How can a meek wallflower help a returning war hero whose dreams are plunged into darkness?
Mary Bloomfield has no illusions. Her chances for matrimony have long since passed her by. Still, her circumstances are pleasant enough, especially now that she has found purpose in assisting her father with his medical practice in England’s beautiful Lake District. Even without love, it’s a peaceful life.
That is until Adam Edgerton returns to the sleepy district. This decorated war hero did not arrive home to acclaim and rest, but to a new battle against the repercussions of an insidious disease. Mary’s caring nature cannot stand to see someone suffer–but how can she help this man see any brightness in his future when he’s plunged into melancholic darkness, his dreams laid waste by his condition?
Adam wants no charity, but he’s also no coward. If this gentle woman can work hard, how can he do less? Together they struggle to find a way forward for him. Frustration and antipathy slowly develop into friendship and esteem. Then a summer storm atop a mountain peak leads to scandal–and both Mary and Adam must search the depths of their closed hearts for answers if they hope to find any future path with happiness at its end.
Best-selling author Carolyn Miller is back with a fresh series that will not only thrill readers eager for more of her work, but bring in new fans looking for beautiful writing, fascinating research, deftly woven love stories, and real faith lived out in the Regency period.
I loved reading Dusk’s Darkest Shores and experiencing life in a small village in the picturesque Lakes District in Regency England. Mary is twenty-nine and has never had a suitor ask for her hand. She’s considered plain looking, and she has given up on any hopes of marriage and children. Her father is the village doctor, and she is his competent assistant who lives her faith by helping those in need. Her brother is away fighting in the war in Spain. Her pretty and flighty younger sister, Joanna, carelessly reminds Mary that she’ll always be a wallflower.
Adam is Mary’s brother’s best friend from childhood. He was an eligible bachelor set to inherit the family farm when he went to war, and he has returned a war hero with serious injuries. Adam is blind, and he has to learn to live with his disability and the knowledge that he may never regain his sight. He is supposed to be marrying Emily, one of Joanna’s friends. Emily is shallow and immature, and she doesn’t cope well when she learns of Adam’s war injuries.
Mary’s father asks her to assist Adam and his family in helping them with Adam’s rehabilitation. Mary has admired Adam from afar, and old feelings are rekindled as they spend more time together. Adam remembers Mary as the young girl who’d tag along with him and her brother on their outdoor adventures. Adam appreciates her care and her selflessness in assisting him and others in the village. He’s drawn to her gentle spirit and her understanding of the unique challenges he faces adjusting to life back on the farm.
Regency romances often focus on the nobility and characters who have a life of privilege. The characters in Dusk’s Darkest Shores are ordinary people with ordinary struggles set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars taking place in Europe.
I loved the positive message in the story that true beauty is all about a person’s character and not their outward appearance. The subplot with Susan was heartbreaking, and highlighted how vulnerable young girls could suffer terrible injustice if they weren’t from a wealthy or powerful family. I highly recommend Dusk’s Darkest Shores to readers who like regency romances that sensitively address real-to-life issues.