About the book: With devastating scars in her past, Serena Winthrop is sure no man can be trusted–especially not a man like the too-smooth Viscount Carmichael. His reputation as a flirt and a gambler is everything she despises. And the young artist makes sure that this disreputable heir to an earldom knows of her deep disapproval whenever they encounter one another.
Henry, Lord Carmichael, is perfectly aware of his charms. He’s gambled with plenty of ladies’ hearts as easily as he has with their husbands’ money. But lately he’s wondered if there’s more to life–and if his actions might prove unworthy of an admirable wife such as his friends have found.
When Serena’s guardian asks his best friend to protect his young ward, Henry promises to be on his best behavior and not to woo her. But the more he learns of her, the more he realizes she might be his best reason for changing his character.
Then the lady’s painting leads her to London infamy. Now Henry must choose between the life mapped out for him as the earl apparent and the love of his life. And Serena’s secret may mean the end of his titled family line.
This second novel in a new series by internationally popular author Carolyn Miller is full of the rich historical detail and evocative writing her readers enjoy. The witty banter will continue to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Genre: Historical Fiction, Regency, Christian Fiction
Series: Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope #2
My thoughts: Usually, when I receive a Carolyn Miller novel I tear into it like a kid does their presents on Christmas morning. This time I decided to read the book more slowly and enjoy my time with the characters. After all, once a book is read you never have the chance to read it for the first time again and the wait for a new Miller novel can seem as long as that wait for Santa Claus.
To be completely honest this book started out a bit slow. Once I got a bit into the story I found it a delightful story to read. I really liked Serena’s character and her way of saying what she thought even though it wasn’t always the proper thing to say. We’ve all been there, right? Even though Serena spoke her mind I never found her to be rude or too overbearing as a character. In fact, I found her character to be refreshing. The perfect balance to her was Harry, Viscount Carmichael. Now, he’s a bit of a rake but he’s trying to shed that nasty little label and at times struggles a bit. Serena and Harry together were wonderful to read about. There is a tension between the two that even though it didn’t take center stage still leaped off the pages at times. I liked the progression of their relationship, and I just really, really enjoyed these two together. Other favorite characters were Melanie, Harry’s sister, and his grandmama. These characters were almost upstaged by the one and only M. Despard. The French art instructor added a bit of humor to the story with his opinions and the way he advised Serena. And not only in matters of art. I loved his accent. It was “ze best” and added to his charm. I would love to see him in more stories!!!
It is clear the author does a thorough job of researching the subject matter for her books. From the way she describes the settings to naming off paint colors and art techniques to dialogue, she does a fantastic job of making the reader forget everything around them and making them feel as if they are part of the story and time period. This along with her ability to tell an excellent story has made her one of my favorite authors. I haven’t yet met a Carolyn Miller book I haven’t liked and I honestly doubt I ever will.
I highly recommend this book. It has complex characters and an excellent storyline. Even though it’s the second book in the series it completely stands on its own. Grab a copy of Miss Serena’s Secret today. You won’t be disappointed!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a 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 Gensis contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy.
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