Friday, July 22, 2022

MIDNIGHT'S BUDDING MORROW, Regency Wallflowers #2, by Carolyn Miller, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

" . . . on the shores of darkness there is light . . . There is a budding morrow in midnight . . . "- Thomas Keats

It is terribly difficult to anticipate the light of dawn when your life has been turned upside down and inside out to the point of utter despair. Such was Sarah's Drayton's existence. She had naively imagined that leaving a rather drab existence as a quasi-housekeeper for an ungrateful aunt and uncle would be an adventure. Instead she had been misled into signing a contract of marriage to the local rogue, James Langley, whose own woes had succumbed to the trickery of his father.

Scorned by members of the household staff and snubbed by the local peerage, Sarah tries to make the best of her situation by reaching out to the poor and needy in the local community. After all, her new husband had conveniently returned to the battlefront, spending only one drunken night in Sarah's presence following their nuptials. But it's when James returns home in an entirely different state of mind that the challenges truly begin.

"'Bless the Lord, O my soul, forget not all His benefits. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities . . . Who healeth all thy diseases, who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness' . . . How she longed to know she was loved. To know she was wanted. To know she belonged." And if she was? . . . maybe their story could be re-written.

Perhaps, like me, you will find these characters a bit off-putting in the early stages of this story, but as that changes (and it does!), dare to embrace the message of hope and forgiveness they proclaim, for we serve a God who is "mighty to save", Who flings our iniquities as "far as the east is from the west", and Who assures us that "His mercies are new every morning".
The angst that Sarah and James bear in the beginning of this engaging story is definitely worth the ending.
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
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?

Kregel Publications, May 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:
Buy MIDNIGHT'S BUDDING MORROW at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

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