Review: The Portrait, by Cassandra Austen (with link to giveaway)

The Portrait
by Cassandra Austen

Publication Date: December 31, 2018
Apollo Grannus Books
eBook & Paperback; 340 Pages

Genre: Historical/Romance/Suspense



Lady Catherine, banished to the countryside as a useless girl with a lame leg, got her revenge by playing a dangerous game. And now it will ruin her.

When the old earl dies, his only child feels no sorrow. The earldom will now revert to the crown and Lady Catherine will continue to live life exactly as she pleases. But when she learns that she is the heir to a secret family title, everything changes. Marriage had once seemed unnecessary and out of the question; now it is the only thing she wants. The two men in her life both need her influence and wealth. Whom shall she choose? The kind but secretive Captain Avebury? Or the notorious Sir Lyle, the handsome smuggler? Both men deal very differently with honor. And when Catherine’s secret self-destructs, which man can be trusted to save her?

The Portrait is about a strong woman, foolish decisions, trust, and the definition of honor. Fans of Jane Austen’s independent women will recognize in Catherine a voice which will not be silenced.

My Review

With thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and the publisher for my copy of The Portrait. The following review consists of my own thoughts and opinions on this title.

It is the dawn of a new century, but women in the Regency era are still beholden to men for their survival. Catherine didn’t only have the misfortune to be born a girl; she also has a physical disability. She is a constant reminder to her father of everything he doesn’t have, and so he denies her the one thing she wants – love. But can she even recognize love when it comes her way?

The Portrait is an intriguing book where no one is quite who they seem. Early on, readers see two sides to Catherine. She is both flirtatious in society and authoritarian behind the scenes. She has an interesting taste in companions. To one she is a chaperone, while another has a dubious past. My opinions on Sir Lyle kept changing. I loathed him, then admired him, and finally loathed him again. And Avebury? I couldn’t quite understand how he’d made the rank of ship’s captain, even though it is partially explained. Most of the time, he seems to be a cog in someone else’s machinations. Essentially, this is a love story about a stubborn woman and the two men in her life, and goings-on within His Majesty’s Royal Navy.

The epilogue contains a stunner, but don’t skip ahead to the end. I was immediately relieved to see there is to be a sequel, because readers are left with a doozy of a cliffhanger!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Cassandra Austen writes historical and contemporary fiction set in both old and New England. She is the author of The Portrait, a historical romance that takes place during the Regency period in England, and Coming Home to Greenleigh, a contemporary New England romance. She lives and works in her 1700s farmhouse in northern New England, but you are welcome to visit her at her virtual home: You can also find Cassandra on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 1
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, July 2
Feature at A Holland Reads

Wednesday, July 3
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, July 4
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, July 5
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Monday, July 8
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, July 9
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, July 10
Review at McCombs on Main

Thursday, July 11
Feature at What Is That Book About
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, July 12
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Monday, July 15
Review at My Vices and Weaknesses


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two copies of The Portrait! To enter, please use the giveaway link below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

The Portrait Giveaway (external link)

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