I took January off from book reviewing, but when February rolled around and I received an email from Bethany House Publishers with the options for reviewing I decided to jump on board again.
A Most Noble Heir, by Susan Anne Mason. Set to release June 6th of this year.
I had mixed feelings about this book. In terms of story line, plot, and how it’s written I give it a five out of five. I loved how it was inspired by the author’s (Susan) own ancestors that were servants like Nolan and Hannah were. And of course I love reading a good historical book about rags to riches, and I am definitely a sucker for hierarchy, diplomats and aristocrats.
I loved how Nolan and Hannah kept their relationship pure before marriage, his respect for Hannah being the biggest motivation to keep his distance.
And this is were my mixed feelings come in. I absolutely loved how they both desired to keep themselves for marriage. But then when Nolan was suddenly the future Earl to the very estate where they worked, and his father, Edward, suddenly forbid Nolan from speaking to servants – and in particular any romantic relationships he may have – well, suddenly Nolan gave Hannah the kiss he thought might never happen otherwise. And then they decided to elope. Which I found rather frustrating, actually. I guess I’m too practical. I guess I would have preferred a smoother transition into marriage for them. Although that is one of the main plots of the book – how their eloping really robbed them of so many special moments and seasons for them. But then on the other hand, Edward would never have excepted Hannah as Nolan’s bride, even though he had once loved – and married – Nolan’s mother who was a servant. Nolan was actually the legitimate son of the Earl, but when Nolan’s mother was intimidated by Edward’s father, she ran away, had the baby, died in child birth, and Edward was told that the baby died as well.
So here, history was repeating itself, Edward not excepting his son’s love for a servant, when he himself was still very much in love with his wife who had passed on more than twenty years prior. And she too was a servant.
Did you follow all of that?
This story was a great depiction of forgiveness, redemption, love. And eventually Nolan and Edward became the son and father that they both desired to be. And that was proven pretty well when Nolan’s life was endanger. You see, the former heir was non to happy about Nolan’s appearance into Edward’s life. The long lost son comes in, becomes heir to everything… you can imagine this guy was non too happy. But I’ll let you read the book to find out more on that.
Alright, alright so why did I have mixed feelings about this book? Well I found that – in my opinion – the encounters between a man and a woman (in particular Hannah and Nolan right before their elopement… and their brief honeymoon) were just a bit too descriptive. I wouldn’t want one of my single friends to read these portions, and even for myself as a married woman I would have preferred less information.
I absolutely loved the story line, I thought the plot was great, but when I choose a Christian novel to read, I don’t want to feel like it crosses the line of impropriety. Just like movies, I want to guard my mind. And there were just a few scenes in this book that would have benefited from a few adjustments. A bit more vague, ended the scene just a bit sooner, that sort of thing.
So because of this, I’ll give it a 3 out of 5 instead of the full 5.
I received this book complimentary from the publisher, thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.