Brentwood's Ward

Brentwood's Ward

by Michelle Griep

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781630586836
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/01/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 104,946
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog "Writer off the Leash" or visit

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Brentwood's Ward 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Brentwood's Ward is the first book I have read by Michelle Griep and it won't be the last. I thought the story was pretty good. Good drama and mystery. Definitely worth the read.  4 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic. Great detail. Fast paced adventure.
snybev More than 1 year ago
Is it possible to give a book 6 or 8 stars? I would. Already I am reading Brentwood's Ward for the second time. Michelle Griep has created a Regency novel unlike any other. Well-developed and rascally characters, Emily Paine and Nicholas Brentwood share a frustrating and challenging relationship. She's determined to marry. He's determined to earn his fee protecting her. Wise and wily Nicholas challenges Emily's obedience with a shrewd offer and comments on her shock that he'd trust her. “Think of it as a child’s game of blocks. You’re building trust with me, and I with you. By keeping your word today, you’ll lay a foundation upon which to build. Cast the block aside, and I’m not likely to hand you any more….” Will Emily build trust with that block, or use it to knock out Bow Street's finest investigative runner? Possibly one of 2015's best novels, Brentwood's Ward is filled with mystery, intrigue, and unexpected twists. I loved the characters. A few times I found myself wondering if some supporting characters might have their own book someday. I received this ebook from NetGalley for an honest review, but I plan to purchase a paper copy of my own. Then I just might have to read it for a third time!
MarB1 More than 1 year ago
Miss Griep is a very talented author. Like no one else, she knows how to create real and believable characters. This is a Regency novel, but so much better than most of the other titles out there – okay, I admit that I’m not very fond of this genre, but Michelle Griep and her amazingly artful skills knew how to make this a book to remember. Suspense, intrigue, romance – this story has it all. If you haven’t had the pleasure to read any of Miss Griep’s work, don’t wait any longer—you’ll love the read!
PatriotMama More than 1 year ago
Brentwood's Ward was my first read from author Michelle Griep. When I saw the first praise in the book written by Julie Klassen (one of my favorite authors) I should have known it would be an excellent book. Emily Payne & Nicholas Brentwood were very intriguing characters. The author drew me right in with her character descriptions as well as the story setting. The book is more than just a regular romance novel. It is full of mystery, action & downright fun. There were so many times I did not want to put this book down. The plot is deep & rich. It is not one of those that you figure out before the end. I love being on the edge of my seat until the book ends. I definitely recommend this book to all those who love the early 1800's in England. I will definitely be checking out this author's other books. I was given this book by Barbour Publishing for my honest review.
Nutz2read More than 1 year ago
Great book from a new-to-me author! Brentwood’s Ward is the first book by Michelle Griep I’ve read and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I am happy to say that it was great and I will now be searching for her previous books! I loved Michelle’s writing, which has a somewhat poetic feel to it. The conversations never felt stilted or forced, but rather flowed smoothly from page to page. I was immediately transported to London, without ever leaving my home, so vivid were the details and descriptions. I would look up from the book and be a little surprised that I wasn’t on a cobblestone street with Brentwood and Emily. I could almost hear the English accents, smell the fish at the docks, and hear the gowns at the ball swishing across the floor. I also really enjoyed learning the history behind the Bow Street Runners and the early law in London. It is very obvious that Ms. Griep put a lot of time and research into making this story feel as real as possible and she definitely succeeded! Emily Payne is an interesting heroine. I didn’t love her immediately, but rather the further I read, the more I fell in love with her. When we first meet her she is prideful, conniving, a bit of a brat. I did find myself getting a bit annoyed with her, until I better understood her motives. I can sympathize a bit with Brentwood’s frustration in that aspect. But the more I got to know her, the more I realized that it was simply a front, a reaction to how she was raised. I really enjoyed watching her grow and begin to care more for others than herself. Nicholas Brentwood, on the other hand, has learned pretty well the art of being selfless. He even accepts a less than desirable job in order to better care for his ill sister. I loved him from the start, for his selfless ways, but also because who doesn’t love a tall, dark, handsome, and brooding man? He is the knight in somewhat tarnished armor that women love. He is also quite stubborn and very astute. I loved the story from his point of view, because of the details and descriptions you don’t normally read in a regency novel. There is little he misses and following his observations was fascinating for me. I really appreciated that Michelle didn’t just tell us what he saw, but allowed us to draw our own conclusions, then explained what he had deduced. Their relationship was definitely interesting. Emily and Brentwood are both very strong willed and therefore are often at odds with each other. I enjoyed their verbal sparring and arguments. They certainly keep one another on their toes and had me laughing more than once. I loved following them as they first became something akin to friends, then something more. There are a couple passionate kisses, for those who may be wondering how sedate the romance is, but for me the romance was much more than that. It was them getting to know one another and loving them for who they were. They without a doubt fit the “iron sharpening iron” category. The faith aspect isn’t huge or overwhelming in this story, but is rather gracefully woven throughout. Brentwood prays often and truly believes in God, even though he carries guilt from his perceived failures. Emily on the other hand, knows of God, but thinks He cares about as much as her earthly father. I loved watching her realize how much God loved her and that she isn’t alone. A favorite quote of mine is this: “No one escapes this life without scars . . . Not even God.” Nicholas Brentwood Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection so clearly shown in two sentences. It also reminds me that God understands everything we face. He knows our scars and mourns them with us. If you picked up this book looking for a mystery, you may be a bit disappointed. While the suspense had me on the edge of my seat, there actually isn’t much to the mystery. There is no guessing whodunit, or anything like that. It is more Brentwood following the clues and figuring things out along the way. I’m sorry, if that deters you from reading the book, because the suspense was excellent! I highly recommend this book if you enjoyed regency romance full of suspense and great characters! I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own. *Quotation used with permission from the author. No infringement intended.
artsybookworm More than 1 year ago
Brentwood's Ward by Michelle Griep is my first read from this author. I love Regency so it seemed the perfect fit. :-) Emily Payne is determined to snag a husband this season, but there's only one, tiny problem. Her guardian, Nicholas Brentwood. When Emily's father left on business, he hired Brentwood to watch over his daughter. Furious, Emily tries all her normal tactics to get her way, but he is not at all like the other fellows in her life. Forced to take him everywhere she goes, she decides to exploit it much to Brentwood's annoyance. Nicholas Brentwood is a Bow Street runner and a mighty good one. When his boss tells him about the good pay for the guardian job, he happily accepts. Finally, he will be able to move his ailing sister to the country to heal. But when he meets Miss Emily Payne, he questions accepting this assignment. As Emily and Nicholas are forced to hang out together, they start to become friends and trust each other. But then circumstances change and Brentwood is scrambling to figure out the mystery surrounding Mr. Payne and the newly arisen threats against Emily. This book kept my interest. It flowed well, and I got to see the characters grow and change. Emily kept it lively and had me laughing with her antics. Brentwood was the main Christian character, and I really liked him. He was kind, compassionate, and protective but I didn't like how violent he was. It seemed extreme to me. I enjoyed the mystery, but I didn't like how some parts weren't tied up at the end. I was confused about Wren, Emily's friend. What happened between them? It was never fully explained! I really wanted to read a conversation between them...  There were some elements I didn't like in the story, but overall it was a good read even though unbelievable in parts. If you like Regency books, you will probably enjoy this story. :-) I was given this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
BMace 5 months ago
Oh my gosh..what a fabulous book! The author had me alternating between laughing so hard there were tears running down my face to holding my breath to see what could possibly happen next. Imagine trying to be the protector or guardian of a young lady, Emily, who is defiant, wily and petulant. This was the not to be envied job of Nicholas Brentwood. It took some time for them and those they were working with to learn that there was ‘no strength without unity’. In time they were able to solve the mystery behind several deaths but not before break-ins, kidnapping and danger found them. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in The Bow Street Runners series and look forward to the next ones.
jacksonmomLV 7 months ago
"Caring about a client was one thing. Caring FOR a client was quite another animal altogether." Each of Michelle Griep's stories centers on interesting people getting right with God, and seeing the pieces of their lives fall into place. Not that there aren't dark threads in this tapestry - losses and scars come to all. But I love the twists and turns as her characters eventually recognize their deepest needs and accept their "new normal" - and Brentwood and his ward, Emily Payne, are not exceptions. You can't imagine two people more different in gender, social position, lifestyle and goals...but somehow sparks fly when crime and danger bring them together. I thought the book got off to a bit of a slow start at first, and wondered if this tale would measure up to the others in the Bow Street series. Not to worry! By page 34 the feisty main characters themselves realized the need to call a truce and start over, and then this book was off to the races! I often found myself holding my breath as anxiously I turned pages. Certainly more violence than I'm used to reading about, and a list of villains as long as your arm, but that and the rest of Griep's impeccable research only made me glad I don't live in Regency London. I heartily recommend this romance/mystery, and the two volumes that follow it. As the mother of a homicide detective, I found the personalities and skills of her Bow Street professionals entirely believable and enthralling. Griep's books are all keepers on my bookshelf.
sandralb 10 months ago
I have read several of this authors books and I have enjoyed each one. Why I was surprised when I couldn't put this one down, I don't know. I love the way Michelle just takes you right into the story from the very first pages. For a short time you can leave your troubles and worries behind and you find yourself in London in the early 1800's. One of my favorite things Michelle does, as well as some of the other Christian Historical authors is to give us the background story on the true facts as well as the parts she took an authors liberty with. I like to research the topic further and learn more about it. I think this is a great beginning to what looks to be a very special series.
TrixiO 10 months ago
Mystery, history, and the Regency era collide in this gripping work of fiction. Throw a smoldering undercurrent of attraction between Nicholas and Emily and you have sheer perfection! Though the author includes descriptions of the grittier side of life, she doesn't leave the reader without a ray of hope and a gentle faith to cling to. A stunning example of the brilliant writing author Michelle Griep pens!
blueyz1962 More than 1 year ago
I really liked this story by Michelle Griep. She is a fairly new-to-me author and I am impressed with her writing style. Nicholas Brentwood is hired to protect the daughter of a wealthy Mr. Payne while he is away on business. Emily Payne is not very happy about having a guardian at her age and gives Nicholas a run for his money trying to keep her out of trouble. While these two slowly get to know each other, someone is out to do Emily harm and no one knows why. There is some mystery, intrigue and suspense while Emily and Nicholas try to figure out who is trying to harm her and why. Emily, with a little help from Nicholas, also learns to trust in God and have renewed faith in Him. If you are interested in clean, historical romances with suspense and drama, you just might like this book as much as I do. The story is well-written and the characters are well-developed. Enjoy!
LoraineN More than 1 year ago
What a good story! I loved the push-pull between Emily and Nicholas right from the start. I was kept on my toes as Emily pushed the boundaries of her protective detail while Nicholas fought to keep her safe and his heart unattached. Full review at my website.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like adventure and romance with an inspiritual touch you will enjoy this book.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
Brentwood's Ward***** by Michelle Griep 1807 London....Emily Payne is determined to find a husband from among society's most eligible bachelors this season. However, there is one thing...or person...that keeps getting in her way. Why would her father feel she needed a guardian while he is away on business? Nicholas Brentwood is a member of the Bow Street Runners (London's early 19th century police force) and has dealt with the challenges of many different kinds of criminals. But never has he faced such a challenge—although a pleasant one...mostly—guarding his spoiled charge Emily Payne from her father's enemies. I wasn't sure I was going to like Emily, she was spoiled, headstrong, selfish and not very agreeable at times. I could understand her bewilderment when her father announces he set a guardian over her while he would be away. Maybe he should have told her the reasons behind his decision. Emily certainly didn't make it easy for Nicholas to guard her. In fact, she took some really unwise risks, putting herself in danger and Nicholas as well. I did like her heart and compassion for her friend who was in trouble and the way she helped her. I was happy to see her character mature and the way she responded to unexpected dangerous challenges she faced. By the end of the book I found myself liking the “new” Emily. Nicholas was up to the task, even though he thought he wasn't at times. He is not only charming but brave, perceptive and fully committed in reaching his goals—in this case protecting Emily. I love the way he loved and cared for an ill family member despite the challenges he needed to make to do so. I like the way spirituality is woven throughout the story, how the characters learned to rely on God in the challenges they faced and in their everyday lives. Brentwood's Ward is a Regency story filled with intrigue, dangers, suspense, unexpected surprises, twists and turns that kept me guessing what was coming next, drama, mystery, evil and greed, romance and faith that kept me turning the pages anticipating what was ahead. ~I won a copy of this book from OWG blog, this is my honest review~
CrystalCaudill More than 1 year ago
Where do I start with this novel? First let me say I bought this as a clearance audiobook to listen to on a lonely drive. Now I will be purchasing a hard copy to reread. Michelle Griep masterfully plunks you down into the world of London in such a way you never realize you are not actually there. It is as if you are the one interacting with the setting, not some fictional character. I have never seen that done is such a masterful way. The characters of Nick Brentwood and Emily Payne are so true to life you feel as if they are living, breathing people whom you are intimately familiar with. Their emotions are you emotions. Their thoughts, yours. I have a knack for seeing twists before they happen, but I certainly did not see the many twists inserted so skillfully into the plot. If you want suspense, justice, and romance mixed with a whole lot of history, there is no better book out there. The immersion into Brentwood’s and Emily’s world was so complete I would sit in my car for over an hour waiting for a point when I could break free of my trance. Only the knocking on the window by my concerned children forced me to hit the pause button. When the flu kept me from driving, I snuck out to my car, grabbed the disc, and played it in my bed until it had reached its more than satisfying ending. Brentwood’s Ward is historical fiction at its best. You would be grievously robbed of an unforgettable experience if you don’t read it! Beware though, it is like a potato chip – you can’t just have one… chapter that is. Once you pick it up, you will never want to put it down. Thank you, Michelle, for a fantastic book. I cannot wait to read more of your work.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of regency novels, this is a book you will probably like. Nicholas Brentwood is a fabulous character right from the beginning of the story and straight through to the end. I really enjoyed the way he handled Emily Payne at the beginning of the book as he dealt with all of her antics and snobbishness. And I loved watching the way his feelings changed for Emily as the story progressed. Now, Emily Payne is a character that I flat out did not like at the beginning of the book. She appeared snobbish, selfish, and clueless. But, I learned as I kept reading that there were some reasons behind this behavior of hers and this knowledge helped me to understand her better. She ended up growing a lot through the story and became a very likeable character. She did continue to be a very clueless lady in regards to her safety and she took risks that sometimes were hard to comprehend. I ended up liking this story very much. It had lots of danger, twists and turns, suspense, and romance. I definitely recommend it to fans of regency fiction.
hollydollyWA More than 1 year ago
i didn't enjoy this book as much as the other two that I read during the same time. It's a normal Regency period book. I got frustrated sometimes at the characters lack of common sense.
BookwormMama14 More than 1 year ago
When your future, your life, is on the line, who would you turn to for strength? London, 1807. Emily Payne is caught up with thoughts about the upcoming ball and securing a husband. Little does she know that the security of her future is as obtainable as the distant stars. Nicholas Brentwood, a Bow Street Officer, has been hired to protect Emily during her father’s absence. His only goal is to complete the job and receive the payment so that he can take care of his sister, Jenny. When their lives collide with murder, kidnapping and scandal, they must rely on God to save and protect them. “God’s the One in control, not you.” There have been many times in my life that I have had to remind myself of these very words. When your life begins to spin uncontrollably, you can rest assure that God will be with you every step of the way. Brentwood’s Ward is a very unique story. Giving us a glimpse into the lives of the very first police officers. I had no knowledge of how the police came to be until I read this book. Michelle Griep has captured 1800s London in a way that I have not read before. I could not put this book down! I was on the edge of my seat (quite literally) for a good portion of the time. The depth of emotion is tangible in our leading characters. I believe that almost anyone can relate to the people in this story. For they have seen it all. “No one escapes this life without scars. Not even God.” A true reminder that everyone in this life faces trials and heartache, even God. I received a free digital edition of Brentwood’s Ward from Barbour Publishing Inc. through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
weatherlover1 More than 1 year ago
 Emily is a headstrong young woman and with her father leaving on business for a month he’s worried about her safety and hires Nicholas as her guardian while he is gone. Nicholas has a sick sister and he needs the extra money this job will bring in. The problem is this job is anything but easy. Emily will not listen and drives Nicholas crazy. Also the more Nicholas learns about her dad and his business the more he starts to question his sudden business trip and the more he fears for Emily’s safety.   What I liked: Nicholas and Emily were both likable. I enjoyed how Emily was a strong woman yet she was able to see that she did need help and that she could rely on Nicholas. Nicholas would not put up with Emily’s attitude and it was funny watching them checkmate each other. I also thought the ending was interesting and not quite what I expected. What I did not like: As much as I liked Emily she went back and forth from a snotty aristocrat to a woman with a heart. It was kind of hard to buy her being both. I also would have enjoyed learning how things turned out for her former maid. The ending left a lot of questions there.      Overall I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more books by this author. This book has romance, suspense and mystery which made for a fun read. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alistair Payne has offered Nicholas Brentwood a month long job to act as guardian for his daughter Emily, while he is out of the country. Nicholas is an experienced Bow Street Runner and has a very ill sister that he needs the extra money to care for. What he does not know when he accepts the position is that Emily Payne is a very stuborn, beautiful young lady and is determined to find a husband this season. He also is not aware of the enemies Alistar Payne has and what they will do to get what they want.  Emily is not willing to allow anyone to know she has a guardian so insists on calling Nicholas her cousin. She refuses to miss any of the activities, forcing Nicholas to go to them with her. Emily also does not listen to orders given to her and finds herself getting in situations when Nicholas is rescueing her from harm.  This is a very good book! Dispite being labeled "Romance" I would consider it more a mystery/suspence book. It is Christian Historial Fiction but written in such a way that it is not over powering. Yet it is very evident that the characters have to trust God to get them out the situations they get themselves into. It is a very interesting book and is hard to put down. I would recommed it to others.  I was given this book by Barbour Publishing Inc for an honest review.
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
Nicholas Brentwood is one of the famous Bow Street Runners, working for the magistrate in London. He is in desperate need of some extra money to care for his dying sister, Jenny. For that reason, he is willing to accept the assignment of becoming Emily Payne’s guardian. Emily is Mr. Payne’s willful, spoiled daughter who is husband hunting during this season in London. Mr. Payne quickly departs leaving Nicholas to explain his absence. Nicholas must accompany Emily to her society functions. When two murders take place and it seems someone is following Emily, can Nicholas keep her safe? Can Nicholas also keep his own heart safe from falling for this young lady who is changing before his eyes? This novel covers an interesting period in English history. The reader will find it informative that the British people felt it was their duty to personally protect and defend their own neighborhoods. But as society began to change, it appeared that they would need more help. Thus, the Bow Street Runners group was born. Eventually, the Metropolitan Police came into being from this group. This book tells possible story of one such man. This was an exciting tale with man twists and turns. It is wonderful to see the changes taking place in the life of Emily Payne as she grows closer in her relationship to Nicholas and eventually to the Lord. Some of the lesser characters such as Hope, Jenny, and Wren, were very sympathetic and endearing. I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for my opinion.
FirefliesNStardust More than 1 year ago
Set in London in 1807, Michelle Griep pens a captivating tale of Nicholas Brentwood, a Bow Street Runner, who is assigned as guardian over Miss Emily Payne. Brentwood takes a job he feels from the beginning he will regret but cannot pass up the offered funds for a chance to save his ailing sister. Emily Payne is determined this is the season to finally catch a husband, and the last thing she needs is a guardian her father has hired without her consent getting in her way.  This was the first novel I have read by Michelle Griep, and after completing it late last night I immediately went searching for more of her stories. I think Siri Mitchell's quote on the back cover explains this novel perfectly "Sherlock Holmes meets Charles Dickens..." Regency novels can sometimes fall into the same story-telling and plots, but not Griep's tale. It stands on it's own and is a unique blend of mystery, intrigue and romance. I loved the differing points of few switching between Emily and Brentwood's side of the story. Brentwood's Ward felt like reading Julie Klassen, Mary Lu Tyndall and Julie Lessman (who happen to be some of my favorite writers) all wrapped into a tale worthy of the bookshelf and easily recommended to fellow readers. 
Bookworm2Bookworm More than 1 year ago
Mr. Alistair Payne has summoned Nicholas Brentwood, age 27, to look after his daughter while he is away for a month.  While Nicholas has always worked as a Bow Street runner, he is taken aback at essentially “babysitting” a young lady.  Skeptical and ready to refuse, he quickly agrees when he hears the amount of money Mr. Payne offers him.  Nicholas has a sister who is quite ill and he needs an influx of money to be able to move her to the country where he is convinced the fresh air will cure her. Emily Payne is a beautiful young lady with blond hair and big brown eyes.  As she is in her early 20s, she resents Nicholas right away.  He is determined to keep an eye on her every minute even, as he threatens, he has to lock her up.  She is concerned that with his sticking so close to her, it might hamper her chances to attract a husband.  In addition to her father’s unexpected absence without telling her, she also has a bossy person telling her what and what not to do.  Emily is not a happy person. Reginald Sedgwick is a business partner to Mr. Payne and when he comes the Payne home to speak with him, he is infuriated that Mr. Payne has gone away without telling him.  A man drawn to strong drink, he becomes belligerent and threatening necessitating that Nicholas insists he leave.  As it turns out, an American, Captain Norton, is after Sedgwick for payment from him and Payne.  When Sedgwick is found shot in his home, things become dire and worry for both Nicholas and Emily increases as they wonder where Mr. Payne has gone and if he is in danger. Emily continues to try and keep up her social life which poses a constant irritation to Nicholas.  However, when he finally convinces her of the danger that surrounds her, she finally chooses to listen to him. As Nicholas searches some of the more grimy areas of London for Mr. Payne, he takes the reader through some truly gritty areas with characters and descriptions that may make you cringe. But, I cannot help but feel that these people and places truly existed. I admit that I prefer romance novels with a little less intrigue thrown in, however, if you like that, you are in for a great read.