Title: Fairer Than Morning
Author: Rosslyn Elliot
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Series: Saddler’s Legacy
Released: May 10, 2011
After Ann Miller is forced to decline a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli, she is crushed to realize that he is courting another girl. So, she decides to go with her father to Pittsburgh, but what happens there will turn her life upside-down.
Will Hanby is trudging through a terrible apprenticeship and just trying to get through the remaining two years so he can finally leave. Then, he meets the Millers. They give him hope he never had before and show him who God really is.
When he flees his abusive master, he turns to the Millers for shelter. What he and Ann don’t expect is the spark of attraction that flies between them. But will the spark turn Into a flame or will it fizzle with the danger that he brings to them?
I don’t really know what I expected from this story, I think I expected this book to be the typical cookie-cutter historical romance. However, cookie-cutter this book is not. How many books have you read that include a raggedy, sickly thin indentured servant that falls in love with the daughter of saddler slash circuit preacher? My guess is not that many if any at all.
This story starts out with Ann getting proposed to, at fifteen, by Eli. She has to decline, much as she wants to say yes, because her father says she has to wait until she is eighteen. His reasoning is that her mother admitted that she would have made a mistake had she married the first man to propose to her. He doesn’t want her to make a mistake and in the end his reasoning is spot on but in Ann’s fifteen year old brain she refuses to admit that he’s right for her to wait.
After Ann, it shifts to Will, who at the time, is just signing on as an apprentice for Master Good. Just don’t let the name fool you, he is anything but good. He barely feeds them and what he does is scraps. He hits them, make them sleep in a cold barn and makes them work harder than horses. Too bad Will didn’t realize this before he signed on.
One of my favorite parts of a book is learning new words to add to my vocabulary. This author utilized many of the words used in the early nineteenth century and my dictionary got some use with this book.
The author is also great her use of words. She shows the reader exactly what Pittsburgh in the early nineteenth century looked and smelled like. She also is great at painting pictures of the countryside outside Pittsburgh. The author drags you into the story with her incredible descriptions.
The romance in this book isn’t really a huge part. I think the majority of the story is supposed to be about the conversion of Will and Ann trying to figure out which one of the three men she really loves. For some reason I was more interested about how Will was going to get out of his contract permanently than the romance. I’m not really sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
There’s a touch of suspense that carries through most of the book, however it’s not too overwhelming and it’s subtle enough to where you don’t dwell on it every second, but enough to where it leaves your stomach in a knot when it comes up.
Overall, despite the lackluster romance, I enjoyed this book immensely and wouldn’t change anything about it. It fits together too perfectly. It’s perfect for those that want a unique, dramatic romance with a sprinkle of suspense. I give it four and a half out of five.
I received this book from Thomas Nelson and Net Galley for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.