Title: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
Author: Juile Klassen
Pages: 681 pages hardcover, 414 paperback, 353 ebook
Julie Klassen has an amazing ability to write Regency novels. She completely draws you into the time period and makes you forget the world around you.
I think what I enjoyed most about The Maid of Fairbourne Hall was the character development. Margaret begins the novel as a somewhat spoiled rich girl. She doesn’t give many thoughts to the lives of the servants, focusing more on her marital pursuits and material things. When she is forces to leave her home, she finds residence at Fairbourne Hall as a maid. She must do the work she had taken for granted for so long. Klassen doesn’t make it easy on her, but doesn’t make it unrealistically hard, either. Margaret must work for the first time in her life and grows to have a better understanding and compassion for those around her.
The two main men in the story are complete opposites. One wants what he can’t have and doesn’t let that get in his way. The other, while less exciting, is the true gentleman. While one is great for a moment, the other is great for a lifetime. The contrast was fantastic and made for an interesting story.
I felt there was a lot of silent buildup for a climax that fizzled a little bit. After what happens near the beginning of the novel, how it was tied up felt a little short and rushed. I know that the main purpose of this novel was to be a romance, and in that aspect, it was perfect. However, Klassen also added a little extra tension that either needed to be explored more or cut out.
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall is my favorite Klassen novel to date. It has mystery and romance all wrapped up with the drama of the Regency era.
If The Maid of Fairbourne Hall sounds like your kind of book, you can purchase it here:
Barnes and Noble
Title: The Tutor’s Daughter
Author: Juile Klassen
Pages: 412 pages paperback, 416 ebook
I’ve been a fan of Klassen for a couple years. She’s able to write Regency romance extremely well. Despite a slow start, The Tutor’s Daughter fits right in with the style and sweetness of Klassen’s previous novels.
Emma Smallwood and her father travel to Cornwall set to tutor the two younger brothers of students Mr. Smallwood once had at his school. They hardly get off on the right foot, arriving somewhat unexpectedly. Emma had been friends with Phillip Weston and tormented by his older brother Henry when they were boys at her father’s school, and she’s both anxious and nervous to see how living in the same home goes.
Right from the beginning, it’s easy to tell there are a couple secrets being kept. Odd things keep happening and no one seems to have the right explanation for them. I will say I guessed one of the secrets early on, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book.
The first third of the novel moved a little too slowly for my tastes, but the last third definitely helped make up for that. There’s action and accusations and it’s wonderful.
Klassen once again proves her fantastic ability to write a 19th century English romance. The language she uses is perfect, and she’s able to paint the world as it was. The Tutor’s Daughter has just the right amount of mystery and romance, plus it doesn’t over do it when it comes to the religious discussions. I know this genre isn’t for everyone, but for lovers of Regency romances, Klassen is an author to add to your bookshelves.
If The Tutor’s Daughter sounds like your kind of book, you can purchase it here:
Barnes and Noble
I’ve read the other books by this author, and enjoy them for their style, and focus on one main storyline. This was yet another one of those books.
I love how connected every character is in the book, meaning long explanations of characters and building of connections could be left out and I could just sit back and enjoy.