(previously titled Carisbrooke Abbey)
by Amanda Grange
Plot Summary:When Miss Hilary Wentworth takes up an appointment at Carisbrooke Abbey, little does she suspect it will lead her into a whirlwind of mystery and suspense. Her petulant employer, Lord Marcus Carisbrooke, is as enigmatic as one of the heroes from her favorite Gothic romance novels. Yet behind his gruff manner she senses a deep and abiding pain. As Marcus's brittle exterior dissolves, Hilary catches a glimpse of the man beneath. But when she discovers the secret that haunts the Abbey, it puts them both in terrible danger - a danger they might never escape.
Review:I read this novel because it is inspired by Jane Eyre, and as a retelling it does a great job. The character development is a little shallow, and the romance starts quickly, but Hilary is a strong, intelligent character who is clearly the kind of woman Marcus Carisbrooke needs. And for once both Hilary and Marcus are described as not very pretty/handsome! Just like in Jane Eyre. The story does follow the basic plot of Jane Eyre, but there are many interesting changes and ideas that kept the story fresh and suspenseful. Marcus Carisbrooke's secret was especially unpredictable and a brilliant change totally in keeping with the character. And it is a secret that could definitely keep the two apart.
Although Hilary and Marcus's love runs deep too quickly for my taste, there is a lot of chemistry and tension, and it makes a very enjoyable read. There is another mystery in this story than just Marcus's secret, and it makes a wonderful addition to the story. I absolutely couldn't put the book down during the final few chapters. This story is well-written, romantic suspense with enough inventive twists to distinguish it from most straightforward Jane Eyre retellings.
Seventh book of ten in the 2012 Books of Eyre Reading Challenge