Kristi Ann Hunter. A Defense of Honor. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2018.
It’s a busy time here at the Books and Biscuits Blog! June and July are packed months for new releases this year, but I’ll do my very best to keep the reviews coming. Don’t be surprised if August ends up filled with overflow reviews, since there just are not enough weeks in the next two months for all of the great books being released. :)
Ms. Hunter builds upon the events of her e-novella, A Search for Refuge, in the first full-length novel of her Haven Manor series. In A Defense of Honor, Kit FitzGilbert and her friends have established themselves as a means of escape for women who desperately need to escape London. For these women and their children, Haven Manor and its caregivers are a second chance in a society that would otherwise leave them to the poorhouse. However, Kit comes to realize the full cost of her work, when she unexpectedly encounters Graham in a London ballroom. While Graham seeks a friend’s missing sister, Kit must maintain the secrets of herself and the residents of Haven Manor in order to keep them safe. Even as Kit finds herself missing her old society life, Graham’s searching causes her to question her choices and her faith that God will work out all things for good.
In A Defense of Honor, Ms. Hunter raises poignant themes that add depth to her storytelling and characters. Kit’s tale presents a fascinating introduction to the series, while offering plenty of opportunity for future books to explore compelling secondary characters and storylines.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading A Defense of Honor. In Ms. Hunter’s previous works, she presented lighter storylines that felt quintessential to other Regency era novels. A Defense of Honor and its prequel, A Search for Refuge, offer far more serious and high-stakes storylines that maintain Ms. Hunter’s signature characters and writing style. While the book can certainly function without the prequel e-novella, I believe that most readers will much prefer knowing the background story presented in A Search for Refuge. Margaretta, Nash, and many of the other main characters and events from the prequel are directly referenced in A Defense of Honor, so having that knowledge would likely assist most readers in having a better understanding of the novel’s plot and the stakes of the work being accomplished by these characters. Throughout the novel, I found myself greatly enjoying the secondary characters and I am looking forward to Kit’s friends having their own stories told in future novels. Hopefully, Graham’s friends will also make a reappearance, as they offer equally-intriguing possibilities for future stories to be told.
Fans of Ms. Hunter’s previous works, especially A Search for Refuge, will definitely want to read A Defense of Honor. Likewise, readers who enjoy Christian historical fiction set during the Regency era will also find this to be a particularly intriguing story.
Special thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for the complimentary copy of A Defense of Honor! Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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