Abigail (2019) by Jess Heileman is a well-done debut. This book comes in eBook form, and is roughly a couple hundred pages in length. With a full-time job and a busy six-year old, this book took me two days to read. I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Kathy at Clean Wholesome Romance/ I Am a Reader. In no way has this influenced my opinion of the story. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give Abigail 4.5 STARS. This book is a Clean Historical Romance.
About the Book
For Abigail Blakeslee, becoming a debutante and entering Society is happening far too quickly. But now, foregoing her first Season has brought an unwanted invitation to join her aunt and cousins for a summer at Timpton House, the large estate of the Stanton family.
Reluctantly accepting, Abigail is thrust into the vexing world of social propriety and match making. More vexing still is her cousin’s suitor, the young Timpton heir—Edwin Stanton. Moody and distant at times, remarkably endearing at others, Edwin seems a puzzle she can never solve, but can never quite put away. But then, Abigail has her own secret to hide–her own mystery to conceal. Perhaps such puzzles are better left unsolved, or perhaps love can find a solution.
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At first glance, Abigail appears to be just another upper class woman. She is the only daughter of a very wealthy British lord. She is beautiful, educated, and genuinely kind. She is also not afraid to get her hands a little dirty if it means she can help another person. Abigail truly appears like the perfect catch for any man looking for an impeccable upper-class wife. But is she? Abigail is surrounded by a bit of mystery, and it’s not clear to the reader if things with Abigail are as they seem. Is she really a rich man’s daughter? Is there something common in her background that actually makes her less than what the British Ton believe her to be? All of this mystery surrounding Abigail is the best aspect to this novel. Piecing together who Abigail really is, and seeing whether or not anyone else will discover her secret, kept me turning pages well past my bedtime.
I am not typically a fan of 1st person point of view. If you know me, I need to know both sides to a story. And, I’m not going to lie, but it did drive me a little crazy that I couldn’t see events through Edwin’s eyes. But, I do appreciate how the use of 1st person P.O.V. reminded me to be careful of my knee-jerk reactions. Many times throughout this novel, Abigail makes knee-jerk assertions based on how she perceives others to think or feel. It actually drove me a little nuts that she would do this. The more it bugged me, the more I questioned why. The answer is because at some level, I still do think from time to time like Abigail. Sometimes I make a judgement based on what I think someone’s comment or facial tick implies. I don’t know the truth in the moment, I just know what I think is the truth in the moment. The way 1st person point of view is used, and how Abigail reacts based on her assumptions, is a great illustration to me to be more careful in my judgments of others. We humans have a tendency to be a little too self-focused, and our assumptions can sometimes get the better of us if we are not careful.
Overall, I very much enjoyed my time with this story. I love the mystery aspect to the story line, and found it made the story super engaging. I also really love the characters. They are well written and very realistic. And the romance is lovely. It definitely left this reader smiling from ear to ear. If you are looking for a high-quality, well-written clean historical romance, Abigail is most definitely the book for you. I highly recommend this book.