Winning Miss Winthrop, by Carolyn Miller

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Catherine Winthrop has cried out to God too many times to count. Years ago, the man who stole her heart rejected her–and she’s never recovered. Now tragedy has brought him back into her life. This time it isn’t her heart he’s taking, it’s her home and her family’s good name–and she has no one to share her grief.

Jonathan Carlew’s life may look enviable from the outside–wealthy, handsome, landed–but the mystery surrounding his birth has shadowed his entire life. Now as he ascends to the barony, fresh challenges await, including a scheming mama who wants him to embrace power, even at the cost of losing love. How can he remain the kind, honorable man he strives to be and still meet the demands of his new society responsibilities?

These two broken hearts must decide whether their painful past and bitter present will be all they can share, or if forgiveness can provide a path to freedom for the future.

First Thoughts:

I’ve enjoyed Carolyn Miller’s previous Regency romances. This is the start of a new series. Continue reading

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The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, by Carolyn Miller

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Will a damaged reputation and desire for society’s approval thwart the legacy of grace?

Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She’s lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara’s society mama is appalled at the new company she’s keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won’t let him ignore the penniless viscount’s daughter–not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?

When they’re pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent’s Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together–without finances, family support, or royal favor?

First Thoughts:

Since I’ve read and appreciated the first two books in this series, I’m hoping to be similarly satisfied with Miss DeLancey’s story.

My Take:

What is it with Regency society mamas who want their daughters to marry for titles and security? Is it out of a genuine concern for their daughter’s wellbeing? Is it because their mothers had them marry for the same reasons? Even though the DeLancey fortunes have sunk Frederica, Viscountess Winpoole, still has high hopes for her daughter. Whoever marries Clara must have equal rank of Viscount Winpoole or higher. A mere baron or anyone untitled simply will not do. Her actions have embarrassed Clara, who’s now the talk of the ton, and the poor girl is ready to end it all. Except… someone stops her.

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey (a play on Clara’s courtesy title) starts and ends in dramatic fashion. Clara is at her lowest until she meets both a savior and her Savior. But church is a place where you go to be seen; doing benevolent works in a poor part of town is no task for a lady. Clara still has a couple of connections, however, and she uses them to introduce the youngest Kemsley sister to society. It’s a move that will bring her back in contact with her former romantic interest and his new wife, a woman who shows extraordinary grace to Clara and therefore helps in her healing.

This was an enjoyable novel of brave military men, pompous members of society, and scoundrels who are anything but the Han Solo sort of scoundrel we love. Tense times lead to more than one encounter with evil, resulting in no way out for the doers of evil. Clara rises from despair to happiness, and her story shows that we are never really alone. He is with us, even if we don’t know it. Kemsley’s fortunes change in a somewhat predictable way, perhaps necessary for the narrative’s requisite happy ending.

I do suggest reading the previous two books in the series. While this book brings the trilogy, A Legacy of Grace, to a close it does appear that they form part of a larger series called Regency Brides. The next trilogy in the series, A Promise of Hope, looks like it’ll be published early next year with the first principal female being someone familiar to Carolyn Miller’s readers.

Thank you to Kregel for my complimentary copy of The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

Have you read The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Kregel Publications

Publication Date: 24 October 2017

Page Count: 296

Read more on:   Kregel’s Website   Carolyn Miller’s Website   Brighton Pavilion

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

Liar’s Winter, by Cindy Sproles

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Lochiel Ogle was born with a red-wine birthmark–and it put her life in jeopardy from the moment she entered the world. Mountain folks called it “the mark of the devil,” and for all the evil that has plagued her nineteen-year existence, Lochiel is ready to believe that is true. And the evil surely took control of the mind of the boy who stole her as an infant, bringing her home for his mother to raise.

Abused and abandoned by the only people she knows as family, Lochiel is rescued by a peddler and given the first glimpse of love she has ever known. The truth of her past is gradually revealed as is the fact that she is still hunted by a brother driven to see her dead. Unsure if there’s anyone she can truly trust, Lochiel is faced with a series of choices: Will she continue to run for escape or will she face her past and accept the heartbreaking secrets it reveals? Which will truly free her?

Set in the wild and beautiful Appalachian Mountains of nineteenth-century East Tennessee, Liar’s Winter is an unflinching yet inspirational exploration of prejudice and choice. 

First Thoughts:

This novel sounds like it’ll be difficult to read. But I read Sprole’s debut novel a couple of years ago and it turned out to be amazing.

My Take:

When I read Cindy Sproles’ debut novel a couple of years ago I found it easy to give it five stars. Second novels are either equally as brilliant or fall flat in comparison. I wasn’t sure which I’d get with the next of Sproles’ Appalachian novels, but I’m happy to say I was not disappointed. Lochiel (pronounced Low-Kill) has encountered very few people in her 19 years, having been kept hidden away by her adoptive parents. She thinks their treatment of her is normal and, therefore, something she should expect from others; that’s if they don’t run screaming from her first. When she’s rescued by strangers – and continues to be helped by them – she wonders what they want in return. Instead, they introduce her to a loving and trustworthy God, one she’ll turn to when all seems lost.

Liar’s Winter was an engrossing read from the beginning. It’s written in the first person, and Lochiel’s ‘voice’ came through clearly. She was heartbreakingly ignorant of the world around her and I recognized a form of Stockholm Syndrome every time she said that the Ogle family had treated her well and that she felt guilty for “leaving them.” There were moments in this book that left me momentarily stunned, breathless with the turn the narrative had taken. The tears were streaming down my cheeks as I finished the final page.

Thank you to Kregel for my complimentary copy of Liar’s Winter, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

Have you read Liar’s Winter? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Kregel Publications

Publication Date: 27 June 2017

Page Count: 264

Read more on:   Cindy Sproles’ Website   Kregel’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com