Review: A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter (Haven Manor, Book 1)

"I don't care if the sky opens up and God tells us to build an ark. We're having a picnic." (185)

Title:  A Defense of Honor 
Series: Haven Manor, Book 1
Author: Kristi Ann Hunter
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: June 5, 2018 
Genre: Historical Fiction
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When Katherine "Kit" FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she's forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend's missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she's telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can't matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and to raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. But as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, the risk of revealing the truth may come at too high a price for those she loves.


Goodness. Kristi Ann Hunter continues to solidify her place in my heart as one of my favorite must-read authors with A Defense of Honor. The first full novel of the Haven Manor series,
I wish I can read it over and over again right this minute. Where shall I start in sharing why I love it so? How about this quote:

"'Favorite book?. . .'You can't ask a booklover such a question. It's like asking a mother who her favorite child is." (192)

There's that bit of kindred spirit acknowledgement going there from the author, and I love it. Besides that, I loved the premise of the Haven Manor itself. The charitable thought is eye opening towards historical details but also something to think about in relation to modern society.  Though, I must say, the highlight for me is meeting the three ladies, Kit, Daphne and of course, Jess. They are so special in their own way, and makes way for readers to be able to really connect with one or more of them.

"Because I want to save you from your boring sacrificial existence and make you go for a walk in the moonlight with a handsome gentleman." (199)

The men does not play second fiddle, but I do find it fascinating in comparison to the author's first series, Hawthorne House, I'm much more compelled by the heroines in Haven Manor. Yet, that is not to say the men, namely Graham, Oliver and Aaron are less enticing. Trust me, they are not, and how fun are they!

"The ghosts that haunt you the most are the ones you refuse to acknowledge. The past you try to bury has the most power to hurt you." (171)

Besides the characters and the premise, the storyline and the underlining message of God's plan and our value in God's eyes will touch every reader at some point.  Self-forgiveness plays a part, but finding ourselves amidst whatever holds us back, and trusting that His plan for us will be provided makes for some strong emotion in me.

"I think, on some level, it was what I thought God wanted me to do. That He'd entrusted me with this idea. . . day by day, He lets us keep doing it, so we do." (189)

In all, A Defense of Honor claimed a place on my forever shelf and on my must revisit list. It will grasp you by the hand and tug you to follow through to the end. And when you close that last page, you may have realized you've filled the pages with tabbed or highlighted areas that you love, like me.

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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.





Kristi Ann Hunter is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

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