Perfect for fans of Poldark and Bridgerton, this Regency romance is rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, all taking place on the Cornish coast.
Cornwall, England, 1811
Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request for her to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she’s tried desperately to forget.
Jac Twethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced, he battles both grief at his brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.
Praise for The Governess of Penwythe Hall:
“Brimming with dangerous secrets, rich characters, and the hauntingly beautiful descriptions Sarah Ladd handles so well, 1800s Cornwall is brought vividly to life in this well-crafted tale that kept me glued to the pages. What a brilliant start to a new series!” —Abigail Wilson, author of Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey
“Absolutely captivating! Once I started reading, I couldn’t put down The Governess of Penwythe Hall. This blend of Jane Eyre, Jane Austen, and Jamaica Inn has it all. Intrigue. Danger. Poignant moments. And best of all a sweet, sweet love story. This is by far my favorite Sarah Ladd book. Don’t hesitate to snatch up this title!” —Michelle Griep, Christy Award–winning author
“The Governess of Penwythe Hall is a delightful and emotionally gripping tale that will tick all the boxes for any Regency lover: romance, history, and enough unpredictable intrigue to keep you up past your bedtime.” —Kristi Ann Hunter, author of A Defense of Honor
“Lovers of sweet and Christian romance alike will fall in love with Delia’s strength amid the haunting backdrop of her tragic past and the Cornish coast. Throw in a handsome leading man willing to turn his life upside down for the children in Delia’s charge, and you have a story you can’t put down.” —Josi S. Kilpack, Whitney Award–winning author
Sweet, full-length Regency romanceFirst book in the Cornwall novels (The Governess of Penwythe Hall, The Thief of Lanwyn Manor, and The Light at Wyndcliff), but can be read as a stand-alone storyBook length: 94,000 wordsIncludes discussion questions for book clubs
A governess must return to her hometown and the insidious rumors that forced her away in this thrilling first installment to the Regency-era Cornwall series from Ladd (The Weaver's Daughter). After Delia Greyhorne's husband is killed while smuggling stolen goods into Morisea, England, her powerful mother-in-law starts to question Delia's loyalty and runs her out of town. Frightened by her mother-in-law's warnings to never return, Delia prays for guidance and takes a position as a governess to five children in faraway Yorkshire. However, things change drastically when the children are suddenly orphaned after their father, Randall Twethewey, is killed in a horse riding accident. To the surprise of all, Randall's will hands them over to his estranged brother, Jac Twethewey. Delia does her best to ease the children into life at Penwythe Hall (which is uncomfortably close to Cornwall) and proves to be a fine teacher, particularly regarding the children's religious education. But Jac's risky investments in apple orchards make the transition difficult, even as Delia and Jac become closer. Then, just as Delia begins to enjoy her new life, her in-laws learn she is again living nearby, forcing her to confront her past and right her reputation. The rousing plot and organic faith elements elevate this enjoyable inspirational romance above similar Regency fare.
Beautifully crafted novel
The Governess of Penwythe Hall is a beautifully crafted novel. Cordelia “Delia” Greythorne is a strong woman who starts over after the death of her husband. She is afraid of her in-laws and she hopes that they never find her. Unfortunately, circumstances put her back in Cornwall and the inevitable happens. Delia is a likeable character who is loyal, hardworking, intelligent, and loving. You can tell she loves her young charges and wants to keep them safe. Delia is raising them to be thoughtful, caring individuals with faith in God. Jac Twethewey is a dashing man who is working hard to restore Penwythe Hall. He is not the type to make plans and order others to do the work. He is out working in the orchards every day. The arrival of more people puts a burden on his already strained finances. Sarah Ladd brought Cornwall alive for me with her writing. I could smell the sea air and see the craggy cliffs, the dangerous moors, and the beautiful Cornish coastline. Ms. Ladd gave readers lavish descriptions of this beautiful area. The romance is the type that progresses slowly (goes with the time period). We must remember that people did not express their feelings the way we do now, nor did couples get the opportunity to be alone together (that could ruin a lady’s reputation). Christian elements are woven in with the story. Jac’s Aunt Charlotte is a woman of strong faith and she was a charming addition to The Governess of Penwythe Hall. The children provide touching situation and humor especially Sophy. The mystery enhanced the story. I loved the addition of the secret and the smugglers. I could just imagine the boats bringing in their ill gotten booty onto the beach to hide in secret places along the Cornish coastline. The ending was a little rushed, but I did appreciate the epilogue. It was also interesting to learn more about apple presses and how they worked. My favorite phrase from The Governess of Penwythe Hall is “we are promised that when we rely on Him for strength, we will have what we need to face our challenges”. The Governess of Penwythe Hall has intrigue, romance, family, friendship, grief, faith and humor. This is my favorite book by Sarah E. Ladd to date. I am eager to read the next installment in The Cornwall Novels.