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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Giveaways~"The Maid of Fairbourne Hall" by Julie Klassen~19th c. England, Regency Romance

Published by:  Bethany House
Pages:  414
Includes Bookgroup Discussion Questions
Other Book by Ms. Klassen:  "The Apothecary's Daughter"

See information on my sidebar and at the end of my review
for Julie Klassen's big Giveaway of a Kindle Fire,
"Downton Abbey" DVD's and more
later this month!!

To escape a scheme to marry her off to a dishonorable man, Margaret Macy flees London disguised as a housemaid. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not in the home of Nathaniel and Lewis Upchurch--both former suitors.

As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity secret when suspicions arise and prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall. Can she avoid a trap meant to force her from hiding?

The Dame's Review :
It's been years since I read a contemporary Regency Romance novel.  And, why would I try now, you think?  I pride myself on keeping an eclectic libraria.  Just as if my readers were walking into an ordinary library or strange little book shop, I'd like to think you can find the odd book here and there throughout the pages of this "libraria."  It was high time I read a decent romance novel, and Julie Klassen was just the author to choose for my reading.  Her book "The Apothecary's Daughter" brought rave reviews.  I was not disappointed in reading this little gem of a novel from her, either.

First, I want to tell you that I was struck by the treasure Ms Klassen divulges to us in her Dedication.  She has six aunts!  I read a comment somewhere in our book world recently by a woman who talked of meeting her aunt for lunch and talking about all sorts of special things including a great deal about books, and how wonderful it had been.  How I envied her.  To see that Julie Klassen had six aunts to whom she had dedicated a book each, was flooring!  Imagine the rich treasures she has to plunder there...  This set me off on my research of the her Regency Romance with some real interest.

I was shocked, actually, to find out how much I loved this book.  The characters were so well-defined and engaging they were hard to resist.  Margaret Macy is a young woman of beauty and depth.  I found myself relating to her anxiety being manipulated into a marriage she didn't want, having no financial means of her own, and being forced to leave the security of her mother and home to avoid that marriage. 

After having set the tone of her novel, Ms Klassen steadily built a story that was irresistible.  The contrast of upstairs characters and downstairs characters was fun to read.  And, there were so many moments of near misses and discoveries in the masquerades Margaret had to carry out in the Upchurch mansion, it gave levity and suspense.  I fell for Nathaniel Upchurch completely. He's a Mr. Darcyish hero...just a bit more Captain Wentworth in him, who many of you know is my heartthrob in Jane Austen's novels.

All in all, I found "The Maid of Fairbourne Hall" a great reprieve from my standard reading fare.  I really liked it more than I'd anticipated.  I like Julie Klassen's writing style very much.  She's not quite Jane Austen; but, who is?  Instead, she's a stand-out author who has a very engaging style of writing; strong character development, romantic but not syrupy, a good story with mystery and intrigue.  She made a believer out of me. 

I'll be reading Julie Klaussen's books.  First, I have to find a copy of "The Apothecary's Daughter!"  I'm sure I've missed a good read in that one, now!

4 well-deserved stars for regency romance!

Here's the link to purchase "The Maid of Fairbourne Hall" : 

Here's Who Julie Klassen Is :

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

*This review is brought to you in cooperation with Litfuse Group from which I received a review copy of the book for an honest consideration of it.  For more reviews, author blurbs and author interviews, please see http://www.litfusegroup.com/

Don't miss the perfect blend of Regency-era romance and mystery in The Maid of Fairbourne Hall! Grab a copy and then be sure to enter Julie's Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVP for her Author Chat party on Facebook!
One fortunate winner will receive:

A brand new Kindle Fire
A Julie Klassen Library (The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess)
Enter today by clicking the link below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/14. Winner will be announced at Julie's "Fairbourne Hall" Facebook Party on 3/15 . Julie will be hosting an evening of chat, trivia and a sneak peek at her next book - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a Downton Abbey Prize Pack!

So grab your copy of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and join Julie and friends on the evening of March 15th for an evening of fun.
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 15th!

Enter Today and Save the Date-3/15!
"Julie Klassen The Maid of Fairbourne Hall Giveaway"


Thank you for stopping by:  Deborah/TheBookishDame
PS~ When's the last time you read a contemporary Regency Romance?
Any recommendations?


Jessica L Buike (AuthorJess and Operation Relax)

I entered - thanks so much for sharing! I made sure to spread the word about this on my blog post today: http://authorjess.blogspot.com/2012/03/trip-around-thursday-hot-topics-and.html


Thanks for making me aware of this author, sounds really good!!

Sophia Rose

I'm a huge Regency Romance fan- plot cliches and all- so this book sounds great.

Thanks for sharing your review!

Julie Klassen

Thanks for the great review, Deb. Glad to know you enjoyed the book. And your blog is beautiful!

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