It feels like coming home…
5* for this exemplary work…
Wow! I mean really, wow! What was this thing? I am speechless and at the same time want to pour my heart out about this book! It is that kind of a book which you want to finish and yet you do not want to end! You know what I mean? I will try doing justice to the exemplary work, that is The Elusive Miss Ellison
Where do I start? The story? The hero? Miss Ellison? The dialogue? The plot and play? Can’t decide! I guess I’ll have to let it all flow out as it comes…
From the blurb…
Pride, prejudice and forgiveness…
Hampton Hall’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter–all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother–his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world.
Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible–he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along.
Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what will happen when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?
What I feel…
Superlative! That is the word that first comes to my mind when I think of TEME. This is the most spectacular regency historical fiction book of recent times hands down. I’ve read quite a few and I have experienced what dearth of pure literary talent is, and am amazed at the pure genius of the author.
I was transported back into the time of Jane Austen and was immersed in a strange nostalgic feeling right from the first page of this book. It truly felt like coming home! Really Carolyn Miller, you’ve spoilt me for other books! ;p
Not a word in this book is wasteful. Each and every line, every action, every scene is beautifully crafted. The best feature is the wit and humour in the dialogue and the fantastic repartees. I mean, my book is literally filled with highlights throughout!
The storyline is captivating as well as intriguing with the highs and lows, the family secrets, the past, the present, the twists and the turns, everything coming out in a remarkable blend.
Miss Lavinia Ellison…
‘She is a woman , therefore may be wooed ; she is a woman, therefore may be won; she is Lavinia , therefore must be loved.’
Miss Ellison! Lady Disdain! I absolutely love her ❤ ❤ ❤ She is one of the strongest heroines I’ve come across. She has her decided opinions, is strong in her belief and her faith, is so witty and charming, has the courage to state her mind and is also very loving and kind. The compassion in her heart, the soul in her eyes is so so beautifully penned by the author. Lavinia is also blessed with an angelic voice, though her behaviour many times is hoydenish 😀 She’s not dazzled by the ton, nor cowed by those trying to intimidate her. She has her pride. And the pride does make her prejudiced. It does lead to influence her behaviour as far as Lord Nicholas Hawkesbury is concerned! At the same time, she is also ready to forgive and looks for the best in others.
Lord Nicholas Hawkesbury…
Nicholas! (An eyebrow rising ^) The seventh Earl of Hawkesbury. Oh how I love him and how I sometimes felt like planting a facer on his jaw. He is one caring, strong, compassionate hero with his own faults. He starts as an aristocrat, arrogant and full of pride. His transformation from that proud man to the caring and smitten suitor is just so endearing ❤ ❤ ❤ The beauty about Nicholas is he is conscientious. He holds himself responsible for the events of the past. He is full of guilt and is also one to realize a mistake, when he has committed one. Also, what I felt was he has not been arrogant and careless all his life. His time with the army highlights him as a responsible and compassionate individual, so proving that he is indeed inherently a good person.
The time he spends in St. Hampton Heath also proves a blessing fir him. Here he finds belief and faith in God.
Lavinia and Nicholas…
Right from the first moment when they meet while Lavinia is picking the weeds in her father’s garden, and with mutually harboured impressions of rudeness and presumption, to the eventual growth in acquaintance, mutual regard, respect and affection, Lavinia and Nicholas come a long way. They make a splendid couple ❤ ❤ ❤
Their relationship blossoms in it’s journey from being influenced by pride to humbling them to bring about a change in their hearts along with acceptance. How hope plays a major role in their relationship is one significant point within the story.
Though each and every scene has been etched in my memory and is dear to me, one of my most favourite is when Nicholas prays for Lavinia fearing for her life. That truly touched my heart and I was like, ‘wow! You’re forgiven Nicholas!’ That phase in the book when Nicholas is caring for Lavinia, is my favourite!
Through each other they come to understand the purpose and meaning of their lives. Their repartees are brilliant! Small small things made the elements cute (read their overall association with dogs)
The ensemble cast…
Characterisation by the author is interesting. Right from the reverend to Aunt Patience, Captain Thornton to Sophy and even the passing ones like Mrs Foster and Eliza, all are drafted realistically. Their opinions and behaviours are detailed with ease and make the background stories run parallel without barging into the leading one. Indeed they do add up to influence Nicholas and Lavinia’’s story.
The story and the book…
You never feel that you are reading a book, you get so engrossed in it as if you were a part of that world 200 years back. And the author is not at all preachy. Very subtle and yet very effective.
Also, the book is fast paced. No unnecessary, lengthy dialogues or descriptions and yet you feel like it comes a long way.
The plot is well thought out and really keeps one on the edge and intrigued for more. It kept me awake three nights in a row, I was so inquisitive about the next happenings! (Thank God my boss didn’t see me yawning! ;p)
The pastoral landscape of St Hampton Heath brings Pride and Prejudice back to mind. Very well described.
To summarize, THE ELUSIVE MISS ELLISON IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to anyone looking out for a heartfelt, beautiful, clean historical fiction with a sassy heroine, charming hero and an endearing story.
About the Author
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia. She is married, with four gorgeous children, who all love to read (and write!).
A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of Romance Writers of American (RWA) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. Her favourite authors are classics like Jane Austen (of course!), Georgette Heyer, and Agatha Christie, but she also enjoys contemporary authors like Susan May Warren and Becky Wade.
Her stories are fun and witty, yet also deal with real issues, such as dealing with forgiveness, the nature of really loving versus ‘true love’, and other challenges we all face at different times.
Her books include:
Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace
The Elusive Miss Ellison
The Captivating Lady Charlotte
The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey
A VERY HONEST REVIEW IN EXCHANGE OF A COPY OF THE BOOK.