Title: Hearts Restored
Author: Prue Phillipson
Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing
Medium: eBook (ARC from Publisher)
Genre: Historical Romance / Paranormal Romance
Buy: Amazon / The Book Depository / Barnes & Noble
What can a young man of fifteen do when he is told by his mother that the three cousins he is about to meet all want to marry him?
Daniel Wilson Horden has arrived in London with his parents from their home in Northumberland on the very day of King Charles II’s triumphant return to his capital. Receiving his own personal wave from the king, Daniel longs only to serve him, but first he must keep at bay the threat of marriage.
His two French cousins are adamant in their pursuit of him, but Daniel is intrigued by his English cousin, Eunice, whose Puritan father snatches her away from the reunion celebrations. Unaware that his gallant attempt to save her has endeared him to her, Daniel only just escapes the marriage trap which his younger French cousin lays for him and is sent off to study at Cambridge University.
Once she returns to her father’s home, Eunice is condemned to a life of austerity. Heart-sick, she is assured by her grandmother that Daniel will come for her when he graduates from university.
But, unaware of his cousin’s feelings for him, Daniel goes off to join the navy only to find that fighting in the king’s service is not as glorious as he had imagined.
While the navy suffers at sea, London passes through plague and fire.
Will Eunice survive the hardship? And will Daniel return to fulfil the promise in his eyes on that fateful day in London?
If I could describe this book in just one word it would be brilliant. Never in my life have I ever read a book that had so much happening in a few pages. It was like someone’s entire life all in a span of 300 – 400 pages. Okay, maybe it was about someone’s entire life. Make that two someone’s.
The synopsis of this book was sort of misleading. As a historical romance, I remember it saying something about how Daniel (the protagonist) visits his family and immediately after he captures the attention of his 3 female cousins who are all after his attention and courtship. But that was just in the beginning, after awhile it was barely about that point. It went around other characters point of views, which got me confused at first until I got used to it.
As much as I’d like to mention all the characters, the only one that truly stood out was Eunice. She was the youngest of the cousins who fell in love with Daniel instantly but denied herself the ‘sin’ of thinking about him. This was mostly in her fathers favor, who was a clergyman who deliveries a sermon for everything even a household chore. I didn’t like him at all but he was a needed thorn in the rose bush. Nat and Bell were the ideal couple in the story and Daniels parents. Despite the fact that they were old, their love for each other always surfaced as they did everything together.
I didn’t have a hard time going through the book as I thought I would after the first hundred pages. The entire book kept me on my toes. There was so much happening that I simply couldn’t keep up. It was a mix of every calamity that befell London during the time of Napoleons escapades (so to speak).
Watching both Eunice and Daniel grow and fight through life’s battles was an added pleasure that kept me reading.
Overall, the book was written so smoothly (though my kindle killed the formatting a bit) that you can’t help but notice the perfect flow of events from one chapter to the other. It was the perfect combination of mild-romance, calamities, self-growth and independence rolled into one book. I felt like I was reading a classic, or a soon to be one. A unputdownable book from Prue Phillipson.
Thank you Knox Robinson Publishing for the review copy.