Eleanor aka Nell, Nina Jones grandmother, are a century apart in time, but both are writers. Nell grew up on imaginary Ember Island, similar to Moreton Bay, outside of Brisbane. In the late 1800s Matilda Kirkland, after her beloved grandfather dies, follows her new husband, Jasper, to Guernsey in the Channel Islands to take up life as a wife and all that entails. Only, when Tilly arrives, nothing is as it seems, as Jasper bilks her of her minimal property, and then she discovers a plan where his mistress and he were planning on killing her.

Tilly’s horrific marriage ends when Jasper and his mistress are burned alive in a house fire; the fire that was meant for Tilly. Fleeing to the farthest place she knows, Tilly takes a job on Ember Island where she becomes the governess to Nell, who is the only daughter of the prison superindent. Tilly tries to keep her past hidden in order to start a new life, but she doesn’t know that Nell is watching her every move and writing it all down, hiding tiny journals all over their rambling manor home.

More than one hundred years later, bestselling novelist Nina Jones is struggling to complete her next book. After running in to her ex-husband and his impregnated new partner, she runs to her grandmother’s home on Ember Island. Nina cannot have children and that simple thing made her husband leave her in the lurch. As she struggles to write her fourth book, it comes to light that a reporter is searching for information regarding her current book.

The current books is a series about a 12th Century English woman who turns in to a sleuth. Nell actually came up with the idea and her books were rejected. Nina uses her grandmother’s idea and they are success! The books sell like hot cakes. But as the reporter comes closer to unveiling the truth about her literary success, she’s embroiled in a romance with a Shark PhDer, and also enjoying the company of his son.


The book was well-written, but not a literary genius type of book. More like a fun book to read to take your mind off of something for an afternoon. That being said, I enjoyed Nell and Tilly’s stories much more than Nina’s story. Nina came across whiney, ditzy and a huge complainer. Ultimately, this is a romance, and I always find romances boring, so I can say with veracity that the prison and some of the prisoner’s escape plans are some of the best reading,

@krautgrrl says that this is a page-turner, but not much substance, besides a couple of twists in regards to a prisoner’s attempted escape.

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