The Elusive Miss Ellison By Carolyn Miller

Ms. Miller is one of my new “want to read and look forward to new books” authors.
If you like the writings of Jane Austin, you will love this book! It is 1843, the Victorian Era but the setting is in small village in England instead of a big city.
Lavinia Ellsion is the minister’s daughter. She lives with her father and her Aunt Patience who came to live with them after her mother’s tragic death. She steps to the beat of a different drummer than her friends. She casts aside the fluff of dress and stuffy conduct that her peers dote on. She thinks nothing of working in the garden without a hat or taking walks alone in the country. Both are big social faux pas for a young woman of that era. Her concerns are more with helping the needy and the poor.
The village is all a twitter with the coming of the new Earl of Hawkesbury, Nicholas. All the mothers are preening their daughters in hopes of making him their new son-in-law. Lavinia has no interest in finding a husband. Her concerns are more that the new earl does more to care for the poor and alleviate their suffering, one of his duties that came with the position. Nicholas is prideful, arrogant and selfish. He loathes the new job forced upon him by his social position.
No two people could be more opposites!
Lavinia is disgusted by his smugness and haughtiness. I found it amusing that she had the same attitude but hers came from her religious and strong sense of duty to the destitute, whereas his came from his sense of entitlement and no sense of duty to the people.
You can imagine the strong personality clashes as they are thrown together in many situations. We never know what circumstances life might throw our way or who will enter in that will challenge and change us. Such was the case with Lavinia and Nicholas. Tragedy opens the doors to their hearts and minds that would have otherwise stayed closed. Even as love blossoms, their Lavinia’s strong personality and stubbornness consistently sprouts misunderstandings and hurt.
A beautiful love story filled with surprises. I had no idea that earls had any more to do than have their titles and be rich. It was fascinating to learn about the operations and expectations in a small village during that era. I so enjoyed the book and look forward to the next one.
I was provided a review copy of this book set by Kregel Publications, with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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