By Julie Klassen
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Source: Blog TourAbigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her--a longtime friend--has fallen for her younger, prettier sister.
When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play . . .
The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem to know something about the manor's past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure.
Hoping to improve her family's financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?
Review: As a huge fan of Jane Austen and Jane Eyre, I was definitely intrigued by this book. With the promise of a gothic mystery in an extravagant old home, I couldn't wait to discover the secrets that Pembrooke Park had to offer.
When her father loses their family fortune in an investment gone wrong, Abigail Foster has taken it upon herself to help set up their new home at Pembrooke Park. Still hurting from how her childhood best friend brushed her aside for her beautiful younger sister, Abigail is certain she will become a spinster. As her stay at Pembrooke Park begins, though, she is quickly enamored with the local curate as things around Pembrooke Park become stranger and scarier. With strange sounds around the home and surprise visitors around every corner, Abigail puts it upon herself to uncover the secrets that may lead to the notorious treasure of Pembrooke Park.
While this book was pretty long, there sure was a lot of suspense, mystery, secrecy, and danger put into the story. From the beginning, Pembrooke Park is described as a very strange place. Everything was simply abandoned and not touched for years, that is until Abigail moves in with her family. I definitely got the nods to Jane Austen and Jane Eyre from this book, especially with romance and the creepiness of the house as a whole. Strange noises would come from the house and there were definitely more than one shady character running around keeping secrets of their own. While I was kind of annoyed with how much the characters would hint at a secret but wouldn't just tell us what it was already, I enjoyed the suspense and hunt to uncover the secret hidden treasure of Pembrooke Park.
When Abigail wasn't snooping around the house or around town to uncover secrets of the past, she was spending some quality time with William, the local curate. I thought that their relationship was adorable and liked how the time period didn't make it okay for them to just give into their feelings. Abigail had to think about her future, her family, and her other potential suitors and couldn't just go ahead and kiss William just because she wanted to. William, though, was determined to show her how much he cared for her and it was adorable how nice and sweet he was. The other characters were great too, especially since you didn't know who you could trust or who was hiding what. The not knowing made for a suspenseful read, but by the end I just wanted to know the secrets already!
Overall, The Secret of Pembrooke Park was an intriguing read that was something I just wanted to cozy up with and get lost in the world of secrets. It was a pretty fast read and I enjoyed the time period, full of courtship, balls, and inheritances that could very well be the death of you…
About the Author
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more about Julie and her books at http://julieklassen.com/.
Win One of Four Fabulous Prizes
In celebration of the release of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, four chances to win copies of Julie’s books and other Jane Austen-inspired items are being offered.
Three lucky winners will receive one trade paperback or eBook copy of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, and one grand prize winner will receive one copy of all eight of Julie’s novels: Lady of Milkweed Manor, The Apothecary's Daughter, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Tutor’s Daughter, The Dancing Master, and The Secret of Pembrooke Park, one DVD of Northanger Abbey (2007) and a Jane Austen Action Figure.
To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on The Secret of Pembrooke Park Blog Tour starting February 16, 2015 through 11:59 pm PT, March 9, 2015. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments and announced on Julie Klassen’s website on March 16, 2015. Winners have until March 22, 2015 to claim their prize. The giveaway contest is open to residents of the US, UK, and Canada. Digital books will be sent through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Good luck to all!
THE SECRET OF PEMBROOK PARK BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
February 16 My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
February 16 vvb32 Reads (Excerpt)
February 17 Psychotic State Book Reviews (Review)
February 17 My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice (Spotlight)
February 18 Addicted to Jane Austen (Review)
February 18 Peeking Between the Pages (Review)
February 19 Jane Austen in Vermont (Interview)
February 19 Living Read Girl (Review)
February 20 My Love for Jane Austen (Excerpt)
February 20 Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books (Review)
February 20 Laura's Reviews (Guest Blog)
February 21 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
February 21 Romantic Historical Reviews (Excerpt)
February 22 Reflections of a Book Addict (Review)
February 23 Austenesque Reviews (Guest Blog)
February 23 Peace, Love, Books (Review)
February 24 vvb32 Reads (Review)
February 24 Poof Books (Excerpt)
February 25 Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)
February 25 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
February 25 Luxury Reading (Review)
February 26 So Little Time…So Much to Read (Review)
February 26 More Agreeably Engaged (Excerpt)
February 27 Psychotic State Book Reviews (Interview)
February 27 Booktalk & More (Review)
February 28 Laughing with Lizzie (Spotlight)
February 28 The Calico Critic (Review)
March 01 Leatherbound Reviews (Excerpt)
March 01 Delighted Reader (Review)
March 02 CozyNookBks (Review)
March 02 Laura's Reviews (Review)