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.
If you’re a fan of Regency romance, you’ll love The Elusive Miss Ellison. It has it all – inter-class attraction, a poor village in need of attention, a faith journey by one unaware, slanderous gossip by the wealthy, drama, tragedy, and more. I think Miller’s book would attract even those unfamiliar with this time period because of the great drama and repartee that lies within these pages.
I loved the descriptions. From ball gowns to wild blossoms by the roadway, Miller set the backdrop to each scene well. I could picture how it must look and loved the extra oomph that gave to the story.
Nicholas is a very complex character. With much tragedy in his past and unwanted responsibility now sitting on his shoulders, he struggles to deal with it all, and yet he comes across as a now-honorable man, at least most of the time. I found myself wanting him to fare well even when he wasn’t behaving well, and yet you could see the man that he could be.
The best element to Miller’s writing, though, was the way that she wrote subtle mysteries into the story. This wasn’t an ordinary historical romance; she fed you small pieces of backstory at unexpected times, often when you hadn’t been sure there was even more to tell. I loved the way that more kept coming just when I wanted it.
There are more books coming soon in the Regency Brides series – I can’t wait to read them.
I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity. All opinions are my own.