"Margaretta Fortescue desperately needs to disappear from London society, and her only hope is to follow the rumors of another young woman who recently made a life for herself away from the glare of society. Her search leads her to the market town of Marlborough where, in spite of her efforts to avoid attention, she can't seem to elude local solicitor Nash Banfield.
All Nash wants is a quiet, sedate life--no risks or surprises. When Margaretta, clearly on the run and unwilling to answer questions, interrupts his solitude, his curiosity and his principles won't let him leave this determined woman without assistance.
But will discovering the truth about Margaretta make him think twice about finally taking a risk on love?"
Author: Kristi Ann Hunter
Length: 129 pages
Grab your coffee and a donut y'all, I'm starting off this post with a story.
Towards the middle of 2017 I got a Facebook account. Through this, a whole new world was opened up to me! *queue "A Whole New World" soundtrack* That new world being Facebook groups dedicated to people like me, Christian fiction consumers. A few months into this new, and slightly dangerous dimension I responded to a comment that would flip my little world on its side.
I was extended an invitation to join a virtual book club!
Now this might not seem like a life altering experience to some, but for me it was. Finally I was in a book club! I was happy to be there regardless of it's format.
In November we read a book that changed my life! We read "An Inconvenient Beauty" by one Kristi Ann Hunter.
Now I had never heard of Kristi, so it goes without saying I had never read one of her books either. But how THANKFUL I am to my virtual book club for without them I still would have been a lost little lamb wandering.
Yes, yes I know that that particular book is the fourth book in a series. My heart broke just wee bit for reading the series out of order too, don't cha worry! However, I now am a FOREVER fan of Kristi's and I will be reading her work for years to come. (New or re-reading what's on my shelf)
I say all this so that you understand how ELATED I was when I found out about her new series "Haven Manor", and how much emotion rushed through my veins when I found out the prequel novella was FREE! (It was a lot if you aren't pickin' up what I'm layin' down)
And now for our featured presentation: my inner thoughts and outward emotions of "A Search for Refuge".
OH THE ELUSIVENESS SHROUDING THIS BOOK!
From the opening lines I was filled with questions, much like Nash's.
Who is this woman in the bright yellow cape?
What is she hiding?
The reader gets the answers much earlier than Nash does, but I do love a good bout of questioning.
Margaretta was a beautiful, wealthy gentlewoman bred for a life of luxury and ease. But she wasn't your average wealthy merchant's daughter. She was a desperate widow who lived in feared of a self-absorbed pompous booger of a man. That fear sent her running to places unknown, which opened her eyes to all the amazing qualities she possessed. Through the story she blossomed into a strong, determined, hard-working young lady.
Never once did I feel like she was arrogant or entitled. Even before she ran I feel like Margaretta was a sweet, kind and meek woman. She was shy, but more in a self preserving way than anything. I loved watching her break out of her shell and come to love life.
Nash was such a sweet guy. From the moment he comes into the story he is a knight in shining armor. He protected a town he loved without anyone asking, though this need to protect came with a sad reason. Nash had walls built around his life, and though he was a great man he was only a shell. As much as he loved his town and felt they were all like family, he kept them at arms length.
The scene when Nash's attitude towards life changed was so touching to me. I saw and felt this character struggle, and though not anything alike, I understood the need to break down those walls and actually live the life God gave us. I have that scene highlighted so I can reread it when I need a reminder to live in the present!
This was such a great introduction to new cast of characters and new setting. I loved, loved, loved the secondary characters and I am beyond excited to see more of them in the very near future.
I rated this book a 4/5 stars. It was a great, quick read with wonderful characters and great lines of hope and unconditional love running throughout. I will sing the praises of Kristi Ann Hunter and I'm thankful to my "chicks" for pointing me to an author that is now on my "top 5 favorites" list!
"Seeing as you're new to town, we're probably the best two people to know. I know all the best places to get into trouble, and he knows how to get you out of it."
"Mr. Banfield, as Mrs. Lancaster so helpfully noted, I am weary from my travels. Perhaps your dissection and belittlement of my life could wait until tomorrow? You can stare at me suspiciously while I dust the shelves and assure yourself I've no intention of absconding with candlesticks."
His eyes widened, and then he coughed, possibly to cover a laugh, but she frankly didn't care anymore.
"I'll be back tomorrow, Mrs. Fortescue. And here's fair warning that I intend to weasel out of you your favorite type of pie."