About the book: Her husband is dead. But far from grieving, young widow Lady Meriwether Sturgess feels nothing but relief and release. After enduring years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her cruel husband, Meri is drawn to the comfort of the one place sure to offer healing both for her and her children: Rosewell Manor. The home of her beloved Aunt Annibel is the site of her happiest childhood memories, and it promises the new beginning for which she longs.
Just as she settles into life at the manor, Meri is granted a delightful surprise. Elliott Rosewell has come to stay, as he often has since childhood. Meri and Elliott had once been close friends, and each concealed long-harbored feelings for one another. Their warm relationship is quickly rekindled, and despite the sorrows and secrets they each conceal, they discover that their friendship has blossomed into love. But a relationship that seems to promise happily ever after quickly begins to unravel as devastating truths from both Meri's and Elliott's past surface, and their chance at happiness together may be lost forever ...
My review: I really enjoyed reading this one! It's not really your typical sappy romance. I liked that there was an element of romance, but the way Meri had been treated in her first marriage made things just a bit different for her as she was falling in love with the man she'd been in love with most of her life. I don't know how to explain it...it just seemed different that way.
I really loved Meri's character. I loved the way she did so many hard things for her kids. I loved the way she held everything together for them, even when she wanted to fall apart. I was pretty surprised by the revelations that she divulges as the book moved on. The reader knows that her life has been hard, but she leaves the reader in the dark just as much as she leaves Elliott in the dark about certain things and that makes the ending work so well!
I liked Elliott too. I liked the way the book switches back and forth between the two perspectives. It just gives the story a more rich feel than it otherwise would have. Elliott is such a gentleman and he really steps up to help when he is needed by Meri, her children or any of the cousins. Yet he has his own secrets that come out as the story goes along as well.
This whole book is full of secrets from almost all of the characters. I didn't realize that until just now as I'm thinking back over the plot. I loved the way the secrets are divulged and keep the plot moving along.
This book is one of my favorites by this author! I loved it!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase links: Amazon - Deseret Book
About the author: Anita Stansfield began writing at the age of sixteen, and her first novel was published sixteen years later. Her novels range from historical to contemporary and cover a wide gamut of social and emotional issues that explore the human experience through memorable characters and unpredictable plots. She has received many awards, including a special award for pioneering new ground in LDS fiction, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Whitney Academy for LDS Literature. Anita is the mother of five, and has two adorable grandsons. Her husband, Vince, is her greatest hero.
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