Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah E. Ladd: Review & Giveaway!

About the Book

In the first of a new series from beloved Regency romance author, Sarah Ladd, Delia, a governess to five recently orphaned children, would risk anything to protect them . . . even her heart.
Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.

Cornwall, England, 1811
Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she tries desperately to forget.
Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of this brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.
Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. Visit her onlineFacebook, and Twitter.
Mounts Bay fishing fleet

More About the Governess of Penwythe Hall

5 things to know about Cornwall, England:

  1. Throughout its early history, Cornwall’s inhabitants called the country Kernow.

  2. Early inhabitants largely spoke their own language known as “Cornish,” which became nearly extinct in the 1800s

  3. The country has a long and rugged coastline and there were frequent shipwrecks.

  4. Fishing was a major industry, with herring, mackerel, and sardines being common catches.

  5. In 1870, novelist and poet Thomas Hardy called Cornwall “the region of dream and mystery.”

Imagine yourself in The Governess of Penwythe Hall with these pictures of 19th Century life in Cornwall

My Thoughts

The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah E. Ladd takes readers back to the early 1800s in Cornwall.  Cordelia “Delia” Greythorne leaves Greythorne House with everything she owns after her family blames her for her husband’s death and her mother-in-law tells Delia that she will pay for what she has done.  She also warns the widow to stay away from Cornwall.  Three years later in 1811, Delia is the governess for Randall Twethewey’s five children.  Randall was in a horse riding accident and on his death bed he requests that Delia stay with his children.  Randall appointed his estranged brother, Jac Twethewey of Penwythe Hall the children’s guardian.  It will put Delia back in proximity to her in-laws at Greythorne House. 

Jac is trying to revive the apple orchards that were neglected during his uncle’s reign plus install a cider mill in an old barn to provide Penwythe Hall with a stable income.  When Jac surprisingly inherited the estate, it caused a rift between the two brothers.  Jac is stunned when his nieces and nephews arrive along with their lovely governess and sullen tutor, Mr. Hugh Simon.  Jac had always hoped to reconcile with his brother and now that will not be possible.  He is unsure how to deal with the new disruptions to his life. He has avoided taking on a wife because of his financial struggles, but his heart has other ideas.  Delia had hoped her in-laws would not learn of her presence, but her hopes are dashed when Thomas Greythorne visits.  They want something from her that Delia is unwilling to give up.  Jac wonders what secrets Delia is hiding and how he can protect her from the dangerous Greythorne clan.

The Governess of Penwythe Hall is a beautifully crafted novel.  Cordelia “Delia” Greythorne is a strong woman who starts over after the death of her husband.  She is afraid of her in-laws and she hopes that they never find her.  Unfortunately, circumstances put her back in Cornwall and the inevitable happens.  Delia is a likeable character who is loyal, hardworking, intelligent, and loving.  You can tell she loves her young charges and wants to keep them safe.  Delia is raising them to be thoughtful, caring individuals with faith in God.  Jac Twethewey is a dashing man who is working hard to restore Penwythe Hall.  He is not the type to make plans and order others to do the work.  He is out working in the orchards every day.  The arrival of more people puts a burden on his already strained finances.  Sarah Ladd brought Cornwall alive for me with her writing.  I could smell the sea air and see the craggy cliffs, the dangerous moors, and the beautiful Cornish coastline.  Ms. Ladd gave readers lavish descriptions of this beautiful area.  The romance is the type that progresses slowly (goes with the time period).  We must remember that people did not express their feelings the way we do now, nor did couples get the opportunity to be alone together (that could ruin a lady’s reputation).  Christian elements are woven in with the story.  Jac’s Aunt Charlotte is a woman of strong faith and she was a charming addition to The Governess of Penwythe Hall.  The children provide touching situation and humor especially Sophy.  The mystery enhanced the story.  I loved the addition of the secret and the smugglers.  I could just imagine the boats bringing in their ill gotten booty onto the beach to hide in secret places along the Cornish coastline.  The ending was a little rushed, but I did appreciate the epilogue.  It was also interesting to learn more about apple presses and how they worked.  My favorite phrase from The Governess of Penwythe Hall is “we are promised that when we rely on Him for strength, we will have what we need to face our challenges”.   The Governess of Penwythe Hall has intrigue, romance, family, friendship, grief, faith and humor.  This is my favorite book by Sarah E. Ladd to date and The Governess of Penwythe Hall will be available on April 16.  I am eager to read the next installment in The Cornwall Novels which is The Thief of Lanwyn Manor (January 7, 2020).
To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a grand prize of a finished paperback copy of The Governess of Penwythe  Hall.  Be sure to comment on the blog stops (schedule below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter and Good Luck! Sarah Ladd has created audio clips from The Governess of Penwythe Hall that will allow readers to hear how the Cornish names are pronounced.  The audio clips are available on Sound Cloud (I did have to create account to hear). Thank you for visiting today.  Tomorrow I am sharing my review of The Mennonite Queen by Patrick E. Craig.  The third book in The Paradise Chronicles.  I hope you will stop by to see what I thought about this unique novel.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
Padstow c1900

Blog Stops

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Pause for Tales, April 21
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