Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Romancing Daphne by Sarah M. Eden

Published 2017 by Covenant Communications, Inc.

Sarah is one of my favorite authors. I love her Pure Romances (an imprint with Shadow Mountain Publishers), and anytime she takes up pen to scrawl a regency romance, we’re in for a treat.

Let’s begin with the summary:

As her first London Season looms before her, the thought of the impending social whirl fills Daphne Lancaster's timid heart with dread. She hasn't her sisters’ beauty nor their talent for conversing easily. Even her family's enviable connections may not be enough to prevent disaster.

But Daphne's misery turns to surprised delight when the first event of her Season brings an unexpected visitor to her door—James Tilburn, whose tender kindness stole her heart in her youth. When the handsome young gentleman expresses his desire to court her, Daphne is elated. Their feelings for each other quickly grow, and it appears that, much to Daphne s disbelief, her happily ever after is within reach.

Yet nothing is as it seems. The couple finds themselves caught in a tangled web of greed and deceit, leaving James and Daphne to determine whether they are willing to risk everything for true love.

And now, my review:

I only recently discovered this publisher as I was searching for more books by this author. So, I haven’t read the rest of this series. (The Lancaster Family Series) Still, I didn’t feel lost as I read. At the same time, it would be helpful if you’ve read the earlier books in the series first, I think, to fully experience these characters’  interactions.

Once again, Sarah’s storytelling is great. You know you’re in good hands. The romance is pure and subtle, yet you feel that thread’s impact. I liked how the plot wasn’t predictable or formulaic. Just when we think they’ve possibly settled things, a twist comes up. And this hero? Very noble, misunderstood, and heroic.

Our heroine doesn’t trust easily because of rejection and abandonment from her past. Her self-worth suffers. Along comes a hero who, from the first time they met, has been able to help her see hope and light. He introduces a new perspective into her life and she she’s drawn to that and to him.

The hero is a caretaker who seeks the good of everyone around him. He’s learning and growing throughout the story. He’s admirable and sympathetic (we care what happens to him). We cheer for him.

He lacked a little bit of the emotional impact you’d expect he’d experience from his past pains—a layer I’d have loved to see developed. This was a mid-length novel, so it’s understandable. I also wanted to see the impact of her twelve-year-old self’s secret in a more impactful way—that shared moment could have been stronger.

The secondary characters were great. The heroic older brother-in-law who hides his heart. The caring, dignified older sister. Great cast.

I recommend this book and may have to look up others in this series.

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