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Jan 12, 2014

The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd
Regency romance with suspense and faith undertones blended together seamlessly

The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd
Thomas Nelson, December 2013
Historical Romance
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for this honest review, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating: 4.5 stars

Patience Creighton will finally find the peace she lost years ago--if she can open her heart and forgive the man who loves her.  
Bright, sensible Patience knows what is expected of her. At twenty-five, her opportunity for a family of her own has passed, so she finds contentment teaching at her father's school for girls. When her father dies suddenly and her brother moves away to London, she is determined to keep her father's dream alive.

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 land but possesses little money to manage the upkeep. He is desperate to find a new source of income, including the sacrifice of land connected to Rosemere.

When her brother returns with a new wife to take over management of the school, Patience is heartbroken to no longer be responsible for her beloved school and is forced to reassess God's purpose for her life. After her sister-in-law's matchmaking brings Patience and William together, they both learn new truths about their character and find a common goal in restoring Eastmore's legacy.

Read my review of the first book of the Whispers on the Moors series, The Heiress of Winterwood.
(A favorite of 2013!)

Sarah Ladd created an envious fan base with her debut novel last year making many of us jump at the chance to review The Headmistress of Rosemere and I was included in that jumping up and down. Her stories are witty but genuine, and include an underlying message of hope and redemption all set against the popular backdrop of a Regency England. This story features William Sterling, master of the large estate of Eastmore Hall where Patience Creighton teaches young ladies. Even though within close proximities for years, the two hardly ever meet till William is beset by scoundrels and seeks shelter in Patience's barn.

While there is a romantic interest between the two, it is set aside for more realistic pursuits such as attending to their daily routines and taking care of things around them. William is forced to make decisions that he may regret and the readers are holding their breath as another suitor comes calling for Patience. Supporting characters all form an integral part to the story, such as the suitor for Patience and her distracted family, and the girls she tutors.

Patience's sacrifices for the school have seemingly gone unnoticed as her brother appoints a new headmaster for her school, and her future becomes more and more unclear. William Sterling makes business decisions with ruffians which end up bringing danger to them all, giving the novel a mysterious flair. Ladd's storytelling skills shine once again, and her theme of forgiveness and hope is threaded throughout making for a fulfilling reading experience. I cannot wait to see what is next for this captivating Whispers on the Moors series! (These can be read as a stand alone, the characters from each are lightly intertwined).