By Sarah E. Ladd
BACK COVER COPY:
Patience Creighton has devoted her life to running her father’s boarding school. But when the enigmatic master of the estate appears at her door, battered and unconscious, the young headmistress suddenly finds her livelihood—and her heart —in the hands of one dangerously handsome gentleman.
At twenty-five, Patience Creighton is already a spinster. The busy headmistress of Rosemere always expected a dashing man to sweep her off her feet and take her away . . . but that man never came. And since her father’s death, keeping the school running and her mother happy has been plenty to keep her occupied.
William Sterling dallied his way into financial trouble and mortal danger. When he is assaulted by his creditors’ henchmen on the road home from a tavern, he guides his horse to the doorstep of his tenant, the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. After being tended to by Patience, the wounded William rides off into the dawn—but makes a point to learn more about the lovely headmistress.
As he spends more time at Rosemere, something delicate begins to develop between William and Patience. But that will not deter William’s creditors. With little money to repay his debts, and less for the upkeep of his estate, it becomes clear that sacrificing Rosemere may be the only way to preserve his legacy. But it may also cost him his happiness.
The Headmistress of Rosemere is a compelling Regency that was a good combination of intrigue and romance. I didn't read the first book in this series, so I'm a little behind on some of the characters' backstories, but that being said, as a stand-alone, I didn't have any trouble getting into the story -- except that I listened to this as an audiobook and some of the narration for the men (as read by a woman) was a little hokey.
Back to the book . . . the characters are believable. You'll fall in love with little Emma, cheer for the underdog heroine, Patience, and alternately want to smack upside the head and/or throw your arms around William, the hero. Well-written and an engaging read, so much so that I'm planning on buying a paperback copy so I can read it with my eyeballs instead of my ears.
And yes, I will pick up the sequel as well, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall, when it comes out this fall.