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Review: The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller

by Carolyn Miller

Lady Charlotte Featherington is known to be a beautiful and lively young woman. Daughter of the Marquess of Exeter, there is no doubt that her hand in marriage will be asked by numerous eligible bachelors when she debuts into society. Charlotte knows this full well and cannot wait to meet the man of her dreams during her first London season. She thinks someone of her age with good looks and a love for literature, who is just as full of life as she is will be the man for her. Yet she doesn’t realize that she’s captivated the attention of Duke Hartwell. Much older than Lady Charlotte, Duke Hartwell is also a widower who’s late wife was at the center of many rumors around London. Known as a bit odd for being more involved with his farms than other dukes, Hartwell knows that his lackluster life is not what Lady Charlotte wants. Yet even so, Lord Exeter has arranged for Lady Charlotte and Duke Hartwell to marry. Will Lady Charlotte ever learn to love life away from bustling London?

Whereas in The Elusive Miss Ellison Lavinia and Nicholas reminded me of Lizzy and Mr. Darcy, Lady Charlotte and Duke Hartington totally reminded me of Marianne and Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility. Charlotte is feisty and full of life; she knows just what she wants. Duke Hartwell is a more meek character, but he knows when stand up for what he believes in and those that he loves. While I might not have loved this book as much as the first in the series, I still did enjoy reading about a London season in the early 19th century.

All in all, The Captivating Lady Charlotte is a well written novel that fans of Regency romance will enjoy.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Bookish Setting I'd Like To Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

We all have a list of places we want to visit someday. Sometimes we even have a list of time periods we’d chose to go to if we had the chance. The books we read inspire these lists greatly. Talented authors have a way of describing places in their stories that make the places and times seem so real. That’s what today’s post is all about. Here I’ve listed ten books with settings that I would love to visit.

I’ve always wanted to go to Alaska. This book set in the 1800s describes it beautifully.

It would be so neat to visit the 16th century. I’d love to visit some of the places Gwyn and Dirk stayed and traveled around.

I love the 1940s, and Boston seems like a really interesting city. It would be so neat to see it during that time.

The scenes of the Oregon coast described in this novel sound so beautiful. The sound of crashing waves as the wind blows through the air; sounds like the perfect vacation.

First, I want to mention how much I love the cover of this book. It is so beautiful! I would so love to visit New York City during the winter in the Gilded Age. To go ice skating in Central Park in a beautiful dress…. It sounds magical!

Seriously, who wouldn’t want to visit Regency England!?

I love the Victorian era. I would so love to visit England in the mid-1800s.

I love this book. It is so good. I would jump at the chance to spend just one day in the 1920s. And if I could spend that day with Valancy, it would be all the better.

Prince Edward Island is near the top of places I want to visit someday. L.M. Montgomery’s writings are the sole reason. The seaside town Anne and Gilbert move to in Anne’s House of Dreams sounds so beautiful.

When I was writing this list, I just had to add A Castle in the Sky. I’ve enjoyed writing about this era. I think it would be so much fun to visit New York in the 1910s.

So how about you, readers and friends? What are some times and places you’d like to see?

-Miranda Atchley

Review: Shine Like The Dawn by Carrie Turansky

by Carrie Turansky

In Edwardian England, twenty-something Maggie Lounsbury works with her grandmother in a millinery shop. After her parents and older sister were killed in a tragic boating accident in the 1800s, Maggie has lived with Grandmother over the shop. She’s never been able to forgive the Harcourt family, whom her father worked for, after they turned their backs on the Lounsburys amidst their grief. Now several years later, after the elder Mr. Harcourt has passed, his son Nate comes back to take over the estate. Before Mr. Harcourt passed, he gave Nate instructions to pay the Lounsburys a large sum owed to them that he never paid. Yet when Nate brings up the subject to his old friend, Maggie turns down the money, unwilling to accept anything from the family whom treated her’s so terribly. When tragedy strikes the millinery shop, Maggie and her family are forced to accept Nate Harcourt’s charity. As she visits Morningside, a large manor home she used to spend so much of her time at, she learns secrets that could give her answers about the accident that claimed the lives of her loved ones. She enlists the help of her old friend Lily, whom works at Morningside. Yet Lily can only help so much without endangering her job. Can Maggie put her anger behind her in order to work with Nate to shine a light on the mysteries of her family’s deaths?

I really enjoyed this book. The Edwardian era is one of my favorite periods to read about and this book displays many of the reasons why. I love reading about how things were changing during this era; women were becoming more bold, the gap between the rich and the poor was beginning to close, and people were beginning to drive automobiles while some still clung to the horse drawn carriages that they were used to. But it still feels like the Victorian era that I also love. That’s the feeling I got when I read Shine Like The Dawn; a mix of old and (at the time this story takes place) new. And the characters were endearing, too. Maggie was understandably hurt and angry in the years after the accident. While Nate knew that his family had treated the Lounsburys poorly, he was unaware of many details that surrounded the accident and simply wanted to make amends with the family.

In the beginning, I wondered why sections were written from Lily’s point of view, yet as the story progressed and issues at the factory owned by the Harcourts unfurled, it all tied together. It really gives it that “upstairs, downstairs” air that a lot of people love about this time period.

Overall, Shine Like The Dawn is a good read. Fans of Christian historical fiction who love Downton Abbey will want to read this book.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving readers and friends! I have a lot to be thankful for, not the least of which is you all. I hope you all have a wonderful day and many things to be thankful for this year.

-Miranda Atchley

Review: The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller

by Carolyn Miller

Lavinia Ellison leads a quiet life with her clergyman father and her Aunt Patience in the countryside of Regency England. She’s quite content to pay calls throughout the village and painting watercolors of nature, her dog Mickey at her side. Though the pain caused by the tragedy that claimed her mother years ago still lingers in her heart. When Nicholas Hawkesbury returns to the village as the new earl of Hawkesbury House, all are excited save for Lavinia. She still harbors hard feelings toward him for the role his brother played in the death of her mother and holds him responsible for the poor state of the village tenant’s housing. Nicholas is perplexed by her odd behavior. Can he win over the elusive Miss Ellison?

I really enjoyed this book. It isn’t a fast paced novel, more one that you take your time reading. Carolyn Miller shows a real talent for writing in this novel. Like many others, I was reminded of Lizzy and Mr. Darcy as I read about Lavinia and Lord Hawkesbury, only there were some differences in their rivalry that kept it feeling like a fresh story. I liked the characters; Lavinia was a very likable heroine and Nicholas was a good hero. And I love the wait faith is portrayed in this book; it’s immersed throughout the story and told in a lovely way. It’s simply an enjoyable book.

Overall, The Elusive Miss Ellison is a book that Christian historical fans will love. If you’re an Austenite, you will most certainly want to read this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. 

The 50 Best Indie Books of 2017

My fifth book, All The Future Holds, has been shortlisted for The 50 Best Indie Books of 2017! Vote here.

Thank you so much to everyone who nominated it! I am so thankful!

-Miranda Atchley

What A Writer Does Between Novels

Here on my blog, I tend to only write about what I’m currently writing, or what books I’m reading. Yet this time I thought I would write about what I’ve been doing in between projects. My last book, Of Things To Come was published on October 27th and since then, I’ve been taking a break. Here’s what I’ve been doing during my break.

Of course I’ve been reading a lot. When I was finishing Of Things To Come, I promised myself that once the book was released I would get to read as much as I wanted. I’ve posted some reviews here on the blog, so if you’re curious you can browse the archives.

It’s finally fall around here, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the leaves turn such wonderful colors. We’ve had a lot of really pretty trees this  year, but I was unable to get the pictures from my phone on my computer so I thought I’d use this picture from a few years ago.

I celebrated Halloween.

When I realized that I would probably be publishing Of Things To Come in October, I decided it would be fun to publish the book on my birthday. It was a really fun way to celebrate. Both were celebrated with Earthquake Cake and Mexican Chicken Casserole.

Even though I’ve been taking a break, I have written a little bit here there. I’ve been working on some blog posts, and a little bit on some side projects that you’ll learn more about someday (Lord willing).

So that’s what I’ve been doing since I finished writing Of Things To Come. Thank you all for stopping by today! And tell me in the comments what you all have been up to.

-Miranda Atchley