Dawn Crandall’s book The Hesitant Heiress is the first novel in The Everstone Chronicles, and is simply a wonderful story. It is set in America during the late 1800’s, and follows the life and choices of Amaryllis Brigham during her young life. Interestingly, this text is told from her perspective; therefore, this story is told through the lens of a first person point of view. It works brilliantly for this book, because the true nature, character, and passion behind every thought and action of Amaryllis comes shining through in order for the reader to understand her better.
Amaryllis’ parents have passed away, and she has been living off the generosity of Bram Everstone—who has paid for her schooling at various institutions. However, Amaryllis’ memories of Bram are connected to fear and even a bit of hatred. She does not understand why Mr. Everstone would support her, but she also does not know that her father made no plans to care for her after his death. Nor does she realize her father wanted her to live a life he could never give her, which is why Bram Everstone came into the picture.
Amaryllis finds there are many hidden secrets about her past she knew nothing about, and slowly she begins to discover the mystery of who her parents really were and the family connected to them. Even though Amaryllis vows never to marry, because she wants to start her own music school one day, she lets her guard down for a man she never dreamed she would love. A man who is connected to someone she always mistrusted.
Nathan Everstone has everything a woman would find desirable—looks, wealth, and a position in society. Yet Nathan is not interested in the typical fluffy façade that decorates the women who are mostly in his company. There is but one woman he has considered for years—a woman he has never even met—but somehow has fallen in love with because of the numerous stories told about her. When he finally meets her, she wants nothing to do with him and rejection continually hits his heart. Will he give up, or will he press on and try to win this woman’s love?
Nathan’s past is a bit questionable, but eventually distinct evidence reveals how each character is connected to the other and put together like puzzle pieces. For Nathan, his college buddies will be the reason as to whether his future is successful or not. In fact, one friend’s choice may challenge his ultimate happiness, and it will be up to Nathan to figure it out and fight for it.
Deceit, lies, fear, mistrust, joy, happiness, and forgiveness are the makeup to this tale, which pushes the reader to keep turning the page. Each scene moves quicker and quicker until you reach the ultimate climax that will leave your heart racing. The reader will truly feel linked to the journey Amaryllis is taking and will plead with her to make the correct choices—all the while understanding how it would feel to be in her place.
This book connects so well with the reader and human nature that I found I could not put it down. I had to know what would happen to Amaryllis and her future. Would her life turn out as I hoped? Or would she take the easier more sensible path? I simply could not rest until I came to the last page of the text.
If you love inspirational historical romances, you will adore this book. As Amaryllis grows throughout the novel, the role of each character will either place a positive or negative stamp on her understanding of others. Will she allow their decisions to point her where she needs to be? Or will her response shatter her hopes and dreams?
I cannot wait to read the next book in this series! I will be reviewing that book—along with each book in this series—so stay tuned!
About The Book
*After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother.
Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt's Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother's tragic death. However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems...and everything she never knew she wanted. But can she ever really trust an Everstone man?
*Synopsis is from the back cover of the novel.
About The Author
Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles from Whitaker House. The series consists of three books: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter.
Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary. Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Visit her online at: www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com