Saturday, October 14, 2017

"An Inconvenient Beauty" by Kristi Ann Hunter

Earlier this year, I read Kristi Ann Hunter's An Uncommon Courtship. I really enjoyed it, and one of my favorite supporting characters was Griffith, brother of the main male character. So of course when Griffith's story released, I had to get my hands on it.

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, so he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. While he's certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, she is strangely elusive, and he can't seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, she has no choice but to agree to a bargain that puts her at odds with all her romantic hopes--as well as her conscience. And the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she regrets the unpleasant obligation that prevents her from any dream of a future with him.

As all Griffith's and Isabella's long-held expectations are shaken to the core, can they set aside their pride and fear long enough to claim a happily-ever-after?

Here's my best advice for you regarding An Inconvenient Beauty: just keep reading. I struggled with the first 150 pages or so. I very likely would have quit reading had this not been a book I'd agreed to review. But I pushed through and really enjoyed the story, once I got past one thing...

Isabella's beauty.

I understand that her beauty is a major plot point—without it, her uncle never would've desired to use her for his political gain. But I so quickly tired of reading about her physical perfection. Really, the same could be said for Griffith—much emphasis was placed on his size and stature. It was almost as if the author feared the reader would forget that Isabella was beautiful and Griffith was a giant of a man if their physical traits weren't often mentioned.

Once I decided to grit my teeth through the physical descriptions and focus on the story, I began enjoying the novel more. Isabella and Griffith were a great match, and I appreciated how their relationship developed outside the public eye. One of my favorite scenes in the whole novel featured a drunk-to-dull-the-pain-of-an-injury Griffith; it was at this point that Isabella and Griffith's relationship took a giant leap forward, and it was also quite funny. Humor is not something I expected from this book, and it was a refreshing surprise.

There is a good bit of what I like to call "just talk about it already" syndrome throughout the novel. If Isabella would've just told Griffith why she was doing the things she did, well, the novel would've been about half its length, and Isabella would've saved herself a lot of grief. I do understand why she didn't speak up, but I still wish she had.

Finally, once Griffith understands everything regarding Isabella, the novel reaches a swift conclusion. I very much enjoyed the ending, all while feeling that things did wrap up a little too quickly and cleanly.

I also have to mention something that jumped out at me while I was reading. Griffith was agonizing over whether to continue his pursuit of Frederica or take a chance on Isabella, and he went to his brother and brothers-in-law for advice. He wanted to make the correct, God-honoring choice ... and the answer he got wasn't exactly what he was looking for! They told him that, as long as he was within the boundaries set forth in the Bible, God was letting him choose, and either choice could be a good one. This so closely mirrors the best advice my mom ever gave me, which came when I was agonizing over college decisions: "There's not necessarily one right choice, as long as you're seeking to follow God. You make the best decision that you can, and that will honor Him." That was the most freeing thing to hear, and I've come back to that so many times in my adult life. Thanks, Mom 🙂

So, in summary, I clearly have some mixed feeling about An Inconvenient Beauty! While I didn't enjoy everything about it, I do feel it was well written and contained a good story. And I definitely would like to go back and read the first two books in the series. 3-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my review of Hunter's An Uncommon Courtship (4 stars).

Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner and Christy Award finalist. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers. 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."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...