Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
Bethany House (January 1, 2012)
Julie Klassen


Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years (first in advertising, then as a fiction editor) and now writes full time. Two of her books, The Girl in the Gatehouse and The Silent Governess won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Girl in the Gatehouse also won a Midwest Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America's RITA awards.

She graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoys travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. Julie and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.


Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt--and sweet independence. But can she remain hidden as a servant even when prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall?

Observing both brothers as an "invisible" servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life? And can she avoid an obvious trap meant to force her from hiding?

On her journey from wellborn lady to servant to uncertain future, Margaret must learn to look past appearances and find the true meaning of "serve one another in love."

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, go HERE

The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen is another stellar historical romance in the author's quiver. Margaret Macy is a spoiled young woman in Regency England until her mother marries a man who is determined to get his hands on the inheritance Margaret will receive on her twenty-fifth birthday. That date is only three months away, and the stepfather is applying pressure to his nephew to compromise Margaret, forcing a marriage between them and allowing him access to the funds. She is determined to escape his influence and flees the house dressed as a maid. Through a series of errors, she finds herself employed as a housemaid at the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, the man whose heart she broke years ago when she turned down his marriage proposal. Nathaniel has returned from his time in Barbados a changed man, but he still can't get Margaret off his mind. Margaret, Nora in her new position, just has to stay incognito for three months to claim her fortune, but her stepfather is taking extreme steps to find her. Klassen writes thoroughly compelling historical romances that are far more than that label could explain. But her real talent lies in creating characters that the reader comes to care about. I was sad at the end of the story because I knew I wouldn't be spending time anymore with Nathaniel, Margaret, Betty, Helen, and the rest. Each person feels real and alive, and despite the implausibility of the plot, Klassen's characterizations make the reader believe in it. I don't know what I'm going to do until Klassen's next book comes out!