Pride, Presumption, and forgiveness…
Hampton Hall’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter—all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother—his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world.
Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic singing voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible—he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along.
Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what happens when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?
First, isn’t the cover just beautiful? That alone made me want to read this book.
So, I will be honest, it took me a couple of chapters before I liked this book. The first chapters didn’t grab my mind and I was sure I wasn’t going to enjoy this story. But I kept reading and I am glad I did.
I really did enjoy this story very much. The cast of characters are all unique and the town in which it is set becomes very clear and endearing.
It almost has a Pride and Prejudice kind of feel to it. Both Lavinia and Nicholas are so stubborn. Just when one begins to soften then something happens to make them not be able to stand each other.
The give and take to this book was timed perfectly to push the reader forward and into the lives of these characters. I will be anxious to read the read of this series.
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A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.