When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family.
Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.
Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.
The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.
I picked up this book because the cover editorial review compared it to Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I truly love that book (who doesn’t?) and so I picked this one up with great expectations.
Unfortunately, who can live up to a classic such as Rebecca? And this book certainly did not. Though there were undertones which were the same (a rushed romance followed by questions regarding the first wife) the big reveal of how the first wife did die was anticlimatic, especially compared to Rebecca.
Also, the secondary ghost story was disappointing. How could she not realize what her brother had done? And the reason behind the visions was, again, anticlimatic.
Standing alone, this book would have been fine but for the fact that it was modeled after Rebecca and advertised to be like it and it simply did not measure up.
A modern gothic novel of love, secrets, and murder—set against the lush backdrop of Provence
Meeting Dom was the most incredible thing that had ever happened to me. When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom in Switzerland, their whirlwind relationship leads them to Les GenÉvriers, an abandoned house set among the fragrant lavender fields of the South of France. Each enchanting day delivers happy discoveries: hidden chambers, secret vaults, a beautiful wrought-iron lantern. Deeply in love and surrounded by music, books, and the heady summer scents of the French countryside, Eve has never felt more alive.
But with autumn’s arrival the days begin to cool, and so, too, does Dom. Though Eve knows he bears the emotional scars of a failed marriage—one he refuses to talk about—his silence arouses suspicion and uncertainty. The more reticent Dom is to explain, the more Eve becomes obsessed with finding answers—and with unraveling the mystery of his absent, beautiful ex-wife, Rachel.
Like its owner, Les GenÉvriers is also changing. Bright, warm rooms have turned cold and uninviting; shadows now fall unexpectedly; and Eve senses a presence moving through the garden. Is it a ghost from the past or a manifestation of her current troubles with Dom? Can she trust Dom, or could her life be in danger?
Eve does not know that Les GenÉvriers has been haunted before. BÉnÉdicte Lincel, the house’s former owner, thrived as a young girl within the rich elements of the landscape: the violets hidden in the woodland, the warm wind through the almond trees. She knew the bitter taste of heartbreak and tragedy—long-buried family secrets and evil deeds that, once unearthed, will hold shocking and unexpected consequences for Eve.
Sigh. Did I really just read a romance novel? Again?
Yes, yes I did.
Miranda is 19 years old when she is rescued by a strange man who chooses to stay in the shadows. Little does he know that because of her amazing powers (she can start anything on fire — even people) she was very capable of saving herself. Still, the encounter stays with both of them for three years until Miranda is forced by her money-grubbing father to marry the mysterious stranger — Lord Archer.
Archer wears masks but Miranda is able to discover that half of his face is fine. But he wears a silk shield on the other half if his face, even under the mask. What happened? What is under the mask? These are things that Miranda desperately tries to find out, all while Archer’s close friends are being killed, and he is being framed for their murders.
It’s an interesting read because you really do not know what is under the mask — it keeps you guessing. And Miranda is a fun heroine. But I could never recommend this book because there were a lot of steamy scenes.
At the end, Archer is forced to sacrifice everything and Miranda attempts to use her power to bring him back. That scene was a little confusing and I am still not sure I understood exactly what happened, but apparently they lived happily ever after!
Once the flames are ignited . . .
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family’s fortune decimated and forced her to wed London’s most nefarious nobleman.
They will burn for eternity . . .
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it’s selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can’t help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn’t felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.
This was a fun, quick read. Sage is an orphan trying to staying fed and convince the orphanage owner to let him stay, though he is nearly of age and can be thrown out at any time. He is picked up by Conner who has a plan to take over the country. . .if he can convince everyone that the Prince is still alive. He just needs an orphan to train and fill the role.
Sage undergoes strenuous sword fighting classes, reading classes, horseback riding classes, history classes, all to help him get ready to fill this role. But, Sage is one step ahead of this process, and he has his own surprise in place for Connor and for the country.
I saw the *surprise* ending coming early. I even told my eight year old daughter the outline of the plot, and she guessed the ending as well. There were a few things that threw me off. Hair color? Left handed? Accent? These little intrigues made for an interesting book and a great read.
In this first book in a remarkable trilogy, an orphan is forced into a twisted game with deadly stakes.
Choose to lie…or choose to die.
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.