Missing Downton Abbey? I know I am and The Worthington Wife was the perfect book to read to get over my Downton Abbey blues.
Set in the 1920’s, The Worthington Wife tells the tale of Lady Julia Hazelton. She is a beautiful women from an esteemed family, but her fiancé, the future Earl of Worthington, died in the trenches in WWI. She has dedicated her life to doing good works for the people of her brother’s estate and also those on the Worthington estate. She especially cares for those who lost their loved ones in the Great War. After the death of her fiancé’s brother, an American outcast from the family, Cal Carstairs arrives to take over as the Earl of Worthington.
Cal has no plans to actually become the Earl of Worthington. He wants to destroy the estate after the treatment his parents received. His father was the brother of the former Earl of Worthington (Cal is the cousin of Lady Julia’s late fiancé), but married a poor Irish servant in New York City and was cast out of the family. After his father’s death and when his mother became sick, he wrote to the Worthington family to receive help, but they did nothing to help. Cal had to resort to a life of crime to help his mother and his brother, and he has never forgotten.
Lady Julia makes it her mission to try to change Cal’s mind and show him that being the Earl of Worthington can be a worthy job that can help a lot of people. Cal finds himself distracted by the beauty and goodness of Lady Julia, but his heart is filled with revenge.
Servants are given some subplots in the novel including a maid who is surprising promoted to cook, will she be able to handle it? They unfortunately were not major characters such as the servants in Downton Abbey. They were also players in a major mystery that was woven throughout the novel.
Before Anthony, Julia’s fiancé, left for the Great War, a couple of beautiful ladies who look like Lady Julia disappeared from the estate. Mysterious things are suddenly happening again and Cal is on the case. Certain that the Worthington family is corrupt, he wants to prove that one of the family was the culprit. I really liked this mystery and the action involved at the end to solve the crime.
I liked the many, many nods to Downton Abbey from a servant marrying one of the family, to witty Grandma, to someone inheriting an estate with no interest or background in it. There was also an American bride marrying into a family to bring money to the estate. I loved these gems.
Most of all, The Worthington Wife was also a great romance as the two many characters grow to know each other the question of will they or won’t they kind of like Matthew and Mary in Downton Abbey. I also loved a secondary plot that involved Cal’s brother David who was injured in the Great War. The characters were very interesting and the plot line kept things moving and kept me entertained. I really want to read more of Sharon Page’s novels.
Overall, The Worthington Wife is a perfect read for anyone looking for something to replace Downton Abbey, a good mystery, and/or a good love story.
Book Source: Review Copy as part of the TLC Book Tour. Thanks!
Link to the TLC Tour Schedule: http://tlcbooktours.com/2016/11/sharon-page-author-of-the-worthington-wife-on-tour-januaryfebruary-2017/