The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller is book one of the series, Regency Brides, a Legacy of Grace. This is a light, entertaining historical romance set in Gloucestershire, England and later in London, in 1813. Lavinia Ellison, very attractive daughter of a village minister, demonstrates her faith by caring for the poor and needy and seeking to alleviate any burdens that they bear. The seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, Nicholas, whose father had overseen his duties and assisted the less fortunate under his care, was handsome, tall and dark. Yet, Lavinia told her friend Sophia that a handsome appearance counted for little, if not matched by good character and deeds. Nicolas Hawkesbury seemed aloof to the problems of the people under his jurisdiction.
Their first encounter did not go well. Nicolas mistook Lavinia for a poor simpleton when he saw her working in the garden and asked her if her master was within. That careless introduction coupled with the horrendous incident from years ago did not bode well for a friendly relationship. Many twists and turns in the plot lead to an engaging story. This novel is a well-crafted story with intriguing central characters and several minor characters that add depth and entertainment. I look forward to book two, The Captivating Lady Charlotte. I recommend this book which I received through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
This book was so much better than even I could have expected...and I expect a LOT when it comes to reading. Such a delightful story! I kept catching glimpses of Austen's style in Ms. Miller's writing, which thrilled me to the core! I'm a HUGE Austen fan and I can't tell you how delighted I was to find this book so Austen-esk and yet uniquely it's own!
I loved the storyline, the characters, how they handled their problems, all of it! I was completely absorbed into this time and setting and could easily relate to the feelings and hesitations of the characters.
This is the best book I've read in months and I HIGHLY recommend it to all! I can't wait to get reading book 2 in this series: The Captivating Lady Charlotte!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and The Book Club Network site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
"Quite possibly he was the world's biggest fool . . . . . . . "
During an era where romance demanded a certain allegiance from those whose name bore a title, Miss Lavenia Ellison was an anomaly; lovely, plain-spoken, selfless, devoted to her faith, she could pin a man to the wall with her words, while showing unwavering kindness to those in need. The Earl of Hawkesbury can hardly decide whether or not the elusive qualities of the local minister's daughter are a blessing or a curse when it comes to their tenuous association.
Lavenia Ellison is not accustomed to the attention of an earl, especially when she discovers that his family has a deep investment into the grief of her own. His high-handed posture and incessant sarcasm is quite a challenge to decipher, for in unguarded moments his demeanor can be quite charming and kind. Hers is a quiet life in the country, he has a legacy to protect; after all, matters of the heart can be complicated even in the best of circumstances, and society will certainly not permit the young earl to marry beneath him.
Carolyn Miller has written a lovely story filled with truths and observations that any generation can appreciate.
This book starts out with Lavinia and she lives with her father the pastor and her aunt Patience.
Story also follows the Earl Nicholas who has come to their town. He's making sure the one in charge is keeping the town buildings up to date and everything is in order.
Lavinia has a sharp tongue and is not like the other young females who take a fancy to Nicholas. She even points out his lack of concern in keeping the buildings up to date.
She has a lot of talents and enjoys some of them. He's smitten with her and she finds herself liking him but always with a bitter tongue.
Sermons in church and ones they all share in. During meals they are able to learn more about Nick's battle background and he learns of Lavinia's teachings during mass to the children, teaching them letters and numbers along with the teachings of God.
Misunderstandings, illness, emergencies and disappearances, twists and turns til they realize what is important to each other. So many mysteries! Love all the travel and descriptions!
Quotes from the Bible help them lean on each other and God for guidance. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.
If you have ever read Jane Austen and enjoyed her writing, if you have ever read Georgette Heyer and enjoyed her books, then you need to read 'The Elusive Miss Ellison'. Fans of the Regency era now have a new author to enjoy and new books to look forward to because this is the first book in a new Regency series by Carolyn Miller.
Lavinia (Miss Ellison) and Lord Nicholas Hawkesbury are complex characters with both strengths and flaws and this is what made them so real to me. Lavinia has great faith and tremendous concern for the poor but she is a proud young woman who finds it hard to forgive. Nicholas is proud also but his pride borders on haughtiness because of his social standing. The courage and leadership that Nicholas displayed as a soldier both seem to be missing as he begins to fill his role as the new Earl of Hawkesbury. From their first meeting we are able to witness the romantic tension between Lavinia and Nicholas as they spar with words and the dialogue between them is very humorous. We soon see, however, that 'The Elusive Miss Ellison' has so much more. It also has the elements that fill a classic Regency drama. We see the rules that define each social class and the expectations that each person will remain in their own class. This book, however, has the underlying theme of forgiveness, both human and divine. As we witness these characters' spiritual journeys we are reminded that it is through God's grace that all of us can be forgiven!
I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network and the author. This review is my own opinion.