Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Regency
Date Published: January 2010
Publisher: Harvest House
Source: I won an autographed copy of this book in a giveaway at Butterfly Blessings! Thank you Lee and Linore!
England, 1818: It has been five years since Ariana Forsythe married The Paragon, Mr. Phillip Mornay. Now, Ariana's sister, Miss Beatrice Forsythe, is seventeen and determined to marry advantageously as well. Surely Ariana's society connexions all but guarantee Beatrice's success-especially if Mr. Mornay is created a baronet by the Prince Regent!
But the Mornays have disappeared from high society as they raise a family at their country estate. Can Beatrice persuade them to chaperone her in London? And what about her business with the curate, Mr. O'Brien, whom Beatrice rashly promised to marry years earlier? She is too sophisticated now to settle for a mere clergyman-despite his agreeable countenance and gentle, understanding ways. When Mr. Tristan Barton becomes tenant of the Manor House, Beatrice's hopes seem to have found their object. But when Ariana falls gravely ill, secrets come to light, motives are revealed, and pretenses that are easy to keep up in the darkness begin to crumble. As hearts are bared and truths uncovered, a country house courtship like no other cannot be far behind!
Linore Rose Burkard is a new author to me, and I am so very glad I got a chance to read her latest Regency Inspirational Romance novel. The Country House Courtship is the third book in a series, but it is not so tied to the first two books that it cannot be read independently. This book focuses on Beatrice Forsythe, while the first two books focused on her sister Ariana. I have not read either of the first two books, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one and am excited to pick up Ms. Burkard's two earlier novels, Before the Season Ends and The House in Grosvenor Square.
I really liked the characters in this book. Beatrice is a young and impetuous character, set on the idea of finding herself a rich husband and not letting her heart guide her in her search. At times her refusal to consider Mr. O'Brien, the caring and gentle clergyman, as a possible suitor is frustrating, especially since they get along so well. But it fits in so well with her character--she is headstrong and stubborn, and it takes her a long time to get over what she had decided with her head and accept what was going on in her heart. The characters are all human and have flaws, and I think that is what made them so enjoyable to read about--they were real people rather than perfect persons who always made the right decisions. Sometimes they made mistakes and had to deal with the consequences of those mistakes.
I absolutely loved this book and devoured it as quickly as I could. I was really in the mood for a good inspirational Regency romance, and this was just what I was looking for! I wanted to step into the book and live in this lovely world of Regency England, even with a dangerous fever threatening the health of the characters. Mr. O'Brien's vicarage sounded like a place I would so love to explore, the characters were fun and personable, and their faith was so evident both in times of crisis and calm. This book really represented everything that I enjoy in a Regency novel, as well as in an inspirational romance. I definitely recommend it! This one is going on my keeper shelf.
If you would like to read an excerpt of this book, you can find one at Linore's site (PDF file). Happy reading!