“Underestimating Miss Cecilia” by Carolyn Miller
Book Two in the Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley series
Review copy from the publishers
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
About the Book:
Shy, sweet Cecilia Hatherleigh has always been in love with Edward Amherst, the boy next door. Yet he’s never seen her as anything but the quiet girl in the background as he flirts with the other vivacious women of the ton.
When a near tragedy brings Edward’s attention to his family duties, this prodigal son decides he needs to settle down with a proper wife. Cecilia hopes to convince him to choose her—but God may want her to forget the wayward nobleman and put her future in His hands alone.
These two try to find their way toward happiness, but prejudice, political riots, and the changing face of England’s societal structures begin to block them at every turn. Can their struggles turn to triumph—or will their paths permanently diverge?
The cover of this book is charming. And the story inside even more so. The writing style, being very Jane Austen-y, was sometimes a little slow and at first it took me a bit to get into, but as soon as I got to know Cecilia, I was drawn right in. I found her exceedingly relatable, and shared her pain and her joys. Her faith was beautiful, and her humble, kind spirit delightful. She was very gentle, yet not without strength – she was passionate about the causes close to her heart, and her strength shone in many ways.
I felt for the journey of the heart she was on. At times, it felt similar to my own. And the lessons she learned, and embraced, were lovely and heartfelt.
There was a twist towards the end that I wasn’t expecting, but oh how it made the story grow and progress! That was rather exciting.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hero, Ned. At first I was so frustrated with him (how dare he not recognize how special Miss Cecilia was?), but he quickly grew in my esteem of him throughout the novel, and I was rooting for him too.
The whole faith aspect was terrific, and I loved the message. While I haven’t yet read the last book in the series (though I hope to once it is released!) I think it might be safe to say that this one is my favorite. :)
“Oh, how she wished she could speak with him. How she wished to know his heart. Did he think on her, like she did him? Surely he must, if he prayed for her – prayed for her! Did not prayer entwine two hearts and draw them closer?”
“She paused. How many times had she prayed such a thing? Oh, would this ceaseless yearning for him never heal? How long must she hold on to a dream that would never come true?
“Lord, how do I forget him? What do I do?”
“For this friendship *had* been cultivated by God. She could see the times of growing individually, times when it would have been too easy to rely on each other instead of Him.”
*I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.