THE VANISHING AT LOXBY MANOR, by Abigail Wilson, Thomas Nelson, Jan. 26, 2021, Paperback, $16.99 (young adult, new adult, adult fiction)
Regency romance meets gothic mystery in Abigail Wilson’s The Vanishing at Loxby Manor.
After five years abroad, Charity Halliwell finally returns to Loxby Manor, the home of dear friends—and her lost love. No longer a young girl, she is now haunted by a painful secret and the demise of her dreams. Instead of the healing and happiness she hopes to find, she encounters a darkness lurking in the shadows of the once-familiar house. When her friend, Seline, disappears the very night of her arrival, Charity is determined to uncover the truth.
Branded a coward, Piers Cavanaugh has lived the last five years as an outcast far from his family home. When his sister presumably elopes with a stable hand, Piers joins forces with an unlikely partner—the one woman he thought he’d never see again. Together they launch an investigation that leads to strange nightly meetings in the ruins of an old abbey and disturbing whispers of a secret organization. The more they learn, the more desperate the situation becomes.
As they struggle to piece together the clues, Charity and Piers also endeavor to rebuild their friendship. One cryptic letter changed everything between them. To find happiness they will have to overcome the grief and shame keeping them apart. But first they must discover why Seline vanished and confront the growing fear that she may never return. —Synopsis provided by Thomas Nelson
The Vanishing at Loxby Manor is a G-rated novel that blends romance and mystery. It boasts a fairly strong storyline that offers up a number of surprises along the way.
At the center of the story are Charity and Piers. Both are running from their pasts, and sometimes those pasts get in the way of them moving forward. These flawed characters are likeable and have a realistic weight to them. The story is told from Charity’s point of view, so she’s more developed. And I can’t help wondering how this story told from two points of view could have turned out.
The Vanishing at Loxby Manor is about 50 pages too long, the author getting mired in some of the languid details. However, that didn’t stop me from reading it in one day. The protagonists are young enough that this has strong YA crossover appeal. This is a good option for fans of Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance line.
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