Sarah Ladd debuts a Regency series centering on themes of faithfulness, forgiveness, and family secrets in the early 1800s.
The Heiress of Winterwood tells of an heiress who promises to raise her dying friend’s baby despite others’ disapproval. Amelia Barrett defies her family, even to the point of proposing a marriage of convenience when her fiancé refuses to allow her to keep the baby when they marry. Captain Graham Sterling — baby Lucy’s father — is away for months at a time. He knows he cannot take care of her, but Amelia’s proposal catches him off-guard.
When Lucy is kidnapped, he works to rescue her and make plans for Lucy’s future. Together Amelia and Graham face their growing attraction, as well as trying to find the person behind the kidnapping: is it Graham’s brother, Amelia’s ex-fiancé or someone else? Will their faith enable them to face the future together?
In The Headmistress of Rosemere, Patience Creighton keeps the Rosemere School for Young Ladies going after her father’s death, but their landlord is William Sterling, Captain Sterling’s brother, who is facing financial trouble. After Patience cares for his wounds following an assault by his creditors’ thugs, William believes that sacrificing Rosemere might be his only option, but it would cost him a relationship with Patience.
William makes a deal with unscrupulous men, uncovers a secret from his past, and watches a new headmaster — Patience’s former suitor – try to woo her. Will he be able to pay off his creditors? Will William’s past keep Patience and William apart?
In A Lady at Wintergrove Hall , Cecily Faire and Nathaniel Stanton have secrets from their past that affect their future. Cecily made an unwise choice when she was sixteen, causing her father to disown her. He left her at Rosemere School where she eventually becomes a teacher. The headmistress recommends her as Lady Trent’s companion, but Cecily is unaware that Lady Trent’s nephew could reveal her past, costing her position at Willowgrove Hall.
Meanwhile Nathaniel, the steward at Willowgrove, follows in the footsteps of his father, the previous steward. He guards a family secret that, if revealed, could jeopardize his sisters’ future, a secret that ties him to Lady Trent. Can Nathaniel and Cecily face the truth and be free from the past?
Recommended for adult collections in public libraries. Ladd is a promising new author in Regency fiction; the series will appeal to fans of Julie Klassen and Jane Austen. Each book includes discussion questions for reading groups.
Carol R. Gehringer
—reprinted with permission, Christian Library Journal, 2014.