The Castle Keepers delivers a sweeping saga focused on a family’s legacy and connection to their palatial home.

5-STAR REVIEW: THE CASTLE KEEPERS by Aimie K. Runyan, J’nell Ciesielski & Rachel McMillan

The Description

Publication Date: May 2, 2023

Leedswick Castle has housed the Alnwick family in the English countryside for generations, despite a family curse determined to destroy their legacy and erase them from history.

1870. After a disastrous dinner at the Astor mansion forces her to flee New York in disgrace, socialite Beatrice Holbrook knows her performance in London must be a triumph. When she catches the eye of Charles Alnwick, one of the town’s most enviably-titled bachelors, she prepares to attempt a social coup and become the future Marchioness of Northridge. When tragedy and scandal strike the Alnwick family, Beatrice must assume the role of a lifetime: that of her true, brave self.

1917. Artist Elena Hamilton arrives in Northumberland determined to transform a soldier’s wounds into something beautiful. Tobias Alnwick’s parents have commissioned a lifelike mask to help their son return to his former self after battle wounds partially destroyed his face. But Elena doesn’t see a man who needs fixing—she sees a man who needn’t hide. Yet secrets from their past threaten to chase away the peace they’ve found in each other and destroy the future they’re creating.

1945. Alec Alnwick returns home from the war haunted but determined to leave death and destruction behind. With the help of Brigitta Mayr, the brilliant young psychoanalyst whose correspondence was a lifeline during his time on the Western Front, he reconstructs his family’s large estate into a rehabilitation center for similarly wounded soldiers. Now Alec’s efforts may be the only chance to redeem his family legacy—and break the curse on the Alnwick name—once and for all.

The Review

Three authors combine their talents and weave a beautiful tale spanning generations in The Castle Keepers.

This approach by Aimie RunyanJ’Nell Ciesielski, and Rachel McMillian is a resounding success. The story covers three different generations of the Alnwick family—1870, 1917, and 1945. United by the magnificence of Leedswick Castle, the characters must navigate a family curse.

Each segment is divided into a different subtitle. “The Truth Keepers,” set in 1870, begins with the introduction of American Beatrice Holbrook to English society. Soon married to a somewhat reclusive yet titled gentleman, she navigates her new life within the castle walls.

The second section, which takes place in 1917, is subtitled “The Memory Keepers.” This story focuses on a soldier who suffered disfigurement in the war and an artist hired to create a mask for him. This creates the perfect environment for a budding romance.

The third novella, subtitled “The Dream Keepers,” is set in 1945. This story provides the opportunity for the characters to break the curse and clear the Alnwick name.

Together, these stories deliver a fascinating reading experience highlighting multiple time periods centering around a beautiful castle. I was impressed with the freshness of the initial concept, which translated well into three separate stories.

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Internationally bestselling author Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate unsung heroines. She has written six historical novels (and counting!) and is delving into the exciting world of contemporary women’s fiction. She has been a finalist for the Colorado Book Award three times, a nominee for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ ‘Writer of the Year,’ and a Historical Novel Society’s Editors’ Choice selection. Aimie is active as a speaker and educator in the writing community in Colorado and beyond. She lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her wonderful husband, two adorable (usually) children, two very sweet cats, and a pet dragon.


Bestselling author with a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black-and-white movies. She is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.


Rachel McMillan is the author of The London Restoration, The Mozart Code, the Herringford and Watts Mysteries, the Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries, and the Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. She is also the author of Dream, Plan, Go: A Travel Guide to Inspire Independent Adventure. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada.


Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, May 2
Review at Tammy Reads
Review at Ms. Darcy Reads
Excerpt at MK McClintock Blog

Wednesday, May 3
Review at A Girl Reads Bookss

Thursday, May 4
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Friday, May 5
Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read

Saturday, May 6
Review at Bookworlder

Monday, May 8
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Tuesday, May 9
Review at Rebecca is Reading

Wednesday, May 10
Review at Novels Alive

Thursday, May 11
Review at Amanda in PA

Friday, May 12
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Saturday, May 13
Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, May 15
Review at Reading is My Remedy
Review at She’s Becoming Bookish

Tuesday, May 16
Review at Reader_ceygo

Wednesday, May 17
Review at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, May 18
Review at Girl Who Reads


Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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The Castle Keepers delivers a sweeping saga focused on a family’s legacy and connection to their palatial home.5-STAR REVIEW: THE CASTLE KEEPERS by Aimie K. Runyan, J'nell Ciesielski & Rachel McMillan