Miss Serena's Secret

Miss Serena's Secret

by Carolyn Miller

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Overview

"Carolyn Miller writes with skill and grace that bring the Regency period to vivid life."
—Julianna Deering, author of the Drew Farthering Mysteries

With devastating scars in her past, Serena Winthrop is sure no man can be trusted—especially not a man like the too-smooth Viscount Carmichael. His reputation as a flirt and a gambler is everything she despises. And the young artist makes sure that this disreputable heir to an earldom knows of her deep disapproval whenever they encounter one another.

Henry, Lord Carmichael, is perfectly aware of his charms. He's gambled with plenty of ladies' hearts as easily as he has with their husbands' money. But lately he's wondered if there's more to life—and if his actions might prove unworthy of an admirable wife such as his friends have found.

When Serena's guardian asks his best friend to protect his young ward, Henry promises to be on his best behavior and not to woo her. But the more he learns of her, the more he realizes she might be his best reason for changing his character.

Then the lady's painting leads her to London infamy. Now Henry must choose between the life mapped out for him as the earl apparent and the love of his life. And Serena's secret may mean the end of his titled family line.

This second novel in a new series by internationally popular author Carolyn Miller is full of the rich historical detail and evocative writing her readers enjoy. The witty banter will continue to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.

"With exquisite dialogue, beautiful descriptions, and careful attention to detail, Carolyn Miller continues to draw her readers into a magnificent Regency world."
—Pepper D. Basham, author of the Penned in Time and the Mitchell's Crossroads series

"Carolyn Miller gets better and better with each book!"
Becky

"This entire series is going straight to my all-time favorites shelf!"
Beth Erin

"My girls and I have fallen in love with the Regency Brides series."
Ann Hibbard

Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace
The Elusive Miss Ellison
The Captivating Lady Charlotte
The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey

Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope
Winning Miss Winthrop
Miss Serena's Secret
The Making of Mrs. Hale

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780825445347
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Publication date: 07/24/2018
Series: Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope Series , #2
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 527,558
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Award-winning author Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia. She is married, with four gorgeous children, who all love to read (and write!).

A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of Romance Writers of American (RWA) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) contests as well as the Australian Omega Christian Writers Award. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. Her favourite authors are classics like Jane Austen (of course!), Georgette Heyer, and Agatha Christie, but she also enjoys contemporary authors like Susan May Warren and Becky Wade.

Her stories are fun and witty, yet also deal with real issues, such as dealing with forgiveness, the nature of really loving versus 'true love', and other challenges we all face at different times.

Her books include:
Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace
The Elusive Miss Ellison
The Captivating Lady Charlotte
The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey

Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope
Winning Miss Winthrop

Miss Serena's Secret
The Making of Mrs. Hale

Regency Bride: Daughers of Aynsley
A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh
Underestimating Miss Cecilia
Misleading Miss Verity

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Miss Serena's Secret 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Homesteading More than 1 year ago
4.5 STARS!!! Sharp wit, dramatic undertones, and romance equal a lovely Regency rendering in Miss Serena’s Secret. Serena is a young woman highly gifted in the arts, making for lovely word pictures painted throughout the story. I had no trouble envisioning the scenery of England and was quite keen to be there to see something so beautifully grand for myself. After an unfortunate incident, Serena is left disillusioned toward men and filled with sorrow, thinking to put painting aside forever. What shall restore her spirit and cause her to pick up a brush once again, illuminating canvas with color? Henry, Viscount Carmichael, is a bit older, making for the perfect rogue-turns-hero. He really does live a sin-filled life but isn’t that who Christ came to save…the sinner? Of course we know in the end he is going to turn to Christ but it is the getting there that makes the story. ‘His thoughts darkened, yet he forced himself to act his part, all the while conscious of feeling like a snared hare, caught by this foppish, fleshly reputation he’d cultivated over many years, bound forever to expectation and obligation, even as the morals of the Winthrops whispered freedom for the man he wanted to be.’ ~Henry, Viscount Carmichael, Miss Serena’s Secret Henry senses something mysterious in Serena’s countenance upon meeting her and it intrigues him. He is decidedly focused in finding out what her secret is. As he gets to know her, a protective side that he had never built upon but one that will both frustrate and draw Serena to him, manifests itself. Will Henry be one of the instruments God uses to heal her fractured heart? ‘If he claimed affection for her in his heart, then that affection should be outworked in his attitude and actions.’ ~Henry, Viscount Carmichael, Miss Serena’s Secret Broaching mysterious medical maladies in a heroine is not something you see often and I was quite surprised at Serena’s final diagnosis. It perplexed me the whole time and kept me guessing, which I have to say was quite good on the author’s part. Henry’s father, the Earl of Bevington, likewise suffers an ailment that today is quite openly spoken of but long ago could not possibly have been understood, causing much discomfiture and probably confinement in horrendous manners, although this does not happen to the earl in the book. I thought this aspect added much depth to the story between Henry and his parents, and it genuinely tugged at my emotions. Fans of Regency and Christian fiction will enjoy the latest quintessential offering from Miller. I was provided a digital copy from the publisher through Netgalley. I was not required to write a review. No compensation has been received.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
Miss Serena’s Secret #2 A Promise of Hope by Carolyn Miller Miss Serena’s Secret is set in 1817 Regency England where we get better acquainted with Serena Winthrop than in the first book in the series, Winning Miss Winthrop. I was not sure about Serena in that book but as her story unfolds, she soon became a favorite character; one I felt compassion for in her mysterious ailment. . .abdominal migraine (which is a sub-type of migraine), as I suffer from chronic migraines I can relate to her debilitating pain. In addition to her ailment, she has been wounded in the past and as such does not trust men in general, especially smooth charmers with a “not so nice” reputation (to put it politely) like the Viscount Henry Charmichael. I love that she is true to her convictions, faith and standards and does not hesitate to vocalize them on the occasions that warrant outspokenness. Henry often finds himself on the receiving end of that outspokenness and cool look, rightly so on most occasions. I enjoyed watching Henry as he interacts with Serena and as he takes a good long look at his life and finally realizes that the reputation he has is not one he wants any longer. I guess you could say, he grew up, however it is far more than that (I won’t say more and spoil anything). I also enjoyed watching as his faith grew, which has a huge impact on everything in his life. Serena’s new art master, Monsieur Despard, was a delight to watch as he instructs Serena in her craft and the way he “flitted” around the studio. He certainly is her advocate, one she sorely needs. I appreciate the way Carolyn Miller handles some sensitive and distressing subjects and in a way that fits the era. I understand that in ‘genteel circles’ of the time these subject matters were often not discussed. With historical detail and vivid descriptions of the Gloucestershire countryside, the “Treasure” Lord Henry’s father speaks of and Serena’s painting and art of the era are such I could envision them as I read. I would like to see this “Treasure” myself. I enjoyed reading the author’s notes at the end of the story, which gives more historical information related to the book and characters. The ending is a perfect lead into the next novel in the series, The Making of Mrs. Hale, I am looking forward to reading. ~I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
LoriP123 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this story by Carolyn Miller! It is the second book in her Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series and definitely worth reading. If you love stories filled with romance, Regency lifestyle, fashion along with society gossip and rules then this series is just for you and what makes it even better is the inspirational/biblical guidelines that she weaves throughout each story. In Miss Serena's Secret we follow the love story of Serena Winthrop and Henry, Lord Carmichael. Serena is carrying around scars from her past that prevent her from ever feeling like she can trust any man...ever...With his ever-present charm and his orchestrated flirting Henry is able to break down some of the barriers Serena has built in order to protect herself physically and emotionally. With her resistance crumbling their friendship soon blooms into love, but is it enough for Henry to leave his old habits behind and take on the responsibility of a wife and running his family estate. I'm really looking forward to the next book in this wonderful series! I was given an ARC from the author/publisher. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Miss Serena’s Secret by Carolyn Miller is a complex novel set in Regency England. Secrets abound and are being kept by more than just Serena Winthrop. Some distressing subjects are handled artfully by the author. In this time period such things were not discussed in genteel circles. Social customs of politeness sometimes kept accurate information and sincere feelings from being conveyed. Therefore misunderstandings would hamper friendships or romances. Carolyn captures the flavor of the period. The descriptions and the conversations are spot on! The faith of Miss Serena Winthrop is evident from the beginning. And we see the journey of Henry, Lord Carmichael, develop over the course of the novel. Henry has a lot to overcome and now takes his responsibilities seriously. They hoth have the support of friends and some family members, especially Henry’s grandmother who spurs Serena toward painting once again. I was happy to see characters from previous books make an appearance. And there is a promise of familiar faces popping up in future works. Carolyn Miller is a favorite author. I would recommend this and all her books to those who are partial to Regency England fiction. Come find out what secrets are hiding! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publishing on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own*. Paula Shreckhise
AmyPutney More than 1 year ago
Every time I read one of Carolyn Miller's books, and I think it's my favorite. Then her next book is released that THAT is my favorite! We first met Serena in the previous book, and though I liked her then, I had no idea just HOW MUCH I would truly come to love her character (and Henry too!). This isn't a fluffy regency romance; this story deals with a lot of very real issues that people still face today: abuse, shame, fear of being who you are, etc. I loved every minute of this story, even the parts what were harder to read. As such, I can't wait to read the Making of Mrs. Hale. I'm sure it will be my new favorite when it arrives later this fall! I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Sadie More than 1 year ago
Carolyn Miller has done it again. Her English historical fiction has witty dialogue and shows the importance of faith. Miss Serena’s Secret is full of romance, mystery, and intrigue. Miss Serena is just out of school trying to figure out her life. Her sister and brother-in-law are trying to help her find her way. Lord Carmichael is struggling with who he is and the expectations of his family. Can Serena and Lord Carmichael figure out who they are and who they want to be before it’s too late? This book will keep you turning pages until the very end. I was given a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
jcservantslave More than 1 year ago
I know I've said this about EVERY ONE of Ms. Miller's books, but Miss Serena's Secret is one of the BEST books out there! I don't know how, but Ms. Miller somehow manages to draw my whole heart and all of my emotions into her stories! Every time! Miss Serena's Secret was no exception. I felt a special connection to both Serena and her hero, more so than probably any of Ms. Miller's previous characters. I understood both of them and their struggles so well! The introvert who hides her feelings and emotions is so often misunderstood and hardly ever written about. This was a refreshing departure from the norm and it completely stole my heart, proving (once again) the author's incredible versatility in creating unique characters and personalities in each new book! The story itself was AMAZING! The emotions were entangling. The descriptions were so vivid! And the historical detail was engrossing. I could literally feel as though I lived in Regency England for the duration of the book! Ms. Miller is (hands-down!) one of the most TALENTED and thoroughly ENJOYABLE authors I've ever had the pleasure of coming across!
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I'm pretty sure Carolyn gets better with each book. I think this one has been my favorite yet, and I have read all of her books.  The tension and romance between Serena and Harry had my heart aching for them, literally.  My heart was so sad for Serena in the beginning when she hid away her talent but I loved when she began to bloom again in her gifts.  I loved the story of redemption and forgiveness in this book. It is a strong theme, one we must remember. God can redeem anyone and we need to keep praying for them.  A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I'm pretty sure Carolyn gets better with each book. I think this one has been my favorite yet, and I have read all of her books.  The tension and romance between Serena and Harry had my heart aching for them, literally.  My heart was so sad for Serena in the beginning when she hid away her talent but I loved when she began to bloom again in her gifts.  I loved the story of redemption and forgiveness in this book. It is a strong theme, one we must remember. God can redeem anyone and we need to keep praying for them.  A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 
Mocha-with-Linda More than 1 year ago
Sigh. I became a fan of Carolyn Miller's writing last year with her debut series, Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace, and she remains firmly on my must-read author list with this new series. Miss Serena's Secret capitivated me from the opening paragraphs and I couldn't set it aside until I finished. Endearing characters along with lively and witty repartee bring the Regency setting to life, and each emotion experienced by Serana found purchase within my own heart. Miller perfectly renders a sigh-worthy romance reminiscent of Jane Austen and other period authors. I'm already eager for The Making of Mrs. Hale, coming in November. Don't miss this fabulous book and series! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this book free from Kregel Publishing and NetGalley for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
blueyz1962 More than 1 year ago
Another 5 star book by a wonderful author, Carolyn Miller! I really loved this book and Carolyn's books just keep getting better and better. I have only read one other book about an artist, if you can call painting carousel horses art, which I do. The descriptions of the heroine's painting ability and style was believable. The characters are well developed and the plot very believable. Anyway, we find Miss Serena Winthrop, sister to Catherine Winthrop from Winning Miss Winthrop, graduating from finishing school and she is terribly disturbed by events that happened at school. She is left with scars on the inside that are easy to hide but difficult to get over. Along comes the Hero, Viscount Henry Carmichael, a friend to Serena's new brother-in-law and a notorious flirt. Since Serena is basically a ward to Lord Winthrop, he asks Henry to keep his distance from Serena, who is barely out of the schoolroom so to speak. Henry agrees, however, fate has other ideas. These two will find some things in common, but Henry knows Serena doesn't trust him and works to gain her trust, as he is beginning to have feelings for her even though he told his friend he would stay clear of her. What will happen between Henry and Serena? What is the big secret that left Serena emotionally scarred? There are times you may want to knock some heads together to get them to wake up, but this book is so moving and so full of romance, you are sure to love it as much as I do. This is a clean, Christian historical romance with an HEA. Enjoy! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Kregel Publications, on behalf of author Carolyn Miller without expectation of a positive review. The opinions stated are my own.
SBMC More than 1 year ago
Ah. What a delightfully delicious follow up novel to Winning Miss Winthrop! If you haven’t read the first novel in the series, that’s ok; Miss Serena’s Secret can absolutely be read as a stand alone. The author Carolyn Miller’s trademarks shine in this novel; her beautiful and eloquent writing style, the dynamic dialogue that engages and propels the plot line seamlessly, the deeply feeling and enchanting characters, and a bold thread of faith and belief in God coalesce to produce a fine Regency novel so intensely satisfying. If you love a well-written Regency book, this one is not to be missed. The main characters Harry and Serena are opposites at the beginning of the book. Harry is a fun-loving, humorous, happy-go-lucky viscount looking for ways to enjoy life. Yet, underneath his charming and seemingly superficial ways lies a man who desires stability, honesty, integrity, and someone to love and someone who’ll understand him, respect him, and return his love. His gentleness and kindness draw Serena to him and she doesn’t fully realize his character until much later in their friendship. Serena is a deeply emotional artist who has been scarred by a man’s advances and attempts to hide her loving feisty self in the country. She is tender-hearted but has a quick wit and a sharp tongue. She revels in stability and having a purpose in life. The banter between Serena and Harry is hilarious and oh so clever! I really liked the continuation of Catherine and Jon’s story (Winning Miss Winthrop) as well Lavinia and Nicholas’ story (The Elusive Miss Ellison). I also appreciated that Harry is a different kind of a hero from Jon and Nicholas. Harry has a lot of learning to do in the midst of his insecurity, self-doubt, and regrets ; he needs to understand who he is, what he wants, what his purpose is, and to Whom he belongs. Harry’s slow-growing faith is encouraging, heart-warming, and very real. The references to 1 Corinthians 13 struck me deeply as Harry grew to realize that this passage signifies God’s love for him as well as His command to love likewise. And the next book will be about Jon’s half sister Julia! I can not wait to read her story! I was given a copy of this book by the author and Kregel Publications and was under no obligation to post a review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If only I could function without sleep… It was four in the morning before I finally forced myself to put the book down and the next day I was quick to pick it up and finish it. This book was filled with an entire range of emotional moments that were: funny, romantic, tense, joyous… There were raw emotions, whether it was a child born into the world or a beloved character called home. I held my breath though a scene which is so unlike me and during another scene I literally dropped my jaw. I was so glad no one was watching me while reading this book! Carolyn Miller always has such interesting, dynamic characters. I love how she describes the scenery, and I can vividly picture it. As a landscape photographer I can relate with Serena seeing God’s work in His glorious creation and trying to capture it. The parts with the children were some of my favorites. Like when Serena was trying to paint the bouncy children and they were asking her questions about Uncle Henry. I also liked the way Henry interacted with the children. Those scenes were so precious. Miss Serena’s Secret is not a story where things go perfectly, and that is one of the reasons why I recommend it. While it’s nice to read a story that is happy and positive all the time, it’s not very realistic. This book’s realistic scenarios remind us of how we all should live. Love endures all things. Bad things will happen but we must continue to love God and love others and see the good He provides us with. At the end of Miss Serena’s Secret it shows a preview of Carolyn’s next book in the series The Making of Mrs. Hale. I am very much looking forward to it even more after reading that preview.
Librarycataloger More than 1 year ago
"Miss Selena's Secret" opens with an episode of sexual harassment but it is handled tastefully and readers will be encouraged by the roles that faith and prayer play in this story. Many of us have had secret crushes on our teachers and Serena Winthrop was no different. When her art instructor seemed impressed with her talent she was thrilled but his attentions soon became bold and personal and her happiness turned to fear and dismay. Suddenly Selena's joy of painting became tainted with horrible memories and a sense of shame and she lost her desire to create with paints and canvas. She also believed that she could never trust a man again so she had many reservations about her new association with Lord Henry Carlisle. His reputation as a gambler and a popular lady's man was exactly what she hated and she didn't hesitate to make her feelings very clear to him! It is when circumstances demand that they continue to spend time together that Henry begins to question his own past and wonder if he can change his habits so that he might become someone that Selena can respect and even love. Their journey to acceptance of each other's pasts and the realization of their mutual attraction leads to a pathway filled with secrecy, misunderstandings, and eventually the understanding that all things are possible. This is the fifth book that I've read by Carolyn Miller and her books just keep getting better! It is apparent that she loves the Regency era and she shares this love with those of us who also enjoy this time period. Her stories transport us back to a time of modest maidens and roguish heroes and she introduces us to multi-faceted characters and the different social classes that were so prevalent during that time. As I read this book I felt as though I was traveling the countryside and seeing the beautiful homes and gardens first hand. I suffered along with the characters as they experience their trials and I rejoiced when their faith carried them through. I appreciate that all of Ms. Miller's stories feature the underlying theme of trusting in God and believing in prayer and I always enjoy being able to briefly revisit familiar characters from her previous books. I highly recommend "Miss Selena's Secret" to all who enjoy Regency romance and Christian fiction. Carolyn Miller is quickly earning a spot along side of Georgette Heyer and I am looking forward to her next book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. A positive review was not required, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
RachsRamblings More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed..and the best yet from this author. I stayed up late reading this one. I really enjoyed the characters in this book, and the setting was described so beautifully. So, yes, I read it in one day! It was a well done novel with plenty to keep the reader hooked to the book! I have enjoyed this series, and though reading the first isn’t required...I highly recommend reading it before this one. It was a well done regency novel that I very much enjoyed. I do want to mention that this is an adult book. There are a few topics touched on that aren’t meant for YA readers. I often feel this should have to go unsaid, but it just seems it doesn’t these days. It’s a good, clean read with well done, realistic characters, a lovely setting, and a great story! It has a place on my forever shelves. I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own. Notable quotes- Do you not see? Each time you deny your gift, you let the evil continue to win.” “I know that I’m imperfect, in many ways not ideal, but God is working on my and in me. I feel his love changing me...” For herself, painting again seemed to have drawn her closer to God. She held a new appreciation for the Master Craftsman who had created such beauty...” Love she knew. Well, she knew what it should be. The Bible spoke of love proved by actions...
Julie12 More than 1 year ago
This is such an enjoyable book. I loved the characters, the setting, and the story of redemption so much I stayed up all night finishing it! I really loved Serena and how she used her art to glorify God. Her absorption in her art is something I could relate to and I liked how the author really showed her heart and mind as she painted or didn't paint. This was very realistic, in my opinion, because artistic people really need to create. I also thought how her self-condemnation of herself was so realistic, too. It made her so real! Henry was likable from the beginning, but he became even more so as the story went on. It was wonderful seeing him transform as he committed himself to God. He falters and stumbles along the way but this made it so relate-able because we all do this sometimes in our walk with God. Another thing I liked about this story was how the author described things so beautifully, I felt as though I were there. I could imagine the valley and the houses as I read. It was like I was there! This is a beautiful romance and a story of what happens when we trust God and allow Him to transform our life. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it! I give it 5 out of 5 stars. *This book was provided to me for my honest review by Kregel Tours through NetGalley
eLynda More than 1 year ago
I have been reading Carolyn Miller’s books from the beginning; I was initially drawn to her because she writes novels set during the Regency, my favorite. After the first book I was hooked, and the writing and stories just keep getting better. Historical detail is excellent. I love how she works in phrases of the day, such as describing fulfilling expectations as having “done the pretty,” which helped ground me within the time. The constant tension between polite veneers and the need to be honest in the most vital of relationships provides plenty of room for misunderstanding but it never stretches the events out of the realm of possibility, especially in a time where appearance was often the most important thing. Relationships figure heavily into this novel. Certainly, I expected the romantic one, but I was surprised by the exploration of siblings—how very different people result, despite being raised in the same family, a realistic element that is fun to play with, especially as the secondary characters are known from previous books. Similarly, the friendship threads between the male characters are deepened a bit, giving a more dimensional quality than might otherwise be found. Finally, the spiritual content makes this novel excellent Christian fiction. The characters struggle with many issues readers can relate to, including forgiveness, guilt, overcoming sin, and loving others according to 1 Corinthians, at the expense of self and our own preferences. This book strikes me as the most tender of Miller’s work to date, and it is also my favorite. I have loved each of the books in this series and the previous, but there is just something about this novel in particular that touched me; perhaps it is how the characters are called to love, especially when it costs dearly. It is a beautiful, fictional picture of how that can look, and a challenge to love those within my own life from a deeper part of my heart. I received a review copy of this book from the author and publisher but was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed are both honest and my own.
BethErin More than 1 year ago
Beauty and artistry leap from the pages of Carolyn Miller's latest faith-filled Regency Brides romance. These authentic, complex characters are perfectly flawed and completely endearing. Serena Winthrop's predicament did a number on my heartstrings! Any reader who has ever felt betrayed or unworthy will be inspired and encouraged by her journey. Lord Carmichael knows he hasn't exactly been living his life on the straight and narrow but for the first time, it's a path he regrets. Henry's eyes and heart are opened to the consequences of both action and inaction. I am again impressed by the ease and natural flow of faith-based elements within this story. Struggles, prayers, scriptures, and more are seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the characters' lives and impressed on the heart of this reader. I highly recommend this series as well as Ms. Miller's previous Regency Brides series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the second in the series Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope, and is best read after Winning Miss Winthrop (and the preceding three book series, A Legacy of Grace). Serena Winthrop is a young artist finishing up her schooling when she is sexually harassed by her art instructor. The teacher is sent away and Serena graduates, but when she goes home she sets aside her paintbrush because painting only brings back horrible memories. When Serena and Lord Henry Carlisle end up spending a great deal of time together, Serena finds herself becoming fond of him, but she thinks a relationship with him and marriage are impossible because of the harassment she has endured and the secret she has not told anyone but her family. As Serena picks up her paintbrush in an attempt to put the past behind her, she ends up creating a painting that causes quite the scandal in London. In spite of all the obstacles, can Serena and Harry find a way to continue their budding relationship? I can't say enough about Carolyn Miller's books. She has the unique talent of being able to tackle difficult, necessary subjects in a way that touches and encourages the heart, convicts the soul, and informs the mind. She does this by using vastly different, yet relatable characters, Biblical principles, and realistic situations. I enjoyed this book just as much as the others and found it to be well thought out, descriptive, encouraging, and thought provoking. I could visualize the beautiful valley in my mind, and at times I felt like I was actually there in the story. I loved the focus on art and family relationships as well as the appearance of beloved characters from previous books. Henry (Harry) is one of my favorite characters because he's so gentle, caring, understanding, and loving to Serena. Carolyn's main male characters in her books, though they aren't perfect, are each a good model for the way men should treat women. If only there were more men like that in real life (they're certainly scarce!). Carolyn Miller's books, in my opinion, are some of the best in Christian fiction because the issues she tackles are extremely relevant to today even though the books are set two hundred years ago, and she doesn't water down the Bible or the message of salvation like other Christian authors (in addition to the reasons I listed above). I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for God-honoring, Biblical, encouraging Christian fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. A positive review was not required, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Becky_B More than 1 year ago
Miss Serena’s Secret by Carolyn Miller is an amazing Regency read. The story follows Miss Serena Winthrop and Henry, Lord Carmichael through indifference, friendship and lastly to love. Serena is a reserved character who I had to warm up to. But, by the end of the book I wished I could master the cooling looks she is able to give and wanted to meet her for lunch. Lord Carmichael was a delight and reminded me how the Gospel truly changes us, and how extraordinarily exciting that is. My surprise love in this book was how much I enjoyed learning about the Regency art world. I was especially fascinated with how women were viewed and treated. It is easy to forgot that things have gotten better for women. The Summer Exhibition, an art show, mentioned in the book was so well portrayed that I felt myself walking through the exhibit. Ms. Miller took me back in time to London, the English countryside and stately manners, and I did not want to leave! This is a pleasurable read and I highly recommend it. I was given this book by the publisher and not required to write a review.
LucyMR1 More than 1 year ago
First off let me say I am not a big Regency fan.....gasp....sorry for this shocking news, but this author has such a way of making you want more. I enjoy reading it more for a Historical aspect, as my ancestors are English, and seeing how different the Era was. A vivid picture is painted of the scenery, architecture, and clothing, as well as an interesting story of changed lives. The characters stretch and grow through learning to trust again and putting off the old man and being renewed in Christ, as they grow in their affections for one another. I loved catching up with some characters from previous novels as well. The addition of the lighthearted moments with the children and grandmama give us a chance to smile. This book deals with dementia, scars left from bad choices, and untoward advances to a young lady and living with the mental consequences. They are handled with kid gloves while faith, love, and forgiveness are interwoven. Great read and can’t wait for the third book in this series. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
Abby1219 More than 1 year ago
Love always wins, no matter what someone's past or present situations may look like, even though it would be so much easier to turn around and run in the opposite direction at times. Love has a way of changing people, because sometimes the ones who seem the most unlovable or undeserving are actually the ones who need it the most. And sometimes it changes us in the process too.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
It felt great to be back with old friends and be updated on their lives, this time we are with Caroline’s sister Serena, and yes, we do find out her secret. We come at this story from different angles and know things have got to be changed when Jon asks his friend to look after Miss Winthrop, hands off so to say, never mind that sparks fly. We also have a gifted artist, and society, mainly men, cannot deal with it being a woman, and we get to see, or read, then in action Another don’t miss book in this series, and you will chuckle, want to cry, and cringe at some of the happenings here, and don’t miss the epilogue, wow! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Kregel, and was not required to give a positive review.
SusanKC More than 1 year ago
Outstanding! It is so easy to get lost in Carolyn Miller's books. She is a gifted writer that can be compared with the best in regency romance. With great attention to detail, her beautiful descriptions of the English countryside, witty dialogue and multi-dimensional characters, Ms. Miller immerses her readers into a Regency world that will satisfy fans of Jane Austen. Miss Serena's Secret is a story of discovery, of finding one's path and most importantly of grace and redemption. Ms. Miller writes with adroitness, touching on sensitive topics with grace. Serena has more than one secret that affects her ability to trust others. While I found Serena to be a wonderful heroine, I really found myself drawn to Henry's story. Henry, Lord Carmichael, has a reputation and past that he would like to leave behind. I found Henry's struggle with his old nature and his journey to be endearing. His spiritual journey is one of grace and redemption. Carolyn Miller continues to be one of my favorite authors of this genre. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
swissgranny More than 1 year ago
Carolyn Miller has fast become one of my favorite authors. Her novels set in Regency era England are brimming with historical detail, gripping plots, and fascinating characters. Miss Serena’s Secret is the second in the series Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope. It can be read as a stand alone book, although characters from the first book in the series make an appearance in this one. The main characters, Serena Winthrop and Henry, Lord Carmichael, are realistic and layered, each of them with their own problems. Although Serena is wounded, hurting, and distrustful of men, she is striving to overcome her past experiences. Lord Carmichael is trying to leave his past behind and become a more worthy man. The author brings these two imperfect people together with wit, humor, a big dash of tenderness. A stellar supporting cast and an intriguing story line drew me into the story and kept me turning pages. Miller has a talent for seamlessly adding elements of faith, forgiveness, redemption, and hope into her stories, bringing another layer of depth and enjoyment. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy excellent Regency stories. I’m looking forward to the next in this series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.