Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents’ New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks; but when Violet’s own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries.
In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance; Vance Everstone.
As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU.
With danger stalking her and a new fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust and who to leave behind.
SERIES: The Everstone Chronicles #4
GENRE: Historical Romance, Christian Fiction
PUBLISHER: Whitaker House
RELEASE DATE: October 4, 2016
“Even before I knew how much you’d changed from the rumors I’d heard, I was entirely too intrigued by you.”
Oh. Y’all. THIS BOOK. THIS HERO. THE HAIR PINNING SCENE. THAT KISS. I’m still swooning. And I read it way back in April for endorsement purposes. Still. Have. Not. Recovered. I may never. And that’s perfectly fine with me.
To be honest, when Dawn Crandall first told me about the hero in The Cautious Maiden, I was more than a bit hesitant. You see… while I certainly felt a twinge of sympathy for Vance Everstone at the end of The Bound Heart, I spent the majority of the book despising him. He grew on me a bit in the next book, The Captive Imposter, but I wasn’t sure he had grown on me enough for me to fully embrace him as a Dawn-hero.
(A Dawn-hero, for those not familiar with the term, is a hero who steps onto the page and with one smoldering look steals your breath and your heart at the same time. He then proceeds to firmly establish himself as your favorite of all previous Dawn-heroes so that by the time he gets around to planting that first kiss on his lucky heroine counterpart you are reduced to fanning yourself wildly and looking around for that fainting couch you keep meaning to buy.)
Y’all. I just didn’t think I could love Vance like I love Nathan or Lawry or Dexter.
I was so wrong that it’s positively embarrassing.
Vance Everstone completely captured my heart. And Dawn Crandall once again reminded me why she is one of my very favorite authors. Her ability to paint an exquisite story shines in The Cautious Maiden, and her talent at writing romance has never been better displayed.
To those of you whose favorite Dawn-kiss (similar to a Dawn-hero in the lack of oxygen it causes in the reader) has heretofore been the under-the-stairs kiss in The Captive Imposter, I only have two words for you: Just wait. Okay… I have more than two words for you. The kisses in The Cautious Maiden are PERFECTION. As I said earlier, I still have not recovered. What makes the kisses all the more swoonworthy is when they are read against the backdrop of Vance’s newfound commitment to purity and respect. There’s really nothing sexier, in my opinion. (Can I say ‘sexier’ when reviewing Christian fiction? Well, I just did. And it’s completely warranted in this case.)
Because, you see, there is more to this story than the passionate kisses and the smolderingly sexy hero and the sweet heroine (yes, I know I haven’t talked about Violet much … but … VANCE. That’s my only excuse). What makes The Cautious Maiden one of my very favorite books is the beautiful picture of redemption integral to the characters.
“Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leopard’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.”
(Jesus Paid It All by Elvina M. Hall)
You may be saying … “Umm… Carrie… it’s leper’s spots.” Well… yes. Maybe. But I used “leopard” intentionally and you’ll just have to read the book to find out why 😉
Bottom Line: In The Cautious Maiden, author Dawn Crandall takes a reformed rogue with a redeemed heart and plants him solidly in the Heroes Hall of Fame. Passion and purity waltz together in perfect harmony; both swoon-worthy in their own right, the combination in Vance Everstone will leave you breathless. The power of Christ to transform a life… the power of love to transform a heart … the power of grace to transform a rogue into a hero. I have loved each book so far in The Everstone Chronicles, but I firmly believe that The Cautious Maiden is Dawn’s best yet!
(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for review purposes. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / In a class by itself
KissingBook Level: 5 / Nope…still not recovered.
Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles, which consists of four books: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, The Captive Imposter and The Cautious Maiden which released October 4th, 2016.
Apart from writing, Dawn is also a mom of two little ones and serves with her husband in a premarital mentorship program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do.
Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and an associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.
Other Books in this Series
I have not one but TWO fantastic giveaways for you!
First up is a paperback copy of The Cautious Maiden. US mailing addresses only.
Next – Two prize packs are up for grabs from Dawn Crandall to celebrate the release of The Cautious Maiden. See her website for more details.
What about you? “Jesus Paid it All” is a special hymn for Vance and Violet. What hymn or other song is special to you?