Monday, June 18, 2018

BLOG TOUR: The Heart of Thornewell by Anita Stansfield


What should have been a grand adventure in Africa ends in heartbreak for Enid Hawthorne, following her husband's untimely death. Bereft, the young widow bravely boards a ship for home with precious cargo—her unborn child. She hopes to find refuge in England in the only place she can—Thornewell Hall, the estate of her late husband's family. But upon her arrival, she finds a bleak home in the depths of mourning. It is clear that hers is not the only tragedy, but Enid is unprepared for the hostility that meets her arrival.

Sebastian, Earl of Thornewell, is grief-stricken following the loss of his wife and child. The news that his brother is dead is simply more than he can take—and he knows who is to blame: his sister-in-law, Enid. So when she arrives on his doorstep, seeking asylum, he does his duty in allowing her to stay—and nothing more. Yet fate has other plans, and as they face joys and trials alongside each other, their broken hearts begin to heal. But there is a cloud over their future, for Enid harbors a secret that may drive them apart forever.


Anita Stansfield has a gift for writing stories full of emotion.  The characters in this book certainly experience a wide range of emotions.  Enid Hawthorne is a young, pregnant missionary's wife who has just lost her husband to disease.  But she has no time to grieve as she must make her way back to England from Africa.  She's not sure her husband's brother, the Earl of Thornewell will welcome her, he didn't like her before, but she has no where else to go as her own family disowned her years before.  But she isn't prepared for what she finds.  Thornewell is full of grief as well as the mistress died after childbirth just a few months earlier.

But grief is just the beginning of the roller coaster of emotions that both Enid and Sebastian, the Earl of Thornewell experience as they both struggle to cope with the loss of their spouses.  There is blame and anger and confusion.  Neither intended to fall in love with the other but they can't help themselves, but Sebastian's stubborn determination to blame Enid for his brother's death (without hearing about what happened) puts a wall between them that may not be climbable.

I enjoyed reading this, but frankly there were a number of occasions when I seriously wanted to let Sebastian have it because he was being so unfair and unkind to Enid.  I cheered Enid on when she stood up for herself and refused to let Sebastian get away with his behavior.  Stansfield has written another tender love story that takes both the characters and the reader on a journey through the challenges of life.


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