Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall Review

About the Book

 A ghostly estate. A handsome caretaker hiding a secret. And the intrepid Hyacinth Bell who is set on solving the mystery of both.

1887, the Cornwall coast

For years, rumors have flown through the village of Suttonsbury about Ashthorne Hall—that its occupants hoard pirate treasure, that a ghost walks its halls—but botanist Hyacinth Bell only cares about the estate’s extensive, one-of-a-kind orchid collection. As an independent woman, she is eager to focus on her career, even if it means waiting to pursue a romantic relationship. After all, love—like an orchid—must be nurtured and tended before it can bloom.

What she doesn’t expect is to be swept away by Lucas Harding, the manor’s caretaker, upon their first meeting. He is handsome and charming, and the connection between the two is nearly instantaneous. Hyacinth is certain this autumn will be the season that everything good in her life takes root.

But then strange things start happening in the seemingly empty halls of the estate: unexplainable noises, items appearing then disappearing from her room, threatening messages, and glimpses of a woman in white who vanishes into the dark. Lucas dismisses Hyacinth’s worries, insisting that there is no ghost at Ashthorne Hall, but she suspects he is withholding information and decides to investigate the mystery herself.

Armed with little more than her instincts and her courage, Hyacinth must venture deep into the shadows of Ashthorne Hall to uncover the truth Lucas is keeping secret before she herself falls victim to the dangers hidden in the estate. (Goodreads)


My Thoughts

I was not expecting this book to be a gothic romance and I was THRILLED when I realized that the author really went for an eerie mystery. I love the cover of this book as it is perfect for the plot that it holds. Hyacinth is a quirky fun character that is not your typical heroine. She is all about her plants and taking care of orchids and her overall personality is like a breath of fresh air. Lucas is an okay hero but overall Hyacinth really made this story shine. I don't really care for the romance trope of "love at first sight" so I will say that I enjoyed this book much more for the gothic mystery than the romance side of things. Hyacinth starts working at this big estate and there are noises and strange gifts and a possible ghost. Spooky late night investigations and a decent mystery keep you flipping the pages eagerly. I enjoyed this book and the conclusion came together nicely and in a way that wasn't entirely predictable. 

Four Stars. 

"I received this book from Shadow Mountain Publishers for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

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