Mariah Aubrey wrestles with the mistake she made. Trying to put it in the past, and not wanting to expose her sister to the terrible decision she made, she seeks refuge in her aunt’s gatehouse. But she never expected to meet a man like Captain Matthew Bryant, who may very well uncover her secrets…and never look at her the same way again.
Julie Klassen’s, The Girl in the Gatehouse, grabbed me from the first moment! Once again she drew me into her story until I was utterly lost to Mariah and Matthew’s world, unable to put the book down. And once again, she showed me that unconditional love forgives all, no matter the sin committed.
Miss Mariah Aubrey was forced to leave her home because of her younger sister’s innocence. Mariah’s father, not wanting his younger daughter Julia, to be exposed to his elder daughter’s sins sends Mariah packing. And, fortunately, Mariah’s Aunt Fran lets her take the gatehouse on her estate. Mariah, grateful to her aunt, finds her reception there not as warm as she had hoped. But, she supposed, that was to be expected.
However, when Aunt Fran does come to the gatehouse and asks if she might store a trunk in the attic, Mariah is intrigued. However, the trunk is locked tight and Mariah wouldn’t think of prying.
But when Aunt Fran is on her deathbed, she gives Mariah the key to this myserious trunk and tells her that her stepson, Hugh Prin-Hallsey, must never get his hands on the contents of that trunk. Hugh sells anything valuable that he can get his hands on and then gambles away his money. Aunt Fran knows this and she wants Mariah to protect certain secrets that are contained in that trunk.
After Aunt Fran’s demise, Hugh leases out Windrush Court to Captain Matthew Bryant. Matthew has only one thing in mind. He wants to marry the woman who rejected him before because he wasn’t rich enough. With Windrush Court, he can show her just how rich he is now and impress her enough to accept him this time. Isabella Forsythe will surely be impressed…especially when she discovers that Matthew intends to make an offer to buy Windrush Court.
But when he meets the mysterious girl in the gatehouse, Matthew is intrigued…and oddly attracted to her.
But now Mariah has more than one secret she’s hiding in the gatehouse. Now, not only does she have the scandal of the past weighing her down…but she now has started writing her own novels! It seems that publishing them is the only way she’ll be able to pay the rent that Hugh has demanded she give for staying in the gatehouse.
With her companion, Susan Dixon, standing behind her Mariah knows that her secret can be kept. But now she’s made so many friends! Lizzy Barnes and her brother George, Amy and Agnes Merryweather, all residents of the poorhouse. Willian Hart, a guest of Captain Bryant’s. Jeremiah Martin, her aunt’s former manservant. And, of course, Captain Matthew Bryant himself…
Mariah fears that her secrets–all of them–will soon come to light. Especially with the arrival of Matthew’s guests to the estate, who know of her reputation…and one guest in particular who Mariah had hoped never to see again.
Matthew’s attraction to Mariah grows stronger day by day…but he keeps telling him that Isabella is the prize he wishes to win. However, when she comes, he soon discovers that she’s not all he thought she was…and that Mariah is all he can seem to think about.
But is it too late? Will Mariah’s past overshadow the small glimmer of hope she has for the future she and Matthew could have? And what about the eccentric Captain Prince who wanders on the roof of the poorhouse?
As secrets are revealed and scandal uncovered, will Mariah and Matthew’s feelings for each other be able to withstand the pain that will surely shake their world?
If you haven’t read The Girl in the Gatehouse, then you definitely should. Once again Julie Klassen blew me away! This is a must read that will keep you up till all hours just so you can find out what happens next! At least, that’s what it did to me. 😉
Coming Soon: When the bane of her childhood existence comes marching back into her life, will Katie continue on the path she’s chosen…or will an unexpected love change her mind? Look for my review of A Hope Undaunted, by Julie Lessman, soon!!