“Lord Shiley had saved the insolvent Drakenfall when he’d reinvented it as a resort, if you will. One that catered to people wanting to live out their fantasy of relaxing at an English country estate.”
For Californian computer genius, Maisy Potter, Drakenfall promised to be a welcome respite from the maddening world of corporate backstabbing that she faced back home. Three weeks to soak in the joys offered by an English country estate, a mecca for the upper crust social set or the person who is able to save the money to bankroll such a fantasy…who wouldn’t want to experience such a delight? But Fate has other plans for the fun loving young woman. Drakenfall is destined to shape her future in ways she couldn’t have imagined.
Geralyn Corcillo invites readers to follow Maisy’s adventure of a lifetime and to sample the Drakenfall lifestyle in her well-written, humorous and romantic novella, “Upstairs, Downstairs…and the Lift in Between.”
I’ve heard Corcillo’s name bandied about in creative circles for quite awhile now so I knew that I would have the pleasure of reading her books. With an impressive wealth of novels under her belt, Corcillo is well known in the Chick Lit genre for writing romantic comedies with enjoyable and memorable characters. I planned to read her book “Miss Adventure” first, but instead Drakenfall beckoned. So there I was, ready to enthusiastically travel across the pond to England with Maisy. “Miss Adventure” , with its “love in the limelight”,would just have to wait.
The first thing that I must applaud Corcillo is on a refined writing style that, for me, had the allure of Charlotte Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights.” Corcillo’s words have this beautiful quality, a majestic flow which might, to the average reader, seem stilted. Yet, I found myself enticed by Corcillo’s calculated decision to write this way. She established a tone that was wonderfully appropriate for a holiday in a high society British countryside.
Another strength that Corcillo can proudly boast is characterization and description. Life at Drakenfall comes alive like the fragrance of flowers in bloom: Readers can fully visualize the property and the accompanying grounds. Maisy is written as a “whirlwind of energy” that mesmerizes the reader and Drakenfall staff.
The other core character in this enchanting novella is Mark Prebys, who is the self-proclaimed “jack of all trades” at Drakenfall; Mark will do any job that is required to guarantee a pleasant experience for guests. When he first meets Maisy (who he expected to be an older woman), he is immediately drawn to her. Some of the best moments in this book, I feel, is the skill in which Corcillo writes both Maisy and Mark. As readers witness a romance develop, we believe that these two people belong together, despite having known each other for only a few weeks. The fact that Mark works at Drakenfall and Maisy is a guest doesn’t stop us for rooting for this couple. Even though there are misunderstandings between Mark and Maisy, we get the sense that these two people really love and need each other.
In addition, Corcillo is generous with humorous dialogue and scenes. Miscommunication between characters has never been more enjoyable than in the very capable hands of Geralyn Corcillo.
The nature of a novella is that it isn’t as lengthy as its full blown novel counterpart. However, Corcillo’s character and plot development is so stellar that the reader will be gratefully satisfied despite the book’s fewer words.
The great news: Mark and Maisy are back in subsequent books in the Drakenfall series. I highly recommend this book series and encourage all readers to explore Drakenfall as well as other books by Geralyn Corcillo.