Historical Romance

The Secrets of Colchester Hall

January 12, 2021
regency lady in ball gown

The Secrets of Colchester Hall by Sophie Barnes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED THIS! So much gothic goodness that I was actually feeling all of the shivering from the Colchester’s frosty halls.

Our dashing Viscount Sterling has been widowed for two years and is ready to dip into the debutante market. Randolph has invited six ladies to his home, but only picks the “castoffs” of the season hoping to stave off potential infidelity on his new bride’s part. We come to find out many revelations about his past bride – some tragic and some woefully wrong.

Lady Angelica is attending this event only for her mother’s wish to find a suitable husband. She is much more interested in her books. Once they meet, there is an instant curiosity for her to explore further. Not a love at first sight, but definitely a peaked awareness as they converse. She catches his mind with her wit and straightforwardness and the fact that she is not tripping over herself to woo him. But she is really getting the “cold shoulder” so to speak from the haunted house and all its secrets.

For such a short story, all the characters are well written. The romance is somewhat of a slow burn, not an instant attraction, which was good. You can see their mutual fondness move to much more in only a week. And what an eventful week that was to be.

One of the cutest sidekicks is Angelica’s newfound friend Lucy. While they are competing for the hand of the Viscount, they are both not really into the whole thing. The other candidates are mildly a part of the story, but the main nemesis is the beautiful Mrs. Essex. She is constantly about and poking in at just the wrong times. Oh, and so much more in this tasty little novella. Pick it up and cozy down for an afternoon in Regency London.

Thank you NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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