THE GOVERNESS'S PECULIAR JOURNEY – Lesley-Anne McLeod
A Red Tower Story
A Perfect 10
February 15, 2019
Regency Time Travel Romance
Victorian England, 1865 and Regency England, 1815
Miss Avice Palsham, a governess, has been hired to escort five-year-old orphan, Jacob Milden, to a relative a ways away. They travel slowly as Avice feels for the likable lad who has lost everyone else, and this relative doesn't really want him. They stop for a little sightseeing in a place called Kenning Old Manor. They find the gardens interesting, and Jacob wants to go up the nearby old tower to look down upon them. Once up there, Avice feels dizzy and strange. Looking down, the area looks different. Where the monkey tree was, there are now roses and hydrangeas! Turning to descend, she feels better, but the whole way down is strange. No longer empty, the rooms are furnished. At the bottom, Avice and Jacob encounter an oddly dressed and unfriendly man.
The man is Kendall Marbury, a cousin of the manor's absent owner. He's taking care of the place while the earl is away and is greatly disturbed by the strangely dressed pair. It will take them all a while before they accept that Avice and Jacob have come to 1815 from 1865. They tell no one.
Marbury is loath to turn the woman and boy away and takes them to the manor, where they are welcomed by the friendly—and not at all curious—staff. It's as though they are accustomed suddenly appearing strangers. Marbury and Avice make a pact to search the manor for some sort of secret records. They find some that show a history of time travelers over many years. How will Avice deal with the idea that neither she nor Jacob will ever get home? And how will the usually loner Marbury adapt to being caretaker of a woman and child . . . as well as dealing with his cousin's estate with the new and troublesome squire next door?
While Marbury, Avice, Jacob and the main staff of the manor are the principle characters—and very well done—many of the locals are also important in this story. Even the eagerly awaited cousin, his family and retinue bring lots of interest . . . as well as the bad men and women. They bring suspense to the tale as does the evolution of Marbury's and Avice's characters. Then there is the charming child.
I enjoyed THE GOVERNESS'S PECULIAR JOURNEY so much, I am pleased to award it one of Romance Reviews Today's rare Perfect 10s. I hope there will be another Red Tower Story .