Book Title: A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor Book 1)
Author: Kristi Ann Hunter
*Thank you to Bethany House Publisher for my copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*
A Defense of Honor is the first book in a series (Haven Manor). Below is the description from the back of the book:
“When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.
After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.”
My Honest Thoughts:
For a regency novel it had a very unique storyline, one that was intriguing, highlighting the outcast due to others mistakes but also one of redemption, grace and trust. The main characters Kit and Graham drew you in and had you rooting for them by the end of the first chapter. Although there is a dark underlying story weaved throughout the pages that revolves around illegitimate children (by-blows) and a heroine who puts everything on the line for her cause, the words on the pages remain fresh and even humorous at times. Several times I had to remind myself that blackmailing is not a worthy cause, because I found myself backing The Governess in her grand scheme of getting revenge. The last few chapters leave you thinking deeply with lines such as “Did you even give them a chance?”, “That’s not the way grace works.” or “He (God) wasn’t confined to the solutions she could conceive.” and many more. At one point in the storyline near the end, I found Graham to be a bit frustrating in that he didn’t know if he could forgive Kit which went against the spiritual advice he was giving out. Although I have not read the prequel, it probably would be helpful in order to understand how Kit and Daphne found themselves in the situation they were in.
A Defense of Honor is a beautifully scripted regency romance. The inspirational message of grace and trust was woven into the story without feeling awkward. All in all each character was interesting and the relationships between families, friends and neighbors was worth the few downfalls. If you are like myself and tend to read books based on mood or season, then this would be a great book to grab for a rainy day on the couch or cozied up by a fire in the fall.