Winning Miss Winthrop by Carolyn Miller
Published by Kregel Publications March 27, 2018
Genre: Regency Romance, Christian
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Years ago, the man who stole Catherine Winthrop’s heart rejected her—and she’s never recovered from the grief. Now tragedy has brought him back into her life. This time it isn’t her heart he’s taking, it’s her home and her family’s good name.
Jonathan Carlew’s serious demeanor and connection to trade, not to mention the rumors surrounding his birth, have kept him from being a favorite of the ladies, or their parents. Now, suddenly landed and titled, he finds himself with plenty of prospects. But his demanding society responsibilities keep pressing him into service to the one woman who captured his heart long ago—and then ran off with it.
These two broken hearts must decide whether their painful past and bitter present will be all they can share, or if forgiveness can provide a path to freedom for the future.
Set in the sumptuous salons of Bath, Regency England’s royal breeding ground for gossip, Winning Miss Winthrop is the first volume in the Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series. Fans of the wholesome and richly drawn first series won’t want to miss this new set of characters—or appearances by their old favorites.
Carolyn Miller delivers a new Regency era story to her fans with this first volume in her Promise of Hope series that carries the essence of Jane Austen while telling a story that is fresh and delightful.
Oh Regency era how we love to read about you! I know of very few true readers who don’t find the Regency era of time to be fascinating in every way, shape and form. There were so many discoveries made, medical practices introduced and fashions created that still linger to this day that I believe it is one of the most influential times in history. It is also the most often written about time period and given that authors can find it difficult to write a new story that will appeal to their readers. I have found that Ms. Miller seems to lack this trouble as she brings new stories out with quiet regularity that spark the imagination and make me wish I were headed to the Pump rooms of Bath to be entertained by a famous singer or participate in a dance. Ms. Miller’s latest story is no exception as she took the simple plot of two people whose love was torn apart by misunderstanding and creates a well developed story that takes the plot far beyond simple. Catherine Winthrop has lost her beloved father and with him the home she has always known. Her mother has fallen into an exaggerated depression and has left poor Catherine the responsibility of dealing with all arrangements to be made – the hardest of which will be the move out of their home. She is hoping to make her escape before the new Lord Winthrop makes an appearance but it seems that is not to be. To make matters worse, the new Lord Winthrop is none other than Jonathan Carlew, the man who shattered her heart and has become the object of her deepest loathing. Jonathan has always had trouble finding social acceptance given his birth and close connections to trade. Lacking the pedigree deemed worthy of invitations from the best families in the area, Jonathan has made it his life’s work to do the very best with what he has and charm his way into the good graces of those who could help him succeed in his endeavors. Years before, when he met Catherine Winthrop, he lost his heart completely and was determined to marry her, no matter that everyone said they didn’t suit. But when Catherine’s father convinces him that she was only faking her love to have a good time and a constant escort until she found someone more suitable, Jonathan breaks off their relationship and goes to India to improve his business acumen. Never knowing why Jonathan left her and smarting keenly over his refusal to even acknowledge her letters, Catherine determined to never give her heart so willingly again. But years have passed and Jonathan has been named heir to the baronetcy of Winthrop, putting him squarely in her world once again. The story that follows is one in which I found myself wishing I could have participated. The hurt and bitterness that both Catherine and Jonathan still carry perpetuates the misunderstanding between them, making for both sad and hilarious happenings. Their attempts to keep from meeting or speaking to each other are entertaining to say the least and they are both so stubborn they cannot imagine that they may have been mistaken all those years ago. But as circumstances continue to decline for Catherine and her mother once they have moved from the manor house, they will have no choice but to relocate to Bath, introducing a whole new set of problems. As they are now in very reduced circumstances, many of society’s doors will now be closed to them without good friends to make it otherwise. Catherine finds solace in the company of her friend Lavinia, Lady Hawksbury, who refuses to allow her friend to become a hermit and gains invitations to the best of parties. But Catherine is not ready to find a new beau and accepts the kind escort of General Whitby, a much older gentleman who is one of her aunt’s closest friends. His presence ensures she is well looked after and even gives rise to the idea that she is once again a desirable marriage partner. Jonathan and his family, arrive in Bath some time after Catherine’s departure from Gloucestershire, and the rumors swirling around about Catherine and the General take Jonathan by surprise. Although he is currently expected to make a match with the wealthy Miss Beauchamp, he finds himself more than a bit jealous of Catherine’s new “conquest”. Hoping to prove he is over his former love, Jonathan will go out of his way to look happy to all around him. The problem is, the more he tries, the more miserable he becomes. But vicious rumors will soon be spoken that will require Jonathan to decide if he will forgive his mistaken idea of Catherine’s antipathy and go after the love he has looked for all along. Catherine will have to find courage in herself to fight for what she wants in life and not let others dictate who she is and who she can love. Together they will find love they are seeking and the forgiveness they didn’t know they needed. This story had so many moving pieces it was hard at times to keep them all straight. But as the story went on, Ms. Miller carefully dissected each piece of information and ensured all questions were answered. It was interesting to see how the character of each person was grown as they worked through the circumstances they were handed. There was much bitterness and resentment that stemmed from a misunderstanding that had to be addressed before forgiveness could be extended. How very like Jonathan and Catherine we all are, often forgetting to question whether what is said about someone is actually true or just fits someone’s narrative. Trust is a precious treasure that should be valued and treated with respect. Often, we find ourselves questioning our trust in someone just because of what someone else says about them – never pausing to question the motives of the person speaking. Ms. Miller explored this idea as well as the concept of hateful speech to show that words have power if we give them such and we must be careful not to let others make our decisions for us. Ms.Miller’s quiet way of weaving the love of God and His forgiveness of our mistakes into her story was also very well done. I love when a story has characters whose relationship with God has matured enough that they include open and realistic prayer in their though processes. I find my connection with them is better than those who lack such a relationship and I often find myself asking if I am guilty of doing what that character has realized they’ve done. I will most certainly be recommending this book to others as well as the entire series. I am hoping to read the next stories very soon as they are already listed for pre-order. Serena and Henry’s story looks to be a hilarious story that is not to be missed.
I received this E-book free of charge from Kregel Publications via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.