Title: Harkworth Hall | Author: L.S. Johnson | Publisher: Traversing Z Press | Pub. Date: 08/01/2017 | Pages: 150 | ISBN13: 9780998893617 | Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received from the author for review consideration
Caroline Daniels must marry, and marry well. But in her remote corner of England eligible suitors are few and far between, and none hold a candle to her closest friend, Diana Fitzroy.
When Sir Edward Masterson arrives, he seems the answer to Caroline’s financial worries, though she instinctively dislikes the reticent, older merchant. Soon Sir Edward has set his sights on acquiring both Caroline and the decaying Harkworth Hall.
Caroline’s future seems secure, save that his enigmatic secretary hints at a dark secret, and Sir Edward shows an unusual interest in tales of monsters … and the blood in Caroline’s veins.
Harkworth Hall Review
First off I’d like to say that I absolutely love the cover. It’s beautiful and instantly gives the feel of a classic Gothic novel in the vein of Wuthering Heights. Fortunately the characters in Harkworth Hall are far more likable than the denizens of Wuthering Heights.
It’s a short book and highly enjoyable. The pace moves quickly and doesn’t get bogged down with unnecessary details. Harkworth Hall, while lending some atmosphere, doesn’t really pop up much until the end. Although I will say it does seem to loom over the book in a good way.
The characters in Harkworth Hall are the real star of the book. Caroline is very likable and her variations of thoughts are very believable. And, if I’m being totally honest, I was prepared to not like her. It seems like so many modern books writing in earlier time periods go out of their way to shove down our throats how Unique! and Different! the main heroine is. Harkworth Hall seemed to be starting out that way but I quickly loved Caroline. She is probably a bit more modern than she should be but her internal war with her differences and what’s proper for the times were interesting and very realistic. I also loved the fact that she loved her father and worried about him. You don’t see that much. Particularly in historical fiction. Most fathers are the domineering “You will marry!” kind. So it was nice to see a good relationship between Caroline and her father. The other characters were just as equally fleshed out.
I even loved the love story that developed between Caroline and Mr. Chase. For me that’s saying something because I tend to generally roll my eyes. But it was sweet and cute and not of the insta-love variety. In fact, Caroline spends much of the book not trusting Mr. Chase.
Another thing that I appreciate as a reader is that, although Harkworth Hall seems to be the start of a series, the story was wrapped up with just enough loose ends to keep you interested to find out more. That’s how a series book should end, with the main story wound up satisfactorily but with just enough to make you want to read more.
Also, the book was entertaining enough that it made me overlook the few historical inaccuracies. The largest being Caroline being in the room when her mother was giving birth. That is why I tend to sty away from historical fiction because inaccuracies really bug me. However, Harkworth Hall is a horror novel at it’s core so the very few inaccuracies there were (the author apparently did their research and did it well) didn’t bother me as much.
All in all it’s a quick, enjoyable read and I’m very interested to find out what will become of Caroline, her father and Mr. Chase in the next book.