Will a shrinking violet and a prodigal son come together to better their world?
Cecilia Hatherleigh has many secrets in her shy, sweet heart—but none bigger than her unrequited love for Edward Amherst, the earl's son next door. Her love has persevered over many years, even when he grows to be a bit of a rake. Yet despite his fondness for females, he never seems to see her as anything more than the quiet younger sister, and nothing Cecy does has changed that. Rather than pining after his perhaps unworthy love, she decides to turn her focus toward living out her newly found faith. Now she's determined to follow God's leading to make a better world for the poor and dispossessed around her.
A London riot awakens Edward to the responsibilities due his family name. It's time to turn his life around to please his noble father—and that means restoring his abandoned legal career and making a marriage of convenience. Neither will be easy, given his past and the prejudices of the upper echelons of society to which he belongs.
When misadventure strikes at a house party, these two are thrown together even as their lives are upended. If Cecy can't trust God, overcome her shyness, and find her inner strength, the good work they've both done may be for naught--and neither will ever find true love . . .
This was another wonderful book by Carolyn Miller! Her characters seem so real and I could feel Cecelia's pain as she has loved Edward for years but comes to realize he will never feel that way about her. I liked how the story dealt with how sometimes women, and men, can put love or another person first in their lives instead of God. While I loved the first book in this series about Cecelia's sister, I definitely have more of a similar personality to Cecelia and felt we could have been great friends. I really liked the focus on helping the poor and disenfranchised that both Cecelia and Edward take on and it was interesting to learn more about the state of the poor working class at the time. The Peterloo Massacre was mentioned and I had to google that to find out more. I was also surprised to learn how much the gypsy was reviled with the possibility of being hung just for talking to one! This story also really highlighted how boring a life a society woman could lead, having to attend events a lot and make polite conversation all of the time, never talking about anything very important and always trying to make the best match possible. Her younger sister Verity definitely bucks that mold and I've been excited since the first book to read her story, which will be next. I admired Edward a lot, too, but he really struggled with forgiving himself and accepting God's grace for his past mistakes, so it got a little frustrating to see him punish himself. Both Cecelia and Edward had a strong faith while many of the other characters didn't, so it was interesting to see the different viewpoints. There were also some wonderful romantic moments. I would highly recommend this book if you like regency romance.
I received this book from Kregel Publications. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.