The Mistress of Trevelyan
Twenty-year-old Ann Lovell has always dreamed about Trevelyan Manor, an intriguing San Francisco mansion. But in 1873, her status as a washerwoman’s daughter means endless manual labor, even though her mother had encouraged Ann to read, providing her with an impressive education. After her mother dies, Ann impulsively applies as governess to widower Benedict Trevelyan’s two boys. Intrigued by her tall, solid appearance, her courage, and possibly her ability to peeve his butler, Benedict hires her. Ann is attracted to the widower, but knows it is rumored that he murdered his wife. Still, she finds her expectation of spinsterhood thwarted by her need for Benedict’s intimate touch. Several compromising situations prove that the attraction is mutual.
Writing from Ann’s perspective, St. Giles elegantly creates tension that affects all the sensibilities in true gothic fashion. The plight of the motherless children, recently orphaned Ann, and resolute Benedict prompt tears while the interaction of the household keeps one wondering who really killed Benedict’s wife and whether or not Ann will succumb to the same fate.
A deserving winner of the Daphne Du Maurier Award, this novel’s suspense, sentimentality, romance, and breathtaking intimacy is perfect for anyone seeking an American gothic.