A volunteer for the newly established Weather Bureau, Sophie van Riijn needs access to the highest spot in her village to report the most accurate readings. Fascinated by Dierenpark, an abandoned mansion high atop a windswept cliff in the Hudson River Valley, Sophie knows no better option despite a lack of permission from the absent owners.
The first Vandermark to return to the area in sixty years, Quentin intends to put an end to the shadowy rumors about the property that has brought nothing but trouble upon his family. Ready to tear down the mansion, he is furious to discover a local woman has been trespassing on his land.
Instantly at odds, Quentin and Sophie find common ground when she is the only one who can reach his troubled son. There’s a light within Sophie that Quentin has never known, and a small spark of the hope that left him years ago begins to grow. But when the secrets of Dierenpark and the Vandermark family history are no longer content to stay in the past, will tragedy triumph or can their tenuous hope prevail?
I love, love, love Elizabeth Camden novels because I know I’m going to get a smart heroine, a unique hero, and some fascinating history. My thoughts:
- Beauty and the Beast. Though this book is different than Beauty and the Beast, upon finishing the novel, I felt like I had read Beauty and the Beast. And I loved that feeling because Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favorite fairytale.
- Histories mysteries. The backdrop of this novel concerns what took place between two brothers about two hundred years before the novel took place. Even though I guessed a part of it, I didn’t guess all of it and I found myself as invested as the characters in finding out what happened.
- Romance. This was a romance that was built about friendship and respect (hence my love for Beauty and the Beast). Sophie may have been beautiful but that was not what drew Quentin. And well…Quentin didn’t have a lot of redeeming qualities at first glance, but you slowly come to love him.
- Secondary characters. It’s not often an author can make me care about secondary characters as much as the main characters, but here I found myself valuing every page that Quentin’s grandfather and son were.
- Generational curses. There’s an element of the supernatural that is discussed here that somehow manages to add suspense to the story.
- Spiritually, I loved watching certain members of the novel get introduced and later fall in love with Jesus. Salvation stories can sometimes feel corny, but this didn’t feel corny to me in anyway. It was slow-going, but very profound.
Romance scale: 8.9
Overall, I loved the characters, I loved the situation, and I loved this book.
**I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**