Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father regain his spirits when his academy fails, agrees to travel with him to the distant Cornwall coast, to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But after they arrive and begin teaching the younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte, only to find the music room empty? Who sneaks into her room at night? Who rips a page from her journal, only to return it with a chilling illustration?
The baronet’s older sons, Phillip and Henry, wrestle with problems–and secrets–of their own. They both remember Emma Smallwood from their days at her father’s academy. She had been an awkward, studious girl. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her.
When the suspicious acts escalate, can the clever tutor’s daughter figure out which brother to blame…and which brother to trust with her heart?
I am relatively new to Julie Klassen an lets just say I have found another author whom not only writes extremely well regency’s, but ones that I love. What I like about her writing style is, she not only includes historical settings and romance, but she also includes a little bit of mystery in her stories as well, which I think makes her stories flow exceptionally well.
In all honesty, I downloaded The Tutor’s Daughter from my local library, just wanting something classified as ‘Regency’ to read. Going into the book, I didn’t think it would peek my interest and let me tell you, I was 110% wrong! Thinking I wouldn’t like it, I ended up LOVING IT, so much so that I had to buy me a physical copy of it and lets just say that I don’t buy physical copies of all the kindle books I read, only ones that I really enjoyed, the ones that touched my heart.
First off, I want to say that I have never read a book that had a character that was mentally challenged in it, and the way Julie wrote Adam, she just made me fall in love with him. At times I felt sorry for him as he was tossed away due to his mental defect (which is historical known for people to do back in those days) and how Henry found out about him and brought him back because regardless of this, he is still his brother. Everyone thought he was daft but in my opinion, I didn’t think he was as much as his family thought so. I found him to be shy but incredibly bright an very intelligent.
With Henry, he was the mischief maker during his days at the Smallwood’s Academy. Always teasing and playing jokes on Emma. But when you come down to it, all the mischief making guided towards her was hidden admiration, he just didn’t know how to express or show it to her. By secretly keeping mementos of her’s all these years later is a big tell tale sign of this. I really enjoyed how he matured into an honorable young man and when Emma and her father shows up at his family home, he still has those hidden feelings for her and he struggles with how to show them to her.
Emma was really likable and quite a sweet girl. I liked how she treated Adam with kindness and brought him gifts to his room. Philips was likable as well which probably stems from his stay at the academy and his sweet innocent friendship with Emma. Lizzie with whom I have mixed feelings about since at first she appeared nice and bubbly but that was just a facade. About two thirds into the book my opinion changed about her. The younger twin brothers, Rowan and Julian, I don’t really know what my opinion about them is as one ended up good an the other a bit rotten.
The two moments that stick out to me from this book, which are my absolute favorites, is the tower scene with Henry and Emma, and the ending. Oh the ending was so sweet that it made my eyes water that I was so happy an I absolutely loved how Julie wrote it and the dialog. PERFECT. Without a doubt, The Tutor’s Daughter is one of my favorites penned by Julie Klassen.