Julia Broeder is only six months shy of graduating from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania when one small decision spirals out of control and results in her expulsion. Hoping to travel the world as a missionary doctor, her only choice is to return back home…or throw herself upon the mercy of Ashton Carlyle.
Formal and straight-laced, Ashton Carlyle is not pleased to see an expelled Julia arrive at his Manhattan office. His position as a junior attorney for the Vandermark family’s world-famous shipping empire entails taking care of the Broeders, longtime employees of the Vandermark family. But Ashton has no intention now of using his employer’s resources in defense of Julia’s impulsive and reckless actions.
What Ashton did not expect was a scathing reprimand from none other than the Vandermark family patriarch or the bewildering resistance from Julia herself when he’s forced to change his tune. At an impasse, Ashton and Julia never anticipated the revelations that arise or the adventure that awaits them.
In this novella, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Camden introduces readers to the world of the grand Hudson River Valley estate Dierenpark and the enigmatic Vandermark family. Includes an extended preview of Until the Dawn, Camden’s full-length Dierenpark novel.
I liked this novella. I will say that at first, Julia seemed a bit annoying. But, you begin to really like her. As always, Camden has crafted a bright woman who is forward thinking and yet manages to not come across as fighting against her current era. Ashton is a complex and fascinating hero and I enjoyed their love story. I definitely felt like this should be read before Until the Dawn came out because it lays the foundation for that novel. Read it!
Willet Dura ekes out a living as an assistant reeve in the city of Bunard, the royal city, investigating minor and not-so-minor crimes in the poor quarter. Ever since a terrible battle, Willet’s been drawn to the dead, and has an uncanny ability not only to solve their crimes, but even to know when one has been committed.
When a gifted musician is found dead in the merchants’ quarter of the city, everyone assumes by the signs that the old man simply died of a stroke, but Willet’s intuition tells him better. When he learns that this is the second death within the last month of one of the gifted, those with a rare inherited ability, he begins to suspect that something more is afoot, and he soon finds himself chasing a mystery that could bring down the very kingdom of Collum.
Well worth reading. In fact, I can’t imagine starting the series without reading this novella. For me, this really works and is actually less of a novella and more like the first third of the novel. You are introduced to Willet, you learn about the fantasy system, and you get the foundation of the romance. Read it!