Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Review: "The Painted Castle" by Kristy Cambron

You know how they say not to judge a book by its cover? Well, in this case, do. Beautiful cover, beautiful book!

A lost painting of Queen Victoria. A library bricked off from the world. Three women, separated by time, whose lives are irrevocably changed.

When art historian Keira Foley is hired to authenticate a painting at a centuries-old East Suffolk manor, she hopes this is just the thing to get her career and life back on track. But from the time she arrives at Parham Hill Estate and begins working alongside rumored art thief Emory Scott, she’s left with far more questions than answers. Could this lost painting of Queen Victoria be a duplicate of the original Winterhalter masterpiece, and if so, who is the artist?

As Keira begins to unravel the mystery behind the portrait of the queen, two women emerge from the estate’s forgotten past. In Victorian England, talented sketch artist Elizabeth Meade is engaged to Viscount Huxley, then owner of Parham Hill. While there, master portrait artist Franz Winterhalter takes her under his wing, but Elizabeth’s real motive for being at Parham Hill has nothing to do with art. She’s determined to avenge her father’s brutal murder—even if it means feigning an engagement to the very man she believes committed the crime.

A century later, Amelia Woods—a WWII widow who has turned Parham Hill Estate and its beloved library into a boarding school for refugee children—receives military orders to house a troop of American pilots. She is determined that the children in her care remain untouched by the war, but it’s proving difficult with officers taking up every square inch of their world… and one in particular vying for a space in her long shut up heart.

Set in three time periods—the rapid change of Victorian England, the peak of England’s home front tensions at the end of World War II, and modern day—The Painted Castle unfolds a story of heartache and hope and unlocks secrets lost for generations, just waiting to be found.

The Painted Castle is a sweet romance, the third in the Lost Castle series. It can be read as a stand-alone but is better if read with The Lost Castle and Castle on the Rise.

The Painted Castle is a beautiful story of three women in three time periods, all connected by an English castle.

In the 1840's, Elizabeth is haunted by her father's death, which she witnessed as a child. When her mother arranges an engagement to Viscount Huxley, owner of Parham Hill, Elizabeth sees it as a chance to avenge her father's murder.

At the height of World War II, widowed Amelia is caring for refugee children at her husband's estate when American officers are ordered to board there ... and Amelia meets a man who just may tempt her to love again.

In the present day, disgraced art historian Keira is hired to authenticate a portrait of Queen Victoria found at Parham Hill, and she ends up finding much more than she bargained for in the process.

Each woman's story is incredibly compelling (though I must admit to being partial to Amelia's—I do so love a good World War II romance), and I loved seeing how their stories fit together. This is a fascinating story of love, loss, and redemption, and I simply flew through the pages. Fans of historical and contemporary fiction, especially those who enjoy novels set in England, will find much to love in The Painted Castle. 5 stars.

Note: While I haven't read the prior two Lost Castle novels, I didn't feel like I was at a disadvantage. However, I loved this book so much that I now want to go back and read the others!

Follow the blog tour.
Buy the book: Thomas Nelson | Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble (affiliate links)
Read my reviews of Cambron's The Ringmaster's Wife (4 stars), The Butterfly and the Violin (4 stars), and A Sparrow in Terezin (4-1/2 stars).

Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the bestselling author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Book Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists for 2014 & 2015, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy’s first Bible studies, THE VERSE MAPPING SERIES, will release in 2018.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development from a Fortune-100 Corporation. Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and could probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

Visit Kristy online at, Twitter: @KCambronAuthor, Facebook: Kristy-Cambron-Author, Instagram: KristyCambron.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Thank you for mentioning that you didn't read the previous novels but felt OK with this. I always seem to find a series in the middle of it and feel like I have SO much to catch up on. It's nice to be able to jump right in. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    1. You're so right, Sara! I think it's so important to know if a book can stand alone when it's part of a series, and I'm so glad that this one can! Loved the book :-)


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