I love it when authors ask me to review their books, and when Dawn Crandall's assistant asked me to review The Captive Imposter (Dawn's book three in her Everstone Chronicles series), I went to the links in the email to see what the book was about. With a title like Everstone Chronicles, I thought the books were going to be a fantasy series, not a romantic series. Then the deal was sweetened, in exchange for my review, I'd get the first two books in the series. I was in with both feet. Next I was given two dates for a blog tour. One was to be an interview with Dawn (that's to come), and the other was to be a triple-play review of the three books. Today's post is the triple play.
The Hesitant Heiress is Amaryllis' story. All she wants is to open a music conservatory where any girl, regardless of social class, can take music lessons. After she is expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music (under false pretenses, as it turns out), she is told of her inheritance and the conditions she must meet in order to acquire it. She doesn't care about the money, except for how it would help her achieve her dreams.
Lawry and his friend Nathan Everstone come from Washington state to stay with Amaryllis' Aunt Claudine, where Amaryllis was also living. Nathan immediately is attracted to Amaryllis, but she can't believe he truly wants anything to do with her. She has a hard time believing he's grown up and become more than just a playboy.
The Bound Heart finds Lawry seeking the company of Meredyth Summercourt because he has loved her since they were children. Meredyth feels that her childhood crush on Vance Everstone must be played out to its logical conclusion even though she is falling in love with Lawry. Lawry has patience to wait for her and tries to get her to see her freedom in Christ, even though she won't believe in it.
The Captive Imposter finds Estella Everstone living as Ella Stoneburner, a lady's companion staying in an Everstone family hotel in Maine. When the dowager lady's granddaughter makes false accusations against Ella and she is fired from her position, she seeks refuge with the new hotel owner, Dexter Blakely. She feels betrayed when she finds out that her father sold this hotel to Dexter, but she can't help herself in noting his more than commendable qualities. The more she gets to know him, the more she starts falling in love with him. When her brother Vance's sins come home to roost, she has to reveal who she is to Dexter and his anger is more than she can deal with.
I think my favorite of these books is the first. It's not often that a debut novel can capture and engage the reader with such a relentlessness. Dawn creates a lyrical narrative that shows how true love can thrive and grow in the midst of hard circumstances, even in the midst of insanity. I finished the books in a few short days, completely captivated by the heroines and their dilemmas. I loved how all three stories built on one another, how the characters' lives overlapped, how the scenery in the books is indispensible to the pace of the plots, and how a mystery that rolls through all three books is resolved.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a cup of tea to go with your book.
My thanks to Dawn Crandall for allowing me to read and review her books, and to participate in her blog tour!