Sunday, December 13, 2015

“THE PAINTER’S DAUGHTER”—a beautifully romantic and inspirational tale of redemption and the resonance of faith

by Julie Klassen

Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It's where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she's beautiful.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother's neglected duties. Home on leave, he's sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter's daughter. He's startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him--one of Wesley's discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse.

Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she'll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family's estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?

"Christy Award–winning Klassen (Lady Maybe, 2015) draws on Jane Austen’s impeccably crafted novels in her latest richly nuanced and superbly written inspirational Regency romance."
—John Charles, Booklist, starred review of The Painter's Daughter

"In this gorgeous story of love and redemption, Klassen (Lady Maybe) spins a tale of secrets and deception, coupled with unexpected plot twists and a swoon-worthy ending; giving readers more evidence as to why she’s a fan favorite. Readers of inspirational Regency romances will clamor for this title."
Library Journal starred review of The Painter's Daughter

“Klassen has combined all kinds of reader-favorite elements in this mystery romance, including a grand estate, inscrutable villagers, a family tragedy and the first sweet buds of a love story....The Secret of Pembrooke Park is a gem for Regency and inspirational readers alike." --Bookpage

MY REVIEW:  An atmospheric historical romance set among the cliffs of Devonshire, "The Painter's Daughter", from author Julie Klassen, is also an inspiring tale of redemption and the resonance of faith. Lovely young Sophie Dupont assists her father with his artistic work, helping him in his studio while keeping her own talent under wraps. Wealthy and handsome Wesley Overtree, himself an artist, prefers painting to attending his duties as eldest son and heir. After making the acquaintance of Sophie and her father, he seduces innocent Sophie before leaving on an artistic quest to Italy. Wesley's younger brother Stephen, a Captain on leave from the Napoleonic War, is once again sent to retrieve his brother and bring him home. He finds Wesley gone, and left in  his wake is an abandoned Sophie, who is carrying Wesley's child. While Wesley hadn't known about the baby, he had left with only a note of farewell. Feeling honor-bound and pressed for time, Stephen offers his name in marriage to Sophie and suggests an elopement. Wesley had made much of his brother's stern demeanor, but Sophie sees that Stephen is a good man, and she agrees to the marriage. Stephen and Sophie travel to the Overtree estate, where she will reside as Stephen completes his tour of duty. Many surprises await, including the return of the prodigal Wesley, and Sophie must stay true to her faith and seek out the answers to the questions of her own heart. Torn between two brothers, what choice will Sophie make? "The Painter's Daughter" is a very satisfying read for lovers of inspirational historical romance. Author Julie Klassen is a compelling storyteller, and I look forward to reading many more of her works.

Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books


Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her novels have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. Her book, The Silent Governess, was also a finalist in the Minnesota Book Awards, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, and Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit for more information.

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