When a shocking scandal involving her father spreads through London society, Elaine Cardinham and her parents are forced to retreat to their country home in Cornwall for refuge. But Havencross is no sanctuary for Elaine. She is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her brother—and the heartbreak she left in her wake all those years ago.
It has been five long years since Gareth Kemp last saw Elaine—when she rejected his marriage proposal. Her reappearance convinces him of one thing: he has never stopped loving her. To put his feelings for her aside, he focuses his attention on the dangerous smuggling plaguing the Cornish coast. As Elaine attempts to run from her past, she ventures ever closer to a dangerous truth—and Gareth may be the only one who can save her from a deadly finish.
|Size||6 x 9|
|Published||Covenant Communications 2017|
OK, I read a lot of books. I love most the LDS authors that write this genre. Some of them are my very favourite. I also read a lot of other Christian authors that sell fantastic books in this market. But I have to say - this is a straight up 10 star story, if there was such thing as 10 stars in book ratings! Julie Daines is an absolute master, and I was sucked hook line and sinker into this Cornish tale of murder, smuggling, legends, scandal, mystery & lost love. Cornwall is such a beautiful county, with such rich history - it's one of my favourite places. I first went to Tintagel, Jamaica Inn & Bodmin Moor as a teenager, and I totally fell in love.
Imagine Poldark, Regency & the legends of Merlin & Camelot all rolled into one, and you have Havencross. Many attempt to write this era, and most do a fantastic job. This one however was the cream of the crop. There was zero predictability in the plot, I was constantly being surprised and I had no idea who would live or die!
Julie deserves a lot more national attention as a writer of this genre, with her classical style of story telling. This is my top pick for historical fiction for 2017. Absolutely stunning read that you will not put down, and curse the mundane life around you that gets in the way!
Thank you to Covenant & Netgalley for the eARC. This is my honest review.
I absolutely loved this book! The writing was incredible with the setting so real, I felt like I'd been pulled back in time to Cornwall, England. The main character, Elaine has essentially been banished from London society because of a scandal with her father. I found it interesting how each person dealt with their new place in Cornwall after being gone for so long. I loved how Elaine connected with her surroundings, while at the same time wishing herself back in London. The developing romance with Gareth was well-done surrounded by several different mystery aspects. I love a great mystery and even though this novel is a regency romance, the mystery intertwined in the story is strong enough to delight mystery readers as well.
And of course, who wouldn't love the references to King Arthur of old as Elaine walked through the ruins of what might have been his castle. The little hint of magic around King Arthur and Gwenevere added another layer to the story that kept me reading. I look forward to reading more by Julie Daines.
Havencross was a perfect summer read. I was initially drawn in by the cover (it would definitely catch my attention at a bookstore or library), but my attention was held by the details that unfolded about the past.
The story was fast paced and very intriguing. Elaine's family flees London in shame, and hopes they've gone far enough to avoid the scandal. But being back at Havencross has its own challenges.
I really liked Elaine. We don’t get to know her parents well, but what we learn isn’t very favorable. It seems that the heartbreaking loss of Elaine’s brother years before really changed the family dynamic. And then there’s the lack of communication that drags the family down.
Gareth was a great character. He and his family seemed so down to earth and pretty much the opposite of Elaine’s family.
This was a very enjoyable, clean story that I would read again.