Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Jane Austen fans will love An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter

If 'melting' and 'awwing' are two of your favorite reactions to have while reading then you need to put An Uncommon Courtship (Hawthorne House Book 3) on your list.
I sped through this book in a matter of days. Ms. Hunter reels readers in from page one with Lord Trent Hawthorne and Lady Adelaide Bell's hasty and forced marriage. Accidently, getting trapped in ruins; overnight and unchaperoned...honor stipulated that he propose to her to save both of their reputations.
Can Trent and Adelaide discover love in their avant-garde marriage, all the while battling their own doubts and the pressures of London society?

Being the 2nd son of the Duke of Riverton, Trent is not expected to marry a woman of high social status; he is able to marry for love. Those dreams are dashed he's bound by principle to Adelaide, a woman who is a stranger to him.
Likewise, Adelaide is the 2nd daughter and middle child of an affluent family. Her mother spent her entire life ignoring Adelaide focusing solely her oldest daughter Helena, always trying bolster her station in society. Adelaide is accustomed to being ignored and invisible. Despite being raised by an indifferent mother, she remains sweet-tempered, ladylike, and well-read. I liked Adelaide's character and sympathized with her. She "[was] rather unconventional...unique in appearance, with thick hair so dark it was nearly black and enormous blue eyes that would have appeared even larger if she had been wearing her spectacles." (Hunter, 16).
At first, Trent initially resisted his marriage and for a time ignores Adelaide, but he eventually realizes he wants to be married and he wants to be a good and godly husband. I really admired this character trait in Trent, the way he diligently searched the scriptures and sought counsel from fellow godly men about how to be a good husband and love his wife.

I loved that Ms. Hunter choose to have the hero and heroine married at the beginning of the story rather than the end as is typical of most period romance novels.
My favorite part of An Uncommon Courtship was Trent and Adelaide's slow building,  and romantic  relationship. I found myself at times audibly sighing over this book and rooting for Trent and Adelaide to realize they are made for each other. Ms. Hunter really captured the feeling and time period of the Regency era.
There was one minor flaw of the Adelaide's that drove me a little nuts. She blinks a lot, but that fact that Trent found it adorable caused me to see it in a different light and by the end of the story I was fine with it. Besides this slight fault of Adelaide's, I liked everything else about her.  I especially liked that she wears glasses. Maybe it's because I myself wear glasses that made her that much more relatable.   

After reading An Uncommon Courtship, it made me to want to read books one and two in the Hawthorne House series. (A Noble Masquerade and An Elegant Fa├žade)

Ms. Hunter is making a name for herself in the regency-era genre. I look forward to reading more of her books.

~~ An Uncommon Courtship was provided to me by Bethany House in return for my honest opinion. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, for which I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone ~~

Sunday, January 15, 2017

On the record....For The Record is a Fun and Fast Read

Finally! Betsy Huckabee's story is told in For The Record! I have been waiting somewhat impatiently to know more of this character's fate. After reading about Betsy in Ms. Jennings' Ozark Mountain Romance series (A Most Inconvenient Marriage and At Love's Bidding); I was particularly curious to find out what happened to her.

Betsy is at a crossroads in her life. She's been living with her uncle since she was 12 helping him raise his children and assisting him with his newspaper since the passing of his wife. Her uncle has since re-married and Betsy now age 24, feels it's time to assert her independence.

Native Texan, Deputy Joel Puckett feels like a fish-out-of-water when he's appointed by the governor to be the new deputy of Pine Gap. He receives a less-than-cordial reception from the Missouri residents and has an uphill battle trying to maintain law and order in the small town and gain the respect of the citizens.

The arrival of the easy- on-the-eyes deputy inspires Betsy to write a series of somewhat embellished stories about his heroics, building him up, and trying to make him seem irresistible to ladies  hoping a larger newspaper will snatch up her story, publish it and then she'll be able to pursue her dreams of living in the big city and ultimately freedom.  However, the more time that Betsy spends with Joel she begins to respect him and sees what her ambition could cost her. Her world of fiction and reality blur the lines.

For The Record had all the elements I gravitate towards as a reader: humor, mystery, and amusing wordplay between the hero and heroine. My favorite part of the book was the relationship between Betsy and Joel. I liked how Ms. Jennings built their relationship from initially not liking one another, then transitioning into a solid and respectful friendship and ending with romance.

While each author has their own individual flair for writing, For The Record reminded me of stories you might read from Christian fiction novelists Karen Witemeyer and Mary Connealy. (Two of my favorite writers!)

For The Record is Regina Jennings best book to date!

~~ For The Record was provided to me by Bethany House in return for my honest opinion. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, for which I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone ~~