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12 / 30 books. 40% done!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Kate Morton-ish Castle Novel the Engaging Finale to a Promising Trilogy

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  The Painted Castle is the third installment in a trilogy of interrelated books.  While they are not sequels exactly, characters from the first and second books have cameos in the third.  The books can be read as standalones, but if you want to avoid even minor spoilers, I recommend reading them in order.)

Art historian Keira Foley is still reeling from a job and a resulting relationship that turned sour, leading to both professional and personal disgrace in New York City.  She's back in her native Ireland licking her wounds.  When a cocky American bloke struts into her family's pub, taking a keen interest in Keira, her protective brother threatens to have him forcibly removed.  Keira's not interested in the bloke until he dangles a mysterious job offer in a crumbling English castle called Parham Hill in front of her nose ...

Amelia Woods had been married to Arthur—the viscount of Huxley and owner of Parham Hill—barely a year when he was killed in a mission while serving as an RAF pilot.  Four years later, the English countryside is still under threat of attack, especially since an airfield lies just over the hill from the estate.  Amelia is protective of her husband's ancestral home with its precious memories and priceless art, but it's the children boarding inside whose safety is her first priority.  When a group of American military officers becomes her unwitting roommates, Amelia must protect all of Parham Hill's hidden treasures.  Especially her heart.

When Elizabeth Meade was just a child, she witnessed her father's callous murder on the streets of London.  A glimpse of a cloaked man with unusual eyes gave her an idea of the killer's identity—and the germ of a revenge plot.  Now engaged to the very man—the viscount of Huxley—Elizabeth is playing a dangerous long game to avenge her beloved parent.  She soon comes to realize that secrets abound at Parham Hill and its owner may not be what he seems ...

If you're a rabid Kate Morton fan like I am, you'll definitely want to check out the Lost Castle series by Kristy Cambron.  I haven't read the first two books in the trilogy since I thought The Painted Castle was a standalone, but I've already put both on reserve at my library.  That should give you a clue as to how much I enjoyed the final installment!  It's a triple timeline novel featuring three women in different eras.  All of the leading ladies are strong, intelligent, independent sorts who find themselves, in some way, through their association with Parham Hill.  They solve mysteries, endure hardship and loss, find love, and make important discoveries about the castle and themselves, all of which makes for an engrossing novel.  Add in vivid prose, excellent pacing, and a few twists to keep things interesting, and you've got yourself an engaging read.  Even better, Cambron keeps things squeaky clean so that this book (and the whole series, presumably) can be handed to any reader, from tween to senior citizen.  Although Cambron writes Christian fiction, The Painted Castle makes only occasional reference to God and never in a way that is preachy or disruptive.  For all these reasons and more, I found myself completely immersed in this engaging, Morton-ish delight.  As I have said, I enjoyed it immensely and am excited to read the rest of the series as well as anything else Cambron has written.  It's always fun to find a new author who writes clean, compelling books.  I know I'm going to relish getting to know Cambron and her work better.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of books by Kate Morton and Susan Meissner)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Painted Castle from the generous folks at Thomas Nelson via those at TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


Want more opinions on The Painted Castle?  Follow along on the book's blog tour by clicking on the links below:

Instagram tour:

Monday, October 14th: @nurse_bookie
Monday, October 14th: @novelgossip
Tuesday, October 15th: @one_more_paige
Wednesday, October 16th: @crystals_library
Thursday, October 17th: @giuliland
Friday, October 18th: @babygotbooks13
Friday, October 18th: @thebooksellersdaughter
Saturday, October 19th: @bluntscissorsreviews
Sunday, October 20th: @sarahs_reads 

Review tour:

Monday, October 21st: Blunt Scissors Book Reviews
Tuesday, October 22nd: Reading Reality
Tuesday, October 22nd: Lori’s Reading Corner – guest post
Wednesday, October 23rd: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, October 24th: Openly Bookish
Friday, October 25th: Literary Quicksand
Monday, October 28th: Living My Best Book Life and @livingmybestbooklife
Tuesday, October 29th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, October 30th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Monday, November 4th: @amanda.the.bookish
Tuesday, November 5th: Read Eat Repeat
Wednesday, November 6th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Thursday, November 7th: @beritaudiokilledthebookmark
Friday, November 8th: The Lit Bitch
Monday, November 11th: Nurse Bookie
Monday, November 11th: What is That Book About
Wednesday, November 13th: Just One More Chapter
Friday, November 15th: Sincerely Karen Jo
Friday, November 15th: Jathan & Heather
Monday, November 18th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, November 19th: Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, November 20th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books         


  1. I am a Kate Morton fan and this sounds like I would enjoy it very much. I will have to check out the library and see if they have this trilogy. Great review Susan.

  2. Dual (or triple) timelines are so much fun when they are done well. And a setting of a castle? Sounds like a good combination to me!

  3. Three timelines seems like a challenging thing to juggle, but it sounds like the author did a great job.

  4. I've seen such positive reviews for this trilogy, I feel like I'm missing out having not read them yet! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  5. I actually have not read a Kate Morton novel. In the scale of One to Jojo Moyes, how does she square up? :P

    1. Ha ha. Kate Morton is one of my favorite authors. I like her better than Jojo Moyes. You should definitely give her a go :)


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