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The Cautious Maiden #4, The Everstone Chronicles, by Dawn Crandall
The story takes place in the Gilded Age of Boston told through the eyes of Violet Hawthorne, an innocent woman with a generous heart who falls in love with a transformed crook turned Christian, Vance Everstone. Violets brother Ezra turns their deceased parents' New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks. Her reputation becomes compromised. She tries to salvage her good name and is forced into an engagement with Vance. As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet finds out her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the shady Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU.
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Whitaker House
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Everstone Chronicles
The Rails to Love Romance Collection: 9 Historical Love Stories Set Along the Transcontinental RailroadDiana Lesire Brandmeyer, Amanda Cabot, Lisa Carter, Romana K. CecilBarbour Publishing / 2016 / Trade Paperback$9.99 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 7 Reviews
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In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance—Vance Everstone.
As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU.
With danger stalking her and a new fiancé who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust—and who to leave behind.
Apart from writing, Dawn is also a mom of two very little boys and serves with her husband in a premarital mentorship program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian education and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall has always loved books but didnt begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream. It didnt take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do.
Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and an associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.
Susan Anne Mason
Award-winning author of Irish Meadows
Roseanna M. White
Author, Ladies of the Manor series
Award-winning author of A Refuge at Highland Hall and Shine Like the Dawn
cameracourt5 Stars Out Of 5A unique 1st person POV twist on ROMANCE & suspense.March 29, 2017cameracourtQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0First things first: the romance! Marriage-of-convenience goes through a new set of complications with the influence of outside characters. The chemistry between Violet and Vance practically screams from the page. Its electric while remaining sweet and era-appropriate. Violets innocence is endearing, yet she also learns, no matter the best intentions, the importance of accountability and relying on God for strength to resist temptation. While never excusing Vances past behavior, this story highlights our sinful nature and our need for forgiveness.
Having read the first 3 books in the series and knowing the depths to which Vance had fallen, he had to prove himself to me a little bit. And, to Violet. His character showed redemption above and beyond what I expected. (Something tricky to show with a singular POV not from his perspective) For all Vances charms, his diligence and determination to show restraint with Violet are what really makes him an attractive hero. And, his obvious pursuit of a personal relationship with God and a fresh start.
The subtle suspenseful plot line added another layer of depth to the story. It offered a few surprises and something else to anticipate. And, it made the climax of the book quite exciting!
The story, like the previous books, is told from the heroines perspective. Violet was instantly relatable and interesting from page 1. She is so forgiving, yet she still questions her self-worth because of her belief that her social status/family scandal hangs over her. As she matures in the story, she recognizes that her trust should be in God, her ultimate Protector.
The thing I appreciate most about this series is its common theme through all 4 books: finding true identity and worth in Gods arms. With honest characters facing real struggles, Dawn Crandall has portrayed stories of romance, redemption, and purpose all pointing to the greatest Love, the love of God for his children.
Thank you to Whitaker House publishers for providing a complimentary review copy. My honest opinion is expressed in this review.
nkwbookreviewer5 Stars Out Of 5Book 4 or Stand Alone, A Great Book!January 29, 2017nkwbookreviewerQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"The Cautious Maiden" by author Dawn Crandall is a Christian historical romance novel. It is Book 4 in the Everstone Chronicles. This 304 page paperback is published by Whitaker House. The first thing I noticed was the striking cover. It had a beautiful 1800's lady dressed in a lovely purple ensemble complete with jewelry. In the background was a large inn or mansion. While this is the fourth book in a series, it can be read as a stand alone. The only problem I had is that I liked it so much I wish that I had read the other three!
Set in late 1800's Everstone, Maine, this is the story of Violet (hence the purple dress) Hawthorne. Both of her parents have recently died. Her brother Ezra has been left in charge of the family home and has made drastic changes. It is now a brothel, putting Violet and her reputation in jeopardy. Vance Everstone comes to her aid. He is a very interesting character.
Author Crandall has written a nice Christian novel. She has woven inspiration and scripture easily throughout her book. There are some twists, action, romance, danger, secrets, and intrigue along with parts of the book that with bring joy, sadness, and disbelief. The story has many layers. The author has included inspirational messages of forgiveness, faith, trust, judging, and redemption.
The characters are realistic and have good points as well as bad. Some are very likable while others are detestable. It is unfathomable that a brother would turn a family home into a brothel, but that is what makes this story. The book started a bit slow but quickly picked up. The descriptions were on point and took me to the time and place. The dialog was abundant and rolled along easily.
This was an entertaining book with some inspirational lessons. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys historical romance, Christian novels, and intriguing dangerous historical novels. I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars. I was given the book by Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and this is my honest review.
KavRCanadaGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Divine!January 4, 2017KavRCanadaGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Mercy! Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly while frantically waving a fan. Someone hand me the smelling salts...wait...scrap that, if you intend to read The Cautious Maiden you'll need all the smelling salts you can get your hands on. And that's because this is one toe-curling, swoon-inducing, heart-palpitating romantical read.
And that kind of surprises me because if you are familiar with the series (no worries if you aren't you still NEED to read this one) you will know that Vance has not always been an upstanding character. In fact, he's been downright...yucky. But here we see him in a whole new way. Crandall uses some powerful symbolism to illustrate his transition as he becomes a new man in Christ. Really powerful stuff. And got me thinking about sin and sinners and judgement and the way we humans tend to measure sin -- you know some are way worse than others? And yet God sees sin as sin and He sent His son to free us from their consequences so, really, who am I to hold up someone in condemnation for something that has already been forgiven? There are real life lessons in the pages of this book.
And that made me fall in love with Vance all the more. Because he is so committed to living a new life but, like all of us, he struggles with feeling worthy of the kind of love God is offering him. His mind can grasp it, but in his heart he feels undeserving. The contrast Violet presents to him -- innocent, honorable, faithful -- draws him to her even though he feels she could do so much better than him. And then circumstances become desperate and Vance finds himself engaged to Violet and, believe me, your toe-curls are going to curl!
Intense romance, sinister treachery and an uplifting inspirational thread combine to make this an incredible, not-to-be-missed novel.
IolaNew ZealandAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5My New Fave Everstone BookNovember 17, 2016IolaNew ZealandAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Ive been a fan of Dawn Crandalls books since the first of The Everstone Chronicles, when she emailed me out of the blue asking if Id consider reviewing it. I was hooked, and Im still hooked. In fact, I think The Cautious Maiden is her best yet. Yes, its the fourth book in the series, but you dont have to read the other three first. Although you should!
Dawn Crandall doesnt shy away from difficult issues (and one of the benefits of writing historical romance is that she can address these in a way that seems a little removed, yet is still 100% relevant today). One of the issues she tackles in The Cautious Maiden is the subject of sexual temptationand how hard it is not to get carried away by feelings. Yes, theres a lot of sexual tension in this novel.
The Cautious Maiden is the story of Violet Hawthorne, orphaned and forced to leave her childhood home after her brother turns it into a brothel. She works at the nearby Everstone hotel, and is friends with the wealthy owners (to understand why, read The Captive Imposter).
She comes into contact with the wealthy but distant Vance Everstone (from The Bound Heart), who has a formidable reputation as a scoundrel who ruins ladies. But the Vance that Violet gets to know is anything but hes a man of honour, and a Christian.
I loved both main characters. Violet, for her intelligence and her determination to distance herself from her brother despite having no family to depend on, and Vance for showing the transformation of character Christianity can bring. And I loved watching them (*spoiler alert*) fall in love (although this is a romance novel, so is that really a spoiler?).
Now Im looking forward to the next of The Everstone Chronicles, because there are still some unmarried characters who need to get together! Recommended for fans of historical romance with an edge from authors such as Deeanne Gist and Francine Rivers.
Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.
MrsTinaFrederick, MDAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5The Cautious Maiden by Dawn CrandallNovember 16, 2016MrsTinaFrederick, MDAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Cautious Maiden #4 the Everstone Chronicles***** by Dawn Crandall
1892..Everston, Northern Maine....Violet Hawthorne is humiliated by her brother, Ezra and is in grave dangerwhich she is unaware of at the time. I was so glad she had a safe place to live and work away from Ezra. Violet loves Ezra but not his lifestyle. I love her generous heart and courage in the face of all that she has gone through and the danger she will soon experience. Her faith is strong, which is evident in how she lives. Her heart longs for a certain man who she feels is far out of her reach so she keeps her feelings hidden.
Vance Everstone is a far different man than he was in the other booka changed man since his confession of faith in Jesus. I love this new Vance better than the rogue he previously was. His life hasn't been easy despite his financial status, partly due to his former lifestyle. I love how he is very protective of Violet not realizing how he really feels toward her.
I was not sure what Violet's new found family was up to when they suddenly stopped visiting her. I was hoping they were not involved with Ezra in any way.
Speaking of Ezra, I don't see how a brother could treat his own sister the way he does. I did not care much for him, his lifestyle, behavior toward Violet and hoped his eyes and heart would be opened to the path he is on and decide to change his life. There was another man that Ezra had dealings with that made me cringe as he set out to accomplish the evil plans he had.
I was glad that we get to catch up with Vance's family and love that they step in and offer help in a dangerous situationas is their norm. The story is filled with rich, true-to-life characters that offer much to the reader: intrigue, scandal, second chances, heartache, joy, danger, redemption, secrets, faithlove the inspirational elements woven throughout the story, romance and love.
The Cautious Maiden is the forth book in the Everstone Chronicles, and is my favorite of the four. It can be read as a stand-alone book, but will be a richer experience reading them in sequence to get to know the characters better.
~I received an ARC from the publisher and a paperback copy from TBCN, (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~