From Rake to Respectable – Review of The Cautious Maiden



Dawn Crandall recently released her fourth novel, the fourth installment in The Everstone Chronicles. It’s one of my favorite historical romance series for several reasons. They can be read in any order, but I recommend reading them in order because you’ll enjoy the cameo appearances by the other characters and enjoy the updates of their stories.

  1. It’s about a wealthy family during the Gilded Age, one of my favorite historical eras.
  2. Much of the series is set in Maine, which is an unusual setting. It’s remote northern climate superimposed over the other scenes set in Boston mansions, it gives the story a western vibe, this is especially true in The Cautious Maiden where there’s a brothel and a fair amount of gambling.
  3. They’re in the first person point-of-view of the heroine rather than alternating hero-heroine point-of-view, this makes them fresh and less formulaic.
  4. And of course, they’re well-written with complex characters, suspenseful plots, and rich details in the settings.

Synopsis from Goodreads

Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents’ New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks; but when Violet’s own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance; Vance Everstone. As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU. With danger stalking her and a new fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust and who to leave behind.

My Thoughts on The Cautious Maiden

In real life, the bad boy never held much appeal for me. In books, I’m kind of a fan of the rogue especially when we get a taste of his good qualities. Vance’s story is the best of both. He’s the fast-living rake and family black sheep through the first three Everstone books, but by the time we meet him in The Cautious Maiden, he’s a redeemed man of faith.

There’s so much I loved about this story. Violet is a bright and beautiful woman who’s in a horrible situation. After her parents died, she was left under the control of her brother, who is in classic western fashion, a low-down scoundrel. He runs a brothel and is an unscrupulous gambler. The story starts off with him putting Violet in a compromising and degraded position. After the ensuing scandal, Vance Everstone proposes to Violet to save her reputation. I absolutely love both of these characters. Violet wants to be a writer, so that endeared me to her right away, and Vance, he’s so ridiculously handsome and charming, you can’t help but fall in love with him.

Dawn’s stories are historical suspense, and this installment is the most suspenseful of the series. A fun and engaging read.

Connect with Dawn



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Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst


 Buy Her Books

The Hesitant Heiress

The Bound Heart

The Captive Imposter

The Cautious Maiden


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