In the suspenseful conclusion to the Ladies of the Manor series, sweet, optimistic Lady Ella Myerston grows tired of everyone sheltering her from the dangers associated with the mysterious jewels her brother has been hiding for a friend, and she decides to research everything she can about them. Lord James Cayton is still battling the guilt of breaking two hearts, and he has no intention of adding a third to the mix, especially not Ella. But when he gets pulled into the fight for the jewels alongside Ella, it's all he can do to keep her safe.
It's a bit unusual to find an eternal optimist in a Gothic romance--which I would say this qualifies as, what with cursed jewels and mad villains and all--but Ella brings a ray of sunshine into what could have been a very dark tale. She surprised (and thrilled) me with her common sense, as, for that matter, did Cayton. I really like intelligent heroes. Especially heroes that don't keep dangerous or foolish secrets that are waiting to come back and bite them at the worst possible moment. Thus, I cannot recommend these two enough!
Normally I don't care as much for secondary characters who get their own point of view as for the main characters, but for Kira Belova, I can make an exception. I really liked her in this story; she added significantly to the plot and was fascinating in her own right. Having taken a number of Russian studies in college (and loved it), I felt that the author does a wonderful job capturing the Russian spirit and incorporating hints of the history leading up to the impending revolution. I can only approve of the reference she cites in the author's note, as Orlando Figes is THE historian to consult when it comes to Russian history.
This is one of the rare series that successfully navigates the stories
of three different couples yet has a cohesive, series-wide plot
following the the mysterious jewels and villains who are after them. All
mysteries and motivations brought up throughout all three books are finally answered in this novel, with a sense of the journey being brought full-circle. As much as I enjoyed each of the individual stories, as a series (all read in a row), they are brilliant. And yes, that means I reread the first two to eke the greatest enjoyment out of this one.
Thank you Bethany House for providing a free book to review; I was not required
to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.
Ladies of the Manor
1. The Lost Heiress
2. The Reluctant Duchess
3. A Lady Unrivaled