After her father committed suicide rather than face his mounting gambling debts, Oksana Wallingford knows she will have to work in order to keep food on the table and her younger brother, the new baron, in school. When her best friend finds her a position as the nanny of his brother’s children, it is the opportunity Oksana needs. But what she didn’t contend with was Rafe, the recently widowed Duke of Essex and her new employer.
Oksana and Rafe’s personalities are like oil and water. However, what begins as mutual hate slowly begins to change into something more. But what future can they have when Rafe has sworn off marriage for good?
As the mismatched pair struggles to come to terms with one another, a disaster that throws everything into question strikes them both.
I found Grays Hill to be an engaging historical read. Though the overarching theme in the story is the duke’s recovery from the emotional damage he had suffered, effected through his romance with his governess, the story isn’t centered on the two romantic characters but rather embraces all the characters in its fold. They are warm, cheerful and you go happily along for a ride.
At places there is lack of conflict which takes you out of the story and the interest wanes near the end because of that. Interaction between main characters started a little late in the book and ended a bit too early and the last episode along with the spotlight on the villain, in my view, was unnecessary. I enjoyed the middle half thoroughly. The heroine is unusual and takes the stage. But she is depicted so strongly that at one or two points one looks askance at the hero.
I rate it four stars out of five for readability except the last one fourth of it, four stars for concept and world building.
Read it if you’re looking for a historical, entertaining read which is not a typical genre cast.