~ About the Book ~
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.
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: #3 Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope
Release date: 27 November 2018
Publisher: Kregel Publications
~ Excerpt ~
“Miss? Can I help you?”
A well-bred voice, a youthful voice. Julia peered over her shoulder, blinked. Shook her head as if she could clear the blurriness. The lady—if lady she was, dressed in a most odd ensemble—seemed to own a poise Julia had never known, yet appeared younger even than Julia.
“You came to Lord Carmichael’s house?”
The lady knew Lord Carmichael? Was she a maid? Julia swallowed. “Yes.”
“I am the viscountess.”
Julia blinked again. No.
“Please, is there some way we can help you?”
She moistened her lips before managing to rasp, “He’s married?”
“Yes.” The lady smiled, glowing with internal satisfaction, tinged with something almost like surprise, as if she couldn’t believe her good fortune.
Envy tugged within. Oh, how well Julia remembered those days.
“We’ve been away,” Lady Carmichael continued, “and only returned two days ago.”
Julia nodded, surprise filling her as the viscountess drew closer and offered a hand, helping her to her feet. What an unusual bride Henry had chosen.
Conscious she was being watched carefully, she stuttered, “I-I s-saw the lights last night and knew someone must be in. Nobody is in Berkeley Square, or Portman. I don’t know … Mama … Jon.”
Where were they? Mama almost never left town, and Jon’s business interests made his staying in London something of a necessity. Surely he hadn’t been serious about retiring to that dreary corner of Gloucestershire?
Her arm was gently clasped, and she was led back to Bevington House, away from the prying eyes of the street sweeper. Now she noticed her benefactress had bare feet, undressed hair. What an odd woman! Was she serious about being Henry’s bride? Oh, if only she could remember—
“You left your basket—oh, it’s empty.”
Julia gasped. “No! Oh, no!” What could she do? She had failed! Who could have taken—? Guilt misted her senses, and she stepped back, desperately searching for the culprit. But she had passed no one! Oh, where could he be?
“There you are!”
She swiveled back to the now opened door, stifled another gasp. Lord Henry Carmichael, dressed in a quilted dressing gown, held a white bundle and a bemused expression. His white teeth flashed as he smiled at the lady dressed equally dishabille. “Serena, can you tell me why we have a baby on our front step?”
Serena? A memory flashed. A black-clad, cool-eyed schoolgirl. Henry—her Henry—had married her? The lady drew closer, her expression now even more alive with interest, alert with piercing intent.
She swallowed, heart thudding, as the viscountess’s breath caught, her expression clearing into comprehension.
~ Review ~
One of the things I liked about Carolyn Miller’s stories right off the bat was that they take a slightly less beaten path in Regency romance fare. There’s less emphasis on the glittering world of the haut ton and the social whirl of the Season, more emphasis on the day-to-day lives, concerns, and responsibilities of the middle classes and landed gentry—be they titled or no. But in terms of “off the beaten path”, this one surpasses them all. When the excitement and romance of an elopement to Gretna Green wear off, where do a young couple find themselves? In the case of Julia and Thomas, disillusioned, destitute, and on different continents.
The beginning of this novel, in particular, is grittier than your average Regency romance, owing to Thomas Hale’s imprisonment in Spain, but even beyond that, there are some difficult obstacles for this couple to overcome—abandonment, secrets, betrayal of vows. This is no fluffy Regency read! But I actually think it’s been one of my favourites of Carolyn Miller’s novels so far (the other being The Captivating Lady Charlotte). I liked that it dealt with the consequences of imprudent choices and that these characters had to grapple with some serious problems—life-threatening ones at times!
As is always the case with Carolyn Miller’s novels, the characters’ spiritual maturation is just as important as their general maturation, and their circumstances provide plenty of opportunity for that, particularly in the areas of forgiveness and grace. Overall, it was a read that engaged me from first page to last, and I look forward to the new series coming in 2019.
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.
~ Previous Books in the Series ~
~ About the Author ~
Carolyn 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.