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.
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 unique 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
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.
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.
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Book Review Blog: APassionforPages.blogspot.com