Meriden Park by Julie Daines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Historical Fiction/Retelling
Book Description: Following her childhood rescue from the gutters of Calcutta, Mary Grace has lived an astonishing rags-to-riches tale. The Wellings raised the half-Indian orphan with all the love and care the childless couple possessed, allowing her to grow into a beautiful and refined woman. But upon Mr. Welling's death, it is time for Mrs. Welling to take Mary home to England- home to Meriden Park.
Despite her genial nature, Mary is received with suspicion by the villagers. For his part, however, Mr. Robert Markham is intrigued by the curious new beauty in town. Determined to make her acquaintance, he offers Mary a bargain she can't
refuse: a hot cross bun for a kiss. That seemingly innocent exchange is the first of many encounters between Robert and Mary, whose friendship blossoms into love during long walks in the privacy of Sherwood Forest. But the shadows of the forest hide a sinister secret, one Mary fears Robert might be a part of. As the mystery of the recent string of murders creeps closer and closer, Robert and Mary are drawn into a dangerous game, and unless she can unearth the truth, the couple risks losing one another forever.
My thoughts: I have always been fascinated with the legend of Robin Hood. How could I help not loving a hero that robs the rich to give to those truly in need?
Meriden Park is a welcome addition to the spirit of the legend. Robert Markham is a fantastic male MC. He loves Robin and all he stood for. He introduces the newest resident, Mary Grace, to the legend. It is helpful that she lives next to Sherwood Forrest. It adds to the mystery of the story. Someone is killing people in the forest. Mary Grace had the misfortune to run across a victim and put her life in danger.
I loved the interplay between Mary and Robert. During that time period, they would be an unlikely pair. She is from India and he is an Englishman. Robert was a hero to me when he saw Mary for the smart and beautiful woman she was. Their first meeting will always be a favorite of mine. He offered hot-cross buns for a kiss. I really don't think that either of them thought they were in earnest when she accepted. I believe that I was grinning from ear to ear. This event set the tone for their future interactions and the playfulness of their mutual attraction.
Julie Daines did a wonderful job of keeping an element of mystery running throughout the novel. While setting the stage for one of the villains. she was able to add twists that left me surprised at others.
I really enjoyed the book.
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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About the Author: Julie Daines is an award-winning and best-selling author. She was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was raised in Utah. She spent eighteen months living in London, where she studied and fell in love with English literature, sticky toffee pudding, and the mysterious guy who ran the kebab store around the corner.
She loves reading, writing, and watching movies—anything that transports her to another world. She picks Captain Wentworth over Mr. Darcy, firmly believes in second breakfast, and never leaves home without her vervain.
Visit her WEBPAGE.
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