This book contains some adult content
What woman would dare make her home at eerie Marshbanks Abbey, perched on a stony hill in remote Northumbria? It is said its owner, the brilliant botanist, Lord Stacks, killed his beautiful bride there ten years earlier.
Unaware of the tales of Lord Stacks’ wickedness, Freddie Lambeth comes to live with her guardian, and through his caring blossoms from a plain, shabbily dressed girl to a lovely young woman.
Freddie and Lord Stacks come to need each other as his flowers need sunshine, but Stacks cannot allow himself to love her. His own wickedness has destroyed any chance for happiness
Rating: 2.5 Stars
I dislike giving a book a low rating because the author has spent so much time and effort in writing it. Unfortunately there were too many things that I could not overlook in this book to make it a higher rating. The good points of this book were that it was a sweet story and both the Freddie and Lord Stacks were likeable character’s even if they were abit bland. I liked that Freddie showed spirit at the start of the book but it kind of fizzled out as the story progressed.
I really liked the premises of the book, it is based on a orphan girl Freddie who writes to her guardian Lord Stacks to allow her to live with him. Lord Stack agrees but only because he believes Freddie is a boy. When Freddie shows up at Marshbanks Abbey, Lord Stacks home he is surprised to find out Freddie is a she. Here I thought wow this is going to get really interesting but Lord Stacks agrees to keep Freddie at his house without too much convincing as he wants teach her what lady should behave like as her lessons in being a lady have been overlooked by her late father who blamed Freddie for the death of his dear wife because she died giving birth to Freddie. The story develops at a reasonable pace from here but it did not keep me glued to my seat wanting to know what happens next straight away. I also felt some parts of the story were just too coincidental to be believable, especially about the discovery of how Lord Stacks wife died.
My two main problems with the book was first the editing. I can overlook a few misspelt words and some grammar mistakes but this book seemed to have so many it disturbed the flow of the book because I kept noticing these. Second was the repeated way the age gap between Freddie and Lord Stacks was brought up. Freddie is 18 years old and Lord Stacks was her late Father’s friend and so is nearing her fathers age of 38 years old. This is a historical romance so this age gap for back then was not an issue and so I have no problem with the age gap either. My problem was that Lord Stacks keep saying he would look after and treat Freddie as his own daughter as he would never have his own children, this was mentioned in the story a number of times. Then once Lord Stacks was interested in Freddie romantically he kept referring to her in his mind as a women/child, even when he imagined making love to Freddie he imagined her ‘women/child’ body under his. Sorry but that is a no no it makes it feel wrong even if it is not. Freddie is 18 years old and in that time period girl’s that age were already married or getting married and she does not act a child would so there’s nothing child like about her.
Lord Stacks valet was good comic relief in this book how, he made me chuckle at certain points. I really do wish that I liked this book more because it sounded like my kind of book and started of with such promise.