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.
Lavinia Ellison, the daughter of St. Hampton Heath Village’s pastor, isn’t affected by riches or looks. She believes in helping the poor, living modestly and owning up to your obligations.
Nicholas Stamford, Earl to St. Hampton Heath Village, just wants to turn his duties over to his bailiff and be done with it, but he is thwarted at every turn.
I particularly enjoyed Lavinia’s wit and somewhat sharp tongue. Critical of those not living up to their legal and moral responsibilities, she often had an acerbic tone. However, she was equally as condemnatory of her own failings.
Sprinkled throughout the tale are rich portrayals of the villager’s pitiable homes and the landscape of the area juxtaposed against the detailed narrative of the aristocrat’s estates and opulent lifestyle, leaving you feeling the despair and sadness against which Lavinia struggled.
An impressively written story rich in history, the book abounds with faith, aspirations, romance and just the right amount of intrigue and family mystery. It is so well written, I had a hard time comprehending this was Carolyn Miller’s debut novel.
The main character’s development, tempered by their faith added a unique perspective to this tale.
Regency Era fans will love Carolyn Miller’s debut book, The Elusive Miss Ellison.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.