Shine Like the Dawn, by Carrie Turansky

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Separated by an inconceivable tragedy, can faith and love reunite childhood friends and light the way to a bright future? 

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart because she wonders if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?

First Thoughts:

I wasn’t sure if this was the start of a new series by Carrie Turansky (after reading, it doesn’t appear to be), but I enjoyed her Edwardian Brides novels. I’m looking forward to reading this book, which is set in the same era.

My Take:

Carrie Turansky’s new Edwardian romance starts on an idyllic day for a family picnic. But this prologue ends tragically when only the two youngest members of the family survive the outing. The first chapter then sees Maggie making hats for fussy customers who want the latest London fashions even if they’re not exactly stylish. It’s a way to make a living but all that comes crashing down one night, leaving the siblings at the mercy of the new Lord of the Manor.

contest linkShine Like the Dawn has characters to love and characters that’ll frustrate. Maggie’s grandmother has an easy going spirit, putting her trust in God and His faithfulness. She lets things go that many would not. Over one particular incident, she tells her granddaughter, “I’m simply choosing NOT to be offended.” It’s a wise decision, one I think all of us could learn from. In sharp contrast, Nate’s stepmother refuses to relinquish her position at the manor after her husband’s death. She’s class conscious and isn’t happy with Nate’s friendship with people of a lower social status. She does, however, have a few secrets of her own. Other standout characters include Nate’s younger sister, the maid (a friend of Maggie’s) and, of course, the precocious Violet.

I have just one minor gripe. It felt weird to see the city of Newcastle consistently called by its formal name of Newcastle upon Tyne. As someone with family in that area, I’ve never heard it called that in casual conversation. Perhaps, however, that’s how it was said back in 1903 and I have nothing to show that it wasn’t.

As for the plot, some unexpected twists are revealed throughout the course of the book. Maggie and Nate have their individual theories on what happened that fateful day four years earlier, and neither is willing to accept the other’s idea. A lack of trust caused by misunderstanding gradually melts away through a combination of stubbornness and action, as well as a willingness to cross that social divide. At the end, as any reader should expect, all that’s left is love.

Thank you to Multnomah for my complimentary Uncorrected Proof of Shine Like the Dawn, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

Have you read Shine Like the Dawn? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.


Publisher: Multnomah (a division of Penguin Random House)

Publication Date: 21 February 2017

Page Count: 352

Read more on:   Carrie Turansky’s Website   Multnomah’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million


A Refuge at Highland Hall, by Carrie Turansky

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Penny Ramsey has always considered Highland Hall her home, but when Britain becomes involved in World War One she travels to London to assist her sister Kate with the eight orphan children she and her husband Jon have taken into their home. Doing her part for the war effort takes priority over Penny’s dreams of romance until she meets Alex Goodwin, a Royal Naval Air Service pilot in training.

Alex is determined to prove his worth and do his part to defend his country. Knowing he is heading off for the dangerous assignment of chasing Zeppelins across the front line in France, he feels it’s unwise to form any romantic attachments. But he can’t help admiring the pretty, warmhearted Penny and wondering what it would be like to find her waiting when he returns home from the war.

As Penny writes to Alex, their friendship blossoms, and she becomes his tie to home and normalcy as he faces the hardships war. But being an RNAS pilot means confronting the enemy, and the fallout form those experiences push Alex beyond Penny’s reach. Can God mend the brokenness left by the losses of war? Will faith and forgiveness bring them together again?

Continue reading for my review of A Refuge at Highland Hall and also for an excerpt from the book. Continue reading

The Daughter of Highland Hall, by Carrie Turansky

book coverPublisher’s Summary:

What if the title, the estate, the life of security and splendor… what if it isn’t enough?

Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.

When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love—and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served.  Continue reading