Friday, March 17, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller

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.
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 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.**
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