26 August 2014

Noela Nancarrow reviews THE HESITANT HEIRESS by Dawn Crandall

The Hesitant Heiress

The Hesitant Heiress (Everstone Chronicles #1)
Whitaker House (August 1, 2014)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****


Dawn Crandall’s debut novel 'The Hesitant Heiress' has swept its way into my heart with its stellar ensemble of compelling characters and a deeply charming and captivating romance! With a writing style that’s reminiscent to the classic Jane Eyre, this tale is written in first person point of view and captures its period to perfection. Normally I shy away from reading books told in first person, but any uncertainties I initially had were quickly quelled by Dawn's superb writing!

I was easily drawn into Amaryllis Brigham’s world as she is reluctantly immersed into the distinguished society of Boston in 1890. Bereft of any other family and having been unceremoniously kicked out of the Boston Conservatory of Music, twenty-five year old Amaryllis takes up her wealthy Aunt Claudine’s offer of residency. Amaryllis longs to found a music academy in her own hometown but it seems the only way she can now attain that goal is to marry within the year to inherit her grandmother’s fortune. Amaryllis wishes to reject that idea and strives to make her dreams come true other ways… without a husband. Can she reach her goals on her own and find contentment? Or will she allow a ghost from her past by the name of Bram Everstone, whom she discovered was the one behind her dismissal, continue to extract her peace and affect her life?

Nathan, the charming and enigmatic son of Bram Everstone, arrives back in Boston with Amaryllis’ cousin Lawry, in his father’s private rail-car. Having seen a younger photo of Amaryllis and hearing so much about her from Lawry, Nathan is curious though unprepared when he sees this beguiling young woman waiting at the train station. He endeavors to get to know the beautiful yet confusing Amaryllis, though finds it near impossible to understand her or to climb her carefully constructed walls of self-protectiveness. Will he be able to cause her self-made fortress to crumble enough to allow him access to her heart?

Unanswered questions teased me throughout the story, but as the tale unraveled they were all answered satisfactorily! Mysteries, misunderstandings, and even murder, all added intriguing and exciting layers to ‘The Hesitant Heiress’. And when Amaryllis wasn't exasperating me with her lack of perception, I found the interactions between her and Nathan intensely intoxicating. The story’s finale was one of the best endings I've ever read. Suffused with compelling drama and tension, it was thrilling while bristling with romantic tension. Well done Dawn Crandall!

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THE HESITANT HEIRESS BLOG TOUR

As part of her book launch, Dawn is taking part in a blog tour featuring interviews, book reviews and giveaways. She’s giving away a prize pack every weekend for the six weeks of the blog tour and one larger prize pack at the end. Each of YOU who comments on any post will be entered into the drawing for that specific week, and then also for the end of the tour Grand Prize–all of which will be announced on this blog. Many of the blogger’s posting in the blog tour are also giving away a digital copy of The Hesitant Heiress.

THE FIVE WEEKLY PRIZE PACKS: a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.

THE GRAND PRIZE (at the end of week six): a Kindle Fire, a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal.

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Available for purchase at Amazon; CBD; and Barnes & Noble


  • Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of Dawn's book this week.  Leave a comment to enter. Winners are posted in the upper right hand corner of the blog and must email us to claim their prize.

60 comments:

  1. Thank you, Noela! I was nervous about you reading THH because you'd told me you don't usually like first person but thought the story sounded interesting. I'm glad you loved it! :D

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    1. Haha I'm sorry to have put you through that DAWN! ;) But let me just say, barely a few paragraphs in I wasn't even thinking about it being written in first person... In fact, I was probably lost in Amaryllis' world quicker than I would in most other books!!

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  2. It sounds good! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by to enter the contest, Rachael! :D

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  3. Looks like a great book I'd enjoy reading. I love Christian fiction.

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    1. Thanks for stopping, Macushlalondra!!!! I hope you get a chance, and enjoy it as much as Noela did! :D

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  4. I really love the cover! It makes me want to read the book!

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    1. Thanks, Kate! I really love the cover too!!! I was so thrilled when Whitaker House first sent it to me!! I was so scared I wouldn't like it... but oh, I do love it!!! :D

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  5. I have been interested in this book ever since I saw the cover. I would love to win it!

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    1. Hi Christy! Thanks for stopping! And thanks for sharing your enthusiasm with me! :)

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  6. Love the cover & would enjoy reading this.. thanks :)

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    1. Hi Deanna! Thanks for stopping to enter the contest! :D

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  7. This book will not dissappoint. I'm just about ready for my second read. With this book being in the first POV, a second reading will be enjoyable as I will know things that were just suspense the first time. I truly loved that about this well written novel. Feel free to judge this book by its cover. Great review! ewe_r_merritt(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, R!!!! That is every author's dream to hear! I'm so happy you loved the book!!! :D

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    1. Hi Sharon! Thanks for stopping to enter the giveaways! :D

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  9. Hi Dawn! Very nice book review. I'm looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for offering a free copy to share. Best wishes to all!
    TrishRobertson@mac.com

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    1. Thanks TRISH, I hope you get to read this great story really soon!! Blessings!

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    2. Thanks, Trish! I hope you enjoy it as much as Noela did when you get a chance to read it! :D

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  10. Hey, I'd like to win a copy of your book as well. Great Review! However, I don't read ebooks, just hardcovers/soft paperbacks. And yes, I too loved the cover.

    Denise Glisson prayerladyd@verizon.net

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    1. Thank you DENISE! I agree, SUCH a gorgeous cover!! All the best and God bless!!

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    2. Whitaker House has published The Hesitant Heiress as only an eBook for the time being. Hopefully by next spring, when all three books in the series are out, they will also all be available in paperback as well. Thanks for stopping by to read Noela's review! :)

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  11. I would love to read this book. :)

    posbus4me at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for coming by to read about Dawn's fabulous book TAMI! I hope you get to read and enjoy it soon!!

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    2. Hi Tami! Thanks for stopping to read the review! There were times I think my jaw just dropped at what Noela wrote in this wonderful review! :D

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  12. Great review and this does sound like a great story, Noela and Dawn! We're happy to feature Dawn this week on the OWG blog!

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    1. Thank you CARRIE, it's been such a pleasure having DAWN on OWG hasn't it?! And it was a privilege to be able to share this amazing debut of Dawn's with everyone!!

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    2. Thank you for having me, Carrie! It was honor to be featured! :D

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  13. Thank you for a wonderful review to this wonderful book and thank you for the giveaway.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks MELANIE and you are so welcome! I wish you all the best in the giveaway!! God bless!

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    2. Thank you for stopping by to read the review, Melanie!! I hope you get a chance to read it--and that you enjoy it as much as Noela did! :D

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  14. Thank you for introducing me to Dawn's work. I don't think I have read anything by her before. lisajcowell (at) cs (dot) com

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    1. So glad you came by to read about Dawn's book LISA!! You wouldn't have read anything yet as this is her debut novel, but there will definitely be more to read after this as I believe there are 2 more in this series! :-)

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    2. Hi Lisa! Yes, at the moment, I am a "new to everyone" author! :D But Whitaker House is releasing the three books of my debut series only three months apart--the next one comes out in November, and the third in February! :)

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  15. A lovely review thank you. It's the "unanswered questions" that keep you reading I find.

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    1. Thank you kindly MARY. I think you would love this beautiful novel! Hope you get to read it soon!! :-)

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    2. Hi Mary! Thanks for stopping! It was a VERY wonderful review, wasn't it? I am still in awe of it. :)

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  16. I would love to read this book <3 :) i also find the covers always catch my eye

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    1. Me too SARAH, and this one is especially eye-catching isn't it! :-) So glad you stopped by to read about Dawn's book Sarah. All the best with your entry!!!

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    2. Hi Sarah! I do LOVE the covers! I never would have dreamed that I would have such gorgeous covers!!! But they go perfectly with the stories inside! I described my heroines, the mood and the settings of the books, and they nailed them perfectly! Thanks for stopping to enter the giveaway! :D

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  17. Sounds like an awesome book, Noela & Dawn!! Great job on the review, N. !!

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    1. Thanks MARIAN! :-) I have to say, Dawn's writing is very impressive and she writes inspirational romance beautifully, and with great chemistry between the characters - which I love!! I'm really looking forward to the second in this series now!

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    2. Thanks you, Marian! And thank you again, Noela! Golly, I'm blushing all over the place from your high praise. :) I really appreciate it!

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  18. Noela and Dawn
    This book sounds terrific
    Please have a terrific week
    God bless you
    Chris Granville

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    1. Hello CHRIS, lovely to see you as always. 'The Hesitant Heiress' is a wonderful story for sure, thank you so much for coming by read about Dawn's debut novel! God bless you Chris!!

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    2. Thank you, Chris! And thank you for stopping by to enter the contest! :D

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  19. Oh this sounds so right up my alley - music and love - - - Great review, Noela! Dawn I pray God's blessings and favor will be all over this title like molasses on flapjacks! :) My historical character live a little rougher than yours! :) Perhaps honey on scones would be the better simile :) Blessings from Texas!

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    1. Haha love your similes CARYL, but you're making me hungry!! ;) Blessings from Queensland!

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    2. Hi Caryl! Thank you! Yes, our character's definitely do live different kinds of lives, don't they?!?!--but I do still love a good western romance! :D Thanks for stopping! :)

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  20. Sounds like a great book. Would love to win! Thanks for the giveaway. :)
    Rachel (smileytwin10{at}gmail{dot}com)

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  21. What a great review! I'm so excited to read this book!!! Thanks Dawn for all the giveaways!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by again, Heidi! :D I'm so glad you're excited!! :D

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  22. Sounds good, always love discovering new authors!

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  23. Thanks for stopping by, Patty!! I love to be discovered!!! It's kind of stressful to be a debut author many readers have never heard of!!

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  24. Beautiful review, Noela - thank you!!

    You've sold me on "The Hesitant Heiress" !! It has an interesting,unusual, story line - I like books that keep me guessing, the mysteries and murder - along with the romance - make for one exciting read. And I think the fact that it's written in first person might draw me into the story even more quickly. I agree with some of the other comments on the cover- I'm a cover person and this one is beautiful!!

    I appreciate the shorter wait between the 3 books and am wondering how long it took Dawn to write the 3 of them?? You must be extremely busy with 3 books releasing so closely together, however, it must also be very thrilling!! Congrats!!

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    1. I actually had the first two books in the series completely finished at the time of signing the book contract with Whitaker House, and they knew that. I think that's why they decided to release them the way they are. :) I'd had a rough draft finished for the third... and then I got pregnant last summer. That took me out of the game for a while! I'm working on the last revisions right now for that third book. It took me 2 years (2010-2012 off and on, and while baby-sitting an infant for a friend of mine) to write my first book, it then took me 9-10 months to write the second... but I also had the help of a critique partner the whole time, which helped a TON. And the third book, like I said, was started in 2013 and then disrupted for about a year of being pregnant and then taking care of my newborn. :D

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  25. It didn't take long reading your wonderful review, Noela, to get hooked on this exciting new novel by Dawn Crandall. Thanks for this giveaway and the chance to win a great read.

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    1. Thanks, Barbara! I'm glad you stopped by to enter the contest! :D

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  26. Thank you for the wonderful book, can't wait to get started reading it.. :)

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