Friday, March 17, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.
That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother-who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love.
MY THOUGHTS:
There is something that draws me in about the many Regency and Edwardian era books that seem to be popular now. I love the romanticized period of time, though I'm sure reality was much less so.

The Elusive Miss Ellison reads like a slightly different, yet strangely familiar, version of Pride and Prejudice. Nicholas definitely comes off as proud and aloof, whereas Lavinia, though sweet to her friends, seems much more brusque than Austen's Lizzy.

Unfortunately, the writing dragged and did not draw me in to the story. I actually put the book down and restarted from the beginning three different times! Yes, three. No matter how hard I tried to get into the story, I just couldn't get past the twelfth chapter. Lavinia's harshness to Nicholas was off-putting, and though I understood her pain over her mother's death, I just couldn't connect with her (though I admit that nasty pride is a big struggle for me, too). I was also pained to see the Lord's name taken in vain (page 74). Nicholas' thought while seeing his friend's interest in Lavinia was not one of prayer or worship...it was flippant and disrespectful. I have been saddened to see this type of language occurring more and more from Christian authors.

Due to these two issues, Miss Ellison's tale was truly elusive for me.

That's what I thought! Click HERE to see what other reviewers are saying!

Thank you to Carolyn and Kregel through Litfuse for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running a ranch on her own, Laurel Tracey decides to hire a convict—a man who’s just scary enough to take care of squatters and just desperate enough to agree to a one year post.

MY THOUGHTS:
I thought the idea behind this story was a great one -- single girl with a ranch in danger hires a jailbird to protect the property. Obviously, her surrounding neighbors and townspeople think this is a bad idea.

Lots of other things happen in the story: irritable step siblings who want Laurel to sell, a neighbor intent on marrying Laurel, sinister sabotage of the ranch and its animals... all make for a great story.

However, An Uncommon Protector read kind of slow for me. I also found it odd that for that time period, both Laurel and Thomas were ok with him sleeping in a guest room. The book was ok...it just wasn't a 'couldn't put down' kind of read for me, unfortunately.


Thank you to Shelley and Zondervan through NetGalley for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Monday, January 9, 2017

An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Life for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier if she hid in her older sister's shadow--which worked until her sister got married. Even with thepressure of her socially ambitious mother, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience to save her previously spotless reputation.

Lord Trent Hawthorne couldn't be happier that he is not the duke in the family. He's free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, which includes grand plans of wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice. When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he doesn't know, his dream of a marriage like his parents' seems lost forever.

Already starting their marriage on shaky ground, can Adelaide and Trent's relationship survive the pressures of London society?

MY THOUGHTS:
Ahh, the third story of the Hawthorne siblings. This one is about Lord Trent and his new wife, and I enjoyed it as much as the other two books! (An Uncommon Courtship can be read alone, but it is better if you've read the other books and understand the other characters).

I just love a good Regency and reading about all the manners and customs of the times. A lady's reputation was held in such high esteem then...so very hard to imagine today!

Because of this belief, Lord Trent finds himself in a situation that can only be rectified by marriage. From the other books, I guess I got the impression that Trent was a bit spoiled and selfish, but he really isn't. I liked him a lot and thought he was the perfect guy for Adelaide.

And, poor Adelaide. How disheartening to come from a family like her's! What a great comparison to show the strong family ties that the Hawthornes have! Such fierce love and protection was foreign...then welcome...to Adelaide. I think everyone hopes for a close family like the Hawthornes!

An Uncommon Courtship is a story of a gentle, lasting love that can come despite difficult circumstances. I loved it, and am so looking forward to Kristi's next book...it has to be about Griffith! I can't wait to see who is good enough for the duke!

*NOTE: I would not recommend this book for unmarried young ladies. Some of the physical interactions (though between a married couple) were more descriptive than I would allow my daughter to read. Moms, use your own judgment! 

Thank you to Kristi Ann and Bethany House for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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