by Carolyn Miller
Series: Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley (Book 1)
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (March 19, 2019)
Can a proper noble lady find a future with a fossil-hunting man of faith?
As the daughter of Viscount Aynsley, Caroline Hatherleigh knows every rule of society–and she’s always followed them precisely. But when she visits south Devonshire and encounters a fossil-hunting scientist and his sister, her assumptions about what is right are shaken. Questions she has never considered about the importance of friendship and faith suddenly confront her–and her comfortable understanding about how the world works is thrown off balance. What if God wants to be the center of her life, rather than merely a social obligation?
Gideon Kirby loves science, and hunting down proof of past lives is a joy he won’t willingly give up. But his scientific leanings are being challenged both by his personal beliefs and by local smugglers in the Devonshire countryside. And every day his sister’s illness becomes more desperate, her care growing more demanding. Adding a viscount’s daughter to the mix is a complication Gideon never expected–especially since he must stay far away from this young woman he’s falling for in order to protect his beloved sister’s secret.
When a mysterious stranger visits the village, that secret will be exposed, no matter how Gideon fights. Then tragedy strikes in a smugglers’ cave. And the threat of scandal may lead to broken hearts and passionless propriety. Will the shaky bond these two have nurtured be strong enough to overcome their differences–or will the trust they’ve withheld from each other tear three lives apart?
A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh is the first book in the Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley series. Even though this is a new series, I think it would be helpful to have read The Making of Mrs. Hale.
One of the things I love about Carolyn Miller’s books are that they are so unique. I love the regency era and have read so many books that take place during that time, yet I feel like I learn something new in each of Miller’s books. She clearly does her research. She also writes real characters who are not perfect and who are still growing, and we want to cheer them on in their journey. As much as I have enjoyed reading all of Miller’s books, this one is my favorite.
Caroline Hatherleigh has grown up in a very privileged bubble. She is the daughter of a Viscount and wants everyone to know it. She has been raised to act a certain way and is the standard of a society lady. Caroline has always struggled with having friends because she likes to make things about herself and only takes from the relationship.
Following in her parents’ unfaithful footsteps, she doesn’t believe in God and thinks that you are only a sinner if you murder people. She would only attend church services for appearances.
When Caroline hears that her friend, Ned, had been shot, she immediately daydreams about future suitors and doesn’t care about what could happen to Ned.
I had a hard time liking Caroline at the beginning and she had a lot of learning to do. After leaving London to avoid scandal, Caroline meets Gideon. Gideon is far beneath her socially, but she can’t help but be drawn to him.
Gideon is in Sidmouth trying to discover fossils while hoping to protect his sister and provide her with the medical help she needs.
While I thought of Caroline negatively from the beginning, I really liked Gideon from the start. He lives a faithful life and proves how showing a good example can bring people to God.
No one is perfect, and I always enjoy when a character can grow in faith during the story. Caroline learns an important lesson that we should all read the Bible ourselves so we can know what is truly in it.
A major theme in A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh is how someone who is a believer of God can also believe in science. There are some beautiful quotes in the book that talk about seeing God’s work and how there is no way it can be accidental. I found the fossil-hunting incredibly interesting. After reading the book, I even bought myself a few fossils.
Caroline’s sisters Cecilia and Verity were side characters in this book and will get their own books in the series. I am looking forward to reading about both of them!