About the book: Pride, prejudice, and forgiveness…
Hampton Hall’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter–all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother–his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world.
Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible–he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along.
Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what will happen when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?
Paperback, 304 pages Published February 28, 2017, by Kregel Publications
My review: This book was a bit slow for me at the beginning and I was worried that perhaps it was going to be one I wasn’t going to enjoy. Once I got into the book a few chapters it really took off and I found I couldn’t put the book down! This slow starter quickly became a fast read for me.
I like books with female characters who know their mind but yet aren’t overbearing. Miss Lavinia Ellison is just that kind of person. She is comfortable in her own skin and knows her mind but she is still a lady. I liked her wit and found her to be a character that I was soon able to forget was fictional. Nicholas, Earl of Hawkesbury, was the perfect match for Lavinia in so many ways. I liked that he wasn’t put off by her more direct speech and that even though he didn’t agree with her at times he let her be herself. The way he was protective of her and cared about her feelings was so well written that I may have developed a bit of a book crush on this character.
There were some twists and turns to the storyline that I didn’t expect but found to be interesting and fit well in the story. I enjoyed the pace of the book once it got going. The author has a way of keeping you going for “just one more chapter”. In fact, I loved the author’s attention to detail. The descriptions of settings and wardrobe, as well as the speech the characters used, really gave the book a regency feel to it that added to the story.
Carolyn Miller did a wonderful job in her debut novel. Solid characters who experience growth throughout the story and a storyline that is captivating made this book an enjoyable read. I would compare her writing style to that of Dawn Crandall so if you like Dawn’s books be sure to pick up a copy of Carolyn’s. If you are a fan of regency romances then you will fall in love with this book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are mine.
About the author: Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s previous novels have won several contests, including the 2014 RWA “Touched by Love” and 2014 ACFW Genesis contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy.