Thursday, July 7, 2016

Willowkeep by Julie Daines

Willowkeep by Julie Daines

Summary from Goodreads:
Charlotte Darby’s ship is sinking. Penniless and alone, she is struggling to care for herself and her young sister in the harsh seaport town of Kingston upon Hull. When a solicitor from London brings news that she is the heir to a vast estate in Kent, it seems her days of rough seas are over. Willowkeep is prosperous and grand, far too much for a shipping merchant’s daughter to manage, and she quickly comes to rely on the help of Henry Morland, the estate’s kind and handsome steward.

Henry has worked hard his entire life, but all the money he’s saved won’t be enough to get his father out of debtor’s prison. Henry’s fondness for Charlotte and her sister is only another reminder of his low status and lack of money. Though he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Charlotte happy and looked after, as the county’s wealthiest lady, she can never be his.

Courted by a charming man of the ton, threatened by those desperate to get their hands on her money, and determined to keep her sister safe from the same fate that cost her the rest of her family, Charlotte turns to the ghost of the beheaded queen, Anne Boleyn, for help. But no matter the size of the fortune, life—and love—are never smooth sailing.

5 Stars

Received an ebook in exchange for an honest review

My Review:
This is the first book I've read by Julie Daines. I will definitely be checking out her other works. 

I have read historical fiction where the wealthy gentleman sweeps the pretty girl off her feet. Her life is changed, her problems are solved. Think Cinderella. One of the things I love about this story is that it mixes all of those typical stories up.

Here we have a woman who has nothing. She is literally living day to day on what she can scrap together. She is lifted up from this situation not by the love of her life, but by inheriting a fortune from an unknown-to-her relative. This throws her into a new world, one that is difficult in its own way. Charlotte, our heroine, is smart and resourceful. But in this new situation she needs help. She finds that help in Henry.

From the moment Charlotte meets Henry she has a friend and confidant. Henry helps Charlotte through her transition and at the same time faces his own problems. He doesn't want to burden her when she is going through so much herself. I love that these two characters both have trials in their lives and find relief from those difficulties with each other. 

An added layer to this story is Charlotte's sister. We learn through Charlotte's relationship with her sister some of the horrific history of this family. Charlotte's difficulties are not just learning how to live in a different economic circumstance. 

Some of this story is told through Charlotte's letters to Anne Boleyn. It is interesting to read how Charlotte sees Anne and uses this relationship. I love when a book gets me interested in history. This one does just that. 

This story is not a Cinderella story. The heroine is truly our heroine. In some ways, she is the one to "save the day". With both characters in need, they find peace with each other. They lift each other up to a better place. 

Warnings: None

I would let my 15 year old read this book.

You can purchase this book:
Barnes and Noble
Deseret Book
Seagull Book

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