I don't remember where, when, and how I fell in love with Liz Bennett and Mr. Darcy. But does it really matter? Austen's Pride and Prejudice is much more than a classic love story. I think any romance story that pairs a "high spirited" heroine that goes against the societal grain, with a cool, arrogant and handsome man should owe their thanks and beginnings to Jane.
At least, that's what this book made me think about from the moment I pictured Lavinia Ellison. Her in her haughty gray eyes, her wit, her goodness, and her unfailing stewardship to her neighbors in need. This one is a keeper. Of course, her intelligence and her less than subtle ways of not wanting to fit in does not sit well with the 1800s high society crowd.
There were a few moments in this book that brought tears to my eyes. Lavinia was faithful in her worship, and prayer to God, but her pride and anger kept her from forgiving her 'enemy.'
The enemy being Earl Hawkesbury. He is haunted with memories of war, conflicted with what is expected of him, and what to make of his Elusive neighbor. But something more is offered within these pages than just a reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice. Something so much more beautiful than a love story.
Carolyn Miller weaves faith, salvation, God's grace into this book. I have never read a Christian historical fiction, and I can tell you this is not going to be my last book of Ms. Miller's.
I love the Earl's marvel at how 'simple' it is to follow the cross. How simple God offers salvation with nothing more than a prayer, a want and need for Him to live in us. I was moved by the tug, and pull of him trying to do right by God, by his overbearing mother, and by Lavinia.....and failing. And only by coming to understand who he is at the foot of the cross - a sinner, who is loved beyond measure - does he become more real for me, and dare I say, much more than Mr. Darcy could ever be.
This man, Nicholas Hawkesbury, with all his faults, and arrogance, and charm, and wit, and handsomeness could make women around him swoon, but it is his heart, his discovery of faith, and belief in forgiveness and grace that caught the eye, and heart of the Elusive Miss Ellison.
*I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the 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.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will 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.
Learn more and purchase a copy.
About the Author:
Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.
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
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on March 22. The winner will be announced March 23 on the Litfuse blog.
Information about the book, and the author go here: http://litfusegroup.com/author/CMiller
Book Club Pick:
I use Goodread's rating scale
1 star – didn’t like it
2 stars – it was OK
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was so amazing, it's on my reread pile!