The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall by Rebecca Anderson

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Book Review of The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall by Rebecca Anderson

I do not like feeling scared. Scary movies are not my thing. Haunted houses are also not my thing. Scary books—nope—not my thing. I am ok if it’s just a hint of scary. Maybe a little spooky. Just enough to get my skin to tingle, my heart to start pumping, and my anxiety to start telling me to flee. That’s it, though. Anything more than that and I cannot handle it. Yes, I’m a wussy. It’s ok. You can tell by the beautiful cover art of The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall by Rebecca Anderson that it might have a spooky feel to it. It does. Thankfully, it stays within my limits and passes my scare test! It’s a great story and I thoroughly enjoyed the book! 


A ghostly estate. A handsome caretaker hiding a secret. And the intrepid Hyacinth Bell, who is set on solving the mystery of both.

1887, the Cornwall coast
For years, rumors have flown through the village of Suttonsbury about Ashthorne Hall—that its occupants hoard pirate treasure, that a ghost walks its halls—but botanist Hyacinth Bell cares only about the estate’s extensive, one-of-a-kind orchid collection. As an independent woman, she is eager to focus on her career, even if it means waiting to pursue a romantic relationship. After all, love—like an orchid—must be nurtured and tended before it can bloom. 

What she doesn’t expect is to be swept away by Lucas Harding, the manor’s caretaker, upon their first meeting. He is handsome and charming, and the connection between the two is nearly instantaneous. Hyacinth is certain this autumn will be the season that everything good in her life takes root. 

But then strange things start happening in the seemingly empty halls of the estate: unexplainable noises, items appearing, then disappearing from her room, threatening messages, and glimpses of a woman in white who vanishes into the dark. Lucas dismisses Hyacinth’s worries, insisting that there is no ghost at Ashthorne Hall, but Hyacinth suspects he is withholding information and decides to investigate the mystery herself. 

Armed with little more than her instincts and her courage, Hyacinth must venture deep into the shadows of Ashthorne Hall to uncover the truth Lucas is keeping secret before she herself falls victim to the dangers hidden in the estate. 

My Book Review:

Romance and mystery together? Yes, please! I’ve read a lot of proper romances, but not many spooky ones. It reminded me of The Vanishing at Castle Moreau by Jaime Jo Wright. I read the first page, a Lament, before the story even started, and I was hooked! The words captivated me! The story takes place in an old, beautiful mansion in England. Rumors abound in the surrounding towns that the mansion hosts more than the living.  

I loved everything about The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall! The characters, the setting, the story, and the writing all come together to create a spooky, fun, and entertaining book. I love the cover art and think it perfectly captures the feeling of the book.  

 Hyacinth, the main character, is a highly specialized botanist. She specializes in growing orchids. She takes a position at Ashthorne Hall tending to the owner’s amazing orchid collection while he is away. I liked Hyacinth most of the time. She is not always the smartest person and made some very poor decisions that had serious consequences. Overall, though, Hyacinth seems like a sweet girl. I liked her the most when she tended to the orchids. You could tell she was in her element. 

Lucas Harding, the handsome caretaker of the mansion, seems like a great guy. He’s down-to-earth, friendly, and a hard worker. I liked his character a lot. One of his only flaws is that he dishonestly keeps secrets from people he shouldn’t. He also doesn’t trust people he should, and it causes some problems. I feel like he has a good heart but is a little misguided in some of his actions. 

I love the hint of spookiness and mystery in The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall. It’s not too scary, just enough to make you want to read it during the day or at night when you’re not alone (remember—wussy speaking!). The story took me somewhere I never would have imagined! It turned out very different from what I thought it would, and I ended up learning a lot. I liked the ending, but that is where Hyacinth makes some poor decisions, and it bothered me. Things could have turned out differently if she had made smarter decisions. There were also a couple of things that seemed a little unrealistic, but I still enjoyed it and loved the book.

PG-13 Rating

Content Rating: PG-13

  • Profanity: None 
  • Intimacy: None (Brief Kissing) 
  • Violence: Moderate 
    • A man is attacked. Two women are chased and are in great danger. 
  • Themes: There are some dark and heavier themes and situations discussed. 

Age Recommendation: YA+

My Rating: 4/5

4 Star Review

Click HERE if you’d like to purchase The Orchids of Ashthorne Hall


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