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REGENCY BRIDES SERIES by CAROLYN MILLER BOOK 1 REVIEWED

The Elusive Miss Ellison
By Carolyn Miller
(Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace)
Published by Kregal Publishers
304 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.

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.

REVIEW: I realized the beginning of the story felt slow to me because I didn’t know where the author was leading me. Things pick up around chapter four or so. I started to connect with strong headed Lavinia, whose emotionally elusive, feisty, good-natured, religious, who is the heroine. It was easier to understand where the new Earl of Hawkesbury was coming from. He was handsome, rich, prideful, self-centered and insensitive at times with people that were beneath his rank.

Unexpected events cause Lavinia and Nicholas to interact in close courters allowing them to see another side of the other. During this time, they have a spiritual spark ignite inside their hearts. I liked how the author has this naturally evolve, it wasn’t forced or preachy. It was realistic. It was noteworthy not just to have faith in Christ, but to allow God to work in your heart and lives daily during that time.

It was interesting to read what the Earl’s mission and expectations were for a small village in that Era. The small village was thrilled to finally have a new Earl of Hawkesbury. Nicholas was not so thrilled as he noticed that many of the mothers were grooming their daughters well in hopes of making him their new son-in-law. Lavinia, on the other hand, wasn’t interested in the least in finding a husband. Her concerns were more that the Earl do more for the poor.

When Lavinia meets Nichols, she is disgusted by his demeanor. Nichols feels the same way about her and her attitude of superiority and her keen sense of duty to the less fortunate. He hates the fact that this job has been forced upon him by his social position. Playful banter happens as they battle wills; these two couldn’t be more different.

Tragedy is a game changer for Nicholas and Lavinia; sparks start to fly and love tries to bloom, but misunderstandings and hurt feelings stunt its growth.  Lavinia’s strong personality consistently sprouts miscommunication and pain. I did enjoy the light-hearted moments filled with humor. I enjoyed the musical entertainment and some surprises that happened at the balls. I almost felt like I was there. Things are kept lively with disappearances, many mysteries with surprising twists and turns I didn’t see coming; making this an engaging read and a fun escape. I look forward to reading book two titled, Captivating Lady Charlotte.

FROM AUTHOR: Hi, I'm Carolyn Miller, author of 'The Elusive Miss Ellison'.

I live in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia.

I'm married, with four gorgeous children, who all love to read (and write!) as I do (except not in the Regency genre - funny, that!).

My favorite authors are classics like Jane Austen (of course!), Georgette Heyer, and Agatha Christie, but I also enjoy contemporary authors like Susan May Warren and Becky Wade.

I try to write stories that are fun and witty, yet also deal with real issues, such as dealing with forgiveness, the nature of really loving versus 'true love', and other challenges we all face at different times.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I bought this ebook on Amazon. 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”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
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