Again, Carla Kelly moved me to tears. She is one of the two authors in historical romance that never fails to deliver wonderful stories.
Jane has been living as a slave in the house of her cousins. She takes care of Andrew since he was a baby. Both of them have been bullied by her Aunt for many years. Her neighbor, Mr. Butterworth, a mill owner, is a dear friend (from many years ago) but only now they get closer. He invites her to his country house to spend Christmas, and it is there were she realizes she loves this kind, big man.
The beginning of the book is a bit dull. Too gloomy, too sad. Jane's life as much as Andrew's life. Once Mr. Butterworth comes into scene, it gets lighter, but not entirely, since this is Carla Kelly. Her romances are sweet but melancholic. I love how Jane and Mr. Butterworth are such good friends. He was so nice to her I was moved by his generosity. When Jane and Andrew spend their holidays in his country house, in the company of his sister and nieces, the book is sweet and less gloomy. Finally Jane and Andrew are happy, after so many years.
When Jane finally trusts Mr. Butterworth with her terrible secret, my eyes were full of tears It was so sad! Just remembering it my eyes get teary again... Poor Jane, she deserved all happiness in the world.
The final confession, at the end of the book... I wasn't surprised, I was expecting it. Still, I am not a fan of it. It seems a bit OOC... I know Mr. Butterworth could not do more, but Andrew was his child! And what about that part where Mr. Butterworth comes back -after getting all the letters Jane wrote, letters that were not supposed to be delivered- He starts his speech by saying something along the "I am sorry I have mislead you"... Was he going to turn her down? I confess I almost died because I thought Jane was going to have her HEA with the "handyman". There were misleads such as Dale was a good, handsome, happy man, etc. And Mr. Butterworth almost turning her down. I mean, I just wanted Jane to have her HEA, no matter who the guy was, but since Mr. Butterworth did all these wonderful things to her... Not only Jane was "wrong" in thinking his feelings for her was love, I did as well... and to have that end with Dale (or Staton). Thankfully, it ends like it was supposed to end.
Just a sweet, touching and with a kind romance -the one where they are first friends, then lovers- that I was expecting. Jane's secret was "OMG WHY?" (with tissues at hand) while Mr. Butterworth's (can't say his name... it is just too awful) and Lord Denby was MEH (men!).