Haunted by the assault she’s kept hidden over the past four years, Charity Halliwell finally has a chance to return home to the quaint village she left more than five years before and the happy life she wants so badly to reclaim. All she needs is good conversation with her old friend and an opportunity to find a governess position, and she can leave the fear and guilt behind. But the family who agrees to her yearlong visit turns out to be a far cry from the one she thought she knew, particularly when her friend disappears and the one man she made certain would not be at the house is forced to return. How can she possibly heal and claim her independence when day in, day out she must face the only gentleman who ever held a piece of her heart?
Piers Cavanagh was branded a coward when he failed to show up for a duel he arranged. He had his reasons, of course, but disclosing them would hurt far more than continuing life as an outcast. And worse, with the mysterious departure of his sister, the strange nightly occurrences in the ruins of an old abbey, and the uncomfortable whispers of a secret organization, Piers must overcome his aversion to society and work with the last person he ever thought he would get the chance to speak to again—the girl whose heart he had no choice but to break.
Review of The Vanishing at Loxby Manor
Abigail Wilson has perfected the historical mystery/romance formula. The Vanishing at Loxby Manor has all the elements that are required: a strong heroine who must overcome her 19th century restrictions, a hero who must overcome his own obstacles, a missing friend, and a secret society. These elements combined with an atmospheric setting, a country manor with it’s own haunted ruins, imbue the tale with a gothic aura.
Piers Cavanaugh’s family is an eclectic group of characters. Each seems to be hiding something, but you don’t know if what they are hiding is sinister or harmless. The same can be said of the group of friends that includes Piers’ brother Avery. Which means, when Seline Cavanaugh goes missing, there is no lack of questionable characters to suspect. And there is no easy answer to the mystery. So many clues, so many plots and sub-plots. Expect to not solve the mystery until very near the end!
As Charity Halliwell tries to find her missing friend, Piers seems to be the only one she feels she can trust. These two have a past which should keep them apart. It is a testament to what can only be described as love that they do trust each other. However, they both have secrets, so trust may be tested.
Heroine Charity Halliwell has impaired hearing, something rarely seen in romance novels. Having someone in my life that suffers some of the same crowed-room hearing issues, I was immediately drawn to Charity and also to Piers, who understands Charity’s difficulties and goes out of his way to make sure she can hear him.
The Vanishing at Loxby Manor takes place in the same era as Ms. Wilson’s other books. There is a teeny bit of overlap between novels – from an historical perspective. But they are completely standalone stories.
I am a fan of Ms. Wilson. I’ve now read 3 of her 4 Regency mystery romances. They are all wonderful!
Through Netgalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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