I found this story very intriguing! Brianna Kelly is a kitchen maid at the exclusive girl’s boarding school of Ballymacool House. She is severely mistreated emotionally, verbally and physically by the head mistress and owner, Maureen Magee. There are no clues as to way she constantly spews her venom at Brianna. She only remembers coming there to the care of Ms. Magee as a small child, and not as a boarder. It is the only life she has ever known. The head mistress’s abuse is not limited only to her servants but her students also suffer her wrath, yet no one to the degree Brianna does.
Michael Wray, son of a wealthy, elite family, is sent by his father to keep an eye on his rebellious young cousin to prevent her being expelled from the school. He loathes the task. He is immediately taken by Brianna, in sympathy seeing her horrible treatment and living conditions but also her beauty. He begins to develop a friendship with her but it isn’t easy. She is very shy and reluctant believing it isn’t appropriate given their stations in life.
Brianna won me over with her humility and sweet, gentle spirit in spite of her horrid situation. Though she did not understand why Ms. Magee hated her so she committed to doing her job well and accepting the life she had. I love the way she captured moments of joy in the simplest ways.
I loved that Michael was not haughty and think himself better than others because of his life of privilege. He was so kind and caring of everyone. I really liked it when he stood up to the headmistress not being intimidated by her anger. He did what I would have wanted to do! I enjoyed watching his and Brianna’s romance grow in the most unexpected ways.
There were so many twists and turns, that I was constantly surprised! I would think I had it figured out and BAM! Everything would change! I was sad when the story was completed but I loved the surprise ending. A book you will want to read!
I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. The opinions stated are my own.