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?
My thoughts: I have read and thoroughly enjoyed previous books by Julie Klassen and looked forward greatly to The Painter’s Daughter. I was not disappointed in the writer’s skill in developing and presenting the story, in the well-crafted word usage, and in her fantastic skill in writing historically correct and entertaining scenes.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the story. For that and the stellar writing skills, I give the book a 5-star rating. However, there are just a few issues that to me make the book inappropriate for immature (think teens) readers. I am sure that in this fast-paced, very worldly world in which we live today, my view will seem archaic. But this is my review.
First of all on the plus side, there was no profanity or sexually explicit scenes.There was the situation of pregnancy of an unwed young lady, scandalous secrets, and deception. There was also passionate tension between the two main characters that was not inappropriate given their married state. It was just a bit much. There was nothing offensive for a mature reader, but I would not feel comfortable giving it to a teen to read even though much worse entertainment and reading is flooding the teen market.
Again, I still enjoy Ms. Klassen’s books and her superb skills are always evident.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this review.