The Girl in the Gatehouse
by Julie Klassen
ebook: 400 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Released: January 1, 2011
Source: Free ebook (promotional, limited time offer).
Book Description from Goodreads:
Miss Mariah Aubrey, banished after a scandal, hides herself away in a long-abandoned gatehouse on the far edge of a distant relative's estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how--by writing novels in secret.
Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made. When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant. But falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans.
The Girl in the Gatehouse is a Christian historical romance set in 1813 in England. This novel was a Regency romance, but it came from a slightly different viewpoint than the usual respectable heroes and heroines. The manners and propriety were there, but there were also a few stolen, private kisses. And the heroine is a girl who was tempted and mislead into "giving in" to the man she thought intended to marry her. Now she's now having to deal with the resulting disgrace.
The characters were engaging, varied, and acted in realistic ways. I liked how the ex-naval officers got bored with living like gentlemen and wanted more action. The main suspense was from relationship tensions, uncovering various secrets, and wondering if Mariah's books would do well enough to pay the rent. The end got a little complicated with the number of secrets exposed and righted. But it's a happily-ever-after sort of story even if there were some sad parts for Mariah before getting there.
The Christian element was about forgiveness. Mariah felt unworthy of God (so she didn't go to church) and unworthy of being loved. Bryant was kind toward Mariah and wanted to somehow remove the scandal attached to her name, but when he realized he loved her and that her past would affect him personally, it was a little harder. It was a natural issue for them to struggle with.
There were no graphic sex scenes and no bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
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