Author: Carolyn Miller
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Regency Wallflowers #2
Release Date: May 31, 2022
Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?
Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend's rakish brother.
When James Langley returns to his family's estate, he can't be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father's stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.
Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn't until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?
When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?
Reviewer: Lori Parrish
5 stars for a well written book with well-rounded characters! Of course, I love anything this author writes, and this one didn't disappoint. My favorite is the inspirational messages that remind us that God is always near.
Sarah and James are two characters that will never leave your heart once you finish this book. I loved Beatrice, too, because she felt like a sister I never got to grow up with. And the way Miller describes the castle! Oh my! It gave me a cool feeling about that as well. As I read through it, I felt it could be my home too.
I didn't care much for James and Beatrice's father, however. He is, in my opinion, too recluse. His interests are somewhat like mine, though. And the cover! Oh, so beautiful and fascinating. Makes me feel like I'm there.
I highly recommend it!
I was given a review copy by Kregel Publishers through Interview & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
This book grabbed my heart and never let go. What a wonderful picture of redemption written into the character of James Langley. A lost soul wasting his life searching for acceptance. And forgiveness is written into the character of Sarah. She was pressured to marry James and abandoned in a castle by the sea with no one but his father and a houseful of belligerent servants.
As their story progressed, I was drawn through a myriad of emotions connected to the characters who are well-written, real, relatable, and inspiring. The setting evoked emotions of its own.
This was one of the best of the best.
I was given a copy courtesy of Kregel through Interviews and Reviews. This is my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Billi Varela
Midnight’s Budding Morrow is a heartfelt and emotional book that did not disappoint. I loved it! I have never before read a Regency-era book. But after reading Carolyn Miller’s book, it has piqued my interest to read more.
The book starts by showing James’ ‘rakish’ character, which made me a little nervous. I had never before read a book where one of the main characters starts off like that. However, it was necessary. Carolyn Miller displayed a beautiful story showing how a sinner like James can be saved. It does not matter how awful one is or how bad one’s reputation is. There is still hope for everyone.
As for Sarah, we got to see how one decision turned her life around. That decision was not all bad, although Sarah had a few hard times ahead. But in the end, we see how God was still working. Even when Sarah could not see it, God was still in control.
I loved the message behind this book and the constant use of the Bible in it. The characters were seeking the Bible or the vicar for advice. In the end, a beautiful, redemptive story was intertwined with one finally accepting and understanding God’s ‘deep love for them.
This book is perfect for anyone who loves history. This is still a great book, even if regency is not your area.
Also, this was a clean read!
I received a review copy courtesy of Kregel Publishers through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
Carolyn Miller writes Gothic Regency to a T. The voice of this book evokes an atmosphere right out of the era. She aptly depicts a wallflower of a girl who thinks she is almost invisible but ultimately, her good heart shines through. Add to that an arranged marriage to a sullen bad boy, and troubles have just begun.
Sarah tries to be a good wife, but James still needs to prove himself a changed man. Sarah has a wavering faith, and she is up against a lot of obstacles put up by the uncooperative servants and a grieving father-in-law, resulting in miscommunication and lots of doubt. “When we are in the depths of midnight’s pain and darkness, we cannot see that God is still working goodness for tomorrow. But He is, isn’t He?
This book is one of hardships and learning to rely on God through it all. And Ms. Miller shows us hope and perseverance through faith, “What we have endured together has forged us closer.” I look forward to reading the next in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Linda Klager
Carolyn Miller really knows the United Kingdom area. Her description of Langley Castle and the surrounding areas was very interesting. I would love to travel to this area. This was an excellent Regency Romance. It had the feeling of being Gothic, too.
Sarah Drayton had no close family. She lived with her aunt and uncle, and they treated her like a servant. A dear friend by the name of Beatrice Langley invited Sarah to visit her at Langley Castle. Even though Sarah has very low self-esteem, she takes advantage of visiting Beatrice.
While at the castle, Sarah advises her dear friend to be with her true love. Beatrice eloped. No one did this because it was believed to be a shame to the family name.
Sarah really misses her dear friend, but the patriarch of the castle sees her adeptness in helping him with the family books. She becomes a great asset to him. Sarah is also a good housekeeper and made many wonderful improvements to this crumbling castle.
Two long-time servants at the castle make life very miserable for Sarah. This lowers Sarah's esteem even further.
The estate's son returns, and Sarah is told she must marry him. She despises this man, who is a drunkard and gambler. On their wedding night, her husband deserts her and doesn't even come to the bedroom. He goes off to war.
Meanwhile, Sarah is assisting the poor of the town and even takes on raising a child born out of wedlock. Some of the townspeople who have money are gossiping about Sarah. Sarah is so upset when she is confronted with this news.
The son, James Langley, gets wounded at war, and in the hospital, he is witnessed to and becomes a Christian. He is learning not to always think only of himself and be a caring man.
When James Langley returns from war, he still struggles with his wound and fever. A great tragedy occurs soon after, and Sarah is devastated. She sinks into a deep depression.
James sees all Sarah has done to improve conditions at the castle and begins to see her in a new light. This feeling grows, and later on, a wonderful romance takes place.
I love that Carolyn Miller included Scripture and meaningful dialogue in the book. I believe that people who go through depression will be greatly encouraged when reading this book. It is a process that will come in time if one trusts in God to help them.
I received a review copy courtesy of Kregel through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
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