Slow and Unengaging
Widowed Lady Morwenna Trelawny Penvanan wants nothing more than to be left in her rundown mansion, but her grandparents want her to move back to their estate … or marry one of her pursuers. Plans change when she finds a shipwreck survivor on her private beach, a strange man with the Trelawny family crest on his pendant.
David Chastain is a shipbuilder who has travelled to Cornwell to try and solve the mystery of his father’s death, and the disappearance of their family’s money. But now he’s injured and in the care of an angel …
A Stranger's Secret never engaged me. I didn’t understand why Morwenna chose to live in the rundown Penvanan when her grandparents lived in luxury only a short distance away, and where where her parents? These questions were answered, but not until too late for my liking (and I had read the first book in the series, A Lady’s Honor, so that wasn’t the reason).
I found the first three-quarters of the novel very slow, which wasn’t helped by Morwenna’s overlong interior monologue (which still didn’t give any information about how she got into her situation, or why she wouldn’t accept help). David wasn’t any better: late in the book, we found out he knew more than he’d let on, which was a problem I had with the first book in the series as well. In contrast, the ending was fast—too fast. I never felt as though I got to know either character.
The historical research and sense of time and place was excellent, as were the Christian themes. However, I found some of the writing to be overly complex, almost archaic, even for a novel set during the Regency. There were several times when I found myself reading and rereading sentences in order to understand what was being said. I never had that problem reading Jane Austen.
Overall, I found A Stranger’s Secret a struggle to finish, because it took so long to get interesting and I felt no connection with any of the characters.
Thanks to Zondervan and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Laurie Alice Eakes at her website.