Vying for the Viscount
Series: Hearts on the Heath #1
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date August 4, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: England Regency Era – UK – 1795 – 1837
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-34
Written for: Adults
When a strange man appears to be stealing horses at the neighboring estate, Bianca Snowley jumps to their rescue. And when she discovers he's the new owner, she can't help but be intrigued--but romance is unfeasible when he proposes they help secure spouses for each other. Will they see everything they've wanted has been there all along before it's too late?
For Hudson, the newly titled Viscount Stildon, moving to England from India where he was born and raised was already an arduous enough endeavor. When he learns the fate of the racing empire he inherited along with his title depends upon him getting in the good graces of another stable owner, he's even more at a loss.
The stable at the neighboring estate has been Miss Bianca Snowley's refuge for years, and when a strange man appears to be stealing the horses, she jumps to their protection without a second thought. Upon learning Hudson is actually the new owner, she can't help but be intrigued by the area's newest eligible bachelor.
Any thought of romance is quickly set aside, however, when Hudson proposes they work together to secure suitable spouses for each other. As their friendship grows, Hudson and Bianca begin to reconsider what they truly want in life. But will societal expectations and the weight of their responsibilities keep them from pursuing their true desires?
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers, Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
The beginning of a new series seemed like a great time to immerse myself in Kristi Ann Hunter’s Regency world. I have only read one of her stories, Legacy of Love from The Christmas Heirloom anthology. I enjoyed it so much I made note to read more by her. I now have Winning the Gentleman, the next story in the Hearts on the Heath series, on my blog calendar for next April when it releases!
I enjoyed the fish-out-of-water situation Hudson found himself in when he moved from India to England, the land of his ancestors. Having spent twenty-eight years in a world foreign to those of the aristocracy of England gave him plenty of societal customs to learn!
I really enjoyed the impromptu dance lesson he took from Bianca with an unlikely group of dancers to assist. Telling you more would spoil your fun in reading about it and I couldn’t possibly do it justice!
Hudson was humble and yet had high aspirations. He was convinced he needed to acquire a contract for the best racehorse in Newgate to sire a foal and was willing to go to extremes to make it possible.
One of my favorite shows of Hudson’s character was a scene when he was in his library (or was it his study?) and his stable manager, Mr. Whitworth came to see him. As they were speaking, Hudson suggested they dispense with formalities and address one another by their Christian names. When he realized the reason for Whitworth’s hesitation, the grace and tact with which he handled the situation was extremely touching!
Bianca had a stepmother who wasn’t particularly wicked and yet she clearly favored the son and daughter she bore herself to her stepdaughter. The things poor Bianca endured under her stepmother’s “care” were so sad!! Yet Bianca had a kind and gentle spirit.
Both Hudson and Bianca struggled with seeing God’s goodness in the midst of the sad events of their lives. The author very naturally led them through their struggles, allowing them to change their view of God and of all the things they ever held most dear.
Filled with wit, romance, and surprises, my first Kristi Ann Hunter novel was very enjoyable. There were hints that several of the characters were introduced in a previous series – enough to pique my interest and make me want to find out what happened to them – and hints that more stories will be told – confirmed by a quick look at upcoming releases – so I’m excited to read more from this author.
If you enjoy romance with faith and a touch of adventure that is not at all bland (Hudson would be so glad!), I recommend Vying for the Viscount.