By Linore Rose Burkard
(Harvest House, 2008)
(Harvest House, 2008)
Review by Teresa Mathews
When I started reading this book I wasn’t sure if it was for me or not, since I’m not a huge lover of Regency books, I have to be in the mood for one. Well I am so glad I read this one! Linore Burkard does a magnificent job describing this era, from the descriptions of the fashions, ladies’ and men‘s, to the architecture of the houses, it was all so clear it was like being transported back in time.
Miss Ariana Forsythe aged nineteen is a beautiful headstrong young lady who feels her calling in life is to marry a man of the cloth. It seems the only one available is her current Rector, Mr. Thaddeus Admonicus Hathaway, so he must be the one God has intended for her. Ariana thinks it’s of no consequence that Mr. Hathaway is close to the age of 60. Her parents, Charles and Julia, think otherwise. So after the Rector and Ariana’s father come to blows on the church grounds, they decide to send Ariana to stay with her Aunt Agatha Bentley in London.
When Ariana arrives at her Aunt’s house, she realizes that it is in a very posh and exclusive part of Mayfield and she is excited to think a country girl as herself is about to be introduced to a London Season. She has never dreamed this could be possible. Ariana is shocked at the amount of money her aunt is spending on a new wardrobe for her, Dear Aunt Agatha wants to make sure Ariana meets someone special or maybe even engaged before the end of the season. She could not believe her luck when Ariana unknowingly catches the attention of the most eligible bachelor, Philip Mornay, at the picnic much of society has been invited to at Aspindon, one of Mr. Mornay’s estates.
Mr. Philip Mornay has a past that he wants to keep hidden and this makes him to seem aloof and ill-natured. He is known as the “Paragon” to society, not only is he handsome, he is always the epitome of fashion in his attire. But he is also known for his temper and his rudeness to any young lady that tries to attract his attention; it seems he will never be tempted to marry.
When Philip first meets Ariana you might say she almost knocks him over. Needless to say he was not very pleasant to her, and threatens to forcibly return her to her mother, or in her case, her aunt. What is it about Ariana that thaws his heart? Will she be the one to help him overcome his past? Will he be open to what she suggests to him in order for her to accept his offer of marriage?
This was a wonderfully written book; there were laugh out loud parts where poor Ariana’s better judgment was not in place. My favorite part was where Ariana explains to Philip the gift of Salvation and how important it is to her and how much she wants him to become a child of God. I will confess I might have been in need of a tissue while reading this part. I enjoyed this book immensely, and can’t wait to read the other books in this series by Ms. Burkard.
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