Tag: Dawn Crandall

The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall

#ThrowbackThursday | The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of the excellent The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall, an excellent romance set in Gilded Age America.

Excellent end to trilogy!

After the murder of her brother, heiress Estella Everstone goes incognito as Elle Stoneburner, paid companion to an elderly widow. But she doesn’t anticipate the job taking her to Everston, her favourite of her family’s hotels, where she meets Mr Dexter Blakeley, the hotel manager … and Jay Crawford, her ex-fiance.

The story is told in first person, by Elle/Estella.

She’s an interesting character: people treat her differently as Elle Stoneburner, and she finds their attitudes quite different. It gives her the opportunity to find out who she really is, apart from the much-younger Everstone sister, the heiress. The first person gives it a gothic romance field, a little like Victoria Holt (for those old enough to remember her!).

This is especially the case with Mr Blakeley and his mother, both of whom seems to have a low opinion of society women. Elle/Estella is attracted to Mr Blakely, and he seems to be attracted to Elle, but will he have the same feelings for Estella, given she represents so much he appears to despise?

The Captive Imposter is the final book in The Everstone Chronicles trilogy.

Each book covers the romance of one of the Everstone siblings. The Captive Imposter is a standalone novel, but features characters and situations from the earlier books—so if you plan on reading all the books, do start with The Hesitant Heiress.

I’ve read all three books, and they all have solid plots with excellent characters, feisty women with faith and attitude. The books are well-written, and I especially like the way they each include a strong Christian thread without being preachy. Having said that, I think The Captive Imposter is my favourite of the three books, because the plot is something a little different, and because the characters are so good–both well-imagined and well-portrayed.

Recommended for fans of historical romance.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Dawn Crandall

Dawn earned a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University. She’s been balancing books and babies lately as her two sons were both born as the first four books of her Everstone Chronicles series were being released from Whitaker House from 2014 to 2016. Dawn lives with her husband and two young sons on a hobby farm in her hometown in northeast Indiana.

Dawn Crandall’s debut Gilded Age Victorian romance, “The Hesitant Heiress,” was a 2015 ACFW Carol award finalist in the debut category and received the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2015 Write Touch Reader’s Choice Award and the 2015 Romancing the Novel Reader’s Choice Award.

Find Dawn Crandall online at:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

About The Captive Imposter

For her own protection following the murder of her brother Will, hotel heiress Estella Everstone assumes the alias of Elle Stoneburner and takes a job as companion to an elderly widow. Never did she imagine that her position would lead her back to her beloved Everston, a picturesque resort property tucked away in the rugged mountains of Maine.

Living below her station in a guise of anonymity has its struggles, but her spirits are buoyed by a newfound friendship with the hotel manager, Dexter Blakeley. And his distaste for the spoiled socialites who frequent his hotel causes her to take a close look at her own priorities and past lifestyle.

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer of employment she can’t refuse. As the two interact and open up to each other, Estella feels a growing attraction to Dexter; and increasing discomfort over concealing her identity. Yet, in spite of the false pretense she’s putting forth, she’s never felt freer to be herself than in his presence. But will he still love her when he learns the truth about who she is?

Find The Captive Imposter online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Kobo | Koorong

Read the introduction to The Captive Imposter below:

And don’t forget to click here to check out my Amazon shop for my top picks in Christian fiction!

Book Review | Enchanting Nicholette

Nicholette Everstone was widowed on her wedding day, two years ago. Now she’s back in Boston, and has been introduced to Mr Cal Hawthorne. They have something in common—Cal has also lost a spouse, and now he’s interested in Nicholette.

This was not my favourite of the Everstone Chronicles. I think that’s because neither Nicholette nor Cal are Everstones, and while I know Nicholette has been mentioned in earlier books (and Cal probably has as well), I don’t remember either of them.

It’s a perfectly nice romance. The writing is solid, the sense of time and place is excellent, and I’m always a fan of novels written in the third person. But I didn’t engage with Nicholette the way I’ve engaged with some of the other Everstone brides.

This could be because she didn’t seem to have any major obstacles to overcome. She is well out of mourning for her husband, and there is nothing stopping her developing relationship with Cal Hawthorne—especially as her parents are in favour of her marrying again, as long as it is for love.

Overall, fans of the Everstone Chronicles will enjoy Enchanting Nicholette. It is a standalone romance, but there are a lot of characters from the previous novels, and the relationships can easily become confusing. I’d recommend anyone who hasn’t read the earlier books start the series at the beginning, with The Hesitant Heiress.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 46 | Enchanting Nicholette

It’s Friday! That means it’s time to open the book nearest you and share the first line. Today I’m sharing from Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall:

First Line from Enchanting Nicholette: I suppose you have a new wardrobe ordered from Paris?

Enchanting Nicholette doesn’t release until October, but it’s also available as part of the Timeless Love Collection, which releases next week! The collection features seven stories, from Kari Trumbo, Andrea Boeshaar, Misty M Beller, Stephania H McGee, Pepper Basham, Sarah Monzon, and (of course!) Dawn Crandall.

Timeless Love is currently on sale for just 99 cents, which is a great deal—the preorder price for Enchanting Nicholette alone is $9.00!

All proceeds from the sale of the collection will be donated to the LiveStrong Foundation.

About Enchanting Nicholette:

In this captivating novella by Dawn Crandall, Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again–this time for love…and to someone safe.

You can find the Timeless Love Collection online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

You can then click the link which will take you to the master page of all this week’s #FirstLineFriday posts.

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

My Top 10 Christian Novels of 2016

I’ve missed a few of my monthly book recommendation posts, so I’m going to catch up over the next few weeks. This week I’m covering the top 10 Christian novels I read last year, in a post originally published at Australasian Christian Writers in December 2016.

How many of my Top 10 Christian novels have you read? What did you think?

Every year I write a post of the top ten novels I read, and every year I struggle. How to condense a year of reading into just ten books? In 2016, I decided the only way I could do it was to stick to novels published in 2016—cutting non-fiction and novellas.

So here are my Top Ten Christian Novels published in 2016 (in alphabetical order. It was enough trouble to narrow them down to ten without having to rank them!):

Since You’ve Been Gone by Christa Allan

Since You’ve Been Gone starts with a twist on a cliché: a groom who doesn’t show up to the wedding, and a bride-to-be who is left to work out why. The obvious is soon discovered (he’s dead in a car wreck), but that doesn’t answer the important questions … Click here to read my review.

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

An excellent dual timeline story from Lynn Austin, showing the difficulties faced by early American settlers, and their determination to succeed. And their faith. Click here to read my review.

The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall

This is the fourth novel in The Everstone Chronicles, and it’s as good as the rest. Don’t worry—you don’t have to read them all. But you’ll want to. Excellent historical romantic suspense. Click here to read my review.

Quote from Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Intermission by Serena Chase

Intermission isn’t Serena Chase’s first novel, but it’s the first one I’ve read—an excellent Young Adult novel with some valuable lessons about God and obedience. Click here to read my review.

Can’t Help Falling by Kara Isaac

Kiwi author Kara Isaac has actually released two books this year: Close to You, and Can’t Help Falling. While I’ve read and enjoyed both, Can’t Help Falling is definitely my favourite. Click here to read my review.

A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears

A Heart Most Certain looks like a typical romance novel set in the American West in the late 1900’s—a sweet romance between two almost-perfect characters. Bland, predictable. But it’s anything but, and that’s what makes it so good. Click here to read my review.

No One’s Bride by Nerys Leigh

I love a good mail order bride story, and this one was excellent. Even better, it’s the start of a series and I’m already holding the date to review book two. Click here to read my review.

The Thirteenth Chance by Amy Matayo

Everyone has been telling me I need to read Amy Matayo’s work. I finally did, and everyone was right. She’s brilliant—real characters with real strengths and failings. I’ll certainly be reading more. Click here to read my review.

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer by James L Rubart

No, I didn’t include this simply to include a token male author (although I do read a lot more female authors than male). James L Rubart is an excellent writer of almost-speculative fiction. I say ‘almost’ because we serve a God of miracles, so who is to say these things couldn’t happen? Click here to read my review.

On the Edge by Theresa L Santy

On the Edge won the FaithWriters 2013 Page Turner Contest … and it certainly was a page turner. I’ll be watching for more from this debut author. Click here to read my review.

Although my choices are a mix of contemporary and historical, American authors and authors from England and New Zealand, they all have one thing in common. No, they’re not all romance novels (although yes, most are).

No, the one thing they all have in common is flawed characters doing their best to become better people.

Just like we all do in real life.