The Elusive Miss Ellison | Book Review
Updated: Feb 21, 2019
As I thought about how to begin this blog, I decided early on that I would start simply - by sharing one of my new favorite books with you! The Elusive Miss Ellison is the first in the Regency Brides: Legacy of Grace trilogy, and a wholesome historical romance you won't want to miss.
The arrival of the new Earl of Hawkesbury has the entire village aflutter – everyone except Lavinia Ellison, that is. In fact, in Livvie’s eyes, he is just as arrogant and thoughtless as his brother – who stole the most important person in her world.
Nicholas is weighed down by guilt, by ancestral obligations, and by the legacy of war. He hadn’t anticipated that a perfunctory visit home would engage either his mind or his heart. Then the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. But between society’s opposition, his brother’s reckless past, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles for the two of them to ever truly get along.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past their painful histories and presumptions to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love.
First and foremost, I love the wittiness and charming freshness with which a modern-day author approaches the Regency era. And yet she does so without sacrificing historical accuracy - Mrs. Miller has done her research. I have to admit, reading this book gave me a new and fuller understanding of the workings of British nobility and society in that day, even though I flatter myself to be a Jane Austen fan and history buff. ;) The way I described this book to my husband and mom was, "It's like Jane Austen, but with a refreshing new voice and a sweet Biblical understanding of love and forgiveness."
The depth of her characters definitely make this book stand out for me. Music-loving Lavinia is intensely real and relatable. She's spunky and vivacious, yet vulnerable, and I appreciated watching her grow spiritually throughout the book. She is a Christian who feels her shortcomings keenly. but at the same time she understands that her identity is not in how others view her, but in Christ.
And Nicholas...ah, Nicholas. He's a scarred veteran whose journey to redemption is one of the strongest threads of the story. But there's more to him than you might think, and getting to know the layers of his character beneath the gruff exterior was, well, fun. He's masculine and strong, yet surprisingly tender, and made me chuckle more than once.
The slow dawning of respect and love between the two is believable and oh-so-satisfying.
(To me, there's a difference between novels that seem to focus on romance only to create a daydream-y buzz, and novels that truly celebrate the beauty and reality of love between a man and a woman. The Elusive Miss Ellison hits it out of the park on this point.)
The story is a joy to read. The last page left me with a smile on my face - but I didn't want to leave the characters. (And it's not often I feel that way about a book.) But the best part is - you don't have to say goodbye! Mrs. Miller obviously loves her characters, because reading through her series is like meeting new friends in each book...and reuniting with dear old ones.
Bottom line, The Elusive Miss Ellison is entertaining and edifying, and leaves the reader with more than just a sweet romance.
So there you have it! A 5 star review, if you didn't already guess.
About the Author
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena's Secret, and The Making of Mrs. Hale, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc