I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron
Published by Thomas Nelson on October 15, 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Historical, Mystery, Romance, War
Source: TLC Book Tours
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A lost painting of Queen Victoria. A library bricked off from the world. Three women, separated by time, whose lives are irrevocably changed.
When art historian Keira Foley is hired to authenticate a painting at a centuries-old East Suffolk manor, she hopes this is just the thing to get her career and life back on track. But from the time she arrives at Parham Hill Estate and begins working alongside rumored art thief Emory Scott, she’s left with far more questions than answers. Could this lost painting of Queen Victoria be a duplicate of the original Winterhalter masterpiece, and if so, who is the artist?
As Keira begins to unravel the mystery behind the portrait of the queen, two women emerge from the estate’s forgotten past. In Victorian England, talented sketch artist Elizabeth Meade is engaged to Viscount Huxley, then owner of Parham Hill. While there, master portrait artist Franz Winterhalter takes her under his wing, but Elizabeth’s real motive for being at Parham Hill has nothing to do with art. She’s determined to avenge her father’s brutal murder—even if it means feigning an engagement to the very man she believes committed the crime.
A century later, Amelia Woods—a WWII widow who has turned Parham Hill Estate and its beloved library into a boarding school for refugee children—receives military orders to house a troop of American pilots. She is determined that the children in her care remain untouched by the war, but it’s proving difficult with officers taking up every square inch of their world… and one in particular vying for a space in her long shut up heart.
Set in three time periods—the rapid change of Victorian England, the peak of England’s home front tensions at the end of World War II, and modern day—The Painted Castle unfolds a story of heartache and hope and unlocks secrets lost for generations, just waiting to be found.
The Painted Castle is a sweet romance, the third in the Lost Castle series. It can be read as a stand-alone but is better if read with The Lost Castle and Castle on the Rise.
It’s rare that I enjoy a book so thoroughly that takes place in several different time periods, and author Kristy Cambron has exceeded my expectations in The Painted Castle. Focusing on a centuries old manor in the English countryside and the people who inhabit the beautiful spaces, three different time periods are covered: modern day, mid-1940s World War II, and the mid-1840s Victorian England. Tying all these together are the location and a portrait painted of Queen Victoria.
While this is the third and final book in the Lost Castles series, I had no problems reading The Painted Castle as a stand alone novel. Kristy Cambron ties in the rich setting, an obvious love for art. architecture, and history, all while weaving memorable and lively characters that I grew to love quite fast. Moving from one time period to the next was very seamless and kept the story moving, and I was eager to keep reading and uncover each set of characters’ secrets and motivations.
The modern day sees art historian Kiera Foley hired to authenticate a painting of Queen Victoria that has been found in a crumbling old Suffolk manor. Little did she know that she’d fall in love with the house and it’s history, as well as the mysterious possible art thief named Emory who has been tasked to help her with the restoration and investigation of the house. In World War II England, widowed Amelia is doing her part by opening up Parham Hill Manor to children that have been misplaced by the war, all while running the manor like her late husband would expect her to do while helping out the town with their honey production. But when a squadron of American airmen are ordered to move into the estate, Amelia’s life is upended once more–especially by the handsome Captain Wyatt Stevens. And in 1843, Elizabeth Meade has a mind for only two things: drawing and getting revenge for her murdered father. Her mother has marrying Elizabeth off to a wealthy man first on her mind, so Elizabeth is paired with the elusive viscount who owns Parham Hill–whom Elizabeth last saw ten years earlier at the seen of her father’s murder.
I give The Painted Castle a five out of five. Each time period’s heroine was strong, independent, and quite capable of whatever she put her mind to. The touches of romance between the heroines and their respective men were quite different yet sweet and complicated for each of the pairs. The setting and architecture were beautifully described, and I could easily imagine the places. I highly enjoyed the characters and I can not pick a favorite couple. The writing flowed well from timeline to timeline, and the stories fit together nicely as more was revealed throughout the book. I definitely recommend this book to historical fiction and romance readers alike.
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About Kristy Cambron
Kristy Cambron has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the bestselling author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Book Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists for 2014 & 2015, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. Kristy’s first Bible studies, THE VERSE MAPPING SERIES, will release in 2018.
Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development from a Fortune-100 Corporation. Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and could probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.
Visit Kristy online at www.KristyCambron.com, Twitter: @KCambronAuthor, Facebook: Kristy-Cambron-Author, Instagram: KristyCambron.
Find Kristy Cambron
Kristy Cambron’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for THE PAINTED CASTLE:
Monday, October 14th: @nurse_bookie
Monday, October 14th: @novelgossip
Tuesday, October 15th: @one_more_paige
Wednesday, October 16th: @crystals_library
Thursday, October 17th: @giuliland
Friday, October 18th: @babygotbooks13
Friday, October 18th: @thebooksellersdaughter
Saturday, October 19th: @bluntscissorsreviews
Sunday, October 20th: @sarahs_reads
Monday, October 21st: Blunt Scissors Book Reviews
Tuesday, October 22nd: Reading Reality
Tuesday, October 22nd: Lori’s Reading Corner – guest post
Wednesday, October 23rd: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, October 24th: Openly Bookish
Friday, October 25th: Literary Quicksand
Tuesday, October 29th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, October 30th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Monday, November 4th: @amanda.the.bookish
Tuesday, November 5th: Read Eat Repeat
Wednesday, November 6th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Friday, November 8th: The Lit Bitch
Monday, November 11th: Nurse Bookie
Monday, November 11th: What is That Book About
Wednesday, November 13th: Just One More Chapter
Friday, November 15th: Sincerely Karen Jo
Friday, November 15th: Jathan & Heather
Monday, November 18th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, November 19th: Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, November 20th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books