I am back with a review today. That ever increasing review pile continues to grow so I’m making a dent today.
Today I am reviewing A Pursuit of Home by Kristy Ann Hunter. I finally finished this third book in the Haven Manor series!! I got this book right when I found out I was pregnant and sadly reading is hard during early stages of pregnancy so I put it off . I finally read it last month! I got the ebook on my Libby app so I could more easily read while nursing. So glad I did!
- This third book in the series did not disappoint. I was thrilled to finally get Jess’ story! Finally getting all of Jess’ backstory and reasons for why she leaves Montgomery House and hides at Haven Manor. Everything makes sense now!
- I loved all the connections to the characters in Kristy’s other books! I loved that Ryland, Miranda, and Jeffreys are back in this story. It’s fun to see Ryland in his spy mode a bit more and to see how he and Miranda’s relationship has strengthened since their marriage. And their baby girl!! Also fun to see Kit and Daphne back with Jess as they work to solve the mystery of Jess’ heritage. I remembered how much I enjoyed those characters and their books.
According to Goodreads, “Jessamine Beauchene has spent most of her life in hiding and always on the move in an effort to leave her past far behind her. But when she learns the family she thought long dead just might be alive and in danger, she knows her secrets can only stay buried for so long.
Derek Thornbury loves the past, which has led him to become an expert in history and artifacts. He knows Jess has never liked him, but when she requests his help deciphering an old family diary, he can’t resist the urge to help solve the puzzle.
As Jess and Derek race to find the hidden artifact before her family’s enemies, they learn as much about each other as they do about the past. But can their search to set history right lead to a future together?”
Derek Thornbury is probably my favorite character in the whole book. I loved how nerdy he is about art and history. I loved how he talked about paintings, artists, and the power of art to change you. I loved how art influenced how he saw the world and how he understood and saw people. Also he is a perfect gentleman and always treats Jess with respect regardless of their unconventional circumstances.
My favorite part of Jess’ character is her role as a spy. In the earlier books, she is always on the edge and we don’t get to really understand why she does what she does. It was great to finally get inside her head and hear her backstory and see her at the center of the story. I loved seeing her in character! Her many disguises were clever and hilarious. I loved how Derek could always see thru her masks and figure out the details that didn’t quite work like the fake knitting, double layer bonnet, and platform shoes. He was very observant!
This love story is surprising and sweet. No one writes a romance quite like Kristy and this one is another fantastic journey. We begin the story knowing where it will probably end but I couldn’t see how we would get there. Derek and Jess are unlikely love birds. And that makes their slow romance all the sweeter. I loved the little details that made them begin to care for each other. And loved the way they build each other up–especially Derek for Jess showing she is worthy of love just as she is.
This clever plot surprised me as it focused on the paintings and diary showing where the coronation bowl is hidden. That was a fun way to bring Jess and Derek together as they search for it and discuss the details of each painting. I was impressed that Kristy created that whole plot and the intricacies of the paintings. This journey takes Jess and Derek on a unique journey to understand and confront the past while also moving into the future. Throughout that journey, I appreciated the subtle, powerful references to God, faith, and strength through Christ. I enjoyed Jess’ journey to understanding her faith.
While there was so much to love, there were a few things that kept me from giving this book five stars. The storytelling was a bit slow overall for me. I just couldn’t really get into the story until the end when Jess finally arrives at Verbonne. I remember the other books in the series being similar in that I didn’t love them immediately like I did with Hawthorne House. However, I still love the characters and story line. Everything about the king of Verbonne is difficult. He just seemed over the top ridiculous in his inability to see that his way of ruling the country was going to cripple it. I hated that he didn’t really want to know Jess or rule his kingdom with kindness and respect.
Overall, a great ending to this trilogy! I am so glad to have finished this second series from Kristy Ann Hunter and look forward to reading more of her books in the future!
What are some of your favorite historical fiction series?