This REGENCY BRIDES, A Legacy of Grace, novel has moved to my permanent reread shelves! Carolyn expresses wonderful dialogue and character personalities that make her plots shine!
I had read this story months ago and wanted to merely glance through the pages to write this review. I love to share my thoughts about favorite novels and guess what—I fell headlong and nicely into a re-read. That is why this review has taken longer to report! And if you realized how high my tall stack of new novels—waiting in the wings—is then you would realize what a complement that is to this book and this author. Each page teased a desire to re-experience the delight of this story of disappointment, forgiveness, and courage. This is listed as a Christian/Romance and it is that and more. I love how Carolyn laces in the mystery and compassion and motivation of these characters.
The main heroine, Lady Charlotte Featherington, won my heart, respect, and sympathy from the beginning as did the hero the Duke of Hartington. Oh, I believe I could have lived in the Regency time period, for when I’m dipping my attention there, in the midst of Carolyn’s tale, I’m enthralled by the clothing and architecture though I may be a bit bemused by etiquette rules and judgments of the time period! Carolyn always entertains and I feel good and especially involved with her tales. Thank you, Carolyn, for another great read—and yes, more please! I’m always ready to read your offerings! Are you surprised when I say that I highly recommend this author and this novel!
QUESTIONS FOR CAROLYN:
Carolyn Miller: The Captivating Lady Charlotte
· When Lady Charlotte has her coming out to meet the Queen and you describe the dress—was this description from a photo or out of the depths of your research? (So lovely—I wanted to put it on!)
It was a mix of both! I researched illustrations of the court dresses of the time (so glad that many illustrations from Ackermann’s Repository can be found online) and borrowed various elements to make Charlotte’s gown wholly hers. :)
· You captured the indifference and attitudes of people well in your character’s interactions. What message would you tell those who have suffered the such rejection from those who should be protective and nurturing in one’s life?
I hope all my books point to God’s care and concern for our lives. I believe if we seek His healing, and understand His grace and forgiveness, we can extend that to others. It’s not easy, but unforgiveness binds us far more than we know, so I believe God is keen “as far as it depends on us” to seek peace with others, and extend mercy and forgiveness to them.
· Thank you for bring Lavinia, a cousin of Lady Charlotte, into this story. Tell me, did you have to take scenes out so that you wouldn’t distract from Lady Charlotte?
No. She was only a bit player, but necessary to further demonstrate Charlotte’s compassion. And we all want to know what happens next with Lavinia and Nicholas after The Elusive Miss Ellison!
· Lord Fanshawe is quite the character—did a movie or novel inspire his coming into this story?
I suppose I’ve watched so many Jane Austen film and TV adaptations over the years that I feel like these characters are part of me! So perhaps his introduction was inspired a little by the likes of Frank Churchill from Emma, or Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility – someone a little rakish, a little careless with a woman’s reputation for the sake of his own interests.
· I have several favorite characters in The Captivating Lady Charolotte can you tell us one of yours and what it is that draws your favor?
I really like the duke, William Hartwell, Duke of Hartington. To me he is a different kind of hero, not the alpha male we see in so many stories, but someone more like many of the men we might know in real life who possess hidden depths of character and heroism that can be easily overlooked in preference to someone more handsome. I like his faith, which informs his kindness, his thoughtfulness, his varied interests, and his vulnerability. To me, he is pretty perfect!
· The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey is the next novel in this series. Did you have the whole series in mind when you wrote them or did the next book idea spring up after you completed a novel?
I had written the first in the series, The Elusive Miss Ellison, a few years prior to being picked up for publication, so when Kregel were keen to do a series I had to write two books in one year (while working part-time at my local high school – who says God doesn’t do miracles these days?). I had thought creating new stories from various characters from Miss Ellison could work well, and knew Charlotte’s introduction to society and ‘the marriage mart’ would be interesting, but I wasn’t sure what readers’ reactions would be to the story of the ‘bad girl’ from Miss Ellison. Fortunately readers have loved reading about her perspective, as the emails and messages I’ve received testify. :)
· What fun social expectation or delicious dish from Regency time period do you think about often?
I think the manners are fascinating, that there was a social veneer that was considered important so everyone knew what was expected of them. For example, couples who were ‘an item’ were not supposed to dance with each other more than twice at a ball. The reason? To ensure all the ladies had a chance to dance with a gentleman, as there were usually more ladies than gentlemen at such things. Of course, it might also have something to do with protecting the lady’s reputation if she wasn’t yet engaged or married.
· What would you like to share about your experience of writing The Captivating Lady Charlotte?
I really enjoyed digging into various facts about 1814, London. One of the interesting things about writing historical fiction is how we look back on history knowing how things turn out, but people at the time did not (obviously, as they were still living through it!). In 1814, the people of England thought the years-long war with Napoleon was finally over, and celebrated with various parades, events and spectacles - only to have Napoleon later escape and reignite hostilities until he was finally defeated in 1815. It’s fun researching into such events, and to read the documents and accounts of people from this time. Such things really help ‘ground’ the story into history – and not just fiction. :)
· What news can you give us about recently published and soon to be published novels! (I anticipate each one with wild joy!)
My new Regency Brides series released this year, with the Persuasion-like Winning Miss Winthrop coming out in March, and my newest, Miss Serena’s Secret, having just released in July. The third in this series, The Making of Mrs. Hale, comes out in November. These three are linked by the main character Catherine Winthrop (Lavinia’s friend who is mentioned in The Elusive Miss Ellison), and explore the challenges of lost love, the trials faced by her artistic sister Serena in a time when young women were only expected to marry and bear children, and exploring whether a runaway marriage can be redeemed. Lots of fun!
I’m also juggling various rounds of edits on my third Regency series (!!!), which will release in 2019. So many books! (So little time!)
I can't thank you enough Carolyn for such a wonderful interview! I admire you greatly for your sacrifice of time! I'll pray for you and those 'fun' edits! :) Blessings to you!