Title: Mistress of Mellyn
Author: Victoria Holt
Genre: Adult Romance/Suspense
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Page Count: 400
Received: Yard Sale
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: A rather nice, slightly spooky historical romance intrigue novel for Halloween.
Mistress of Mellyn is not my first Victoria Holt that I’ve read, though it has been a while since I’ve picked one of her books up. I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy her writing; the spooky atmosphere, the details, the characters-all of it is rather really well done. This one was just not quite spooky enough, but it definitely had a dark mysterious vibe to it that was ripe for Halloween, and made me glad that I selected this one for one of the last books of the month to read. I found myself reading this over the course of four days, letting the rich atmosphere build, until it reached a satisfying conclusion.
Mount Mellyn stood as proud and magnificent as she had envisioned… But what about its master–Connan TreMellyn? Was Martha Leigh’s new employer as romantic as his name sounded? As she approached the sprawling mansion towering above the cliffs of Cornwall, an odd chill of apprehension overcame her.
TreMellyn’s young daugher, Alvean, proved as spoiled and difficult as the three governesses before Martha had discovered. But it was the girl’s father whose cool, arrogant demeanor unleashed unfamiliar sensations and turmoil–even as whispers of past tragedy and present danger begin to insinuate themselves into Martha’s life.
Powerless against her growing desire for the enigmatic Connan, she is drawn deeper into family secrets–as passion overpowers reason, sending her head and heart spinning. But though evil lurks in the shadows, so does love–and the freedom to find a golden promise forever…
I liked the main character. She was gutsy, strong and had a no-nonsense manner about her that wasn’t off putting though sometimes seemed unreasonable in certain situations. I felt she could have handled the children better in some parts, but otherwise, she was not abusive or cruel towards them at all. There were some questionable teaching methods involved, but as this is an old book, I let that slide. Otherwise, I thought she handled everything nicely.
The mystery element was one of a ghostly nature. She’s apparently a dead ringer for the children’s mother, who passed away several years ago, or so people have claimed, but the stories don’t match up. The mystery is well woven, and kept me guessing until the end, though I suspected I knew where it was heading, I was surprised when I realized that I’d guessed wrong which is always nice in reading.
Overall, I really liked this. Strong writing, great characters, and a good read for Halloween. I gave it four out of five stars, and will continue on with reading more of Victoria Holt’s books.
Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book