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One woman's search for the truth of her sister's disappearance leads her to deceit and danger in 1893 Chicago. Rosalind Perry has left her family's rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. However, Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and support her family-she's at Sloane House determined One woman's search for the truth of her sister's disappearance leads her to deceit and danger in 1893 Chicago. Rosalind Perry has left her family's rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. However, Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and support her family-she's at Sloane House determined to discover the truth about her sister's mysterious disappearance. Reid Armstrong is the handsome heir to a silver fortune. However, his family is on the periphery of Chicago's elite because their wealth comes from "new money" obtained from successful mining. Marriage to Veronica Sloane would secure his family's position in society-the lifelong dream of his ailing father. When Reid begins to realize that Rosalind's life may be in danger, he stops thinking of marriage prospects and concentrates on helping Rosalind. Dark things are afoot in Chicago and, he fears, in Sloane House. If he's not vigilant, Rosalind could pay the price. Set against the backdrop of Chicago's Gilded Age and the 1893 World's Fair, Secrets of Sloane House takes us on a whirlwind journey of romance and mystery.


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One woman's search for the truth of her sister's disappearance leads her to deceit and danger in 1893 Chicago. Rosalind Perry has left her family's rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. However, Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and support her family-she's at Sloane House determined One woman's search for the truth of her sister's disappearance leads her to deceit and danger in 1893 Chicago. Rosalind Perry has left her family's rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. However, Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and support her family-she's at Sloane House determined to discover the truth about her sister's mysterious disappearance. Reid Armstrong is the handsome heir to a silver fortune. However, his family is on the periphery of Chicago's elite because their wealth comes from "new money" obtained from successful mining. Marriage to Veronica Sloane would secure his family's position in society-the lifelong dream of his ailing father. When Reid begins to realize that Rosalind's life may be in danger, he stops thinking of marriage prospects and concentrates on helping Rosalind. Dark things are afoot in Chicago and, he fears, in Sloane House. If he's not vigilant, Rosalind could pay the price. Set against the backdrop of Chicago's Gilded Age and the 1893 World's Fair, Secrets of Sloane House takes us on a whirlwind journey of romance and mystery.

30 review for Secrets of Sloane House

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    With a mystery that could be solved by the end of page 3 and a romance that threatens to overpower the focus of the story, Sloane House is definitely a book to read if you enjoy watching shallow characters interact and adore reading the same words over and over. This book was fascinating because it excelled in showing me how extremely beneficial and important a book editor can be. Sloane House is probably the worst book I've read thus far. The plot was horribly predictable, the characters were sha With a mystery that could be solved by the end of page 3 and a romance that threatens to overpower the focus of the story, Sloane House is definitely a book to read if you enjoy watching shallow characters interact and adore reading the same words over and over. This book was fascinating because it excelled in showing me how extremely beneficial and important a book editor can be. Sloane House is probably the worst book I've read thus far. The plot was horribly predictable, the characters were shallow and confused, and the end plummeted toward a lackluster conclusion like a deflating balloon. 1. The story is hardly immersive I don’t have a good idea of what the characters look like, and the book lacks descriptions. It often feels as though you’re reading an account of an event rather than a narrative tale. People pop in to say dialogue and then abruptly disappear; or they do something random, and you’re like, “Why in the seven suns did they do that?” 2. Redundancy = not good One of the most annoying aspects about this book was the amount of redundancy. To tell about an emotion, you don’t have to say, “He is happy.” You can say something like, “He woke up to see the sunny windowsill and felt a current of energy spread through his being, causing a smile to creep onto his face.” Gray, thankfully, does describe the emotions of her characters. However, she also tacks an explanation after the description such as; “She was like this BECAUSE SHE WAS SO SAD.” Thanks. I wouldn't have been able to figure that out by myself. Here are two examples of redundancy: Chapter 5 on page 46: “’I don’t know how! Can you believe our luck? We both get tomorrow afternoon and evening off. And Mr. Sloane has given us tickets for admission to the fair and tokens for the midway!’ Just a few hours before, Mr. and Mrs. Sloane had lined up all the staff and presented them each member with tokens and tickets for both the fair admission and the Ferris wheel in the midway.” Chapter 22 on page 222: “[His] expression looked to be a cross between profound relief and unexpected joy. ‘Rosalind, thank God.’ She stepped to the aisle and met him. When he held out his hands, she grasped his with a mixture of pure relief and bountiful joy.” 3. Douglass Sloane See, I don’t title this point because there’s no need to title this error. Douglass Sloane: in general, he is the shallowest character I have ever come across. (view spoiler)[He is a bad guy for the sake of being a bad guy; it seems he literally has no motivation for living except to harm women, and his reaction (or lack thereof) when everyone found out what he had been doing was very confusing. And because he is a bad guy, he has all the bad guy stuff: a sensual, dangerous tone when talking to women; bad vibes; shifty eyes; mysterious behavior that isn’t really all that mysterious (for crying out loud, you KNOW what he’s doing with the ladies!). That’s his character; and not even “in a nutshell.” No, that is his character in its entirety. (hide spoiler)] If the story were a piano, his character would be flatter than the lowest key. 4. Miranda is distracting “I wonder if this was how Miranda had felt” “I wonder if this is what happened to Miranda” “I need to find Miranda” “Miranda, my sister Miranda, is missing” “My sole motivation for living and breathing is to find my missing sister Miranda who went missing here in this city where I work so that I can find my lost sister, Miranda” MIRANDA, YOU’RE NOT THE MAIN CHARACTER; STOP DISTRACTING THE READERS. Goodness gracious. By the end of page 50, I wanted Miranda to be dead so Rosalind would stop mentioning her name so often. 5. The motivations of the characters switch back and forth throughout the book This was unnervingly distracting, annoying, and mechanistic. The characters don’t seem to know what they’re doing. (And by characters, I mean Rosalind and Reid since they’re the only ones that have much depth at all.) One moment, Rosalind is meek, timid, quiet, and quite frankly scared of the big city. The next moment, she’s asking everybody about Miranda. The next moment, she vows never to do that again. The next moment, she’s asking everybody with fervor. The next, she wants to be silent around the Sloanes. The next, she’s asking everyone in the Sloane house. What the heck, Rosalind?! Get your act straight! With the number of times Miranda is mentioned within the first 100 pages, the reader would think that you would do absolutely anything to help the sister you dearly love.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rane

    I found myself surprised in how dark this was. Now I don't mind a dark read (unless it has clowns then all bets are off! I'm not reading it no way!!)) More in line with a dark suspense then a mystery, the setting of Chicago in the Glided Age was really brought the life for me and showed that all things are not truly gold. The world is changing and center around is The World's Fair which didn't truly hold a place of action within the story, but was more of the talk from the rich to the serving I found myself surprised in how dark this was. Now I don't mind a dark read (unless it has clowns then all bets are off! I'm not reading it no way!!)) More in line with a dark suspense then a mystery, the setting of Chicago in the Glided Age was really brought the life for me and showed that all things are not truly gold. The world is changing and center around is The World's Fair which didn't truly hold a place of action within the story, but was more of the talk from the rich to the serving class. The serving class is where we find out heroine Rosalind who is in search of her missing sister as she poses as a maid in the house her sister worked at the Sloane House. There she meets the Sloanes' whom hide behind their riches but are a truly ugly family underneath. Rosalind finds an unlikely ally in the Sloanes' siblings friend Reid Armstrong. Reid is a heir to "new money" and is making his mark through the "upper class" to marry well. That is until he meets Rosalind and learns her story and finds himself even more uneasy about even being around the Sloanes' and the whispers that follow them. I felt for Rosalind and saw the changed in Reid, but as to say I truly connected to either? No. Rosalind showed her age as a young 20 yr old, in a strange world but at times being a tad unmindful to the danger to the point of being nosy then jumping at shadows and bit spoiled in her thinking. Reid was in the same boat in his way of thinking, being an rich heir and unbelieving in the worse. Then discard his feelings for Rosalind due to her "class". So the romance between them was very weak and left much to be desired. It's not that hard into guessing who did it, but as to why and how was the kicker. This is where the true darkness begin to emerge. It's even more far-reaching as when these so call "old money" families do nothing and cover up rape, molestation and death for their own means and not caring whom from whatever class they hurt or destroy. I was truly sadden when a sweet character gets attacked and can't say a word due to being ruined in the eyes of society even when she was the one attacked and hurt. The idea of people thinking it being the victim's fault had me really pissed as we see it so much today in news and media where violence against women, children is just another news reel scrolling at the bottom of the screen. I guess in my mind I wouldn't have minded a tad more brutal justice for those involved, then again the old family named ruined and trashed and maybe there was a sense of justice served in that.. While I felt at times the book lacked in some aspects yet I still kept reading. While it didn't end in rainbows and roses, there was a sense of peace for many involved. I'm looking forward to the next in the series as the heroine is another character whose life change in this book. I hope for her own happy ending and the peace she deserves.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kav

    Downton Abbey with a sinister twist. Honestly, I was so engrossed in the story I could barely put it down. The division between classes always sets my teeth on edge and the Sloanes' blatant disregard for the welfare of their servants had my blood boiling. Not to mention the perverse loyalty those serving the Sloanes have to the family. Poor Rosalind is like a lamb being led to the slaughter as she tries to navigate all the menacing nuances of this prestigious house in her quest to discover what Downton Abbey with a sinister twist. Honestly, I was so engrossed in the story I could barely put it down. The division between classes always sets my teeth on edge and the Sloanes' blatant disregard for the welfare of their servants had my blood boiling. Not to mention the perverse loyalty those serving the Sloanes have to the family. Poor Rosalind is like a lamb being led to the slaughter as she tries to navigate all the menacing nuances of this prestigious house in her quest to discover what happened to her sister. Reid is her only ally but he costs her more grief than help most of the time. He's a fascinating character -- the product of new wealth trying to gain entrance into the upper echelons of society. He needs to find a wife from an established family to gain full acceptance but his heart just isn't in it. His inner battle over societal expectations and his own personal values makes for a fascinating read. Gray weaves a compelling plot charged with suspense and heartache and an impossible romance and I found it utterly captivating. Thank goodness it is the first in a series. I'm already anxious for the spring when Deception at Sable Hill is due to be released.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    I have some pretty mixed feelings about this novel. I enjoyed reading about the downstairs/upstairs differences. I really felt like I got to know what it was like to be downstairs...the physical strain, the lack of regard by the upper class and so on. That part of the novel was incredibly interesting. Exposure to Chicago and the World's Fair, although minimal, added to the novel. Also adding to the novel were Reid and Rosalind. They both came across as flawed characters with good hearts. What I str I have some pretty mixed feelings about this novel. I enjoyed reading about the downstairs/upstairs differences. I really felt like I got to know what it was like to be downstairs...the physical strain, the lack of regard by the upper class and so on. That part of the novel was incredibly interesting. Exposure to Chicago and the World's Fair, although minimal, added to the novel. Also adding to the novel were Reid and Rosalind. They both came across as flawed characters with good hearts. What I struggled with and this was a rather large struggle was the repeated focus on women being taken advantage of. I understand this is a very real and tragic reality, perhaps more so in that time period and place, however, the frequency of references made the novel darker than it needed to be. Overall, it was a good historical romance and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    SUMMARY: Against the backdrop of the 1893 World’s Fair, a young woman finds employment with an illustrious Chicago family—a family who may guard the secret of her sister’s disappearance. Sloane House is among the most gilded mansions of Gilded Age Chicago. Rosalind Perry, the new housemaid, pours the morning coffee before the hard gaze of her mistress. “It’s simple, Rosalind,” she says. “I am Veronica Sloane, heiress to one of the country’s greatest fortunes. You are simply one in a long line of u SUMMARY: Against the backdrop of the 1893 World’s Fair, a young woman finds employment with an illustrious Chicago family—a family who may guard the secret of her sister’s disappearance. Sloane House is among the most gilded mansions of Gilded Age Chicago. Rosalind Perry, the new housemaid, pours the morning coffee before the hard gaze of her mistress. “It’s simple, Rosalind,” she says. “I am Veronica Sloane, heiress to one of the country’s greatest fortunes. You are simply one in a long line of unsuitable maids.” Back on the farm in Wisconsin, Rosalind’s plan had seemed logical: Move to Chicago. Get hired on at Sloane House. Discover what transpired while her sister worked as a maid there—and follow the clues to why she disappeared. Now, as a live-in housemaid to the Sloanes, Rosalind realizes her plan had been woefully simple-minded. She was ignorant of the hard, hidden life of a servant in a big, prominent house; of the divide between the Sloane family and the people who served them; and most of all, she had never imagined so many people could live in such proximity and keep such dark secrets. Yet, while Sloane House is daunting, the streets of Chicago are downright dangerous. The World’s Fair has brought a new kind of crime to the city . . . and a lonely young woman is always at risk. But when Rosalind accepts the friendship of Reid Armstrong, the handsome young heir to a Chicago silver fortune, she becomes an accidental rival to Veronica Sloane. As Rosalind continues to disguise her kinship to the missing maid—and struggles to appease her jealous mistress—she probes the dark secrets of Sloane House and comes ever closer to uncovering her sister’s mysterious fate. A fate that everyone in the house seems to know . . . but which no one dares to name. REVIEW: This is a new genre of writing for me from Shelley Gray. I found this an intriguing novel full of suspense. Focusing on the world of the 1890's with the upstairs/downstairs separation of the classes and the appropriate interactions between the two, this book was an enjoyable read. I loved the developing relationship between Reid and Rosalind. I also enjoyed how Gray showed the disparity between how the Armstrongs and the Sloanes felt and acted with their servants . Her descriptions of both Chicago and the world's fair both made me feel like I was right there during the time period. Rosalind was a great character in that the events she dealt with made her stronger and more confident throughout the story. I can't image how scary it must feel to know that one little mistake or some minor discontent by your employer could put you out on the street with no place to go and no recourse for addressing what happened. Definitely a huge divide between the haves and have-nots during this gilded age. Reid was such an enjoyable character to watch as he depended on his faith guide his choices in both his friends, his assisting Rosalind, and his love life. The Sloanes were typical "villianous" types having no sympathy/empathy for others and feeling they were justified in any and all that they did. I think the father had a speck of goodness when all came to all, but the mother, Douglas and Veronica were all despicable. I would have give this a 5 but found it dragged a little in places as well as seeming repetitive. But overall, a good historical read I would recommend. I will continue reading this series. FAVORITE QUOTES: "Jesus did so much for so many, never asking them what was in it for him. He taught us all to be kind and to help those in need." "I can't promise all your efforts will have a happy outcome...No one can promise that. But I can promise you that your faith will carry you through. Faith helps us all survive both the lowest points in life and some of the best."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    After accidentally reading book two first and not liking it, I decided to spend a little time skim-reading this one before putting it in the donate pile. I ended up spending a bit longer reading because I was fascinated at just how bad it was. If you’re wanting to learn more about old Chicago, this mostly is about a trumped-up society and a mystery without real clues. —They live on Millionaire’s Row but the maid is cautioned about the crowds on the street in the two blocks to the grocer and is to After accidentally reading book two first and not liking it, I decided to spend a little time skim-reading this one before putting it in the donate pile. I ended up spending a bit longer reading because I was fascinated at just how bad it was. If you’re wanting to learn more about old Chicago, this mostly is about a trumped-up society and a mystery without real clues. —They live on Millionaire’s Row but the maid is cautioned about the crowds on the street in the two blocks to the grocer and is told to take a “grip car.” Not being familiar with the term “grip car” I looked it up and discovered that they’re cable cars like San Francisco’s. Indirectly I discovered that they came “near” Michigan Ave, not onto it (which sounded strange to me anyway, that rich folks would allow a cable car down their street) and that she’d have to go well over two blocks to reach the car, not that she could catch one at the doorstep and actually save time. —Resilient farm girl Rosalind, who was jibed at in book 2 as being “handy if you need coal delivery” can’t handle carrying a heavy tea tray...I mean, was she a lady of leisure on the home farm or what? —Flirting with the son of the house. Apparently these servants and masters haven’t ever heard of the “servants ought to be invisible” idea, which is funny. —Society folks calling each other by their first names —People speaking with recent terms like “gone missing” (1990s) and “kind of” and so on. —A woman who is raped tells five people in this book but in book two “only two people know what happened” —A criminal tells that the reason for crime is (view spoiler)[ “she was going to tell about how many servant girls he slept with” and the criminal murdered her for her resolve? Seriously. (hide spoiler)] I definitely wasn’t sold on why this would be considered a threat to their reputation since many young heirs were famously profligate. It wasn’t even like there were paternity tests that could prove a man was the father of any potential children. And there wasn’t even a historical note at the end to explain where the ideas for the story came from. This was a cheap upstairs/downstairs story with pasteboard good/bad characters. Hardly even the hint of anything World’s Fair like I expected.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    3.5 stars 6/30/19: From the blurb: "Rosalind Perry has left her family's rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. However, Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and support her family-she's at Sloane House determined to discover the truth about her sister's mysterious disappearance... Set against the backdrop of Chicago's Gilded Age and the 1893 World's Fair, Secrets of Sloane House takes us on a whirlwind journey 3.5 stars 6/30/19: From the blurb: "Rosalind Perry has left her family's rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. However, Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and support her family-she's at Sloane House determined to discover the truth about her sister's mysterious disappearance... Set against the backdrop of Chicago's Gilded Age and the 1893 World's Fair, Secrets of Sloane House takes us on a whirlwind journey of romance and mystery." I'm enjoying this so far! This author has made it to my favorite author list under the pseudonym Shelley Shepard Gray. I read a recent trilogy of hers, courtesy of Netflix. A Loyal Heart was the first of these, and I gave it 5 stars. I rarely give 5 stars, because when I give a book a 4.something rating, I round the stars down to 4. So to my mind, she's a great author. (I gave book two 5 stars and book three 4.5 stars.) 7/1/19: Several of my Goodreads friends didn't rate this book very highly, so I'm curious how I'm going to feel about it by the end. One of the things I like about the story so far is that Rosalind's prayers feel so natural - they flow so well. And she's an admirable heroine, which is something that is pretty important in order for me to love a book. 7/2/19: Content issues: A flower seller (My Fair Lady, anyone?) mentions that earning her living on (view spoiler)[ her back (hide spoiler)] is the only occupation that would give a decent wage. Soon after, Rosalind has an uncomfortable encounter with someone who hints that she has engaged in (view spoiler)[loose behavior (hide spoiler)] . 7/3/19: Similar content issues continue. The concept of someone in the upper class taking advantage of someone of the servant class might continue to be a theme. Tavia Gilbert proves to be a good narrator. I'm especially impressed with her male voices. 7/5/19: I don't know how this book should be classified. It doesn't seem like a mystery, even though the series name labels it as such. Maybe that's unfair. This isn't a murder mystery, but a missing person mystery. Which means everything is different, and I don't know what this sort of a mystery typically looks like. I haven't read many. Rosalind isn't looking for motive, means, and opportunity. There does seem to be a love interest - maybe - but Rosalind's interactions with him are so infrequent that this doesn't seem like a romance. It has a Downton Abbey feel, really. Except that problems are not so quickly resolved! 7/7/19: I'm near the end and am still interested and enjoying it. However, I'm pretty disappointed with part of the denouement, and Lindsay (Books for Christian Girls) mentions this in her review. (view spoiler)[Quote from Lindsay: "Why in the world would a girl willingly follow a cad into a passageway by themselves—while knowing that he has raped many women before—is beyond me." Along with that, I'd like to add - why would anyone ask a woman to help gather information about such a man? I'm not sure how much of the man's reputation was known and how much was presumed. I got two different impressions at two different points in the book, but my deafness might be to blame for that. (hide spoiler)] . Minus 1/2 star for that bit of foolishness. 7/8/19: Since this is slated as a mystery, I feel that there should have been more clues. It seemed that Rosalind was constantly facing dead-ends, and never really getting anywhere. I think in order for this book to be a good mystery, she really needed to learn more throughout the course of the story. 7/8/19: Done! Overall, I enjoyed it and was curious what the outcome would be. I'm going to rate it 3.5 stars because I felt that the romance was lacking. The hero and heroine fit together pretty well, but I felt like the romance was missing a little something. Their times together were always so matter-of-fact and serious. I do plan to continue reading books by this author. However, this was my least favorite to date. I need to go read some reviews to see whether I want to read book two of this series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Hey, did you know that the world is dangerous for women? Like at the world’s fair, on the streets of Chicago, and in being in the same room with a man? It is. Super, super dangerous. If you didn’t know, it’s ok because the author will tell you every third sentence. Also, the characters’ faith is front and center, which is fine and all, but between the redundant descriptions, inane dialogue, and insultingly transparent plot, I found myself praying for an editor. The last time I came across charac Hey, did you know that the world is dangerous for women? Like at the world’s fair, on the streets of Chicago, and in being in the same room with a man? It is. Super, super dangerous. If you didn’t know, it’s ok because the author will tell you every third sentence. Also, the characters’ faith is front and center, which is fine and all, but between the redundant descriptions, inane dialogue, and insultingly transparent plot, I found myself praying for an editor. The last time I came across characterizations like this was in Louisa May Alcott’s The Inheritance. Her juvenile, unpublished work. That is not a compliment. That is 7 year old girls playing Barbies. (For those of you not in the know, this involves a perfect good Barbie, persecution of good Barbie by Bitch Barbie and Jerk ass Ken, and support/fairy tale ending for good Barbie with good Ken.) Perhaps this review is not entirely fair because I did not finish the book. I looked at the progress and realized I still had 20% to go with no f’s left to be given, and I felt a genuine loss for the time I could be spending listening to something else.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)

    {{AGE WARNING on this review & book. There are sexual hints in this book and listed in this review. This review should not be read by girls under 14.}} About this book: “One woman's search for the truth of her sister's disappearance leads her to deceit and danger in 1893 Chicago. Rosalind Perry has left her family's rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. However, Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and suppor {{AGE WARNING on this review & book. There are sexual hints in this book and listed in this review. This review should not be read by girls under 14.}} About this book: “One woman's search for the truth of her sister's disappearance leads her to deceit and danger in 1893 Chicago. Rosalind Perry has left her family's rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. However, Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and support her family--she's at Sloane House determined to discover the truth about her sister's mysterious disappearance. Reid Armstrong is the handsome heir to a silver fortune. However, his family is on the periphery of Chicago's elite because their wealth comes from "new money" obtained from successful mining. Marriage to Veronica Sloane would secure his family's position in society-the lifelong dream of his ailing father. When Reid begins to realize that Rosalind's life may be in danger, he stops thinking of marriage prospects and concentrates on helping Rosalind. Dark things are afoot in Chicago and, he fears, in Sloane House. If he's not vigilant, Rosalind could pay the price.” Series: Book #1 in the “Chicago World’s Fair Mystery” series. Spiritual Content- Isaiah 1:18 at the beginning; Prayers; A couple Scriptures are mentioned; Talks about God, Heaven, church; ‘H’s are not capital when referring to God; Mentions of God, & angels, good works; Mentions of prayers; Mentions of church, choir & Christians; Mentions of hymns; Mentions of Bible reading; Reid & Rosalind both say they have faiths; A bit of witnessing. Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘blasted’, a ‘dumb’ and a ‘gosh’; Sarcasm; Mentions of curses said, not written; All about a missing girl & what happened to her; Many mentions of kidnappings, abductions & girls being snatched; Many mentions of murders, killing, dying & bodies (semi-detailed); Many Mentions of pubs, drinking, wine & spirits; Mentions of blood, pain & injuries (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of a fight (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of abuse & whipping behinds; Mentions of gambling; Mentions of cigarettes, smoking & tobacco; Mentions of gossips; A couple mentions of vandalism; A couple of robbers & thieves. Sexual Content- a hand kiss, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, four semi-detailed kisses; Wanting to kiss & imagining kissing (up to semi-detailed); Touches, Warmth, Heat, Embraces & Smelling (semi-detailed); Dancing (barely-above-not-detailed); Noticing; Douglass stares/leers at Rosalind closely; Douglass has taken advantage of many women & many mentions of it; Douglass used Nanci and she ends up pregnant; A POV girl is raped (paragraph ends after a hard kiss and touches); A jerk asks how a girl is under the sheets; Another jerks comments on how his sister’s viper disposition might “make her interesting to bed”; Many mentions of reputations & morals; Many mentions of being accosted, preyed on & molested; Many mentions of compromised & ruined women & compromising & ruining them; Many mentions of flirting; Mentions of lewd comments & offers; Mentions of pretty servants being told to watch themselves around men & jealous women; Mentions of jealousy; Mentions of favors; Mentions of teases; Mentions of brothels; Mentions of mistresses; Mentions of abuse; Mentions of liaisons & romps; Mentions of scandals; Mentions of blushes; A mention of rapists (no details); Love, falling in love & the emotions. -Rosalind Perry, age 20 -Reid Armstrong P.O.V. switches between them & Eloisa (once) Set in 1893 316 pages ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Pre Teens- One Star New Teens- One Star Early High School Teens- One Star Older High School Teens- One Star My personal Rating- One Star Six days into the new year and we have our first 1-star rating. Well, boo! :( I’ve read (or tried to read) the author’s Amish books, which are published under Shelley Shepard Gray, but never really like them due to the predictably of the stories. I thought I would try one of her historical books, thinking maybe she was better at writing Historical than Amish. Turns out it’s the same. I honestly knew exactly how everything was going to happen by page 74. (And I was right on every account.) I lost interest at page 3. I’m very disappointed that so many authors are doing the cad/player/womanizer character in all their historical books. It’s over used and cliché. I could go on ranting about that plot, but I will not. This book is somewhat advertised as a gothic book. A Christian gothic book. Anyone else not sure how Christian & gothic can be together well? In my opinion, it wasn’t done well at all. The faiths seemed like an afterthought and a try to make the main characters have personalities, when I found no depth in them at all. Rosalind was incredibly naïve. Why in the world would a girl willingly follow a cad into a passageway by themselves—while knowing that he has raped many women before—is beyond me. And then book #2 is all about her, needless to say I wouldn’t be reading that book or any books again by this author—Historical or Amish. Link to review: http://booksforchristiangirls.blogspo... *BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    Wow! If you are fascinated by the upstairs-downstairs social divisions of the Gilded Age, you will find much to pique your interest between these pages. If you love a good suspense novel as well, then you will be as captivated as I was while reading Secrets of Sloane House, the first book in the Chicago World's Fair Mystery series. The treatment of the lower classes by the upper, the pressures to marry well, and two particularly heart-wrenching crimes will keep your emotions engaged - all of the Wow! If you are fascinated by the upstairs-downstairs social divisions of the Gilded Age, you will find much to pique your interest between these pages. If you love a good suspense novel as well, then you will be as captivated as I was while reading Secrets of Sloane House, the first book in the Chicago World's Fair Mystery series. The treatment of the lower classes by the upper, the pressures to marry well, and two particularly heart-wrenching crimes will keep your emotions engaged - all of the above elements treated with exquisite grace and dignity by Ms. Gray, a fact which does not surprise me in the least. Woven through the tragedies and social ire is the warmth I have come to expect in a Shelley Gray novel, and the suspense is truly top-notch. A couple of plot twists even took this seasoned mystery reader by surprise! The sweet romance that blossomed between two unlikely souls was icing on this already delicious cake.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    An innocent, impetuous girl leaves her family's farm in Wisconsin for the big city of Chicago, hoping to find work to both support herself and her family back at the farm. After successfully doing so, her letters home become filled with an air of mystery and suspicion and then finally stop. Her family devises a plan to send her younger sister, Rosalind, to the big city as well, to try and discover what has happened to her, especially after her father is unable to get helpful information from eit An innocent, impetuous girl leaves her family's farm in Wisconsin for the big city of Chicago, hoping to find work to both support herself and her family back at the farm. After successfully doing so, her letters home become filled with an air of mystery and suspicion and then finally stop. Her family devises a plan to send her younger sister, Rosalind, to the big city as well, to try and discover what has happened to her, especially after her father is unable to get helpful information from either the family she was working for or the police department. Gray has skillfully woven a story of loss and love with the experience of serving a prominent family in 1893 Chicago. A focal theme for the story is the whole notion of putting on an exterior appearance that does not equal the inner soul. I found this book to be another solid winner for the author, with some real food for thought.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    Wow! I absolutely loved this book! This was the first non-Amish book by Shelley Shepard Gray (writing as Shelley Gray)that I have read. I was a little hesitant to read it but am I ever glad I did! Set against the backdrop of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, Rosalind Perry has left her family in Wisconsin to find out what happened to her sister who disappeared while working for the Sloane family in their house full of secrets. Rosalind is warned against uncovering the many secrets of Sloane House Wow! I absolutely loved this book! This was the first non-Amish book by Shelley Shepard Gray (writing as Shelley Gray)that I have read. I was a little hesitant to read it but am I ever glad I did! Set against the backdrop of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, Rosalind Perry has left her family in Wisconsin to find out what happened to her sister who disappeared while working for the Sloane family in their house full of secrets. Rosalind is warned against uncovering the many secrets of Sloane House but nothing will stop her from finding her sister. Shelly's writing in this book is superb! The story takes off right away and the reader is quickly transported to 1893 Chicago. The descriptions of the houses, city and fair are so well written it is almost like being there! Rosalind is easy to immediately like and sympathize with. The Sloane family is uppity, unlikeable and untrustworthy and is written so the reader automatically dislikes them without knowing exactly why. There was also the character of Reid Armstrong who almost lives in both the lower class and upper class worlds. Of course there are all the various friends of the family and house staff that keep the story interesting and moving along. I just can't say enough how much I loved this book. I was anxious to get to the end to see what happened but was sad that the story was over. This is book one in a series and the second book won't be out until Spring 2015.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I normally like the Gilded Age as a setting, and I have read other books set during the Chicago [one of my fave cities!] World's Fair and liked them very much. Unfortunately, this one fell flat for me. I got as far as Chapter 6, but I was not engaged with either the characters or the story, and I was struggling to keep my attention on this. I was honestly bored with this. I also, unfortunately did not like Rosamund at all. I found her to be a timid and mousy character. While I appreciate that her I normally like the Gilded Age as a setting, and I have read other books set during the Chicago [one of my fave cities!] World's Fair and liked them very much. Unfortunately, this one fell flat for me. I got as far as Chapter 6, but I was not engaged with either the characters or the story, and I was struggling to keep my attention on this. I was honestly bored with this. I also, unfortunately did not like Rosamund at all. I found her to be a timid and mousy character. While I appreciate that her backstory is that she's arrived in the big, scary city from her small town environment, and that she would be somewhat nervous about the adjustment, the fact that we are led to believe she did this to find out what happened to her sister who has disappeared [that's not a spoiler - it's in the blurb] suggests that she has some gumption and determination. I saw none of that in the part of the book I read. To be fair it is possible that this becomes more apparent as the book goes on, so it may be that I didn't stick with it long enough. But when I find myself sighing and rolling my eyes everytime the main character opens her mouth or thinks a thought, that's a pretty good sign this isn't the right book for me. Even the supporting characters just came across to me as bland. The only exception was the Cook. She has some colour and life, but as I doubt she will be a major player in this story, she just wasn't enough spark to keep me going with this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nidofito

    DNF @ 39% Bored out of my mind. It’s Christian (which is not a bad thing - I’m just not in the mood for it), the story is moving at a snail’s pace, and I’m not into the servant/rich man pairing. I don’t want to read how Rosalind’s day at the market went or how women unaccompanied should not step out of the house too often because everything and everyone is after them. F-ck off, man, and mind your own business.

  15. 4 out of 5

    TRex_TeaTime

    This is a very slow paced mystery story, so I can see how some people would not like that, however I didn't mind it. It didn't make the story particularly compelling, but it was entertaining. It was darker than I expected, which I really liked; I think it added depth and reality to the story. I don't think I'll continue with any of the other books in the series, just because it had a satisfying ending and I don't feel invested enough.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wilani Wahl

    What an intriguing suspenseful story! Shelley Gray did an awesome job. One of the things that stood out was with God there is no social standing. I love the dependence on God with the hero and heroine. I absolutely loved this story and cannot wait to read the next book in this series that will come out in 2015. I was given this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    LeahBethany

    Secrets of Sloane House had an interesting setting (Chicago in the late 1800s during the World's Fair) but the thoughts and words of the protagonist were very redundant to the point that it detracted from the book. 2.5 stars rounding up as it did have a message of hope.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    It’s a busy time in Chicago with the 1983 World’s Fair in town. Not a good idea for a lady to be out and about alone. There seems to be one residence in particular that has maids disappearing without a trace. That residence is Sloane House, home to one of the wealthiest families in Chicago. One of those maids was Miranda Perry. Miranda had written letters home often telling of her life in Chicago and Sloane House. When the letters came to abrupt stop, her sister Rosalind devised a plan. She too It’s a busy time in Chicago with the 1983 World’s Fair in town. Not a good idea for a lady to be out and about alone. There seems to be one residence in particular that has maids disappearing without a trace. That residence is Sloane House, home to one of the wealthiest families in Chicago. One of those maids was Miranda Perry. Miranda had written letters home often telling of her life in Chicago and Sloane House. When the letters came to abrupt stop, her sister Rosalind devised a plan. She too left her home and family farm in Wisconsin for the big city of Chicago. There she hoped to become employed as a maid at Sloane House and find clues to her sister’s whereabouts. At Sloane House she quickly learned that an employee of the house was considered of no value and easily replaced. For that reason, the others were reluctant to say anything at all about Miranda. She learned that son Douglass liked to use the pretty maids for his own pleasure and that daughter Veronica was a rather bitter person. Veronica blamed Douglass’ reputation for her inability to find a husband among the gentlemen of high society. One such gentleman whose attention she covets is Reid Armstrong. Reid develops a friendship with Rosalind which makes Veronica envious and leads to Rosalind’s dismissal. With nowhere to go and not much money, Reid invites Rosalind to stay at the Armstrong home. He and his mother help Rosalind find out what really happened to Miranda. While Shelley is well known for her Amish books, you won’t be disappointed with this historical book. You won’t be able to put it down! I had thought I figured out Miranda’s fate and who was involved in it but, the ending was a surprise! Very well done Shelley Gray, can’t wait to read Deception At Stable Hill!!!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah Brown

    Secrets of the Sloane House is the 1st book of the Chicago's World's Fair Mystery series by Shelly Gray. Of course, I started the series with the final book of the series (oops!). I really enjoyed the final installment, Whispers in the reading room, so I decided to finish the series and dive into more mysteries... which are not normally on my genre radar. While Whispers in the Reading Room focused more on the romance of the main characters vs the "who done it", Secrets of Sloane House proved to Secrets of the Sloane House is the 1st book of the Chicago's World's Fair Mystery series by Shelly Gray. Of course, I started the series with the final book of the series (oops!). I really enjoyed the final installment, Whispers in the reading room, so I decided to finish the series and dive into more mysteries... which are not normally on my genre radar. While Whispers in the Reading Room focused more on the romance of the main characters vs the "who done it", Secrets of Sloane House proved to be the exact opposite. Rosalind is a young woman who is sent by her family to Chicago to work as a maid in the Sloane House in order to uncover the whereabouts of her beloved older sister Miranda who has gone missing. Miranda's was last heard from at her employer, the Sloane's House. Rosalind immediately has a hard time adjusting to the life of a maid in a grand home, and learns quickly the difference between her new work tasks and those tasks she was used to completing on her family's farm, all the while trying to inquire about her sister. Throughout her stay at Sloane House she experiences a lot of personal growth and really transforms into the woman she desires to be. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery aspect to the story, and have to say I was surprised! Major flaws in Secrets of Sloane House for me were the underdeveloped characters and lack of details. I was not intrigued by the relationship between Rosalind and Reid...their "romance" definitely wasn't anything swoon worthy, in fact it felt forced and rushed. I felt the plot of Sloane House was very interesting but overall, it was a average read for me. I hope book #2 in the series, Deception on Sable Hill proves to be a more rounded read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I liked this book. I thought that the story was interesting, and the characters were as well. I did think that the ending was a bit rushed. It seemed like very little happened for awhile in the book, and then everything happened all at once in just a couple of chapters. I agree with the other reviewer that said she didn't care as much for Rosalind, but was excited for the next book. I really want to read more about Eloisa Carstairs.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    I really wanted to be able to leave a positive review for this book, but I cannot. It was easy to get into, no problems there, but it was a very frustrating read. The repetitiveness became so bad, that by page 200, I'd only read 75 pages worth of fresh material. One reason I wanted to read the book was because it was set in Chicago, but the author pretty much ripped the city to shreds with the nonstop talk about how dangerous a place it was. You were sure to get robbed, and then raped if you wer I really wanted to be able to leave a positive review for this book, but I cannot. It was easy to get into, no problems there, but it was a very frustrating read. The repetitiveness became so bad, that by page 200, I'd only read 75 pages worth of fresh material. One reason I wanted to read the book was because it was set in Chicago, but the author pretty much ripped the city to shreds with the nonstop talk about how dangerous a place it was. You were sure to get robbed, and then raped if you were female, and then butchered in the streets while bystanders stepped over you to go on about their way. At any rate, Rosalind had been sent by her parents to work for the wealthy Sloane family to find out what happened to her sister, Miranda, who'd had a position as a maid before going missing one day. Her cover was lame, so much so that I was shocked nobody was able to link her to Miranda. Both girls had names from Shakespeare plays, with surnames starting with a P, both were from Wisconsin, and they both had reddish-brown hair and blue eyes. Douglass Sloane, the horrid son in the family, pointed out Rosalind's name having a Shakespeare connection, but other than that noticed nothing. Rosalind came off as a little more than a bumbling fool, she was certainly no Nancy Drew, and that's saying something; Nancy Drew has had her moments where she was just one step above being dumber than a rock. I don't see how Rosalind's family could have possibly hoped to find out what happened to Miranda by sending Rosalind to play detective. From the start Rosalind is obviously inept at most things, and is too frightened to even start subtly investigating, instead of trying to find out anything that would lead to information on what caused Miranda to go missing, she focuses on being a good maid so she won't get fired. Rosalind always worried about getting fired, there was no shortage of dialogue to support her fears. "Oh no! I'll surely be fired now." "Oh no! I'm sure to be let go now." "My position is definitely in jeopardy now. Oh no!" It went on and on, and yet she continued to do things in public view that would get her fired. Rosalind worrying about Miranda became a bore, even though that's supposed to be the main focus of the story. When she did start her unsubtle investigation, it mostly consisted of her prodding for information once someone on staff would mention the vivid and vivacious Miranda, whom Rosalind was just a dull and faded copy of as we're told more than once. We're told just about everything at least three times. I can only guess that the author assumes the reader might have some type of comprehension problem, so she mentions numerous times how Rosalind wasn't really a maid, she was only pretending to be one because her parents wanted to find out what happened to Miranda, she was really a hardworking farm girl from Wisconsin. Douglass Sloane had a "friend" named Reid Armstrong, and though Reid was from a wealthy family, his social standing was low because the Armstrong family were blue collar types. Douglass' nasty aging sister Veronica, was interested in Reid, but Reid was interested in Rosalind, so you know Veronica and Rosalind didn't get on too well. Veronica was 23 by the way. Nothing very noteworthy happens for the most part, unless you count constant reminders that Reid is from a good family used to hard work, as noteworthy. They were definitely good when compared to a disaster family like Douglass and Veronica's, but Mrs. Armstrong wasn't above thinking of Rosalind as a mere maid, at certain points. There were a couple rapes in the story. Apparently, after a female is raped, she gets a glazed look in her eyes, turns pale, and her swollen lips form into an O shape when someone stumbles upon her. I thought the description sounded silly after the first attack, but then the author went for the same description for the second and I was left with an arched eyebrow. The story was wrapped up in a decidedly unentertaining manner. Miranda's whereabouts were revealed, but since I never particularly cared about what happened to her, the reveal was flat. It was not surprising. I wasn't aware that this was Christian fiction until I was beaten about the head with talk of God and the church. The heavy-handed Christian aspects seemed to come from out of nowhere to me and felt forced, like they were supposed to be included, and so they were.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Liss

    I was drawn to the cover of this book because it's so classy and that dress she wearing is beautiful. After I realized that the story takes place in the late 1800's during the Worlds Fair and it's also happens to be a mystery. I was hooked and I couldn't wait to read it. We first meet Rosalind while she is working for the very rich and prominent Sloan family. The Sloan family come from "old" money and are very affluent in Chicago society. The Worlds Fair is being hosted by the city of Chicago whi I was drawn to the cover of this book because it's so classy and that dress she wearing is beautiful. After I realized that the story takes place in the late 1800's during the Worlds Fair and it's also happens to be a mystery. I was hooked and I couldn't wait to read it. We first meet Rosalind while she is working for the very rich and prominent Sloan family. The Sloan family come from "old" money and are very affluent in Chicago society. The Worlds Fair is being hosted by the city of Chicago which brings guests to the house every night of the week. Rosalind came to Chicago from a small town in Wisconsin and those places are night and day from each other which puts Rosalind in unfamiliar territory. No matter what though she is determined to find what happened to her sister. She assumes a false name and gets work as a servant within the house. Her sister was previously employed with the Sloan and mysteriously disappeared and was never heard from again. Somebody knows what happened but no one is talking and it is a very sore subject within the household. If the Sloan family wasn't bad enough the other servants can be just as snippy. You can understand it though because they are just trying to keep their nose clean and keep their jobs. If they were to be fired from the house without a letter of recommendation then they may never find work again. Times were tough and without a job they wouldn't be able to take care of their families. Rosalind keeps investigating around the house to figure out what happened to her sister and this only bring her trouble. She befriends a young man, Reid Armstrong, who is friends with the eldest Sloan child, Douglass and the object of affection to his sister Veronica. This friendship is unorthodox and bad for both of them. He is considered "new money" trying to gain foothold into the society that only fancies "old" money. Being seen with Rosalind could hurt his chances of finding a suitable mate who could gain the foothold that his family is seeking. His family became rich after a discovery of silver mines and that put them on the map. They still hold their middle class values but because of the money they know their son could have everything they never have. They are very christian oriented and he shows this side of him at all times. I that he is struggling with this new life and trying to figuring things out without losing his values. Veronica Sloan is a spoiled brat of a girl and she is not married yet and over the age that most women have already married or have a suitor that they are very serious with. This part of the book may not mean much when you read it but it is revealed later why it she has no serious suitors yet. She does have her eye on one man, Reid, but he also is not taken with her. When she feels threatened by Rosalind she lashes out like any spoiled brat does. “It’s simple, Rosalind,” she says. “I am Veronica Sloane, heiress to one of the country’s greatest fortunes. You are simply one in a long line of unsuitable maids.” This line kills me but it really does show who she thinks she is. I just felt sorry for her and knew that something had to be up with her to make her this bitter. Ms. Gray is exceptional at throwing you some clues and then you are like "oh, ok, I get it" then realize you don't really. She is able to make a story a true mystery. You have an idea of what is going on but you are only given enough to make assumptions but you are not entirely true. I enjoyed this book and really happy that it is going to be a series. I do look forward to the next to see what story she comes up with next. I think that if you enjoy clean, historical mysteries then you will adore this book. If you seek something more hardcore then this isn't it. This is considered Christian because there are themes that revolve around it but it isn't in your face and it just makes for a really rich storyline.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Goodbrand

    I really really wanted to like this book. But after being 1/3 through then looking up the review on Books For Christian Girls I slapped this one right down. Why did Shelley Gray put in that, that *trash*! Not a recommendation.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    Title: Secrets of Sloane House (A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery #1) Author: Shelley Gray Story Length: 316 Year: 2014 Publisher: Zondervan Reid Armstrong is trying to fit in to society as best he can. His parents are middle class, but his father struck it rich with an investment in a silver mine, catapulting their wealth exponentially. Now, after attending the best schools and learning all the intricacies of society, Reid is expected to put his training to good use as his parents want him to make a go Title: Secrets of Sloane House (A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery #1) Author: Shelley Gray Story Length: 316 Year: 2014 Publisher: Zondervan Reid Armstrong is trying to fit in to society as best he can. His parents are middle class, but his father struck it rich with an investment in a silver mine, catapulting their wealth exponentially. Now, after attending the best schools and learning all the intricacies of society, Reid is expected to put his training to good use as his parents want him to make a good match and marry a society belle. Reid, however, is drawn to a maid at a friend’s house. He learns of her mission to find her missing sister and offers to help. He initially heeds his parents’ wishes as to his marital status, but the more time he spends with Rosalind, the more intrigued he is by her. Rosalind Perry has arrived in Chicago to work as a maid at Sloane House where her sister used to work as well. Her sister used to send letters and money home to their farm in Wisconsin, but then the letters suddenly stopped. Her sister had hinted in her last couple of letters that she was afraid, but wasn’t specific as to what she was afraid of. Rosalind’s father traveled to Chicago, trying to get some answers to his daughter’s disappearance, but was rebuffed by the Sloane family as well as the police. Rosalind has arrived to find out the truth though she uses a different last name to sleuth undercover. She is timid and in awe of the city and the many people there. She doesn’t learn a whole lot about her sister, but when Reid defends her she tells him her plight. He promises to help and gives her aid when she needs it most. Will she ever find out what really happened to her sister? I really wanted to like this book a lot, but the story just fell flat for me. The two main characters didn’t come to life for me or make me care what happened to them or their relationship. I read the summary on the back cover and thought the book would be exciting and looked forward to a good “whodunit”; however, the book didn’t live up to the synopsis. There wasn’t much action and tension to lead up to the climax of the story. The events didn’t seem to build on each other to ratchet up the tension, so when the mystery is solved, it just didn’t fulfill my expectations. The setting of the Chicago World’s Fair was a great idea, and the depiction of the relationship between the wealthy and their servants in most wealthy households was accurate and well-researched. The amount of work required of a maid was enormous and the expectations and sacrifice high, which the author showed well. There is a brief excerpt from the next book in the series, Deception at Sable Hill, which features Eloisa Carstairs as the main character and is due to be released in the Spring of 2015 that sounds intriguing. I look forward to the next book and hopefully that mystery will be more satisfying. My rating is 3 stars. Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo.... Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Reet Champion

    Rosalind Pettite alias Rosalind Perry is on the hunt for her missing sister. In a place as big as Chicago in the year 1892 the possibilities as to what caused her sister's disappearance are numerous. Except for one thing - her sister wrote of an ominous presence in Sloane House where she worked as a maid. Although she hopes for the best Rosalind fears the worst. With the World Fair in full swing there are other things to be cautious of too. Women are disappearing left and right and meeting very Rosalind Pettite alias Rosalind Perry is on the hunt for her missing sister. In a place as big as Chicago in the year 1892 the possibilities as to what caused her sister's disappearance are numerous. Except for one thing - her sister wrote of an ominous presence in Sloane House where she worked as a maid. Although she hopes for the best Rosalind fears the worst. With the World Fair in full swing there are other things to be cautious of too. Women are disappearing left and right and meeting very tragic fates. Rosalind must tread lightly in order to learn what has happened to her sister. Secrets of Sloane House is part historical fiction part thriller part mystery. The combination comes together to create a very interest and intense story that takes readers down the polished halls of Sloane House to the unsavory alleys of Chicago. Rather than focusing on the glamor of the Chicago World Fair (that does not appeal to me) the author shows the dark side of often looked over details that drew criminals to commit dastardly acts (something that does interest me). It was really interesting to see the characters' interaction with one another since they came from different social classes. For those suffering from a serious case of pride and arrogance they would do well to pick up this book and see how far things can go if they allow it to control their lives. DISCLAIMER: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” we would like to note that we received a hard copy of "Secrets of Sloane House" provided by BookLookBloggers.com, in exchange for our honest review. reetchampionbookreviews.wordpress.com

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    What an enjoyable story! Secrets of Sloane House is the first book in Shelley Gray’s Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series and after reading the preview chapter for book two, I can’t wait to read that story, as well. Secrets of Sloane House started out a little slowly for me as the author set the stage and introduced all of the characters. But, the storyline always held my interest and the setting of a very wealthy Chicago home during the height of the World’s Fair was intriguing. Once I hit the ha What an enjoyable story! Secrets of Sloane House is the first book in Shelley Gray’s Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series and after reading the preview chapter for book two, I can’t wait to read that story, as well. Secrets of Sloane House started out a little slowly for me as the author set the stage and introduced all of the characters. But, the storyline always held my interest and the setting of a very wealthy Chicago home during the height of the World’s Fair was intriguing. Once I hit the halfway mark in the book, the story just took off and I could hardly set it down! I really liked Rosalind’s character and how much she grew throughout the book. When she arrived in Chicago to find out what happened to her sister, she was a rather timid and scared creature. By the end of the story, Rosalind had gained a lot of courage and her relationship with God was stronger, too. Reid was also a very likeable character. He carried a lot of burdens related to past events and to his family’s position in society. All through the book, I enjoyed watching him try to fight his attraction to a common maid, while still working to help her uncover the mystery of her sister’s disappearance. I enjoyed how the author brought everything together in the end of the book and the way the romance developed between Rosalind and Reid. I am so excited to read the next book in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. You can read this review on my blog at: http://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.co...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Secrets of Sloane House by Shelley Gray is a Christian cozy mystery. It is the first book in the Chicago World’s Fair series. Rosalind grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and is not used to city life. But when her sister Miranda stops writing, the family wants to know what happened to her. Rosalind is sent to Chicago to discover what happened to her sister. Rosalind obtains a job at Sloane House where her sister worked before she disappeared. Life on the farm did not prepare Rosalind for living in th Secrets of Sloane House by Shelley Gray is a Christian cozy mystery. It is the first book in the Chicago World’s Fair series. Rosalind grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and is not used to city life. But when her sister Miranda stops writing, the family wants to know what happened to her. Rosalind is sent to Chicago to discover what happened to her sister. Rosalind obtains a job at Sloane House where her sister worked before she disappeared. Life on the farm did not prepare Rosalind for living in the city or working in such a fancy home. Reid Armstrong is a friend of Douglass Sloane. Reid feels loyal to Douglass because of help he gave Reid at boarding school. However, Douglass’ is hanging out with an undesirable crowd and Reid is not comfortable with them. Reid comes from a Christian home and has very different values from the Sloane’s. Reid is attracted to Rosalind. After hearing about Rosalind’s missing sister, Reid wants to help her. Reid and Rosalind set out to find Miranda or at least discover what happened to her. Secrets of Sloane House is set in 1893 while the World’s Fair is in Chicago. There are great descriptions of the pavilions, displays, and the Ferris wheel. Secrets of Sloane House has romance and mystery. I give Secrets of Sloane House 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is well-written, engaging, and intriguing! Happy Reading!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hallie Szott

    This review is also posted on Book by Book. What drew me first to Shelley Gray’s Secrets of Sloane House was the setting. Placed during the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, this novel’s setting is exquisite and captivating – and I love reading books with the World’s Fair in the backdrop, so I couldn’t resist picking up this novel. Then, Gray adds in great characters, intriguing mystery and challenging romance, and I couldn’t put down this novel. Rosalind’s journey to understand what happened to her This review is also posted on Book by Book. What drew me first to Shelley Gray’s Secrets of Sloane House was the setting. Placed during the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, this novel’s setting is exquisite and captivating – and I love reading books with the World’s Fair in the backdrop, so I couldn’t resist picking up this novel. Then, Gray adds in great characters, intriguing mystery and challenging romance, and I couldn’t put down this novel. Rosalind’s journey to understand what happened to her sister kept me thoroughly engaged and I just loved it. I think fans of historical fiction and mystery will enjoy Secrets of Sloane House and I certainly recommend it. Now, I can’t wait to read what Gray has next in store for the Chicago World’s Fair. Thanks to BookLook Bloggers, I received a copy of Secrets of Sloane House and the opportunity to honestly review it. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own. (I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was a definite change of pace from the author's Amish novels which I love. A compelling mystery set against the backdrop of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, Rosalind take a job as a maid at Sloane House where her sister Miranda worked and disappeared. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Rosalind uncovers the unsavory misbehavings of members of the Sloane family themselves. Fired from her job, she befriends Reid Armstrong another upper-class man and friend of Douglass S This book was a definite change of pace from the author's Amish novels which I love. A compelling mystery set against the backdrop of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, Rosalind take a job as a maid at Sloane House where her sister Miranda worked and disappeared. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Rosalind uncovers the unsavory misbehavings of members of the Sloane family themselves. Fired from her job, she befriends Reid Armstrong another upper-class man and friend of Douglass Sloane. After Eloisa is raped by Douglass, Rosalind and Reid, along with Mrs. Armstrong, confront the Sloanes and the awful truth about Douglass and Mrs. Sloane is revealed. They learn that Miranda was also abused by Douglass and murdered. Rosalind and Reid come to love each other despite the class differences. This is a well written, well researched novel and the setting of the 1893 World's Fair takes the reader back to another time and place. I can't wait for the next book to find out what happens to Eloisa. Well done, Shelley Gray! Wish I could give it more stars!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    Shelley Gray just wrote the most wonderful historical novel full of suspense and intrigue, that will have your emotions sitting on the edge of your seat to the very end. Secrets of Sloan House does not disappoint. I was pulled in from the very first chapter. Set in the year 1893 and centered around the World Fair in Chicago. Rosalind is on a mission to find her missing sister Miranda and with the help of Reid Armstrong she ends up on quite the adventure. I think having a great faith in God helped Shelley Gray just wrote the most wonderful historical novel full of suspense and intrigue, that will have your emotions sitting on the edge of your seat to the very end. Secrets of Sloan House does not disappoint. I was pulled in from the very first chapter. Set in the year 1893 and centered around the World Fair in Chicago. Rosalind is on a mission to find her missing sister Miranda and with the help of Reid Armstrong she ends up on quite the adventure. I think having a great faith in God helped Rosalind and Reid with their struggle in society when a person's social status, name and reputation meant everything to some during 1893. I also think it made Rosalind stronger. I have to mention that I was really shocked by what happened at the end. Actually I think the main character Rosalind Perry was even shocked. I really enjoyed this book, and cannot wait for the next in the series, Deception At Sable Hill.

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