on February 8th 2017
Genres: JAFF, Historical Romance
Source: via Author
Whatever happened to Caroline Bingley after her brother and unrequited love interest married a Bennet sister? Join me in this story of redemptive love and the healing of broken dreams.
Caroline Bingley, beyond frustrated with her brother, Charles and Mr. Darcy both proposing to the Bennet sisters, dreads their upcoming nuptials. For three years her sole focus has been on attaining a marriage proposal from one Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley, only to be foiled by a country miss with ‘fine eyes’. Adrift and not sure of her place in life, she meets the mysterious and devastatingly handsome Lord Nathan, who equally vexes and intrigues her.
Lord Nathan Kerr, third in line to a Dukedom, had a well-earned reputation as a Rake. He cast all that and his noble title aside to become Mr. Darcy’s vicar in Kympton, finding contentment in leading his small flock and doing the Lord’s work. His plan for a quiet, country life is thrown into upheaval when he meets the fiery Miss Bingley. Can he reconcile his rising desire for the spoiled miss with how a vicar’s wife ‘should’ behave?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I didn’t now what to expect when I first heard of this story. I’m not Caroline’s biggest fan, but there’s always been a tiny part of me that wanted to know what happened to her after Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy married their respective Bennet brides.
And color me surprised. I enjoyed this story very much! It was interesting to see how Ms. Barr would write what life was like for Caroline after her brother’s engagement to Jane. She started out as every bit the character we got to know in Pride and Prejudice—shallow, judgmental, and has a penchant for looking down on other people. She finds a match in Lord Nathan Kerr, a reformed rake, and the current vicar at Kympton.
Like Darcy and Elizabeth, Caroline and Nathan’s love story was not without its bumps along the way. The two first meet in London at the theatre where it was easy to see the attraction between the two. Caroline expected him to call on her, but when he didn’t, she tried to forget him, not once thinking they’d cross paths again.
They both had their inner battles and reservations. Nathan has heard of Caroline and her goal in securing a good match, and Caroline has heard of Nathan’s past reputation as a rake. They both fight their attraction, and in the process, ended up arguing at almost every encounter. Nathan, like Elizabeth towards Darcy, was quick to judge Caroline, and Caroline never fails to fights back. I’ll be honest and say it bothered me when Nathan judged Caroline and accused her of such terrible things. And will you look at that? I’m actually sympathizing with a character I’ve always disliked! It shows the lady in question has made some progress in trying to be a better person.
There was a lot of introspective moments for Caroline as she realizes how she’s been acting before and she sees how people really see her. She draws strength from the memory of her grandmama and the scriptures from the bible her grandmama spoke to her when she was still alive. Nathan was like her, too. After fighting in the war, he became despondent and found distraction in vices and debauchery. With the help of her brother, the Duke, he found enlightenment in the word of the Lord.
As she aims to change for the better, Caroline gains new friends, those of whom are unexpected yet makes total sense. It reminded me of Kitty, who eventually improved for the better when she found better company and a more calming influence.
Nathan is a man of the cloth, but there are moments when you can still see hints of mischief and flirtatious actions. I couldn’t help but giggle when he made a move on Caroline. I giggled every time he did!
Although the story focuses on Caroline and Nathan’s story, we still get a glimpse of our beloved characters. We see how the Bingley siblings are with each other, how sweet and in tune with each other Darcy and Elizabeth are. Those two never fail to put a smile on my face!
Caroline reminded me of the Cinderella sequel where Cinderella’s step-sister, Anastasia, falls in love with a baker. She finds love in the most unexpected place, and has found happiness and contentment along with it. There’s nothing I love more than character growth! This book has made me a happy happy girl.
Caroline is a clean, Christian historical romance fiction told in the third POV, but alternates from Caroline’s perspective to Nathan’s. I think it’s a successful variation when I found myself cheering for Caroline and hoping she finds her own happily ever after. If you’re looking for a quick and insightful read, you might enjoy Caroline.
Three winners will receive a paperback copy of “Caroline” and a Jane Austen Journal and three separate winners will receive an ebook copy of this book. (All giveaways are open to international winners.)
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