A well-written Christian novel focusing on the themes of belonging, loss, forgiveness, and redemption.
Title: Midnight's Budding Morrow by Carolyn Miller
Category: Adult Fiction, 312 pages
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Release date: May 31, 2022
Content rating: PG - 13 (for serious subject matter, attempted suicide)
Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?
Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend's rakish brother.
When James Langley returns to his family's estate, he can't be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father's stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.
Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn't until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?
When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?
Click here to read an excerpt.
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani
Midnight's Budding Morrow is part of the Regency Wallflower series. It is well-written and focuses on the themes of belonging, loss, forgiveness, and redemption. I enjoyed it, for the most part, however, this story may be difficult to read for readers dealing with depression and grief.
Sarah Drayton is invited to stay with her former schoolgirl friend Beatrice, who lives in the impressive dark run-down Langly castle by the sea. One thing leads to another, and Sarah gets duped into marrying Beatrice's brother James Langley, an irresponsible, hard-drinking, rake who runs back to the army the day after his wedding. He returns ten months later, seemingly a changed man because he has learned the ways of God from a captain friend in the army.
Sarah was an interesting character. She was an orphan who was kind and humble and longed for a place to belong. She was clever, but at the same time naive. She was bold, yet lacked confidence in herself. She was hard-working, yet paralyzed by those who thought less of her. She loved deeply and suffered deeply too. I truly felt her pain. James on the other hand was unlikable and his sudden change a little unrealistic. He had a lot of changes to make in his life and these changes were not easy, and they would take time. I struggled with his character, and I thought Sarah's recovery and trust came too quickly when her despair had been directly linked to his actions.
Although it had a Gothic setting, I did not feel this atmosphere in the novel as fully as I had expected. It had the potential for it, however, with unsavory secondary characters, a crumbling castle, the mysterious death of its former mistress, etc. What's more, those unsavory characters were an unresolved plot point in the novel, without any consequences for their bad behavior.
Apart from these issues, I was invested in this novel because the author succeeded in hooking my emotions, particularly through Sarah. I was also very curious to see how it would all turn out, with one bad event after another happening at the castle.
For fans of historical Christian fiction who like emotional stories with broken characters who heal together.
Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.
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About the Author:
Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.
Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.
Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author), Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor).
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Glad you enjoyed Sarah's character.ReplyDelete