From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled—by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack’s rugged behavior by tutoring him in the ways of refined society, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie’s efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt’s lady’s maid.
But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs…and their hearts.
Whenever I read a book from Deeanne I feel like I am taking a field trip in a book encased time capsule (which is heaven for a history buff like myself). As I started reading this book I decided to “Google” the Biltmore to see if what I was picturing was in fact an accurate portrayal of the estate. Not only was I amazed that Deeanne had captured the true essence of Biltmore without sounding like a textbook (far from it!), but I was awed that such a place exists outside of Europe! The Biltmore and everything it represents was the perfect setting (and character) for this story.
Each scene was flawlessly choreographed down to the most minute nuance so that authentic emotional reactions could be drawn from the reader. The contemptuous state of the orphanage and its masochistic operators (modern day Dickensian villains) had my stomach churning with revulsion while I cheered on Tillie and Mack as they championed forth to bring restoration. It was impossible not to feel exactly what Tillie and Mack were going through, right down to the quick intake of breath to the flutter of a pulse. I became so in-tune with Tillie as a person that I almost forgot that she was a fictional character.
The best part of the book for me-well, to be honest it’s second after Tillie and Mack’s romance-was witnessing how Tillie struggled to navigate between the lonely world of opulence and materialism and the world of companionship and simplicity. Tillie is a servant in more than just her capacity as maid for the Vanderbilt’s-she has a servants heart to bless and care for others. And Mack…well Mack is just a bonafide warrior for the helpless.
Highly recommend this book to readers who love edgy inspirational fiction with a strong message of discovering the purpose that God has called you to.