From country girl to actress of the stage, one woman dares to live her dreams—but is she brave enough to open her heart…?
Monica Danes always wanted more than the village of Biddlestone had to offer. After a failed courtship to a man of her parents’ choosing, she fled for the city of Bath and never looked back. Today, Monica is the undisputed queen of the theater—a wealthy, independent woman. But when she is called home in the wake of tragedy, Monica returns—intending to leave again as soon as possible.
Thomas Ashby has been a groom at the Danes estate since he was a boy—and has been enamored with Monica for almost as long. He knows he isn’t a suitable match for his master’s daughter, despite the special bond he and Monica have always shared—and their undeniable attraction. But now that she’s returned, Thomas has one last chance to prove himself worthy—and to show Monica a life, and a love, she won’t want to give up…
Review: I had previously read a novella by this new to me author and it left me wanting more. I’m glad I gave her another chance and this time it’s a full length novel that kept my interest from beginning to end.
When we first meet up with Monica Danes she’s in her element – being an actress in Bath, England – and then she gets the note from her sister that her father has died. Being that she’s been estranged from her family for five years and never gone back once the letter turns her life upside down as she decides how to handle the missive that she’s needed at home against her desire to remain in Bath performing in the play that she’s starring in.
We see the many sides to Monica as she leaves Bath to temporarily return home but also to do what’s right once she’s back at the estate for not only her but her mom, her sister Jane, her friend Thomas and the servants and tenants that rely on her family. Her connection and chemistry with Thomas is immediate and leads us on a merry chase throughout the story. There are family, friends, neighbors, professionals – lawyers, doctors – history, illness, sadness, sorrow, tears, laughter, happiness and ultimately a happily ever after. Most of the loose ends were tied up but there was still some gaps and there was decent closure which could have been helped with a few more chapters or an epilogue. All in all an enjoyable and quick read.
I look forward to reading other novels by Brimble.
Favorite Quote: He turned and their gazes locked for the briefest moment before he looked to the men once more. It was barely a second, maybe two, that he’d looked at her, but the intensity of his gaze lingered on Monica’s skin, burning white-hot heat through her clothes to sear deep into her flesh just the way it had years before…