**sigh** Have you ever read a book hoping it would never end? Yeah, that was me with today’s book, Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano. Well, let’s be real – it’s me with a lot of books lol. But there was just something about this book that had me wanting even more. I took my time reading it because I just wasn’t ready to see the ending yet.
Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London’s east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.
Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within–and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.
There are so many layers to this story I don’t even know where to begin. Politano weaves a beautiful story, which might appear to just be another rags to riches story to some, but is so much more than that. It is a wonderful example of how God truly sees us – for what is on the inside, not how we dress up on the outside. That was a hard lesson for Raina to learn. People treated her poorly based on her outward appearances of a rag girl, never taking the time to get to know the beautiful person she really was. Suddenly she’s in a position where people are listening to what she has to say – simply because of how she presented herself. Little by little Politano reminds Raina and the reader, that our true worth is found on the inside.
There were several twists and turns throughout the story – a few of them really surprised me. Just when you think you know the direction of the story, Politano decides it’s time for a little reroute. And I loved the direction she took! Her characters are intriguing, mysterious, and keep you on your toes. The last third of the book will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, not able to put the book down until you reach the final words. I’m still thinking about it!
Aside from the mystery is a great love story. Quite often you see the hero swooping in and saving the damsel in distress, at least that’s what Sully thought he was doing when he came to Rothburne. So when he figures out that Raina is the one trying to save him, he’s just not quite sure how to handle that role reversal. I was amazed at how perfectly Politano wrote the scenes between Raina and Sully. They were bold, yet discreet, which is no easy feat in the real world, let alone the writing world. You can’t help but cheer for them, and hope that they somehow find a way to be together in the end.
I could go on and on about all the things I love about this book, but we would be here all day. Just know this – you need to read it, and you won’t regret doing so. Politano has a good mix of mystery, romance, danger, and wonderful life lessons. This is a book for everyone’s top ten list!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
“It’s as if fate is plucking your pretty little self out of this mess and pacing you where you belonged from the start.”
“Just because it’s who we have always been, it does not mean it’s who we were created to be.”
“Those we love know exactly what we are in spite of everything – and that is both a benefit and a dilemma.”
“She made me want to burst with joy and anger in the space of a single day sometimes, but I never tired of being near her.”
“The only thing limiting you…is you.”
“And there was God, waiting for me to try everything else before I finally landed at the feet of the only One who knew the true answer.”
Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her debut novel, Lady Jayne Disappears, releases October 3 from Revell. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods and shares stories that move her at www.jdpstories.com.
What book have you read recently that you didn’t want to end?