Review: As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin

Posted December 5, 2021 by Sophia Rose in Reviews, Sweet Delight / 22 Comments

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Review: As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin
As Dawn Breaks

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Genres: Historical Romance, Inspirational Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Bethany House
Released on November 1, 2021
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

Desperation led to a daring switch and leads to intrigue during the dark times of WWI.  One glimpse of the blurb as well as a fancy for the gorgeous cover led me to give As Dawn Breaks a try.

Review

Rose desperately wants to avoid a horrid arranged marriage that her detestable guardian is pushing on her.  No one will ever know that during a spectacular explosion at the munitions’ factory where she works that it is Tilly Lockhart who perishes and not Rose who miraculously survives when she was supposed to be at her wedding party.  Rose as Tilly goes to Gretna to take a supervisory role at that munitions factory and stays with the Baird family.  That should have been the end of it save getting the workers to listen to her, but then a disturbing letter for Tilly arrives and Alex Baird comes home and is suspicious of her even while they share a connection.  Her secrets and his secret mission lies between them.

Injured, Royal Air Force Captain Alex Baird is burdened by his brother’s death and is sent home to recover.  Alex is fearful for his family living in the shadow of the munitions’ factory so he grimly accepts the mission to surveil one Tilly Lockhart who worked at the Chilwell Factory before it was sabotaged and exploded.  He had already been making a connection with the lady and struggles with her on his suspect list.  Dare he trust her so they can work together against the certainty of another sabotage attack and dare he trust her with his heart?

I have seen so few romances let alone romantic suspenses set during the WWI era that I all but pounced on this one.  The author is new to me, but I had a feeling it was not a huge gamble to dive in.  Turned out superbly because the historical backdrop, the characters, and plot all wove together nicely and pulled me in.  What hard times those were and especially for women like Rose.  Those factories were not exactly healthy and the gals were covered in the yellow powder by the end of shift and earned the nickname Canary Girls and then there was the explosive nature of their product.  But, I also speak of a woman’s lot when it came to unscrupulous legal guardians like her uncle that was forcing her to marry an abusive man so that she felt she had to pretend die just to escape.  The flip side, Alex’s situation was grim too, but I was somewhat more familiar with a military character though having him in an espionage role was pretty cool.

Their romance was complicated with the lies and secrets and not at the forefront much of the time, but I enjoyed how it didn’t turn into high drama and they worked as a team to investigate the sabotage.  I liked the tension the suspense side of the plot added, but thought the romance was developed well in its own right.  They were friends and partners and had to take their time.  Then they had to get past the reveals and to their true selves.  Rose was in bad straights, but Alex had his struggles, too.  His family was great support and Rose finds a real home with the delightful, sometimes mischievous Bairds in gorgeous Scotland.

I should point out that this is inspirational romance and it is a theme in the story, but there isn’t soapboxing at the expense of the story.

All in all, this was enchanting from the first page as it pulled me into Rose’s WWI era world and drew me in deeper as she was caught up in a traitor’s web, espionage, and playing her role while her real self found home, happiness and love in Scotland.  I definitely want to read more of the author’s books and can recommend this one highly to those who enjoy sweet historical or inspirational romance.

I rec’d this eARC from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

COYER Seasons Fall #32 strong female protagonist

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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.

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Ethan
1 month ago

I’m a sucker for anything set during that war, especially when it has an element of suspense woven in!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Ethan

Yes, that is what I thought, too, Ethan. I’d definitely like to see more from this era. 🙂

Lover of Romance
1 month ago

What a lovely review you have of this one here. And you are so right, we rarely see WWI settings for romance, it tends to be mostly focused on WWII. So its nice to have something different right? Glad to see that you loved this one so much.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

Thanks, Renee! Yes, a different era from the usual is always fun in historicals. I learn so much. 🙂

Carole Rae
1 month ago

Oooo! I like the sounds of this one!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Glad to introduce you, Carole. 🙂

Nadene
1 month ago

Now you have me wondering about the repercussions from the revelation of her duplicity. Souds like you had a winner.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Nadene

Hehe! Fun to make you curious. 🙂

Mareli @ Elza Reads
1 month ago

I’m always on the hunt for books from WWI, this does sound really nice. I’m not always the biggest fan of romance, but with a bit of War background, it might just work for me!

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Sophia Rose
1 month ago

Totally understandable. This has romance, but it is only one of the big elements because of everything else going on. 🙂 It also has a mild inspirational theme, too, if that is something you like to know.

Rachel
1 month ago

I’m sometimes nervous to try a new author especially with a high page count, but it sounds like you gamble paid off! I do enjoy stories in this era as well. Long held deceptions usually kind of stress me out so I’m happy to hear the secrets between these two didn’t turn into high drama.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Rachel

I get that way, too. I want to sample something shorter to see if I like the writing style. This actually read pretty quickly. I think the page count is higher more because of the formatting and font/margin size rather than higher word count.
Yeah, it was a bit stressful with Rose’s secret dangling between them, but fortunately the suspense built and things got faster-paced to distract me. 🙂

Lindsi
1 month ago

The cover is lovely! I wonder if I could find that outfit somewhere… LOL. Glad this one was enjoyable for you!

Last edited 1 month ago by Lindsi
Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Lindsi

LOL, for real! Love that old Edwardian style.

Mary Kirkland
1 month ago

Being forced into an arranged marriage would be terrible.

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Nightmare because the guy was the worst. 🙁

Melliane
1 month ago

Oh it looks nice! The setting is intriguing too!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  Melliane

That’s what I thought too when it opened in a munitions factory during WWI. 🙂

Angie Elle
13 days ago

I love it when a woman who was promised to an unscrupulous man ends up finding true love! It’s my catnip. The happiness she thought she’d never have…

Great review, Sophia!

Sophia Rose
13 days ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

I think that element makes it particularly triumphant when she gets her HEA. 🙂 Thanks, Angie!

vvb
vvb
8 days ago

Interesting location setting, a munitions factory. Glad it was a good one 🙂

Sophia Rose
8 days ago
Reply to  vvb

It was pretty unique, Velvet.