About the book:
As the daughter of Viscount Aynsley, Caroline Hatherleigh knows every rule of society—and she’s always followed them precisely. It’s simply the way things are done in her world. When she visits south Devonshire and encounters a fossil-hunting scientist and his sister, her assumptions about what is right are shaken. She is suddenly confronted by questions she has never considered about the importance of friendship and faith—and her comfortable understanding about how the world works is thrown off balance.
Gideon Kirby loves science, and hunting down proof of past lives is a joy he won’t willingly give up. But his scientific leanings are being challenged by both his personal beliefs and by local smugglers in the Devonshire countryside. And every day his sister’s illness is becoming more desperate and her care grows more demanding. Adding a proper Viscount’s daughter to the mix is a complication Gideon never expected—especially since he has a secret that demands he stays far away from this young woman he’s falling for in order to protect his beloved sister.
When a mysterious stranger visits the village, that secret is set to be exposed, no matter how Gideon fights. Then tragedy strikes in a smugglers cave. And the threat of scandal may lead to broken hearts and passionless propriety. Will the shaky bond these two have managed to build be strong enough to overcome their differences—or will the trust they’ve withheld from each other end up tearing three lives apart?
This was another wonderful story by Carolyn Miller! I loved seeing Caroline Hatherleigh grow and change throughout the story as she starts to care more about other people than herself, especially as she sees the faith of the Kirby's and starts to really examine the Bible and her own beliefs. There's a good explanation of the gospel. I also enjoyed the talk about fossils; it was a unique aspect you don't see often in Christian fiction. The romance is sweet as secrets keep Gideon from sharing his feelings and Caroline believes he is below her station, yet they are drawn to each other. I ended up really liking Caroline and Gideon was wonderful, if a bit slow to communicate his feelings. He cared so much for his sister and was willing to give up his own future to make sure she was protected. Both he and his sister had a strong faith even as they dealt with her poor health and their terrible circumstances. Gideon's friend was very amusing and I really enjoyed the banter between him and Gideon and Caroline. There was some suspense and action, also. I highly recommend this start of a new series and can't wait to read the rest!
I received this book from Kregel Publications. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.