Title: Through the Fire
Author: Elizabeth Johns
series: A Series of Elements
Genre: Historical Romance (Secular)
Publishing Date: March 11, 2016
About the Book:
When two people have walked through fire, can love bring the healing and help they need?
Spurned by love, Lady Margaux Ashbury has no use for the other eligible gentlemen of London. Despite her beauty, her sharp tongue soon earns her a reputation as a dragon. Convincing her parents to let her retreat to their Scottish estate, a home for abandoned young women, Margaux feels she can do something meaningful with her life. At their wits’ end, her parents believe a few months in seclusion will teach her to appreciate her privileged existence, and accept the next gentleman of worth who offers for her. Margaux has no plans to yield. But neither she nor her parents bargain for the proximity of the gorgeous, blue-eyed Scotsman on the neighbouring estate.
Gavin Craig, content with his life as a country doctor, is unexpectedly thrust into the world of aristocratic society after the accidental deaths of his brother and nephews. With all the duties his new title entails, and his adoption of three orphans, Gavin desperately needs a wife. She should preferably be a lady, trained since birth to manage a noble house, servants and family. His former disdain for a marriage of convenience has been rapidly overcome by the colossal task of learning to run a large Scottish barony. One lovely candidate is right next door … except that she’s inexplicably determined to be a spinster…
While I found the story itself engaging, I felt like it was difficult to get to know the characters. I don’t know if it’s due to the abrupt changes in their minds towards their futures or the element of constant activity, but I didn’t feel as invested in the characters as I normally would be. For example, Margaux was the main female character in the story. In the beginning she is fighting for the chance to remain single for the rest of her life. She would rather devote her time and gifts to charity than to marry a man for convenience. Fast forward a very short time, and she finds herself entering into the exact life she was originally attempting to avoid. If she hadn’t been so adamant against it in the beginning it probably wouldn’t have been as big of a deal, but her change in attitude (especially when it wasn’t even due to romance) felt too unrealistic. The story itself had enough action to hold my attention, but I felt like I didn’t know the characters at all.
I read the story on my Kindle, but according to Amazon, the story has 248 pages. This means it’s shorter than most novels but I wouldn’t quite consider it a novelette. Having said that, I would very much compare the tempo and abruptness of the story to a novelette. I believe this story would easily appeal to those who prefer those types of stories. Personally I’m hit or miss with them. I like novelettes that don’t feel like novelettes if that makes any sense to you. I want to get to know the characters and feel like a part of the story whether its 10 pages or 1000 pages.
Despite having some mixed emotions towards the story, it’s still one I enjoyed. I liked that it wasn’t overly cheesy-romantic, but that the characters were hopeful to fall in love. I believe a longer story could help with some of the character development I struggled with, but I recognize that the story’s length appeals to novelette lovers. I would still recommend this book as worth the read.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book through I Am A Reader. I was not required to give a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Age Appropriateness/Content Warnings:
This book isn’t labeled as Christian but definitely falls under the “clean” umbrella. There is some brief debate over the validity of a marriage until it’s been “consumated” but it’s not explained or discussed with any detail. I’d recommend for ages 14 and up.