I was so excited to get this all the way from Australia where Carolyn Miller wrote this captivating book.
Free to read kindle edition today!!
I just want to start by saying I love the old English writing in this book, I like that it actually makes you think to understand what they were saying. It was the perfect mix, easy to read yet still held that Jane Austen feel!
From the back cover:
Pride, Presumption, and forgiveness…
Hampton Hall’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter—all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother—his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world.
Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic singing voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible—he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along.
Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what happens when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?
I started off thinking this was just going to be a spin off of pride and prejudice, but to my delighted surprise it was definitely a new story of its own! I think it started a bit slow in the beginning and towards the end there were some twists I did not see coming! (Which led me to stay up half the night to finish it haha) I really enjoyed it!
I also started to think at one point while reading she would have to know that the guy was into her, it seemed so obvious. Then I started to realize I know all of his thoughts and hers in this book, if I was her I’d probably feel the exact same way! So I love that she captured the thoughts of each character spot on!
Loved: I loved that she was so independent, that she defied the class system back then, she had such a heart for the poor and that it was contagious. The resentment she held and slowly how God revealed she was not reflecting God doing so. I loved the character of Nicholas and all the different experiences in his life that led him to who he was. I feel like she really incorporated him as a person with war, growing up privileged, the guilt and seeing God.
Lacked: I think that after keeping family secrets for long for her to just say I think I want something different and they tell her everything seems a bit too easy after her whole life they guarded those secrets so adamantly. I wish it would’ve been more of a change in her and after a long while of them realizing they couldn’t make her happy there they finally tell her.
I feel like there’s much more to uncover because it feels like there was so much more unsaid. I have a sneaky feeling this will show up in the next book! 🙂
Can’t wait to read more! Thanks so much for letting me read!!
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review this in no way changes my opinions as stated above.