"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Sunday, November 5, 2017

12 Days at Bleakly Manor

November is here, and we are preparing for Thanksgiving in the United States. You can read my article  Hassle Free Thanksgiving Planning in the November issue of Thrive.

However, this also means Christmas is right around the corner. Many people, and especially stores, seem to gloss right over Thanksgiving and head straight into the Christmas season. Hallmark channels are already playing Christmas movies 24/7 - and yes I'm one of the sappy females already watching and recording them.

My house may be decorated for Thanksgiving now, but I am also enjoying several Christmas books as well. I would like to recommend a new release: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor: Book 1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas.

A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger...and love?

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Pour a cup of tea and settle in for Book 1 of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series--a page-turning Victorian-era holiday tale--by Michelle Griep, a reader and critic favorite.

Reminiscent of an Agatha Christie book, this tale is a quick and moderately enjoyable read. Fans of the movies Murder by Death and Clue may enjoy it as well. 

This book started out strong, but about half way through it some of the circumstances and character reasoning no longer worked for me. I didn't feel as strong a connection to the atmosphere or people in the second half of the book. Characters and situations became too predictable, and the ending was only moderately satisfying and believable. An interesting twist happens, but I never felt like that was fully fleshed out.

This was still a light and somewhat enjoyable read that I think others may enjoy. The cover design and packaging were beautifully appropriate to the genre of the book. Overall, I would give this story 3.5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review

Are you preparing for Thanksgiving, and/or enjoying the beginnings of the Christmas season?


Cynthia said...

I am one of those people who actually like hearing holiday songs on the radio. That's one thing I look forward to about the holidays.

I myself would be wary of mysterious invitations but I can see how they can be prompts for interesting stories.

Lisa Southard said...

I'm a lover of all festivals, and Yule is the thing to brighten cold dark winter. I love to read a classic horror in my winer break, but it's good to try new stuff too :-)