Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors, so I was delighted to get a review copy of The Girl in the Gatehouse.
This is a story for everyone who likes romance with a bit of suspense tucked in for fun. What secret is Mariah hiding that caused her to be sent away by her father to live in an abandoned gatehouse on the property of an aunt who ignores her? What’s in the mysterious box that Mariah’s aunt gives her before she dies? Who is the mysterious man that’s walks on the roof of the poorhouse that can be seen from the attic window or the gatehouse?
The heroine, 19-year-old Mariah Aubrey, writes under a pen name to provide for herself and her companion, Miss Dixon. Life becomes more difficult when the new heir of the manor house, Hugh Prin-Hallsey, raises her rent and demands that Mariah give back anything that the aunt had given her. Should she give him the box, which her aunt expressly forbade her to do?
On top of her problems with Hugh, her publisher is now pressuring her to write under her real name, which she absolutely cannot do and maintain her secrecy.
As she deals with these problems, Mariah befriends the residents of the poorhouse across the way and the new tenant of the manor house, Captain Byrant. Even though Captain Byrant has eyes only Miss Forsythe, could romance be in Mariah’s future? What if Captain Byrant finds out about her past?
The Girl in the Gatehouse is everything I wanted it to be: romantic, suspenseful, inspiring and an absolutely wonderful way to spend a lazy afternoon. Highly recommended!