Book Five (I think!) in the Hawthorne House series
Review copy from Publishers/Launch Team
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
About the Book:
Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.
Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she’ll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.
Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?
This was my first novel by this author, and I know, who starts with the end of the series?! But I did. And I don’t regret that choice one bit, because it was such a lovely book!! My only sadness is that I haven’t had the delight of reading the others first, but I shall not hesitate to catch up on those.
The author’s writing style is engaging, and the plot just gripping, and warm, and emotional. I can’t remember what exact part it was, but I was reading along enjoying the book, but something just “clicked” and at that part I became emotionally invested – connected to this story, these characters. That’s when it became a five-star book to me.
The characters were marvelous. At first, I wasn’t sure what I would think about Isabella, honestly. I must admit I was leery of her “vast beauty”, and in those first couple chapters was routing for her less pretty, plain cousin, Frederica. However, as I continued to read and found out that it wasn’t your typical story of the main character being stunning and perfect, (and that Frederica had a story of her own…read it to find out!) I softened more, and almost immediately became endeared to Isabella.
I also have to say that I really understood Griffith and his wanting everything to be “just so”. He’s a character of order, of…well, control, and I could relate well. Yes, there are faults in that, and this book actually helped me remember that more, that life really doesn’t always fit in our perfect box, and God has a MUCH better plan than we could ever come up with, and to just allow it. Even if it seems messy at times. It will all come together.
The story line was fresh and not at all annoying (except when things didn’t come together and I wanted to cry along with Isabella. I told you, I got very emotionally connected!!), and I just didn’t want to leave its pages.
And there were some fantastic laugh-out-loud (literally!) moments that were just an utter delight. Reading in bed, I was giggling so hard my sister had to know what was happening. I ended up reading a few parts of this book out loud to both my Mom and sister just so they could laugh along with me. :)
I also appreciated that it wasn’t your typical plot where you know what turmoil is imminent. Yes, there were snags, and like I said, I almost cried with the main character towards the end, but the part I was expecting and almost dreading because I’ve seen it in other novels and not cared for it, didn’t come. It was so much better, and I was very glad for that.
The only thing I was a little “Hmmm” about was a scene where it was implied that God couldn’t show Griffith who to marry, as if He doesn’t show up like that in our lives, especially in very important matters such as marriage. I definitely agree that He lets us make our own choice, and what was said on that matter was good. But I just disagree that He wouldn’t show us His will if we’re truly seeking it. He’s got a great plan for our lives and will gladly show us when the time is right and if we’re earnestly seeking His counsel and guidance.
So yes, to wrap this review up, I very much enjoyed this novel and can hardly wait to read more by this author!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for being on the launch team. I was not required to write a positive review.