Kristi Ann Hunter Book Reviews
Kristi Ann Hunter is an excellent story teller. She debuted her first novel in 2015, so she is a pretty new novelist to mainstream markets. I am so glad I found her books. They are amazing page turners that take me about two days to read. You just can’t put them down!!! Her novels are so fun, and sometimes you just need a fun, easy, completely enjoyable read. Hunter’s books are full of well-written characters who endear themselves to your heart, and adventure that force pages to fly by. I highly recommend all of Ms. Hunter’s novels.
A Noble Masquerade (2015) — book 1 in the Hawthorne House series, and Ms. Hunter’s debut novel — 5 STARS — this is a clean Christian Historical Romance.
“Her impending spinsterhood must be bothering her more than she realized if a servant was catching her attention in such a way. Of course, he was a very nicely put together servant.”
Lady Miranda Hawthorne longs for freedom — freedom away from the rigid falseness of society. Entering her fourth season, she is pretty sure spinsterhood is just around the corner. Lady Miranda pours her heart and soul into the letters she pens to her brother’s friend, a Duke who has been absent from society for a remarkably long time. Of course she has NO intention of ever mailing these letters, but her brother’s new valet — the handsome Marlow — accidentally mails one! Or is it an accident?! Marlow has a few secrets himself, and Lady Miranda can’t help but be captivated by this new employee to Hawthorne House and the mystery that surrounds him.
Oh. My. Goodness! This book is SO good. I thoroughly enjoyed every page. In fact, there were moments I should have been grading papers (I’m a HS English teacher), but I didn’t. Instead, I read this amazingly fun book! The main characters, Lady Miranda and Marlow, are very well written and so much fun. I rooted for them as soon as I saw them interact for the first time. The chemistry between them is immediate.
And, as a side note, I love the nod to Christopher Marlowe, the supposed spy for Queen Elizabeth I, and brilliant poet and playwright. It is fun to see how Marlow plays out in this novel. His moments in this book are my favorite. He is a captivating character.
When this book finished, I was genuinely sad and wanted to immediately turn back to page 1 and begin again. But, alas, I really did need to grade those papers! LOL!!!
A Lady of Esteem (2015) — book 0.5 in the Hawthorne House series — this is an e-only novella meant to introduce readers to characters in book 1 — 5 STARS — this is a clean Christian Historical Romance.
I read the first two novels in this series before I read this e-novella. This short story is good; a very good introduction to the Hawthorne family. My only issue is that the pacing of the story is great until chapter 15. Everything is progressing well: characters are introduced, action ensues, I am rooting for the characters I want to win the day, and then, all of a sudden, the book speeds up the action and is done. It took me out of the story a little.
It kind of feels like Ms. Hunter was given a chapter limit, was writing the story, got caught up in the action of her story, and then realized she was going to go over her limit, and just ended the story. Everything about this story is good. I just wish the last two chapters didn’t feel so immediate, so rushed to get to the happy ending.
An Elegant Facade (2016) — book 2 in the Hawthorne House series — 4.5 STARS — this is a clean Christian Historical Romance.
By 30% of this novel read, I was having a bit of a difficult time wanting to read. Honestly, the main character, Lady Georgina Hawthorne, is exceptionally shallow and tedious. She came off as a BIG jerk. And, her “problem” was annoying to me. BUT, that is the beauty of Ms. Hunter’s writing. She does such a great job at writing realistic characters that when Lady Georgina stops being a horrible person over time, I grew to appreciate her struggles and could actually see her as a real person. And, I didn’t even realize I was liking Lady Georgina. It just sort of snuck up on me!
I did initially take issue with the beginning of the book because Ms. Hunter uses the events from book 1, but shows them through Lady Georgina’s point of view. That made the story a little difficult to read. As soon as this book reached the moment where book 1 ends, and the story became only Lady Georgina’s story, it became an amazing novel to read. Again, I could not put the book down! At this point, I could appreciate and love the main characters, Lady Georgina and Colin. They became personable and relatable.
I wish that Ms. Hunter had just began the book at Lady Georgina’s story, and left Lady Miranda’s story behind in book 1. The writing in this novel is very good, the characters become very well-crafted, and the action and dialogue are very entertaining and enjoyable. I just wish the first part of the book was its own and didn’t use book 1 as a backdrop. It is cool to see events through different eyes, but, to me, it didn’t really work in this novel.
An Uncommon Courtship (2017) — book 3 in the Hawthorne House series — 5 STARS — this is a clean Christian Historical Romance.
When her mother’s ill-conceived marriage trap goes awry, Lady Adelaide Bell unwittingly finds herself bound to a stranger who ignores her. Lord Trent Hawthorne, who had grand plans to marry for love, is even less pleased with the match. Can Adelaide and Trent set aside their first impressions before any chance of love is lost?
You cannot read this book and not feel badly for Lady Adelaide. Her mother sets a marriage trap for her. She is just a pawn, the poor thing. When she finds herself married to a man who doesn’t want her, your heart breaks a bit for her. None of this is really her fault, yet she is the one who reaps the punishments.
Kristi Ann Hunter is a great storyteller — there is no denying this fact. As with her other novels, the writing is excellent, the characters are so realistic and charming, and the moment the bad guy loses is very satisfying. It is a great story with never a dull moment!
An Inconvenient Beauty (2017) is the final novel in Kristi Ann Hunter’s Hawthorne House series. This FANTASTIC story comes in all forms including eBook, and is 384 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very busy five-year old, this novel took me five days to read. I give this novel 5+++ STARS. This story is a Christian Historical Romance.
Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.
Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she’ll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.
Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?
I have this really annoying habit when it comes to the last book in a series: I take a really long time to read them. I still have the last 25 pages of the final Harry Potter novel to read, but I probably won’t because I don’t want the story to be over. So, if you took note of the fact that An Inconvenient Beauty took me a rather long time to read, it’s because I was having a very hard time saying goodbye to the Duke of Riverton and his wonderfully endearing family and friends.
This novel is SO good, I don’t actually know where to begin with this review. The characters are fantastic, the settings are dazzling, and the action is non-stop. This novel is a page-turner! Kristi Hunter is a phenomenal storyteller, and I truly cannot wait for what she has in store next. I pray God blesses her with many, many more fabulous story lines. If you are on Facebook this Friday, you might want to check out Kristi’s FB page. She is going to reveal her next novel’s cover. I have seen it and it is gorgeous!!!
The first aspect that I really love about this story is how well Ms. Hunter captures what it means to be the first-born, Type-A child. As with her previous novels, the characters in this story are excellently and realistically written. I am a first-born child. I think first-born children are inherently created with the need to take on all the responsibilities, take care of all the siblings, and do everything without failing. We always want and hope for (and maybe crave) the approval of those we put into authoritative positions. And, we often are willing to sacrifice our needs and wants if it means we can help out those we love. Reading Griffith and Isabella’s story is like reading a first-born child’s playbook. Many times while reading this story, I was reminded of moments in my younger years where I took control of situations with my brothers because I thought it was my duty as the oldest sister. This is pretty much how Griffith has lived his whole life. One of the best quotes from very early on in the novel perfectly illustrates Griffith as first-born: “While the limits of human ability prevented Griffith, Duke of Riverton, from being everything to everyone who depended on him for their livelihoods, he’s always assumed there was no limit to what he would do for his family” (5). This is spot on for every first-born, myself included, that I have ever known. If we could break though our limits of human ability, we could do more for those we love! To the rest of the world, these first-born tendencies may seem overbearing, but I promise we really only do everything out of love!
The overall message in this novel is superb: seek God, ask for forgiveness, and put all trust in HIM! Many times throughout the story, Griffith and Isabella act. They concoct plans based on ideas they overthink, which results in their plans becoming too much head and not enough heart. And, often, they forget to take their problems and issues to God. Isabella especially puts her trust into her own abilities, and this backs her into a corner. Just when I was starting to wonder if she would ever go to God, she realizes her mistakes and seeks God’s forgiveness and peace. I love this reminder! Many times I tend to get so wrapped up in MY plans that I forget to include God. Every time I do this, something in my plan gets really messed up. Then I get frustrated and react incorrectly. Then, in tears, I go to God, ask His forgiveness, and listen for HIS plan. One would think I would have learned my lesson the first, second, or third time, but apparently at 36 I still need this reminder daily. I love that this novel was able to act as another reminder that I need to go to God first and let Him guide my steps. It’s truly the only way to find any real peace in this life.
Isabella and Griffith’s story is the perfect ending to a truly well-written series. I cannot recommend this novel, and the Hawthorne House series, enough. Read every book in the series if you haven’t already. You will not be disappointed that you spent time with this wonderful, eclectic family.