An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter
Published By Bethany House Publishers January 03, 2017
Genres: Romance, Christian
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Life for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier if she hid in her older sister’s shadow–which worked until her sister got married. Even with the pressure of her socially ambitious mother, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience to save her previously spotless reputation.
Lord Trent Hawthorne couldn’t be happier that he is not the duke in the family. He’s free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, which includes grand plans of wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice. When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he doesn’t know, his dream of a marriage like his parents’ seems lost forever.
Already starting their marriage on shaky ground, can Adelaide and Trent’s relationship survive the pressures of London society?
Kristi Ann Hunter proves she’s “up to the mark” on writing regency romance with her latest story in the Hawthorne House series.
From the first reading of Jane Austen’s “Persuation” I have been a great fan of the regency period. And with her Hawthorne House series, Ms. Hunter is quickly becoming one of my most favorite authors writing of this time period. The first two stories in this series made me laugh and cry for the characters and I was so excited to find this third book available for review( a prequel novella comes before the first book but is not full length). And I was not disappointed at all – Ms. Hunter created a tasteful and biblical way of looking at a marriage that did not come from love but from circumstances. Ms. Hunter chose to focus this third story on Trent Hawthorne, younger brother of Griffith, Duke of Riverton, and after finding him such a solid and funny character from the two past books I was glad to see her choice. And Ms. Hunter also took on the somewhat difficult task of showing how a couple might make a marriage together when their match came from necessity rather than love. After Trent Hawthorne and Adelaide Crampton found themselves trapped overnight in a crumbling tower, Trent does the only honorable thing – requesting for Adelaide’s hand in marriage. That they were trapped there because of Trent’s failed attempt to rescue Adelaide makes Trent all the more determined to repair Adelaide’s reputation. What follows is a wonderful story of love that grows when a couple is determined to make it work and let God be the center of their marriage. I truly enjoyed reading this story of Ms. Hunter’s, not only for the romance that she brings in such a lovely way but for the challenges to one’s faith that she includes. Ms. Hunter created wonderful main characters supported by interesting, funny, and Godly sub-characters that will leave readers considering how they would have handled the situations presented. Trent Hawthorne was unready for marriage and quite resents the fact that it came upon him without love or the timing he thought would be better. But as he knows that is not in keeping with the ways of God, he determines to “court” his wife in order to give them a chance to fall in love. And to do this he believes its best to move out of their home until they both wish to live as a married couple. The problem is he didn’t ask Adelaide her opinion or consent, not realizing she would consider it presumptuous and rather embarrassing – given Trent isn’t very discrete in his courting efforts. Trent also didn’t count on his staff being upset with his avoidance of his new wife; several of them outright berating his cowardice and lack of care. Not knowing what else to do, he sets out to win his wife’s affections by giving her the Season in London she was denied before now. Ms. Hunter’s Adelaide is everything Trent needs in a wife, if only she had the confidence and knowledge of society she was never taught by her mother. Having been so focused on getting her oldest daughter Helena the best match possible, Lady Crampton neglected to spend any time teaching the same to her younger daughter. This has left Adelaide with a well-developed brain from all the reading she has done but with little skills to apply to her new social position. She also has a tendency to become disheveled in small ways every day – though she isn’t always sure how it happens. It will be for these traits that Trent begins to develop true affection for her, finding her fresh and different way of looking at the world deeply endearing. But there is still the matter of discretion in their situation so neither will be embarrassed by Trent’s courting of his wife. Enter Trent’s sisters and mother – all of whom are thrilled that Trent has taken such a lovely and sweet wife and are shocked at his blatant disregard for her new position in society. Oh, how I laughed at how quickly and decisively Lady Blackstone and her daughters set this to rights. Their quick wit and teaching would provide Adelaide with the confidence she will need to take her place in society and to take on her mother. And Trent, upon learning of the scheming ways of Lady Compton, will make it his greatest mission to protect and defend his wife against her spitefulness. As they progress in their love, Trent and Adelaide will decide to consummate their marriage – with what they view as disastrous results. I so appreciated the careful and tasteful way in which Ms. Hunter took on this issue. There was nothing overly descriptive in the way Ms. Hunter told of their night together, leaving it with Trent carrying his wife into their room. And even the next day when Trent tried to ask a married friend for advice for why everything didn’t go as he thought it should, Ms. Hunter took care to keep everything very clean. I was glad to see she did not shy away from this as others have, rather she brought to light the awkwardness that a virgin couple faces when they first come together. And when things did not go as expected, Ms. Hunter had Trent and Adelaide turn to those around them that would give them the best advice – that marriage and all its inclusions takes work and time to get right. Their family and friends were kind and helpful – pointing out that everything in marriage goes better when there is love bringing you together. So they both began, not without mistakes, seeking out the good of each other and finding ways to build love by doing for each other. And Ms. Hunter had this serve them well as a couple when they began to be tested in their relationship. Lady Crampton still hopes to use Adelaide’s marriage into the Duke of Riverton’s family to help Helena rise in societal position and will do whatever necessary to make that happen. When her plans for making Trent jealous enough to do whatever Adelaide wants is uncovered, Lady Crampton finds out that Trent and his family are not people one would care to be at odds with. They have all come to know and love the newest member of their family and will not allow her to be bullied – giving her the confidence to place limitations on her mother’s future presence and influence. And her confidence will, in turn, allow her to encourage Trent to use his God-given talents that he had hidden away so long, bringing them even closer together. I know that Ms. Hunter will have another book in this series as she would not leave such a great character as Griffith Hawthorne without his only tale of love, but I feel that Ms. Hunter has done exceptionally well with this story. It challenged and entertained me and I enjoyed considering what I would do if placed in these circumstances. I have no doubt I would have reacted much the same as Trent, but I pray I would have also tempered my resentment with grace as Adelaide did and be assured that God would not have given me the situation if he had not prepared me and provided support to carry me through. Ms. Hunter reminds her readers in a gentle and fun way that God does not always do what we expect but He always does what is best for His children. I cannot wait to read however many more books Ms. Hunter will include in this series and any others she will choose to write. I will most certainly share this book and the rest of the series with my friend and family and recommend them most highly. Well done, indeed!
I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.