Wednesday, December 20, 2017

12 Days at Bleakly Manor: A Review

About the Book

Published September 1, 2017 by Shiloh Run Press

GoodReads Description

When CLARA CHAPMAN receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand pounds. That’s enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fianc√©, BENJAMIN LANE.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar.

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they've been striving for isn't what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

My Thoughts

Before I begin my review of this novel, I have a little story I'd like to share with you.  That story begins with an unusual friendship.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love my friend.  She thinks I''m pretty neat too.  But we COULD NOT be more opposite when it comes to what we like to read.  Typically, I will go for the stranger, more fantastical books.  My friend, however, will always opt for the more comfortable, less frightening ones.  When she handed me a Christmas book to read and was certain that I would enjoy it, I thought she was out of her ever-loving mind.  But, I figured that my friends know me pretty well so at the very least I could give it a try.

I went into this novel expecting a slow-paced, pastoral description of the holiday.  I am so glad that I was wrong.

As soon as I began the novel, I fell instantly in love with Griep's writing style.  She is not afraid of following Dickens' entrancing style and she did not shy away from doing her research to ensure that she depicts the setting as accurately as possible.

Additionally, Griep wrote her characters masterfully. Not only do their names add to their personalities, they do not waver from who they are.  Each character has a very specific set of characteristics and Griep made certain that her characters followed these qualities.  Typically, I like to see change throughout a novel as the characters grow.  Griep did this in a unique way.  Instead of having their personalities completely change, they were simply modified by new information and that made all of the difference.  This is an especially effective technique near the end of the novel as the final surprises are revealed.

Benjamin Lane was most definitely my favorite character.  I adored his sense of chivalry and the way that he loved Clara despite all of their hardships.  To him, she wasn't just a prize to be won over.  She was the best thing that had ever happened to him.  She was the light in his eyes and his reason for enduring any pain or overcoming any obstacle that was put into his way.  It was a wonderful change of pace from today's society to see a man who truly loved with his heart and mind instead of man.

I absolutely loved this novel and am looking forward to reading it every Christmas.

My Rating

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