It’s always fun to get the chance to read an author’s debut novel. A new voice to the mix keeps things fresh. That’s one reason I decided to join in and review Carolyn Miller’s The Elusive Miss Ellison.
That’s the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister’s daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won’t take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia’s pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother–who stole the most important person in Livvie’s world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he’s just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there’s already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn’t the only heart that needs to change.
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.
While I liked the idea of this novel, with its hints of Pride and Prejudice and a Jane Austen type heroine, there were some parts that were a bit overdone for me with the characters. I think they were too much of what they were supposed to represent (if that makes sense at all). I’m all about a strong and independent lead, – those are my favorite – but many times, instead of spirited, I thought Lavinia came across as a bit too pushy with her opinions to Nicholas. On the other hand, sometimes I wasn’t sure why Nicholas didn’t reach out to Lavinia. I thought as the novel went on, the interactions and development improved though.
While this may not have been a favorite of mine, I admit, I still wanted to know how it ended and that’s always a good thing. Plus, I’m curious what will happen in the next two novels. Also, if you prefer stories with strong faith conversations and scenes, then this is one you’ll want to pick up.
What debut are you looking forward to this year?
(Thank you to Kregel for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)
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