cover image The Making of Mrs. Hale

The Making of Mrs. Hale

Carolyn Miller. Kregel, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-8254-4535-4

In the pleasant third installment of her Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series (following Miss Serena’s Secret) Miller traces the rocky relationship between Thomas and Julia Hale through the first year of their marriage. Thomas and Julia (who met through Thomas’s brother) begin their relationship with immediate strain after the impetuous pair elopes to Gretna Green, a village in Southern Scotland known for hasty matrimonial arrangements, infuriating Julia’s family. Soon, Thomas disappears and Julia is forced to return to her family as the prodigal daughter. When Thomas reappears with a farfetched explanation, Julia is quick to forgive—until he disappears again, and again. Julia’s mother and brother are exasperated, and a bit confused, as to how she continues to be swept away by Thomas despite his roguish behavior. When Julia gives birth to a boy, Thomas swears to reform his ways, and things slowly begin to change. The couple must learn to trust each other and work hard to convince Julia’s family and friends that Thomas has become a man worthy of her. Although religious themes never dominate, Julia’s attempts to reform Thomas are always based in her strong faith. This is a tender Regency romance speckled with mystery, intrigue, and the freeing power of forgiveness. (Nov.)