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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 5 star ratings
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    Excellent Regency Romance

    I'm not sure if Carolyn Miller grew up reading Regency romances but she surely knows how to write them and this may be her best book yet! Cecilia Hatherleigh is the quiet and meek daughter of Lord and Lady Aynsley and being a "middle child" has caused her to feel overlooked. Cecilia has secretly loved her neighbor Edward Amherst for many years but he regards her as just a neighbor girl who is the sister of his friend. Cecilia's and Ned's relationship has the classic theme of the girl in love with the 'bad boy' next door and her parents wanting someone better for their daughter. There is also a reference to the Prodigal Son after Ned returns to his home as a man who has changed his life for the better. After several dramatic events alter Cecilia's life drastically, Ned begins to think of her as more than just his neighbor. "How could he have spent so much time unaware of her? How could he have spent so much time ignorant of her excellent qualities? Why had it taken so long to realize just what a precious person she was?" (p. 297) This is a story filled with sweet romance, intense longing, and deep faith in God. Cecilia had often recorded her private thoughts and secret longings in a journal and when she reviews some of them she realizes that she has become obsessed with Ned. As she cries out to God she admits that she has idolized Ned and prayed for him to love her back and she confesses to God that she had believed that her prayers would help this happen. In a powerful scene filled with regrets and tears she asks God to forgive her and to grant her the strength to let Ned go. Carolyn Miller has a remarkable talent for creating characters that are both believable and endearing and placing them in situations that will both entertain and inspire. I really admired Cecilia's faith and her determination to help others and even though Ned was initially shallow and oblivious to Cecilia's affection, it becomes apparent that he is truly a changed man. He and Cecilia both believe in the power of prayer and redemption and forgiveness are certainly a big part of Miller's plot. Underestimating Miss Cecilia is the second book in the Daughters of Aynsley series and I look forward to reading the next book. If you are a fan of Regency romance and Christian fiction, you will definitely want to read this wonderful story! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Kregel Publishers. A favorable review was not required and all opinions are my own.
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    Wonderful and Deep Regency Romance!

    Wow! This was a wonderful and compelling story set in England, with realistic circumstances around the early 1800’s. I loved that it is not a mere romance novel, but that it has rich historical detail, which makes it more realistic, relatable and engaging. Ned are Cecilia have always being neighbors. Cecy has always been in love with him but she must accept the fact that he will never see her as more than his shy neighbor, or his best friend’s younger sister. She’s not outspoken like Caro, nor daring like her sister Verity. But she has strong covinctions and a very compassionate heart that won’t rest until she can do something for the less fortunate. Especially after the encounter with an old gypsy who is later falsely accused of attacking Ned. Ned knows he needs to change his life course. Not only that but, after God spared his life after being shot in an unfortunate situation, he knows he has to earn His Grace. He has totally lived a life of the prodigal son, spending his father’s money, gambling, flirlting with the wrong women and living a leisurely life. But waking up from an almost death has brought a change with him. A desire to do something for the less fortunate, the gypsies, the Irish inmigrants, etc. To earn God’s and the other’s forgiveness. So he decides to leave the country and go back to London and study to become a barrister. At first, he finds that everybody thinks him out of his mind when he talks about wanting to help the one’s that have no voice or possibilities to defend their rights, and that he is pursuing a fruitless labor. But then things start to get very violent at the Peter’s Field massacre where many innocent people die, and Ned knows he has to do something more effective. And the person that seems to understand his way of thinking and is as affected as him at the turn of events is Cecilia... but when he approaches her, he senses something is wrong, she seems standoffish and not very trustful with him. Meanwhile, Cecilia has to endure her mother’s attempts at matchmaking. But she finds a way to make better things -unknown by everyone except her sister- by writing an anonymous column in the newspaper about these less fortunate people’s rights and about what real justice means and calling other’s to rise their voices too. But things take a real turn when Ned and Cecy unexpectedly meet for some days at a House Party. Cecy has Lord Abbottsbury as a suitor. Will that be the means for her sore heart to forget Ned Armherst? Can she give hope to another man who will never hold her heart? Will Ned Armherst discover that his feelings for Cecy run deeply than a sweet friend? Why is he jealous then? Even if he had feelings, her mother has made quite clear that he’s not worthy of her daughter, so is it worthy to pursue this new feelings? But a tragic situation will put all his feelings and convictions at test. I totally loved this story and I think it’s one of her best novels. I likIsis when not all the story centers in the characters romance, feelings, or lack of them, and in this Ms Miller’s story, other than the sweet romance, there’s always this deep and heart tugging issues about doing what is right for others, about kind and compassion, about resisting society’s pull to frivolity and centering your life in husband matching, or, in the men cases, in chasing rich women dowry’s to solve their financial problems. Ms. Miller’s characters are flawed yet relatable and realistic, especially because of these flaws. In this case, Cecy is meek and shy and is sometimes reluctant to express her opinion, but she is kind and compassionate, and throughout the story she gather’s the strength to voice her opinions without care of what most of the people think. And Ned, wow, I loved his conversion! From being a rake, to have a life and death experience, to repentance and wanting to make up until he’s exhausted to the bones, doing things for others that need it. But after nothing feels good enough to fall into God’s good graces, the help of a friend helps him see that he’s already been forgiven and that he has to make the most of His Mercy. And that God wants his happiness too, and that happiness, includes many more things more than the blessing of serving others. Cecy also was a great character! She started a bit shy and meek, but she really transforms throughout the story into a more independent woman. The romantic relationship was not an easy one and with many understandings. But the HEA was sooo much worth it! I loved both of these characters. And their romance was not a hushed one. It took time and that is what made them see that God was above them seeing about their future. And maybe sacrificing their love for each other and trying to let it go is what made them thriumph after so many obstacles. The plot was engaging and has twists, especially at the end that I didn’t expect! Couldn’t put it down! Don’t miss this sweet and captivating story about true love, family ties, second chances, forgiveness an
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    Clever and Captivating

    Every time I read a new Carolyn Miller book it becomes my favorite and this one now tops the list as the absolute BEST! I loved how the characters grew and developed throughout the story in their faith and in their quest to help others. The historical aspect was very interesting as I didn’t know about the London riots during this Regency Era. It is well crafted and captivating as it flows so smoothly and keeps you turning pages to the very end. The cleverness of the characters was refreshing. I also enjoyed the appearance of previous characters and how their lives intertwine. This has quickly become a go to author for me as I know I won’t be disappointed. Even if you aren’t a Regency Romance lover please give this author a try as she has changed my mind. Awaiting book three with “bated breath”. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
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    The Boy Next Door

    Underestimating Miss Cecilia is the second book in the Daughters of Aynsley series by Carolyn Miller. This is the story of Cecilia Hatherleigh, the shy and sweet Aynsey daughter. She is in love with the boy next door, Edward Amherst, who is also the earl’s younger son. This lovely regency story traces their story as they both grow in their relationship with Christ, learn about God’s heart for those in need, and learn how to love unselfishly. Underestimating Miss Cecilia talks of Gypsies, rebellions, and Regency house parties.I loved learning about the different games played at house parties and imagining myself there. But more than the charm of the Regency time, Ms. Miller has a unique way of helping the reader examine their faith as they share in the story of her characters. Her stories are so rich and her characters are so well developed. Ms. Miller carried me back in time and I felt like I am sharing a cup of tea with Cecy’s family in their lovely home in Somerset, England. Cecy is painfully shy and compliant. Ms. Miller does a wonderful job getting the reader into Cecy’s head and seeing things from her perspective. I also enjoyed the perspective of Edward as the prodigal son. Ms. Miller made our Heavenly Father’s grace real through Edwards’s character. I really enjoyed reading this story. I highly recommend Underestimating Miss Cecilia. I was given this book by the publisher and not required to write a review.
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    Captivating!

    Ms. Miller's books hold the stories that I never knew I needed in my life! "Underestimating Miss Cecilia" is, no kidding, one of the BEST books I have EVER read! I loved the characters, the circumstances, the setting. Everything was perfect! Everything about this story was beautiful and made my heart sing! The depth of Ms. Miller's research into Regency-era customs and events is unparalleled! I always come away from this author's books feeling as if I've been living in another era!😍 The characters are ALWAYS relatable, no matter how different they are from one another, one story to the next. It reminds me EXACTLY of the way I feel going between Jane Austen novels. Each heroine ENTIRELY different, yet you feel in sync with their thoughts and feelings and never doubt the rightness of their decisions. Ahhh... I can't even BEGIN to convey the satisfaction I received from having read this! If you are a fan of the Regency time-period, achingly tender love stories, and/or faith-filled stories about trusting God's will for you and accepting His free gift of grace, then this is the story for you! Take my advice and read this book! (You'll thank me later. 😉) p.s. Cecilia is one of my TOP 3 favorite heroines from Author Carolyn Miller's novels to date!
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