Having inherited a family estate she’d never heard of, Minerva Goodridge travels to Cornwall to take charge of her new home. But fatal memories lurk in the shadows of Trekellis Manor. As the locals keep away from the house, Minnie accepts the help of a stranger. Can she trust him?
Gideon Drake, 8th Earl of Rothdale, is on a mission to uncover a family secret linked to Trekellis Manor. But the arrival of Minerva, the new owner, disrupts his investigation. Attracted to the headstrong heiress, he decides to take action – and ends up uncovering more than he expected.
Gideon must weigh up his family’s reputation against Minnie’s, but will the revelations tear them apart?
Silent Deception is a romantic Victorian suspense novella set in Cornwall.
In her third book and first novella, Cathie Dunn takes us this time to Cornwall and gives us a taste of the rather windy and harsh weather as soon as our heroine, Minerva Goodridge, gets off the coach having reached her destination. The author has a real gift with description and so effortlessly everything comes to life and you're able to visualize the heart of a small and remote mining village, not very far from the sea, before another gust of salty wind comes our way again.
Minerva has come to take possession of a very unexpected but so timely inheritance, Trekellis Manor. Her future looks bright and now she's in control of her life. After the death of her father she came to live with her aunt but more as an employee than a niece. Her aunt happened to be a very demanding person. This could only become an untenable situation if it had lasted any longer.
Well she's in control for now but maybe not for long!
This very day at the local inn, she makes the acquaintance of a gentleman, the only one, in fact, who very graciously offers to accompany her to the manor. Everybody else seems to freeze and forget to breathe at the sole mention of her new home. But she isn't going to let herself be swayed by a bunch of superstitious villagers, even if they are alluding to a ghost. She's a very determined young woman who isn't afraid of a little adventure.
Gideon Drake is a man on a mission and he's rather intrigued by this stubborn and lonely beauty. At first he thinks that she's going to be a hindrance, but on reconsideration, she could serve his plans. He'll explain later.
Then again, another wonderfully detailed description when Minerva's eyes gaze for the first time the manor standing out majestically and forbiddingly on the horizon, overlooking the cliff swept by the waves. In that moment you can see it and you can hear them. Such a vision would frighten some but not her; she feels only pride. This scene gives a very gothic and atmospheric flavor that will stay through the rest of the story.
There is a ghost that wants to be heard and an old family secret that doesn't want to be hidden anymore ...
I found the story well developed for a novella, with two attractive and very likeable protagonists. There is a strong mutual attraction right from the start.
If you like reading gothic romance with a bit of a mystery, this is exactly the book for you. I enjoyed it myself and give 3.5/5.
Publisher: Cathie Dunn