Monday, January 20, 2020

Review: "The Thief of Lanwyn Manor" by Sarah E. Ladd

I just checked, and the last time I read a Sarah E. Ladd novel was in 2016. What??? She's one of the authors responsible for my love of Regency romance ... and somehow, her books fell off my radar. Well, no more—The Thief of Lanwyn Manor reminded me why I liked her books in the first place!

In this sweet Regency romance, Julia knows Matthew Blake, copper mine owner and very eligible bachelor, is the gentleman she should set her eyes upon. But why can’t she steal her gaze away from his younger brother, Isaac?

Cornwall, England 1818—Julia Twethewey needs a diversion to mend her broken heart, so when her cousin invites her to Lanwyn Manor, Julia eagerly accepts. Lanwyn Manor is at the heart of Cornwall’s mining industry, and as a guest Julia is swept into its intricate world. It’s not long, though, before she realizes something dark lurks in the home’s ancient halls.

As a respected mine owner’s younger son, Isaac Blake is determined to keep his late father’s legacy alive through the family business, despite his brother’s careless attitude. In order to save their livelihood—and the livelihood of those around them—the brothers approach the master of Lanwyn Manor with plans to bolster the floundering local industry. Isaac can’t deny his attraction to the man’s charming niece, but his brother has made his intentions to court the lovely guest clear. And Isaac knows his place.

When tragedy strikes, mysteries arise, and items go missing, Julia and Isaac find they are pulled together in a swirl of strange circumstances, but despite their own best efforts to bow to social expectations, their hearts aren’t so keen to surrender.

Genre: Regency Romance
Release Date: January 7, 2020

This is such an enjoyable read! It's definitely lighter on the romance and heavier on Julia and Isaac learning about themselves and their purposes; the romance almost felt like an afterthought. (This is good or bad, depending on what you're expecting from the story. I was surprisingly fine with it.)

The novel features a delicious mystery surrounding Lanwyn Manor itself, and I loved watching things unfold. I was also fascinated by the mining industry; the sheer dependence on mining for the townspeople's livelihood reminded me a bit of North and South's cotton mill.

While the focus of the novel is on Isaac and Julia, I had a soft spot for Isaac's twin Matthew, the brother Julia's aunt and uncle prefer. I couldn't quite figure him out for a long time; was he truly evil or merely misguided? His story wrapped up in a way I didn't anticipate, and I would actually love to read more about him.

This is the second book in Ladd's Cornwall series; I had no idea when I was reading that this was a sequel, but now I definitely want to go back and read the first book! Fans of regency-era fiction will find much to enjoy in this novel. 4 stars.

Buy the book.
Read an excerpt.
Read my reviews of Ladd's Treasures of Surrey novels The Curiosity Keeper (4-1/2 stars) and Dawn at Emberwilde (3-1/2 stars) and her Whispers on the Moors novels The Heiress of Winterwood (4 stars), The Headmistress of Rosemere (5 stars), and A Lady at Willowgrove Hall (4 stars).

Follow the tour:
Locks, Hooks and Books, January 13
Genesis 5020, January 13
A Baker’s Perspective, January 13
For Him and My Family, January 14
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14
Inklings and notions, January 14
Bigreadersite, January 15
For the Love of Literature, January 15
Texas Book-aholic, January 15
Through the Fire Blogs, January 16
Pause for Tales, January 16
Wishful Endings, January 16
deb’s Book Review, January 16
Betti Mace, January 17
KarenSueHadley, January 17
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, January 17
Robin’s Nest, January 18
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 18
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 18
The Christian Fiction Girl, January 19
Remembrancy, January 19
Books, Life, and Christ, January 19
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, January 20
My Devotional Thoughts, January 20
Hallie Reads, January 20
Blogging With Carol, January 20
Kat’s Corner Books, January 21
Life of Literature, January 21
Danielle Lozada, January 21
She Lives to Read, January 22
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 22
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 22
By The Book, January 23
Blossoms and Blessings, January 23
SPLASHES of Joy, January 23
My Precious Bits and Musings, January 24
Mary Hake, January 24
Back Porch Reads, January 24
Daysong Reflections, January 24
Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 25
Mamma Loves Books, January 25
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 25
Hookmeinabook, January 26
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 26
Simple Harvest Reads, January 26 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. Visit her online at; Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor; Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links; this means if you click the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small commission. 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."

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