Tag: Regency Romance

Quote from The Making of Mrs Hale by Carolyn Miller: Unforgiveness is a poison that shrivels the heart. It means a person cannot truly live in the present as they're always thinking about the past.

#ThrowbackThursday | The Making of Mrs Hale by Carolyn Miller

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of The Making of Mrs Hale, the final book in Carolyn Miller’s Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series (and my personal favourite in that series). Even better, the first book in her new series releases this week: A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh. I’m looking forward to reading it soon!
This review previously appeared at Australasian Christian Writers.

We first met Julia Hale in Winning Miss Winthrop, when Julia ran away to Gretna Green to marry Thomas Hale in defiance of her family’s wishes.

But, as the old saying goes, “Marry in haste; repent at leisure.”

Julia is left destitute after her husband disappears. Six months later, she has sold everything she can and has no choice but to return to her friends and family in London and ask for help. They are pleased to welcome her home, believing she is either an abandoned wife or (possibly) a widow. They are less pleased when Thomas Hale returns home …

This means The Making of Mrs Hale follows one of the lesser-used romance tropes: a married couple falling in love. Or perhaps they are rediscovering their love, as Julia clearly still has feelings towards Thomas and vice versa. But Julia has to fight to keep what she has—a marriage to a man she loves.

There is also an exciting suspense thread. Thomas is concerned his ending up in a Spanish prison may not have been an accident. This threatens him, Julia, and their attempts to rebuild their relationship while surrounded by disapproving family members.

I have always been a big Regency romance fan, and Carolyn Miller has established herself as a leading author in the Christian Regency genre. Her research is spot on, yet never gets in the way of the story (I wish this was universal, but I find there are more authors who think they can write authentic Regency than actually can).

In contrast, Carolyn Miller consistently comes up with realistic yet detailed plots.

She fills her novels with realistic, complex characters facing issues that are true to the historic period, yet resonate with modern readers. Her novels are also definitely (and perhaps defiantly) Christian. They’re not just “clean”. Her characters are forced to evaluate themselves and their relationship with God, which is a refreshing contrast to a lot of the fiction being published by CBA publishers. Overall, I recommend Carolyn Miller and The Making of Miss Hale to anyone looking for genuine Christian Regency fiction.

Thanks to Kregel Publications and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Carolyn Miller

Carolyn MillerCarolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia. She is married, with four gorgeous children, who all love to read (and write!).

A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of Romance Writers of American (RWA) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. Her favourite authors are classics like Jane Austen (of course!), Georgette Heyer, and Agatha Christie, but she also enjoys contemporary authors like Susan May Warren and Becky Wade.

Her stories are fun and witty, yet also deal with real issues, such as dealing with forgiveness, the nature of really loving versus ‘true love’, and other challenges we all face at different times.

Find Carolyn Miller online at:

Website | Facebook | Google+

Goodreads| Pinterest | Twitter

About The Making of Mrs Hale

Marry in haste, repent in leisure—Mrs. Hale is about to find out how painful that repentance can truly be.

Julia Hale ran off to be married in Gretna Green, following romance instead of common sense. But her tale isn’t turning into a happily ever after. Her new husband is gone and she doesn’t know where—or if he’s ever coming back. Julia has no option but to head home to the family she betrayed by eloping and to hope they’ll forgive her. Especially now that she might be carrying a baby from her brief marriage.

Carolyn Miller’s clean and wholesome Regency romances continue with The Making of Mrs. Hale, following familiar characters as they learn how restoration can occur by finding hope and healing through a deep relationship with God. Full of rich historical details and witty banter, this series continues to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.

You can find The Making of Mrs Hale online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to The Making of Mrs Hale below:

Click here to find The Making of Mrs Hale and other great books in my Amazon shop!

Quote from Miss Serena's Secret by Carolyn Miller

#Throwback Thursday | Book Review | Miss Serena’s Secret by Carolyn Miller

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m sharing my review of Miss Serena’s Secret, the second book in the Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series by Carolyn Miller. The final book in the trilogy, The Making of Mrs Hale, is due out this month, and I definitely want to read it!

This review previously appeared at International Christian Fiction Writers.

The title is a little misleading.

Miss Serena actually has several secrets. These combine to persuade her that she will never marry. She will especially not marry a man like her father, a gambler who lost their fortune at the tables. So she is not impressed when she meets gambler and womaniser Lord Henry Carmichael.

This is a sweet and slow love story. It’s not the romance novel where we meet the hero and heroine and wham bam they’re together. Instead, both characters have plenty of time to get to know each other and to change—to mature into people who are able to fall in love and contemplate marriage.

Miss Serena is an artist, and her art plays a key part in the novel. I’m no painter, but I loved the painting references—the colours, the techniques, and the little upset at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition.

Regency romance has had a resurgence of popularity in recent years, but many of the general market novels have a lot of sex and not much Christian faith—which seems at odds with the period. So it’s good to see more Regency romance coming out of the Christian market, from authors such as Julie Klaassen, Kristi Ann Hunter, and now Carolyn Miller.

Miss Serena’s Secret is Carolyn Miller’s fifth novel, and the second in her Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series. If you’ve read the others, you’ll enjoy catching up with some of the characters from the previous stories. If you haven’t, don’t worry: this is a standalone novel.

Recommended for Regency romance fans.

Thanks to Kregel Publications and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Carolyn Miller

Carolyn MillerCarolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia. She is married, with four gorgeous children, who all love to read (and write!).

A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of Romance Writers of American (RWA) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. Her favourite authors are classics like Jane Austen (of course!), Georgette Heyer, and Agatha Christie, but she also enjoys contemporary authors like Susan May Warren and Becky Wade.

Her stories are fun and witty, yet also deal with real issues, such as dealing with forgiveness, the nature of really loving versus ‘true love’, and other challenges we all face at different times.

Find Carolyn Miller online at:

Website | Facebook | Google+

Goodreads| Pinterest | Twitter

About Miss Serena’s Secret

How can a wounded young woman ever trust a too-flirtatious earl with her heart?

With devastating scars in her past, Serena Winthrop is sure no man can be trusted—especially not a man like the too-smooth Viscount Carmichael. His reputation as a flirt and a gambler is everything she despises. And the young artist makes sure that this disreputable heir to an earldom knows of her deep disapproval whenever they encounter one another.

Henry, Lord Carmichael, is perfectly aware of his charms. He’s gambled with plenty of ladies’ hearts as easily as he has with their husbands’ money. But lately he’s wondered if there’s more to life—and if his actions might prove unworthy of an admirable wife such as his friends have found.

When Serena’s guardian asks his best friend to protect his young ward, Henry promises to be on his best behavior and not woo her. But the more he learns of her, the more he realizes she might be his best reason for changing his character.

Then the lady’s art leads her to London infamy. Now Henry must choose between the life mapped out for him as the earl apparent and the love of his life. And Serena’s secret may mean the end of his titled family line.

You can find Miss Serena’s Secret online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

You can read the introduction to Miss Serena’s Secret below:

And you can click here to find Miss Serena’s Secret and other great Christian fiction recommendations in my Amazon store!

What’s your favourite Christian book genre?

Bookish Question #47 | What’s your favourite Christian book genre?

Asking a keen reader their favourite genre is like asking any addict about their favourite fix. Well, I assume it is. I haven’t spent a lot of time around addicts!

My favourite genre is romance, which shouldn’t come as any surpirse to anyone who reads my reviews on a regular basis. But romance is a huge genre, so what are my favourite novels within romance? I have three:

Regency Romance

Regency Romance is set in England during the period of the British Regency—when King George III was deemed mentally unfit to rule, so his son (the future King George IV) was named Prince Regent in his place. A lot of Georgette Heyer’s novels are set in the Regency period, and it’s also the time when Jane Austen was writing and publishing. Regency Romance characters are often members of the aristocracy, so the stories are complete fantasy when compared to my way of life!

My favourite Christian Regency Romance authors are Julie Klassen, Kristi Ann Hunter, and Carolyn Miller.

Romantic Suspense

I also enjoy romance with a suspense or thriller element. The mix of romance and suspense provides the classic mix of internal and external conflict, and provides plenty of opportunity for the hero and heroine to get to know each other as they work together to solve the crime (or stop one happenning).

My favourite Christian romantic suspense authors are DiAnn Mills, Lynette Eason, Terri Blackstock, and similar authors.

Contemporary Romance

My absolute favourite genre is contemporary romance. But not just any contemporary romance. I like stories that are a realistic and even a little gritty, that show life like it is but still show the hope of Jesus. And a little comedy doesn’t hurt, as a way of diffusing tension.

My favourite contemporary Christian romance authors are whichever book I’ve read most recently. Kara Isaac, Bethany Turner, Jennifer Rodewald, Brandy Bruce, Carla Laureano, Tammy L Gray, Courtney Walsh, Amy Matayo … the list goes on.

What about you? What’s your favourite Christian book genre?

Let me know in the comments, then pop over to Australasian Christian Writers and share there!

Book Recommendation | The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey by Carolyn Miller

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all romance novels since Jane Austen are mere copies.

Well, not really. As we know, we are all unique, so our journeys to love are also unique. But many romance novels do offer a conscious or subconscious nod to Austen’s work, and The Dishonourable Miss DeLancey is no exception.

At five-and-twenty, Miss DeLancey is close to being on the shelf. Her marital prospects are not helped by a mama who combines Mrs Bennett’s silliness with Lady Catherine’s snobbery, a brother who has gambled away her dowry, and a father who reminded me of Mr Bennett: intelligent and personable, but influenced by his wife. There are also echoes of Persuasion in the decorated sea captain who was rejected in love when a lowly lieutenant.

Carolyn Miller takes these well-known tropes and gives them new life in The Dishonourable Miss DeLancey, the final book in her Legacy of Grace series—and the best (well, in my view).

Miss DeLancey had the misfortune to fall for someone who didn’t return her regard, and was then humiliated for it. It didn’t help that her brother gambled away her dowry, making it difficult for her to find another suitor. (Yes, there were several times when I thought Richard DeLancey needed to take a long walk off a short pier.)

Ben Kemsley has his own problems. He’s spent most of his prize money caring for the families of the men he captained, especially those who didn’t make it back to England. The Prince Regent has promised him a reward, but Prinny is famously self-centred and how exactly does one ask the Prince of Wales for a promised fortune?

My favourite aspect of Clara DeLancey’s story was the focus on her spiritual journey.

In fact, that was the major focus of the first half of the novel. Clara’s turning point comes when she realises there is more to Christianity than church. She sees the need to change from the dissatisfied person she had been—and the need to put that change in God’s hands. Fortunately, she has her new friends to guide her … new friends with a handsome brother.

I also enjoyed the references to the marine chronometer. I read Longtitude by Dava Sobel many years ago. She explained that we’ve been able to calculate latitude through the position of the stars and sun, calculating longtitude accurately meant having an accurate clock—and one that could remain accurate throughout a long ocean voyage.

I love this kind of mix of fact and fiction, because it was the lack of such a clock caused the shipwreck that made Captain Ben Kemsley a minor Regency celebrity. There were also several scenes set in and around the famed Brighton Pavillion, redecorated by the Prince Regent at great expense and with dubious taste, and I enjoyed this as well.

Overall, an excellent Christian Regency romance with element of suspense. Recommended!

Thanks to Kregel Publications for sending me a free paperback to review.

About Carolyn Miller

Carolyn MillerCarolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia. She is married, with four gorgeous children, who all love to read (and write!).

A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of Romance Writers of American (RWA) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. Her favourite authors are classics like Jane Austen (of course!), Georgette Heyer, and Agatha Christie, but she also enjoys contemporary authors like Susan May Warren and Becky Wade.

Her stories are fun and witty, yet also deal with real issues, such as dealing with forgiveness, the nature of really loving versus ‘true love’, and other challenges we all face at different times.

Find Carolyn Miller online at:

Website | Facebook | Google+

Goodreads| Pinterest | Twitter

About The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey

Will a damaged reputation and desire for society’s approval thwart the legacy of grace?
Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She’s lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara’s society mama is appalled at the new company she’s keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won’t let him ignore the penniless viscount’s daughter–not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?

When they’re pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent’s Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together–without finances, family support, or royal favor?

Find The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AUAmazon UK 

ChristianBook | Goodreads

Book Review | The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller

Captivating!

Lady Charlotte Featherington is entering her first London season, where she attracts the attention of several men, including the handsome and flirtatious Lord Markham, and the widowed and mysterious Duke of Hartington. She is certainly capitvating—if a little vapid and immature. However, this is Regency romance, where all the best girls were married off at the age of eighteen, so it’s not surprising that she’s that awkward teenage mix of shallow and insightful.

Charlotte is determined to marry for love.

Her parents (for reasons I didn’t quite understand) choose the widowed Duke for her. Yes, he’s a much better choice than Markham, who is the typical sophisticated and disreputable Regency rake. But he’s friends with Charlotte’s brother, which leads her to think he’s a worthy suitor (yes, immature. Although perhaps her brother should pick his friends more carefully …).

The Duke of Hartington is certainly captivated by Lady Charlotte, despite her outward resemblance to his late unlamented wife. (She might have been more lamented if she hadn’t been quite so obvious about her extramarital activities.) This did lead me to wonder why Hartington was attracted to her—I’d have thought he’d have sought a wife who wasn’t attractive enough to be tempted to wander.

The result of this was that I found the first half of the book a little confusing. But the second half was much better as we (and Lady Charlotte) get to know the Duke of Hartington better. We see his observation and consideration—he’s the only person who notices she doesn’t like champagne and brings her lemonade instead. We also see Charlotte’s character develop, which I liked.

There are three strengths to Carolyn Miller’s writing. First is the historical accuracy.

I’ve read two novels recently where the heroines travelled north to get from Bath to London. Even the most inaccurate map shows London and Bath are roughly east-west. If you’re travelling north (or south), you’re going the wrong way. Simple errors like this pull me out of a story, but I had no such moments with The Captivating Lady Charlotte.

Second, I love Carolyn Miller’s witty dialogue.

Like most readers, the two authors who introduced me to Regency romance were Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer (of course, if Jane Austen ever put a genre to her writing, she would have called it contemporary romance). Austen and Heyer are both known for their intelligent female characters, and their witty dialogue. Carolyn Miller is a worthy successor.

But the main reason I love Carolyn Miller’s novels is because of the way she naturally integrates the Christian faith into her novels.

Hartington has an active Christian faith which is important to him—which is one of the reasons his first wife’s betrayal hit him so hard. We see him live his faith, and we see Lady Charlotte observe him and see there is more to Christianity than the cultural aspect of being seen to go to the right church.

The Captivating Lady Charlotte is the sequel to The Elusive Miss Ellison. It can easily be read as a standalone novel, although those who have read Miss Ellison’s story will enjoy seeing more of her story—especially the way she and her husband influence both the Duke and Lady Charlotte.

Overall, recommended for those who enjoy Christian Regency romance.

Thanks to the author for providing a free book for review. A real book, which she posted to New Zealand!