How can a meek wallflower help a returning war hero whose dreams are plunged into darkness?
Mary Bloomfield has no illusions. Her chances for matrimony have long since passed her by. Still, her circumstances are pleasant enough, especially now that she has found purpose in assisting her father with his medical practice in England’s beautiful Lake District. Even without love, it’s a peaceful life.
That is until Adam Edgerton returns to the sleepy district. This decorated war hero did not arrive home to acclaim and rest, but to a new battle against the repercussions of an insidious disease. Mary’s caring nature cannot stand to see someone suffer–but how can she help this man see any brightness in his future when he’s plunged into melancholic darkness, his dreams laid waste by his condition?
Adam wants no charity, but he’s also no coward. If this gentle woman can work hard, how can he do less? Together they struggle to find a way forward for him. Frustration and antipathy slowly develop into friendship and esteem. Then a summer storm atop a mountain peak leads to scandal–and both Mary and Adam must search the depths of their closed hearts for answers if they hope to find any future path with happiness at its end.
Best-selling author Carolyn Miller is back with a fresh series that will not only thrill readers eager for more of her work, but bring in new fans looking for beautiful writing, fascinating research, deftly woven love stories, and real faith lived out in the Regency period.
Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher, as part of a Read with Audra blog tour, the opinions below are my own.
Carolyn Miller returns to Regency era England with a new series set in the northwestern region of the country; a location not known for its society happenings. Don’t expect fancy costume balls or cameos from royalty within the pages of the first Regency Wallflowers novel. Yes, there’s mention of a titled landowner and, yes, Mary’s doctoring father went to Edinburgh for his education, but the men in this book must work for a living. Farming is the name of the game here.
If Mary had been raised in the south, and presented to society, there’s no doubt she’d have been married long before 1811 when this book is set. Instead, her younger sister Joanna is of the age to consider marriage, although she doesn’t know who she wants to marry, even though she has caught the interest of a few young men. Joanna’s friend, Emily, is supposed to marry Adam when he returns from the Napoleonic Wars a hero. But when Adam returns less than whole, Emily finds she can’t bring herself to do so; his present condition is too much for her.
Emily is just one character out of several who are portrayed in a negative fashion. Others are back biting, gossipy, whiny, sulky, purveyors of doom, etc. The minister at the parish church doesn’t behave in a Christian manner, especially when it comes to counseling his parishioners in matters of faith, hope, and charity. Adam is dour at times and frustrated at others, but this is understandable given his condition. Mary has moments of weakness, but otherwise comes across as a saint. Their inevitable romance isn’t immediate and comes across as more of a slow burn than anything else.
There are a couple of situations which some readers may find traumatic. They are handled in a contemporary context; that is, they are handled and discussed here as they would’ve probably been in the early 19th century. We may find the opinions harsh, but we must remember how beliefs have evolved over the years. There’s also an uncomfortable scene in the preview of Midnight’s Budding Morrow, which is included at the end of the novel.
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 18 May 2021
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Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.
Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.
Carolyn Miller’s Website https://www.carolynmillerauthor.com/