The Governess of Penwythe Hall, by Sarah E. Ladd
Delia Greythorne enjoys serving as a governess for the five Twethewey children, but when their father dies, the children are sent from Yorkshire to live with their uncle, Jac Twethewey, at Penwythe Hall in Cornwall. Delia never wanted to return to her native Cornwall and the memories of her husband and baby daughter, who died. Even worse, her former in-laws are still there. They hold Delia responsible for her husband’s death – and want information they believe she has.
Jac Twethewey has his hands full trying to make his estate’s apple orchards and new cider press successful, and the arrival of Mrs. Greythorne and his five nieces and nephews only makes his life more complicated. Especially since Mrs. Greythorne is so attractive. But she seems to be harboring secrets which could endanger all he holds dear.
Set on the dramatic Cornish coast, The Governess of Penwythe Hall is more than a Regency-governess story. Danger! Secrets! Smugglers! The combination of romance and intrigue makes for a fun tale, and once again Sarah Ladd shows the effect of growing industrialization on rural England, a historical touch that I enjoyed. Delia and Jac are endearing characters, and the themes of overcoming grief and guilt add depth. I highly recommend this novel.