’s legacy alive through the family business, despite his brother’s careless attitude. In order to save their livelihood—and that of the people around them—the brothers approach the master of Lanwyn Manor with plans to bolster the floundering local industry. Isaac can’t deny his attraction to the man’s charming niece, but his brother has made clear his intentions to court the lovely visitor. And Isaac knows his place.

When tragedy strikes, mysteries arise, and valuables go missing, Julia and Isaac find they are pulled together in a swirl of strange circumstances, but despite their best efforts to bow to social expectations, their hearts aren’t so keen to surrender.

And now, my review:

The story opened with a strong hook and a harrowing situation. Both our hero and our heroine are courageous, which is a trait that made me root for them.

We have the usual Regency elements: balls and societal expectations of finding the right match for matrimony. The escape of a distant time period setting. Julia goes to live with her meddlesome aunt, while Isaac has the unstated competition of his brother for Julia’s affections.

I could relate with the heroine’s desire to reinvent herself and refresh her life after her loss. The author’s descriptions of locations helped me experience the setting with her.

Unfortunately, I found melodrama and wording that didn’t sound as if it came from a male POV. The mining focus reminded me of the Poldark Saga novels. Fans of the books or the PBS adaptation may appreciate this story.

I’ll confess I only made it to 30 percent of this novel as at that point, I was no longer hooked. I didn’t find enough advancement in their relationship to keep me reading. Still, I wish the author and her publisher all the best.