Thursday, October 4, 2012
A Lady in the Making
Barbour Publishing, 2012
Adult Christian Historical Romance
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Although this is technically book 3 in the Prairie Dreams series, I felt very comfortable slipping into the world. Would my appreciation of the supporting characters have been deepened had I read the previous books? Certainly but I do not think my enjoyment of this book was hampered at all. Rather, I am now eager to go back and visit the earlier books especially to catch glimpses of the hero and heroine from this book. The book shifts perspectives among four characters, focusing primarily on Millie, striking out on her own, and David, a new earl who was previously conned by Millie posing as a woman named Charlotte.
One thing I didn't like amid the shifting perspectives was David's cousin's wife's pov. She is a grasping woman eager for social advancement even at the expense of David's life (apparently she tried to have him killed in a previous novel). Although her motives are partially to serve her son's interests and I do respect that, I was disgusted with the lady's malice, which it sounds like she has exercised across the three books. Although the ending serves to establish that she will never get to be countess nor will her son be earl, I wish she could have received more punishment for her cruel ways.
A related character is her weak-willed brother Peregrin Walmore (what a name, eh!), a less conniving person because oh so frequently distracted by drink and gaming but easily recruited into a plot against David after a night gone wrong. I did feel bad for him a little bit because he seems pretty passive . He actually kind of reminds me of Mr John Dashwood, who could be a good man if given support but is instead led astray. He'll get his just desserts.
I would have preferred if the antagonist had been Millie's brother and his gang who can't believe Millie is turning her back on them and who have no intention of reforming. However they disappear early in the book, never to return.
For me, one of the most satisfying aspects of the book is Millie's heart transformation. Formerly a conwoman and accomplice, Millie has truly reformed. The ways she proves this change and her new found relationship with Christ would especially please those who have read the earlier books and know the many reasons why she needs grace. Because they've been hurt before, Millie and David are both guarded people but I enjoyed seeing their defenses fall down and the last sections of their happiness were just excellent to me (they reminded me of my beloved Regency romances).
Overall: Just a sweet Christian historical fiction with a bit of a western tinge but also British society-an unusual merging but a cute one :)
Cover: I like the green and how it matches the previous covers.