‘Alice, I’m telling you that not every man finds the same thing attractive. Not every man values a woman for how tiny her waist is or the fact that she can get into clothes made for a ten-year-old. Some men, lots of men, want a woman they can talk to, who’s kind and interesting and clever and doesn’t want them to be ripped gym-fanatic billionaires.’ He gestured at the ceiling. ‘If all men liked the same kind of women, then there would be one very smug supermodel in the world and the human race would die out in two generations.’
Jane Lovering’s, The Forgotten House on the Moor is a unique and wonderful contemporary romance.
When police knock on Alice Donaldson’s door at 4am, she knows the news won’t be good. There’s been an accident involving her ex-husband Grant, and as his existing next of kin, they need her help.
Grant is missing up on the North York moors, but the Grant Alice knew could barely be persuaded out on a walk around the block. What on earth possessed him to go on a hike in the middle of the night?
Alice soon finds herself working with Grant’s girlfriend Jenna and Jenna’s gorgeous ‘Lord of the family Manor’ brother Max, to find out what has happened, and what caused Grant’s accident at The Fortune House – the spooky house out on the moors.
The locals tell all manner of ghoulish stories about The Fortune House, which Alice is not minded to listen to. But before long, things take a turn for the strange and Max and Alice have a new mystery to solve. All the while Alice can’t help hoping she might meet the requirements to be Max’s ‘Lady of the Manor’ at his country pile, Hatherleigh Hall.
I just love Jane’s books; they are just so different and full of so much heart. The Forgotten House on the Moor is this beautiful blend of mystery, history, drama, and sweet romance. The story hooked me from the first chapter when Alice is woken up in the middle of the night to find out that her ex-husband is dead. I just loved the ghost story element to this book; it’s not something you often get to read in romance books. But it just works so darn well with this story. Jane did a great job blending the ghost elements with the bigger story. It was super fascinating watching Alice and Max research The Fortune House. This history geek just soaked up all the research bits in this book. The story is more lighthearted and fun compared to Jane’s previous book, A Cottage Full of Secrets, which dealt with many serious issues. I found myself chuckling a lot more while reading this book, especially when Alice had to deal with her ex-husband Grant (who definitely would be a very trying man to deal with at times). I loved the setting so much!! I could just visualize Hatherleigh Hall in my mind and felt like I was exploring this vast house with Alice. Who wouldn’t want to live in a house like the one we see on Downton Abbey.
Alice is sweet, funny, and smart; I adored her. Her character is real and raw, and I felt like I could just connect with her on an emotional level. She has major insecurities about her looks and weight, which becomes an issue when Max tries to pursue a relationship with her. It was wonderful watching Alice’s character grow and learn to take risks regarding her employment and her heart. I wasn’t sure if I would like Max at first. I thought his character would end up being the stereotypical English Aristocracy male. But Jane did a good job giving him his unique personality and voice. Max is really this sweet, nerdy guy who has his own insecurities and is just trying to keep everything together.
This is a slow-burn charming romance. At first, I was a little nervous that the chemistry between Max and Alice wouldn’t click with me. The first few times they met, it was awkward, and their conservations were slightly rigid. But there was a moment in the book when Max stumbles upon Alice, sitting in the dark at Fortune House, that really seemed to change the flow between these two characters. They found their stride, and things really took off between these two after that. I loved the body positivity message in this book. As I mentioned, Alice has some major hang-ups about her weight and doesn’t think a guy like Max would ever fall in love with someone like her. I loved how Max addressed Alice’s insecurities; he went above and beyond to make her realize that he truly is attracted to her. Their relationship is just so sweet in the end.
The Forgotten House on the Moor is a fun English romance with a mystery twist to it.
Thank you, Boldwood Books, and Rachel Random Resources, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.