Review: The House at Mermaid's Cove by Lindsay Jayne Ashford

August 12, 2020

As World War II rages, love, mystery, and secrets collide on the English coast in a riveting novel by the bestselling author of The Snow Gypsy.
In April 1943 a young woman washes ashore on a deserted beach in Cornwall, England. With shorn hair and a number stitched on her tattered chemise, Alice is the survivor of a ship torpedoed by a German U-boat. She’s found by the mysterious Viscount Jack Trewella, who suspects that she’s a prisoner of war or a spy. But the secret Alice asks Jack to keep is one he could never have guessed, and it creates an intimate bond he never expected.
With her true identity hidden beneath the waves, Alice grasps the chance to reinvent herself. But as she begins to fall for Jack, she discovers he has secrets too—ones echoing the legend of a mermaid said to lure men into the dark depths of the sea.
For two strangers in the shadow of war, lost love, and haunting memories, is it time to let go of the past? Or to finally face it—whatever the risks?

**ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**

The House at Mermaid's Cove is a fast-paced Historical Fiction with a bit of romance sprinkled into it. We start off when Alice is washed ashore and found by the intriguing Viscount Jack Trewella. It is a miracle that Alice has survived and she wants to start her life fresh without her past making an appearance. Jack doesn't really know what to make of her but offers her a place to stay in exchange of her helping around the farm until she figures out what she wants. Both characters were mysterious and I enjoyed getting to know them better the further I got into the story.

I have read a couple of books set during World War II, but I found this book to have an original plot and showed a different side with the focus on the French Resistance. I enjoyed all the side-characters and the development of the plot, however, I wanted the book to be longer. I was really getting into the story and before I knew it, it was over already. The story felt like it touched the surface of both the war, Resistance, friendships, and romance. The author didn't really go into depth with any of it, which unfortunately left me unsatisfied at the end. I wanted more background information on both main characters, and I wanted to see more growth in their relationship. I also was very intrigued by the operations of the Resistance, but I felt like we only got a quick peek into it. I do have to say that I enjoyed the writing style of the author, and I found it very easy to read. So I am planning on reading this author's other books.

About the Author

Raised in Wolverhampton, UK, Lindsay Jayne Ashford became the first woman to graduate from Queens' College, Cambridge in its 550 year history. She gained a degree in Criminology and was employed as a reporter for the BBC before becoming a freelance journalist, writing for a number of national magazines and newspapers.

Lindsay began her career as a novelist with a contemporary crime series featuring forensic psychologist Megan Rhys. She moved into the historical genre with 'The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen', and her most recent books, 'The Color of Secrets', 'The Woman on the Orient Express', 'Whisper of the Moon Moth' and 'The Snow Gypsy' blend real events with fiction and are set in the first half of the twentieth century.
She has four children and divides her time between a house overlooking the sea on the west coast of Wales and a small farmhouse in Spain's Sierra de Los Filabres. When she is not writing she enjoys kayaking, body-boarding and walking her dogs, Milly and Pablo.

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