Saturday, May 13, 2023

Review: The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Brianna Kelly was abandoned at Ballymacool House and Boarding School as an infant. She has worked there since she was a wee girl and will likely die there. Despite a sense that she was made for something more, Brianna feels powerless to change her situation, so she consoles herself by exploring the Ballymacool grounds, looking for hidden treasures to add to the secret trove beneath the floorboards of her room.

When Michael Wray, the son of local gentry, is sent to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin, he finds himself drawn to Brianna, immediately and inescapably. There is something about her that feels so . . . familiar. When Brianna finds a piece of silver in the woods, she commits to learning its origins, with the help of Michael. What they discover may change everything.

Fan favorite Jennifer Deibel invites you back to the Emerald Isle in the 1930s for this fresh take on the Cinderella story, complete with a tantalizing mystery, a budding romance, and a chance at redemption.

My Review

Doesn't this book have a lovely cover? I thought the setting sounded dreamy as well. I enjoyed the basics of the story, and the characters were easy to like. I enjoyed the development we see in Michael as he begrudgingly takes on the inconvenient task, yet grows to care for the well-being of the girls at the school. He definitely shifts naturally into the protector-defender role. Brianna feels stuck in her job, and it was frustrating that she never tried to think of a way out. There is a hint of mystery alluded to, especially when we begin to have scenes from the perspective of the villainous headmistress. It's a sweet story but simple, and I struggled to connect with the characters on a deeper level.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

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