A wonderful romantic mystery from the regency era
Emma smallwood's widowed father is offered the private job of tutoring sir giles weston's two youngest sons, rowan and julian. she accompanies him to ebbington manon to assist him, full of nerves at the idea of encountering the twins' older brothers, who had both attended the smallwood's academy in the past. she looks forward to catching up with phillip, who she had a crush on, but dreads seeing henry, who used to tease and pull pranks on her. little does she know all that's in store for her at the weston family's cliff side mansion. strange nocturnal visits, anonymous notes pushed beneath her door and the theft of her private journal. i loved this book for many reasons. there's nothing like an intriguing historical novel with a cup of tea for a bit of luxury. this one had elements of jane austen and the brontes. it also made me think of daphne dumaurier's classic, "jamaica inn" with its shipwrecks along the treacherous cornish coast and the unscrupulous 'wreckers' who took advantage of their situation. it was the ideal setting for extreme villainy and heroism. i felt as if i knew and understood each of the characters, even the not so likeable ones. i was delighted when the story ended with a marriage proposal from the man who was so clearly right for emma, but i'd love to know how his stepmother took the news, and his brothers. coming back to the twenty-first century was a bit of a rude jolt so i took the chance to re-read the story over again, to pick up the significance of some the happenings which were shrouded with mystery the first time through. i highly recommend it.