Review: The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon #SweetDelight

Review: The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon #SweetDelightThe Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon

Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Small Publisher on November 16, 2016
Pages: 238
Format: eBook
Source: Author
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four-stars      two-half-flames

Scotland, 1795

When the coach carrying Alice Ingram and her niece, Beth, to Edinburgh is attacked, they're grateful for the intervention of two mysterious highwaymen who ride to their rescue. Beth is thrilled by the romance of it all, but Alice, fleeing her brutish husband, has had more than enough drama in her life.

As the women find sanctuary in a tavern on the Great North Road, Beth is thrilled to meet Edward Hogan, the roguish publican. Despite the difference in ages and backgrounds, the couple have instant chemistry and when Ed invited Beth to visit his Edinburgh tavern, she resolves to get to know him even better. Yet Beth is also taken with the highwayman who rescued her; after all, there's something irresistible about a rogue.

Shaken from the attack, Alice grudgingly allows herself to be seen by Doctor James Dillingham, Ed's best friend. Though Dillingham sees the telltale signs of physical abuse on Alice, she refuses to speak of it. Dillingham is dour and Alice frosty, and the two take an instant dislike to each other, so why does their shared coach journey to Edinburgh the following day seem to sizzle?

Once in Edinburgh, Beth starts secretly spending time with Ed, who she begins to think might know more about those highwaymen than he is letting on. By day, Alice sorts Dillingham's paperwork at the charity hospital he runs yet by night she sneaks off to meet her own highwayman, travelling the backroads of the city with the masked figure. Slowly, Alice is coming back to life. But will the husband she is fleeing find her out? And will her highwayman come to her rescue again?

Set during the heady days of the Georgian era when bodysnatching and highwaymen were never too far away, The Crown Spire is a thrilling romantic adventure rich with excitement and packed with historical detail.

Review

A Georgian romp told in the old-style of historical romance was just the thing when I wanted to dive into the past with something light.  Highwaymen, Heroines with Secrets, Bustling Inns, and Heroes who are more than they seem all made for an entertaining story.

Alice and her niece Beth are fleeing a bad situation and as their journey nears its end they are accosted by ruffians who would take their goods, but also their virtue.  Just when things are dire, the ladies are rescued by a pair of highwaymen in masks.

But the adventure is far from over because they make their way to a nearby inn to meet a jovial and flirtatious innkeeper and a dour physician.  Alice is sharp with the physician when he is called in to care for her turned ankle and he returns her attitude with a bit of his own.  Meanwhile, young Beth is taken with the twinkling eyes and bold smiles of the innkeeper which makes an otherwise dreary life with her aunt in Edinburgh now fill with color and hope for more excitement.

Both ladies settle into their new life, hiding their past, but this includes daydreams of handsome highwaymen while slowly getting to know and appreciate their respective innkeeper and doctor.  Meanwhile, Alice’s abusive and plotting husband is on the hunt for his missing wife and niece.

Alright, this one is told from four different perspectives of all the main players.  It was set in Georgian era Edinburgh with a light touch on the historic details and more attention to a colorful plot.

At first, I was none too taken with either lady, really.  Beth was impetuous and immature while Alice was pinch-lipped and snobby, but slowly they relax as their respective gentleman work on their attitudes and hearts.  Beth is not sure what caused all the fuss that forced her to leave behind all she has known and resents her aunt’s coldness and her past actions.  When I realized what was behind Alice and caused her caution and behavior, I had a change of heart and was rooting for her to take a chance on fun and give James, the doctor a chance.

James Dillingham has closed in on himself and his only interest has been his child until Alice forces him to sit up and notice.  They snipe and snap at each other and slowly she brings him to life again.

Ed has his work cut out for him because though Beth is interested, he worries that he is beneath her or that she will let her insecurity and jealousy get the best of her.

Much of the plot are the four main characters growing and growing their relationships.  But there is always the threat of Alice’s husband looming on the horizon to make things get very interesting.  This was an easy and mild read for me as I envied these two ladies their dashing highwaymen.  I think those who enjoy historical romance will appreciate this two for one.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #8 HR
Literary Pickers #9 Handkerchief
Mt. TBR #6
Bad Boys #3 Highwaymen
COYER #44

Need more convincing to read The Crown Spire? How about a preview?
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • While I don’t read historical romance any longer, I used to really enjoy them. Glad to hear that you liked this one. That is a beautiful cover.

    • Thanks, lady! Yeah, my tastes and moods have moved about over the years, too. Oh yeah, gorgeous cover.

  • Oh my, this sounds like a fun one. Body snatching, hmmm.

    • This was just light historical fun and I enjoyed all the goings on, Velvet. 🙂

  • Debbie Haupt

    Love the cover Sophia Rose, and I like characters who you warm up to. Thanks

    • It is a peach of a cover, Debbie. I was so glad that the ladies helped me get past my first impression. 🙂

  • I like the sound of this one. I haven’t read this author but this sounds like one worth trying. Great review!

    • Oh yes, if you love historical background stuff from the Georgian era, she has a cool blog, too. But for sure this was a fun romp, Carole. 🙂

  • Dashing highwaymen, you say? 😉 I’d not heard of this book! The cover does not appeal to me at all, but it sounds like the story might. I’m glad you enjoyed the book, Sophia!

    Have a lovely week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Yep, those dashing highwaymen get to me, too, Alyssa. 🙂 It was a fun story.

  • I love history and learning about it, but I like it on the lighter side when it comes to books like this. And the characters sound fun!

    • Me, too. Though I like both the heavy duty and the light. This was a fun light romp and I loved all the Georgian era style that was mentioned.

  • I didn’t know about this one but it’s great to find a good HR so well I’m always curious!

    • And that is the fun of reviewing because this book found me, Melliane. 🙂 I get to read books that I likely wouldn’t come across on my own. It was a good one.

  • I’m glad to see she was able to turn ya to them. It sounds rather fun, really 🙂

    • Yeah, at first I was like oh nope, I don’t like it when the meanness comes out for no reason, but then I got the whole picture. Oh yes, it was a fun light Georgian romp.

  • I’m glad you were able to root for the characters! Adding this one to my list!

    • Yeah, it was great and I’m glad it turned in for a good one. Hope you enjoy it when you get the chance, Angela.