A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger...and love?
England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.
But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, 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, 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.
This is my top favorite Christmas read (right next to Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock). I read it every year at some point during the Christmas season.
I think the main reason that it’s worked its way so thoroughly into my affections is both the premise and the way it carries that premise out. The premise is so creative and holds my attention so naturally. Who wouldn’t want to read about a group of completely unrelated people basically playing Survivor in an old English manor where one of them seems to be a murderer and someone’s always watching them? It delivers on every promise it makes and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough—yet was sorry when it was over.
Oh, and that group of completely unrelated people? The author aced their personalities and interactions. Each one has something distinct and unique about them, something undeniably quirky. And getting even just two of them together promises a good show. She used tension and differences in personality to their fullest potential.
But they all have solid goals as well, and for most of them, you sincerely hope they all get what they want, even as you know that only one of them can. But who will it be? And what will become of those who don't get what they need/want?
The author’s prose is gorgeous. This book really does feel like a step back in time. The words she uses all lend that classic, distinctly English feel to it while still being an accessible read.
Twelve Days at Bleakly Manor is a Christmas read worth returning to every year. Everything about it just has the feel of reading a cozy mystery with a Christmas classic playing in the background and snow falling outside.
Hi there! Rachel again. Check out this section for book reviews and cover reveals of some of my favorites!