- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Pocket (July 27 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743486250
- ISBN-13: 978-0743486255
- Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 15.5 x 2.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 113 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,303,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Mistress of Trevelyan Mass Market Paperback – Jul 27 2004
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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.
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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 www.jenniferstgiles.com.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
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! Being loyal to her new lover, Ann knows Benedict did not kill his wife, thus someone else in the sinister house is the evil-doer. Occasionally, Giles lapses into deep purple prose, especially in love scenes, but she is able to maintain a sinister, passionate tension through out the story.
There is a bitter rivalry between Benedict and his brother Stephan. Toss in a secretive sister Katherine, and mother Roselind, secret passage ways you have a true Gothic in the best fashion.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
Looking forward to the next novel!!
The book crawled along. I kept thinking how inauthentic everyone's behavior was, certainly not plausible for the time. Ann's (Titania's ... and really, that name --- you need a much more dazzling character to pull that off) habit of twirling in the colored light from the stained glass window; ugh. It seemed like she was going to belt out a few bars of "The Hills Are Alive." And the sex scenes -- way too much information. It's pretty hard to divert the reader with sex when you are trying to solve a dark-and-stormy-night kind of mystery. There were a few clever turns of phrase in the book but they were vastly outnumbered by clichés and hackneyed descriptions ("his eyes were black as a moonless night"). I will NOT be reading any more in this series.
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.