About the book: Sent away for protection, hotel heiress Estella Everstone finds herself living undercover as a lady’s companion named Elle Stoneburner at one of her father’s opulent hotels in the mountains of Maine—the one she’d always loved best and always hoped to own one day, Everston. The one thing she doesn’t like about the situation is that her ex-fiancé is in the area and is set on marrying someone else. Reeling from her feelings of being unwanted and unworthy, Estella reluctantly forms a friendship with the gruff manager of Everston, Dexter Blakeley, who seems to have something against wealthy young socialites with too much money, although they are just the kind of people Everston caters to.
When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer she can’t refuse. She sees no other choice aside from going back home to her family and accepts the position as companion to his sister. Throughout her interactions with Dexter, she can’t deny the pull that’s evidenced between them every time he comes near. Estella realizes that while she’s been hiding behind a false name and identity, she’s never been freer to be herself than when she’s with Dexter Blakeley. But will he still love her when he finds out she’s Estella Everstone? She’s not entirely sure.
Kindle Edition 288 pages Published April 1, 2015 by Whitaker House
My review: Goodness! What a rollercoaster ride of a read!! Dawn Crandall hooked me on the first page of this book didn’t let go until the very end. I really enjoyed the first two books in this series but this one earns the title of my favorite. (No offense to the other two but they just didn’t have a Dexter. A Dexter whose “kisses were beyond describing”. *sigh*)
It was fun getting to know Estella and I am so glad she got her own story after reading about her in the first two books in the series. Estella is a woman I think all of us would like. She doesn’t seem like a society person but just the girl next door that you would love spending time with. The interactions between her and Roxy were the best at showcasing this. I wasn’t sure about Dexter at first. I found him to be a bit on the cold side but once I got to know him I found him to be extremely likable.
I am so glad that Dawn Crandall chose to have Estella in hiding and pretending to be Elle Stoneburner. I thought this added a great layer of suspense to the story. I kept wondering how this was all going to play out between Estella and Dexter. Would she tell him or would he find out on his own? What would his reaction be?
Once again I love the first person POV and the title chapters and quotes at the beginning of the chapters. I have read the first three books in this series back to back to back and have found that while the books have familiar traits each story is fresh and unique. Dawn Crandall’s writing style pulls the reader in and holds them captive until the last page then leaves them wanting more. I hope she doesn’t lose this as she writes more books.
This book could be read as a standalone but I would definitely recommend reading this series in order. By doing so you will have a better understanding of the characters and will enjoy the story more.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.
About the author: Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles from Whitaker House. The series currently consists of three books: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter. The next “Everstone” book, The Cautious Maiden, will release October 4, 2016.
Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary. Apart from writing books, Dawn is also mom to two precious boys, and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.