The opening scene alone made for such an exciting reading experience. The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall is a Gilded Aged treat. The suspense and feelings of dread for the lead character follow through in each page. Will Violet reach her happily ever after? Read the rest of my review below.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
The Cautious Maiden
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 fiancé who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust, and who to leave behind.
Violets are blue…
Violet is probably the most pure heroine that have read. That may seem a bit boring, but trust me when I say that it totally works for this story. A slightly religious theme is carried out throughout the story and it’s her values that are tested. Her attraction to a “bad boy” provide the interesting love storyline.
The bad boy…
Vance Everstone is a troubled man who seems like he wants to redeem himself. He wants to be Violet’s protector and desperately does not want to be attracted to her. It’s his constant repression of his emotions. Which of course, made me want to shake some sense into him.
This is a sweet love story with strong family values. The added suspense made it a good read.
Just a little note…
I read this book out of order and even though it reads as a standalone, it would be nice to know the backgrounds to the other Everstone family members. I can see why Vance was left for last, he was a complicated character. Which is a good thing of course.