Title: Netherby Halls
Author: Claudy Conn
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: January 5th, 2013
Source: Amazon (currently free for kindle)
Rating: 4 Stars
Sassy Winthrop has just turned twenty-one. But instead of being a time of fun, parties, and courting, it has been a time of loss, grief, and transitions. With the death of her beloved father, a kindly country vicar, Sassy is left not only without immediate family, but she must also leave the only home she has ever known to make room for the new vicar. And if that weren’t enough, she is also going through transition as her powers of light magic are completed.
When a friend of her late mother arranges for Sassy to become a tutor at Netherby Halls, a boarding school for genteel orphaned girls, it seems the perfect solution. But as she makes the journey to Netherby she meets the man who has been making love to her in her dreams…the irresistible Marquis of Dartmour. And that is only the beginning.
For finds things at Netherby are not what they seem, and neither is the handsome marquis. Unsure whom to trust, Sassy has to find her way through a maze of evil and magic.
**note: This is an updated version of an earlier novel written as Claudette Williams. The updated versions of Claudy’s Claudette Williams titles are more sexually explicit than the original versions.
This one threw me. I wasn’t expecting magic in a historical romance novel. As someone who loves fantasy, it was a lovely surprise. There wasn’t an explanation for it, however. There was no background information for why magic existed or why those who had magic had it. While it wasn’t necessary to enjoy the story, I would have enjoyed the explanation. The only issue I did have with it is that I felt that the author used it to further the plot instead of relying on other devices.
I liked the novel. However, there were multiple confusing features. First of all, it was hard to gauge the characters’ personalities because they were inconsistent. There was a mystery to be solved so the characters changed their demeanor depending on who they were interacting with. The author did not let us in on their line of thinking, however. It wasn’t until the end when all the pieces came together that we were able to understand their motives and actions.
Secondly, having to keep reading that “there was something amiss at Netherby Halls” became tedious and annoying after the second time. Once would have been enough. Once a chapter was just redundant. I would say shows us that something is wrong instead of just telling us, but the author did both making it further repetitive. It is unnecessary to show that something is amiss and then state blatantly that “something was seriously wrong at Netherby Halls!”
But indeed something was wrong at Netherby Halls and commend the author for making it horrific. I appreciate her using something dark besides the typical pirating, stealing, what have you.
Overall, I enjoyed the novel. Despite its aggravations, it was a good novel. I liked the lead couple and the story was interesting. If you like a good plot to go with your historical romance, this is definitely for you.