Beneath Cornish Skies
To an outsider, Cassandra Shaw‘s life looks perfect. She lives in a beautiful, luxurious house in the English countryside, with a handsome, wealthy boyfriend who insists she needn’t do a day’s work in her life. But Cassie knows that something is not right. Her boyfriend has grown colder, treating her more like a housekeeper than a future wife. And her time feels empty and purposeless.
Cassandra has always been riddled with insecurities and self-doubt, but, just for once, she decides to take a chance on a new beginning. She answers an advert for a live-in nanny, dog walker, cook and all-round ‘Superhuman’ for a family living in a rambling manor house on the rugged North Cornish coast. The work is hard and tiring, but Cassie has never felt so fulfilled.
As Cassie learns to connect with the natural beauty unfolding around her, Cornwall starts to offer up its secrets. Soon, Cassie starts wondering if she was drawn to this isolated part of the coast for a reason. Why was she guided to Foxcombe Manor? What are the flashes of light she sees in the valley? Is it her imagination or does someone brush past her? And who is the mysterious man living deep in the woods?
A beautiful romance with a hint of ghostliness, Beneath Cornish Skies is for anyone who has ever longed to start their lives again.
This was my first book written by Kate Ryder. The description sounded interesting, but I had no idea what a talented storyteller she is.
Beneath Cornish Skies is a beautifully-written novel of self-discovery in one of the most magical settings. The protagonist of the book, Cassandra Shaw, lost her parents in a car accident when she was just seventeen and spent the following ten years living with her supposedly charming, arrogant and bossy boyfriend David. Cassie feels trapped in this unfulfilling relationship, but appears to lack clear ideas what else she would like to do with her life. Once Cassandra discovers David’s infidelity, she confronts him about their future together. To her dismay, she realises his vision of it is very different to what she longs for, a family of her own.
Cassie answers an ad for a ‘Superhuman’ (an all-round helper at Foxcombe Manor) and accepts the job. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery and spellbinding local legends and stories, Cassandra re-thinks her life choices that let her doubt her own self-worth. She also finds an unexpected soulmate, Luke Metcalf, a naturalist and a successful writer.
There is a touch of paranormal, but it is all an integral part of the setting and atmosphere of this evocative novel.
The writing is the best feature of this book. There is something magic about the way Kate Ryder carefully chooses her words to render Cassie’s complex feelings and capture her fleeting impressions, insecurities and burgeoning hopes. For the first time in her life Cassie feels in control of her life choices wherever they may lead her. For the first time she acknowledges that there are many different ways of living and she needs to find her own.
If you are a fan of A Discovery of Witches and Jane Eyre, you are going to enjoy this enchanting story with its rich language and vivid imagery. Alternatively, if you find Cornwall a place where magic may well still be alive, this book is also for you.
Thank you to NetGalley and Aria for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
Kate Ryder is an award-winning, Amazon Kindle international best seller who writes timeslip and romantic suspense in a true-to-life narrative. On leaving school she studied drama but soon discovered her preference for writing plays rather than performing them! Since then, she has worked in the publishing, tour operating and property industries, and has travelled widely.
Kate is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. In 2017, she signed a 4-book contract with Aria (digital imprint of award-winning independent publisher, Head of Zeus).
Summer in a Cornish Cove, a contemporary romantic suspense set on the Lizard Peninsula, gained her a nomination for the RNA’s 2018 Joan Hessayon award, while its standalone sequel, Cottage on a Cornish Cliff, reached the heady heights of #2 in Kindle Literary Sagas.
‘Secrets of the Mist’, a mysterious timeslip romance, not only achieved #1 Kindle best seller flags in the UK, Canada and Australia, but also reached #49 in Amazon UK Paid Kindle. In the original, self-published version (The Forgotten Promise) it was awarded the first Chill with a Book “Book of the Month”.
Originally hailing from the South East of England, today Kate lives on the Cornish side of the beautiful Tamar Valley with her husband and a collection of animals.
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