Berkley, Dec 2007, $14.00
In 1793 governess Susannah Thorpe learns she inherited Harstairs House from a Mr. Harstairs whose great love was her late Aunt Caroline; in fact her spinster aunt married the man, but an incident at the wedding ceremony left them apart in life. As she leaves for her estate, she hopes the two found each other in the afterlife.
Susannah is taken aback to find a tenant living at Harstairs House even if Oliver Barstow’s lease runs out in one month. She feels obligated to allow him to remain there for the next thirty days so that he has time to find adequate lodging. However, strange things happen making her wonder if Oliver is trying to scare her away, but his motive remains elusive even as Susannah finds herself falling in love with her border.
This is an entertaining Georgian gothic romantic suspense with all the elements of the sub-genre clearly included in the fine story line. Susannah is the young innocent in peril in her new foreboding home while her beloved is the menacing male who acts more he wants her to leave than as her champion. Readers will enjoy visiting HARSTAIRS HOUSE.