I have so enjoyed reading Dawn Crandall's Everstone Chronicles over the past month! These books are unlike much of what is currently out in the inspirational market—and their uniqueness makes them stand out in a positive way. Each book is told in first person through the eyes of the heroine, and though each woman is very different from the others, each story comes across as wholly believable. The Captive Imposter unfolds through the eyes of Estella Everstone, a woman who turns out to be so much more than what she originally seems. Sent away for protection, hotel heiress Estella Everstone finds herself living undercover as a lady’s companion named Elle Stoneburner at one of her father’s opulent hotels in the mountains of Maine—the one she’d always loved best and always hoped to own one day, Everston. The one thing she doesn’t like about the situation is that her ex-fiancé is in the area and is set on marrying someone else. Reeling from her feelings of being unwanted and unworthy, Estella reluctantly forms a friendship with the gruff manager of Everston, Dexter Blakeley, who seems to have something against wealthy young socialites with too much money, although they are just the kind of people Everston caters to. When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer she can’t refuse. She sees no other choice aside from going back home to her family and accepts the position as companion to his sister. Throughout her interactions with Dexter, she can’t deny the pull that’s evidenced between them every time he comes near. Estella realizes that while she’s been hiding behind a false name and identity, she’s never been freer to be herself than when she’s with Dexter Blakeley. But will he still love her when he finds out she’s Estella Everstone? She’s not entirely sure.
As with The Hesitant Heiress and The Bound Heart, once I started reading The Captive Imposter, I couldn't put it down. Laundry? Forget it. Cleaning? Not on your life. Sleep? Who needs it? (Me, that's who. And believe you me, I regretted my late night the next morning.)
Honestly, I was a little hesitant when I realized that Estella would be the subject of The Captive Imposter—she just seemed so young, flighty, and a bit immature in the previous novels. But in The Captive Imposter, Estella Everstone grows up and becomes a very likeable heroine.
Overall, I very much enjoyed The Captive Imposter. The "when will Dexter learn that Elle is Estella Everstone?" question kept a good amount of tension running through the novel, and I enjoyed watching Estella's relationships with both Dexter and his sister Roxy develop. It was also nice to see some of the threads involving Estella's brother Vance resolved. He would make a nice subject for a future novel—well, his future bride would, anyway! (I can't believe I'm saying this, considering how much I loathed Vance in The Bound Heart, but he redeemed himself a bit in The Captive Imposter.)
If I have any criticism, it centers around the romance. For whatever reason, I didn't connect with Estella and Dexter's romance as much as I connected with the romances in the previous novels. The story is romantic, but I was definitely more interested in other aspects of the plot than I was in the romance. Still, The Captive Imposter is a great book, and I highly recommend it! 4 stars.
Note: While you wouldn't have to, I highly recommend reading these books in order. Follow the blog tour for The Captive Imposter. Buy the book. Read my reviews of The Hesitant Heiress (4 stars) and The Bound Heart(5 stars).
A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he encouraged her to quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing her debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary. Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Northeast Indiana. Dawn is a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.
The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from the author. I was not required to write a review, and the opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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