The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd
Whispers on the Moors, Book 2
Thomas Nelson, 2013
Summary (from the publisher’s website):
Patience Creighton has dedicated herself to the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. But the return of the enigmatic master of the estate puts everything she loves at risk.
Bright, sensible Patience knows what is expected of her. At twenty-five, her opportunity for a family of her own has passed, so she invests herself in teaching at her father’s school for girls. When her father dies suddenly and her brother moves away to London, she is determined to make the school successful.
Confirmed bachelor William Sterling also knows what is expected of him, but mistake after mistake has left him teetering on ruin’s edge. As master of Eastmore Hall he owns a great deal of property — including the land where Rosemere School is located — but possesses little money to manage its upkeep. When debtors start calling, he is desperate to find a new source of income, even if it means sacrificing Rosemere.
When a fire threatens the school grounds, William must decide to what lengths he is willing to go to protect his birthright. And when Patience’s brother returns with a new wife to take over management of the school, Patience suddenly finds herself unsure of her calling. After a surprising truth about William’s past is brought to light, both William and Patience will have to seek God’s plans for their lives—and their hearts.
When this novel opens with William Sterling being attacked and injured because of the debt he owes, it is immediately evident that William is in dire need of money. Instead, he finds himself on the doorstep of Rosemere in the care of Patience Creighton.
Patience has a quiet and gentle spirit which has given her the strength to keep moving forward, even amidst the grief she has faced. When her father died, she took responsibility for the Rosemere School for Young Ladies and is passionate to help teach and run the school. She has resigned herself to a solitary life, as she is 25 and has no suitors.
Both William and Patience feel alone. But when a fire occurs at the school, William and Patience find themselves fighting the undeniable attraction they feel towards one another.
There were many twists and turns in the plot that were unexpected (and some that were), which made this read interesting. William and Patience slowly get to know one another, and their relationship grows and falters as secrets come to light and certain secondary characters threaten their happy ending. However, I felt that William and Patience did not have enough interaction in this book. They weren’t together as often as I would have liked to have seen, but this was for good reason. Both characters had a lot going on in their individual lives that occupied much of their time.
The secondary characters added depth to this book. To highlight a few characters, I must mention Patience’s brother, Rawdon and his wife, Lydia. On the heels of their arrival, they bring much conflict and change, which sets off a series of events that brings upheaval to Rosemere. And shortly after their arrival, another unwelcome guest returns, leaving Patience feeling unsettled.
As for Cassandra, Patience’s best friend, she was a sweet and lovely character. She didn’t have a particularly happy ending, and I would be interested to see what is next for her. Perhaps the next book?
Rating: 3 stars
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