Synopses & Reviews
One house, two worlds...
Rose Cliffe has never met a young lady like her new mistress. Clever, rich, and beautiful, Ada Averley treats Rose as an equal. And Rose could use a friend. Especially now that she, at barely sixteen, has risen to the position of ladies' maid. Rose knows she should be grateful to have a place at a house like Somerton. Still, she can't help but wonder what her life might have been had she been born a lady, like Ada.
For the first time in a decade, the Averleys have returned to Somerton, their majestic ancestral estate. But terrible scandal has followed Ada's beloved father all the way from India. Now Ada finds herself torn between her own happiness and her family's honor. Only she has the power to restore the Averley name-but it would mean giving up her one true love . . . someone she could never persuade her father to accept.
Sumptuous and enticing, the first novel in the At Somerton series introduces two worlds, utterly different yet entangled, where ruthless ambition, forbidden attraction, and unspoken dreams are hidden behind dutiful smiles and glittering jewels. All those secrets are waiting . . . at Somerton.
"In the spring of 1910, Lady Ava Averley sails from colonial India to her family's English estate at Somerton Court. On board, she meets a cute but common Indian boy, Ravi Sundaresan, and they steal a clandestine kiss. Ada's first season is approaching, but she dreams of attending Oxford, at a time when the higher education of women is frowned upon. At Somerton, Ada's father remarries, and Ada contends with her new stepfamily, including a mean stepmother and rival stepsister. She also has a new, 16-year-old maid, Rose, a girl with her own secrets as well as aspirations that go beyond her current station. British author Rasheed brings a dizzying number of characters and subplots together skillfully in this first book in the At Somerton series, mixing standard upstairs/downstairs fare with clashes involving sexuality, scandal, love triangles, and murder. Scheming and secrets drive a plot with largely shallow players (Ada's other love interest, Lord Fintan, is an exception), but fans of historical romances like the Luxe series and shows like Downton Abbey will look forward to the next book. Ages 12 up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Intrigue, romance, and humor combine to produce a thoroughly delightful read."
"Hannah is a breath of fresh air both for her hosts and for readers, who will enjoy rooting for her."
Downton Abbey meets the classic British comedy of errors in this warm and witty YA romance.
Upstairs, downstairs, and in which
On the brink of World War II, two girls are sent to the grand English country estate of Starkers. Hannah, the half-Jewish daughter of a disgraced distant relative, has been living an artistic bohemian life in a cabaret in pre-war Germany and now is supposed to be welcomed into the family. Anna, the social-climbing daughter of working-class British fascists, is supposed to be hired as a maid so that she can spy for the Nazis. But theres a mix-up, and nice Hannah is sent to the kitchen as a maid while arrogant Anna is welcomed as a relative.
And then both girls fall for the same man, the handsome heir of the estate . . . or do they?
In this sparkling, saucy romance, nearly everything goes wrong for two girls who are sent to a grand English estate on the brink of World War II—until it goes so very, very right!
About the Author
Leila Rasheed is the British author of the middle grade novel Chips, Beans and Limousines
and its sequels. She was previously a children's bookseller in Brussels, but now writes and teaches creative writing full-time.