Kaye Dacus in her new book, An Honest Heart Book Two in The Great Exhibition series published by B&H Books introduces us to Cadence Caddy Bainbridge.
From the back cover: Courtship . . . cunning . . . candor. Who possesses an honest heart?
Set during the Industrial Revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851, An Honest Heart is a sitting-room romance with the feel of a Regency-era novel but the fashions and technological advances of the mid-Victorian age.
Featuring dual romance stories, the main plot involves seamstress Caddy Bainbridge and the choice she must make between two men: one from the aristocracy, the other from the working class. Award-nominated author Kaye Dacus pinpoints the theme of honestyboth men in this love triangle have deep secrets to hide, and Caddys choice will be based on which of them can be honest with her.
Kaye Dacus really knows how to write a wonderful story. Once again Ms. Dacus has filled the pages of An Honest Heart with high drama, wonderful romance and fascinating characters. Two worlds: the Upper Class and The Middle Class; Two suitors: One secretive, one sinister, an ill mother and a successful dressmaker shop these are just some of the ingredients in this fascinating adventure. And, of course, there are the moments that you laugh out loud. An Honest Heart is a lot of fun and I recommend this book highly. I am greatly looking forward to Ms. Dacus next book.
If you missed the interview for A Case For Love, a different series from Kaye Dacus, and would like to listen to it and/or interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B&H Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Kaye Dacus has once again written a winner of a novel in "An Honest Heart". Set in Victorian England during the time of the Great Exhibition this book seamlessly meshes together the working class and aristocratic society.
Caddy Bainbridge is a seamstress in a small, English village. I loved all the tidbits about her work and her trips outside the village to the country estates of the aristocracy. Caddy has a calm, mature and caring personality. I admired her generous spirit to those around her and that understated elegance that she carries so gracefully. She would be excellent friend for anybody.
Dr. Neal Stradbroke is new to the area and is finding his way to making friends of the villagers and gathering a clientele of patients. I liked him and thought the author did a good job of giving the hero plenty of opportunities to rescue the heroine. That's always a plus in my book!
Caddy and Neal fit very well together and at all times remain respectful in their behavior to each other, as well as, to others. I appreciated that. That being said, the romance was well-written with two or three lovely kisses and sparks to seal their love story. Kaye Dacus does a wonderful job of putting tiny details in her writing that makes one feel a part of the story; Whether it's physical description, sounds or places.
As a foil to this lovely couple we also have a subplot involving characters from the previous novel, "Follow the Heart". It's one merry-go-round of plots and choices the aristocracy makes to upset and upstage their relations and friends.
Neal and Caddy have to endure a few trials along the way and learn lessons in trust and honesty.
I really enjoyed this book and wish more books would be written in this series.
After reading the first book in The Great Exhibition series, I knew I had to continue to read this series. I was hooked on that book and was so excited to see the next one had already come out. The same things that I liked about the first book are the same things that I enjoyed in this book.
Set during the time of the Great Exhibition during the Industrial Revolution, Kaye Dacus writes a book that I think is great for anyone who likes Downton Abbey or any of those other British shows.
Romance is budding in this book. We meet up with Caddy Bainbridge who is a skilled seamstress and is quite generous in making sure that she sews for those who don't own appropriate dresses whether it's because of lack of money or just finding themselves in bad situations. She has two men that are chasing after her love. The decision is made more complicated because both of the men aren't being completely honest with Caddy.
There's another side love story with Edith Buchanan, who is wealthy and searching for a man with a title. No other men need apply for the job of her husband.
This is a complicated love triangle in which many secrets will be revealed, many twists are made, and the conclusion of the book leaves you feeling in anticipation for the next book in the series.
Kaye Dacus is an author that I never knew I'd like until this series. Now I don't think I'll ever pass her books by on the shelves! Now I want to go back and re-read the first one again.
I received this book free from CFBA and B & H Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
Kaye Dacus is one of my favorite must watch authors since reading her first novel, Follow the Heart and she came back in a big way with An Honest Heart. Captivated in your traditional regency style, Kaye mixes this one up with a dramatic twist with the upcoming opening of the Great Exhibition just at the height of the Industrial Revolution.
In An Honest Heart combines two very distinctive love stories, the first being with Cadence "Caddy" Bainbridge, a seamstress who has made a life for herself opening her own dressmaking shop in the heart of Oxford, England in 1851. She uses her valuable skills not only to create the equivalent fashions of the higher end shops in London, but also incorporating those same skills to create attire for the lower class residents who also need clothing. She spends her free time teaching sewing skills to the women housed in the poor houses and prisons so that they can have a skill to fall back on much like she did. It's her way of simply giving back to the heart of the community. She was sent to a finishing school by her father who had connections with high end schools through his friendships with head masters as a way of hoping to raise her opportunities for marriage to a fine gentleman in the future.
She meets quite by fate and accident, Dr. Neal Stradbroke, the town's new doctor as he brings her mother home late one afternoon who has fainted on her daily walk. Dr. Neal Stradbroke advises Caddy that her mother has heart issues and needs to make sure she is taking better care of herself, but Caddy's mother sees a fine prospect for a husband in Neal instead and will stop at nothing to ensure that the two see what is right in front of their eyes.
The secondary story involves Edith Buchanan, a fine upstanding but often times cold-hearted wealthy women of a prominent family who is searching for a well deserved husband complete with a high end title. When her father arranges for Lord Thynne, a single viscount to arrive at their home in hopes of a possible connection for Edith, he instead has interests in her American cousin, Katharine Dearing, an heiress to a railway fortune instead of the Ice Queen. She plots to find a way for Katharine to do something that she can use to engineer her downfall and thus enable Lord Thynne to fall in love with her instead. She makes a bet with Oliver Carmicheal, Lady Carmichael's eldest son and future baron at Chawley Abbey that if neither of them secure a better match for themselves by the close of the Great Exhibition, they will agree to marry one another.
Yet Oliver Carmichael has his own sites set on Miss Bainbridge after making a bet with his close friends at a gentlemen's club when he is snubbed and dismissed by Miss Bainbridge. He believes he will have no problem in getting her to fall in love with him, since he has never been turned down by any female in his life and wagers 100 pounds that he can do it by the day the Great Exhibition opens on May 1st.
There are so many different twists and turns in this exceptional and wonderfully written novel, you truly feel like you're at the heart of something amazing as you watch things unfold between the different classes set in this novel. You are cheering that some will get what they truly deserve and you definitely have the good and evil characters in this one. I often found myself seeing the characters of Caddy Bainbridge played by the actress, Anne Hathaway and Dr. Neal Stradbroke by Hugh Jackman, while the opposing characters Mr. Oliver Carmichael portrayed by Billy Zane and Edith Buchanan played by Charlize Theron. I can't wait to see what Kaye Dacus comes up with next and this one easily rates a 5 out of 5 stars.
I received An Honest Heart by Kaye Dacus compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and B and H Publishing Group for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. This is the second novel in the Great Exhibition Series.