Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents’ New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks; but when Violet’s own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance; Vance Everstone. As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU. With danger stalking her and a new fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust; and who to leave behind.
Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles, which currently consists of: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter. The Cautious Maiden is her fourth book.
Apart from writing, Dawn is also a mom of two little ones and serves with her husband in a premarital mentorship program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do.
Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and an associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.
Fans of historical romance will love Dawn Crandall’s newest novel, The Cautious Maiden. Book four in her popular Everstone Chronicles, brings back favorite characters from previous books and introduces a heroine to cheer and a bad-boy turned hero to swoon over. Set in the north woods of Maine and the bustling city of Boston of the late 1890s, this novel has a bit of a modern feel as well, since it touches on the problem of sex-trafficking. It is not a major element, but it definitely brings awareness to a problem that seems to be as old as time. While The Cautious Maiden is part of a well-crafted series, it can certainly be read as a standalone. But be advised; you will want to go back and read the other books once you close the covers of this one.
Violet Hawthorne has lost much in the past year, but she is determined to live a life worthy of her parents’ memory and her faith in God. When she is put in a very compromising situation, Violet is thrust into the high society life of the Everstone family. Vance Everstone, the black sheep of the family, is back and determined to live a life worthy of his Savior. Will internal pressures and external threats allow the two to live a happily-ever-after?
Violet and Vance are two very appealing characters. Violet may be innocent of the world, but her quiet strength is very evident. Vance is the man of the hour — you won’t find another man who is in turns as tender and passionate as he is. Add his protective nature, his smoldering eyes and his determination to be a better man, and you have a very, very attractive hero. There are sparks aplenty between the characters, and Crandall explores the not so easy struggle to keep the flesh in check. New creations still have temptations and those saved by grace must be reminded to forgive. An element of danger is threaded through the story from the opening chapter and comes into its own towards the end. The action comes fast and furious with a twist and a surprise at the end. A few minor characters have their own interesting story lines, and I look forward to see how Crandall develops them. Can we have more of Violet’s cousin Cal and the shy Roxy?!
So if you are in the mood for a very satisfying romance with an historical setting, be sure to check out The Cautious Maiden. You won’t be disappointed!
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(Thanks to Whitaker House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)