By Julie Klassen
She thought she had found the man she would marry, until he left her behind to follow his dream. When Wesley Overtree left a brief hurried message saying he was traveling to Italy, Sophie Dupont found herself in an impossible position.
And Wesley's younger brother may be her only way to escape scandal and ruination. But can she tie her future to Captain Stephen Overtree, a man she has only just met, when her heart belongs to his brother? And is the promise of a marriage that is "in name only" enough to bind her to this brooding man known for his black moods?
Time is short and Sophie's choices are few when a woman's reputation is everything. A scandal, a period of isolation, or a loveless marriage ~ she has hours to decide the future she will call her own. But can she live with the decision she is about to make?
Julie Klassen's books always have this undercurrent of someone having a secret with which they have to come to terms with. The Painter's Daughter is no different and in fact there are several characters who seem to be guarding secrets - some of which will be revealed in a most shocking turn of events.
Readers who enjoy historical fiction set in the Regency period will love delving into this book. Fans of Jane Austen will be thrilled at the references to her work in this book. And if you want to know which one you'll have to read the book for yourself. An enjoyable book that will fill a long afternoon or week-end with page-turning diversion.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through TBCN/BookFun in exchange for my honest review.
About the book:
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?
About the Author:
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 www.julieklassen.com for more information.