Winning Miss Winthrop (Carolyn Miller) – Review

4-5 stars

~ About the Book ~

Years ago, the man who stole Catherine Winthrop’s heart rejected her–and she’s never recovered from the grief. Now tragedy has brought him back into her life. This time it isn’t her heart he’s taking, it’s her home and her family’s good name.

Jonathan Carlew’s serious demeanor and connection to trade, not to mention the rumors surrounding his birth, have kept him from being a favorite of the ladies, or their parents. Now, suddenly landed and titled, he finds himself with plenty of prospects. But his demanding society responsibilities keep pressing him into service to the one woman who captured his heart long ago–and then ran off with it.

These two broken hearts must decide whether their painful past and bitter present will be all they can share, or if forgiveness can provide a path to freedom for the future.

Set in the sumptuous salons of Bath, Regency England’s royal breeding ground for gossip, Winning Miss Winthrop is the first volume in the Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series. Fans of the wholesome and richly drawn first series won’t want to miss this new set of characters–or appearances by their old favorites.

Series:  #1 Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope
Genre:  Historical Romance
Release date:  27 March 2018
Pages:  320
Publisher:  Kregel Publications

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

~ Excerpt ~

Lord, give me wisdom…
His prayer, one uttered many times over the past few years, floated up, past the plaster fruits and—he squinted—angels that adorned the painted ceiling.
“Oh, Papa…”
He froze. Glanced around. Down. Saw the mass of black huddled on the settee directly before him. Positioned as she was, sprawled most unladylike with her hands covering her face, she had not seen him. And the high backs of the other sofas hid her from view of the door that stood ajar, through which came the murmur and bustle of servants. Amid the afternoon shadows he saw the black-edged handkerchief. A sigh fluttered, closing in a sob.
Compassion propelled him forward.
Resentment halted his step.
His fingers clenched. While part of his heart tugged at her pain, he could not help feel she would not want him to see her. Wasn’t she the young lady whose actions ran counter to her claims? Her gentility but a mask…
Yet he could not help contrast this sad, faded picture with the young, vibrant creature he had once known. And be irrationally relieved that the man who’d destroyed his life had at least one person who mourned him.
The weeping continued, a rawness so deep his skin tingled.
Despite his misgivings, his heart twisted. He took another step toward her then paused. Would she welcome his sympathy? Sympathy born from an event that by its very nature led to his social promotion? She would not appreciate his words, however heartfelt. She had not before.
Better to leave. Better to keep from unnecessary intrusion. He had no desire to dine with the Winthrop clan tonight, though he must, for everything felt like he was stepping unwelcome into pain. Perhaps it would be best if he could prevent further distress by removing himself without notice.
Perhaps if he found a maid, or her sister—he rather doubted her mother would be of any use—someone who would comfort her… Yes, that would suffice.
He stepped back. Onto a creaking floorboard.
Cursing himself inwardly, he hurried to the French doors—
“Who’s there?”
The figure sat up, smeared hands down her face. Glanced around.
He could hide no more. He stepped forward. “Excuse me.”
And with a bow, and a glimpse of her shocked face, he exited into the garden again.
Calling himself every kind of fool. For feeling. For caring. For wishing the past could be undone again.
His jaw hardened. But that was exactly the point. The past had passed. It could never be revisited again.

~ Review ~

Books like Winning Miss Winthrop remind me why Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer have been long-time favourite authors of mine. There’s something about Regency manners (and manors) that appeals to me on a visceral level, but while many modern-day authors are able to dress their stories in an admirable reproduction, few are able to recreate the tone and essence of the era with the kind of authenticity Carolyn Miller displays.

Picking up this book was a bit of a gear shift at first. After inviting me into the characters’ lives through the drama of Catherine’s father’s passing and the ignobility of seeing their beloved home pass into the hands of the man who broke her heart, the story seemed to plateau out a little. There wasn’t a lot of direct contact between Miss Winthrop and Mr Carlew—now the new Lord Winthrop—for the first half of the novel, and it seemed as though the characters were at an impasse. But the story’s web continued to spin, and I found myself settling in to these characters’ lives, enjoying becoming better acquainted with them, and rediscovering that this kind of total immersion in everyday Regency life is exactly what I love so much about Austen and Heyer.

Neither Catherine nor Jonathan are particularly charismatic characters, but the more I got to know them, the more I appreciated the nuances of their characters: Catherine’s generosity and wry wit, and Jonathan’s honourability and steadiness of character. But they have their faults, too, and I loved that a large part of this story focuses on their maturation as individuals—not to mention coming to a point where they could see that those qualities they first loved in each other have been there all along.

Carolyn Miller has a deft touch with secondary characters as well—both the obnoxious and the witty. General Whitby had me laughing out loud on occasion, particularly with some well-placed and typically British set-downs aimed at the overbearing Lady Milton. If you’re a fan of Persuasion, or any Regency novel of a more literary nature, be sure to check this author out.

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

Check out my interview with Carolyn Miller

~ About the Author ~

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.

Connect with Carolyn:  Website //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest

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About Fiction Aficionado

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

5 Responses to Winning Miss Winthrop (Carolyn Miller) – Review

  1. I admire authors who can recreate historical eras or different settings so authentically. That skill adds complexity to their task of telling a story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Winnie Thomas says:

    I adored this book! Carolyn is a very talented author, and I love her witty sense of humor.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Miss Serena’s Secret (Carolyn Miller) – Review | Fiction Aficionado

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