#BookReview: Keeper of Enchanted Rooms (Whimbrel House #1) by Charlie N Holmberg @CNHolmberg #Fantasy #Magic #Romance #Historical

Hi everyone! Today, I have a book review for an author new to me, Charlie N Holmberg. I picked up this read on a BookBub deal and am so glad I did >>>

60596112. sy475 About the Book:

Rhode Island, 1846. Estranged from his family, writer Merritt Fernsby is surprised when he inherits a remote estate in the Narragansett Bay. Though the property has been uninhabited for more than a century, Merritt is ready to call it home—until he realizes he has no choice. With its doors slamming shut and locking behind him, Whimbrel House is not about to let Merritt leave. Ever.

Hulda Larkin of the Boston Institute for the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms has been trained in taming such structures in order to preserve their historical and magical significance. She understands the dangers of bespelled homes given to tantrums. She advises that it’s in Merritt’s best interest to make Whimbrel House their ally. To do that, she’ll need to move in, too.

Prepared as she is with augury, a set of magic tools, and a new staff trained in the uncanny, Hulda’s work still proves unexpectedly difficult. She and Merritt grow closer as the investigation progresses, but the house’s secrets run deeper than they anticipated. And the sentient walls aren’t their only concern—something outside is coming for the enchantments of Whimbrel House, and it could be more dangerous than what rattles within.

My Review:


A heartwarming, funny, and moving read.

I haven’t read this author before, but I’ll be sure to read her other books.

‘The reading of a will was far more exciting when one hadn’t been disinherited thirteen years prior.’ … from this intriguing opening line, the reader is taken into the world of a possessed house–yes, you read that correctly!–and an unwitting main character who hasn’t had any previous exposure to the dying world of magic.

Whimbrel House, and its ghostly inhabitant, hasn’t had any company in a long time … say around a 100 years or so, and it (they) have gotten lonely. So when writer Merritt Fernsby arrives at the remote home he’s just inherited, he’s in for one heck of a surprise … especially when, just minutes after arriving, the house melts beneath his feet and won’t let him leave.

Not to worry, though, as Hulda Larkin of the Boston Institute for the Keeping of Enchanted Rooms comes to the rescue with her bag of tricks and knowledge of the arcane. Unfortunately, trouble of a different kind follows her.

What follows is a rip-roaring read full of magic, menace, humour, love, and wonderful interplay and dialogue between characters in a fantastical world the writer makes all too real. Honestly, I found myself alternately scowling at the bad guy, moved at the thwarted romantic feelings, and laughing at the humour threading throughout. Then there’s the wonderful world building and characterisations. What can I say?–The Keeper of Enchanted Rooms is an enchanting read. Here are some lines I loved (and it was difficult to choose just a few.) …

‘There was an enclosed porch just behind the kitchen, but with the floor bubbling like tar, she determined it best not to explore it at this time.’

And …

‘“And what spell does that have on it?” Mr. Fernsby nearly sounded entertained. “It is a crowbar, Mr. Fernsby. Simple as that.”’ … Teeehehee.

And …

‘Merritt stood in the cellar, hands on his hips, digging a shallow grave for his mounting despair and burying it messily.’

Okay, you’ve twisted my arm–here’s one more … ‘The wall rippled before him. He didn’t step back. Neither did the house.’

All right, I lied–one final pull quote: ‘The warmth wafting off him, enveloping her with spring when she was surrounded by winter.’

As you may have guessed, this read by Charlie N Holmberg gets a resounding 5 stars from me, and I’d give it more if I could. If you like magical/fantasy reads with a historical setting and a romantic subplot with plenty of humour, you’ll adore this book!


NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.

I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

UK … https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/

US … https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/

33 Comments on “#BookReview: Keeper of Enchanted Rooms (Whimbrel House #1) by Charlie N Holmberg @CNHolmberg #Fantasy #Magic #Romance #Historical

  1. The time period and setting alone intrigues me. And that opening line? Fabulous! This sounds like a great read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Harmony.

    • Fantastic! I think this book will appeal to a lot of readers. Thanks, Joan 💕🙂

  2. What an interesting mash-up! I love the time period, and the fact that there is a lot of humor in this novel. Sounds like a winner, Harmony. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What an enchanting review, Harmony! I must say your reviews have coaxed me to read authors I had never heard of! Thank you! 🙂❤️

  4. You are fast becoming one of my go-to book reviewers, Harmony. An excellent review. I was chatting with Diana on another blog about how both of us read a lot of books found through our WP community. This is why! Thanks for your comments.

    • Oh, Jacqui, that is so wonderful of you to say! Thank you so much! Hugs 💕🙂💕

  5. I’ve been wanting to read this author for some time, and now I think I know where I’ll start. Great review, Harmony! Thanks! 😊❤️

  6. I really like the sound of this book, Harmony. As I read the blurb and your review, the combination of magic, humor, and heart reminded me a little of The House by the Cerulean Sea, which I loved. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • You’ll adore this book, Diana! And now I’m off to check out ‘The House by the Cerulean Sea’ 💕🙂

    • You’d enjoy this! My TBR keeps growling at me from a deep, dark corner 😂 Lols, sorry, John! 💕🙂

  7. I really must remember to use pull quotes in my reviews. They say so much about a story, and you chose some wonderful ones. The cover of this appealed to me, and your review seals the deal. I’m going to look for this one. Thanks for your thoughts, Harmony.