My ambivalence over the first book in this series quickly dissolved when I read the second - it was an engaging read. Would my growing anticipation for the third book be rewarded? YES! From the start, when Honore Bainbridge falls off the edge of a crumbling cliff and is rescued by a handsome stranger, to the end when she and the now familiar Lord Ashmoor solve several tangled mysteries as the risk of their lives, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The inevitable romance between Honore and Meric was teasingly troubled and sweet. There were interesting supporting characters, too - I especially liked the wise and mysterious Miss Morrow, companion to the effervescent Lady. There were villains aplenty to hate - both physically dangerous and emotionally nasty. And just enough suspense that the path to the expected happy ending was not too predictable. I also liked the parallel journeys that Honore and Meric took in regaining their childhood faith. Both had experienced difficult, though different, childhoods, that made them question their fathers' love and purposes. But happily, both came to see the need for surrender to the Lord's will and provision.
The plot can be read on the book cover, but those details are not as important to convey as the delight of Honore's character unfolding in this trilogy. She is first portrayed as an immature beauty just looking for a good time. Next, she seems more adult, and is a good friend to her injured sister, but we still all-too-easily taken in by anyone willing to shower her with attention. By the time this third book opens, we finally see her grieving the sudden death of her father, and realizing her past "sins" were an effort to gain the love of that parent who spoiled but largely ignored her. Honore comes to terms with the damage her earlier choices have done to her reputation (and her family's), and really "puts on her big girl pants" and does the right thing, even at great cost to herself. In contrast, Americus Poole, who seems so perfect at the beginning of the book, eventually examines his own heart and finds reason to repent of his pride and lack of trust. It is a rewarding tale that brings these two lovely people together at last, whole and unburdened by their pasts.
I reluctantly finished this book, wishing there were a fourth book in the series. To me, that's the definition of a good read.
The final book in The Daughters of Bainbridge House gives you the Ahhhhh factor! Laurie Alice Eakes continues to make you laugh, smile, and your heart to ache for her characters. You really get to know her hero and heroine, Ashmoor and Honore so they feel like they are real people who you miss when you finish the book. The mystery is wonderful, the romance beautiful, all around a great book. If you love falling in love with your characters and feeling like they are your personal friends, this is the book for you!
I just love spunky heroines and Laurie Alice Eakes has given us just such a character in Reluctant Courtship. Honore Bainbridge trusted too much and made some bad choices. She did it with a clean heart, but now she is being punished by society and her family. We see her angst, and her attempts to do her best despite other's opinions.
This book also touched something deeper in me. The difference between right and wrong is not determined by our past experience, though we tend to view circumstances through those experiences. Both Honore and Lord Ashmoor have to look past their past and see the future with new eyes.
***I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of review. The above is my honest opinion.***
Laurie Alice Eakes in her new book, "A Reluctant Courtship" Book Three in The Daughters Of Bainbridge House series published by Revell brings us into the life of Honore Bainbridge in 1813.
From the back cover: A woman without a prospect. A man without a homeland. Can love give them a future?
Honore Bainbridge has been courted by two men, one of whom turned out to be a traitor, the other a murderer. Banished to her family's country estate, where she will hopefully stay out of trouble, she finally meets the man she is sure is exactly right for her: Lord Ashmoor. Tall, dark, and handsome-what more could a girl ask for?
But he too is under suspicion because of his American upbringing and accusations that he has helped French prisoners escape from Dartmoor Prison. If he's to keep out of a British prison himself and secure his place in British society, Lord Ashmoor needs a wife beyond reproach-something the vexingly beautiful Honore certainly is not. Though they find themselves drawn to each other, family obligations may conspire to keep them apart forever.
For the sake of her heart, Honore determines to prove Ashmoor's innocence-even if doing so risks her own life.
From the first sentence, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes thrusts you into high drama amid the rocky cliffs of Devonshire, England, and keeps you suspended there until the final page.
"A Reluctant Courtship" is a wonderful romance filled with mystery, intrigue, and scandal. It begins with Honore falling off a cliff and a very exciting rescue and the story builds from there. This is a page-turner that will keep you guessing right until the end. These pages are filled with wonderful characters that live and breathe. "A Reluctant Courtship" is full of reputation, finding yourself, finding your place in the world and romance. This is an interesting story filled with lots of excitement and romance as well as history. I liked it a lot and am sorry to see this series end.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. 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 Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
"Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
Honore's judgment of men is dismal. Her reputation is so bad that her brother banished her to the country.
Meric is a gentleman fighting to better his reputation. His father, branded a murderer, escaped to America. On Meric's arrival to claim his family's land and title he's tossed into prison for three months.
Honore's father helped him obtain his release and claim his title. He also attempted to arrange a marriage between him and Honore, but after her father's death, Meric chose not to marry her. He needs someone who will help elevate him rather than drag him down even further with her reputation.
These two. although unsuited, seem to be constantly drawn to each other. What a mess this causes. Can they even stay alive through countless "accidents" long enough to let love triumph?
Once again Ms Eakes brings us a story about The Daughters of Bainbridge House. They have all been good reads. I regret that there are no more daughters.
***A special thank you to Lanette Haskins for providing a review copy.***