Narrator – Anne Dover Audible Audio, 13 hours and 2 minutes
Published January 7th 2016 by Hachette Audio UK Rating: 5*
In 1813, Venetia Lovell lives by the sea in Kent with her lovely, frivolous mother and idle younger brother. Venetia’s father Theo is an interior designer with whom Venetia shares his passion and talent for design. While he is away traveling for new and exciting items and accoutrements for his wealthy clients, Venetia and her family are always excited waiting for him to come home. In the meantime Venetia daydreams of one day having an interior design shop where she and her father can display only five finest in home furnishings.
Just before Christmas a handsome but fairly hostile stranger, Jack Chamberlaine, arrives at the Lovell’s cottage to deliver terrible and life-changing news. Venetia’s beloved father is dead, her life turned topsy-turvey, and with no other options available to them Jack has come to escort the family to their new home in London -to the house in Quill Court. Consequently, Venetia’s creativity, courage, and strength will be stretched to the limit, and the impossibility of discovering a love far greater than she ever could have imagined could be hers if only she can stay alive long enough to claim it!
*** I was totally immersed in this book from page one. I loved Venetia right from the beginning, for her kindness in dealing with her frivolous and anxiety ridden mother and a little less for her catering to her lazy spoiled brother. She was smart and her passionate artistic nature was a delight where I could almost feel her creativity flowing right through me. I also felt her pain and disappointment in discovering her father’s ‘other’ family. Unfortunately, Jack Chamberlaine, her father’s ward, was a little more difficult to warm up to having grown up with the ‘other’ family, he naturally felt that Venetia and her family were the upstarts and wouldn’t treat her step-sister kindly. These were Jack’s assumptions without ever even trying to get to know Venetia.
The story was filled with great depth and very detailed scenarios. All of which touched upon several of the secondary characters who all played really great parts in the overall story including, of course, some of the nasty villain(s) and their loathsome cohorts. As I listened, the story and the all the characters seemed to find themselves up against the wall so many times and sometimes they were saved and other times, not so much. As mentioned before the scenario’s and the villain were very well put together and trying to discover how the villain always seemed a step ahead of every plan will keep the reader on edge.
Bottom Line: I loved this book, the story itself, the fast-pacing and the wonderful narration by Anne Dover. This is highly recommended and I urge you to give this new author (at least for me) a try. Highly enjoyable.