THE CAUTIOUS MAIDEN
Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their parents' beautiful New England inn into a brothel. But that becomes the least of her worries when her own reputation is mysteriously sabotaged.
In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced to accept a hasty proposal from a dark-eyed acquaintance with a tarnished past: Vance Everstone. He is infamous for being a rake -- and yet, against his will, Violet finds herself falling for this man she knows she cannot trust.
As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet gradually learns that her brother isn't done with trouble. He had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowan Steele, and lost. Now Rowen is intent on cashing in on his IOU.
With danger stalking her, a fiancé who hides both his emotions and his past, and an old lover eager to save the day, Violet must decide who to believe -- and who to leave behind.
Mercy! Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly while frantically waving a fan. Someone hand me the smelling salts...wait...scrap that, if you intend to read The Cautious Maiden you'll need all the smelling salts you can get your hands on. And that's because this is one toe-curling, swoon-inducing, heart-palpitating romantical read.
And that kind of surprises me because if you are familiar with the series (no worries if you aren't you still NEED to read this one) you will know that Vance has not always been an upstanding character. In fact, he's been downright...yucky. But here we see him in a whole new way. Crandall uses some powerful symbolism to illustrate his transition as he becomes a new man in Christ. Really powerful stuff. And got me thinking about sin and sinners and judgement and the way we humans tend to measure sin -- you know some are way worse than others? And yet God sees sin as sin and He sent His son to free us from their consequences so, really, who am I to hold up someone in condemnation for something that has already been forgiven? There are real life lessons in the pages of this book.
And that made me fall in love with Vance all the more. Because he is so committed to living a new life but, like all of us, he struggles with feeling worthy of the kind of love God is offering him. His mind can grasp it, but in his heart he feels undeserving. The contrast Violet presents to him -- innocent, honorable, faithful -- draws him to her even though he feels she could do so much better than him. And then circumstances become desperate and Vance finds himself engaged to Violet and, believe me, your toe-curls are going to curl!
Intense romance, sinister treachery and an uplifting inspirational thread combine to make this an incredible, not-to-be-missed novel.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of The Cautious Maiden please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 8 2017. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!