Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years (first in advertising, then as a fiction editor) and now writes full time. Two of her books, The Girl in the Gatehouse and The Silent Governess won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Girl in the Gatehouse also won a Midwest Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America's RITA awards.
She graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoys travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. Julie and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Pampered Margaret Macy flees London in disguise to escape pressure to marry a dishonorable man. With no money and nowhere else to go, she takes a position as a housemaid in the home of Nathaniel Upchurch, a suitor she once rejected in hopes of winning his dashing brother. Praying no one will recognize her, Margaret fumbles through the first real work of her life. If she can last until her next birthday, she will gain an inheritance from a spinster aunt--and sweet independence. But can she remain hidden as a servant even when prying eyes visit Fairbourne Hall?
Observing both brothers as an "invisible" servant, Margaret learns she may have misjudged Nathaniel. Is it too late to rekindle his admiration? And when one of the family is nearly killed, Margaret alone discovers who was responsible. Should she come forward, even at the risk of her reputation and perhaps her life? And can she avoid an obvious trap meant to force her from hiding?
On her journey from wellborn lady to servant to uncertain future, Margaret must learn to look past appearances and find the true meaning of "serve one another in love."
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, go HERE
Writing a good regency must be a great deal more complicated than it looks upon first appearance. But when done in the correct and proper manner, good regency shines like the silver by which “Nora” polished belowstairs in Fairbourne Hall.
For anyone who has read even just a little of this period of fiction, one would not expect a rich society girl to one day be attending a masquerade ball and the next scrubbing a chamber pot. But as crazy as that sounds, the plot of the story perfectly supports Margaret becoming “Nora” in a lowly maid.
For nearly four hundred pages I waited for the moment to come when she would be found out. And while she had many close calls that had me hanging by a single thread, becoming the servant she needed to be changed her in more ways than I think she expected.
Romance of course is varied and slow, but such is normal for this genre. Nathanial’s struggles to plant his feet squarely beneath him both financially and emotionally do not stop from making him a perfectly honorable and likeable hero.
Many subplots travel through the story and all play seamlessly into the main plot of the story. From a near murder attempt to “Nora’s” fear of being discovered, the story is one I looked forward to returning to time and again. And the romance is well worth the wait.
A very right and proper regency indeed.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.