MIDNIGHT’S BUDDING MORROW by Carolyn Miller
SERIES: Regency Wallflowers #2
GENRE: Inspirational Regency Romance
RELEASE DATE: May 31, 2022
Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?
Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend’s rakish brother.
When James Langley returns to his family’s estate, he can’t be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father’s stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.
Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn’t until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?
When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?
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Picture yourself as a young wallflower in Regency England, an orphan from a respected but not wealthy or titled family, who has been invited to stay at her best friend’s family castle. Now imagine one of the least likely young men you would want to be forced into marrying. A drunkard. A rogue. A gambler. A man who has already shown that he neither respects you nor wants to take responsibility for his life. If you could envision these circumstances – and how you might feel about them – then you have a pretty good idea of where Sarah Drayton finds herself before we are too long into Midnight’s Budding Morrow.
Like its predecessor (which is not necessary to have read first), the newest novel in Miller’s Regency Wallflower series pulled a wide range of emotions from my heart. I grieved with Sarah multiple times throughout the story, as she repeatedly hopes (and fails) to find love and belonging. Her absent husband who does not want to be married to her is actually the least of her disappointments. But I also smiled at the sweetness of God to redeem broken lives, and my heart swelled at the power of grace & restoration. I became invested in Sarah, and while James took much longer for me to warm up to, I still cheered (and grinned and swooned) as love grew softly in these two fractured hearts.
Too often, fictional characters who have a ‘come to Jesus’ moment and do, in fact, come to Jesus as a result are then almost never seen struggling with their sin nature again. I think this does a great disservice to readers who wonder why they still struggle even under grace. So, although James still had moments where his treatment of Sarah frustrated me after he returned from war as a new creation in Christ (particularly his tendency to believe the worst of her & lash out with angry words), I’m actually glad that the author didn’t suddenly make him perfect. Instead we see him continuing to grow in repentance as well as love for Sarah, which made me love him by the time the book ended.
Bottom Line: A little bit Jane Austen & a little bit Jane Eyre, Midnight’s Budding Morrow combines everything lovely about Carolyn Miller’s writing voice with a gothic undertone and sweet notes of grace. The characters, the setting, the passage of time, and even the way the marriage-of-convenience trope is handled are uniquely crafted to set this story apart from the familiar. I appreciated the portrayal of how grief affects us & our mental health differently – from the subtle to the dramatic – and the promise that one day the midnight of sorrow gives way to the dawn of joy. Midnight’s Budding Morrow is a romance, yes, but even more so a beautiful portrait of grace that you don’t want to miss.
(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 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.
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. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.
Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.
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What about you? What makes you want to read Midnight’s Budding Morrow by Carolyn Miller?
I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this, Carrie. Thanks for taking the time to appreciate this portrayal of the different journeys God has us on.
i loved so much that you wrote it that way!
I love Carolyn Miller books! I cannot wait to read this one!
Sounds like a book I will enjoy.
I read the Daughters of Aynsley Series and loved them! I also read Dusk’s Darkest Shores and it’s actually one of my favorite Regency Romances! Carolyn Miller is a great author!!
This books looks interesting and I would like to read it. 🙂
This book sounds so good, I would love to read it.
I had the pleasure of reading this pre-publication. Loved it! Carolyn writes Regency so authentically.
Sounds like a wonderful story.
I haven’t had the opportunity yet to read one of Carolyn Miller’s books, but they look amazing!
I have read a few of Carolyn’s books. The ones I have read are really good.
I haven’t read any yet. Sounds really great.
Our church library has some of Carolyn’s books and they are well received. This one sounds like a lovely addition to our collection.
I really enjoy Regency romances.
Sounds great. Thank you for sharing.
I haven’t had a chance to read any of Carolyn’s books yet but I’ve heard such great things about them and have several on my Want to Read list!
oh you must make time to read them soon!
I enjoy reading Carolyn’s books and cannot wait to read her Regency books.