Friday, September 1, 2017

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

book cover
12 Days at Bleakly Manor
by Michelle Griep

ISBN-13: 9781683222583
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Released: Sept. 1, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant--but if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds. Money that she desperately needs. She's shocked when she encounters one of the other guests—her former fiancĂ©, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his freedom and future. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with Clara, who thinks he's guilty of humiliating her and stealing her family's fortune. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

My Review:
12 Days at Bleakly Manor is a romance set in England in late Dec. 1851. Seven strangers are invited to a manor to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, lured by the promise that they will gain something they desire if they stay all 12 days. The host is missing, but he informs them that only one person will win their prize. Not surprisingly, accidents begin to happen.

Despite the accidents, the story seemed more humorous than suspenseful. The characters were quirky and outrageous. It's implied that at least some of the characters were based off of characters in "Bleak House," but that happens to be one of Dickens' novels that I haven't read. Since I read Charles Dickens for the historical details, I was disappointed that this novel made little effort to be historically accurate in terms of manners and such.

It wasn't difficult to figure out where the overall arc of the story was going--who the "bad persons" were, who would win, etc.-so it was a light, entertaining read. There wasn't much character development, but Ben was faced with a hard choice at the end and Clara had to decide if she'd trust Ben and God again. There was no sex or 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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