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.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published October 15th, 2019
by Thomas Nelson
The Painted Castle is book 3 in the Lost Castle Series, I have only read the first book and think these work well as standalone even though there are brief mentions of the previous books here, not enough to spoil book 2 (yea I gotta read it soon).
Dual time periods are my favorites and when it turns into a triple feature, well I’m in my happy place. It takes a talented author that can pull off 3 storylines that come together. Kristy Cambron has done it with this book.
The setting was an old English Manor from the days of Victorian England to WW2 and then-current day. The Painted Castle is a story of the mystery surrounding a painting - it’s authenticity, why it was hidden for so long and how did it become hidden.
The characters are real with hurts, secrets, and hearts hardened because of said hurts and secrets. There are the historical elements that I always enjoy, especially seeing another glimpse of strong women not just during WW2 but in the past when women weren't supposed to be strong and have a mind of their own. The art world, both past and present added something different and the plot woven around it was unique and realistic- definitely shows the authors' research was done.
The Lost Castle is a series I recommend, I was entertained and totally absorbed in the pages.
My thanks to TLC Tours for the opportunity to be part of this tour and an ARCin exchange for honest review.