A Lady of Esteem (Hawthorne House, # 0.5)
By: Kristi Ann Hunter
Published: July 7th 2015 by Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Adult, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Regency
Source: Personal Kindle Library
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Goodreads description--Miss Amelia Stalwood may live in London at her absent guardian's townhouse, but she's never actually met any nobility, and instead of aristocrats, her closest friends are servants. Quite by happenstance, she's introduced to the Hawthorne family and their close family friend, Anthony, the reformed marquis of Raeburn. They welcome her into their world, but just as she's beginning to gain some confidence and even suspect she may have caught Anthony's eye, she's blindsided by an unexpected twist in her situation accompanied by nasty rumors. Will she lose her reputation when the world that has only just accepted her turns its back on her, or will she rest in the support of the friends who've become like family and the man who's shared his faith and captured her heart?
A Lady of Esteem is an e-only novella that gives an exciting introduction to Kristi Ann Hunter's new Regency romance series about the aristocratic Hawthorne family! Includes an extended excerpt of Kristi's debut full-length novel, A Noble Masquerade.
I have to admit that An Uncommon Courtship piqued my interest in reading A Lady of Esteem more than A Noble Masquerade even though Amelia and Anthony only appear briefly in An Uncommon Courtship despite both being mentioned quite frequently. But that's because in An Uncommon Courtship Trent owns the house that Amelia grew up living in. Also because Adelaide's sister is Helena who has a part in A Lady of Esteem. Regardless, I was excited for the free novella giving Amelia and Anthony's story.
Though we're not specifically told the details of the sins of Anthony's past, we do know that he had issues with alcohol and women. He escaped to the country where he spent a considerable amount of time with the Hawthorne family--specifically Griffith. In doing so, he's turned his life over to God and is trying to settle down by finding a wife. And that leads him to return to London.
Amelia is a gentleman's daughter. However, both of her parents have passed. As well as her grandmother. And it seems that she's just gotten passed from one distant relative to the next. The last of which has left her in a house in London where she's come to make a family of sorts out of the household servants. But it isn't just the servants of her own house that she's familiar, but also most of those that she's met and come in contact with.
Amelia and Anthony meet in a couple of encounters that thoroughly embarrass her, but thoroughly intrigue him. And the two begin an unconventional courtship--which seems to be a bit of a theme for this series. Amelia is as pure and sweet as they come. Even though she's not been thoroughly educated in the Bible, it's principles seem to come naturally to her. But Anthony struggles with the man he's been and doesn't want to drag Amelia down with him.
I appreciated the religious themes to A Lady of Esteem perhaps the most out of the three books in this series that I've read. Forgiveness and redemption is something most can relate to.
-"Even if you succeed in placing these ballrooms beyond my reach, you will never ruin my life. I do not give you that power."
-How could anyone hear what anyone else was saying? But then again, maybe they didn't care. It seemed more important to be talking than to be heard.
-How could a loving God bring him to the brink of happiness and then snatch it all away? The answer materialized, as if the Lord himself had spoken in Anthony's ear. I didn't take it away. You did.
A Lady of Esteem was short, quick, and thoroughly enjoyable. I liked the characters, the story, the message. A Lady of Esteem gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read A Lady of Esteem? What did you think? Let me know!