THE SECRETS OF COLCHESTER HALL
ISBN# 978-1393404026/ASIN #B08PDPZH34
Genre: Paranormal Regency Romance
Rating: 3 cups
Lady Angelica Northridge is dangerously close to being “on the shelf” when she and her mother receive an invitation from Viscount Sterling to spend a week at Colchester Hall while he decides on the best young lady to propose to. They arrive along with five other young ladies and their chaperones who received the same invitation. Angelica can not decide how she feels about this entire situation and as she looks over the other young ladies, she comes to the realization that all his choices are the rest of society’s leftovers. They are the shy, the less than beautiful, and other versions of undesirable. She is not impressed by Colchester Hall until they get inside and realize the grandeur the outside does not hint at.
Viscount Randolph Sterling has decided that two years after his first wife’s death he is ready to marry again. Katrina Sterling was beautiful and perfect, until she was not. She died at Colchester Hall by being stuck outside on a cold night and she froze to death. He has decided this time when he chooses his wife beauty is not important or at all necessary. He hopes to find a lady he can spend time with, enjoy conversation, have interests in common with and hopefully have a family. He announces the plan for the week is to spend time getting to know the ladies a bit better; they will walk the gardens, take a trip to the nearby village to shop, have a treasure hunt, and then a ball with local gentry to attend. At the end of the week, he will choose one of the ladies to stay an extra week and then he will propose.
Randolph and Angelica have instant chemistry as well as a tiny spark of attraction. He finds her mind invigorating and as they get to know each other better, he finds her more and more unconventionally beautiful. The one detractor for Angelica is his young, gorgeous housekeeper, Mrs. Essex. She keeps intercepting strange looks from her with a deep undertone of threat but cannot imagine why or what. Then she starts having visions or dreams where she thinks she is seeing things through Katrina’s eyes. Both Mrs. Essex and her experiences make her hesitate to seriously consider Randolph.
This book was a quick – could not put down – read. Colchester Hall puts out a very gothic aesthetic which should make Angelica love it since it is her genre of choice with novels, but the place gives her a very chilling vibe. I enjoyed both Angelica, Randolph, and Lucy as well as the way the author pulls the reader into the mystery of Katrina’s death and the why of Mrs. Essex.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More