Carolyn Miller. The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2017.
Fans of Georgette Heyer and other Regency authors have a surprising number of authors to choose from these days. Over the past year, Carolyn Miller has made herself known in this genre, especially as she caps off her most recent series.
In the final novel of Ms. Miller’s Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey brings the events of three books to a worthwhile conclusion. Clara DeLancey has been at the heart of many problematic moments within the series. However, her damaged reputation eventually catches up with her, as her family is forced to move to Brighton to escape society’s scorn. With little hope of a favorable match, Clara nearly gives up hope, until she meets the Kemsley family. Even without money or connections, the Kemsley sisters help Clara to find healing and purpose for her life. Likewise, their brother, Captain Benjamin Kemsley, has made a name for himself through his heroic deeds, even as they have left him nearly penniless. In spite of her family’s disapproval of the Kemsley family, Clara is determined to stick by her friends, especially as she realizes the empty relationships common to her former society peers. With dangers lurking at the Prince Regent’s Brighton Pavilion, Clara and Captain Kemsley make an unlikely alliance to protect their families and ensure a future for them all.
As the final novel in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey brings complexity and thoughtfulness to a character that many fans of the series may have written off as the villain. Ms. Miller expertly crafts a novel that turns this thought on its head, revealing the power of forgiveness and second chances in her characters’ lives.
Overall, I quite enjoyed reading The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey. At first, I found the novel to have a somewhat slow start. However, the pacing and plot soon picked up and returned to the writing style that I have come to know as being quintessential to Ms. Miller. Clara DeLancey is a rather hard character to like, especially at the beginning of the novel. In comparison, the Kemsley family provide a significant contrast to her character and bring much-needed light to the story. Ms. Miller does an excellent job of showing growth and complexity in her characters, even as this seems to be somewhat rare in many Regency-era romances. Her inclusion of the Brighton Pavilion was absolutely fascinating, as I was completely unaware of this location and its relationship to the monarchy. I really enjoy learning about new places and historical events through fiction, which made this part of the book an absolute delight! After reading such a fascinating series of books by Ms. Miller, I am looking forward to her next series.
Fans of Ms. Miller’s previous novels will definitely want to read The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey. Additionally, those who enjoy Christian historical fiction set in Regency-era England will also find this book to be well worth reading.
Ms. Miller will begin the Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series with Winning Miss Winthrop in spring of 2018!
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