About the book: Patience Creighton has dedicated herself to the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. But the return of the enigmatic master of the estate puts everything she loves at risk.
Bright, sensible Patience knows what is expected of her. At twenty-five, her opportunity for a family of her own has passed, so she invests herself in teaching at her father’s school for girls. When her father dies suddenly and her brother moves away to London, she is determined to make the school successful.
Confirmed bachelor William Sterling also knows what is expected of him, but mistake after mistake has left him teetering on ruin’s edge. As master of Eastmore Hall he owns a great deal of property — including the land where Rosemere School is located — but possesses little money to manage its upkeep. When debtors start calling, he is desperate to find a new source of income, even if it means sacrificing Rosemere.
When a fire threatens the school grounds, William must decide to what lengths he is willing to go to protect his birthright. And when Patience’s brother returns with a new wife to take over management of the school, Patience suddenly finds herself unsure of her calling. After a surprising truth about William’s past is brought to light, both William and Patience will have to seek God’s plans for their lives-and their hearts.
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/sgVC4
About the author: Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. The Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.
Learn more about Sarah at: http://sarahladd.com
This was yet another book that compelled me to reach out to the author to let them know how I felt. Below you will find the message that I sent to Sarah Ladd after I finished reading the book. (Spoliers!)
Hi Mrs Ladd,
“I received a copy of “The Mistress of Rosemere” to read and review on my blog. I’ve just finished reading it and, though I have yet to compose my review, I just wanted to let you know that it struck a chord with me. There were many wonderful components in the story that are sure to please any reader: the pain of loss, the regret of past deeds and choices, the feeling of growing affections, the sting of betrayal and abandonment, the feeling of being at a crossroad in your life, choosing between an unhappy but stable future and a happy but uncertain one, etc. However, the thing that resonated with me the most was how well I related to two of the characters.
When I first read the back of the book, it did not occur to me that I would relate to the main character at all. I mean, she is a British woman from the early 1800’s who feels as though she is a spinster at the ripe old age of 25. We are removed from each other by race, culture, age, and time. But the more I read, the more those differences dissolved.
At first I felt that it was ridiculous that she should consider herself a spinster at such a young age. Her life is just beginning. I know that much of it is attributed to the culture in which she was raised. At that time and in that place, marriage at an early age was not only commonplace, but expected. So it is not strange that she would be perceived as such by others. But for her to feel as though her chances at finding love were dead was strange to me. Until I realized that that is how I feel
You see, I am 28 (ancient! lol) and am a single mom. Due to the stigma attached to being a single mom (why, she has a child out of wedlock? For shame! She must be a woman of loose morals! No man will want her!) I have grown accustomed to the idea that love will not find me easily — if at all. Not just because of society’s views of single moms, but because I no longer open myself up to the possibility. I feel as though my responsibility is to my child. My family. Much as Patience felt herself tied to her family, her students, and her school. Love is not a priority.
Then there is the determination in me to not accept a romance out of mere desperation to be in one. Like Patience, if I am to tie myself to a man, I want it to be for love — not merely for stability. At one point in my past, I stayed in a relationship for that reason. An unhealthy and unhappy relationship. I wanted that thing that people say is important — stability and companionship. And it wasn’t worth it. Of course, I did get my son from that relationship, but (as you can see) at the end of the day that person was not the right one for me. I don’t want to make that mistake again. And I was pleased to see that Patience not only avoided making that mistake, but found her “true love”. It gives me hope that one day I can shed my spinsterdom and find a new level of happiness with someone who is deserving of my affection and who returns it with equal enthusiasm.
The other person that I related to was Cassandra. I didn’t spend too much time dwelling on our similarities, but I certainly found myself feeling sorry for her. My son’s father (with whom I spent nearly 3 years of my life) suddenly left us when my son was 8 months old. My son is now 3 and we have not heard from him essentially since he left. I did receive word, some 6 months after he left that he had married someone else and was expecting a child. How quickly they do forget.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I did not want him back. Our relationship was (to avoid going into details) a toxic one. His leaving was, at the core, a good thing. The dissolution of our relationship was a great thing. However, the idea that he could so easily forget not only me, but our child was something that hurt me in a way that I would not have thought possible, considering my lack of love for him. My heart hurt for Cassandra at having to endure that pain of betrayal. And hers was far worse than mine. She had absolutely no idea that Rawdon had moved on from their relationship. That he had not only courted but married another woman. And then…the child. The child that she had probably dreamed of bearing for him — carried by another woman. And she had to sit and bear witness to it all. How heartbreaking and embarrassing! I can’t imagine! At least I had the emotional distance that comes with the relationship being brought to a definite end. She had nothing of the sort.
I was very glad that she was able to remove herself from that situation and that she realized that she needed to get away to be able to release herself from the pain and the anger which would eat away at her if she allowed it to. She trusted in God and time to heal her emotional wounds. Which brings me to another point. I liked the way that you made God and faith a theme that you weaved throughout your story without beating the reader over the head with it.
I am a Christian, but I admit that I tend to be turned off by the title “Christian literature”. It always feels as though you are agreeing to pick up a sermon. That you will find yourself being preached to and made to feel guilty about every bad decision you have ever made in your life. I honestly didn’t know that your book was considered Christian fiction until I looked you up online. But I definitely noticed the Christian themes throughout your story. Never once, though, did I feel “preached at”. Rather than being a Christian story, it was a story about people who had Christian values. There may not seem to be a difference, but there is to me. And I appreciate that difference.
So…all in all, I really enjoyed your story. You successfully drew me into this world and into the characters’ lives. I was filled with emotion and anticipation throughout the book and was left feeling satisfied at the resolution and yet eager to hear more about what happens afterwards. I am excited to go out and find a copy of The Heiress of Winterwood as well as anything else you have penned. You have officially gained a fan.”