[Enchanting Nicholette]: A Review

Hi bookish friends,

I am so excited to share my review of Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall! When Dawn announced she was writing a new story set in her world of the Everstones, I was so excited! This is one of my favorite historical romance series. I have read all the books several times and love the beautiful stories of faith, hope, and romance.

I absolutely love the Everstone Chronicles and couldn’t wait to be back in their world again. Check out my reviews of The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, The Captive Imposter, and The Cautious Maiden.

Dawn has done it again! I inhaled this novella in just a day. It was wonderful to be back in the world of the Everstone Chronicles and even better to get Nicholette’s story!

As this is a review of a novella that depends on knowledge of the earlier stories in it’s plot, I use spoilers more in this review. If you would not like to read any additional spoilers of this novella, stop here and read the novella for yourself!

Initial Thoughts:

  • I was a bit disappointed when I learned this was a novella instead of a full length novel. However, it is actually over 150 pages. There is a lot of great development in the story, just less misunderstanding between the lovers which was actually refreshing overall.
  • I loved the glimpses of my favorite Everstone Chronicles characters like Violet and Vance and hearing about Estella’s baby. I would have loved even more interactions with them!
  • How gorgeous is this cover? I am so excited to add it to my collection 🙂

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Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall transports us back to the world of The Everstone Chronicles as Nicholette finally gets her own happily ever after. Goodreads summarizes, “Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again–this time for love…and to someone safe As she acclimates to life in Back Bay again, Nicholette meets someone she can’t help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices Cal Hawthorne takes on for the safety of others, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears of “what if” at bay?”

Dawn is at her best in this story. There are so many deliciously romantic moments. From nearly the first page, I anticipated Nicholette’s happily ever after. You can feel the tension building and soak in every romantic look, touch, and word. There are some gorgeous declarations of love and swoonworthy kisses. While I hoped I knew how it would all come together, I loved the journey Nicholette goes on to let down her barriers and embrace true love.

From the first moment she meets Cal, Nicholette’s story took my breath away. Everything about her story was so gorgeous. The little moments in the bookstore, at the church, in Cal’s home, at Everthorne, and in the park were all simple but emotional charged. I loved the twist that she falls in love with Cal Hawthorne and we get more background on their family. I literally gasped the first time they met. It’s such a fun connection! I also appreciated Nicholette’s search for peace amidst her many doubts and fears. Those fears made her more human because she struggled like we all do.

Perhaps what made Nicholette’s story so powerful was how little we learn about her before this novella. Looking back, she really is more on the periphery of the series until now. Even when she loses her husband on her wedding day, the story is not about Nicholette. It’s more about Meredyth and Lawry and Vance. Not until this novella did I realize the depth of emotion, despair, and conflict that Nicholette carried. She deserves every bit of her happy ending.

I wish this was a full novel because I felt that some details were lacking. I wanted to learn more specifics about the Hawthornes and why Cal and his family were in hiding. I think that could have been more clear. As well as why some people were so against them while others supported them. I think a novel would have given opportunity for more flashbacks and connections to Nicholette’s past and her future. I would have loved more details about her first meeting with Cal before her first marriage and perhaps more details about her engagement or mourning period. Additionally, everything is wrapped up very neatly in a short time at the end of the novel. But I think that fits the novella. I would just like more details of their wedding in a epilogue of some sort.

I received an eARC of this novella as part of the Timeless Love: Romantic Stories that Span the Ages collection. As this was one of my first experiences with a novella collection, I compiled some thoughts on reading novella collections generally.

  • It is fun to read shorter works from more authors and experience different stories, time periods, writing styles, and happily ever afters.
  • I had to remind myself that novellas have less detail because they are shorter. I often wanted more development in a certain scene or sequence. But with a novella, there just isn’t as much.
  • It can feel long to read a novella collection because each novella is 10-15 chapters so they could almost be stand alone stories. Reading so many felt daunting so I just picked a few this time.
  • I liked that all these are romantic stories so I knew they would end happy. And there were fewer misunderstandings and arguments to get our heroes and heroines together 😉
  • I am excited to read more from these authors now that I have gotten a taste of their writing! (I had only read Dawn’s work previously).

As it’s a novella, we don’t get quite as many details as in Dawn’s other stories, but the emotions, gorgeous characters, and beautiful story were all there.

Thank you, Dawn, for the eARC!

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What are your favorite novellas?
And have you read the Everstone Chronicles yet?

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