Saturday, December 23, 2017

12 Days at Bleakly Manor - My Review

If you have not had the opportunity to read a Christmas book this month, I highly recommend checking this story out.  The title alone caught my eye, because the words "Dickens Christmas" are penned underneath a beautiful manor that is dusted with snow.  Yet I was also intrigued by the mysterious synopsis.  How can danger and peril be attached to such a lovely setting--and at Christmas time?  The conflicts that arise within the pages of this text will definitely surprise the reader, and will leave a person longing for the next book in the series.

Curious invitations are sent out to a random set of people--including Clara Chapman and Benjamin Lane.  Once Clara enters the manor, she wonders why such an odd group of individuals are spending Christmas together.  Since she has nothing to offer anyone, she does not understand why someone would bother to invite her.  Her life has taken turns she never wanted to entertain, and Clara feels she is at the bottom of everything, because she knows she is one step away from poverty.

Benjamin has spent his days in prison--falsely accused.  He is determined to find out and understand why he was charged, because he does not even know the details surrounding his case.  Strangely, instead of being taken to his punishment, he is summoned to a manor in the country.  Things grow even more difficult when he realizes Clara Chapman is among the crowd.  Anger, resentment, and confusion hit him almost instantly, and he wonders how he will endure the next twelve days. 

The journey these people take is quite incredible and there are many surprises in store for the reader.  Grace and forgiveness mark the path for some while understanding and defeat lie in store for others.  Considering one's own personal gain governs the choices many characters make, which will help the reader ponder what the Christmas season should be about--giving instead of receiving.

Happy reading and Merry Christmas!  

"I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review." 

When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of one thousand pounds. That’s enough money to bring her brother back from America and reinstate their stolen family fortune. But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fianc√©, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar.

Brought together under mysterious circumstances for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Clara and Ben discover that what they've been striving for isn't what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write--except for that graffiti phase I went through as teenager.

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