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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
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I enjoyed this Regency era story about an Earl and a minister's daughter who push each other to become a better version of themselves and in the process fall in love.
I liked the way Lavinia is so invested in helping the poor and sick and is so down to earth and does things for herself. I also like that even though she's generally a very kind and loving person, she's also portrayed as a flawed human being who struggles with a judgmental attitude toward the Earl because of a tragic incident caused by his brother when she was a child. She does some major growth in character throughout the story, which is great to see.
Nicholas was a complex character that was hard to like at times. On the one hand, I felt like he didn't deserve the way Lavinia treated him but on the other hand, I felt like he was really wishy-washy in his attempts to become a better person. Sometimes he came on really strong in trying to do things for his tenants and Lavinia and then he would turn around and let society's expectations way lay him. However, he also does a lot of character growth through-out the story and he's wonderful to Lavinia so he gets major swoon worthy points for that. :)
All in all, this is a well written story with lots of character growth, beautiful English countryside, and a major twist that lends some intrigue. :)
*Thanks to Litfuse for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*
View all my reviews on Goodreads.
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 novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.
Regency romance fans have another must-read novel to add to their lists: Carolyn Miller's The Elusive Miss Ellison. 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. 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.
Settle in for a cozy night of reading with a cuppa and a Kindle from Carolyn!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of The Elusive Miss Ellison
- A Kindle Fire
- Two William Morris mugs (winner's choice)
- A box of tea
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on March 22. The winner will be announced March 23 on the Litfuse blog.
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The Elusive Miss Ellison