Author: Julie Daines
Published: December 5th, 2022
FTC FYI: I received an ebook ARC from the publisher. All views and opinions are expressed are my own.
Following her childhood rescue from the gutters of Calcutta, Mary Grace has lived an astonishing rags-to-riches tale. The Wellings raised the half-Indian orphan with all the love and care the childless couple possessed, allowing her to grow into a beautiful and refined woman. But upon Mr. Welling's death, it is time for Mrs. Welling to take Mary home to England- home to Meriden Park.
Despite her genial nature, Mary is received with suspicion by the villagers. For his part, however, Mr. Robert Markham is intrigued by the curious new beauty in town. Determined to make her acquaintance, he offers Mary a bargain she can't
refuse: a hot cross bun for a kiss. That seemingly innocent exchange is the first of many encounters between Robert and Mary, whose friendship blossoms into love during long walks in the privacy of Sherwood Forest. But the shadows of the forest hide a sinister secret, one Mary fears Robert might be a part of. As the mystery of the recent string of murders creeps closer and closer, Robert and Mary are drawn into a dangerous game, and unless she can unearth the truth, the couple risks losing one another forever.
I have been patiently waiting (and sometimes not so patiently waiting) for this book to release. Julie Daines's books are must-reads for me and I was so excited for this to come out. I was not disappointed. This book has everything. Intrigue, banter, romance, and humor. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I laughed and smiled at Mary. She is so funny, and oh so brave. I loved her journey. Mary had nicknames for those people she lived with or encountered. I thought she was lovely. Robert was also wonderful. Each character was a joy to read. Anne especially. I was also pleased with how some other relationships in Mary's life unfolded. I loved the Shakespeare that came from Robert's theater mother. (She was also very enduring.) My favorite things were the wonderful descriptions of Sherwood Forest. I have always loved Robin Hood stories and it was lovely to have a book that referenced him.
5 out of 5 stars
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