Friday, August 5, 2016

The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall

The Hesitant Heiress
The Everstone Chronicles, Book 1
Whitaker House
ISBN-13: 9781629112299

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.

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My Review: I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: It’s rare to find an author who can write in the first person point of view well and keep my attention. I don’t know why, but I find it hard to read a one sided story. That being said, Dawn Crandall is a master! I was totally absorbed in Amaryllis’ and Nathan’s affairs from beginning to end. Dawn Crandall does an excellent job of giving enough dialogue and expressions of the characters that Amaryllis is involved with that it’s not at all one sided (well, it is, but I didn’t feel that it was!)

While I could have wished for more interaction between Nathan and Amaryllis before discovering their love for one another, I was not disappointed in the relationship trials they had to endure. Amaryllis’ character is full of contradictions: she is strong, yet vulnerable; happy, yet experiences deep sadness; trusting, yet not easily. In effect, I LOVED HER. She behaved exactly as one would expect, based on her circumstances and what’s she had to endure in her life. Watching Nathan through Amaryllis’ eyes gave me quite a good notion of his character, and watching him fight for her was so romantic!

Amaryllis’ biggest problem in her life is trust. Based on all she’s had to endure, she finds the motives of people… really people in general hard to trust. She doesn’t take people into her confidence easily. The message of the story centers on Amaryllis learning to trust God, and in effect, trust the plans and people He has for her. It’s a beautiful message woven masterfully into a beautiful story.

Overall, I highly enjoyed this wonderful story and can’t wait to read more in the Everstone Chronicles.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.*

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 pre-marriage 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 series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013.

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