Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
One of the primary reasons that drew me to Throne of Grace by Cecily Wolfe was the storyline. I've read lots of historical romance novels but I don't think any have dealt with romance between a rich, over-priviledged bachelor and a maid. To have that bachelor give up everything for the maid was even more intriguing so I eagerly jumped into reading this book.
The author does an exemplary job of creating characters wholly devoted to serving God and who consider Him at every level of their developing friendship. From the moment our two main characters meet you can see how like-minded they are in their devotion to serve God and others. Wolfe really managed to capture the feel of the era and she had me riveted from page one. While the author clearly has a way with words, "A pretty face doesn't last but a pretty action does" (one of my favourite lines in the book), she tended to be on the long-winded side of story description. I would have preferred more dialogue and action between the characters rather than reading what they were thinking or pages of backstory.
I did feel the relationship between Arthur and Josie was too rushed. I suppose there is such a thing as love at first sight but I would have loved to see more friction within Arthur's household as he tried to court Josie. Instead, they are instantly found out and Josie is dismissed. She immediately finds a job, he continues on with his plans and the expected ultimatums coming from his parents, never come. Aside from rumours started by Arthur's mother about Josie, there was no other conflict to prevent the pair from being together. I can only surmise that the reason for this was that this was more a novella than a full-length novel and so things had to happen fast. Still, the author is an excellent writer. I enjoyed the story and hope she develops it further into a full-length novel with a better cover (the one above doesn't it do it justice) as I'm sure it would appeal to historical romance fans everywhere.