Julie Klassen Is the Gold Standard for Inspirational Regency Fiction
Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It's where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she's beautiful.
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?
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The Painter’s Daughter Painted a Good Portrait
The Painter’s Daughter
Book Summary: Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists--including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape. Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley's responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host's daughter in serious trouble. Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother's, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage "in name only" to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow. Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn't come to regret it?
Review: I really love Julie Klassen’s books. I love Stephen’s character. He was the best of the book. Sophie grew on me as the story progressed. I especially enjoyed the secondary characters in the story. Winnie, Angela, Kate, Winnie and the grandfather. The interactions and relationships between these characters is what made the story. I even found Keith to grow on me. That is why this book is good. Secrets also hold my attention like no other. Wesley was a great protagonist for the story. He was not overly likable to me anyway. I found some portions slow and it was the secondary characters that held things together for me. As I read the story I tried to decide if anything could be trimmed from the story and came up believing that no things were as they should be. I did not like many of the interactions that Sophie and Wesley had, mostly because Sophie was so blinded by Wesley. I did like the resolution to everything. It surely made the overall book worth reading.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen is set in England in 1815. Sophie Dupont is the daughter of painter, Claude Dupont. Sophie works in her father’s shop, assists him with his paintings, and looks after cottages that they rent out. They have been renting a cottage to Wesley Overtree, an artist. Wesley is also the oldest son and heir to his father’s estate. However, Wesley is more concerned with Wesley and his art. Captain Stephen Overtree was sent to get his brother and send him home. He arrives to find that Wesley has left for Italy. This leaves Sophie quite in a pickle. Sophie believed (as many girls do) that Wesley loves her and would marry her. Now, Sophie is pregnant and alone. Stephen offers to marry her to provide for her and the child. Stephen is different from his brother (not easy going). Sophie knows she has no alternative and agrees to marry Stephen.
Wesley regrets leaving Sophie the way he did and writes her a letter at their first stop. He asks her to wait for him. Unfortunately, the letter does not reach her for quite some time. Sophie and Stephen elope (with a chaperone) to the Island of Guernsey. They then head towards Stephen’s home at Overtree Hall to get Sophie settled before Stephen has to return to his regiment. Sophie has averted scandal, but her troubles are just beginning. What happens when Wesley unexpectedly returns to home and finds Sophie wed to his brother? Can Sophie and Steven make their marriage work? You will need to read The Painter’s Daughter to find out.
The Painter’s Daughter is a Christian novel. It has just the right tone (not too much). I found the novel to be just a little bit long and there are some slow areas (especially about battles). I liked Julie Klassen’s writing which makes for a pleasant story. I did want to wring Sophie’s neck sometimes. Stephen promises to not sleep with her but she continues to cower every time he comes near her (but then wonders why he does not sleep with her or kiss her). There is also the miscommunication issue. If people would just talk or ask questions, so many misunderstandings could be avoided. I know it is just a book, but miscommunication seems to be so prevalent in books lately. I give The Painter’s Daughter 4 out of 5 stars. I will look forward to reading more books by Julie Klassen in the future.
I received a complimentary copy of The Painter’s Daughter from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved that the ending wasn't sudden but answered most of my questions about what happened to the characters!