Title: A Lady of Esteem by Kristi Ann Hunter
Series: Hawthorne House #0.5
Date Published: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Bethany House
Miss Amelia Stalwood may live in London at her absent guardian's townhouse, but she's never actually met any nobility, and instead of aristocrats, her closest friends are servants. Quite by happenstance, she's introduced to the Hawthorne family and their close family friend, Anthony, the reformed marquis of Raeburn. They welcome her into their world, but just as she's beginning to gain some confidence and even suspect she may have caught Anthony's eye, she's blindsided by an unexpected twist in her situation accompanied by nasty rumors. Will she lose her reputation when the world that has only just accepted her turns its back on her, or will she rest in the support of the friends who've become like family and the man who's shared his faith and captured her heart?
I've long admired the covers of Kristi Ann Hunter's novels. I was so excited when I found this the ebook for Kristi's novella that begins the Hawthorne House series. It was actually a free download at the time!
I've said before on other reviews how I absolutely adore regency romance. I also love a story of redemption. This book combines the two in a sweet, clean, inspirational read!
Amelia's upbringing and way of life were very unconventional and actually quite humorous at times. Even thought was a lady of "quality" she had more friends who were servants than not. I loved how she saw the servants as the people they were and not just as fixtures of convenience.
Anthony had a checkered past and was well known as "The Raebourne Rake". His reputation was not stellar. However, he had changed his life, with the help of his friends at the Hawthourne House. Still, he had trouble leaving his past in the past. He felt that he was no better than he had been and quite simply had trouble forgiving himself even though he had been forgiven.
I loved the sweetness of Anthony and Amelia's love story. To me this was the perfect start to a promising series :)
On to the next book!