Author: Jennifer Deibel
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: February 21, 2023
Brianna Kelly has worked at Ballymacool House and Boarding School since she was a wee girl and will likely die there. Despite a sense that she was made for something more, Brianna feels powerless to change her situation, so she consoles herself by exploring the Ballymacool grounds, looking for hidden treasures to add to the secret trove beneath the floorboards of her room.
When Michael Wray, the son of local gentry, is sent to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin, he finds himself drawn to Brianna, immediately and inescapably. There is something about her that feels so . . . familiar.
When Brianna unearths an intriguing silver platter in the woods, she commits to learning its origins. Could the handsome newcomer hold the key? If so, their discovery could change everything.
Reviewer: Nikita Wells
This was a lovely book! This is my second read by Jennifer Deibel, and it's even better than the first, if that's possible!
Brianna Kelly is a maid at the Ballymacool School for girls. She is the sweet and loveable main character of this Cinderella-like tale. It also reminded me of Frances Hodgson Burnett's "A Little Princess" a bit, especially the hateful headmistress.
This book is perfect for young and old readers and is simply a wonderful Irish historical romance. I absolutely could not put it down!!!
Thank you to the publisher and author for the paperback copy as part of Mrs. Deibel's launch team! Thank you also to Netgalley for the e-book. A positive review was not required of me but was gladly given, and the thoughts above are my own.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel is an emotionally-driven novel that will keep you reading until the last page.
Brianna Kelly is sorely abused by her employer, who has known Brianna all her life. While she is part of the staff at Ballymacool, Brianna is treated like a servant. She is abused both physically and psychologically by her employer Maureen Magee. Right away, you are hoping someone will rescue her.
Enter Michael Wray. He's at Ballymacool to check on his cousin. But he discovers the abuse Brianna is receiving at the hands of the school's Headmistress. Not only does he set out to make things better for Brianna, but he also finds himself drawn to her.
I loved the romance in this book and how Michael respects Brianna, whereas others do not. I detested Maureen Magee (and rightly so since she is the villain in the story), but I simultaneously felt sorry for her. The characters are well-written and draw you right into the story.
Throughout the book, the constant use of Gaelic without any translation of what was being said left me feeling left out of the conversation. I didn't know until the end of the book that there was a glossary of all the Gaelic terms. It would have been better if this were in the front of the book - just a thought.
All that aside, the story was brilliant and moving. The romance is sweet and innocent, and the faith elements are inspiring. I will miss the characters and look forward to Ms. Deibel's next book.
I received a review copy courtesy of Revell through NetGalley for my honest opinion.
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