Ciaran Richards’ father was a soldier. A hero.
But now he’s dead. Or is he?
After her father committed suicide rather than face his mounting gambling debts, Oksana Wallingford knows she will have to work in order to keep food on the table and her younger brother, the new baron, in school. When her best friend finds her a position as the nanny of his brother’s children, it is the opportunity Oksana needs. But what she didn’t contend with was Rafe, the recently widowed Duke of Essex and her new employer.
Oksana and Rafe’s personalities are like oil and water. However, what begins as mutual hate slowly begins to change into something more. But what future can they have when Rafe has sworn off marriage for good? As the mismatched pair struggles to come to terms with one another, a disaster that throws everything into question strikes them both.
Handsome and engaging, Grays Hill is a historical romance from Barbara T. Cerny and it’s not one of those delightful copycat offerings based on a Jane Austen novel. Cerny writes wonderfully, capturing the realities of her chosen time and the constraints of a stifling system, which she does with unimpeachable expertise. Her characters are top-notch, the plot inventive, and the story in general reads like glimpsing through the lens of a time machine. It’s hard to write in such a popular genre without a degree of familiarity, but Cerny has a knack of taking established trends and plot threads and presenting them in a way that feels wholly fresh and original. Fans of British historical romances will be duly impressed, but credit must also go to Cerny’s characterization. Yes, we expect the obligatory heightened tension between romantic leads, but you can’t help smiling as Oskana finds herself navigating the morally ambiguous waters of her much changed circumstances. There’s a fire inside her that won’t be extinguished and it keeps readers in her corner, page after page.
A fine historical romance, if you haven't discovered the words of Barbara T. Cerny there's no better place to start. Certainly deserving of a place on your bookshelf, Grays Hill is highly recommended.
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