Throughout Saving Crofton Hall I drop in a few hints alluding to some of the earls who have come between Anthony Redbourn, the 1st Earl, from The Crofton Chronicles, and Benjamin Redbourn, the current (16th) Earl of Crofton.
I thought it might be nice to give little history into one of the Ben’s predecessors, so I present Percival Redbourn as if he had his own Wikipedia entry.
Percival Anthony Richard Redbourn 6th Earl of Crofton, from 1760 to 1790, member of the British nobility
Born: 4th April 1730, England
Died: 9th October 1790
Children: Thomas Redbourn, 7th Earl of Crofton, Ann Hadlay (Duchess of Carroway),
Siblings: Lady Helen Walshington
Spouse: Elizabeth Redbourn
Other notable relationships: Rumours persisted around Rupert Listely, 3rd Earl of Berry and Sir Phillip Gilman, naval captain.
Parents: Frances Redbourn 5th Earl of Crofton, Lady Jane Killen
Education: Harrow School. Trinity College, Cambridge
Memorable fact: Won ‘The Duchess’ a painting by Gainsborough in a drinking games, but hated the painting and hung in a guest bedroom where he housed his least favourite guests
Saving Crofton Hall
Benjamin Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, has no intention of giving up his beloved ancestral home without a fight. Faced with his mother’s gambling debts, forgery, and the possibility of foreclosure by the bank, Ben vows to make Crofton Hall pay for herself. But opening an Elizabethan manor house to the public isn’t a one man job. With time running out, Ben needs help—and fast.
Ashley Niven has experience managing events, and he also loves history. Being in charge of opening Crofton Hall is a dream come true. As he works with Ben to prepare the house as a venue for lavish weddings and receptions, Ashley finds himself drawn not just to the charm of the house but to the dashing Earl of Crofton. Even if Ashley can look past Ben’s playboy reputation, he fears an affair could prove too much of a distraction.
But Crofton Hall has many secrets, and something hidden for over four hundred years is about to change all their lives.
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Highly enjoyable update in the affairs of the Redbourne family as the current Earl, Benjamin, does whatever he has to in order to keep the great house in his own hands. up to and including – the horror – opening it to the public!
And so his troubles deepen, because Ben, dubbed the Playboy Earl by the red tops, has no idea how to go about it. Luckily his sister has and calls in her pal Ashley, an earnest young man with experience in the commercial heritage field. Playboy Earl and earnest bespectacled history geek have to negotiate all the pitfalls of the heritage business while fending off threats both from without and, even worse, from within. As the saying goes “you can choose your friends”!
I enjoyed this book as a romance and as a quirky comedy of manners but it was the detail of how to make a great private house into a public venue that amused me most. Health and Safety, Fire Regulations, portion sizes, business plans – been there, torn my hair out. Great stuff and I can’t wait for the next instalment.
Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.
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