Pride, prejudice 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 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 will happen when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she's ever known?
The cover and the back blurb drew me into this story right away. Seriously, isn't it a beautiful cover? The Regency genre is one of my favorites, and guessing that it was going to be a clean read I was pretty excited to start this story.
The characters, especially Nicholas, are well written. I enjoyed watching him change and develop from the first of the book. Some of it maybe wasn't as believable, but it was interesting all the same. I really felt for him and the dilemmas he had. Some were his own making, and some were pressure from is mother and society. It's hard for me to understand that since I have my mother's support, and a lot of times I don't really care what society thinks of me. But boy, how would it have been to have lived in a time where it was all about society thought and how accepting they were of you.
Lavinia was well written, but I could take or leave her. I did appreciate that she changed too, though. She had her own prejudices that she had to figure out and fix. Sometimes she was just sooo stubborn that I felt it slowed the story down. And honestly, sometimes the pacing was a bit slow at times. This wasn't a novel I devoured in one sitting. I read until it got slow and would pick it up and put it down until I was finished.
The religious part, while I felt it fit with the story, and didn't come out of left field or get shoved down your throat, is a big part of the story. Lavinia is a preachers daughter, and she believes. Nicholas goes through his own conversion and so, yes it has religious overtones...and undertones...and tones :) I didn't mind it, but if you don't like that sort of thing you should be aware of it going into the story.
If you'd like more info you can go to http://litfusegroup.com/author/CMiller.
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.
Title:The Elusive Miss Ellison
Author: Carolyn Miller
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Published: February 2017
Source: I received a copy from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.