Series Review (and a Giveaway!): Regency Brides – Daughters of Aynsley by Carolyn Miller

Posted November 24, 2019 by meezcarrie in Carolyn Miller, Christian, giveaway, historical, romance / 46 Comments


I am playing catch-up (slowly) on books that have been taunting me from my TBR bookcase – and the Daughters of Aynsley series (part of Carolyn Miller’s Regency Brides universe) has been calling my name more loudly than most.

A HERO FOR MISS HATHERLEIGH
SERIES:
Regency Brides – Daughters of Aynsley #1

GENRE: Inspirational Historical/Regency Romance
PUBLISHER: Kregel
RELEASE DATE: March 19, 2019
PAGES: 336

Can a very proper noble lady find a future with a fossil-hunting man of faith?

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?

 

I must say, first of all, that I had never previously lamented the absence of undergroundologist heroes in Regency romance, but now after reading A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh I will forevermore wish for one or two amongst the nobility. However, other undergroundologist heroes will have a difficult time measuring up to the goodness and sacrificial love that Gideon displays, so perhaps I’m okay after all with him being the only one.

Caroline’s faith journey is one of the most beautiful aspects of this novel (sharing the honor with Gideon’s protection of his sister), and I love how tenderly and non-preachily it was presented. While Caroline began as not a favorite heroine of mine, her story touched me perhaps more than Miller’s others, simply because of its authenticity and redeeming transformation. And then there’s Emma (whose world of chronic illness I can easily identify with, though thankfully not with her reasons for hiding away) and Lord Kenmore (who added some delightful banter and cheekiness – as well as heart – to the story).

Bottom Line: This slow-burn romance is so much more than a story of two people falling in love. (The romance is well-written and everything swoony in its own right, don’t get me wrong. Lol.) Miller also weaves the gospel naturally throughout the pages, keeping it organic to the characters so it never feels forced or trite. It’s also a tale of sacrificial love – of a brother taking care of his sister, of a friend risking her life for another, of a heart putting someone else’s needs ahead of its own. There is, after all, no greater love than this – and the beautiful way Miller depicts this truth – through unexpected people and unexpected ways – elevated this novel to more than just an entertaining read.

(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I purchased for my own collection. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 stars / Loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

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UNDERESTIMATING MISS CECILIA
SERIES:
Regency Brides – Daughters of Aynsley #2

GENRE: Inspirational Historical/Regency Romance
PUBLISHER: Kregel
RELEASE DATE: July 23, 2019
PAGES: 352

Shy, sweet Cecilia Hatherleigh has always been in love with Edward Amherst, the boy next door. Yet he’s never seen her as anything but the quiet girl in the background as he flirts with the other vivacious women of the ton.

When a near tragedy brings Edward’s attention to his family duties, this prodigal son decides he needs to settle down with a proper wife. Cecilia hopes to convince him to choose her—but God may want her to forget the wayward nobleman and put her future in His hands alone.

These two try to find their way toward happiness, but prejudice, political riots, and the changing face of England’s societal structures begin to block them at every turn. Can their struggles turn to triumph—or will their paths permanently diverge?

 

“We too often put our trust in people and treat them like gods, when really we would be better served seeking such approval from the One whose principles never change, and is ever infallible.”

I do so love a redeemed rogue, and Ned Amherst definitely fits the bill. His is a life brought up from the pit, and the glimpses that Miller gives us into his transformed heart (with shades of the Prodigal Son’s story from Scripture) are so tenderly painted. I also loved seeing into Cecilia’s relationship with Christ – despite the fact that her parents want nothing to do with ‘religion’; both protagonists have sweet encounters with grace in their backstories and, again as with book 1 in this series, this enhances my enjoyment of their romance as well.

In Underestimating Miss Cecilia, Miller highlights yet another not-often-mentioned aspect of life in England at the time. While A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh introduced me to the ‘fossil-hunting craze’ going on around England back then, this 2nd book of the trilogy spotlights a rather disturbing aspect of regency history – that of the extreme prejudice toward the working class, the Irish, and the gypsies. Yet amid the despicable attitudes of the day, Ned (and his parents) and Cecily reminded me that there is always a remnant of people following after God’s heart, whose own hearts are broken by the mistreatment around them & spurred on to enact change. So, too, I could see how the way Cecily has always been overlooked and the way Ned’s past caused him to be an outcast in certain circles had softened their hearts toward these situations – a gentle reminder that God never wastes what we’ve never been through.

It’s not all seriousness though. Mrs. Cherry has many lovely moments throughout, and the house party with its parlor games provides diversion for the readers as well as the characters. And with a story that begins, “It was, perhaps, the greatest torment to love someone who barely seemed to notice one’s existence,” you know the romance will be everything delicious and swoonworthy too (once poor Ned starts being less clueless, anyway lol).

Bottom Line: Carolyn Miller has penned another soul-touching novel, one that beckons the reader to be a little uncomfortable for the sake of true growth – much as the author does for characters. As I’ve come to expect from this author, the setting & characters & plot come brilliantly to life and immerse you in their world until you’ve turned the last page. A sweet romance with an even deeper message. (And lest you think I’ve forsaken my KissingBook-loving ways…. there’s a particular scene in the library of a particular house that still has me a bit twitterpated!)

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!

KissingBook Level: 4 / keep a fainting couch & fan handy for that library scene!

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MISLEADING MISS VERITY
SERIES:
Regency Brides – Daughters of Aynsley #3

GENRE: Inspirational Historical/Regency Romance
PUBLISHER: Kregel
RELEASE DATE: November 26, 2019
PAGES: 352

Verity Hatherleigh has a mind of her own—but her actions do not impress her viscount papa. When she gets into one scrape too many, he sends her off to the wilds of Scotland to rethink her headstrong ways.

Anthony Jardine relished his role as curate, but his new duties as laird of Dungally aren’t always to his liking. Though he thought his new inheritance would be a blessing, somehow he’s finding nothing but trouble on these estates. And the intelligent, compassionate, feisty lass who was sent to rusticate in his territory is one of the biggest problems. He’s falling in love with her, but she doesn’t share the faith that’s his foundation—not to mention he’s been lying to her about who he really is. For the truth-loving Verity, that may be unforgivable.

The tangled web these two have woven may spell disaster for their happiness—and for the tenants of Dungally.

 

The banter!!! Oh be still my Regency-romance loving heart! The instant chemistry between Anthony & Verity – and their subsequent witty conversations & delightful banter – kept me all a’swoon throughout Misleading Miss Verity.

Verity is a bit of a hoyden and it’s tempting to write her off as never serious or too spirited. However, yet again, Miller takes us deeper than just Verity’s surface personality and I believe she ended up being my favorite character yet from this author! Anthony isn’t a typical ‘hero’ as far as Regency heroes go – he’s not all brawn and bravado, for sure – yet there’s an attractive strength to him nonetheless. As I read their story & their increasing affection for one another, I couldn’t help but think of Sir Walter Scott’s profound quote, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.” Certainly they both learn this truth the hard way, though the irony of the final chapter positively delighted me. (And I must say here that I didn’t appreciate the sisters’ grandmother nearly as much in book 1 as I did in this last book of the trilogy – she definitely became a favorite of mine in this novel!)

Bottom Line: I loved the Scottish setting to Misleading Miss Verity – as well as an introduction to the author’s own New South Wales. The estate/castle of Dungally, the Chisholm family (who reminded me in all the best ways of the Weasleys for a time), the delightful humor laced throughout, and the clever wordplay of that title – all of it kept me thoroughly entertained from first chapter to last. Topping it off is the tender message of our self-worth being found fully in the One who loves us better than anyone else could. The perfect ending to a positively wonderful trilogy, and I look forward to seeing these characters pop up elsewhere in Miller’s regency universe!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4.5 / fabulous!

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

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Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.

A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, Underestimating Miss Cecilia, and Misleading Miss Verity, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Christianbook, etc

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Carolyn Miller is offering a print copy of Misleading Miss Verity to one of my readers! (Open internationally. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

 Check out Carolyn’s pictorial tour of Scotland as seen in Misleading Miss Verity!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


What about you? Have you read the Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley series by Carolyn Miller? What interests you the most about these books?

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46 responses to “Series Review (and a Giveaway!): Regency Brides – Daughters of Aynsley by Carolyn Miller

  1. DeAnna Dodson

    I haven’t had a chance to read them yet, but I have read some of CM’s other Regencies. They’re delightful. Your reviews make me want to dive right in!

  2. MJSH

    Yes, I’ve read the first two. Really excited to read about Verity. She’s a spitfire and quite unconventional!

  3. Melissa Andres

    I’ve read the first two…loved them! SO looking forward to reading Miss Verity’s story!! CANNOT wait!!

  4. Patty

    I have not read any of the series, but I have been reading quite a few regency books lately. These sound delightful!

    • Trixi

      I’ve not read any of Carolyn’s books though I have several on my bookshelf 🙂

      I love reading your reviews, Carrie and know I am in for a treat when I am able to pick up one of her books!

  5. Sherri G

    I haven’t read any of this series yet. I enjoyed the Legacy of Grace series immensely. I enjoy good banter so I’m especially looking forward to Verity’s book.

    • Carolyn Miller

      Hi Sherri – I’m so glad you enjoyed the Legacy of Grace series! If you enjoy good banter then you should definitely enjoy Misleading Miss Verity! Happy reading!

  6. Winnie Thomas

    I’ve read several of Carolyn’s books, but there are a couple I need to catch up on. This one sounds wonderful!

  7. Alicia Haney

    I have not read any of these books, but they sound like very good reads! The covers are Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing the book review.

  8. Trixi

    Ooops, my comment went under Jocelyn’s so sorry! Here’s what I said:

    “I’ve not read any of Carolyn’s books though I have several on my bookshelf ?

    I love reading your reviews, Carrie and know I am in for a treat when I am able to pick up one of her books!”

  9. Vivian Furbay

    Sounds like the makings of a good romance story. i like to see how the young curate handles all his responsibilities.

    • Carolyn Miller

      Hi Vivian – I really think you’ll enjoy Anthony’s journey – he’s a great guy! Happy reading!

    • Amy M.

      I think I would to read “UNDERESTIMATING MISS CECILIA” and immediately try to find THAT library scene 🙂

  10. Jeanne Bishop

    Carolyn’s books are some of my favorites and have a special place on my bookshelf. They are definitely keepers.

  11. Debra Branigan

    I haven’t read this series, nor any regency romance lately. These beautifully covered books sound wonderful. On my TBR. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Carolyn Miller

    Hi Carrie! Thanks so much for sharing your kind reviews – I’m so glad you enjoyed these books! It’s always a thrill to see Meez Carrie ‘a’swoon’ and ‘twitterpated’! I have so appreciated your support these past three years – God bless you xx

  13. Paula Shreckhise

    I have read all three and would love a copy of Miss. Verity for my keeper shelf. I have been a fan since the first bookOf Carolyn’s.

  14. Sophia Snyder

    i can’t wait to read how she falls in love! she seems so funny and i think i will have a lot of good laughs from this book.

  15. Sophia Snyder

    iv’e read the first two books of this series and i just LOVE them. i already can’t wait to re-read them… (esp the second one!!!)

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