Book Two in the Haven Manor series by Kristi Ann Hunter!
It's best to read the first book in the series: A Defense of Honor, as this novel builds on it.
Kristi Hunter delves deep into the emotions of Daphne Blakemoor. Daphne is currently the housekeeper at Haven Manor, a remote estate in England. Due to an incident long in her past, Daphne has spent her time out of society and secretly helping the less fortunate.
William Oswald, the new Marquis of Chemsford, has come to inspect one of his many estates. What he finds is a puzzle. Daphne is shocked to find that William is the new owner of Haven Manor. Will this new information throw obstacles in her path and dredge up things best forgotten? But William is not your typical aristocrat. He shuns most society but still takes his responsibilities seriously. Will William and Daphne work at cross purposes or eventually work together?
Ms.Hunter does a masterful job of showing how a bad situation can be turned to good. She imparts the atmosphere of the country manor. We see Haven Manor through new eyes as William comes to oversee one of the properties he has recently acquired.
The themes of repentance and forgiveness shine through. Daphne and William are truly seeking God’s wisdom. William is a hero to be envied. He is kind, thoughtful and slow to anger. It is nice to see how Daphne slowly blossoms in her spiritual growth. I was pleased by the depth of character of Daphne, William and Jess and Benedict. Those familiar with the first book will be glad to see Jess and the children return. Additional characters bring levity and conflict to the story.
If you enjoy Regency stories, give this series a try.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
I’ve been looking forward to reading A Return of Devotion by Kristi Ann Hunter since I finished the first book in the Haven Manor series, A Defense of Honor. I simply adore the author’s sense of humor and wit which she infuses into her stories. The setting in Regency England, the cast of memorable, vividly-drawn characters, and the creative, complex plot of this book drew me right in. Daphne and William’s story reminded me of a comedy of errors. William was plopped down into the situation at Haven Manor and was oblivious of what was going on. Daphne was trying to protect her identity and her position in the house. The stellar cast of secondary characters add to the chaos and confusion.
Although this can be read as a stand-alone book, it is best to get the back story in A Defense of Honor first. There is also a novella A Search for Refuge which is a prequel to the series. As usual, Hunter’s wit and humor shine in this book. There were a couple of places where I felt the story dragged a bit, but then the author would pick up the pace again. The only bad thing about reading a Kristi Ann Hunter book is that I’m so sad when it ends and I have to wait a while until the next one comes out! I’m looking forward to Jess’s story.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Back Cover Blurb:
Daphne Blakemoor was perfectly happy living in her own secluded world for twelve years. She had everything she needed--loved ones, a true home, and time to indulge her imagination. But when ownership of the estate where she works as a housekeeper passes on, and the new marquis has an undeniable connection to her past, everything she's come to rely upon is threatened.
William, Marquis of Chemsford's main goal in life is to be the exact opposite of his father. Starting a new life in the peace and quiet of the country sounds perfect until his housekeeper turns his life upside down.
They've spent their lives hiding from the past. Can they find the courage to face their deepest wounds and, perhaps, find a new path for the future together?
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