by Katie Stewart Stone
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (July 6, 2020)
What begins as a pleasant holiday with a new friend in Brighton quickly turns to devastation for Anabelle Milton when she receives the tragic news: her parents are dead. Turned out of the only home she’s ever known, Anabelle is sent to live with an aunt and uncle who are strangers to her.
Heartbroken, she arrives at Bellingham Cottage, a cozy home on the sprawling grounds of the Bellingham estate, to find an unexpectedly warm welcome—not only from her own family but also from the family of their aristocratic neighbors, Lord and Lady Bellingham.
Anabelle soon attracts the attention of the heirs of Bellingham—brothers who, though connected by blood, could not be more different. As she slowly begins to distance herself from the polite and obedient young woman her mother trained her to be, Anabelle is free for the first time to choose her own path. She knows she must be true to herself, even if it means risking unrequited love—but can she trust that the gentleman who has stolen her heart will not break it?
From the very first pages I found myself annoyed with the main character. Anabelle Milton seems superficial and judgy and the way she led Mr Timmons on only to trash him was so wrong.
Robert and Lucy are so adorable together. Robert was probably my favorite side character. Though at times he seemed older and other times he seemed very young, I loved his fun and blunt personality.
Having a large set of brothers in a story is always interesting and I love how their personalities played off of each other.
In the fashion of many Jane Austen stories, we also had a creepy clergyman.
Annabelle seemed to grow somewhat and be a little more accepting of people, but she continued to make fun of others and think too highly of herself. It seemed like everyone loved her and wanted to be with her all the time. I think it was a lot more noticeable since this story was written in first person so Anabelle was the one praising herself.
I liked the plot of this story and many of the characters. I just think that I would have liked it more if Annabelle hadn’t been so full of herself.
I also wish the epilogue wasn’t included. It just left me sad.
There’s just something about reading an author’s debut novel, and Katie Stewart Stone is an interesting voice I would like to hear more from.