Cornerstone of Love (Modern Masters of Their Castles #1)


In the beautiful English countryside, American structural engineer Allison Moore clashes with Ian Chalmers, Earl of Hartley, over the best way to restore his ancestral home of Hartley Castle. Her style is improvisational and collaborative. His is authoritative and rigid. Their common goal of rebuilding the crumbling sections of his castle bridges their cultural and philosophical divide. First, with a cease fire, then a truce followed by reluctant mutual respect and admiration that lead to romance. 

Although there are no surprises in how the story unfolds, Allison shines as a smart, independent woman who's running a successful business with her two best friends. Ian's outdated attitudes at the beginning of the story underscore the believability of his uptight personality before his dynamic interactions with Allison inspire him to reconsider his approach to life. Their opposites attract rapport entertains. A mix of tenderness and sexual intensity between Allison and Ian, plus a balanced cast of characters whose exchanges portray different, interesting facets of each person, reveal layers of relatable emotional intimacy. Descriptions of life among the privileged elite in the English countryside and London as the backdrop for managing a large residential construction project while the owner is in residence combines several of the most intriguing elements of binge-worthy home improvement shows, making “Cornerstone of Love" a charming guilty pleasure of a tale. It's a delightful launch into what promises to be a heartwarming series. 

Carydn Brooks