Book Reviews

Book Review & Giveaway: The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall

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Back Cover:

After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy disappearing before her very eyes. Now the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: marry within the year to inherit her grandmother’s fortune. Amaryllis reluctantly takes part in her aunt’s society, intent on getting to the west coast on her own… and without a husband.

Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, whose father not only had a part in her expulsion, but whose ominous presence has haunted her dreams for a decade since her mother’s tragic death. Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn’t who she thought at all.


My Thoughts:

It’s not often I finish a book and immediately reach for my laptop, so I can type up my review. But, that is exactly what I did when I closed this book. Debut author, Dawn Crandall, has set the bar pretty high with her first book. I loved the story of Amaryllis Brigham, a young woman determined to make her own way in a time when it was expected women would do as they were told.  Amaryllis was perfectly scripted to represent a woman of this era without stealing away the parts of her which made her uniquHesitantHeiress (1)e and fun to read about. Her subtle sense of sarcasm left me smiling on many occasions. When presented with an opportunity to marry for wealth, she didn’t see that option as the only way, but instead logically thought through her options and sought an alternative way for her fund her music school out west.

When faced with feelings for Nathan Everstone, she denies her own heart.  How could she ever have feelings for the son of the man responsible for all the bad things that have happened in her life? She is determined to keep her heart safe, but at what cost to herself? I felt the emotional roller coaster Amaryllis rode throughout the book as she fought her feelings for Nathan. At times, I wanted to have a heart to heart talk with her. Why couldn’t she see what a good guy he was?

When I first opened this book, I was a bit disappointed to see it was in first person point of view (POV). This is not a type of book that I usually prefer. I like to read third person, which allows me to hear the thoughts of several different characters and not just one.  I was a bit wary as I started to read, since I usually have a hard time enjoying first person POV’s, but by the end of the first chapter the POV was the last thing on my mind. Crandall writes in a way that makes the reader forget about point of view, instead I found myself absorbed by Amaryllis and Nathan.  I love her writing style, it’s fresh and unique.  I can’t wait for book 2!

I was given an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

GIVEAWAY: You have several opportunities to win!  By leaving a comment with your email  in this format: stacey(dot)zink@hotmail(dot)com you will be entered to win all the prizes listed below.  With this one entry you’ll be eligible for all the prizes on Dawn’s Blog Tour:

THIS WEEK: A Free eBook copy of The Hesitant Heiress, compliments of Dawn Crandall. The drawing will be held on July 31st and announced on this blog.

THE FIVE WEEKLY PRIZE PACKS: a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal. *Winner announced on Dawn’s blog.

THE GRAND PRIZE (at the end of week six, the week of August 24th ): a Kindle Fire, a $10 Amazon Gift Card, an eBook of The Hesitant Heiress, a mug with all three book covers and a moleskin journal. *Winner announced on Dawn’s blog


Dawn Crandall:

A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming published, he let her quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.IMG_3394 (683x1024)

Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a premarriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.

The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the serieswere semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013.




Book Review Blog:




Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst


50 thoughts on “Book Review & Giveaway: The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall”

  1. Congratulations, Hello Hiya! You won the drawing for the free eBook. Dawn will contact you soon with information on how to claim your book. A big thank you to everyone who participated!

    And a BIG congratulations to Lakin and Lynda E. who both won the weekly prize on Dawn’s website,

    Have a blessed week. Another review and giveaway will be posted soon.


  2. Thanks for sharing your great review! I’m looking forward to reading the book! Please enter me in the giveaways! 🙂



  3. I would love to be entered in this giveaway!! I hadn’t heard of this book but when I saw the cover on your FB announcement I was drawn in:) Love that cover!! Thanks for the chance to win.


    1. Hi Charity, I loved the cover, too! I think you’d love the book. If you will reply with your email address, then I’ll enter your name into the drawing. Have a great week.


    2. Hi Charity! The book isn’t actually out yet!! It releases a week from today!! I hope you like it!! It’s getting reviews on GoodReads so far, but won’t be on Amazon until the release day (August 1st!).


  4. I am enjoying reading about this debut novel and would love to own a copy! Thank you for your review, Stacey! I like that Amaryllis, great name, goes ahead for her goal and not getting defeated. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House


    1. Hi Kathleen, Thank you for reading my review. I hope you enjoy Dawn’s book. I also loved the name Amaryllis is so unique. I read on another blog that Dawn picked that name in college and held it close to heart to use in her novel. Thanks again for stopping by. Your name is entered!


    2. I’m glad you like hearing about it on all of the blogs featuring it! I love hearing what everyone has to say about it too!!!!! And yes, I had a 6-hour a week job in college stuffing envelopes for prospective students and came across that name!!! Amaryllis!!! I knew right away that it would someday be the heroine of my first book’s name. 🙂


  5. This book seems to be up my alley. Connecting my love for reading and my passion as an orchestra teacher! I would love to win a copy 🙂


    1. Thanks for stopping by to read the review! I hope I did the music world justice… it sounds like I did according to the musically inclined advance readers I’ve had so far. 🙂 I don’t actually play anything myself, but I am completely in love with classical music… especially watching it live. I wish I could play the piano so badly! I even have a beautiful 120 year old upright in my living room… taking up a fair amount of one corner. 😀


    1. I love a good romance book, especially when it shares the hope of God and all that His love offers. Dawn did a fabulous job of weaving the two together in her book. Thank you so much for entering the contest. I have your email added.


  6. Oooh, sounds like a great read! My hubby and I are T.U. grads (1998 and 2000) who lived in Fort Wayne for several years. (God and the U.S. Army have since conspired to move us to Georgia and now Texas.) I’ll put in the recommendation at our local library, as well.


    1. Hi Katie, welcome to the great state of Texas. I hope my adopted state has treated you well. 🙂 Thank you for putting in the recommendation at your library! I also see your email, so I will add you to the drawing. Thank you for your husband’s service to our country. We are blessed to have men like him who serve so willingly.


    1. Thanks for commenting, Shannon. Isn’t that cover amazing? I think covers are one of the first things that draw us into novels, don’t you agree? It can set the whole tone for the character and plot line. I love your comment. I appreciate you stopping by. I have entered your name into the drawing.


    2. Hi Shannon! I was sooooooo pleased with the cover too!!! I was so nervous when I got the email with the subject: Book Cover #1….. there was a dream come true in that email… but would I like the cover??? YES!!!!!! I was so happy when I saw it!! 😀


    1. Thanks for commenting! I love that you enjoyed the review. If you will reply with your email, then I can enter in the drawing for the free eBook. It’s a great book!


      1. Hi Laura! I can’t wait until you read it! I know I had an awful time not falling asleep whenever I read a book while I was pregnant last year–it could have been my most favorite book ever, but I was just soooo tired all the time!!!


  7. I totally loved this read, and you are so right about the POV. I was so into the story that it didn’t matter that I only knew the thoughts of Amaryllis! Ewe_r_merritt(at)yahoo(dot)com.


      1. I’m trying not to think about the next one…I’m not exactly patient when waiting for my fav authors to put out their next novel! 🙂


      2. Me either, Rach! I have been known to email my favorite authors and ask about upcoming books. Yeah, I’m not exactly shy. I’m a bit of a stalker actually. 😉 (Just between us…)


    1. I’m so honored to be at the top of anyone’s must read list! Book 2 will be out soon enough! November!!!!! Yay!! and also WHAT?? Having a 4 month old and three of my books coming out in the next six months just might be a bit much to juggle. 🙂


  8. This sounds fantastic! Thanks for the review, the giveaway, and for another wonderful book to add to my TBR pile (really, it’s getting out of control!). danandlyndaedwards(at)msn(dot)com


    1. Hi Lynda, this is a great book to add to your TBR pile. I have added your name to the drawing. Thanks for stopping by. What a blessing it is to see so many new faces. Have a wonderful day!


    1. Hi Shannah!! Thanks for stopping by and entering! I hope you enjoy it when you have the chance to read it! 🙂


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