Brentwood's Ward (The Bow Street Runners, # 1)
By: Michelle Griep
Publication: January 1st 2015 by Shiloh Run Press
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Regency
Source: Personal Kindle Library
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Goodreads description--Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge.
I read and loved The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep a few years ago. I knew I wanted to read more of her work after just that one experience. Later I saw The Innkeeper's Daughter as a freebie on Amazon and snatched it up. However, I didn't know it was the 2nd in a series until after the fact so I put off reading it. Then I came across The Noble Guardian (book 3 in the same series) available for review on NetGalley and snatched it up as well. The only thing left to do was purchase Brentwood's Ward and get started on the series praying that I wouldn't be disappointed with Michelle Griep's writing style and thus be uninterested in reading all three books. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed at all.
Emily Payne appears completely spoiled. Her cares seem to be only as deep as caring for her dog and finding the perfect dress or accessories this season to snag the richest husband she can find. Of course, things aren't so simple as that, and Emily certainly has deeper cares and concerns. She does have to learn that life is more than securing a rich husband. And her father's disappearance leaving her in the hands of what basically amounts to a *police officer starts her lessons off with a bang. She quickly learns that it's better to have Nicholas as an ally than an enemy.
Nicholas takes the job of guarding a spoiled socialite for the sole purpose of obtaining the funds to help his dying sister. She needs a miracle, and Nicholas believes that if he can just get her into a better situation she will have what she needs to get better. Yet this job turns out to be more than he ever expected. Emily's father turns up dead. His business partner also turns up dead. And someone is coming after Emily in an attempt to collect on her father's bad debts. Nicholas has to figure out who and how to stop them. But he didn't expect to find himself falling for his ward.
-Nothing was more torturous than dressing in garments tighter than a straightjacket while eating fish bait served on fine china.
-"A person's character is most clearly seen not by what they show, but what they hide."
-Why did emptiness weigh so much?
-"Marriage is a lifelong commitment. Do not run headlong through a door that will lock tight behind you, without first discovering what's on the other side."
-"No one escapes this life without scars, Miss Payne. Not even God."
-Truly, was there anything more horrific than peering at one's own self?
*Michelle Griep has an author's note at the end of Brentwood's Ward that gives a brief history on who and what the Bow Street Runners were. I found this entire idea completely fascinating, and I'm finding that I love not only this time period for the normal aspects of it, but also for the stories that cover situations that aren't the norm or weren't the norm at the time. I'm looking forward to finishing this series and finding out more about these fictional Bow Street Runners.
I didn't want to stop reading Brentwood's Ward. Considering I've been in a small reading slump for over a month this was much needed and helped me break free of my rut. I loved the development between Nicholas and Emily. Each made the other try to better themselves without the entire relationship being about trying to better themselves if that makes sense. I found the Bow Street Runners concept completely fascinating and original. And I'm looking forward to continuing the series. Brentwood's Ward gets 4 Stars. Have you read Brentwood's Ward? What did you think? Let me know!