Title: Lily of the Manor
Author: Anita Stansfield
Publisher: Covenant Communications
My rating is 4 stars out of 5.
Lily Broadbent is a wealthy widow who has adopted 11 orphan children. She would pray before entering an orphanage as to whom she should adopt and leave the rest to God. She needs of a tutor for her brood and Frederick Woodstone needs a tutoring position. He journeys to Broadbent Manor, hoping to get the job and to start immediately so he doesn’t have to pay another night’s rent at the local inn as his funds are rapidly dwindling. He meets Lily and is struck by her very different appearance. She puts him at ease and lets him know she is used to getting looked at. He and she strike up an instant rapport and he is hired on the spot. He begins the next day with Lily observing his methods of teaching as well as discipline for her children. She is most impressed with how Frederick interacts with and encourages her children.
As the story progresses, Lily and Frederick spend time together talking foremost about each of the children and their progress in the classroom, but eventually they begin talking about other things. Frederick is surprised at how quickly he has grown to love the children almost as if they were his own. He looks forward to teaching them each day and misses them when he is apart from them. He is also surprised to discover that his feelings for his employer go beyond friendship. When they discover an abused boy, Lily is determined to save him. She takes risks that worry Frederick.
The only negative I have with this story is that the pace was too slow. I did, however, truly enjoy the two main characters who were so selfless, compassionate, gracious and God-fearing. God was the center of their lives and living out their beliefs was evident. Forgiveness was another theme evident in the story. Their ability to be so comfortable with each other from the beginning was another thing I liked. I wish I could visit Broadbent Manor as it sounded so appealing. The setting for the story was described so well that I felt I was in the story. It is always nice to read a good, clean romance with God at the center.
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