Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents' New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks; but when Violet's own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance; Vance Everstone. As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU. With danger stalking her and a new fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust and who to leave behind.
WELL THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL
I was determined not to let the gorgeous cover or love for this author win me over. I wanted the Cautious Maiden to woo me with it's plot and characters AND BOY DID IT.
Violet won me right away. DUH. Vance took a few chapters, because I'd seen him in this series before and quite frankly, I hadn't liked him.
YEAH HE'S A FAVORITE CHARACTER NOW.
I love how all of Dawn's characters were perfect in their own ways. And by perfect I mean flawed and so, so real!
I also loved how this was a sweet romance, but there was also a villain! This book refuses to be categorized as merely romance because the villain invites an aspect of suspense.
DAWN CRANDALL KNOWS HER TIME. I mean, seriously. I was so engrossed in this that I could have been IN 19TH CENTURY AMERICA.
Like in every other book by Dawn, I adored the family in this. There is always that family aspect to her books. In this one that was Vance's family, the Everstones. They were perfect and also I loved the cameos and mentions to the other characters from the other books.
This book was delectable and is now battling the Bound Heart to be my favorite of the series. It has a swoon-worthy romance, a heart-pounding plot, and characters I would die for.
CONTENT GUIDE -
Intimacy – There was a lot of kissing, and Violet's brother runs a brothel. There's mentions to prostitution, sex, and illegitimate children.
Drugs/Drinking – None.
Violence – Rowen threatens Violet with a gun and kills someone.
Cussing – None.