Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"The Daughter of Highland Hall" Blog Tour

The Daughter of Highland Hall
What if the title, the estate, the life of security and splendor . . . what if it isn't enough?

Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain's elite.
When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London's East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love---and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served.
Book 2, Edwardian Brides (Waterbrook Multnomah, October 2014)

Learn more, purchase a copy, and read an excerpt:

About the author: 
Carrie Turansky is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has written contemporary and historical romances, women's fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Scott, and they have five adult children and four grandchildren.

Find Carrie online: website, Facebook, Twitter
My Take:
When I requested this book for review from Litfuse, I was not aware that it was book two in a series. Fortunately, the author gave enough background information in this book that I never felt totally lost. There were times when I would think - "I feel as if I would know that character better if I had read the first book." - But for the most part, it was fine.
I thought the setting for this book was really interesting. I had no idea that there was still so much emphasis placed on status and society in England during this time period (Edwardian era - around 1901 - 1910). The pomp and circumstance associated with Katherine's debut and the details surrounding that part of the book were done well. It was easy to envision all of the events that were taking place.
I also thought that the spiritual side of this book was something that was well-written. It's not easy to weave faith throughout a story without it coming off as preachy, but I thought. Ms. Turansky accomplished this feat. It is also a huge pet peeve of mine when a Christian book seems to have absolutely zero Christian elements to it. Thankfully, this was not the case with The Daughter of Highland Hall.
This novel has a very Upstairs/Downstairs, Downton Abbey feel to it, which I feel will appeal to many readers. There are so many story lines going on in this novel! At first I didn't really like that the book came at you from so many angles. Towards the end, however, it kind of grew on me, and I was able to appreciate the various storylines, which did seem to keep the novel moving.
The romance in this novel is sweet - I liked Jon as a character, especially - but some of the things that kept them apart were kind of old plotlines that were a tad contrived. I'm sure that it's difficult as an author to mix in something new to a romantic plotline. After all, humans are humans, and there is really "nothing new under the sun." Even with the somewhat predictable romantic storyline, the main characters did experience growth throughout the novel - as individuals and as a couple - which redeemed it overall for me.
Ms. Turansky is a new author for me, and I enjoyed my first foray into her stories. I might just have to go back and read the first book in the Edwardian Brides series!
I will give The Daughter of Highland Hall ... 3.5 BookWorms.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Multnomah Books through Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."