SECRETS OF SLOANE HOUSE
Against the backdrop of the 1893 World’s Fair, a young woman finds employment with an illustrious Chicago family—a family who may guard the secret of her sister’s disappearance.
Sloane House is among the most gilded mansions of Gilded Age Chicago. Rosalind Perry, the new housemaid, pours the morning coffee before the hard gaze of her mistress. “It’s simple, Rosalind,” she says. “I am Veronica Sloane, heiress to one of the country’s greatest fortunes. You are simply one in a long line of unsuitable maids.”
Back on the farm in Wisconsin, Rosalind’s plan had seemed logical: Move to Chicago. Get hired on at Sloane House. Discover what transpired while her sister worked as a maid there—and follow the clues to why she disappeared.
Now, as a live-in housemaid to the Sloanes, Rosalind realizes her plan had been woefully simple-minded.
She was ignorant of the hard, hidden life of a servant in a big, prominent house; of the divide between the Sloane family and the people who served them; and most of all, she had never imagined so many people could live in such proximity and keep such dark secrets.
Yet, while Sloane House is daunting, the streets of Chicago are downright dangerous. The World’s Fair has brought a new kind of crime to the city . . . and a lonely young woman is always at risk. But when Rosalind accepts the friendship of Reid Armstrong, the handsome young heir to a Chicago silver fortune, she becomes an accidental rival to Veronica Sloane.
As Rosalind continues to disguise her kinship to the missing maid—and struggles to appease her jealous mistress—she probes the dark secrets of Sloane House and comes ever closer to uncovering her sister’s mysterious fate. A fate that everyone in the house seems to know . . . but which no one dares to name.
Downton Abbey with a sinister twist. Honestly, I was so engrossed in the story I could barely put it down. The division between classes always sets my teeth on edge and the Sloanes' blatant disregard for the welfare of their servants had my blood boiling. Not to mention the perverse loyalty those serving the Sloanes have to the family. Poor Rosalind is like a lamb being led to the slaughter as she tries to navigate all the menacing nuances of this prestigious house in her quest to discover what happened to her sister.
Reid is her only ally but he costs her more grief than help most of the time. He's a fascinating character -- the product of new wealth trying to gain entrance into the upper echelons of society. He needs to find a wife from an established family to gain full acceptance but his heart just isn't in it. His inner battle over societal expectations and his own personal values makes for a fascinating read.
Gray weaves a compelling plot charged with suspense and heartache and an impossible romance and I found it utterly captivating. Thank goodness it is the first in a series. I'm already anxious for the spring when Deception at Sable Hill is due to be released.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Secrets of Sloane House please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday August 24 2014. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!