Monday, April 1, 2019

Book Review: A Hero For Miss Hatherleigh by Carolyn Miller

About the Book:

Can a proper noble lady find a future with a fossil-hunting man of faith?

As the daughter of Viscount Aynsley, Caroline Hatherleigh knows every rule of society--and she's always followed them precisely. But when she visits south Devonshire and encounters a fossil-hunting scientist and his sister, her assumptions about what is right are shaken. Questions she has never considered about the importance of friendship and faith suddenly confront her--and her comfortable understanding about how the world works is thrown off balance. What if God wants to be the center of her life, rather than merely a social obligation?

Gideon Kirby loves science, and hunting down proof of past lives is a joy he won't willingly give up. But his scientific leanings are being challenged both by his personal beliefs and by local smugglers in the Devonshire countryside. And every day his sister's illness becomes more desperate, her care growing more demanding. Adding a viscount's daughter to the mix is a complication Gideon never expected--especially since he must stay far away from this young woman he's falling for in order to protect his beloved sister's secret.

When a mysterious stranger visits the village, that secret will be exposed, no matter how Gideon fights. Then tragedy strikes in a smugglers' cave. And the threat of scandal may lead to broken hearts and passionless propriety. Will the shaky bond these two have nurtured be strong enough to overcome their differences--or will the trust they've withheld from each other tear three lives apart?

My Thoughts:

A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh by Carolyn Miller is the first novel in the Daughters of Aynsley series. I haven't read any of her previous books, but it was obvious that characters from other books appear in A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh. Having heard much about the author's previous books and seeing the lovely cover of this one, I was eager to read this novel.

A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh has a unique tone that is unlike any other Regency England novel I remember reading. I think it is a combination of her writing style and staying historically accurate to conventions of the day (at least as far as I am aware). The social classes and customs of the day extensively affect the main characters, leading occasionally to stilted and awkward conversation which was a bit uncomfortable to read. Still, if you enjoy the Regency period, you'll probably like her treatment of it.

In my opinion, the best aspect of the novel is Caroline's spiritual development. Readers encounter her in the beginning when she is both a snob and an atheist. As the novel progresses, Caroline is drawn to God through her friendship with Gideon and Emma. She is a complex character that undergoes heart-deep changes and emerges as a glorious, new creation with a future and a hope.

Despite my love of deep character development, I struggled to finish A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh as I wasn't ever “drawn in” by the story line or the leading lady. Gideon's work as an “undergroundologist” was interesting and the plot suspense builds up toward the end, but I'm sad to say it just wasn't my cup of tea. Regardless, the novel will likely appeal to those who have enjoyed Carolyn Miller's past works.

Read an excerpt from A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh by Carolyn Miller on the publisher's website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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