Her heart is her ownbut her hand in marriage is another matter
Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility when she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.
William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in returnand the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.
Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace?
Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller in the tradition of Georgette Heyer and Julie Klassen. Fans of The Elusive Miss Ellison will meet compelling new charactersand a few old friends.
Enjoy the entire Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series!
1. The Elusive Miss Ellison
2. The Captivating Lady Charlotte
3. The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey
And don't miss Carolyn's new series Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope, coming in 2018!
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
Read an Excerpt
St. James's Palace, London April 1814
The room glimmered with a thousand points of sparkling light, the bright glow from the enormous crystal-dropped chandelier glinting off heavily beaded gowns, ornate mirrors, and the desperation shining in dozens of pairs of eyes.
Lady Charlotte Featherington glanced at her mother and smiled. "Truly, Mama, there is no need to look anxious. We shall not disgrace you."
Her mother drew herself up, as if the very idea of even appearing concerned was an affront. "I am not concerned about you, dear girl, but ..." She made a helpless gesture with her hands and glanced at the young lady accompanying them.
"I assure you, Aunt Constance, I have no intention of disgracing you, either," said Lavinia Stamford, Charlotte's cousin and recent bride of the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury.
"You remember everything I told you?" Mama said worriedly.
"I cannot promise to have remembered everything, Aunt Constance, but I have no wish to embarrass you — or my husband." This was said with a sidelong glance at the earl, Nicholas Stamford, that caused a pang in Charlotte's chest. How lucky Lavinia was to have found such a perfect match.
Charlotte smiled as her mother bit her lip, no doubt torn between sharing her oft-stated opinion about the Stamfords and not wishing to offend Lavinia on such an important day.
She turned her attention to the front of the room, as the Lord Chamberlain called the name of the next young lady to make her presentation. Butterflies danced haphazardly in her stomach. Only two to go, then it was her turn. Pushing to her toes, she peered around the rather large pink-swathed matron in front, whose ridiculous confection of a headpiece held no less than eight — or was it nine? — ostrich feathers. She reached up a hand to pat her own far more modest hairstyle, with the obligatory five white ostrich feathers.
"Yes, Mama." Charlotte fought a sigh and assumed the more correct stance of a gently bred young lady.
"I will rejoin you shortly, my dear." With a press of his lips to Lavinia's cheek, and a bow and good wishes for Charlotte, the earl exited, doubtless to join the other new husbands and fathers waiting in the chamber next door.
Charlotte followed Lavinia's gaze as she watched him leave. Such a handsome man, who wore so well the embroidered velvet coat and silk knee breeches demanded by court. She nodded to herself, heart dancing. She would marry a man who looked so well — perhaps even this year! For as Mama had said so often, after Charlotte's presentation the doors of every noble house would be open to her, and the offers to her father for her hand would pour in. Drawing in a breath, she braced her shoulders. If only she could find love among the eligible —
"Lady Anne Pennicooke," the Lord Chamberlain called, before gesturing forward the next young lady.
"Amelia has done well enough for the girl," Mama said with a sniff. "Though I do think the size of those diamonds veers toward the vulgar. One should hint at one's wealth, not trumpet it like the king's herald."
"Very poetic, Aunt Constance," Lavinia said, a smile lurking in her eyes as she glanced at Charlotte.
Mama sniffed again. "I'm pleased to see you took my advice about wearing the coronet, Lavinia. Your grandmother would be pleased to know it was getting some use again. It's such an elegant piece."
"Oh, I agree. It is very elegant," Lavinia said, touching the pearl-and diamond-encrusted band across her copper-blond waves. "But this is the Hawkesbury coronet."
"Are you sure?" Mama said, brows lowered, peering with an expression of suspicion.
"It appears very similar, but yes, I am sure. Nicholas assures me this is the coronet each new countess has worn."
"Last worn by your mother-in-law?" Charlotte murmured.
Something flickered in Lavinia's eyes, but her tranquil expression did not change. "Yes."
Charlotte inwardly applauded her cousin's fortitude. Her marriage had come with a very high price — that of a meddling older woman whose love for her son had been soured by his insistence on marrying a woman she despised. It must be so hard, Charlotte thought, to be at the receiving end of constant sniping and bitterness, but Lavinia bore it well. She possessed a measure of grace that seemed to permit her to smile and turn the other cheek, even as she must surely writhe inside.
Charlotte smoothed down her elbow-length gloves, surreptitiously watching her cousin as she continued waiting patiently. Why the dowager countess felt entitled to be so rude was a mystery, especially when her eldest son had proved responsible for the death of Lavinia's mother, the Aunt Grace whom Charlotte had never known. But fault seemed of little consequence. Probably it was the Duchess of Salisbury, Charlotte's grandmother, and her frequent avowals of the Stamford family's decidedly inferior connections — and cutting them in public — that had fed such bitterness.
Of course, Lavinia had never shared any of this, but it was there, evidenced by the dowager countess's not-so-discreet comments and the flushed cheeks and angry-looking flash in her eyes whenever Lavinia entered the room. The fact Lavinia had to rely upon her aunt for sponsoring her presentation to the Queen, and not her mother-in-law as other new brides might expect, said enough. No, while Charlotte might envy her cousin's good fortune in marrying such a handsome man, she did not envy her the cost. A family who could not esteem the son's chosen bride would be anathema to her — and yet another thing of which to be aware as her father presented young men as potential suitors.
"Miss Emma Hammerson."
The large lady in pink urged her sweet-faced charge forward, leaving Charlotte at the head of the line. Now she could see the royals, the Prince Regent and his sisters standing either side of the elderly Queen. The butterflies grew tumultuous.
She turned to Lavinia. "Are you sure you do not want to go first?"
"And precede your mother's moment of triumph in her beautiful daughter?" Her cousin smiled. "I am happy to wait."
"She does look beautiful, doesn't she?"
Mama's rare compliment pricked warmth in Charlotte's eyes, the fond expression one she had not seen terribly often of late. Perhaps it was the pressure of organizing so many things for her court presentation and upcoming ball. She eyed Lavinia's gown, so similar to hers, save it was a pretty peach color, unlike Charlotte's white. But the hoops, the large bell sleeves, the requisite ostrich feathers were the same as those worn by the other ladies present. During their shopping expeditions to acquire such necessities, she'd often heard Lavinia's disapproval about the folly of hundreds of pounds spent for a gown worn only once. But then, Lavinia had grown up in rural Gloucestershire and had, until recently, little idea as to how things were done in society.
"I believe you the prettiest lady here today," her cousin continued.
"You exaggerate," Charlotte said, never too sure in her appearance.
"Not at all. You are quite in your best looks."
At Lavinia's comment, Mama assumed a look of complacency, nodding to the dark-haired Lord Chamberlain, as if expecting him to agree.
From the image greeting her in the mirrored door Charlotte thought she looked well, despite the ridiculous hooped petticoats doing nothing for anyone's figure. Her dark blond hair had been expertly styled by Ellen, Mama's lady's maid, whose skill in dressing hair far surpassed that of Sarah, Charlotte's own maid. The diamond drops in her ears, an early birthday present from Father, were of a beautiful cut and brilliancy; the pearl necklet everything expensive yet modest.
The dress itself, though of a style fashionable half a century ago, did suit her curves and tiny waist a little more than some others. Elegant silver embroidery embellished a petticoat of crêpe, trimmed with wreaths of white roses, with a double flounce at the bottom, fringed with silver. The train and body were of white crêpe and silver tissue, the short sleeves trimmed with blond lace and pearls, tied in two parts with a silver band. A laurel tippet, silver girdle, and white kid shoes topped with tiny rosettes completed her grande toilette, although standing for so long had made the ensemble weigh far more than one expected. But everything was in order, and enough — she hoped — to make her acceptable to the Queen.
"Lady Charlotte Featherington," the Lord Chamberlain called, unnecessarily loudly, considering they were standing so close.
Charlotte bit back a grin as Mama mumbled something about not being deaf, and returned the gentle pressure in Lavinia's clasped hand before moving forward, careful not to step on the lacy flounces of her bulky petticoats.
Mama's grasp held nothing of gentleness, rather a feeling of determination. Charlotte kept her smile fixed in place as she walked to where the elderly Queen Charlotte sat, surrounded by the prince and princesses, with various attendants standing just beyond. Moisture lined her hands. She wished she could wipe them; thank goodness she wore gloves. "Glide like a swan," Lady Rosemond, the specialist on court etiquette, had cautioned. Since her lessons on gliding and curtsying appropriately, Charlotte had practiced studiously. Today would not be the day for any form of inelegance.
As she drew closer, she saw the lines marking the Queen's face, which elicited a pang of sympathy. She appeared very weary, which was not a surprise considering how many young ladies had been presented already today. Plus, the burden of her son's antics, which filled so many a hushed conversation, must prove a trial. Heart soft, she drew close, stopped at the marked spot, and inclined her head.
"My daughter, Lady Charlotte Featherington," Mama intoned.
Now was her moment. Lifting her gaze, she met the pale blue eyes gazing steadily in her direction. She smiled wider, and then bent her right leg behind her left before slowly, carefully, bending her left leg as far as she could, until her right knee almost touched the floor. Holding her upper body as straight as possible, she then forced herself to slowly rise, before finally, finally, she was fully upright again.
"Yes, Your Majesty."
The Queen nodded before shifting in her seat slightly. "Come here, child."
Charlotte moved closer and knelt. Lady Rosemond had instructed her for this next stage, too. Leaning forward, she bent her head, and felt the cool lips of the Queen press her forehead.
A kiss on the forehead for the daughters of nobility; an outstretched hand to be kissed by anyone else.
After what she judged a sufficient amount of time had passed, Charlotte pulled back, and resumed the posture Lady Rosemond had insisted upon. Straight back, chest out, chin up, but not looking like a soldier standing on parade.
"Charlotte." The Queen's gaze connected with hers, her stilted voice betraying her Germanic ancestry. "Such a pretty name, do you not agree?"
"Yes, ma'am." Stiff cheeks relaxed at the twinkle she saw in the blue eyes.
"Your namesake, your majesty," Mama asserted.
"I rather believe I am hers."
Charlotte swallowed the giggle at the chagrined look on Mama's face.
"Only daughter of the marquess?"
Charlotte could almost feel Mama's relief at such queenly approval. The tightness encasing her chest eased a fraction. She hadn't failed. She hadn't disappointed —
Oh, but wait. Now to exit according to tradition.
Taking the tiny nod to be the sign of dismissal, Charlotte executed another heart-pounding deep curtsy, then backed away from the throne. One tiny careful step after another, praying desperately that she'd not step on the ridiculously long train the dress contained. She could not look behind her; to turn one's back on the Queen was an act of such rudeness one might never live it down.
Another step, then another, and finally a page gestured to the door on the right. With an inner sigh of relief, Charlotte exited the drawing room to find herself facing another door. This one opened to a room filled with men.
Her heart thumped, and she smiled, imagining the prospective candidates.
Now that she was presented, it would only be a matter of time before she found her husband. Perhaps she might even find him at the ball tomorrow night!
And with a quick prayer — let him be someone young and exciting, handsome and brave — she stepped across the threshold.
* * *
Bishoplea Common, London
The evening air held a thousand tiny water droplets, a dankness that filled his lungs and beaded across his skin. The starkness of the barren field stretched before him, echoing the cold emptiness inside. He shouldn't be here. He knew better. Taking vengeance like this was wrong. The only solace was that the remote location meant discovery was unlikely. Lord, keep us from discovery ...
"Gentlemen? Are we ready?"
"Yes," William Hartwell, ninth Duke of Hartington, muttered, though he felt far from prepared. Pride bade him stand straight, to remain expressionless, to not show fear, but already he could not but regret the folly that had led him here.
The madness of his vows four years ago rose again in all its ugly glory. Why hadn't he followed his head instead of his heart, instead of seeking approval from the dead? Such depths of stupidity, stupidity he now recognized as having been engendered by a heart made vulnerable by pain, when he'd exchanged the dignity of his parents for the sweet nothings of a jade. How could he have ever believed his wife's lies? His finger twitched on the trigger.
"One. Two ..."
Jerked from his contemplation, William forced his legs to move, to pace accordingly.
"Four. Five ..."
Fear churned inside. Peripheral vision found Lord Ware, his brother-in-law and reluctant second, looking anxiously on.
"Seven. Eight ..."
He gritted his teeth. Honor demanded justice. His pride demanded the truth. But —
But what if he had made a mistake, after all?
Shaking off the disquieting thought, he turned and faced his foe.
Nausea slid through his belly. Tall, blond, blue-eyed Lord Wrotham owned a handsome mien she had preferred. Disgust mingled with outrage, swelling hotly within until his chest banded and he could barely see.
Slowly he lifted the gleaming pistol, a relic from his father's day, something he'd thought he'd never need. But then, he had a bad habit of being wrong about things. Wrong about others. Wrong about himself.
Regrets churned inside. He studied the other man's face. Too handsome, but now holding a trace of fear in the puckered, glistening brow. Too handsome, but forever filled with lies. He still denied things. But William had seen him, had seen his figure depart from his wife's bedroom at an hour that could only mean one thing.
The last of his hesitations fled.
And at the word, he fired.
Exeter House Grosvenor Square, London
"Lady Charlotte, may I request the honor of dancing with —"
"Lady Charlotte, you look enchanting —"
"So beautiful tonight, my lady!"
"Lady Charlotte! Please leave me the quadrille!"
Charlotte laughed as the men standing two — no, three! — deep clamored and jostled for attention. Her heart filled with the delightful sensation of being sought and admired. With so many guests, the receiving line had taken over an hour before Mama had finally propelled her toward the ballroom. "For you know they cannot begin until you commence the first dance."
Papa had the opening dance, and Henry was obliged for one, too. And while Mama said those of higher rank must be accepted when they offered an invitation, so far she had not had to consent to dance with anyone monstrously ugly or old.
Viscount Carmichael stepped adroitly between two gentlemen who were glaring at each other. "I believe the cotillion is mine, my lady?"
She met his laughing hazel eyes and curtsied. "Of course."
He bowed before shooting a grin at the two men whose squabbling had rendered them unable to offer an invitation, as if to say, "There, that's how it should be done." She smiled to herself. To have one of London's most eligible bachelors request her hand; surely Mama would be pleased!
The strains of violin grew louder, and her father drew near, parting her suitors as if Moses himself walked through the Red Sea.
"My dear." He offered a hand, which she accepted, then drew her to the center of the room. What felt like a million eyes watched as he drew her to the top of the set for the first dance of her come-out ball.
"It would seem you are quite the success," Father said, when they finally had a moment to speak.
"Mama has not been backward in her issuing of invitations."
"Nor should she. Not when it is my daughter who is making her come out."
Excerpted from "The Captivating Lady Charlotte"
Copyright © 2017 Carolyn Miller.
Excerpted by permission of Kregel Publications.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Saturday, August 5, 2017 The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller, © 2017 Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace, Book 2 My Review: After reading the first book in the series, The Elusive Miss Ellison, I was looking forward to this second story in the series. I immediately was surprised to find the Marchioness dropping in for an extended visit unannounced under a pretense of being looked-for... as if the estate owner is just in wait for her arrival, rather than attending to the needs of the day. She did send a letter ahead, but its arrival has barely made it before her. "...Then we shall wait." --The Captivating Lady Charlotte, 211 Lady Charlotte Featherington certainly doesn't have the qualities of her Mama, which assuredly is a good thing! Without recommendation to her own thoughts and cares, Lady Charlotte is to fit into everyone else's plans and decisions for her. Fortunately, as her future looms before her, this current plan has merit. Well worth waiting for her to find it so beyond what is seen. For her unplanned adventure may unfold exactly as it should, a surprise even to herself. To be young and pensive, certain the ninth Duke of Harrington is much older... Her heart is so exposed as he sees her spared from contrived bias. An aspiration of hope and benefit to his life ~ his very livelihood. Mystery surrounds Hartwell Abbey as whispers and immediate family critiquing for their own means seek to destroy steps toward the desired relationship of assurance and trust. Author Carolyn Miller has built a story so soundly developed, the outcome is not assured as rosy. I look forward to reading the continuing story in the series of Grace by this author! ***Thank you to Kregel Blog Tours for inviting me on the tour for Carolyn Miller's novel, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, and for sending me a copy. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
I was captivated with Miller’s writing when I read her debut novel, The Elusive Miss Ellison, and I remain in awe of her ability to present a fine offering in her sophomore novel, The Captivating Lady Charlotte. While I confess that in the beginning I was convinced I was going to dislike Charlotte the entire book, as her character grew in maturity from a shallow debutante into a mature, faith-filled young woman she captured my heart. I have no real ability to understand what it must have been like to have your prospective husband chosen for you but with Miller’s first-rate writing ability, I agonized right along with Charlotte over her father’s choice for her until I too became more familiar with William. Although I do believe I ‘fell in love’ with him long before Charlotte did! He is everything she needed in a husband and later discovered that she wanted. I thought William embodied Colossians 3:12 ~ So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience... What's not to love?! Journeying with William and Charlotte through difficult circumstances and seeing the changes wrought through Christ’s love buoyed my heart. I admit it was a slow start for me but somewhere along the line it picked up speed and I didn’t want to put the book down! There is a place sealed on my book shelf for Carolyn Miller’s stories. I highly recommend this series to any and all fans of historical fiction. Kregel Publications provided a complimentary copy of the book. I was not required to write a review. No compensation has been received.
To read this clean, exciting, hopeful, romance! Well done.
The opulence of high society Regency England is well-described in the beginning of this story, with Charlotte's life seeming perfect and ideal. She has several suitors to choose from, yet wants more from her marriage than a title- she wants the affection and lasting love she witnesses in a few couples around her. She's a bit naive and judgmental, but I grew to like her more as she matured and learned to look beyond shallow appearances. William is in a vulnerable position- being attracted to Charlotte but not allowing himself to fall in love with her for fear of being hurt again. A sweet Regency romance with some angst and drama. (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller is book two in the series Regency Brides A Legacy of Grace. Lady Charlotte Featherington wants to marry for love. Her parents have found their perfect choice for her—a widowed duke with an infant daughter. Charlotte resists being matched with someone who is not her idea of an ideal man. The duke’s past relationship with his unfaithful wife and his lack of trust in any beautiful young lady causes him to resist Lady Charlotte. However, he finds that he cannot stop thinking about this lovely young lady who has charmed him. Charlotte imagines herself in love with a dashing young lord, a friend of her brother, but, as she later learns, he is not what he pretends to be. He tries to persuade Charlotte that he is the perfect match for her and even stoops to influencing her choice by any means. The journey of Charlotte and the duke to a promising future together must overcome distrust, mysterious happenings, and danger. I recommend this enjoyable Regency romance that I received through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
Family duty and social expectations play a large role in finding one’s marriage partner during the Regency era. When young ladies want to be swept off their feet and widowers need someone they can trust, parents tend to have their own agenda altogether and may the most persistent party win! Charlotte Featherington is an eager debutante whose beauty and family situation gives her access to any of the season’s eligible bachelors her heart desires. William Hartwell is a man of faith who has been sorely tested in the marriage department. This story is full to the brim with conflict and trials but also the peace of faith in those storms. While this second installment in the series flowed seamlessly from the first, the author provides adequate backstory for those who wish to enjoy this story on its own.
Such an amazing book! Such a talented author! Ms. Miller has a way of putting forth her characters' feelings such that you can relate to BOTH parties, see BOTH sides, and understand exactly how and why a character is feeling and reacting the way they are. One minute I'm frustrated with Charlotte, seeing the Duke's point of view, and the next moment I'm seeing HER point of view and upset with HIM for not understanding! This, the second in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series, captivated me as wholly as the first (The Elusive Miss Ellison), yet in a completely different way! The characters could not be any more polar opposites to the characters in the first book, yet I cared for them just as deeply and understood and sympathized with them just as well! "How can this be?" you may ask. My only reply being that I've had this same, strange phenomenon occur while reading Jane Austen novels. Every book is seen "through a different lense", shall we say, and yet each time I'm left feeling that I can understand this character's feelings exactly and I would react in the same way...until I read another character and feel I can understand THEM exactly and I would react in THAT same way. This series has very quickly climbed it's way onto my Favorite-Regencies list and I only anticipate it's going even higher! (I mean, hello? Book one's villain becomes book three's heroine?! I'm dying here!) I LOVED this book! It was SO good! Now stop reading this review and get out there and buy yourself a copy! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and The Book Club Network site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I loved this story by Carolyn Miller! It is the second book in this series and I'm thrilled to be reconnecting with characters we already know and getting to know some new ones. Lady Charlotte Featherington only wants to marry for love as many young women do, but her parents want her to also marry someone who is her worth in society and one who can see that she is well cared for and love will naturally follow. Duke of Hartington wants Charlotte to come to care for him as he does her in spite of their arranged marriage, but learning to trust her will take more effort on his part after suffering treachery from his first wife. They soon find themselves growing closer together in their common bond for their future together and along with it love and trust with each other. I was given an ARC from the author/publisher. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
Carolyn Miller has once again written a book to satisfy readers who love Regency romance and who also appreciate stories filled with faith. Her first book The Elusive Miss Ellison concentrated on Lavinia and Nicholas and now, in this book, Lavinia's cousin Charlotte is given her own story; a story worth waiting for! Charlotte is eighteen and she longs for a mad, exciting love and she thinks she has found him but her father thinks otherwise. Her mother wants her to 'marry well' and she has Duke Hartwell in mind as the perfect candidate. As we watch Charlotte mature from a selfish young girl looking for love and passion we also get a glimpse of the truly good man that Duke William is. A man who has been hurt by his late wife's deception and yearning for a wife to love and treasure; a man who wants a marriage filled with loyalty and a mate who loves God as much as he does. The Captivating Lady Charlotte has mystery, intrigue, and humor and watching the relationship develop between Charlotte and William is very satisfying to those who enjoy romance. I also enjoyed seeing Lavinia and Nicholas featured again and it is because of them that Charlotte and William are both able to witness what true love is and to also grow spiritually. The author has shown through Lavinia and Nicholas the ability to praise God even as a person strives to overcome burdens. It is obvious that Carolyn Miller has done extensive research about this historical period and she has been able to share it in a story that both entertains and inspires. I am looking forward to her next book that will be published later this year. I received this book from the author and Book Club Network and chose to share my honest thoughts in this review.
Regency romance at its best! I enjoyed this story very much. It was fun, lighthearted and romantic. Charlotte was such a fun character to get to know. I liked how she grew and developed into an even better person throughout the story. Each character was well developed and believable. I loved how the author sprinkled historical fashion and society facts throughout this story. She describes this time period very well. It’s easy to picture in my mind. Carolyn Miller weaves God’s truth throughout this story without sounding preachy. This story is heartwarming and fun. I recommend this book to family and friends. I received this book for an honest review.
This is the first book by Carolyn Miller that I've read and I am quite impressed. This is the second book of a series and I didn't read the first book (but will do so shortly) prior to reading this one; this book can definitely be read as a stand-alone, though my curiosity is quite peaked about the couple in the first book who has a significant role in this book. The writing is fluid and quite easy to read. The author really knows how to put the feelings of her characters into words that are so poignant, beautiful, articulate, and heart-wrenching. This Regency novel is a bit different from the others I've read; the novel focuses heavily on character development as the main drive of the story which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. Now the characters.....Lady Charlotte starts out as an immature, selfish, self-indulgent, self-absorbed eighteen year old debutante daughter of a marquess who is looking for "love" to marry while her parents look for a "suitable" match. William is a duke and a recent widow, burned and embittered by a wife who did not love him and sought love elsewhere. The story starts as they meet and develops as both Charlotte and William mature, grow, and truly understand what love means. I loved watching Charlotte become a woman in the story. There is also intrigue and mystery in the plot that intensify towards the latter part of the book, which kept me turning the pages to find out who and why and how. The component of faith and prayer was prominent in the story and very well-intwined in the personalities and actions of the main (and supporting) characters. The ending felt too swift and I wanted a bit more of the story...but, alas, I will have to wait for the third book, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey. I am thankful for this copy of the book I received from the author and Kregel Publications through Where Book Fun Begins. I was not required to give a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
I enjoyed this second book in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series. Lady Charlotte has never felt loved and just wants a marriage where she is loved. Her parents just want her to marry a duke....any duke! According to her mother, "What is love but an indistinct feeling that muddles a girl's heart and mind, only to grow cold soon after?" You will feel compassion for both Lady Charlotte and the Duke of Hartington as they try to follow their hearts and keep everyone happy. I recommend The Captivating Lady Charlotte to anyone who enjoys regency era books. I received my complimentary copy of the book from Book Fun Magazine and Kregel Publication. This is my honest opinion.
Do you like historical romance? Are you a fan of Jane Austin? If so, you will love this book. It is set in the early 1800s in England. The characters are all from high society. It is a regency romance type novel with the love and grace of God skillfully woven throughout. The characters are all well developed. The story flows well as do the conversations. There is romance, family conflict, and mystery all interwoven through the book. The editing was very well done, though not perfect. I think in total less than 10 errors. This is important to me, the editing, as it can make a book easy and fun or difficult to read. I was given this book from bookfun.org. I am reviewing it of my own free will. You will truly enjoy this book and I highly recommend it.
I very much enjoyed author Carolyn Miller’s debut and first novel in her series and I have enjoyed how her second book, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, just built onto her regency world. This story focuses on Charlotte, who is the cousin of Lavinia. Charlotte is just beginning her season and is captivated herself by the attention that she is receiving from all the young and old men alike, trying to win her affections. Her fancy is caught by a man that her family will not approve of and they have approved a man who Charlotte is less than thrilled with. This story really showcased the different culture and time and how young women of means were treated and the expectations of their situations in society. An obedient daughter, Charlotte will follow her parent’s rules regardless of where her heart lays or her true wishes. This was a beautiful story of love and I dare say submission and what can come of it. Not that Charlotte’s parents were that great, but the man who asked for her hand in marriage was a different story. He listened to her and cared about her thoughts and feelings of him and life in general. We are reunited with beloved characters from the previous books and I found it refreshing how author Miller continued their story. Spiced with a bit of sadness and danger, this story will long stay with me and I really look forward to a certain character (I have somewhat disliked in the previous book) and her story next. I will say that how the author set up the first few chapters, in which we meet the main characters, was quite memorable to me. Beautiful covers, lyrical titles, and exceptional stories on the inside make this Regency series one for the keeper shelf. I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.
Charlotte was caught up in a time of gaiety and youth. She was being presented to society and the world was her oyster. She is beautiful, her father a marquess, and every handsome titled young man is competing for her attention. What young girls head wouldn’t be whirling?! In youth we have our dreams and plans, having no doubt they will come to pass simply because we want them to. As Lady Charlotte learns life does not always follow our script. Her head is quickly turned by a dashingly handsome, charming friend of her brothers. She is sure he is “the one”. Her brother knows him and says no but his opinion doesn’t count. It’s her parents and they put an end to all of it believing the best match for her is a not so handsome, rather dull widower, ten years older than her. You can image how crushed and devastated she is. She cringes at the thought of a marriage without love in the name of money and social station. Her chosen suitor, Duke William Hartington, is a godly man of integrity and faith. He has sadly been through great pain with his deceased wife’s infidelities. He is attracted to Charlotte but his former wife was younger too and he is afraid to trust any women, and certainly with his heart. This a unique historical romance as you can already realize. It was beautiful to see Charlotte mature from a flighty young girl to a woman that sees the true values that should be present in marriage and that love isn’t just feelings but actions too. William is an epitome of kindness, patience, and true love with her during this process. The story meant even more by its focus on trusting God for His plans in our lives. The scriptures mentioned and prayers by William truly make a spiritual impression. The book even includes a bit of mystery and danger. I thoroughly enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the surroundings and social ways of the very wealthy during that era. Something I always look for in an historical novel! A book you will want to read. I received this book from Kregel Publication in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
Get ready for a delight... The Captivating Lady Charlotte Regency Brides ~ A Legacy of Grace #2 By Carolyn Miller Lady Charlotte Featherington is about to have her debut and she is determined to marry well and for love. But her mother has determined that Charlotte marry exceedingly well and into a higher title than she presently holds. Charlotte is sure that her desires and her mother's goals will never align. And a marriage like her long lost cousin Lavinia to the Earl of Hawkesbury is the perfect example of a match made for love. But with a mama like hers, she'll be fortunate to find someone she can tolerate. And when her heart takes a fancy to a handsome young suitor she's sure she has met the man she is destined to marry. Unfortunately, no one else seems to share her inclination. And her parents seem set on seeing her engaged to a recently widowed Duke. The Duke of Hartington was hurt by his late wife's betrayal and is unsure of a second marriage. But something about the Lady Charlotte has captured his interest. Something about her seems genuine and yet she seems withdrawn. Can William find what he wants in a marriage with such a young woman? Or will the past repeat itself with Charlotte? Those who have read the first book The Elusive Miss Ellison will delight in this second book in which Lavinia and her Earl do play an important, though secondary part, throughout. This is a story that doesn't just go from A to B but rather from A to D then to B before heading to C and concluding at the original destination ~ a satisfying conclusion with the reader eagerly anticipating what could come next in this series. Like most people's lives, there are moments when the reader is taken from a perfect moment to one where despair seems likely to reign and yet the undercurrent of hope remains. Carolyn Miller has crafted yet another Regency Era story that touches the heart of the reader. Of note, if you haven't read the first book please do so before opening The Captivating Lady Charlotte or some of the story may not make sense as completely as it should. I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Life is full of difficult choices. One of the biggest decisions you will ever make is choosing who you will marry. Would you have the courage to trust your parents to make the right decision for you? “The Captivating Lady Charlotte” will transport you back to a time were arranged marriages were the social norm, and love wasn’t always a reality. “The Captivating Lady Charlotte” by Carolyn Miller is the second book in the “REGENCY BRIDES A Legacy of Grace” series of books. Set in London, England in 1814, it tells the story of Lady Charlotte Featherington. This is Lady Charlotte’s coming out season and her parents are looking for a suitable husband for her. Her parents have chosen Duke William Harrington who is newly widowed and much older than Lady Charlotte. Duke Harrington has fallen for Lady Charlotte even though she is in love with a young Lord of no social standing. The Duke knows that he isn’t Lady Charlotte’s choice of husband. Will her sense of duty win out over her romantic notions? Will he ever win her love? “The Captivating Lady Charlotte” brings to mind I Corinthians 13:4-8. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” All to often we are looking for the “crazy rush” that comes when we fall in love and we forget to look to what the Bible says love is – it is patient, kind, protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. Instead of these things we look at physical appearance, social status and wealth. We need to remember that love is not only born from emotion, but also from actions. “The Captivating Lady Charlotte” teaches us that God is in control and has a plan for our lives, but we need to trust him with all our heart and follow where he leads us. It is not always going to be an easy road, there will be many ups and down. God will be there for us no matter what we are going through. “The Captivating Lady Charlotte” takes you back to a time when manners and social standing mean everything. It can be read as a stand alone book or as part of the series. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I received a complimentary copy of “The Captivating Lady Charlotte” from Kregel Publishing in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.
Carolyn Miller has penned a story as captivating as the lady whose name titles the novel. I was immediately swept up into the grandeur of the Regency period as it opened with Charlotte's debut presentation to the Queen, yet I was quickly reminded that not all is roses and romance as the Duke of Hartwell is introduced amidst deep heartache and betrayal. Miller excels at character development as well as interpersonal tension and conflict. I could not put this book down as I watched Charlotte and William grapple with their inner issues and struggles as well as with each other. While this book stands alone, I was also delighted to see Lavinia and the Earl of Hawkesbury return from the first book in the series, The Ellusive Miss Ellison, which was equally charming. They had so much wisdom to impart to Charlotte and the duke! Anyone who thinks fiction is just fluff will be convinced otherewise when reading these books for the inspiring messages woven into the storyies. The Captivating Lady Charlotte has garnered Carolyn Miller a spot on my must-read list, and I can't weight until the final book is released in October! Don't miss this book and this series! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Kregel Publications 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.”
This is book two in a series and from an author I am quickly coming to love. And I've seen what book three will be about and can't wait to get to know that next character more. Charlotte thinks she knows what she wants, like any young lady, but God has better plans and even works through the selfish ambition of her mother. William is so heartbroken and is so afraid to trust another woman and for good reason. He isn't the overly handsome, dashing hero we are typically used to and I appreciated that. Wonderful truths come through this book. Charlotte and William both have to acknowledge their utter reliance of God. They realize they can't do this life without Him. Also, I love the fact that love is an action more than a feeling is talked about. Our world has made it a feeling only and when the feeling goes away relationships go away. So I truly enjoyed the truth in this book. There is even a bit of mystery thrown into this story. Overall, I highly recommend this one to anyone who enjoyed historical romance. You can read it without reading the first book but I recommend the first book as well. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
My love for regencies came when I first read Pride and Prejudice along with being captivated by the series, Downton Abbey. A time where all the power went into what a man could acquire not only on his own, but through a successful and smart marriage match. If a woman did not have an heir through marriage, all her property and wealth went to the next suitable male figure even if it was a distant cousin. Women didn't have any rights, and in most cases, even those marriage matches were based on accumulation of wealth and title while love was cast aside. For Lady Charlotte Featherington this is a fate she wishes would not be her future. Being in a loveless marriage just for the acquisition of wealth and title. She vowed despite her parents wishes that she would find a man suitable enough for marriage even if he wasn't a duke. A title her parents desperately wanted for her even if it meant marrying a much, much older man. At least she wouldn't have to be married long for that. When she sets her sites on Lord Markham, a very attractive man, her parents are appalled and try in vain to do whatever they can to ensure that she does not comprise her reputation and be forced to marry that man. But even if it means going against societies rules, she isn't about to let her mother or father tell her what to do. William, the ninth Duke of Hartington has seen what a loveless marriage can do. His wife had spent her remaining days in the arms of other men, leaving him to deal with the aftermath of catching her red handed. In order to ensure his honor was maintained, he was forced into a duel with the despicable man who has taken everything he worked so hard to attain. Now a widower, all that remains of his former life is a child that isn't even fathered by him. One he keeps locked away with servants to care for her not certain what he will do. All he knows is that he will only marry again to someone who has his complete trust and one who can love him like a wife should. Yet he isn't sure that woman even exists. I received The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller compliments of Kregel Publications. This entire series has been a favorite of mine with the first novel, The Elusive Miss Ellison which we see Lavinia and her husband again in this one as she works with Charlotte, a much younger woman to decide what is truly best for her future. Charlotte is unsure of her feelings even if she believes she knows what love is, Lavinia reminds her that is not what love truly is. This novel's theme centers around trust, and in it, both William and Charlotte will be tested to see if their feelings are truly what suits them best, even if it means they may not have a future together. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and traditional regency readers will absolutely want this one! It can be read as a stand alone but trust me, pick up The Elusive Miss Ellison first and then indulge in this one.
I received a copy of THE CAPTIVATING LADY CHARLOTTE by Carolyn Miller from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review. It is part of the “Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace” series. If you enjoy regency romance with all the flair of the period, but without the sordid romance, than this series is for you. It is Christian Fiction, so you know it will be clean and wholesome. You won’t be ashamed to share it with your mother. While some stories keep you reading because of a mystery, or because of some quest, the true strength in this book has to be the characters. I thoroughly loved Lady Charlotte. She had her faults, but who doesn’t? You could understand each decision she made. You could also understand the other characters. Everyone was three-dimensional. Those who you come to know well will help priove God’s love and carry on his message. I did read book 1 before this, and you don’t need to have read it to enjoy Charlotte’s story. However, it was nice to see glimpses of familiar faces.
Book two of the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace, The Captivating Lady Charlotte is just as good as the first book in this series, and kept me page turning to the end. We are brought up to date with cousin Livvie, and again meet the person who will be focused on in the third book Miss DeLacey, and now I can’t wait for that book. This time it is cousin Charlotte’s turn, and she has her coming out and presentation to the queen, and she sure does turn heads, and not all of the young men are up to the standards that her parents want for her. Then we learn about William Harwell, a duke, and recent widower, but when all is said will he meet up to the standards set by her family, or will the gossip keep coming. Then there are terrible things happening at the duke’s estate, and it seems someone wants to do him harm, why are these horrible things occurring, and who is doing them. We again get to see the countryside of old England, 1814 to be exact, and things are quite different and the royalty live a rather luscious life style. Once you state to peruse this book you will not be able to leave it alone, it is that good. I received this book through Kregel Publishing Blogger Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
The Captivating Lady Charlotte #2 Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace by Carolyn Miller It’s 1814, London and beautiful Lady Charlotte Featherington, daughter of a marquess, has her heart set on marrying for love. However, her parents have other plans regarding her marriage, plans that do not necessarily include love but a duke...a very dull duke. The “dull” duke her parents have picked, William Hartwell, knows full well that the captivating Lady Charlotte did not choose him, her father did. However, his heart has chosen her. Can, in time, he win her heart as well? With each page I was swept up into the lives of Charlotte and William as they attempt to form at least a friendship and possibly a marriage. William is a cautious man in opening his heart, he doesn’t want a repeat of his first marriage (I don’t blame him) plus he has a secret he has not divulged as yet to Charlotte. Will that secret send her packing or will she accept him secrets and all? There is much more to William than Charlotte is aware of. He is far from being dull, if she will only give him half a chance...will she? Charlotte is romantic at heart and wants romance in her life (what young girl doesn’t). However, will she learn the true meaning of love as she gets to know William? Will her time with her cousin and her husband shed some light on what true love and trust really is? I like that this book delves much deeper into what real love is, not only between a husband and wife but the spiritual aspect of love as well. It is fun watching Charlotte as she matures into a strong young woman and her faith grows deeper. I was glad to see characters from the first book return in this book. It was like visiting “old friends” and catching up on their lives. There are some unsavory characters with evil plots, causing William—and thereby those close to him—much havoc and dangerous situations. Carolyn Miller has penned a story that takes the reader…at least this reader...on an amazing journey as we step through the pages and follow Charlotte and William’s story. We experience their emotions, the suspense and danger, secrets, joys and sorrows as well as the beautiful London landscape. I appreciate the spiritual theme woven throughout the story-line revealing God's forgiveness, grace, trust, healing and mercy and especially how praising God—even in the most painful circumstances and heartaches—our sorrow is eased as portrayed by Lavinia and Nicholas. The Captivating Lady Charlotte is a remarkable, heartwarming story. ~I received a copy of this book from the author via TBCN (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
The Captivating Lady Charlotte, book 2 of Regency Brides, A Legacy of Grace, by Carolyn Miller, is definitely a captivating book. It takes place in the early 1800s in London. Miller is wonderful with words, and her vivid descriptions of high society, balls, and even the foods that were served, are a delight. My favorite character was the Duke of Harrington. He was such a dear man, so “human,” he wants desperately to please, but because he is so insecure, he often fails. Trust is hard for him because he has been hurt by one he loved before. His faith in God is strong and we read about him praying often. He is a respected man in his community, but, someone is trying to harm him. He must figure out who before anyone else gets hurt. The Duke wants Charlotte to be his wife, but only if she wants that also. So, he is patiently waiting to see if she can find some love for him. But Charlotte is young, often brow-beaten by her mother, and she thinks she wants to marry a younger, exciting man. As she struggles to reach a decision she learns some lessons about life, and what love really is. She also learns more about faith in God, and what it means to turn to Him. She is a witty, outspoken woman that often struggles with her temper. Can these two hurting people love each other? This is a fun, clean, easy to read story. Truthfully, I didn’t want it to end. I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
The Captivating Lady Charlotte is a romance set in regency England. Lady Charlotte Featherington wants to marry for love and The Duke of Hartington wants to marry someone who loves him back. He is captivated by Lady Charlotte, but is not sure if a woman can be trusted to truly love him in return after his last marriage. This wonderful book follows the twists and turns as the two navigate a relationship together and draw closer to the Lord in the process. I have been waiting to read The Captivating Lady Charlotte since I turned the last page of The Elusive Miss Ellison, Ms. Miller's last book. I have been literally counting down the days until The Captivating Lady Charlotte was released! I was not disappointed. From the moment I first opened the book to the last page I was in heaven. I enjoyed the dialogue, the romantic tension, imagining the wonderful ball scenes, the mystery and adventure. I also found myself reflecting on God's love for me and his purpose for my life as I read the novel. Carolyn Miller has a magical way of weaving in a character's faith that makes it a natural part of the story. It is not forced or an afterthought. I truly enjoyed this novel and now I must wait until fall when the third novel in the series is published. I will have to learn to bare this trial in true regency fashion. I highly recommend The Captivating Lady Charlotte. I was given this book by Book Fun(Book Club Network) and this is my honest review.