The tenth book I finished in 2014 was Where the Heart Leads by Stephanie Laurens. I finished this book on 2/22/14 (today). This book actually is the link between 2 series of books by Laurens. The first is discussed in a couple of my earlier posts, the Cynster family series. And the second is the series chronicling the detective cases of a Mr. Barnaby Adair (the hero in Where the Heart Leads). This is the first in the series of the Casebooks of Barnaby Adair. I rated this book 4 stars out of a scale of 5.
This book is about Penelope Ashford and Barnaby Adair. Penelope runs the Foundling House, which is a schoolhouse for orphans from the poorer areas of London. Some of her charges have disappeared and she enlists Adair’s help to try and recover them. Penelope’s sharp intelligence in this story makes it hard not to fall in love with her, and for a man like Barnaby Adair, Penelope’s unconventional nature makes her the perfect match for the son of an earl who solves mysteries in his spare time. The issue, however, is that Penelope has declared herself never to be married as she believes it would mean giving up all sense of her independence. As the two fall deeper and deeper in love with each other though, Penelope comes to see that marriage to the right man doesn’t mean a loss of independence but the gaining of love and support from a partner who can share in your happiness, your trials, and everything in between.
The mystery involved in the story was very good as well. Barnaby and Penelope work together with a police detective (Stokes) and a milliner’s shopkeeper (Griselda) to solve the mystery of the missing boys. In the process the four of them become good friends despite the difference in their stations. For those of you who don’t know, a milliner is a term for a hatmaker. This is obviously very popular in England as the English just lover their fancy hats:
To learn more about millinery, you can read about it on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatmaking
So anyways, Griselda and Stokes are actually a cute sub-story included in this novel as they are the stars of their own budding romance.The combination of the main love story, the substory, and the mystery kept any piece of the story from being too slow or dry. Was a great historical romance! Overall this was a very good story and kept the reader interested throughout. I would highly recommend!
Link to author website: http://www.stephanielaurens.com/