It’s the staff’s turn to fall in love at Crofton Hall

60502224._SY475_Below Stairs at Crofton Hall by Rebecca Cohen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do like visiting Crofton Hall, whether that’s in the past with Anthony and Sebastian, or now with Ben, the current Earl of Crofton and his wonderful events manager Ashley.

In this book we get a double romance with the new focus being on Under Butler Karl and one of the estate gardeners Val. There’s a small age gap element but it’s more a hurt/comfort romance as the younger Val has not long been out of a very toxic relationship.

I loved the way Karl quickly assimilated into life at the Hall, as if he’d always been there. He’s a wonderfully kind man and has been badly bruised by the events which happened at his previous employers when we meet him.

In contrast, Val is outwardly outgoing and friendly, but he’s hiding a lot of internal trauma caused by his gaslighting ex boyfriend. When the two of them are clearly attracted to each other, they slip into what’s supposed to be a casual friends with benefits relationship.

Of course, it soon becomes anything but and with the parallel story of Ben and Ashley muddling over their future together, each trying to find the perfect time to propose to the other, we get a narrative which meanders through the two different relationships with ease.

There are, of course, trials and tribulations on the way, but they’re deftly handled and soon both pairs are sailing closer to their happy ever afters. We also get to catch up with Dara and Nathan, as well as get an introduction to Ashley’s ex Jack, who will be featuring in book four of the series.

Whenever Rebecca goes back to Crofton Hall I feel like I’m taking a trip with old friends. I love the warmth that’s at the heart of these books, intermingled with snippets from the past lives of the previous Earls of Crofton.

It makes reading them an enjoyable experience and this one is no different.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

As ever, I beta read this book for Rebecca.

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