A brief summary from Sarah E. Ladd:
Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley?
In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question.
Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.
As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.
Despite the fallout that has happened in her life, Annabelle Thorley posses one of the kindest hearts imaginable. The lady has had a tough life: her father’s financial ruin, a broken engagement, and physical and mental abuse from her brother. But as tough as she is, a lady can only take so much before its time to run away for good, especially when said brother plans to marry her off to the highest bidder. Planning her escape, Annabelle and her lady’s maid make a run for it in the dead of night with the help of Owen Locke, a gamekeeper who happens to be visiting her brother’s home that very day with his boss. Upon arriving at Fellsworth, where her uncle and aunt run a boarding school, Annabelle settles into the role of teacher. And when Owen’s daughter becomes her student, their interactions become all the more frequent. But Owen harbors a deep hurt in his past that even the lovely Annabelle may not be able to soothe. And with the threat of her brother and intended breathing down her back, Annabelle may never know the freedom of making her own choice when it comes to love.
Ya’ll, word to the wise – have some tissues close by because Sarah E. Ladd has written a heart-wrenching story that will grip your heart from the get-go. I found myself wanting to aid Annabelle in her escape from such cruelty. And Owen’s story is just as touching with his grief and longing. A Stranger at Fellsworth is filled with plot twists, conspiracies, and redemption that will keep you turning pages well into the night. And the finale – oh wow, that finale! Lets just say that A Stranger at Fellsworth is a fantastic ending to the Treasures of Surrey trilogy, and ya’ll need to grab this copy for your bookshelves right away.
I was graciously provided a free copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.