Shy, sweet Cecilia Hatherleigh has always been in love with Edward Amherst, the boy next door. Yet he’s never seen her as anything but the quiet girl in the background as he flirts with the other vivacious women of the ton.
When a near tragedy brings Edward’s attention to his family duties, this prodigal son decides he needs to settle down with a proper wife. Cecilia hopes to convince him to choose her—but God may want her to forget the wayward nobleman and put her future in His hands alone.
These two try to find their way toward happiness, but prejudice, political riots, and the changing face of England’s societal structures begin to block them at every turn. Can their struggles turn to triumph—or will their paths permanently diverge?
Underestimating Miss Cecilia by Carolyn Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm not sure if Carolyn Miller grew up reading Regency romances but she surely knows how to write them and this may be her best book yet! Cecilia Hatherleigh is the quiet and meek daughter of Lord and Lady Ainsley and being a "middle child" has caused her to feel overlooked. Cecilia has secretly loved her neighbor Edward Amherst for many years but he regards her as just a neighbor girl who is the sister of his friend. Cecilia's and Ned's relationship has the classic theme of the girl in love with the 'bad boy' next door and her parents wanting someone better for their daughter. There is also a reference to the Prodigal Son after Ned returns to his home as a man who has changed his life for the better. After several dramatic events alter Cecilia's life drastically, Ned begins to think of her as more than just his neighbor.
"How could he have spent so much time unaware of her? How could he have spent so much time ignorant of her excellent qualities? Why had it taken so long to realize just what a precious person she was?" (p. 297)
This is a story filled with sweet romance, intense longing, and deep faith in God. Cecilia had often recorded her private thoughts and secret longings in a journal and when she reviews some of them she realizes that she has become obsessed with Ned. As she cries out to God she admits that she has idolized Ned and prayed for him to love her back and she confesses to God that she had believed that her prayers would help this happen. In a powerful scene filled with regrets and tears she asks God to forgive her and to grant her the strength to let Ned go.
Carolyn Miller has a remarkable talent for creating characters that are both believable and endearing and placing them in situations that will both entertain and inspire. I really admired Cecilia's faith and her determination to help others and even though Ned was initially shallow and oblivious to Cecilia's affection, it becomes apparent that he is truly a changed man. He and Cecilia both believe in the power of prayer and redemption and forgiveness are certainly a big part of Miller's plot.
Underestimating Miss Cecilia is the second book in the Daughters of Ainsley series and I look forward to reading the next book. If you are a fan of Regency romance and Christian fiction, you will definitely want to read this wonderful story!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Kregel Publishers. A favorable review was not required and all opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carolyn Miller is an Inspirational Regency romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia with her husband and four children. She loves reading especially Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer), music, films, gardens, art, travel and food. She also "really enjoys creating worlds where flawed people can grow in faith, hope and love."
You can read more about her here.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley
A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh
Underestimating Miss Cecilia
Misleading Miss Verity (Coming November 2019)
View all my reviews