“A Lady at Willowgrove Hall” by Sarah E. Ladd

Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could strip away everything she holds dear. But soon after accepting the position of lady’s companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years.

Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own — one that has haunted him from birth and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove. To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breath a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to find his own way in the world. He’ll never be free to fall in love.

When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and build a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long suffered?

Last week a friend challenged me.  She spoke about why she doesn’t believe in romance stories of any kind, and it really made me think about the value that I find in Christian ones.  Then I read A Lady at Willowgrove Hall, and the timing was perfect – because if we’re going to read romance stories, this is exactly the kind that we should read.


Because just like we can learn valuable history lessons from historical fiction and gain neat science ideas from sci-fi stories, we can learn some important lessons from romance stories, too.  No, not the ‘hurry-up-and throw-off-your-clothes’ kind, but these Christian ones make good points.

Which ones can be found in this story?  Here are a few:

  • God can redeem our mistakes.
  • God’s timing is perfect.
  • Romance – and/or love – shouldn’t be rushed, because again, His timing is perfect.
  • His boundaries where love are concerned are there for our protection.
  • Relationships are not easy.  Developing and maintaining them both take work from both parties.
  • Communication is important.
  • The way that we treat other people shouldn’t change based on their behavior.  We’re to show His love all the time – we never know what other people are dealing with.
  • Family is important.

I loved this story.  I couldn’t put it down.  I loved that Cecily grew and matured throughout the story.  I loved that she took responsibility for her actions and worked hard. I love the details that Ladd used to bring the setting to life.

The setting wasn’t the only lively aspect of the book, though.  The way that Nathaniel’s sisters contrasted with the silence at Willowgrove Hall spoke volumes about their relationships, and their interactions made me want to know them more.  I’d love to read a story following one of them!

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall is a great addition to this series, and I hope there are more!

Click here to read other reviews on this bloggy hop or here to purchase your own copy now.

About the author: 
Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. The Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.
Find Sarah online: website, Facebook, Twitter
I received a free copy of A Lady at Willowgrove Hall from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

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