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The Mistress of Trevelyan [Mass Market Paperback]

Jennifer St. Giles
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 27 2004
The manor behind the mists....The man behind the mystery.In 1873 San Francisco, spirited Ann Lovell takes a position no one else dares -- as governess to the motherless sons of the enigmatic Benedict Trevelyan. It has long been whispered that Trevelyan Manor hides dark secrets and sinister deeds -- including the murder of Benedict's wife. But Ann refuses to pay heed to spiteful rumor. As she grows to cherish her young charges, Ann also finds herself powerfully drawn to the handsome Benedict, whose passionate persuasion introduces her to a new world of sensual pleasures. But even while falling in love with the master of Trevelyan, Ann wonders if his attentions are intended to blind her to the secrets of the past -- and if Benedict holds he key to her destiny...or her destruction.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Set in late 19th-century San Francisco, this conventional but well-crafted gothic romance from first-time author St. Giles is full of spooky suspense. Lowly laundry worker Ann Lovell, the book's narrator, will do almost anything to snag the position of governess at Trevelyan Manor, even face off with forbidding Benedict Trevelyan, who's rumored to have killed his wife. Ann succeeds in persuading Benedict to hire her, despite her lack of formal teaching experience, but as she settles into her new position, she can't shake the sensation that someone is watching her. That feeling only intensifies as her relationship with Benedict escalates from a chaste but sensual encounter to a full-blown affair. Convinced that Benedict didn't murder his wife, Ann realizes the culprit must be one of the manor's residents, who are all members of Benedict's family. St. Giles has a tendency to overwrite ("I was a mere grain of sand upon the shore of an ocean of pleasure, and Benedict was the tide of that new world"), but her story ripples with tension. This tension and the author's skill at creating the book's brooding atmosphere make this an engrossing read.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Jennifer St. Giles worked as a nurse in various fields, from pediatrics to cardiac care, until she decided to be a full-time mom and home educator to her three children. She is the author of Touch a Dark Wolf and Lure of the Wolf, the first two novels in the Shadowmen series, and two Pocket Books novels prior to that -- His Dark Desires and The Mistress of Trevelyan. She has won many awards for her writing, including the Daphne du Maurier Award for Best of the Best for The Mistress of Trevelyan. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and children as well as four cats and two dogs. Visit her website at

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The house on Trevelyan Hill had always beckoned to me. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars A can't miss read Jan. 11 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book,couldn't put it down in fact. The characters were so well written you could literally feel their personalities jump off the pages at you. And with the interesting characters was an even better story. I cannot wait to read more of this author's fabulous writings.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great debut gothic Oct. 9 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When I saw the title of this book, Mistress of Trevelyan, I immediately thought of Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt, likely the first Romance I read as a child - though they were not called Romances back then. As I read it, the familiarity continued because St. Giles evokes that sinister Gothic air. It's glad to see Gothics making a slow comeback. St. Giles pens a tale that keeps the reader spellbound, and to an older reader who cut her teeth on Gothics, it's so enjoyable.
In a typical Gothic beginning, evocative of Daphne du Maurier, "Last night I dream of Manderlay...", when Ann Lovell walks through the gates of the old San Francisco mansion on Trevelyan Hill, she reflects how she was always mysteriously drawn to the house, almost a portent that her fate and the house was somehow intertwined. Set in the 19th century, foggy San Francisco, it's pure Gothic spooky, the big house full of sinister secrets, dark corners where evil resides. Ann, whose real name is Titania, is a lowly laundry worker. Her mother was a sweet lass lied to by a man of higher birth. A tall woman, who has to look down on most men, she has come to apply for a position of governess (as I said, pure blissful Gothic!) for Justin age 7, and Robert, age 5. No one seems to be able to keep the job, and now no one is applying, so Ann believes she stands a good chance of landing the position.
Benedict Trevelyan was rumoured to have killed his wife, but naturally, that does not daunt Ann. Immediately, upon settling into her new role in the house, duckbumps prickle up her spine as she becomes certain someone is watching her. With no surprise, Ann and Benedict's relationship spiral from first kiss into full blown affair - those cads never can resist the governess!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  170 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Gothic Romance!! March 18 2012
By Beatrice - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was a great introduction to a new and talented writer for me. Jennifer St. Giles really created a couple that I really cared about and was fully invested in. Titania is a laundress turned governess who is trying to better herself. We really see her grow and through her we meet the master of the house, Benedict. He is a great hero, tortured by his past marriage and mistakes and trying to atone for what has happened. What I loved about the book was that I actually got to see these two people fall in love to a point that I really believed it. Besides the romance that was perfectly executed, it was a great mystery as we try and predict whether Titania is imagining ghosts or being targeted to leave before she uncovers something. It seemed that everyone could be suspect, and to be truthful, I was actually surprised who the culprit was. So if you feel in the mood for such a book, give it a try because it is definitely worth the time.

Looking forward to the next novel!!
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story! March 25 2012
By LuvstoRead - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read many romance novels..this one captured my attention like no other. I love everything about this novel..the suspense, Anne, Benedict and the is so beautiful and touching..with the dash mystery too. The authors writing is beautiful..I wish this story never ended! I will be sure to purchase all her novels if they are anything close to this! Well done!
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED! LOVED! LOVED!!!! March 19 2012
By P. Wisecarver - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book! First time author for me, but not the last. I couldn't put it down. Stayed up way too late and neglected what needed to be done to read this book! Filled with wonderful characters, humor, and romance. The wonderful descriptions will draw you in. Highly recommended!!!!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but His Dark Desires was better (3 1/2 stars)... April 1 2006
By CoffeeGurl - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There are certain things you should expect from a gothic novel -- a dark and taciturn main character, a mysterious death(s) of some sort, a city that is known for its eccentricity, the almost prerequisite Victorian setting, a house with stone carvings/sculptures of gargoyles or some other equally creepy creature, an insane character or two, and a paranormal subplot centered usually on ghosts. The Mistress of Trevelyan has them all! This novel screams gothic from the moment you read the first page. I like gothic stories, and having read His Dark Desires, which is the second part of this quasi-series, I had looked forward to reading Benedict Trevelyan's story. However, this one isn't as engaging as His Dark Desires and the gothic elements, while well written, is a little overdone in that every aspect of the story seems to set the prerequisite tones of a gothic. The year is 1873 in San Francisco. Former laundress and intellectual Ann Lovell lands a job as governess to two young boys at the Trevelyan Manor. There is a great deal of mystery surrounding the house centering on the strange death of the mistress of Trevelyan. Did she commit suicide or did her husband, Benedict Trevelyan, kill her? There is a great deal of tension between Ann and Benedict from the moment they meet, and while she falls in love with her master and tries to bring happiness into his haunted children's lives, she also becomes involved in a great deal of intrigue and threats. There are various twists throughout the novel.

I like the first-person narrative and historical tone of the novel. I also like the almost palpable sexual tension between the main characters. The aftermath of Mrs. Trevelyan's mysterious death and how the children behave set the perfect haunting tone to the novel. Those things are by far the best parts of the novel and my heart went out to the young characters. As mentioned earlier, the gothic atmosphere is definitely in full swing here, and there's no mistaking the genre of this novel. I could have done without the constant reminder of the same though. The gothic aspects are definitely better done in His Dark Desires. Anyway, Ann is a good heroine in that she tries to improve her station in life by getting a respectable job and really caring for the children. I like how she tells the arrogant butler off. Those are the funniest parts in the novel. Benedict is dark and mysterious and his sex appeal comes to life in the pages. I liked him almost as much as I liked Stephen Trevelyan... almost. They mystery aspect of the novel is well written and it complemented the overall eerie tone of the novel. All in all, The Mistress of Trevelyan is romantic gothic through and through and I enjoyed it very much in spite of the fact that the story lags a bit toward the middle. His Dark Desires is a better effort though, which could only attest to Jennifer St. Giles's growth as an author. I look forward to reading her future efforts.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and romantic Gothic read March 18 2012
By teacher mom - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Titania, an illegitimate laundress, has been fascinating with the gloomy Trevelyan manor since she was a child. Although tragedy in recent years has lent it an ominous air, she is still drawn to the ominous mansion. Benedict Trevelyan, a widowed father of two young boys, is puzzled when Titania shows up on his door step to answer an advertisement for a tutor for his boys. Even though he was looking for a male tutor, she convinces him she is capable, and he hires her on a trial basis.

When Titania moves into the Trevelyan home, however, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery as she tries to solve the murder/suicide of Benedict's late wife while she learns to care for two lost little boys and eventually, their handsome and brooding father. The passion between Benedict and Titania sizzles, and their romance is tempered with a murder mystery, death threats, and the love growing between her and his sons. This is a well-written Gothic romance, filled with the mystery and dark, strong, brooding hero one would expect from this genre. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and relished the ending.

What detracted a bit from me, however, was the lack of plot originality. Anyone familiar with Daphne Du Maurier's "Rebecca" will find many similarities. I will not spoil the plot by listing them here, but there are several commonalities. Despite this, both the resolution and the love story between Benedict and Titania is different enough to render it an enjoyable read.
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