I am excited to share my review of A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter today. I am literally 10 reviews behind on my blog. It sure happened suddenly. So I will try to focus on reviews the next few weeks to make a dent in my pile.
This is such a fun one to start with! I was so glad to be back in a world created by Kristi. I LOVE Kristi’s Hawthorne House series and am thinking about rereading the full series after I read this one. And this one has the same beautiful language, imagery, and description. I love her character building, her lovely clean romances and her climactic endings.
I picked this one up first as a kindle free sample. And once I finished that in a second, I needed the full book. And luckily it was at my library! I was hooked from the first page and loved this book start to finish.
- I have never read anything focused on this particular aspect of Regency England life and I found it fascinating. Bravo to Kristi for all the new (to me) historical details!
- Not quite sure why I haven’t read book two yet. I suppose it comes from a move and still trying to get over to my new library (which definitely has it. I checked!)
According to Goodreads, “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 to raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. But as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, the risk of revealing the truth may come at too high a price for those she loves.”
The premise of this book is fascinating. It centers on a sort of safe house for illegitimate children of England’s wealthy elite. The home is run by two women, Kit and Daphne who ran away from London society years ago after a scandal. I have read quite a bit of Regency era historical fiction. But I haven’t read anything like this. The setting, the backstories are very unique. But I applaud Kristi for talking about illegitimacy and the children lost behind reputations. It’s a fascinating niche in this time period. I love Regency England, and I appreciated learning about another side of it–one that is a bit darker and less talked about.
The characters, especially the two protagonists, in this novel are dynamic and so fun to get to know. I was fascinated by Kit. She is such a complex, intriguing character. I found myself eager to learn more about her right alongside Graham. Her past is tragic and her guilt is so sad. But I loved the beautiful journey she goes on to really find God and trust Him. Graham is just fantastic. He’s a great hero–handsome, hard working, humble, and just a truly good man. I loved his interactions with the children at Haven Manor. He is so patient and kind with Kit as they grow closer together. And I love how passionately good he is. From his outburst about the chess sets to his loyalty to Aaron, Graham is the picture of integrity. Kit and Graham are surrounded by another dynamic cast from Kristi. I enjoyed learning about Graham’s dearest friends and about Kit’s relationship with Daphne. Each character has their own struggles but they also build each other up and seek to change for the better–especially the love birds.
Kit and Graham’s love story is so satisfying and surprising. I couldn’t see how they could possibly be together at first. And it’s a small miracle they even meet. But Graham and Kit belong together from the moment they meet behind a potted plant in a ballroom. They are witty and tease each other. But they also build each other up. They push each other to be their best selves. And I think that’s what the best relationships do. Plus, Kristi writes some truly lovely romantic moments. Graham and Kit’s first kiss is magical. And I love the ending.
I also love the way God is at the center of this story. Kristi is so talented at creating beautiful romances with God seamless flowing through the middle. This was a particularly enjoyable story to find God in because the characters don’t have perfect faith. In fact, the main characters are still learning how to interact with God and to trust Him. They are flawed people just like the readers reading their stories. I really connected with them because of their imperfect faith.
Loved this book and need to own it! Perhaps the best news is that this is book 1 in a series!!! Book two is out already and book 3 is a coming soon. Can’t wait to read more!
Have you read any of Kristi’s books yet? Which are your favorites?
Any favorite novels that bring God into the story in beautiful ways?