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Thursday, January 22, 2015

An Honest Heart

Kaye Dacus is one of my favorite must watch authors since reading her first novel, Follow the Heart and she came back in a big way with An Honest Heart. Captivated in your traditional regency style, Kaye mixes this one up with a dramatic twist with the upcoming opening of the Great Exhibition just at the height of the Industrial Revolution.

In An Honest Heart combines two very distinctive love stories, the first being with Cadence "Caddy" Bainbridge, a seamstress who has made a life for herself opening her own dressmaking shop in the heart of Oxford, England in 1851. She uses her valuable skills not only to create the equivalent fashions of the higher end shops in London, but also incorporating those same skills to create attire for the lower class residents who also need clothing. She spends her free time teaching sewing skills to the women housed in the poor houses and prisons so that they can have a skill to fall back on much like she did. It's her way of simply giving back to the heart of the community. She was sent to a finishing school by her father who had connections with high end schools through his friendships with head masters as a way of hoping to raise her opportunities for marriage to a fine gentleman in the future.

She meets quite by fate and accident, Dr. Neal Stradbroke, the town's new doctor as he brings her mother home late one afternoon who has fainted on her daily walk. Dr. Neal Stradbroke advises Caddy that her mother has heart issues and needs to make sure she is taking better care of herself, but Caddy's mother sees a fine prospect for a husband in Neal instead and will stop at nothing to ensure that the two see what is right in front of their eyes.

The secondary story involves Edith Buchanan, a fine upstanding but often times cold-hearted wealthy women of a prominent family who is searching for a well deserved husband complete with a high end title. When her father arranges for Lord Thynne, a single viscount to arrive at their home in hopes of a possible connection for Edith, he instead has interests in her American cousin, Katharine Dearing, an heiress to a railway fortune instead of the Ice Queen. She plots to find a way for Katharine to do something that she can use to engineer her downfall and thus enable Lord Thynne to fall in love with her instead. She makes a bet with Oliver Carmicheal, Lady Carmichael's eldest son and future baron at Chawley Abbey that if neither of them secure a better match for themselves by the close of the Great Exhibition, they will agree to marry one another.

Yet Oliver Carmichael has his own sites set on Miss Bainbridge after making a bet with his close friends at a gentlemen's club when he is snubbed and dismissed by Miss Bainbridge. He believes he will have no problem in getting her to fall in love with him, since he has never been turned down by any female in his life and wagers 100 pounds that he can do it by the day the Great Exhibition opens on May 1st.

There are so many different twists and turns in this exceptional and wonderfully written novel, you truly feel like you're at the heart of something amazing as you watch things unfold between the different classes set in this novel. You are cheering that some will get what they truly deserve and you definitely have the good and evil characters in this one. I often found myself seeing the characters of Caddy Bainbridge played by the actress, Anne Hathaway and Dr. Neal Stradbroke by Hugh Jackman, while the opposing characters Mr. Oliver Carmichael portrayed by Billy Zane and Edith Buchanan played by Charlize Theron. I can't wait to see what Kaye Dacus comes up with next and this one easily rates a 5 out of 5 stars.

I received An Honest Heart by Kaye Dacus compliments of B and H Publishing Group for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. This is the second novel in the Great Exhibition Series.  For more information about An Honest Heart, Kaye Dacus or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can also find Kaye Dacus on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on An Honest Heart please visit B and H Publishing's website. 

  • Series: A Great Exhibition Novel
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: B and H Books (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433677210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433677212
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches

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