Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen

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Title: The Secret of Pembrooke Park

Author: Julie Klassen

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

**5 stars**

With unexpected romance, gentle faith, and a generous dash of mystery, The Secret of Pembrooke Park makes for another favorite by Julie Klassen. A thrilling, Regency tale, this one is sure to please.

Abigail Foster is the plain, practical older sister. Except her latest business advisory to her father has gone awry. Now burdened by guilt, she tries to help her family as much as possible as they move forward to stay in the old, abandoned Pembrooke Park. While her beautiful sister, Louisa, and their mother are in London for Louisa’s Season, and her father away figuring out more business issues, Abigail stays alone at Pembrooke Park…and can’t help but notice every creak and groan. Is it her imagination, or are there ghosts of the past skulking around the abruptly abandoned house?
      Between searching for treasure and trying to figure out her feelings for the man who rejected her in favor of her younger sister, Abigail meets a heartfelt and handsome preacher, a terribly nervous young woman, and a certain Mr. Pembrooke.
      Secrets abound. Will Abigail figure out what’s truly important? Or will she fall into a mess of muddled danger?

I enjoyed this new novel from Julie Klassen immensely. I find that I quite like the amount and depth of mystery/suspense that she threads through her stories. The Secret of Pembrooke Park gave me a spooky thrill now and then, but it wasn’t over the top disturbing or horror-like. It added an exciting element, and everything ended with grace, beauty, and new beginnings. I was really impressed how Julie Klassen wove it all together and worked everything to turn out so lovely.

I rather liked William Chapman, and especially enjoyed his sermons and strong faith. *smiles* What a priceless guy! Gilbert was harder to like for me; he seemed insincere or perhaps a bit selfish. Miles Pembrooke was too complex to like or dislike I think. I’m still not sure what to think about him and everything. Leah and Mrs. Webb added to the story. Louisa popped in occasionally as a rather spoiled, self-centered, little sister. Mac and Kitty were great though. *smiles* All in all, there was a nice array of characters.

The romance was so sweet overall. There was a scene here and there that I was a bit surprised at how fast things were going…in the physical aspect mainly. Especially considering the reputations and occupations of those involved. But yes, all in all, it was a simply lovely relationship, and I was ever so happy for the two! ^_^

So besides that, and a beginning that was a tad hard for me to get into, The Secret of Pembrooke Park was quite amazing! Romance, faith, and intrigue amidst the charming Regency era. Julie Klassen’s novels are not to be missed. I’m very much looking forward to her next release!

I received a free copy of The Secret of Pembrooke Park from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

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