Thursday, August 3, 2017

"The Captivating Lady Charlotte" by Carolyn Miller

Earlier this year, I read Carolyn Miller's The Elusive Miss Ellison. In the novel, readers met Lavinia Ellison's cousin Charlotte, a young woman about to make her debut into society. Charlotte intrigued me, so of course I wanted to read The Captivating Lady Charlotte (which happens to have quite the captivating cover, I must say!).

Her heart is her own--but her hand in marriage is another matter

Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility when she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.

William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return--and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.

Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace? Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean, and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller.

When I read The Elusive Miss Ellison, I at first struggled to get into the rhythm of the writing. While it was rough going at first, I ultimately really enjoyed the book. I'm happy to say that I encountered no such problems with The Captivating Lady Charlotte! Author Carolyn Miller's writing is richer and more accessible in this book, and I enjoyed my reading experience from beginning to end.

I'll admit, at times while reading this novel, I wondered why on earth William was attracted to Charlotte. Yes, she was beautiful, but sometimes she seemed so young. (And, at 18, she really was young.) Easily swayed by flattery and a handsome face, Charlotte was difficult for me to like at first. But then there would be glimpses of who she could become—as she showed compassion for William's situation prior to meeting him, as she became her cousin Lavinia's companion during a time of trial, and as she loved William's baby daughter—and I could see a bit of what William saw in her. Throughout the novel, Charlotte grew up a lot, and by the end, I loved her character.

Though I wasn't always a Charlotte fan, I loved William from the first time he appeared on the page. Though he was far from perfect—he had clear trust issues, didn't always treat his daughter well, and jumped to conclusions—he also knew how to love well. He was also a well drawn and interesting character, and I so wanted him to find his "happily ever after."

(Side note: I kept thinking of Charlotte as Marianne Dashwood and William as Colonel Brandon. It's a pretty decent parallel, I think. There's even a "Willoughby.")

While The Captivating Lady Charlotte is not a young adult novel, I think it's perfect for teen girls. Why? Because it focuses on true love, love that goes beyond butterflies and physical attraction (though there's some of that, too), love that lives up to 1 Corinthians 13. That's something romance-obsessed teens don't see a lot of in the media, and I'm sure I would've benefited from reading a story like this when I was younger. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my review of Miller's The Elusive Miss Ellison (4 stars).

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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.”


  1. Thanks for your kind words, Becky :)

    1. You're welcome, Carolyn. I'm looking forward to the next book! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Finished it last night. My feelings were similar to Becky's. Loved William, not so keen on Charlotte.

    1. I've found that the older I get, the less patience I have for young, flighty characters :-) I've never particularly cared for Jane Austin's Marianne Dashwood, and Charlotte SO reminded me of her. Charlotte did grow on me by the end, thankfully. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Christine!


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