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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matt…

Brentwood’s Ward

by Michelle Griep

Overall Book Review:

Michelle Griep has written a charming Regency novel entitled Brentwood’s Ward.  Many offerings from the same genre are rather droll and boring.  Characters sit around parlors, stroll about estate grounds and attend balls.  Although some of these same things happen in this novel, Griep keeps the plot moving and actually has more of a plot than just a romantic entanglement.

Almost from the start, readers are drawn into the story and even though some of the characters come from lives of privilege, they are still endearing.  The interactions between the two main characters, Nicholas Brentwood and Emily Payne, range from tender to humorous.  Often characters doing silly things to move the plot forward are irritating and yet Emily Payne manages to garner the sympathies of the reader.

It is a challenge to list all of the positive points of this story, but the manner in which Griep humanizes Nicholas Brentwood is terrific.  Although not perfect, he is the type of character everyone wants to succeed.  Especially appreciated is the way in which he is not portrayed as a brutish and unkind man who changes his ways because of a girl.  Rather, he uses his skills to outwit Emily without trying to physically dominate.

Plenty of danger, mystery and intrigue fill these pages.  Even though things are not always realistic, those who are able to exercise a willing suspension of disbelief will find pleasure in enjoying the Regency period as seen through the eyes of Emily Payne and Nicholas Brentwood.

Review was of an Advance Reader Copy.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Barbour Publishing

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  People are grabbed by others; character imagines she feels like she has taken a gun to her head; several people attempt to hit other characters, some are thwarted, others are not; report of a male character physically abusing his wife, no details; several characters’ bodies are found and murder is suspected; a few instances of characters bleeding from gunshot wounds;  characters fight and shove one another against walls; a corpse is briefly described; report of a person hanging himself; woman strikes a person with an object; characters exchange gunfire; character impales another in the leg with a knife; report of a character killed during a war; character threatens to kill other characters; an explosion causes injury and death; blood comes from various wounds; an incident of attempted rape.

Sex/Nudity:   Words brothel madam and whoremonger mentioned; character’s dress reveals her bosom; character implies another was impregnated as a result of rape; character imagines hugs and kisses from another; a male character attempts to rape a female character, the description includes bare legs and the dropping of drawers, but things are interrupted; non-married characters hold hands, embrace and kiss passionately.

Mature Subject Matter:

Rape, death of family members, war.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Man smells of rum and is inebriated; adults discuss rum and bourbon; adults drink sherry and wine at a dinner party; an adult is reported to consume large quantities of liquor.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I primarily read fiction from all genres. I have six children and many happy hours have been spent reading together. I also love quilting, hiking, and camping.