A Cornish Affair – Liz Fenwick

Published May 2014 by Orion

From Amazon:

Running out on your wedding day never goes down well. When the pressure of her forthcoming marriage becomes too much, Jude bolts from the church, leaving a good man at the altar, her mother in a fury, and the guests with enough gossip to last a year.

Guilty and ashamed, Jude flees to Pengarrock, a crumbling cliff-top mansion in Cornwall, where she takes a job cataloguing the Trevillion family’s extensive library. The house is a welcome escape for Jude, full of history and secrets, but when its new owner arrives, it’s clear that Pengarrock is not beloved by everyone. 

As Jude falls under the spell of the house, she learns of a family riddle stemming from a terrible tragedy centuries before, hinting at a lost treasure. And when Pengarrock is put up for sale, it seems that time is running out for the house and for Jude.

* * * 

When young American Jude Warren leaves her fiancé John standing at the altar in Cape Cod, she faces the wrath of her family and disappointment of friends who can’t understand why she couldn’t go through with the wedding to her handsome fiancé.  Jude couldn’t explain that she felt she was marrying John more to please her parents (especially her mother) than herself. Ever since her sister Rose died, Jude had felt second best and finally, she wanted to lead her own life.

So now jobless and homeless, she flees to Oxford and to Barbara, an old family friend.  Barbara arranges a job for her with Petroc Trevillion at his estate in Pengarrock, Cornwall.   Petroc has a lifetime’s worth of research papers that need cataloguing and as an archivist, Jude seems perfect for the job and does her best to bring some order to his chaotic ways. However Jude’s feelings are bought into conflict when Petroc’s estranged son Tristan appears on the scene.  What follows is a story of historical family intrigue and riddles concerning lost jewellery together with a little touch of will they/won’t they romance.

I’m a sucker for a lovely cover and the gorgeous cover of this first attracted me.  I adore Cornwall and the chance to read a story set in one of my favourite places was irresistible.  It was clear that the author knows the area well and the descriptions of the old house and surrounding Helford River were beautifully and lovingly written.  For me, the crumbling Pengarrock was the real star of the book.  It sounded idyllic and it’s no wonder that Jude fell in love with the house.  

The main characters were well defined although it took me a while to warm to Jude.  She was feisty and didn’t hold back in speaking her mind but there was just something about her character that stopped me fully engaging with her. There were occasions when when I felt the storyline was a little weak and I kept waiting for something to happen to move the story along, but it was an easy and pleasant read, made even more enjoyable by the sense of place.   I now have Liz’s first book, The Cornish House and the latest, A Cornish Stranger on my Kindle waiting to be read.      

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the digital copy to review. 

About the author:

Writer, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer….

I was born in Massachusetts, and after nine international moves I now live in Dubai with my husband and two mad cats – Snowy and Sooty. I made my first trip to Cornwall in 1989, bought my home there 7 years later and although I live in Dubai, my heart is forever in Cornwall, creating new stories.

You can follow Liz Fenwick via her website, Twitter and Facebook


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