The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .
Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance.
Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage -- or the means -- to break free and follow her passions.
Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.
Janie and Charlotte couldn't have more different lives. Charlotte is a wealthy young girl who wants nothing more than to live, see things, write--be adventurous. Janie is a kitchen maid who is quick witted, doesn't know how to say no to a dare, and passionate. Yet these two girls build an unlikely friendship and they find they are more alike than they could have ever thought possible.
Charlotte is a very sheltered girl and because of this I felt she often made rash and foolish decisions. But I felt like that was for the best because it opened her eyes and she grew into someone who wasn't naive but able to speak louder than her mother who never seemed to listen. Charlotte really grew on me. At first I liked her but she would frustrate me. Yet with each alternating chapter I found myself not only liking her but also loving her character growth. I loved that she had a desire to be a writer and be who she wanted even if to some standards it would bring scandal to her family.
Between Charlotte and Janie's chapters I always found myself loving Janie's more. There was just something about her quick wit and voice that made me like her right away. She's very clever and strong but at the same time there is a lot of vulnerability to Janie. I loved that despite some of her feelings she always was smart enough not to act on them. She knew what she wanted and she wasn't going to throw that away not for some footman. Sometimes it would frustrate me though because I wanted so desperately for her to notice Harry's affections for her. Despite that Janie was a fantastic character and I loved how passionate she was for cooking. She truly loved it and I thought that spoke volumes of the type of character she was.
There are quiet a few charming good looking men in this book. Right off the bat I loved Harry. How could you not adore Harry? It was totally obvious he cared for Janie. He was such a sweetheart and despite what Janie thought not once has he ever wanted to hold her back. He always wanted what was best for her.
In the beginning like Charlotte I thought Andrew was going to be a bore but was really surprised when he turned out to be something so not like what I originally thought. In fact I really fell for the guy and was always eager for more interactions with him and Charlotte. He turned out to be a really fantastic character.
One of my favorite things about this book was how I never saw any of it coming. I was seriously surprised whether it be about Andrew or Aunt Beatrice. It was all shocking and I loved that! I could get so caught up in the beautiful friendship between Charlotte and Janie that I never saw the other stuff coming. It made for a really great read. I just adore Katherine Longshore's writing.
Manor Of Secrets is getting 4.5 out of 5 birds from me. Katherine Longshore has turned me into a reader who is eager for more books with beautiful stories of friendship with a historical backdrop. This one felt different from her previous books Gilt and Tarnish but in a really good way. I can't wait for more from this author!
~~Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book!~~