Julia Hale ran off to be married in Gretna Green, following romance instead of common sense. But her tale isn't turning into a happily ever after. Her new husband is gone and she doesn't know where—or if he's ever coming back. Julia has no option but to head home to the family she betrayed by eloping and to hope they'll forgive her. Especially now that she might be carrying a baby from her brief marriage.
Carolyn Miller's clean and wholesome Regency romances continue with The Making of Mrs. Hale, following familiar characters as they learn how restoration can occur by finding hope and healing through a deep relationship with God. Full of rich historical details and witty banter, this series continues to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.
"Carolyn Miller gets better and better with each book!"
"This entire series is going straight to my all-time favorites shelf!"
"My girls and I have fallen in love with the Regency Brides series."
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
About the Author
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. 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
Read an Excerpt
Cavendish Square, London
Julia Hale lifted a weary hand and rapped on the yellow painted door. Please let him be in. Please! Whom she murmured to she did not know. The last person to pay her any heed had only wanted payment, and when she could not offer what he wanted, he'd sought payment of a vastly different kind. Which was why she now stood here. Hoping, begging, desperate for a miracle.
To no avail.
As the door remained closed, the now familiar ball of hopelessness swelled within, pushing against her chest, pushing against her thin veneer of self-control. She should have known it was too much to ask for help from a God she scarcely believed in, who would turn His back on her now even if her faith were as deep as Jon's. Stifling fears, she tugged at the blankets and peered at her tiny bundle. She had to do something. Perhaps God would respond to the innocent, even if He turned His back on the guilty. And this was her last hope; every other avenue had closed. All that remained were the paupers' homes, and she'd heard what those places were like. Nothing on this earth would induce her to leave a child in such a place.
Arms aching, feeling heavier than lead, she rapped again. Please answer. Please! She had seen the lights last night. Someone was home, even if it were just the servants kept to mind the house while the Earl of Bevington attended his estates in Derbyshire. Why wouldn't they answer?
Another fit of coughing wracked her body, sending fire through her lungs and up her throat. She placed a hand on the iron balustrade as lightheadedness swept through her again. But she'd had no opportunity to rest, and no money for medicine even if she could. When the spots cleared from her vision she peeked at the face asleep in the blankets. Thank God the babe had not caught her illness. Not yet.
She bent down to place the bundle back in the willow basket, tucked the blankets around to protect from the damp morning air. "I'm sorry," she whispered, her voice scratchy and raw. "I cannot help you anymore."
Blissful ignorance was the only response, one she was growing more accustomed to as the days dragged on. How long had it been since she'd been deemed worthy of anything more than a scrap of attention? Three months? Six months? More?
She bent to press a kiss on the downy head before rapping a final time on the wooden doors. Still no answer.
With a final desperate glance at the basket, she stumbled down the marble steps, grasping the balustrade for balance. God forgive her, but she had no choice.
Guilt pressed heavily on her heart. She tugged the dark hood closer, hiding the dirty, stringy locks of fair hair of which she had once been so vain. Not that anyone would recognize her now. That girl had existed in another world, one that now often seemed more fairy story than real.
She stumbled over a broken cobblestone, refusing to look behind. That way lay regret. But she had tried, had hoped to somehow see this wasted life redeemed, at least in part, through her actions today. Though what lay ahead of her now she could scarcely imagine. Was she now considered a fallen woman? Or had she been regarded as such since her flight from Bath all those months ago? A blur of tears filled her vision. Foolish, foolish girl ...
A street sweeper glanced at her, his lip curled in derision. She did not blame him. She looked exactly what she was: pitiful.
Somehow, she stumbled on. God help her — what would she do now? Where could she go? Who could save —
"Miss? Can I help you?"
A well-bred voice, a youthful voice. Julia peered over her shoulder, blinked. Shook her head as if she could clear the blurriness. The lady — if lady she was, dressed in a most odd ensemble — seemed to own a poise Julia had never known, yet appeared younger even than Julia.
"You came to Lord Carmichael's house?"
The lady knew Lord Carmichael? Was she a maid? Julia swallowed. "Yes."
"I am the viscountess."
Julia blinked again. No.
"Please, is there some way we can help you?"
She moistened her lips before managing to rasp, "He's married?"
"Yes." The lady smiled, glowing with internal satisfaction, tinged with something almost like surprise, as if she couldn't believe her good fortune.
Envy tugged within. Oh, how well Julia remembered those days.
"We've been away," Lady Carmichael continued, "and only returned two days ago."
Julia nodded, surprise filling her as the viscountess drew closer and offered a hand, helping her to her feet. What an unusual bride Henry had chosen.
Conscious she was being watched carefully, she stuttered, "I-I s-saw the lights last night and knew someone must be in. Nobody is in Berkeley Square, or Portman. I don't know ... Mama ... Jon."
Where were they? Mama almost never left town, and Jon's business interests made his staying in London something of a necessity. Surely he hadn't been serious about retiring to that dreary corner of Gloucestershire?
Her arm was gently clasped, and she was led back to Bevington House, away from the prying eyes of the street sweeper. Now she noticed her benefactress had bare feet, undressed hair. What an odd woman! Was she serious about being Henry's bride? Oh, if only she could remember —
"You left your basket — oh, it's empty."
Julia gasped. "No! Oh, no!" What could she do? She had failed! Who could have taken —? Guilt misted her senses, and she stepped back, desperately searching for the culprit. But she had passed no one! Oh, where could he be?
"There you are!"
She swiveled back to the now opened door, stifled another gasp. Lord Henry Carmichael, dressed in a quilted dressing gown, held a white bundle and a bemused expression. His white teeth flashed as he smiled at the lady dressed equally dishabille. "Serena, can you tell me why we have a baby on our front step?"
Serena? A memory flashed. A black-clad, cool-eyed schoolgirl. Henry — her Henry — had married her? The lady drew closer, her expression now even more alive with interest, alert with piercing intent.
She swallowed, heart thudding, as the viscountess's breath caught, her expression clearing into comprehension.
* * *
Major Thomas Hale shifted, the perpetual ache from the hatch of welts on his back easing a mite as the pressure released. He drew in a breath and opened his eyes. The nightmare remained.
A dark, dank cell with barred window. A sloshing sound. A screech of laughter. Babble in a foreign tongue. He glanced at the other occupants. Grimy and unkempt as he, no doubt wishing they had never agreed to be ensnared by fortune's fickle fancy, and thus be caught in this dire situation for — how many months now? He peered at the wall, counted the strokes denoting the days as if he didn't already know, as if — by some miracle — he might have miscalculated, and this episode not be near as severe as he knew it to be. Five months. Five months!
Pain rippled through his chest. He'd been absent for almost half a year. A mission that should have taken a quarter of that time had been thwarted by lies and loose lips. A rumble of indignation churned within. How could the Crown abandon them, leaving them to rot? He peered across at young Desmond, whose right foot held all the signs of gangrene, the black decay creeping a little farther each day up his leg. How much longer did the lad have? Weeks? Days?
A creeping sound, like the slither of rats, slid through the room. He swallowed the bile. Muttered a curse. Wished for a boot to throw at the perpetrator. Settled for a barked utterance, not dissimilar to that which he used to bark at men a lifetime ago when his majority meant something.
The creature scuttled away. The room lapsed into silence. Desmond's half-crazed moanings had ceased. Benson wouldn't speak. Smith and Harrow, the two men with whom he'd communicated the most, had retreated into despondency. Fairley had been taken away two days ago. Thomas shivered. He dared not think on his fate.
How could a simple desire for gold have led them to utter misery? It was not as though they had engaged in anything illegal. The Crown itself had endorsed such activity. And it wasn't as if he'd been motivated by greed. He swallowed regrets, focused on the truth that he'd had to do something; his prize money was near all spent trying to establish themselves respectably enough so she did not feel a whit of deprivation. His fingers clenched. If only he'd planned things better, if he had not listened, had not succumbed —
Thomas blinked, refocusing, his gaze cutting through the dimness to the creature at the door.
She smiled. "I weesh you would not reject me." She tipped forward, her soiled garments doing little to constrain her buxom figure. "Just a leetle talk, eh?"
He swallowed. Magdalena might be just another ploy used by the guard to get them to admit to their supposed crimes, but she was certainly the least unattractive one.
"You were not so cold last time, señor," she continued provocatively, in that lilting, wheedling voice.
Guilt speared him. He closed his eyes. Forgive me, he cried within, turning away from temptation. God forgive him, but he'd stupidly thought he could learn something, possibly even learn a means of escape.
He'd learned something, all right. Learned that even the comeliest wench in Spain could be responsible for guilt every bit as lethal as that inflicted by thoughts of his wife.
His wife. Oh God, his wife. As the instrument of torture sauntered away with a lewd comment and a ribald laugh, his thoughts clattered. What was she doing now? How could she have borne so much time apart? Had she given up on him? Probably. Wretchedness echoed within. Still, she at least had options. She could always return to her family, even if he would stake his life that they'd take care never to receive him, should he ever return to the land of the living. He hoped, regardless of what happened, that his Jewel would not forsake him completely.
A whimpering sound drew his attention to the prone figure nearby. "Desmond?"
The boy gasped, before emitting a series of piercing shrieks. "Get it off! Get it off! It's eating me!"
Thomas stumbled from the pallet, hurrying to the boy's side. A large rodent was indeed nibbling at the boy's foot. He grasped the furry pelt and slammed it at the wall where it spattered with a sickening, satisfying thud.
The boy's eyes turned to him, his teeth chattering. "I c-cannot do this anymore. Please, please make this stop."
His heart wrenched at the hopelessness he saw in the boy's eyes, hopelessness reflected in his heart. "I wish I could. But we have told them all we know."
A tremor ran up the boy's frame. "They will never believe us." He groaned, the low sound soon changing to an ear-splitting shriek.
"Desmond, calm yourself." If the lad weren't injured he'd slap him.
"I want to die! I want to die! I want to —"
"You there!" A heavily accented voice growled from the door. "Shut up!"
"I want to die! I want to die! I want to die!"
Thomas shook him fiercely. "Desmond, you must be quiet, else they will —"
A heavy boot knocked his feet from under him, and he crashed to the floor, his jaw cracking on the refuse-smeared stones. He tried to push to his feet, but a musket butt smashed against his temple, felling him once more.
Panic reared within as the guards dragged Desmond to the door. "Leave him! He's just a boy! He knows nothing —"
The business end of the musket poked at his face. "Cállate!"
He pushed to his knees, begging them in English, in Spanish, in French, but Desmond — his high-pitched cries continuing — was dragged from view.
Head throbbing, Thomas staggered to his feet, the taste of blood trickling into his mouth. He stood at the bars and shouted for mercy, but he could barely hear his own voice over Desmond's shrieks.
There was a shot.
Desmond's cries ceased.
And the now familiar soul-numbing despair crashed over him as he sank to his knees.CHAPTER 2
Julia shifted restlessly in the darkness, her movements jerky, her breath tight in her chest. The man leered at her, his lips drawing back in a grin that arrowed fear deep within. Why had she thought this a good idea? She lowered her gaze and moved past him, hurrying to the stairs where the woman had said her room was. Step after creaking step. The corridor was dim, the flickering light from the candle she held revealing a ceiling draped with cobwebs, like something she imagined from The Castle of Otranto. Her heart hammered, and she clutched her precious bundle closer to her chest. A whimper rose from within, and she forced herself to shush aloud, the sound an explosion in the unnatural quiet. She counted the doors: one, two, three, until she reached hers. Carefully shifting her bundle between her chin and shoulder, she moved the candle to her left hand, then grasped the door handle and moved inside the room.
"Wotcha want 'ere?" A voice growled. A figure sat up in the bed.
She had the wrong room!
Muttering an apology, she hastened outside, turning swiftly into the real fourth room on the right, and quietly closed the door. How she hoped the man didn't think her a woman of easy virtue and follow her here! How she wished she could lock the door for protection.
She carefully laid her burden on the sagging bed before shifting a spindly chair, the only other piece of furniture in the room, to the door. Her small trunk containing her meager possessions had been placed just within the door; she moved this atop the seat. At least she would hear any intruder, even if the flimsy chair would not hold them at bay for very long.
Weariness escaped in a silent sigh as she eased down next to the tiny child, her shoulders slumped in defeat. How her body craved rest. She could sleep for a week. But responsibility still nagged. She quickly undressed him. Sure enough he had soiled himself, and would doubtless soon awaken if he were not cleaned and dressed appropriately. And she could not permit the rash on his little body to worsen. She pushed to her feet and examined the pitcher of water dubiously. It might not be fresh but it would have to do. Another trudge to the trunk and she pulled out the last of the linens, eyes filling as she wished for the hundredth time to have brought more. The exchange of soiled linen for clean woke the babe, startling him into weak cries. Poor baby. She nestled him to her chest, the hungry mewling tugging at her.
"I'm sorry I cannot help you," she whispered. Giving him what he craved was impossible.
When her arms felt like they must surely snap, the babe's cries faded to exhausted whimpers, then silence, and she carefully wrapped him once more and placed him in the bed.
How she wished to sleep, too, but that rash would never heal if she did not wash the linen. She eyed the worn rag beside the enamel bowl, evidently left there for cleaning purposes, and quickly washed her face, feeling momentarily fresher as the past two days' grime lifted from her skin. No wonder the people downstairs had looked at her askance.
After cleaning the soiled linen as best she could, she draped it in front of the fire, stirring the coals into something that might actually dry the cloth and take away the room's chill, a chill that puffed her breath into tiny white clouds. From downstairs came a shout followed by raucous laughter. An eerie whistle blew around the window frames, like the sound of moaning spirits. Would she be safe? Shaking her head at her ridiculous thoughts, she pulled back the covers carefully, laid the child down, and slid between the too-thin sheets. She pulled the covers up to her chin, careful not to cover the baby, then blew out the candle and closed her eyes.
Darkness drew heavy around her, within her, pressing against her, tugging her to sleep —
A sound came, like the scurry of tiny feet. She shuddered. Please God, let there be no mice tonight. There was a trip, the tread of heavy feet in the corridor. Her heart thundered. She could hear a drunken murmuring, something she had heard many times before, something she knew would lead to bad things, things no gently bred young lady should ever have to know about. She closed her eyes again and prayed the drunk would stay away. God, protect me ...
A faint noise intruded. A swish of curtains being dragged apart. Light seeping in. Someone scuttling about —
"Who's there?" Julia sat up in a hurry, blinking as the light startled her to alertness. "Oh!"
A maid dressed in dark blue with a white apron and mobcap curtsied. "Begging your pardon, miss. Lady Carmichael sent me to see how you be."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Making of Mrs. Hale"
Copyright © 2018 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
The Making of Mrs. Hale is the third book in Carolyn Miller's Regency Brides: Promise of Hope series and definitely worth reading especially those who love Regency novels evocative of Jane Austen. When Julia Hale finds herself without money, a home, with a possible child on the way and a husband nowhere to be found her only option is to go home to her family hoping that they will forgive her for her betrayal. Major Thomas Hale is on the run after being imprisoned for months, but evading his enemies is becoming just as big of a challenge as finding and making things right with his estranged wife. His past has come back to haunt him and has all but destroyed the trust of his best friend and wife. Both Julia and Thomas need to find the strength it takes to find restoration in their relationships with family and that of God's before finding redemption in their marriage. I really enjoyed this book and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more books by Carolyn Miller in the future. I was given an ARC from the author/publisher. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
THE MAKING OF MRS. HALE is Carolyn Miller's third book in her Regency Romance series THE PROMISE OF HOPE. Without her mother's or brother's approval, Julia elopes to Gretna Green to e When her new husband, a soldier, disappears and leaves her penniless, she reluctantly slinks back home, hoping her family will take her in. When her husband reappears, only to disappear again, Julie must decide what marriage means to her. After his return, Major Thomas Hale feels he must find answers to why his wife was never given the message and money he had left for her. Plus he must try to recoup the money he was promised for his secret military assignment. Hoping to start again with his bride, he can only hope she never learns all that happened when he was imprisoned in Spain. I did not read the first two books in this series, but I was able to follow the plot of this book, although at times I was a bit confused. The villains of this book are clearly villains, but I was never quite sure what their motives were. I am a fast reader and I may have missed something, or this could be the result of the book being part of a series. Some characters who play a minor role in this book were the stars of the previous titles; likewise, I think Thomas and Julia played lesser roles in those books. While many Christian romance novels only light touch on romance or faith, this book handles both with finesse. Both Thomas and Julia grow in their understanding of love -- both romantic love and God's love. And that means they learn lessons in forgiveness. It has been years since I read a Regency romance, and while I think I've moved on from that time period setting, I did enjoy this title. Julia, who certainly has been sheltered in a very restricted society, acts on her heart's desires. Her relationship with her mother and her refusal to again be put under her thumb is worth the time it took to read this book alone. But it is the faith message that will make you glad you picked up this title. I received a copy of this title from Netgalley and Kregel books; all opinions are mine.
Recently when I needed a break from some non-fiction reading, I picked up Making of Mrs. Hale a fun regency romance by Carolyn Miller. It turns out this book is the third in the series Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope. I had not read the previous books in this series but did not find that a problem when reading the book although familiarity with the others may be useful. Author Carolyn Miller utilizes alternating viewpoints to tell the story of Julia and Thomas. This works very well particularly at the beginning of the book when the recently wedded couple is separated and is uncertain if their relationship is intact. Given a variety of meddling relatives who are more concerned about societal opinion mixed with a bit of mystery and military intrigue and the reader is left wondering if Mr. and Mrs. Hale will survive. As this is a Christian romance published by Kregel, there is a Christian element to the story. For the first half of the book, the Christian element was largely unnoticeable beyond the romance being very "clean" and no inappropriate language. Later in the book, the Gospel message is woven into the story and also emphasizes the importance of not judging others. Overall, I found Making of Mrs. Hale an enjoyable book. It was also an appropriate read for the season as Christmas is a brief part of the story. I would recommend this book to others looking for a fun, lighthearted book to read. It is appropriate for teens and up. I am also intrigued enough that I will most likely seek out the previous books in the series and other books by this author as well. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the book, Making of Mrs. Hale, free from Kregel via NetGalley. 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.”
I think I say this with every book I have read by Carolyn Miller (and I’ve read them all) but she keeps getting better and better. The tension and drama and lies this book begins with are sure to capture the reader and propel them forward to keep reading more. The reader knows Julia is hiding something from the beginning but we don’t get the full story for quite some time. The reader knows what Thomas will have to hide when he returns to his bride but we can’t help but wonder how long that will last and what will happen when Julia finds out. If you are a regency romance lover I have no doubt you will adore this book. A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own.
The Making of Mrs. Hale By Carolyn Miller Following her heart, Julia Hale runs off to Gretna Green with her beloved, Major Thomas Hale. While Thomas’s rakish behavior is softened by Julia, he gets caught up in his past which causes confusion for Julia. Julia’s family disapprove of the match from the beginning and their low opinion seems to be proven from Major Hales recent behavior. But is Major Hale the person he seems to be or is he as honest and true as Julia feels she knows him to be. Although I read the first two books of this series, I required a bit of reading into the book before I had the story straight in my mind. The intrigue developed caused me to be confused at times but not so much that I wanted to put it down. I think this was a well-written regency that revealed a not so typical romance.
The Making of Mrs. Hale, by Carolyn Miller, is a captivating novel set in Great Britain during the Regency era. Though it happens to be the third book in the Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series, it can be read quite well as a stand-alone novel. With elements of mystery, adventure, romance, and faith, this story is thoroughly intriguing and entertaining from beginning to end. From the characters’ clothing, to their mannerisms, and especially to the vocabulary of their thoughts and speech, this well-researched novel fully succeeds in immersing the reader in the history and culture of the time period. With a genuinely intriguing plot, The Making of Mrs. Hale is exceedingly clever and character-driven. This novel creatively explores the themes of loss, love, redemption, honor, courage, and forgiveness through a varied cast of entertaining and interesting characters who are richly developed and compelling. The characters are vulnerable and thoughtful. They possess a genuine believability that makes them truly relatable and unforgettable. Their struggles, insecurities, fears, and beliefs are truly authentic and moving. Their fortitude and determination in the face of trials and uncertainty is truly inspiring. I still feel emotionally connected to the characters because of their sincere and desperate longing for the grace and the forgiveness they needed in order to find healing for the heartaches they had endured and the mistakes they had made. The Making of Mrs. Hale is a story of grace and second chances. Offering different possibilities and fresh perspectives, it is a story of perseverance and forgiveness. This novel is a rousing story of two hearts in search of the truth that is necessary for reconciliation and renewed hope. It is a book that beautifully depicts the gift of God’s grace that is freely offered to all. I can easily recommend this book to readers of historical fiction who also enjoy mystery and appreciate romance as well. Ms. Miller has certainly created a compelling novel that is well worth the reader’s time and attention. I found this novel very enjoyable to read. The Making of Mrs. Hale is honest, tender, emotionally stirring, and ultimately uplifting. I recommend it wholeheartedly. *I was given a copy of this novel by the publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.
This is a Regency romance type of book. It is a Christian book but not at all preachy. You can see God's hand throughout the book, though. The story has a bit of a twist from other novels of this type. I will not give it away, but I found it quite interesting. It switched back and forth between the two main characters but in a smooth fashion. The story flowed well. The characters were quite well developed, at least the main characters and the mother. The editing was also done well. I asked to read and review this book through Netgalley..com. Yes, I was given an ebook with no charge. No, I was not required to leave a review. I do recommend you read this book, I'm sure you will enjoy it.
I really enjoyed this read! It was different from the other books in this series since it's about a married couple, making the romance a little heavier. It touched some tough topics that our main characters had to overcome. It had heartbreak, forgiveness, and faith; I went through all the feels while reading this book. Overall it is a great addition to the historical romance genre. I rate it 4 stars
The Making of Mrs. Hale #3 Regency Brides, A Promise of Hope by Carolyn Miller As the title suggests, this story is about the making of Mrs. Julia Hale. She has married for love, going against what her family and the echelon of society dictates. However, her young marriage is anything but “happy” as she hoped. Instead, it is filled with heartache, trials and a disappearing husband with no idea of when he plans to return--if ever. Left with barely the funds for everyday needs she must decide what her next step is. Will her family accept her with open arms and forgive her or at least offer her a place of sanctuary and a place to heal? Her husband, Major Thomas Hale, is in trouble once again. Only this time it lands him and his men in prison. He is at least comforted, somewhat, knowing that he made financial arrangements for Julia in the event his mission takes longer than he anticipated. Can he and his men escape and he return to his wife or will he remain in the dreary prison for the rest of his life? Carolyn Miller has penned a wonderful story with realistic characters that face life’s difficulties and challenges as well as hope, grace, mercy, forgiveness and a steadfast faith. There is a wonderful message of hope and redemption woven throughout the story. Giving hope in the midst of the choices we make and the most dire circumstances we may experience, Christ can overcome all things. There are a few unexpected surprises and twists to the story-line which had me guessing as to the outcome. I loved the authors notes at the end of the book giving some insight into elopements of that time period. As always, these notes show the amount of research and the attention to details of the characters and the era the story is set by the author. A wonderful ending to the Regency Brides series. ~I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
The Making of Mrs. Hale by Carolyn Miller is the third book in the Promise of Hope series. One of my favorite genres is historical fiction and within that Regency is special. So when I discovered Carolyn Miller wrote in this time period, I just had to try her books. I immediately fell in love with her stories and the people who inhabit them. I have devoured each one as they came out. This one is exceptionally good. Hope resonates through this book, even in the midst of hopeless situations. A hasty marriage finds Julia and Major Thomas Hale at odds with eachother, mostly because Thomas has gone off on some business and has not returned, putting Julia in a precarious position. Julia has been left to fend for herself. She has run out of funds and slinks back home to London, only to find her brother and her mother gone from their residence. Trouble seems to follow Thomas. Some might find this unrealistic, but I know of several people who fit the adage: If he didn’t have bad luck, he would have no luck at all. Thomas has landed in a Spanish prison, thinking he has left Julia provided for. There is much intrigue as the story plays out. Carolyn Miller shows family loyalty but sometimes at the cost of showing little mercy. Several characters take a journey of faith as they learn to forgive, repent and find their bearings and, yes, hope once more. One of the best parts was the clear-cut message of the Gospel. This was done in an authentic way as people seek the Will of God and as others help to water the faith that is there. Hard subjects such as imprisonment, poverty, and infidelity are handled with finesse and grace. It is nice to see old friends from Carolyn’s other books dropping by and having a part in the story, too. If you haven’t tried a book by Carolyn Miller, I highly recommend you do. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* Paula Shreckhise
First of all, this is not your typical light Regency in the style of Georgette Heyer. It’s quite different, and I loved that difference. It works well as a standalone, although characters from previous stories figure prominently. The historical detail is rich, giving an authentic feel to the era’s social mores, society’s structure and demands. The characters are flawed and the situations dealt with are timeless – such as infidelity, betrayal, a questioning faith, etc. I loved that it starts with marriage instead of courtship, for Julia and Thomas have some seemingly insurmountable obstacles to overcome. Forgiveness, second chances, and redemption are beautifully reflected throughout. Another great story by Carolyn Miller!
Ms. Miller has outdone herself with this one! "The Making of Mrs. Hale" reaches new heights of emotional and literary talent! Join Thomas and Julia on a roller-coaster ride as the try to navigate the muddied waters of a marriage that began with lies and struggles to continue through misunderstandings and betrayal. Can forgiveness truly reach down SO far? I am SO excited about this book! It was everything I could've wanted and then some, everything I've come to expect and appreciate from this amazingly talented modern-day Jane Austen, and more! I can't even begin to put into words how moving and thoroughly enjoyable this book was! Having been through an ordeal myself, I can appreciate the very real struggle to forgive and move past the unforgettable and seemingly unforgivable. This book spoke to me and moved me in a way not many have done. Bravo, Ms. Miller! You've, once again, managed to tackle a tough subject with the authorly skill that only a true master of the craft could!
It is so amazing the way Carolyn Miller's books keep getting better and better. The Making of Mrs. Hale is by far the most intensely emotional story Carolyn Miller has written so far, in my opinion. The turmoil the H&h go through is heartbreaking and can bring you to tears. The characters have been in previous books by Carolyn. Julia Hale is the younger sister to Lord Winthrop from Winning Miss Winthrop. The Hero, Julia's husband, is Major Thomas Hale, Lord Winthrop's former best friend. Julia and Thomas fell in love against Julia's brother's edict that Thomas stay away from his young sister. Since getting her mother and brother's blessings was impossible, the two run of to Gretna Green to be married. The book begins with Julia knocking at another of her brother's friend's door looking for help for her and the baby she has with her. Viscount Carmichael and his new wife Serena, from Miss Serena's Secret, take them in and take care of them until Julia's brother and mother get back in town. It appears Major Thomas Hale has deserted his wife and left her destitute without enough funds to care for her and baby Charles. I truly enjoyed reading this book. Carolyn Miller is such a wonderful author and is so talented. Her stories are clean and wholesome. Something I look for in a book and am grateful to find in her books. So if you are in to clean, wholesome, historical romances, you will love this, and all her other, books. Pick up your copy and Enjoy! I received a complimentary copy of this book without expectation of compensation and I voluntarily leave this review. All opinions are purely my own.
The Making of Mrs. Hale is a lovely story about the power of forgiveness, and the second chances that only God can give.... I enjoyed this book. The characters were interesting. Flawed. Dynamic. Throughout the many twists and turns in this novel, they learn the peace and release that comes from Forgiveness. They learn that God is a God of Mercy, that He can change even the most wicked or broken sinner and restore hope, even in an impossible situation. I thought it was an interesting, hope-filled look into the Regency Era, and now that I have read this story, I’m interested to go back and read the rest of the series. The author did a good job portraying the era, and I enjoyed tagging along as she took us on this journey of healing and forgiveness. Note: There are several scenes that are a bit PG-13. Nothing graphic, but the innuendos are definitely there. Also, I need to note that I do disagree with some of the author’s theologies, but this is still a wonderful faith-filled book.
The Making of Mrs. Hale is one of those books readers will either love or hate. It is a given that it will offend a number of Christian readers who want the characters in the books they read to be spit shined and perfect little Christians. I’m afraid these readers need to give this particular book a pass because it is a gritty tale filled with some of the unfortunate truths about real life and sometimes that isn’t very pretty. I personally believe that the author managed to convey her story amazingly well with tactfulness and grace and a wonderful read is in store for those willing to read it with an open mind. This book was not at all what I expected and I loved being surprised by how Julia and Thomas Hale’s story worked its way out. Many twists and surprises helped keep me guessing and I loved seeing how Julia matured into a woman who stood up for herself rather than being dominated by her mother. The Making of Mrs. Hale is a beautiful story of redemption and faith that will bless its readers as they watch the Lord at work in the Hale’s lives. Although I read it in digital galley form, I definitely plan to purchase a bound copy to add to the rest of the series on my bookshelf. I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Kregel Publications through Netgalley. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
With rich historical detail and vividly-drawn and memorable characters, Carolyn Miller has another winner with her new book, The Making of Mrs. Hale. Miller’s knowledge of societal proprieties during Regency England and her beautiful writing bring the time period alive and give the reader a feeling of authenticity. The layered characters and complex plot kept me enthralled and turning pages. Miller excels in the pacing of the story and in disclosing piece by piece the backstory of the characters. The thread of redemption, forgiveness, and grace woven into the story felt a bit overdone to me during the latter part of the story, although it helped to show the growth in both Julia and Thomas. With lots of suspense, intrigue, adventure and added wit, humor, and romance, this book neatly wraps up the Regency Brides: Promise of Hope series. It can be read as a stand-alone book, but it’s probably more enjoyable to read the other books first, as the characters make appearances in this one. I’m eagerly looking forward to Miller’s next series. Her books are definitely on my “must read” list! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
“I have known what it is to hold onto bitterness and resentment; it is not something I wish for anyone I care about to dwell with. Unforgiveness is a poison that shrivels the heart. It means a person cannot truly live in the present as they’re always thinking about the past.” Oh, what a most excellent conclusion to A Promise of Hope series! This book can definitely be read as a stand alone, but reading the first two books (Winning Miss Winthrop and Miss Serena’s Secret) will heighten the reader’s understanding of Julia and Thomas on their incredibly rocky journey together. As is her trademark, the author Carolyn Miller infuses this well-written story with her beautiful writing style, wonderful and oftentimes amusing dialogue, broken yet unforgettable characters, and strong spiritual threads. Julia, if you have been following the series, is no longer the whimsical selfish young girl. Thomas is no longer the selfish, angry, amoral young soldier. Time, distance, and tragic circumstances have forced both to grow up and mature. Julia’s compassion makes her a lovable character and Thomas’ selflessness and persistence in his love for Julia makes him a hero as they battle their past, present, and perceived future. Their conversion scenes are soul-stirring. And the intrigue and mystery woven into the story are the icing on the cake. The secondary characters make the story so much more delicious - Catherine/Jon (from Winning Miss Winthrop), Serena/Harry (from Miss Serena’s Secret), and Lavinia/Nicholas (from A Legacy of Grace series) have prominent roles in this book and seeing them was like meeting old friends again. If you enjoy historical romance, especially set in the Regency era, you will want to read this book! All of Carolyn Miller’s books! I was given a copy of the book from Kregel Publications and was under no obligation to post a review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
This book gives several treats that I so love to get in a book. Doesn’t it seem most reads end with an engagement or wedding? This one starts with a married couple! That right there is something I love in a book! It also has a non perfect marriage. Any of you married to the perfect mate? Or think perhaps you are that perfect mate? ( or at least closer than yours?) This book deals with some real life raw issues ...things that can occur in marriage. So many books are written on the falling in love part, but after one takes their wedding vows, that’s the beginning of a new journey. I SO enjoy books that follow that journey. The author does a great job of dealing with the subject, and it has a wonderful hope and redemption message so well weaved into the story. The characters are real and engaging, the plot interesting and pulls in the reader, and the themes of love, faith, hope, and forgiveness are all beautifully done. Do yourself a favor and read this book! There is another element I love dearly, but I’m not one for spoilers so you will have to read it yourself! I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
This book is the next installment in Carolyn Miller's series Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope. It can be read as a standalone, but I would recommend reading her other books in order so the characters and events that are mentioned can be understood more completely. Julia Hale didn't know what she was getting into when she ran off to Gretna Green to marry Thomas. Soon after they were married, Thomas disappeared without notice and hasn't come back. Escaping from Edinburgh, Scotland with her deceased friend Meggie's child, Charles, Julia finally makes it to Henry and Serena's house in England. Dealing with her difficult mother and brother Jon, Julia stubbornly clings to the hope that Thomas will return to her. When he does return from imprisonment in Spain, they reconcile with each other and Thomas soon returns to Scotland to find out why Julia didn't receive the note and money left for her. Unfortunately, there are some men who don't want Thomas to escape again. Through dangerous circumstances, Julia and Thomas will need to find forgiveness from God before they can ever learn to forgive others. Will Julia be able to forgive Thomas for what he has done, and will either of them survive the evil men bent on foul play and revenge? I have enjoyed and loved every one of Carolyn Miller's books, and this one holds a special place in my heart. This book tackles some serious and difficult subjects, especially concerning marriage and forgiveness. The writing is so realistic and gut wrenching that I found myself crying several times, and of course the humor was present to provide a respite from the seriousness of the subject matter. I have never seen a more clear presentation of the Gospel in a fictional story before, and the scene with Lord Hawkesbury and Thomas touched my heart. Lord Nicholas Hawkesbury has long been a favorite character of mine. This book also explores various situations with family relationships and the difficulties many people face, even today. Some of Carolyn's best writing is in this book, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. To anyone who is searching for the truth, for forgiveness, peace, and help in a difficult relationship, please pick up this book. You will be glad that you did. I am eagerly awaiting Carolyn Miller's next book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher. A positive review was not required, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I think this might be Carolyn Miller’s best book yet! It deals with real and raw topics, but teaches a very important lesson. Forgiveness. This book gives the reader hope and a lesson on forgiveness. There is a great message on how God has forgiven our sins, so we should forgive others that have wronged us, lest we poison ourselves with bitterness. It’s not preachy at all. The story is fantastic. I’m sad to see this series end, but I’m definitely looking forward to what is coming next. I highly recommend this book! Readers of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Michelle Griep will enjoy this book! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
This book is perhaps a bit of a different romance in that the characters are married before the opening pages. Unlike still others, this is not a marriage of convenience story, either: their marriage begins in love but a hasty elopement, then endures separation and interference. The characters undergo tremendous obstacles to be together, both physically and emotionally, sometimes despairing of a happily-ever-after ending. After all of the pain and heartache, can they find true love together at last? As with Miller’s earlier novels, the prose is beautiful and well-written, engaging the emotions as well as telling a compelling story about love, forgiveness, and endurance in the face of adversity. Julia is a strong female character with depth undiscovered before extreme trials forced her to plumb them, and her efforts on behalf of her husband and of little Charlie are inspiring. I did not care much for her impetuous and somewhat immature nature in earlier novels, but she won me over quickly in this book! The spiritual component is strong and deeply engaging. Thomas is far from a paragon as the book begins and yet his humility and desire to honestly do right despite the past makes him so sympathetic that his status as a hero was unquestioned in my mind. The scenes toward the latter parts of his journey to faith were beautifully written and heartfelt. I cannot believe that this particular series has come to an end, that the characters I have come to know and love are now settled and I must move on. Happily, another series is in the works and I have hope of revisiting these characters again in a secondary capacity. I highly recommend this satisfying conclusion to the series for those who enjoy Regency novels, whether or not they have read the previous books, and for those who enjoy fiction with a strong redemption message. I received a review copy of this book from the author and publisher but was under no obligation to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are both honest and my own.
This is a very well written book that grabs you on the first page! I didn't want it to end but I had to know what was going to happen next. You won't regret getting this book. Thank you Kregel Publications via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. This is my honest opinion of this book.
The Making of Mrs. Hale by Carolyn Miller is the third book in the Regency Bride’s series. The book has many characters from Mrs. Miller’s previous books, but you do not have to have read them to enjoy this story. (But, I can't imagine why you would not want to read them because they are all fabulous! ) This story follows Julia Hale and her husband, Major Thomas Hale, after they have run off to Gretna Green to be married. The quote, “ Marry in haste, and repent in leisure,” sums up their story. Their story starts off far from a happily ever after. However with God reconciliation and true love become a possibility. I am a huge Carolyn Miller fan, and this a wonderful story of romance, mystery, happy endings and faith. I loved Julia Hale as a heroine. She is spunky and is trying so hard to support her husband and be kind to her family. I loved reading the parts of the story from her point of view. She has a beautiful heart. Our hero, Thomas Hale, is a man who is open to changing and becomes a hero you will love. I highly recommend The Making of Mrs. Hale. You will not be disappointed by this wonderful regency read. I was given the book by the publisher and not required to write a review.
London - 1818 Julia Hale has been very ill as she was preparing to leave her baby on the doorstep of Bevington House, home of Lord and Lady Carmichael. The next day she wakes up in the home of the Carmichaels. She had been seen outside and rescued. The doctor has examined her and baby Charlie and determined that they are well. Some time back, Julia had run away with Major Thomas Hale and they were married in Gretna Green. Julia’s mother and brother had been opposed to the marriage. After living for months in Edinburgh, Julia was left by Thomas as he went on a mission for the Crown. Now, he and his men appear to have been abandoned by the Crown and left in a filthy prison for 5 months. After a desperate attempt at escape, Thomas and several of his men managed to flee and go their separate ways to their homes. With little money, Thomas journeyed to Edinburgh only to find that Julia had gone from their home. He could only think that she had returned to her family in London. When Julia’s mother sees her again, she seems happy to see her and little Charlie and insists they move in with her. With no other choice, she agrees knowing that her domineering mother will once again take over her life. When Thomas arrives at her door, Julia is happy to see him again, but her mother is furious. Will Julia and Thomas ever be able to have a life together? This book was a great disappointment. Why could Thomas never seem to communicate directly with his wife, but instead left messages for other people to deliver to her and then assumed that she got the message? Thomas comes across as someone who does not think something out before jumping in so I found him to be a huge disappointment. Julia’s constant caving into her mother’s demands made her a pathetic woman. All in all, I wish I had given this book a pass. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This is final book of the Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series and it is a wonderful way to wrap the series up. As I read this story I was struck with the thought "the more things change the more they stay the same". It is 1818 in Regency England and two young people elope to a small village in Scotland that is known for quickie marriages. This is what Julia and Thomas did in the nineteenth century and this is what young couples are still doing today, two centuries later. The hopes are always the same: being together and living happily ever after but this doesn't always happen. At the beginning of The Making of Mrs. Hale we find Julia alone, poor, and hungry because Thomas is missing and she doesn't even know if he is alive! Her family was very much against this marriage and Julia is forced to go home to face them alone. Soon after, Thomas returns home and Julia forgives him; and then, he disappears again and she must once again deal with her mother and brother's disapproval. They can't understand why she allowed him back into her life in the first place and when they learn that Thomas has been accused of adultery while being held prisoner in a Spanish jail their mistrust seems to have been justified. Julia's mother suggests that she should get a divorce and finally be free of Thomas Hale and we see Julia's anguish as she wrestles between defending her husband and wondering if he really could be capable of being with another woman. "Betrayal. She had never realized just how powerful that word was, just how poignant that word could be, until the last two days....How could he have loved her, if he had betrayed his vows, by being with another?" (p. 207) Yes, she knew that he had left her more than once so was he unfaithful? Could she ever completely trust him again? The Making of Mrs. Hale shows Julia's growth as she faced all of these obstacles and conquered them. Through the worst times she continued to hope and she continued to have faith. Thomas returns and begins to prove that he has changed. He works to regain Julia's trust and we watch as they both try to strengthen their marriage and convince others that their elopement wasn't a huge mistake. Is it possible for Julia to truly trust? Is unfaithfulness forgivable? Can Thomas ever be the loving and faithful husband that Julia deserves? Carolyn Miller's reputation as an author of clean and wholesome Regency romance continues to grow and she certainly doesn't disappoint with this book. She always writes of the moral values of this era but this book features some subjects that are often glossed over and many characters who are flawed. These only prove that humans make mistakes, redemption is possible and that God always offers forgiveness. Ms. Miller never fails to remind us that it is our duty to offer others the same love and forgiveness that we ourselves have been granted from God our Father. The Making of Mrs. Hale can be read as a standalone book but people who've read the first two books of the Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series will enjoy seeing how some previous characters are mentioned in this story. I recommend this book to all who enjoy Christian fiction set in the Regency era and I look forward to what Carolyn Miller has planned for her future works. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to write a review. All opinions are my own.