A volunteer for the newly established Weather Bureau, Sophie van Riijn needs access to the highest spot in her village to report the most accurate readings. Fascinated by Dierenpark, an abandoned mansion high atop a windswept cliff in the Hudson River Valley, Sophie knows no better option despite a lack of permission from the absent owners.
The first Vandermark to return to the area in sixty years, Quentin intends to put an end to the shadowy rumors about the property that has brought nothing but trouble upon his family. Ready to tear down the mansion, he is furious to discover a local woman has been trespassing on his land.
Instantly at odds, Quentin and Sophie find common ground when she is the only one who can reach his troubled son. There’s a light within Sophie that Quentin has never known, and a small spark of the hope that left him years ago begins to grow. But when the secrets of Dierenpark and the Vandermark family history are no longer content to stay in the past, will tragedy triumph or can their tenuous hope prevail?
The positive: I love the main character, Sophie van Riijn, she’s very likeable in a wholesome kind of way. She is exactly how you might picture a young woman who has never left her small village and is loved by her family. She isn’t without past hurts. She has been engaged three times, each time she never made it the altar. There is a bit of scandal attached to her name, which in my opinion makes her more likeable. She is flawed in a way that brings heartache but maintains her love for life.
The hero is a brooding, angry man living his life with a constant reminder of his physical limitations. Quentin Vandermark is a perfect combination of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Thornton. He’s as proper as they come in good society, raised with a vast fortune but he is hurting hero that refuses to turn to the Great Physician. He sees God as a crutch for the weak-minded. He would never consider the possibility of Christ, until he sees Sophie living her faith.
I loved how Elizabeth Camden brought about a change of heart in Quentin using Sophie’s faith. That one story line in this amazing book is worth whatever time it takes to read their story! It was incredibly romantic to see the changes taking place in his heart as he slowly fell in love with her.
The negative: I think the story was too long. At times, it felt like the book was never to going to end.
Did I like this book a lot? Yes, without a doubt.
I didn’t love this book as much as I loved her previous books. Perhaps my expectations were too high? I received this in mail and thought YES!! I pictured myself spending the next 24 hours completely unavailable and sitting in my favorite chair reading this book cover to cover.
Did I finish it in 24 hours? No, it took me several weeks. But, I did try to read it in the middle of the holiday season. That could be part of why it took me (a well-known speed reader among my friends) so long to finish it.
Do I recommend it? Yes, if you love historical romance. Especially if you enjoy a complex hero. Quentin Vandermark will not disappoint.
I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Bethany House for providing me with my free copy!
I’d love to gift a reader with my copy of this book. If you love Elizabeth Camden as much as me, then enter today.
I’m on the hunt for my next book to review. Leave a comment and tell me what you are currently reading. Your comment is your entry into the contest.
I will select a random winner on Friday, January 26th.