Cover Image: The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall

The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall

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Member Reviews


Let’s take a moment for this GORGEOUS cover! Never judge a book by its cover…but…I mean…it’s absolutely what drew me to pick this one up. I have read one of Becca's RomCom novels and loved it – I couldn’t wait to give her gothic romance a try.

If you’re a plant person, this book is a MUST read for sure. The moments spent with the orchids, who all get a name, personal conversations exchanged with said flowers…and the greenhouse. Oh goodness, this story is a plant lover's dream come true.

The year is 1887. Hyacinth Bell’s mother has passed away and she is traveling with her beloved orchid, “Eleanor”, to take a position of employment at Ashthorne Hall along the Cornwall coast. Hyacinth is dreaming of a fresh start to a new life, caring for Mr. Whitbeck’s prized orchids at the manor while he’s away in India. Things immediately feel a bit “off” upon arrival at Ashthorne. Mrs. Carter, the housekeeper, warns Hyacinth that she’s never to enter the north wing. She finds a mysterious locked cabinet in her room and frequently sees images of white scampering off in the halls at night. Ghostly noises intrigue Hyacinth and don’t at all seem to rattle her nerves. Against the housekeeper’s wishes, she sets off to explore the haunted halls on more than one occasion even after being warned of lurking spirits.

Lucas Harding is the estate’s handsome and charming caretaker. He and Hyacinth strike up quite an immediate connection. You’ll be on the edge of your seat, doubting who can be trusted throughout this entire read. What is truth, what is real…who or what is this woman in white that Hyacinth keeps seeing? I loved seeing how all of the dots connected at the end.

A great read that I'd be happy to recommend to others.

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I enjoyed this book. I liked the spooky, gothic vibes in the story. I loved how the ghost wasn’t who we expected. I loved Hyacinth and her bravery. I loved her and Lucas’ relationship. I liked how they feel in love almost from the beginning but there was a bit of strain because Hyacinth could tell he was hiding something. I liked how the story got resolved and I enjoyed the characters.

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.

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I really liked the history part of this book. It dealt with a topic I knew nothing about which was interesting. I would recommend this book to people who like mysteries that are a tiny bit on the scary side (it's not that bad unless you are listening to this book while driving in the middle of nowhere in the dark of night).

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I enjoyed this book.
I had never heard of certain medical conditions (I don’t want to give things away) until reading this book. I then went down a rabbit hole researching about it- so sad. I love when a book makes me want to learn more about history.
I loved Hyacinth- she was unique and quirky. Talking to her plants and excited about the possibility of ghosts. Hearing about the Orchids was fun too.
I wasn’t a big fan of Lucas and the whole insta love stuff.

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Victorian with a side of spooky. It’s not a common book combination and I was excited to try it out.

The book starts out pretty spooky. I pictured dark rainy corridors with secrets everyone side steps. How can the staff be so friendly and then so cold to Hyacinth? Hyacinth comes to the ghostly estate on the Cornwall coast to take care of the owner’s prized orchids. A lover of the flower, Hyacinth has become known for her skills to tend the plants.

The estate’s care taker, Lucas, is warm and friendly towards her, while the house keeper is anything but warm. There’s something off about the estate. Something they are hiding and Hyacinth is determined to find out what.

The mystery and spookiness was fun. I also enjoyed the bit of historical facts. I found myself searching the internet to learn more about what Hyacinth discovered.

If you like a mystery, with the side of a charming romance set in regency era, this book is for you. I loved that it was so different and I loved guessing at what the estate was hiding.

The only thing I would ask more of, would to develop the romance a little more. It felt a little shallow because he was holding back so much.

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Hyacinth Bell is traveling to central Cornwall to work as the orchid botanist at Ashthorne Hall. She will be in charge of caring for the family’s vast collection of orchids while they are away overseas for some months. She learned so much from her father and after the death of her mother, she took over the lady’s expertise with orchids. Hyacinth has brought her mother’s prize orchid named Eleanor with her to care for along with the plants at the Hall. There is a large hothouse especially for growing and propagating the orchids and Hyacinth is just delighted to be working there.

The Hall is a vast place and the housekeeper, Mrs. Carter, has cautioned her that many of the rooms are off limits to her. She may stay in her room in the south side of the Hall and a few of the reception rooms downstairs but she is never to enter the north side of the residence. The woman infers that there may also be a ghost in the Hall. That doesn’t necessarily frighten her but it does intrigue her.

Soon, Hyacinth meets Lucas Harding, who is the estate caretaker while the family is away. He is also the nephew of Mrs. Carter. Hyacinth and Lucas hit it off and soon become good friends.

Before long, Hyacinth hears some noises and some flashes of white clothing in the dark areas of the Hall but she’s not convinced that it’s a ghost. When she searches down the ghost she is shocked at what she finds.

I cannot say more because that would be given out spoilers. Suffice to say that this story is completely different from what I expected it to be. I love how the author’s descriptions of the estate just made me feel like I was right there. The big secret is something from which I learned quite a lot and this is biggie. Readers will enjoy this story and I thank the author for enlightening me with her “big secret.”

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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This one hit all the right notes for me! Historical fiction mixed with mystery and romance and a spooky setting to boot! Plus, it is a clean/closed-door romance, which I have been craving. I think this is a great book for the fall when you are in the mood for something with a darker setting. It's a quick read you could easily complete in a day or two. I honestly couldn't put it down!

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A gothic romance with a haunted estate, mysterious characters, and hidden secrets.

The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall by @beccawilhite is a story about Hyacinth, a young lady charged at taking care of the orchids at a mysterious manor. It's there she finds a haunted atmosphere, hidden passages, and an unsolved mystery.

The romance was very insta-love. I thought it was insta-attraction but it quickly turned into a fast paced relationship that I didn't quite understand. Especially with all the secrets and haunted nature of the setting and storyline, I didn't really expect the FMC to easily trust someone so quickly. In turn, it made me not like her as much.

The twist in this story turned out to be a very interesting historical medical element that I found very intriguing and unique for a historical romance. I loved that piece.

All in all I think those who like gothic romance will enjoy this story. However, for a proper romance book, the romance needed more development.

Thank you Shadow Mountain for my gifted copy. All thoughts are my own.


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Ohhh, I love a good romance set in ghosty, haunted, creepy mansion out on the coast with few people around. It was so good. Had everything I could want and I couldnt wait to find out how it was going to end. Highly recommend! Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for approving me to read and review this ARC. I cant wait to read more from this author.

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This is a gothic novel, full of suspense and intrigue. I loved the questioning of Ashthorne Hall and if it truly could be haunted.

Read if you love:

💐insta love
💐old haunted manors
💐mystery and suspense
💐found friends
💐education on terrible factory conditions
💐floral education
💐strong FMC
💐cinnamon roll/golden retriever MMC

The insta love was a little quick for my liking, but it was a fun storyline and likable characters. I did find it a little predictable as well, and felt like I kinda knew what was happening before it did.

Thank you to the publisher and author for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.

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I enjoyed this story. It is told from the POV of the FMC only. She is developed well and is a likable character. The MMC is sweet and a bit mysterious. I didn’t mind the instant attraction between the two because it does happen. Sometimes you just know someone is right for you and it works out. The mystery kept me guessing and the revelation about a certain disease in the 1800’s was new to me. It made me want to research the subject more.

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A charming story set on the Cornwall coast in 1887. Hyacinth is intelligent, studious, and committed to botany, especially orchids. So, when a once in a lifetime opportunity arrives to care for a rare orchid collection while the family is abroad, she does not even hesitate. Armed with her favorite orchid for company, she sets off for Asthorne Hall. Right from the outset, there are strange occurrences. She refuses to give into ghost stories and mystic tales, but still, there are things her logical, scientific mind cannot explain. One indulgence she does allow is her drawing attraction and fascination with Lucas, the estate’s caretaker. Lucas is equally fascinated with Hyacinth and her seemingly endless wit and ongoing conversations with the orchids. There are strange occurrences and Lucas is just as determined to not indulge Hyacinth’s theories as she is determined to explore them. A sweet gothic-like regency romance that I enjoyed and would happily recommend to others.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are solely my own, freely given.

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The story got off to a little bit of a slow start for me. Hyacinth Bell is a botanist who has been hired by Mr. Whitbeck to care for his prize orchid collection, while he in his family are away from their estate. So, even though I am a florist by trade, I got a little tired of the detailed description of orchids. As more people entered the story and Hyacinth had other people to talk to other than her orchids. It became a little more interesting, not to mention a little haunting. Hyacinth had been warned that the manor was haunted. She was looking forward to having a diversion. Being a scientist everything had an explanation. Lucas Harding was hired as the caretaker for Ashthorne Hall. I really enjoyed the banter and connection between Lucas and Hyacinth. The story was intriguing and mysterious and really picked up speed the further you got into the book. I thought the ending was very gripping, and kept me awake until the very end. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A DNF. I really hate not finishing a book, but I just couldn't continue it. I forced myself to reach 50%. I'll list the reasons

1. The FMC, Hyacinth Bell was immature and silly. From the plant she named and carried around to the ridiculous love at first sight.
2. Her relationship with Lucas Harding was a huge turn-off for me. They saw each other for the first time, and Hyacinth was already planning their wedding. There's was nothing to look forward to
3. 50% of the book, and I didn't see the point of the book. Just a scare and that after 30% of the book.

The only thing I liked was the orchids and the hothouse.

But, you might like it better than I did

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The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall is a well-paced, beautifully written, mysterious romance with a hauntingly gothic vibe. Between the handsome, if secretive, caretaker, the suspicious housekeeper, the gorgeous Cornwall setting, the forbidden areas of the manor and the unexplained happenings, this book kept me reading late into the night.

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This author always delivers such delicious prose! I really enjoyed the gothic side of this story and the romance was beautiful i always love a good well researched Victorian novel! This one gave me so many things to ponder and desire to learn more about the facts! These enchanting characters were lovely and intriguing for me! Enjoy!

I received this story from NetGalley and Shadow Mountain! A big thanks to them and all thoughts and opinions are my own!

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This was the first book I’ve read from Rebecca Anderson. I loved the mystery, the fast fall, and the total plot twist! It reminds me a bit of Michelle Griep. There are some sweet, swoony moments here, but nothing over a low PG. my very favorite scene was the rose petal experiment. What a delight. A gothic style read, but not one that will drown the reader. Two thumbs up for Hyacinth and Lucas!

I’m grateful to have read an advanced copy, these are completely my own opinions.

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Hyacinth Bell goes to an old estate in a far off place to tend to orchids while the owners are away. Here she is met with rumors of ghosts and a crabby housekeeper. Then enters Lucas Harding the handsome and charming caretaker.
If you like historical romance with ghostly elements this book is for you! Was a good read and very fascinating!

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It took me a little while to get into this book. I don’t usually enjoy stories where the connection between characters happens over such a short period of time.
I did really enjoy the mystery aspect of this book. I enjoy books that keep me asking questions and this one definitely did. I was very surprised to find out what was going on.
I liked the characters. Hyacinth was quirky with her talking and singing to plants but I like quirky. I don’t feel like we got to know the rest of the characters very well but I liked what we know of them. They were very interesting. I would’ve liked to learn a little more about them.
The topics touched on in this book were very interesting! I’ve never read any other historical fiction that covered the same topics and I really enjoyed it!

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This book is beautifully moody, just like the cover. It gives serious gothic literature vibes and I enjoyed every page.

If you like light romance, flowers, Cornwall, Victorian novels, mysteries, and history, read this one. Get a blanket, some hot cocoa (or whatever cozy drink you like) and enjoy.

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