Title:A Heart Revealed
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: April 7th, 2015
Paperback: 336 pages
FTC FYI: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Amber Marie Sterlington, the Rage of the Season in Regency-era London, has her pick of men, and she knows what she wants most in a husband: a title and a fortune. Why would she ever marry for something as fickle as love? And why would she ever look twice at Thomas Richards, a third son of a country lord?
But when Amber’s social standing is threatened, the character of her future husband becomes far more important than his position. After a public humiliation, she finds herself exiled to Yorkshire. Alone except for her maid, Amber is faced with a future she never expected in a circumstance far below what she has known all her life. Humbled and lonely, Amber begins to wonder if isolation is for the best. Who could ever love her now?
A Heart Revealed is Josi Kilpack's first published Regency romance. I have loved so many of her other books, especially her Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series books.
This new novel centers around main character Amber Sterlington. When first you read about her you are very put off at her whiny, and snobbish tone and attitude towards others. Amber is very vain and selfish. It's hard to find many redeeming qualities to her character. We also meet Thomas Richards who, though not as wealthy as the men Amber is pursuing, he is looking for more substantial things in life. The interesting thing about this book is that these two main characters hardly have any interaction through most of the book. It's not until the last 1/4 of the book that they finally interact face to face. I truly wish that they would have "met" sooner. I would have liked to have seen more of their relationship in the book.
Something happens to Amber's physical appearance and her family bans her from society to a small, lowborn cottage in Northern England. Amber feels abandoned by her family,all except for her kind maid Suzanne. As Amber and Suzanne spend month after month learning to live together and run the house, changes start happening to Amber. Also, surprisingly enough, Thomas lives in this same area and figures out who Amber is, even though the rest of the village knows her as the widow Mrs. Chandler. Amber has chosen to hide away from all people because of her appearance, but finally she relents to have Thomas call on her. Thomas knew of Amber before, but she had rejected him while in London when she'd been the "Rage of the Season", but Thomas couldn't quit thinking of her. Naturally he's noticed the changes in her and is very intrigued by her now.
One of the most poignant quotes in the book about Amber and her changed personality comes from Suzanne her maid, and now friend. Amber is worried that people in her high class society would never accept her and how she looks now. Suzanne tells her... "I only believe that there are people in every society who would prefer the heart you have grown, to the beauty you have left behind to find it." Suzanne is my favorite character in the book. She was loyal and kind to Amber through all of this huge trial her mistress went through.That's more than I can say for her deplorable family that I felt like throwing off a bridge and laughing while doing it. Amber's parent's were especially cruel to their daughter and I know that it must have been due to their upbringing, but it was hard to read about the things they said to Amber. Amber's sister also wasn't one of my favorite characters either, though she redeems herself at the end.
There were true class distinctions shown in the novel, so good research was done while writing this novel of this time period. Amber even has thoughts that,..."she had been taught from infancy that she was superior to the classes below her...simply because of her station. Interacting with Suzanne had proven that quite false."
In the long run, I loved the romance once they came together. I loved Thomas's unconditional love and acceptance of Amber. There were many beautiful reminders about what is truly important in life which left you, as a reader, very satisfied at the end of the book.
Author: Josi S. Kilpack:
JOSI S. KILPACK published her first novel in 2000. Her seventh novel, Sheep's Clothing, won the 2007 Whitney Award for Mystery/Suspense—several others have been finalists in subsequent years. She was also the Best of State winner for fiction in Utah 2012. She has written twenty-two novels, including the twelve-volume Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah.
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