Book review: The Crown for Castlewood Manor, by Veronica Cline Barton Series: My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series
The English ancestral manor of Cherrywood Hall is ready to compete for selection in an upcoming British TV period drama series: the grounds are manicured, the mansion is polished, and the servants are poised. American heiress Gemma Lancaster Phillips has crossed the pond to help her cousin defeat the three other stately homes vying for the prize.
What Gemma doesn’t realize is that this competition is life or death, and someone is taking that challenge literally. The occupants of one home are killed in an automobile accident, and murder becomes a frequent occurrence at the other locations. Who is behind the mayhem? Selection would be a major coup for both the estate and the community. At first the other contestants seem to be likely suspects, but no one is quite certain as the tragedies continue. Could it even be Emma’s beloved cousin Evan, the surviving heir to the Lancaster fortune, or Kyle, his best friend and estate manager? With the Royal family in attendance at each event, the puzzle becomes a crucial one for Scotland Yard, and they enlist Gemma’s help to solve the mystery.
When the competition’s winner is announced on New Year’s Eve, will Gemma’s future be forever tied to her ancestral past?
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Travis Borne’s review:
“SLAP! I’m out of here. How could you! Oh, I can’t believe what he did to me after how long we’ve been together. And we had plans, plans to—”
But, it could be the best thing that ever happened to young Dr. Gemma Phillips. Will she find new love? Tall dark and handsome…
From the beaches of California, travel east to England, to Castlewood Manor for the by-chance, breathtaking chance of a lifetime! Gemma will experience what most people only dream of. The Crown for Castlewood Manor: My American Almost-Royal Cousin Series, by Veronica Cline Barton, was one of the most intensely colorful, and tasty, yes, tasty novels I’ve ever devoured. The author employs her words elegantly. She’ll pique your every sense with colors, smells, sounds, and especially taste, as well as some very handsome steaminess, for those who, as I mentioned above, love the tall dark and handsome. And she does so flawlessly. My mind was lighting up like fifty Christmas trees, then given surge after power surge after the unexpected happened again and again.
I lived a life of royalty for the five days I savored this book. From basic ol’ tea and scones (pronounced “scons,” as I learned from the author) to some of the most delectable dishes imaginable. I was put into a “food coma” (author’s words), many times while reading. Food for prestigious royalty but also, much, much more. Imagine the best dresses, boots, gems and semiprecious stones, and ghosts, yep, perhaps…ghosts! (And I won’t name ‘ghost’ names).
Tasty treats, sensual feels and “proper” kisses many times over. Indulge yourself in Veronica’s prose, which is some of the cleanest, most descriptive writing I’ve ever had the pleasure of reveling in.
And it goes like this… Gemma arrives. The glitz and glam of beach life, magnified 100 fold at Castlewood Manner. And then, skulduggery! The adventure of a lifetime begins, and so do some pretty bad, even fatal occurrences. Who did it? Why? No one plays to lose, and some, well…
It’s a grandiose competition dreams cannot even fabricate, but who knew it would be such a cut-throat contest. Gemma is invited to England to help plan the events, royal dinners and more. And with her American spunk and desire to win, will Castlewood Manner win the spotlight? Or will they all give up when the heat gets just too hot.
Gemma’s adventures include hunting on horseback, fancy dinners, jaunts in the English countryside, fabulous outings and planning, planning, and more planning, and getting run off the road, and even… And tall boots and fancy dresses, handsome men and gorgeous women. And scheming that gets way to close for comfort, even bloody. But who? And why?
Again, I’m not saying. And you’ll never guess. Even though, like me, you might think you know before the end. You won’t. The secrets of Castlewood Manner run deep. There’s trick buttons and hidden rooms, secret doors and vaults filled with riches, and good and bad to wonderful, then hatchet-in-the-air harrowing close calls and cliff falls. Slap to start, slap to end. It was perfect.
When I write a review and declare it gets 5 stars on both Amazon and my site, that means it was good. That means it really gets 5 stars. Veronica Cline Barton’s The Crown for Castlewood Manor gets 5 stars across the board. Do not pass on this title! And as for me, I am anxiously looking forward to the next in the series.