The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller
"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.
978-0825444500| $14.99 | Paperback | Kregel Publications
Stellar Regency romances in the Christian genre seem to be less prevalent than in previous years. Luckily, Carolyn Miller has introduced a new series to entertain fans of the genre, with three installments to be published this year, and book one indicating that the series has promise. While The Elusive Miss Ellison isn't my favorite historical of the year, it certainly has me intrigued and ready to find out more of the residents of this 19th century community.
Lavinia Ellison is a rather prim and proper heroine, but still remains likeable. Nicholas, Earl of Hawkesbury is handsome and wealthy, reminiscent of Mr Darcy, but unfortunately he comes off as a bit more of a jerk than our favorite timeless hero. His conduct leads him to apologize to Miss Ellison more times than I could count, however, he does redeem himself by the end of the book. There was a super swoony scene near the end of the story that was simply delightful (apologies...so much alliteration, but I don't care, because I can't think of anything other than "super swoony" to describe it). I like the romance trope of "poor county lass meets wealthy gentleman", so I was well pleased with the plot!
The Elusive Miss Ellison is a sweet Christian read. While I can't say it's completely amazing, I'll definitely recommend it to fans of Regencys like those by Kristi Ann Hunter or Lori Wick.
~ My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ~
*I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*