Saturday, February 9, 2019

Review: "A Return of Devotion" by Kristi Ann Hunter

I often read before bed, and most of the time I can put the book down after 30 minutes and go to sleep. But every once in a while, I get so swept into a story that I throw good sense to the wind and read far into the night. That's what happened with A Return of Devotion—I finally put the book down at 1:30 a.m., and that was only because my Kindle ran out of battery!

Daphne Blakemoor was perfectly happy living in her own secluded world for twelve years. She had everything she needed—loved ones, a true home, and time to indulge her imagination. But when ownership of the estate where she works as a housekeeper passes on, and the new marquis has an undeniable connection to her past, everything she's come to rely upon is threatened.

William, Marquis of Chemsford's main goal in life is to be the exact opposite of his father. Starting a new life in the peace and quiet of the country sounds perfect until his housekeeper turns his life upside down.

They've spent their lives hiding from the past. Can they find the courage to face their deepest wounds and, perhaps, find a new path for the future together?

For years, Daphne, Kit, and Jess ran Haven Manor, a refuge for illegitimate children. But Kit's marriage and departure from the estate and the arrival of William, the estate's new owner, completely turn Daphne's world upside down. While William is not who he first appears to be, his arrival still threatens those nearest to Daphne's heart. Complicating matters is Daphne's "head in the clouds" nature, which at first makes her seem grossly incompetent. And she must keep William from discovering her secret at all costs.

William is grounded and "by the book," and he takes his new title as Marquis of Chemsford seriously. Yet he also can't help but be drawn to his extremely odd housekeeper and the children who help run the estate. And as he gets to know Daphne, he comes to realize there's much more to her—and the estate—than meets the eye.

I loved everything about this book! It takes the "secret baby" trope and turns it on its ear 😉. I especially enjoyed the way everyone reacted upon meeting William and the lengths they all went to to keep Daphne's son Bennett from him. Daphne's personality and quirks lent more humor to the story than I anticipated, and I loved the lightness mixed in with the seriousness of her predicament.

And then there's the romance ... Daphne and William made a great couple that I couldn't help but pull for! The romance actually begins fairly late in the story (probably about the halfway point, or maybe slightly later), but when it kicks in it kicks in. Totally swoon worthy 😍.

This is the second book in Kristi Ann Hunter's Haven Manor series, but I didn't feel like I was at a loss at all for not having read A Defense of Honor first. This is a great romance with characters I won't soon forget. 5 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Hunter's An Uncommon Courtship (4 stars), An Inconvenient Beauty (3-1/2 stars), and Legacy of Love (4-1/2 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. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small 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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