A well done story taking place at the Biltmore Estates; a place I have visited and been in awe of (and a place the author explains more about at the end of the book). The author did a great job of taking you inside this estate and showing a true picture of the life of the servants that keep the place running so smoothly. One of my favorite lines in this story, which was the thoughts of a man who felt he couldn't be free until he returned to his life in the mountains, instead of working where he didn't want to be: "Freedom didn't always equate with coming and going as he pleased. Or to living out in the open. Or to doing whatever he wanted. Sometimes, it was simply a matter of being free to laugh. Free to help others. Free to fulfill his calling." Good job Deeanne Gist.
Tillie Reese has always been in awe of where she is employed and the riches of the Vanderbilts. Her life's goal is to some day be the "lady's maid". When that position looks like it could possibly be hers she works hard to do everything right. The problem is one rule that the house has is that there is to be no romance going on down stairs where the servants live. That wasn't a problem for Tillie until Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman, shows up to work at Biltmore. Mack isn't exactly thrilled to be there, but the money is good and he needs it to get his sister out of the orphanage. Mack finds himself being tutored by Tillie in proper servant etiquette, and they both find themselves drawn to each other; one fights the feelings and the other encourages them. Then there is also the town orphanage and the cruel cover-up going on that both Mack and Tillie get involved in. It is a story of realizing your dreams of what you thought you always wanted, might not be at all what will bring the most happiness and fulfillment in your life. I enjoyed getting to know both Tillie and Mack and enjoyed seeing what went on behind the scenes at Biltmore. Also great job on the cover of this book and on the title. An enjoyable read that left me well satisfied as I finished the final pages. It was full of historical facts, with enjoyable characters that took you from lighthearted moments to some very sad and cruel times, but left me enjoying every minute of it.