Our heroine Martha Leigh is a prim and freshly minted governess who has been hired by the remote and demanding Connan TreMellyn to care for his daughter Alvean. As the departure of the three prior governesses suggests, Alvean is a difficult charge, though understandably so since the recent death of her mother, Alice. As Martha tries to connect with Alvean, she researches the history of Mellyn, and discovers hidden family secrets that still haunt the present. Now familiar with Alvean, she feels herself falling for Connan. Though the desire between Martha and Connan grows, Alice's tragic death continues to haunt them both and endanger any future they may have.
A delightful combination of highbrow writing and lowbrow sentiments, Mistress of Mellyn is a guilt-free treat you can indulge in. The romance, suspense, and mystery tromp across the pages with predictable frequency, and there are enough dark looks and dark corridors for any gothic fan. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien
I know this was written in 1960 and they didn't actually have sex in books back then but this book is terrible! Even at the halfway point, no romance at all and not even a romantic interest. It's a story of a governess who travels to Cornwall (from England) to take care of a bratty unruly child who is ignored by her father (is he even her father?). It's a day to day log of what they do together and the power struggle between them. BORING! When the romance finally happens, surprise, surprise, it's not with whom you'd expect. Unless you like your romance on the boring side filled with bratty kids, I recommend you skip this one.
As Martha Leigh approached the sprawling mansion of her new employer, Connan TreMellyn, an odd chill of apprehension overcame her. Soon whispers of past tragedy and present danger began to insinuate themselves into Martha's life. Powerless against her growing desire for Connan, she is drawn deeper into family secrets. But though evil lurks in the shadows, so does love -- and the freedom to find a golden promise of forever
Wow! This was my first Victoria Holt novel and definitely not my last. I couldn't put it down. Her plots are so lively and complex and the characters seem to live right along side me. Absolutely engaging! I can see why she is a master of the Gothic novel.
I admit it took awhile for me to really get into this book. I liked it fine from the start, and it read fast, but for awhile I really kind of wondered why this is such a popular book.
I had a hard time with the fact that Martha was constantly down on herself, always talking about how she was after all, just the governess. I think I would have liked it a lot better if she had been more willing to step into the role she was brought up in when it was called for, instead of acting more meekly and reluctant.
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