Book Review: The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller + GIVEAWAY


"I don't want to molder away here forever." (219)


Title: The Elusive Miss Ellison
Series: A Legacy of Grace, Book 1
Author: Carolyn Miller
Publisher:  Kregel Publications
Release Date:  February 28, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction 

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.



So if you've been on my blog lately, or seen me on social media, you'd know there's a book I'm quite enthralled by. I had an interview with the author, and invited her back for a little book recommendations about grace, but I've yet to post my review. Well, here it is today!

Carolyn Miller's The Elusive Miss Ellison is the first of A Legacy of Grace series. This book was first recommended by the ever fabulous Dawn Crandall, author of The Everstone Chronicles, which I absolutely adore.  If that didn't do it for me, I checked out the cover, and wham, I new I must read it.  And yes, I do judge a book by its cover, at least to the point of should I or shouldn't I read it, especially if it's from a new author to me. Back to the cover, isn't it just lovely?

As I begin the story, I was immediately taken by the witty dialogue between the characters, especially our main protagonists, Lavinia (Miss Ellison) and Lord Nicholas Hawkesbury. It reminds me a little of the first scenes of my favorite novel, Pride & Prejudice between Darcy and Elizabeth. And it goes on. The nods to Jane Austen's books had me devouring this pretty number in a mere few hours. Granted, not all books that reminisce or retell Jane Austen's works were great.  This one is one that alludes to it, but hold its own.  Is it weird that this is my favorite nod?

"Insufferable man!" (19)

The Elusive Miss Ellison is a wonderful start to a series set in the Regency period, providing fans of historical fiction a visual representation of the social hierarchy,  the rules that dictates between each class and the expectations to remain as such. The characters were all entertaining, though I find the strongest character development  with our main characters. Their struggle to find common ground, and overcome all the different challenges to their friendship, let alone their union was infused throughout. It gave the story depth. One thing I might note that was a tad disjointed was the pace. It was quick, then slowed, then quicken, but it was mostly the first part of the story. I think by the second half, the story "found" its own pace and that my dears, allowed it to soar.

Soar it did with the subtle and not so subtle messages of forgiveness and pride. I find the prejudices from Lavinia worth exploring, as her character, at least her humility doesn't seem to correlate, but when we look further in, pride can easily lead to prejudices.  The message of forgiveness also reigns in The Elusive Miss Ellison, from old hurts to new misunderstandings. In all, a story that makes a great read. I look forward to the rest of the series, all release this year!


"Unforgiveness holds us slaves . . ." (16)

For a lovely scene, check out the interview with Carolyn HERE.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.

TO PURCHASE A COPY OR ADD IT ON GOODREADS

     


OTHER BOOKS OF A LEGACY OF GRACE (Linked to Goodreads)

    


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.


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Settle in for a cozy night of reading with a cuppa and a Kindle from Carolyn!


One grand prize winner will receive:

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.






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4 comments:

  1. Thanks Annie, for your kind words!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Carolyn!! =) I look forward to the next ones!

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  2. Fantastic review, Annie! I'm so excited to read this series.

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