Tessa deGroot was now divorced from her former husband and part of the divorce settlement was providing her a place to live in. The deGroot family came up with the suggestion of her living in a very old, over two hundred year old house built by the illustrious deGroot ancestors. Since Tessa resided in Astoria, Oregon the deGroots agreed to pay for Tessa’s and a companion’s airfare to fly to inspect this magnificently enormous house that hasn’t been lived in for quite some time. Once inspected, if she was interested in moving in, they would not only pay all the necessary costs of renovations, but also provide a yearly allowance for upkeep, taxes and such.
Tessa asked Annette, her friend and attorney, to fly with her to Styvesant, New York to check out Ardenwycke. Once there, Tessa fell in love with the place. Something about it just seemed to call to her. Although Annette wasn’t as enthusiastic as Tessa was. Tessa’s thirtieth birthday was fast approaching and she was eager to start her new life off free from any troubles that could tie her down.
While the ladies were discussing the house over lunch, Tessa convinced Annette that it was worth getting a building inspector in to see the true condition of the place and to see if it was safe enough to live in. She could seriously picture herself living there and continuing to do her sculpting for a living there.
After finishing lunch, they return to the house to meet up with a building inspector named Max MacDougall. Tessa and him seemed to have some kind of attraction going on, but Annette remained very standoffish with him. They started inspecting the enormous multiple levels of room and Tessa just became more and more enchanted with the estate. They continued looking through the endless amount of rooms the estate had to offer.
While walking down one of the corridors Tessa felt a sudden blast of cold air envelope her. She tried to play it off as it seemed that she was the only one to experience it. Proceeding further along, Annette and Max realized that Tessa wasn’t following behind them anymore. As they both turned around, they witnessed Tessa fainting and collapsing to the floor.
What caused that sudden blast of cold air to affect Tessa like it did? Why did she faint? Could the cold air have really been a spirit that was still living in the estate after all these years? If so, why did Tessa only get affected by it and not Annette and Max? Did she decide to move into Ardenwycke after all? If so, did she ever witness anymore-strange occurrences afterward?
I really found this story to be quite enjoyable. It kept you on the edge of your seat wondering what else might happen to Tessa and I found myself starting to question if it was really a smart thing after all for Tessa to even have ever entered Ardenwycke. I enjoyed the storyline and how Ms. Ferjutz intertwined Ardenwycke’s past history into the present. This story is a definite keeper in my library. It kept me engrossed until the very last word. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed if you pick up a copy of this story.
Tessa deGroot, a sculptor, falls in love at the first sight of Ardenwycke, a great stone house along the Hudson River in New York. Part of a divorce settlement from her former husband's family, the house was built by an early deGroot settler more than two hundred years earlier, but still carries a reputation of being cursed. Tessa discovers this for herself on that first visit as she faints in one upstairs hallway.
Maximillian MacDougall, a local housing inspector, rescues Tessa that day, but more strange events happen almost immediately after she moves in. Together, Tessa and Max try to find the meaning behind the curious things that happen in the house, but it will surely take drastic measures — and love — to succeed.