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Book Review, October 2022

Updated: May 19, 2023

On April 11th, two books arrived at my doorstep-quite literally. My postie (mailman) put them on the mat at my front door. I had lots of plans for that day, none of which involved reading. Well, not a lot of reading anyway, but I had to take a peek. Just a tiny one... Famous last words, huh? Can I blame some of it on the fact I'd been waiting almost a year to read one of the books after I fell in love with the character from his sister's story?

I cracked open the spine to the middle of the book for a snippet to tie me over. It was like the moment you first scratch that itch. The guy was hiding out in the stable even if he wouldn't admit it to the girl who had finally tracked him down that he was indeed hiding. Well, now I had to find out why he was hiding, didn't I? I flipped back a chapter then another, and the rest they say is history.

Most of the stuff I'd planned to do, didn't get done, but I didn't feel guilty because Enchanting the Heiress by Kristi Ann Hunter was worth it.

And no, I didn't actually end up reading the whole thing in a day (ah, for the days when I was a teenager). I have kids who for some reason expect to speak to me and be fed (the weird things). I did read quite a bit of the story, and as time went on, I kept coming back to it until I'd read it from start to finish. And I might have reread my favourite parts just a few more times in between. :)

What it is:

Enchanting the Heiress by Kristi Ann Hunter is a historical romance set in Newmarket, England 1817-1818. Jonas Fitzroy is a former employee of a traveling circus and a current stable hand/undiscovered artist. Miss Harriet Hancock is an heiress (of course she is, it's in the title!) who likes to help people. She just goes about it in a manipulating, backhanded way which Jonas hates. This is the third (and I presume final) instalment of Hearts on the Heath series.

What I loved about this book:

The many Bible verses quoted or referenced. Kristi even used the KJV. It annoys me when people write historical romance and quote a version of the Bible that wasn't even around back then. Also, I like KJV. :) No, I didn't think all the references were used correctly, but that was often the point. Both characters needed to grow in grace and learn how to rightly divide the word of truth. The heiress needed to learn there is a difference between giving anonymously and downright meddling. The method and the motivation is important when giving. The stable hand needed to learn how to actually live life and be a part of other people's lives. That his own faith wasn't as strong as he assumed, and he too didn't have it all right. I loved how they complimented and challenged each other.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Kristi Ann Hunter's novel if there wasn't a strong romance element. She has some very funny and touching scenes for that. Cue, why the dude was hiding out in the stable.

One of my favourite jokes was how Harriet decided to write a letter full of truth, knowing her recipient wouldn't like it. Only, as Harriet notes, the Apostle Paul was famous for writing what needed to be said without caring if the hearer wanted to hear it. That made me laugh. I mean, I know Paul did care a lot. He agonized over the churches, but he also didn't shy away from what needed to be said.

What I disliked:

Sometimes, I thought Jonas was a little hard on Harriet, but that is something he comes to realize in the end as a fault of his. Also, sometimes, I discovered I was wrong as Kristi would point out how this good intended 'meddling' could actually be hurtful in ways I hadn't even realized. That was good for me, but of course, it's never comfortable when people step on your toes.

The start was a little slow. Maybe it was because I started in the middle of the action and went back to the start. Maybe it's just the title characters take some getting used to. Whatever it was, it only took two or so chapters before I was back in the thick of it when I finally decided to read the book from start to finish like a normal person (normal is so overrated).

In summary:

It's a fun and thought-provoking reverse Cinderella story. Sometimes, romance gets a bad rap for setting up unrealistic expectations, for favouring laughs and witty dialogue over substance, and sometimes just creating a great tension-filled plot rather than something real. To be honest, some of Kristi's earlier books did this, and it annoyed me. I've seen a real maturity in this series, and it excites me to see what Kristi will write next. It's still got the witty dialogue, the great plot, and the fun, sweet romance, but there's more. There's something real in this series, deeper. It's not all lords and ladies. There are middle-class, upstarts, and nobodies. I really liked the direction of this series and am hopeful for more books like this from Kristi.

P.S. Before you ask, I don't even remember what the other book was. This one was just so good!

Alternative Recommendations:

Looking for something else? Check out these other titles I've read recently.


Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope - a classic written and set in mid 19th Century England. It's long, but the author talks to himself and his reader on occasions. That made me laugh, and I enjoyed the story.

Christmas Hearts/Mistletoe Kiss In Dry Creek by Jillian Hart, Janet Tronstad (respectively) - Love Inspired Historical 2 in 1

In Search of Serenity by Pamela Griffin - a historical romance


All That It Takes by Nicole Deese - a first person POV contemporary romance

The Texan's Surprise Return by Jolene Navarro - Love Inspired

Undercover Marriage by Terri Reed - Love Inspired Suspense Seaside Proposal by Narelle Atkins - a former Love Inspired book, this series is being updated and rereleased independently by the author.

Beyond the Tides by Liz Johnson - a contemporary romance set on Prince Edward Island

A Season of Love by Kim Watters - a contemporary romance

The Sowing Season by Katie Powner -women's fiction

To Win a Prince by Toni Shiloh - contemporary romance set on a fictional African island Nicole by Sarah Monzon - contemporary romance with a sewing theme

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