About the Book:
Author: Shirley Raye Redmond
Publisher: Astraea Press
Source: Author Provided
Publication Date: 2014
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon ▪ Blogger ▪ Goodreads
Find the Book Elsewhere: Amazon ▪ Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Historical Rating: 3 out of 5
Review: Sadly, the Indie author scene is one often uncharted merely because it doesn’t get the publicity that publishing house books receive. This novel might be one that wasn’t a favorite (because historical fiction is hit or miss with me), but it was sweet and doesn’t shy away from some interesting historical topics that I do believe many history addicts will find intriguing to read about. It’s about the 27-year-old vicar’s daughter Prudence Pentyre and her journey to Bath for the express purpose of convincing her younger cousin to marry the man her aunt thinks best suited to her daughter, Margaret. Only trouble is, James is quite a bit older than the shy Margaret and she has no romantic feelings for the baronet… but contrary to her mission, Prudence quickly develops feelings for the man and learning more about him and what he believes in only further cements her growing feelings. But time is running out and after all, Margaret is nearly promised in marriage to James…
If I had one “major” complaint about this book, it’d be the dialogue. Honestly, I just didn’t think some of the conversations were always “natural” to the setting or moment, which sometimes pulled me out of the story and distracted from being “in the scene” with these characters. That being said, there are some really nice things about this story not the least of which are the characters. All of them are fun to know and while I confess to taking a while to warm to James, I do think he was a unique hero, which is something fiction does need – it’s good to see someone that goes against the grain and James definitely does that and then some. He’s not the more refined, gentle kind of gentlemen we’re used to in this era.
Addicts of Austen or North and South are likely to enjoy this sweet novel. I definitely saw reflections of these classics, most specifically Persuasion. More serious issues than ball gowns and parlor room tea do crop up in the belief that everyone should be vaccinated against the small pox, something that was no doubt prevalent for the time frame and is intriguing to read woven into an otherwise lighthearted and sweetly romantic kind of story.
Synopsis: At the advanced age of twenty-seven, vicar’s daughter Prudence Pentrye is on the shelf. Content to occupy her time by attending meetings of Mr. Wilberforce’s Abolition Society and helping her father administer vaccines in an effort to prevent a small pox epidemic, Prudence is resolved to see that her younger cousin Margaret does not share her own unmarried fate. But Margaret is plain and shy. She is repulsed when a swashbuckling baronet, Sir James Brownell, makes her an offer of marriage. With his sunburned skin, eye patch, and indifference to fashion, Sir James is not Margaret’s idea of a romantic suitor. Nor does Margaret enjoy his tales of fighting against Malay pirates and trekking through tropical jungles on the island of Borneo in hopes of capturing a living orangutan. Prudence, however, finds herself secretly smitten. Will she maintain control of her traitorous heart or will she trust God to make her life richer and more rewarding than the one she had planned for herself? – Goodreads
Sincere thanks to the author for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.