The Light at Wyndcliff
by Sarah E. Ladd
Publication Date: October 13, 2020
Paperback & eBook; 352 Pages
Series: The Cornwall Novels, Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency/Christian
Set in 1820s Cornwall, this Regency romance evokes the captivating worlds and delicious dramas of Jane Austen, Daphne DuMaurier, and Winston Graham.
Raised on the sprawling and rugged Wyndcliff Estate near the dangerous coast of South Cornwall, Evelyn Bray lives with her grandfather, a once-wealthy man reduced to the post of steward. Evelyn is still grieving her father’s death and her mother’s abandonment when a passing ship is dashed against the rocks. The only survivors, a little girl and her injured mother, are rescued and brought to Wyndcliff Hall.
Liam Twethewey is just twenty-two when he inherits Wyndcliff Estate from his great uncle. His optimistic plans to open a china clay pit to employ the estate’s tenants meets unexpected resistance, and the rumors of smuggling and illegal activity challenge his new-found authority. Though wise beyond his years, young Liam quickly finds himself out of his depth in this land where long-held secrets and high-stakes agendas make no room for newcomers.
Brought together by troubling questions surrounding the shipwreck, Evelyn and Liam uncover even darker mysteries shrouding the estate. But as they untangle truths from deceptions, their loyalties separate them – and their budding love might not be strong enough to overcome the distance.
About the Author
Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period – the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance. Ladd also has more than ten years of marketing experience. She holds degrees in public relations and marketing and lives in Indiana with her family and spunky Golden Retriever.
In her third Cornwall novel, Sarah E. Ladd sets a moody atmosphere as she tells a story of expectation and anticipation.
When Liam Trethewey journeys to take hold of the inheritance he has waited ten years to claim, he meets Evelyn Bray on the moors of the Wyndcliff Estate. Granddaughter to the estate’s steward, Evelyn has begun to doubt her newly remarried mother’s intention to send for her.
As Liam works towards making the estate profitable again, the harsher realities of being a landholder on the Cornish coast intrude on his plans. And as Evelyn helps Liam to care for the survivors of a local shipwreck, she begins to discover that there is much she does not understand.
With crumbling estates, changes of fortune, insular communities, shipwrecks, eminent danger, and a slow burning chaste romance, this is a not to be missed story for Regency Romance fans. As is this series that features men who receive an inheritance but have to strive to make a living out of it, women who must work within their circumstances to find their place in the world, and the challenges and responsibilities that they meet with courage and integrity. Highly recommended.
This review refers to an Advance Reading Copy I voluntarily read, courtesy of the publisher. A positive review was not required and these are only my own honest opinions.
Cornwall, early autumn 1820
Twenty-two years was a long time to wait for life to begin. Even now, as Liam Twethewey guided his bay horse down the narrow, deeply rutted path, he could barely prevent the grin from spreading on his face.
Only a mile or so more and he would be in his new home. Everything he’d been dreaming of—his plans for developing the moorland and making his own way in the world—was finally within his reach.
He filled his lungs with the damp earth-scented air. The rain had, for the moment, subsided. Night was falling and twilight’s ominous light cast shadows on the barren land surrounding him, and he squinted to assess the ribbon of road winding before him through the moor’s purple grasses and jagged crags.
He might be far from the home he’d known for most of his life, but he already felt a connection to this bit of earth.
For he was now on Wyndcliff estate land.
And it all belonged to him.
Perhaps it would have been wiser to wait for his solicitor, Edwin Kinden, to join him as they’d originally planned. Liam had never set foot on Wyndcliff property, and the directions he’d received at the inn in town were vague at best. As the man tasked with overseeing the transfer of property, Kinden was the most appropriate person to handle all introductions to the place. But after nearly two hours of waiting for the older man to arrive, impatience won out. He’d anticipated this moment for far too long to spend another second sitting idly in a dark, smoky public house.
Liam had left word with the innkeeper for Mr. Kinden to meet him out at Wyndcliff Hall when he arrived. After all, how hard could it be to find a large manor house along the main road at the moor’s edge?
Liam urged his horse to a quicker pace. This might be his property, but it wouldn’t do to be caught in a storm on unfamiliar moorland, especially this close to nightfall.
A gentle rain began to drizzle from the heavens, and Liam was about to press his horse to an even faster pace when a sharp, panicked whinny met his ears. He slowed.
The sound echoed again, followed by a muffled voice.
Concern trumped his enthusiasm, and he halted his horse. But all was now silent. “Anyone there?”
“Yes!” a feminine voice snapped, high and sharp. “Here! Please help! My pony’s caught.”
Alarm pushed Liam from his saddle, and his boots landed with a splash in the mud. After securing his reins to a rugged piece of rock, he tracked the direction of the voice.
“Mind the bog!” The increasingly volatile wind distorted the woman’s cries, tossing them amidst its gusts. “It’s deep along the crag.”
Heeding the warning, Liam stepped from stone to stone, testing each footfall before taking another step on the marshy ground. The wind tore at his greatcoat, threatening his balance. He cut through tall grasses and crested a rocky ridge, and then a flash of dark blue in the sea of brown and stone caught his attention.
A slight woman with windblown golden hair was yanking on the head collar of a gray pony knee-deep in mud.
Alarm at the potentially dangerous situation shook him from his surprise. One wrong step and the woman would be trapped in the bog, just like her pony. “Stay there. Don’t move.”
He retrieved the leather strap from his horse’s head collar and returned back down to the little valley formed between the crags. He inched down the decline, testing the firmness of the ground before committing his full weight.
The mud-caked pony thrashed and awkwardly bucked to free itself. It reeled back, tossing its muzzle and squealing, but instead of helping the pony break loose, each movement tightened the murky substance around its legs.
“Whoa, whoa,” Liam soothed, lowering and calming his voice. With careful, measured steps he approached the animal, ignoring the rain, now more like sharp bits of ice as it pounded his caped greatcoat and wide-brimmed hat.
He had to get closer.
In order to free his own movements he removed his coat, tossed it on higher land, and stepped farther into the bog. His foot instantly sank to his ankle. Like a noose, mud cinched around it. It would be unwise to go farther, so he reached as far as he could and made several attempts to secure the pony’s head collar.
The pony tossed its head in distress, but Liam’s fingers eventually caught on the head collar, and he pulled. He thrust all of his weight backward and pulled harder, careful not to lose control over his own stance.
The pony swung its head and, in a final display of momentum, freed a foreleg. The animal then broke free, and with all the wild gracelessness of a newborn foal it stumbled up onto dryer, firmer land.
Unsettled by the pony’s momentum, Liam toppled back and fell against the damp earth.
Blog Tour Schedule
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During the Blog Tour, we are giving away 5 copies of The Light at Wyndcliff! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on October 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
The Light at Wyndcliff