First, I am not an avid romance reader and while this one is predictable with its tale and ending, I found reading it relaxing and enjoyable. Klassen draws characters that are believable and realistic. Margaret flees her home when her step-father schemes to have her married to his nephew and becomes a maid at Fairbourne Hall. Of course, she has had previous romantic encounters with both the young men who inhabit Fairbourne. Will her disguise fool them? Only time will tell. Donning a back wig, her father's lenses and affecting a maid's manner of speech she hopes to last until her birthday when she will inherit a fortune from an aunt if she remains unmarried. Her encounters with the other servants are humorous at times as she works to become a maid. Now she knows how her servants must have felt when she was in charge but she works hard to be accepted. Not an easy task when you have to learn everything from scratch.
Another great story from Klassen - a fun summer read!
When it comes to Regency romance nobody does it quite like Julie Klassen. I've come to expect nothing but the best from Ms. Klassen and she has once again delivered it with The Maid of Fairborne Hall. Fans of the hit British drama, Downton Abbey will fall in love with this story where upstairs meets downstairs and love overcomes all obstacles.
Margaret Macy who stands to inherit a fortune when she comes of age is at the end of the rope where her conniving and deceitful stepfather is concerned. With seemingly no other option than to flee his household Margaret escapes with her lady's maid, Joan, in hopes of avoiding him for a few months. With no money of her own she not only faces the fierce streets of London but also the prying eyes of society and so disguises herself and takes on a position as a maid at gorgeous Fairbourne Hall. At every turn she risks the master of the house seeing through her paltry disguise and dismissing her or worse yet recalling that she once spurned him as a suitor!
Each character is flawed and yet perfectly written so that one feels their struggles and their desperation. Don't get me wrong, this is a romance with a H.E.A. but the attention to detail makes it seem like you're reading something more substantial. I so love how Ms. Klassen weaves faith into the story without bashing it over one's head so to speak. It all flows neatly and lends to the authenticity of the time period of the story. All in all The Maid of Fairbourne Hall impressed me with its sweetness, the danger, and most importantly just that little bit of sigh-inducing romance. Bravo, Julie, I can't wait for the next story!
Loved, loved, loved, loved this book!! By far this is the best of Julie Klassen. Highly recommend!! (can you tell i enjoyed this book?)
I really enjoyed this story, even though it was a little predictable. With most cases of happily ever after some elements are kinda hard to not be predictable. However this book made my heart happy with its memorable characters and wonderful setting. As Margaret attempts to disappear into life at Fairbourne Hall, she learns the hard way what her servants have lived with their whole lives. She has to function without the help of many people at her beck and call and within the rules of proper household society. I was sad to reach the end because I fell in love with the characters and wasn't ready to leave them. Give it a try, you will be glad you did!
(Review copy provided by publisher, all opinions are mine)
Ordinarily I don't care for inspirationals romances as often they're way too preachy and written in too modern a style, with characters thinking and speaking about their actions and beliefs like current day people rather than as people in previous centuries would have done. Julie Klassen is an exception for me; her characters' faith informs their lives without that preachy tone. She shows religious faith as a source of personal guidance, not a rigid set of rules for *other people* to follow. She is realistic about the role of faith in her characters' lives. Her characters are not the completely secularized people I find in other regencies, but neither are they perfectionists obsessed with their beliefs. In this book our heroine has been raised in a wealthy home and when she leaves it she is face to face with the realities of life for the different class of people she joins, and she learns what "treat other people the way you wouid like to be treated yourself" really means, when she is treated the way she had treated others, and she is changed by her experiences. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes regencies, tales of the great houses, and just a good old fashioned 'what happens next' read.
Writing a good regency must be a great deal more complicated than it looks upon first appearance. But when done in the correct and proper manner, good regency shines like the silver by which Nora polished belowstairs in Fairbourne Hall.
For anyone who has read even just a little of this period of fiction, one would not expect a rich society girl to one day be attending a masquerade ball and the next scrubbing a chamber pot. But as crazy as that sounds, the plot of the story perfectly supports Margaret becoming Nora in a lowly maid.
For nearly four hundred pages I waited for the moment to come when she would be found out. And while she had many close calls that had me hanging by a single thread, becoming the servant she needed to be changed her in more ways than I think she expected.
Romance of course is varied and slow, but such is normal for this genre. Nathanials struggles to plant his feet squarely beneath him both financially and emotionally do not stop from making him a perfectly honorable and likeable hero.
Many subplots travel through the story and all play seamlessly into the main plot of the story. From a near murder attempt to Noras fear of being discovered, the story is one I looked forward to returning to time and again. And the romance is well worth the wait.
A very right and proper regency indeed.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.
I liked this one. Very interesting to read about servant life and especially to see the change in perspective in one so used to ignoring them. Very interesting concept, who hasn't wished to be a fly on the wall and hear conversations and that is exactly what the main character was able to do when she became a maid. Glad she learned appearances can be deceiving and that all worked out in the end.