THE BARON’S HONOURABLE DAUGHTER
Published date: May 6, 2014
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Source: Received for a honest review
When her stepfather suddenly dies, Valeria Segrave finds she must take charge of her grieving mother and the vast estate which now belongs to her six-year-old half brother, the new Earl of Maledon. Though capable, Valeria is frustrated to find each day brings a new struggle as she tries to establish her authority with servants, stewards, and solicitors-all men. As a young woman with no blood relation to the earl, they are all too ready to dismiss her.
Much to her chagrin, she must rely on the assistance of her stepfather’s distant kinsman, Alastair, Lord Hylton. He is handsome and noble, and Valeria senses under the veneer of his gentlemanly behavior that she never measures up to his expectations of a refined lady. In light of that, accepting his help and feeling under a burden of gratitude to him is almost unbearable. Even when Valeria leaves the country estate for the glittering London Season, where she gets into a series of escapades, Lord Hylton is always there to witness, criticize, and correct her behavior. But if Alastair insists on engaging in a battle of wits and wills with the lively Valeria, she’ll stop at nothing to prove that he’s met his match.
Valeria Segrave is a rather outspoken, headstrong young lady who desires to do well in the eyes of her mother, Regina. She has dealt with the death of her father at an early age and now has lost her step-father. She and his closest male relative, Lord Hylton, or Alastair, begin handling the estate matters until her half-brother, St. John, is old enough to take over. Valeria, a free spirit, and Alastair, a strict rule follower, must learn how to work together and communicate for the good of the estate. When Valeria and her family go to London in order for her to have a season, she must learn how to follow the strict guidelines or risk being shunned by Polite Society. Alastair is also in town, along with his mother, and together they help to guide Valeria in the correct way, against her wishes. But when a dashing rake leads Valeria into a compromising situation, she must learn a valuable life lesson and understand that repentance and forgiveness hold the key to her happiness. As Valeria reconnects with God, she also realizes that she may be falling in love with Alastair, but will the choices she’s made so far keep him from seeing her as a suitable wife?
A thought-provoking novel by Lynn Morris. This novel is divided into three parts. Part One consists of the time from when Valeria discovers her step-father’s immorality and her resentment towards him to the time they learn of his untimely demise. During this time, Valeria begins her fall away from God as she invites hatred into her heart and begins to push God away. In Part Two we see that Valeria is struggling internally with having not forgiven her stepfather before his death and her outward struggle to allow Alastair to help with items regarding the estate. She continues her descent into a more worldly life-style as she begins to concern herself with people’s opinions of her and continuing to have a pessimistic view on the world. She resents Alastair for all the help he provides instead of being thankful and gracious. During this time, we get to meet other characters that add depth and some humor to the story. During Part Three, we see Valeria become so consumed with the London way of life that she falls deeply into the life of sin and almost ruins her life and her family’s good name. At the end, Alastair helps Valeria to see that she is being selfish and very unchristian like and she begins the soul-searching process before finally seeing that she needs to repent and forgive all those who have wronged her in order to have a chance at true happiness.
I felt that overall, this was a decent novel, even though it is not my typical read. I found that Mrs. Morris prefers to give a lot of descriptions about fabrics, lace, outfits, textures, etc. While I am not a huge fan of this type of prose, I can respect that she did an excellent job with the details. She also provided an abundance of historical details into her writing, such that, someone who is new to historical fiction would be able to understand what was happening and why these events were important. The relationship between Alastair and Valeria was quite unique, as they spend most of their time at odds with each other and only acknowledged their feelings towards the very end of the book. There is not a lot of emotional attachment between these two and I never became very involved with their characters. I did however, enjoy the relationship between St. John, Regina, and Valeria and their ability to overcome tragedy and depend on one another and God to help them find their way. Alastair’s character was very steady throughout while Valeria went through several changes, as mentioned above. There is a Reader’s Group Guide at the back of the novel, and after reading the questions, I found that this book would be great for a Christian book club reading. A well-written and thoroughly planned book that is sure to make you think about your faith walk. Received for an honest review.
Heat Rating: None
Reviewed by: AprilP
Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More