Three years after a shocking scandal destroyed her family and forced her into isolation, Eleanor Hayward finally has an opportunity to put her painful history and dashed hopes behind her. But reentering society is no simple task. In her cousin’s glittering ballroom, Eleanor is stunned when she comes face-to-face with the man who broke her heart those years before.
Edmund Fletcher thought he had laid the past to rest until he unexpectedly encounters the woman who so nearly became his wife. Soon to be engaged to another, Edmund knows he must let go of the complicated feelings he harbors for Eleanor. However, when the Hayward scandal resurfaces and the truth behind their parting is revealed, Eleanor and Edmund are left reeling. Tormented by thoughts of what could have been, they realize it is impossible to rewrite history. But is there a future in which they might both find happiness—and true love?
|Size||6 x 9|
|Published||Covenant Communications 2019|
|Audiobook Narrator||Aubrey Warner|
|Audiobook Runtime||Approximately 9.25 hrs.|
I find myself wanting to tell all about this lovely yet heartbreaking story. But, doing so without giving things away does not come easily. The best stories reveal the truths of characters and the reader simultaneously. This is such a tale. People have failings and also virtues. One does not necessarily preclude the other. And sometimes our failings can lead to the rise of stunning virtues. This is simply a lovely story. I cannot say more.
I loved the creative storytelling in this bittersweet Regency romance, with alternating perspectives of Eleanor and Edward, and also the past and present. It allowed details to unfold gradually and added elements of suspense and anticipation to the plot. Conflict due to misunderstanding isn't my favorite, but the characters were complex and well-developed, drawing me into their world and emotions. The relationship between Eleanor and Edmund was a pleasure to read, and it was gratifying to see them have a second chance at love after everything went so wrong. So happy to have a new Regency author to follow and read!
(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
Such a fantastic plot, and so full of substance. Both Edmund and Eleanor are loveable and connect emotionally to the reader. Proof that misunderstandings can lead to serious consequences. The heart breaks for Samuel too, who through an act of honour has a ended up with a price on his head. So many tragedies abound in this story, and sometimes you wonder how on earth Eleanor manages to get out of bed in the morning. Three years later and she not only is the social pariah, and has to face what she lost all over again. To top it all off, the nasty Miss Coombs is in her face at every event.
One thing that made this a difficult read for the first half of the book at least is all the chopping back and forth between 1813 & 1816, with a bit of 1814 in between. Sometimes that works, but it really didn't here. Far too much of it, and just when you are getting a grasp of whats going on, you're thrown back 3 years - again. It would have been better if we had only the night of the ball, where the misunderstanding took place. I can understand keeping that until later, because thats the big mystery - why they are not together in the first place. But there was just too much switching back and forth.
That aside, the plot was fantastic - a great mix of characters, even though there's quite a few of them. Loved the scenes in Folkstone, they were so tenderly written. Eleanor totally took my heart!
I received a complimentary eARC from Netgalley, but also bought my own paperback. This is my honest review.
I liked the story but the jumping back and forth in time was a bit much. Thankfully the year was included when that happened so you could keep track of things, but I was anxious for the story to continue and it kept going back to tell the whole backstory in pieces.
That aside, I did enjoy the story. It was clean and had a sad story of heartbreak and second chances. I felt bad for Eleanor and all she went through-being shunned for the rumored acts of her brother, even by her closest friends. Luckily she had a relative who reached out after three years and helped her make some steps toward happiness.
Edmund was a great guy who also had been dealt some big blows that unfortunately lead to rush judgment.
I’m not sure if I’d read this again due to all the flashbacks, but it was a good story.
What a beautifully written story with engaging, endearing characters. My heart was so sad so often for Eleanor. Her story is just, for lack of a better word, sad. And yet, her heart is gentle, soft and kind. I cannot even tell you how desperately I wanted good things to happen for Eleanor. I was so invested in her.
This book is told from alternating views belonging to Eleanor and Edmund. It also switches back and forth in time so we gradually get the backstory that led Eleanor and Edmund to the place they are now. I was grateful for those flashback moments because they were the light and hope to an otherwise sad tale. It gave me a better understanding and view of both Edmund and Eleanor, who are both fantastic characters. There is also a great cast of secondary characters.
I really loved this story. It captured my heart and my emotions.
- I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
A GUARDED HEART is everything sweet romance fans hope for. With complex main characters, well developed side characters, plenty of tension (both in the plot and in the romance), and a bittersweet story that will pull on readers heart, this is definitely a story well worth picking up.
I really loved these characters! Eleanor was a mix of sweetness, grace, intelligence, and a history that has made her older than her years. She also came across as very genuine. I especially loved her scenes with the children and all the mishaps she falls into. Edmund was a mix of gentlemanly charm, strength, and humor. I appreciated how the author allowed me to feel his struggle between anger, betrayal, doing his duty, and his heart. Then there were these other characters that were also well drawn. I particularly enjoyed Edmond's cousin, Marianne. Eleanor and Edmund had plenty of good scenes, some more serious, some lighter, and some with some excellent banter. Their romance was beautiful and heartbreaking as they each face their past and deal with the struggles of their future.
In the end, was it what I wished for? I loved just about every minute of this story. If you enjoy sweet romance with plenty of characters to fall in love with and a heartfelt story, then definitely pick this one up!
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.
I found this read really interesting. At first I didn't think I'd like the fact that each chapter was written three years apart, but the farther into the book the more I realized how I appreciated it. It allows the reader to really get to know Eleanor and Edmund. When the time lines merge you really have such a grasp on how they are feeling, how they got there and there's true empathy for both sides. It is a fantastic story that I highly recommend to any and everyone.
I enjoy reading a good Regency romance. And this one is great!
I loved the way the author did this one. The reader knows from both Eleanor and Edmund’s points of views that something happened between them prior to the start of the story. But it’s not revealed until later in the book quite what. And – as is often the case – neither of them had the full story. But the reader gets the full story because the reader gets to see things through both characters eyes. I really loved the plot of this one for that.
There are so many things I loved about Eleanor in this one. I especially loved her loyalty to her family. And her strength. Eleanor went through a lot of hard times due to some choices that some of her family made. And through it all she kept her head held high and she knew her own value. That’s really important.
Then there’s Edmund. I really liked him for the most part. When the reader sees the whole story, they really can’t blame him for the choices he made. He did what he thought he had to when his heart broke. That didn’t make things easier on himself or on Eleanor. But he was true to himself through the story. And he was a true gentleman. There are parts later in the story that he does things so out of his way for Eleanor. And those parts were especially touching for me.
There are so many great things about this one! I loved it and can’t wait for more books by this author!
This Regency romance was divine. I really loved the characters, Edmund Fletcher and Eleanor Hayward. Three years ago, these two met, and grew in love during a month long party at their friends’ house. But something happened, something that sent Edmund running that last night they were together…and Eleanor has never figured out what she did wrong to earn his spite. When they meet again, Edmund is irritated that Eleanor still fascinates him. She broke his heart all those years ago, and he will never be taken in by her again. And Eleanor is guarding her heart more than ever after all she has suffered for the past three years. She doesn’t know what she ever did to Mr. Fletcher, but she won’t let him crush her again. Yet, time and time again, they are thrown together, as the past weaves into the present, and the misunderstanding comes to light eventually. This book had the perfect amount of romantic suspense. Once I started it, I could hardly put it down. The angst, the heart-tugging, the suspense. It was all done so, so well. This is truly a literary feast, with a simple plot written magnificently so that it came to life as I read it and became the most important story to me in the world until I figured out what had happened to these two broken souls, and how in the heck the author was going to get them back together again and give me my happily-ever-after I crave. I believe this is Heidi Kimball’s debut book, and all I have to say is—Write more!!! Please!!!
This is an engrossing Regency romance that hits all the right buttons. Two wonderful main characters with soul deep wounds you root for all the way through. The imagery and emotional beats are spot on. Another winner for Heidi Kimball.