Night at the Opera (2018) by Stacy Henrie is the first novel in her American Heiress series. This book was recently released on October 16, 2018 by Mirror Press, and can be purchased wherever books are sold. This novel comes in all forms including eBook, and is 276 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very lively six-year old, this book took me two days to read. I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher via Kathy at I Am a Reader. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give Night at the Opera 5 STARS. This novel is a Historical Christian Romance.
About the Book
When American heiress Gwen Barton aids an injured gentleman in an opera box in London, she shares a kiss with the stranger that changes her life. More determined than ever to be herself, in spite of the limp she’s sustained since childhood, she will marry for love and not a title. She also resolves to learn the identity of the man she helped—and kissed. Surely he can’t be the irritating Avery Winfield, though. But as circumstances continue to throw Gwen and Avery together, she begins to wonder if there is more to this man than she first thought.
While most of London only knows him as the nephew of a duke, Avery Winfield is actually working for the Secret Service Bureau to ferret out German spies from among the ton. It’s a profession that gives him purpose and a reason to remain a bachelor. But the more he interacts with Gwen Barton, an heiress from America, the more he begins to question his plans and neglected faith. Then he learns Gwen is the young lady from the opera box who helped him. Now his most important mission may have nothing to do with saving Britain from danger and everything to do with risking his heart for the woman he met that night at the opera.
Do yourself a favor and go online to Amazon or run to your local bookstore to pick up a copy of Night at the Opera by Stacie Henrie. I absolutely LOVED this book. I will admit that I had never heard of Stacie Henrie before so I wasn’t sure what I was going to get with this book. But the premise really grabbed my attention, so I went with it. Boy, am I glad I did. I enjoyed every page of this highly engaging story!
Gwen, the heroine of this novel, is an exceptional character. She is slightly introverted and completely endearing. Gwen would prefer a night in her library reading the latest romance released rather than attend the latest society ball. This is a sentiment I can relate to greatly! Gwen is slightly damaged from an accident she suffered when she was a little girl, but refuses to let it get her down. Sure, sometimes the chronic pain from this injury is frustrating and wearisome, but Gwen never allows it to change her positive outlook. I find this quality most inspirational. A negative attitude does nothing but make a person miserable, and Gwen totally gets that. My most favorite character attribute though is Gwen’s strong faith in God. She is NEVER afraid to share her faith no matter what others may say or think. She boldly professes her faith in God as her source of strength even when she worries on the inside that maybe her confessions will alienate herself from others. I genuinely love this about Gwen’s character. It’s a great reminder that no matter who or what comes my way, I must always stand strong in my faith in God and His Truth.
Avery is a wonderful hero. He’s a bit Mr. Rochester meets Mr. Darcy. I immediately fell for his character! Not only is he handsome, intelligent, and refined, but he is also rather cool. He is a spy for what will eventually become Britain’s MI-5 and MI-6. So there is this aura of mystery and danger to Avery that makes his character even more swoon-worthy! Like all good heroes, Avery is a bit damaged by events in his past. His mother died when he was a boy, and his father did not take it well. This leads to a very acerbic relationship between Avery and his father that never finds resolution. It is unfortunate, but such ugly earthly relationships can cause us to question the love and faithfulness of our Heavenly Father, which is exactly the path Avery has taken at the start of this book. I feel that Avery’s questions, worries, and fears in regards to God are all very realistic feelings that I have related to in my own past, which makes Avery and even more relatable character. When Avery does come to better conclusions about God, with Gwen’s help of course, I could not help but cheer for him!
One reason why I love Christian fiction so much is because it tries to answer the tough questions in a way people will understand and accept. Avery’s tough question in this story is: why does God allow pain if He loves us? Gwen thinks about her own pain and explains to Avery that sometimes pain is the best way to grow into the person God wants him/her to be. This confounds Avery until Gwen states that until she experienced her own pain, she wasn’t really conscious of the pain of others. It took her getting hurt to realize that others get hurt too and need help. This realization allowed Gwen to follow a path towards helping injured and sick children that she probably would never have followed if she had never been hurt. I found this to be a stellar answer to this rather difficult question. God doesn’t want His kids to be in pain. That is not God’s will for us. But, God will use our pain to shape us into the men and women He hopes we will become. Pain, in a sense, is a refining tool used by God. It is not a punishment. What a fabulous take away!
Truly, I am sad to be done with this book. I will miss my time with Gwen and Avery very much. If you are looking for a highly engaging, captivating, and well-written Historical Romance then I highly recommend Night at the Opera. It is a definite must-read!