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THE CAPTIVATING LADY CHARLOTTE REVIEWED

The Captivating Lady Charlotte
By Carolyn Miller
Published by
ISBN#978-0-8254-4451-7
310 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Her heart is her own--but her hand in marriage is another matter. Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility when she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.

William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return--and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.

Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace?

Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller in the tradition of Georgette Heyer and Julie Klassen. Fans of The Elusive Miss Ellison will meet compelling new characters--and a few old friends.

REVIEW: I was pleasantly surprised to find Nicholas and Lavinia in this novel with a pretty big role; as Lavinia helps her cousin Lady Charlotte navigate the does and dont’s of her season. Tensions and emotions run high as Charlotte tries to remember all the things her mother said along with what was required of her by society. Manners, etiquette and appearances made you or could break you. Charlette’s mom felt the Duke was the prize of the season; even though he’d had some troubles in the past. All looked bright now. Her mother thought eighteen-year-old Charlotte was full of dreams and unrealistic expectations, who wanted to marry for love; she needed to be sensible and get to know the Duke. She needed to realize love had nothing to do with marriage.

William the Duke had to pick up the pieces of his life. His dreams for a happily ever after died years before his wife did. William seeks God to heal his wounded heart and prepare him to be good companion/friend. William knew he jumped to conclusions and had trust issues that could hurt any future relationships. He sought God and the council of Christian friends (Nicholas) to help him find someone. He wouldn’t be swept away again by another pretty face. He knew love was something deeper than looks. He wanted a woman of faith and someone who would love him unconditionally.
Thru the course of the season and helping her cousin thru a bad turn of events she gets glimpses of what true love is. It’s more than butterflies in her stomach, compliments that made her heart soar and made her giggle. It goes deeper than that. She saw that with Nicholas and Lavinia as they weathered the storm together with faith in God to bring them through.

She catches glimpses of that in Duke Hartwell. He was kind, respectful and knew how to love well. He may not be the most romantic, great at conversation or the most handsome but he cared deeply for others. She liked that.

I liked how the author has many of her characters mature and grow in their faith. I liked how Charlotte and the Duke saw God at work in their lives. I like how the Spiritual thread was natural not preachy. Here’s a peek:

The Duke…”I had said every aware Christian.”
Charlotte, “Meaning some are not.”
Duke “yes”…”I do not intend my words to destress you, Lady Charlotte.”
“They have not. You have merely made me see how blind I’ve been. I believe, but have never really considered claim of faith requiring action.”

“His heart gave a little ping of gladness. She shared his faith, which as more than his first wife had.”

I enjoyed the story and had a deep respect at what the author shared in her author notes to readers. She talked about a situation Nicholas and Lavinia went through that was similar to what she experienced. She says, …”I felt myself challenged: I had praised God in church only the day before; could I still praise God even when my world tumbled apart?...My challenge in those dark hours was whether I would blame God or actively trust him by doing what he says. I chose to “put on the garment of Praise for the Spirit of heaviness.” As described in Isaiah 61.”

Wow, this made the storm Nicholas and Lavinia stand out even more as the reader gets a glimpse into the heart of the author. If you are looking for a fun read and/or one that will bring about good discussion at book club this one’s for you! I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading book three that will be out in October of this year.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book 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”

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