Lost Locket of Windbrace Hall by Beverly C. Warren

Lost Locket of Windbrace Hall rating
(No Series)

Falsely accused of theft, Juliet Fletcher fled across the barren windswept moors with nothing but the precious locket she treasured above all else. When Lord Victor Manchester found her, all alone in the world and suffering from hunger and exposure, his generous offer of a position seemed like the answer to Juliet's prayers.

But Windbrace Hall proved even more inhospitable than the savage moors. For its turreted walls sheltered an unknown enemy who immediately recognized the locket Juliet wore, and knew the dark secret it concealed.
Her safe haven had become a prison where she could trust no one, least of all the handsome master of Windbrace Hall himself.

If this book was a road, you'd kill yourself walking around all the plotholes.
From making no sense whatsoever for not getting angrier and telling people she was kidnapped and sold as a worker, to then staying in that hostile house where it was obviously dangerous so she could earn a little more money, the heroine had little common sense. When she was threatened, her feeble excuses for not telling others at the right times were silly. She also spent much of the book almost dying, passing out, and waking up in bed with the worried hero and doctor bent over her. It grew tedious for sure.

The villains in this book were bad to the bone, seriously. How could there be so many nasty characters in one land? They were astonishingly rude, and almost every man was portrayed as a potential rapist. At least the book redeemed itself sometimes with a few enjoyable characters like the widow Waters and Penny, the sister. They couldn't save the book a star but they could make it more enjoyable.

I also have to be confused that the heroine doesn't take care to fill in the widow over what happened to her - the poor woman was probably worried. She went after her runaway but why couldn't she send word before? And what about the end of the book where she promised the grandfather she'd live with him, but once that changed, how did she explain it? Confusing and strange indeed. The author dropped that without explaining it.

The hero was likeable enough but I felt little chemistry. There was treachery but little magic. Ah well, not all gothics can be winners, and even if I didn't like this one much, I dig Warren's writing style with words and it was hard to put down, paced quickly enough, and had good dialogue that fit the genre.

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