A Mother for His Family (Susanne Dietze) – Review

4 stars

~ About the Book ~

A Mother for His FamilyLady Helena Stanhope’s reputation is in tatters…and she’s lost any hope for a “respectable” ton marriage. An arranged union is the only solution. But once Helena weds formidable Scottish widower John Gordon, Lord Ardoch, and encounters his four mischievous children, she’s determined to help her new, ever-surprising family. Even if she’s sure love is too much to ask for.

All John needs is someone to mother his admittedly unruly brood. He never imagined that beautiful Lady Helena would be a woman of irresistible spirit, caring and warmth. Or that facing down their pasts would give them so much in common. Now, as danger threatens, John will do whatever it takes to convince Helena their future together—and his love—are for always.

Genre:  Historical Romance
Release date:  2 January 2018
Pages:  232
Publisher:  Love Inspired Historical

Amazon US  //  Amazon AU  //  iBooks  //  Goodreads

~ Excerpt ~

“I, Helena Caroline, do take thee, John Angus, to be my married husband, and do, in the presence of God, and before this congregation—”
She glanced at Papa. His mouth was downturned, like a child’s drawing of a rounded mountain.
“Before this congregation, promise and covenant?” The clergyman bore an indulgent smile. She must not have been his first overset bride.
“—before this congregation promise and covenant to be a loving and faithful wife unto thee, until God shall separate us by death.”
There. She’d done it. Maybe God would absolve her now.
Her fingers squeezed Lord Ardoch’s.
His brow rose.
Oh, dear. She meant nothing more in her gesture than relief. Assurance of their partnership. But perhaps he hadn’t understood. Prickles of heat barbed her neck and cheeks. Her hands pulled back, but he held on, his grip far firmer than hers had been.
She couldn’t lift her gaze from the buttons of his silver waistcoat while the clergyman spoke about the fruits of marriage. There would be none of that. The warmth of her blush washed away, from the crown of her head down, leaving her cold again.
After more prayers, Lord Ardoch slid a cold, polished ring with a deep red stone on the fourth finger of her left hand.
And then the one other thing. Their first—and last—kiss.
With one hand, he cupped her shoulder, and with the other, he lifted her chin. It was a light touch, enough to hold her steady. But more than enough to send her insides quaking.
He bent his head. His well-formed lips brushed the corner of her mouth, fleeting and gentle. Then he lowered his hands and released her.
She had received warmer kisses on her hands from courtiers back in London. Still, the tingle of his touch lingered. She resisted the urge to touch her mouth.
One final blessing by the clergyman, and it was done. She was married. Her problems were solved, neat and tidy. Her parents would be relieved. God approved, too. From this day forward, everything would be smooth as the cream icing on her wedding cake.

~ Review ~

This was a sweet historical romance set in one of my favourite historical periods—the Regency—with a little bit of mystery thrown in as an added bonus. In order to keep Lady Helena’s disgrace from becoming public, her parents arrange for a hasty marriage to a widowed Scotsman, Lord Ardoch. He needs a mother for his children, the youngest of whom (aged 5) became blind following an illness in infancy. A very remorseful and guilt-ridden Lady Helena is more than happy to agree to a marriage of convenience, both for her family’s sake and in the hopes that God will absolve her of what she believes is her sin. But when John receives a blackmail note from someone who knows Lady Helena’s situation, it’s obvious he can’t put the matter behind him just yet.

I enjoyed some aspects of this story more than others. I loved the way in which actual historical events were referenced as they occurred (such as the death of King George III), and I enjoyed the way in which Louisa’s blindness influenced the family dynamics. John’s previous wife had laid down a ‘wrap-her-up-in-cotton-ball’ approach which prevented Louisa from developing any independence, whereas Lady Helena wanted to encourage Louisa to live as normal a life as possible, and this served as a good instigator of growth in Lady Helena and Lord Ardoch’s relationship. The blackmail also added an intriguing angle to the story and an unexpected outcome.

However, I was less convinced by Lord Ardoch’s reasons for not allowing himself to fall in love with Lady Helena. It felt a little weak to me that he held so strongly to those reasons under the circumstances, but then I also think my tastes in regards to marriage of convenience storylines has been shifting in recent years, away from ‘I mustn’t allow myself to fall in love’ tensions and towards exploring some of the other tensions that arise in those circumstances.

Still, this was an enjoyable read overall, recommended for those who like a sweet Regency romance with a little bit of intrigue.

I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.

~ About the Author ~

Susie DietzeSusanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she’s the award-winning author of a dozen new and upcoming historical romances. A pastor’s wife and mom of two, she loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos.

Connect with Susanne:
Website  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest  //  Goodreads

About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Historical Romance, New Releases, Romance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A Mother for His Family (Susanne Dietze) – Review

  1. lotsoflivres says:

    Ooooo I love historical fiction novels so I’ll have to look into this! A great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. debraemarvin says:

    I loved this story, but I have to admit it I read it as Susie originally wrote it before some aspects were modified per the publisher’s preferences. And those were key to the character’s motivation. What a shame!
    It might be my favorite of hers (or maybe I’m also partial to Regency and a Scottish setting? ha!) and I’m still whining about Love Inspired Historical’s decision to close down. I know Susie would have been one of their most popular authors.


    • I didn’t realise they were closing down Love Inspired Historical. Does that mean they won’t be doing historicals at all, or will they still publish historicals under a different imprint?

      I’d be interested to know what aspects were modified. That is a shame. Ironic, even!


  3. I loved this story from Susie! I do admit that Lord Ardoch held staunchly to his heart for quite a while. But that does go to show his strength of character. Often the Scottish are a stubborn lot, and hold firmly to their word, even if the other person is no longer living.
    I’m also partial to the historical Scottish setting and to Susie’s writing! I agree with Debra about Live Inspired Historical’s decision to close down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure I’ve actually read a Regency with a Scottish setting before. That was a nice change. There aren’t enough Scottish novels in my opinion!

      I do admire Lord Ardoch for holding firmly to his word, but I thought it was a selfish thing to have asked of him in the first place. Actually, now that I think about it, it would have made a good story line for him to wrestle with realising that vs keeping his word. But I still enjoyed the story overall 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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