In the second Hawthorne House novel, Lady Georgina Hawthorne is determined to take London by storm and marry quickly and well. No mere Mr., especially the annoying Mr. Colin McCrae, has a chance. And for Colin's part, he has no desire to pursue a high-minded, empty-headed girl like Georgina, even if he were remotely close to her in rank. But as circumstances continually throw them together, he discovers there might be more hidden beneath that lovely facade than anyone--even her own family--realizes is there. But will Georgina ever have the courage to show them?
I was surprised to discover the first half of the book overlaps the first book in the series, though from Georgina and Colin's perspectives, instead of Miranda and Ryland's. I enjoyed getting their perspective on events, but it took a little of the surprise and mystery away, as I pretty much knew what was going to happen throughout the first half. However, the latter half of the story more than made up for it--by the end, I was once again basking in the charm and delight of a story well told and impressed by the way the author worked such a powerful message so seamlessly into the tale.
Up to the latter half of the story I'd have said I have very little in
common with Georgina, but once I realized it was simply fear of
vulnerability driving her, I could not ignore that glaring similarity between us. It's amazing (yet completely understandable) what lengths she will go to to avoid opening herself to scorn and shame, even among the people she loves. And then when she decides to be vulnerable, how very, very hard it is to go through with it. It's so much easier to fall back on old habits and avoid opening up. The reality is that life is so much better when we've shared our vulnerabilities with people who love us, but it's still so hard to take that step. Yep, I really understand that motivation.
Like the book before it, An Elegant Facade is the perfect blend of humor and heart, both emotionally and spiritually satisfying. I can't wait for the next in the series!
Thank you Bethany House for providing a free book to review; I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.
0.5 "A Lady of Esteem" - a free novella introduction to the Hawthornes and friends!
1. A Noble Masquerade
2. An Elegant Facade
3. An Uncommon Courtship
4. An Inconvenient Beauty