Thursday, February 11, 2016
Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It's where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she's beautiful.
Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother's neglected duties. Home on leave, he's sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter's daughter. He's startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him--one of Wesley's discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse.
Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she'll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.
Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family's estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?
As a fan of Julie Klassen and marriage of convenience stories I knew from the get go that I would love this book, and love it I did.
Stephen was the quintessential strong but quiet hero, and I loved his character. He was military so he had a bit of a fierce side but it was tempered by his kind heart. His first instinct was to solve any problems that presented themselves and he wanted what was best for those around him without much thought to his own happiness. Sophie was a sweet heroine and she handled the difficult circumstances she found herself in with grace. I admired how she was determined to do whatever was necessary to protect and provide for her child. I loved the romance between Stephen and Sophie, it wasn't flashy or dramatic but rather it was a quiet love that slowly blossomed and it was beautiful.
There was a large cast of brilliantly written secondary characters and they each added their unique flair to enhance the story. Julie's beautiful storytelling was once again showcased in this novel as she wove this tale in such a way that I hated putting it down! All in all it was another Julie Klassen masterpiece and I highly recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed her previous novels and to those who are fans of Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, and the regency era in general!
Meet the Author
Bestselling, award-winning author Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more at www.julieklassen.com.
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.