Member Reviews

I was held captive by this marriage of convenience story encased in the gothic atmosphere of the Regency Era! The well-structured plot flows at a steady pace with twists and surprises. The diverse characters are compelling. The struggling hero and heroine with their tumultuous relationship stole my heart! Through Ms. Miller’s excellent storytelling skills, I got caught up in the emotions that run rampant—disappointment, grief, love, fear, doubt, alienation, yearning, anger. I especially appreciate the valuable faith message of forgiveness and redemption that flows throughout the story. I totally enjoyed this intriguing story, and I think fans of Regency romance will enjoy it too. Note: Although it is the second book in the Regency Wallflowers series, it can easily be read as a standalone.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher via NetGalley with no obligation to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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I almost didn’t request this book to review because the cover didn’t appeal to me. It felt too dark, although I could see it reflected the title (actually, I wasn’t too keen on the title, either). But it’s by Carolyn Miller, and I’ve enjoyed every one of her novels so far … so I decided to give it a go.

Sarah Drayton is single and of “advanced age” (about twenty-eight) in a time when ladies are supposed to be married much younger. She goes to stay with Beatrice Langley, an old school friend, but is tricked into a marriage of convenience with Beatrice’s badly behaved brother, Captain James Langley.

We see James from Sarah’s point of view at first, and he doesn’t come across as a likeable person. But we get to know him better as the story progresses, and have more sympathy for him as we understand him better.

For his part, James has no desire to marry Sarah—but has even less desire to see his estate go to a distant cousin. But if he wants an heir, he’s going to have to spend time with his bride and court her properly.

Midnight’s Budding Morrow is darker than many of Carolyn Miller’s previous books. The combination of the decaying old house, unhelpful servants, and overbearing patriarch give the story a gothic feel, like old Victoria Holt or Mary Stewart stories. The age-old rumours of a hidden treasure in the house only reinforce that feeling.

While the start is somewhat dark and a little contrived (aren’t all marriage of convenience stories? Isn’t that why we love them?), the novel progresses well. It is yet another strong novel from Carolyn Miller, with excellent characters, a unique setting, and a strong Christian faith arc.

Thanks to Kregel Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

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I love Carolyn Miller’s contemporary romances and so was excited to dive into her regency books as well.

Midnight’s Budding Morrow is the second book in Carolyn Miller’s Regency Wallflower series, but it doesn’t need to be read in order. Each book standsalone. This book does have a slow start but things pick up very quickly and I loved the book.

It takes a very talented writer to take an unlikeable character and turn them into a hero worth loving. This is exactly what Carolyn does with James Langley. I really did not like him at the beginning of the book and wondered how on earth I was supposed to like him. But as the book progressed there was massive personal growth for James and for Sarah.

There is so much depth to this book both in characters and in plot. Once I was invested in James and Sarah’s relationship I could not put the book down.

If you love Regency romance and redemption stories, then this is a book you will love.

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I was very excited to read the second book in the wallflower series and it did not disappoint!. I really enjoyed Dusk's Darkest Shores and was looking forward to this book. I love reading stories about women who are not beautiful, and basically perfect in everyway. Sarah is not beautiful or charming. She is just hard working, smart, and very amiable. She is an orphan that lives with her aunt and uncle, who are not kind. When she gets the opportunity to visit her best friend, Beatrice, who lives in a gothic castle, she grabs it. Through a series of events, Sarah ends up married to her friends brother. A drunk, a rake, and a gambler, James just wants to run from his debt and go back to the Army and fight Napoleon. I relate to Sarah, with her lack of confidence, anxiety and depression. Some people in the house and neighborhood like her and many do not. She is constantly dealing with people who make her life difficult. I loved the evolution of the main characters, how each grows and comes to understand their worth through Christ. Dealing with loss and unfounded blame, they learn to deal with their challenges and struggles. I highly recommend this book! I cried several times, which means I was expertly drawn in to the story and the characters successes and failures.

I received a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley from Barbour Publishing. Opinions expressed in this review are voluntary, unbiased, and are entirely my own.

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This book is a great read. It's a well written story that is full of emotions and will keep you turning the pages to see what happens next. Curl up in your favorite reading spot and get ready to be swept away by this beautifully written story.
I received a complimentary copy from Independent Publishers Group, Kregel Publications via NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Midnight’s Budding Morrow, by
Carolyn Miller, opens with Sarah Drayton making plans to visit her best friend’s family home. The only hesitation she has is that she has no desire to cross paths with her friend’s brother, James Langley. Sarah’s lone interaction with this man left much to be desired!

When Sarah arrives at Langley House, she senses a feeling of emptiness in this home. Not only does James show up, but before you know it, her best friend actually elopes. Then the most surprising turn of events shows Sarah heading down the aisle to pledge her life to James in marriage!

You will see Sarah and James deal with hard trials as you journey through the pages of this tale. By the final page, you will see God make something beautiful from the ashes!

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Midnight’s budding Morrow is a historical romance novel written by Carolyn Miller. It is book two in the Regency Wallflowers series, but it is not necessary to have read book one in order to enjoy this one.

Summary: Sarah Drayton is visiting an old friend when everything goes sideways. She is forced into marriage with a drunken cad who wants nothing to do with her, abandoned in a castle with a stern father-in-law and servants who sabotage her. Is there anyone who cares? Or is she destined to a life of loneliness and unhappiness forever?

My Thoughts: Wow. This story really grabbed me. I read it in a single evening-I just did not want to put it down.

The emotions in this story are beautifully described, and I even cried at one point. It’s just really, really good.

I did think the problems got resolved in the end a little too quickly though. The whole book describes the issues, and then in just a few pages, everything was worked out. I wish that part had been stretched out more.

But otherwise, the writing is solid, the story is engaging, and I really liked it. This was a good read, and I would definitely recommend it.

I would like to thank Kregel Publications for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for my review. Thank you!

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I was intrigued by the title and description of Midnight's Budding Morrow, so I requested a copy through NetGalley. I'm glad I did! The story and characters are great! It has a bit of Gothic romance not unlike Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. It is the second book it the series, but stands along just fine.

The heroine, Sarah Drayton, lives a sad existence as her aunt and uncle's unpaid drudge. So she jumps at the chance to visit the estate of her friend, Beatrice. She has been promised that Beatrice's brother won't be there. He once stole a kiss from Sarah at a ball and she never wants to encounter him again. But after her arrival, the brother, James, shows up unannounced. James has a very bad reputation, but has recently given his life to Christ. He is gobsmacked when his father pushes him to marry Sarah, as she has been a tremendous help to him with the management of the estate. James and Sarah marry, and it is up to James to show her that he is becoming a new creation.

I had a few issues with the plot line. Beatrice up and vanishes from the story very quickly when she runs away to marry her beloved. I would have liked to see a little more of Sarah's friendship with her. Sarah's character changes during the story. At the beginning, she is a strong, no nonsense young woman. During the story, she becomes timid and upset. I didn't like that much. I liked her knowing what she wants and standing up for herself. Lastly, James' father tricked her into signing the marriage license and she just meekly went ahead with it? No discussion, no anger, just resignation? I felt like it didn't fit with her character.

But overall. I think Carolyn Miller did a good job on the story and I will read more of the series if she choose to write them.

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Midnight's Budding Morrow is the first Carolyn Miller novel that I have read. I am not a big reader of Regency era novels, but the description of Midnight's Budding Morrow sounded interesting. This novel elicited a mixed response rom me. The characters started out interesting and intriguing, but quickly dissolved into cliches too often found in romance novels. For instance Sarah, who began the novel as a strong, honest, and opinionated woman, too soon dissolved into an easily frightened and shallow woman given to hiding in her bed. Sarah's romantic opposite, James, began as a cad, who gambled and chased women, but within pages became a simpering shadow of his former self. Transformation is a big part of romance novels, but in the case of Midnight's Budding Morrow became unbelievable.

Irrespective of my complaints about the two main characters, there were a few holes in the plot, most notably when it came to illnesses, but I was willing to overlook a few plot problems because I enjoyed the first half of the novel. Unfortunately the second half of the novels was so heavily focused on religion that the very topic of religion became a fallback for more carefully constructed characterization and plotting. Miller has the range and talent to write a strong and interesting novel, but less reliance on religion and prayer to solve all problems was too easily used as a substitute for good writing.

I do want to thank the author and publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review, which I have written. Thank you also to NetGalley for including this novel in the list of books.

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I love Carolyn Miller’s books. Her writing harkens to the great writers of Regency fiction and I always feel at home when I read her novels. I was especially excited about Midnight’s Budding Morrow because of its Gothic flair. It didn’t disappoint.

Sarah and James are both delightful characters in their own rights. Somewhat shy, yet with strong morals and opinions, Sarah will capture the hearts of readers. My heart went out to her as she faced such heartbreaking trials, though they are handled with honesty and grace. James is the best sort of rogue. While at first, he might come across as obnoxious, there are many layers to this character and we see a whole other side to him as the story progresses.

The setting of the book is so lovely and atmospheric. The crumbling castle that is Langley Manor. The moors (!!!). It was just delicious and fabulous. When you combine this with Miller’s lovely prose, you get such an amazing Regency novel. Loved it so much!

Readers who love inspirational historical romance with a solid faith message and a Gothic flair will not want to miss Midnight’s Budding Morrow.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

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This is a review of Carolyn Miller's recent book that was published on May 31, 2022, and is the 2nd book in her Recency Wallflower series, but you do not need to read book 1, Dusk's Darkest Shores, which is an excellent book as well, to understand this one.

This book takes place in the Regency era, in Northumberland, Yorkshire, England in 1811. Sarah Drayton is invited to go and spend time with her best friend from school Beatrice Langley, who lives in a castle in Northumberland, England with her elderly father and roguish brother, James Langley. Sarah currently lives with her aunt and uncle because her parents died, and is basically someone who is an unpaid servant for them, so she gets excited at the invitation to escape that life, even if for a while.

Sarah ends up having a confrontation with James Langley prior to that visit that leaves a bad taste in her mouth towards him, but decides to go spend time with Beatrice as long as her brother is not in residence, which Beatrice profusely promises will be the case as her brother will be going into the army, so there should be no reason Sarah and James paths should cross..but things don't always go as we plan!!

James Langley has a reputation for being a young man who has the reputation of drinking, gambling, and carousing, which makes the Ton, the aristocratic society, look at him as a rogue! He has earned this title by going around to parties, and seedy places and consuming alcohol, running up gambling debts, and other unbecoming behavior. His mother passed away, and that behavior stems from guilt and shame that he is carrying as a result of that death. He also cannot seem to get along with his father, and cannot seem to do anything right that would even begin to mend that relationship. The only time he talks to his father is when he needs money, or his gambling debts paid. He is wondering if life be any better in the army???

Shortly after Sarah's arrival, Beatrice elopes with her boyfriend, and James also makes a surprise visit. Beatrice leaves Sarah with her father and James, and her father, who wants an heir to keep the family line going, conjures up a marriage between Sarah and James, of which they both find themselves having to say yes to this marriage of neither of their choosing, because of necessity on both sides. James needs his debts cleared up, and Sarah needs a place to live as she can't go back to her uncle's home. So necessity wins the day.

So a quick wedding ceremony takes place for them right before James is to leave for a long stint in the army. Afterwards, this leaves Sarah at the estate with James and Beatrice's father, who basically is a stranger to her, and servants who hate her, but there is no going back for her! She must press on, but realizes she is married to a man she hardly knows, and who does not have the character that constitutes a good husband, and she must try to make the best out of a horrible situation. She decides to trusts God, and while James is gone, she becomes the lady of the house, and sets about to improving the estate that literally feels like it is crumbling down all around her, learning how to get along with the difficult father in law, but wonders if this is really what God had in mind for her, because it really doesn't look good from where she is standing!

James immediately leaves for the army, and while there, someone tells him about Jesus and disciples him, and James does some soul searching. He ends up coming back 7 years later to the estate, and miraculously finds his father still alive, and Sarah still there. I won't tell you what happens because you must read it for yourselves, but what I will say I highly recommend that you read this book to find out what happens to James and Sarah, and how God intervenes in both their lives.

This book is a beautiful story of God's grace! I was hooked from the beginning!! It was a book I could so relate to, and I literally read it in three days because it was that good! The picture of forgiveness and redemption in this book is so beautiful, and it made me feel so close to the Lord because of what He has done for the characters in the book, and what He has done for me! It is not a cheesy story in any way, but a book you have to keep reading because you have to know what happens! I won't ruin it, but it was refreshing to read a book where there was a real life situation that was handled in a godly way! I could easily relate to all the characters, and the message of Gods grace spoke volumes to me! So again I have to give 5 out of 5 stars because I loved this book!!!!

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This is one of the best Regency romances I've ever read. Carolyn Miller has done a skillful job at putting together this story. Her research into the times and mores is spot on and weaves a story of compelling interest for her readers. She has woven the faith of the characters organically into the plot and brings the readers along as the characters grow and change.

Sarah is an orphaned lady living with her aunt and uncle as housekeeper for their home. She has learned the ins and outs of keeping house and keeping books. She knows her place in society and doesn't really mind it. When her friend, Beatrice, invites her to come for a visit to the Langley estate, she takes Bea up on the invitation. Beatrice's brother, James, is a rake of the highest order--spending his time gambling, drinking, and carousing. Before he goes off to war to avoid his responsibilities, his father forces him to marry Sarah. In the time he is gone, Sarah adopts an illegitimate child and gains the ire of the society and of the household staff at the Langley estate. She endures disdain, heartache, and a degree of isolation with all the emotions involved.

In some respects this novel reminds me of Lori Wick's Who Brings Forth the Wind. The household staff's treatment of the heroines is very similar and the husbands' treatment is no better, at first. The main difference is when both of the husbands came to salvation and when the husbands worked to restore their relationships.

This is a most rewarding read because of the way the author dealt with real issues in an historical setting. She used the most modern practices of the times, especially where medicine was involved. I hope I will get the opportunity to read other books by Carolyn Miller, she's that talented.

Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a pink rose from your true love.

Kregel Publishing provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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I received a copy from NetGalley for an honest review. I definitely have mixed feelings from this book. I love the marriage of convenience trope as well as the regency period. I loved how real the characters were and how their struggles are common as Christians but not talked about, but that’s about all I liked. I feel like Sarah at the beginning of the book was this very strong character who stood up to people but as the book progressed she turned in a character that let people walk all over her. Yes, she was treated very poorly by a lot of people and I know that takes a toll on someone but I feel like the Sarah at the beginning of the book would not have “allowed” people to treat her that way, she would have stood up for herself or ignored it all together and not let it “bother” her. She was also fast in accepting James’ apologies when he treated her horribly over and over again. There were also a few times where the dialogue was hard to follow and I wasn’t sure who was talking. Overall I give this book 3 stars. I enjoyed it enough to read it but I wouldn’t read it again.

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This book was sent to me by Netgalley for review. Thanks to the publisher for the electronic copy. I enjoyed this book. I liked this book. The characters are fun and quirky. Although I do not always like the historical fiction of this time period, this one worked. The author is talented and gifted at her craft in weaving a cannot put down historical fiction. Curl up in a comfy chair, grab a warm blanket, a steaming cup of herbal tea...a scone...and be transported back in time. The mystery is there with the romance...the friendship...the family interactions. I liked this book. Oh, I said that...I look forward to more books by this author, and I truly cannot say that I liked this book enough.

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Sarah's parents are dead and her aunt and uncle treat her like an unpaid housekeeper. So when her friend invites her to visit her home, a gothic castle with plenty of secrets, she accepts - in no way expecting what eventuates! James uses alcohol and gambling to escape a past full of regrets - generating more regrets. When his debts force him home to his father to beg for money, he never expected his father to force him into a marriage of convenience in exchange for the money. After only a night of this unwanted marriage, war separates the pair. James comes back from the war a changed - or at least changing - man, but can he salvage his marriage? Sarah might have hoped for marriage, but she'd wanted something better than a husband she can't trust, a father-in-law who seems at times to hate her, and head servants who despise her. Can such an inauspiciously-begun marriage ever be anything but a burden?

This may sound funny, but I particularly liked the way that the author showed James as he started off and from Sarah's point of view (to make the reader despise him), then showed his own point of view - why he was that way and how he wanted to change (to show that even 'stage villains' can be real people with real problems and not actually want to be or stay villains). James had a long journey to make, first to get to a place where he could be worthy of love, then to prove to others that he'd made it. And I found that journey very meaningful. Add to that an inspiring message, an intriguing setting, great writing that made the book hard to put down, and a satisfying ending, and you'll see why I hope to read more by the author in future. Recommended.

Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.

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When her best friend invites her to visit, she promises her roguish brother won’t be there.

But he is.

Sarah is swindled into marrying him and he leaves the next day for war.

She he returns wounded, Sarah is unsure how to move forward. James is a changed man but that doesn’t make it easy. The struggle between them is compounded by a painful loss and accompanying despair. Relationships aren’t perfect, neither are people. This story jerked my heart strings with the reality of suffering and the grace of forgiveness.

I recommend!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review..

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This was an excellent Regency era story, filled with complex characters. It kept me enthralled until the end. It is definitely a fresh take on the marriage of convenience trope. Kudos to Carolyn Miller for an excellent story.

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To say I enjoyed this book would be an understatment. I loved the unsual take on the marriage of convenience trope as well as the exploration of the pyschological and emotional impact of war. The sense of place and period was excellent, and the spiritual messages were well handled.

The only thing I disliked was some of the execution. The characters could have resolved a lot just by talking and a little bit sooner, but people do not always talk do they?

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