How fun it has been to return to the Regency world created by Ms. Burkard and find out what the familiar characters from the previous two books are up to five years later.
Though Ariana and Mr. Mornay are not the focus of The Country House Courtship, they are still involved and it was gratifying to see them married and living together happily with their young family and all the enduring love they had for each other while courting.
In this third book of the series, Ariana's younger sister, Beatrice, is coming of age and looking for a good match. What I find wonderful of Ms. Burkard's writing is how different Beatrice is from Ariana. You can tell from the beginning she is young and naive and has a lot of growing to do--both emotionally and spiritually--before she arrives at her happily ever after.
Beatrice actually quite cracked me up. She is so free in her thinking and she must have taken advice from the ilk of Mrs. Bennet from P&P for she believes as her sister married so well she quite deserves a man just as well situated. (It's probably how Lydia Bennet would have been after Lizzie married Mr. Darcy if Lydia hadn't been forced to marry that horrid Mr. Wickham.)
Mr. O'Brien isn't your typical Regency hero. He's isn't anything like Mr. Mornay. He might seem to have less presence but maybe you just have to take more time to get to know him. He's learned a lot about himself and life since the last time we saw him. He's gentle with a giving heart and obviously meant to be a man of God within the church. And though a clergyman, he has a sense of humor. But even more he is a man of strength with a heart to love a woman with all his might.
The author gave her two lead characters five years between book 2 and 3. This gave them time to mature, change and become worthy of being hero and heroine without being totally different and unrecognizable. Again Ms. Burkard ahs me with her amazing prowess with the written word and her grasp of the Regency period. I've come to realize that you will never be disappointed with one of her books. Fantastic from cover to cover! I absolutely loved this book--just as much as the first novel of the series.
There is so much going on with the primaries and secondaries that I couldn't wait to dive into the book each day until it was finished. What I really found to be true after reading Ms. Burkard's books is that days later I'm thinking about them...about the characters. That's the sign of a good book--you don't soon forget it.