About the Book
Book: The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline
Author: Jan Davis Warren
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: September 22, 2020
Everyone believes Lady Evangeline is dead, so why not let them? Her survival depends on it.
After escaping from assassins and healing from her injuries, Evangeline Stanton finds refuge in a crumbling abbey. Her physical scars are nothing to the wounds left by the death of her daughter and abandonment of her husband. She spends most days disguised as Sister Margaret Mary, but when necessary, she dons the disguise of the recently deceased bandit, the Fox, to steal from the rich and help the starving children and widows who come for aid.
Lord Henry Stanton still grieves the death of his beloved wife, Evangeline. Raising their young daughter is now the most important role in his life, even though the child serves as a daily reminder of the love he and his wife once shared. He may never shed the weight of his guilt for not protecting Evangeline from the band of outlaws who killed her, as well as the lies sown by his sister-in-law, which he allowed to separate him from his wife just before her death.
When Henry’s ailing father-in-law sends an urgent request for help to manage his lands, he has no choice but to take his daughter with him to Castle Brighton. But the nun who comes to care for the sick man catches Henry’s notice from the first moment he catches sight of her. When the life of their precious daughter is threatened, can they overcome the lies and secrets of the past and join forces to save their daughter before it is too late?
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My Review and Rating: ⭐⭐
This novel was a sweet story. A romance with a bit of an unusual twist (the protagonists are already married), and plenty of adventure and exciting scenes. However, I just didn’t like it. Its mostly a matter of personal taste.
For one I just don’t feel I can call it Historical. Sorry, but there it is. It came over as a Disneyfied version of Medieval England that as an Englishwoman I found really grated on me. It wasn’t just the numerous inaccuracies. It was the twee details and quite silly ethnic stereotypes that made me think it was aimed at 11-year olds. Until certain content reminds the reader this is most certainly NOT a children’s book.
The Medieval setting came over as
really superficial. Like the 12th century was only chosen to make it
more Robin-Hoody. Swords and castles do not Medieval Fiction make, and this story
could have been set at any time. In fact,
it would probably have been more credible if set in the 18th or 19th
century. I’m afraid I have to mention some of the inaccuracies which include
ship canons (18th century invention), and a mention of meeting a
husband at a ball, when balls were not even a thing until the 17th century.
There weren’t any slaves in England in 1186 and were certainly were not in the
habit of going on slave raids across the border.
The other historical aspect that really got me was geographical. Reading novels like this one would be forgiven for thinking that London was the only major settlement in Medieval England, and the rest of the country consisted of forests dotted with villages of starving and perpetually starving and oppressed peasants. I mean London is the only city in England seems to get mentioned in most fiction.
Seriously, can we please learn the names of some other cities in my country? Lincoln, York, Canterbury? They do exist, and things actually happened in them, even in 1186.
My other major beef was Lady Evangeline. I never warmed to her at all. I think she was just too much of a Mary Sue or Disney Princess (perfect, good at everything, an expert with a sword “strong” and “independent”). Yeah, I’m sorry, but there are so many characters like her, and the kickass girl Robin Hood has been done many times. I actually preferred her husband as he was a more developed character. Even a couple of the villains were better.
However, I don’t want to be just negative. I know a lot of people will enjoy this novel, and its OK if you want to while away a few hours with a relatively light read with a nice spiritual message. Warning for some moderate language and violence.
I read a copy of this title from Celebrate Lit, and not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
About the Author
Jan Davis Warren is a mother, grandmother, and a young-at-heart great-grandmother. Her wonderful husband passed away the same year she won the ACFW Genesis Award for Romantic Suspense. That win and many others are encouraging reminders that God wants her to continue writing even in the tough times. Learn more at www.janwarrenbooks.com.
More from Jan
Hello Dear Reader,
That you are reading this means you come from some hearty and courageous ancestors. Over thousands of years, they survived good times and bad, plagues, famines, wars, and all manner of tribulations. No matter how many different places around the globe your ancestors ventured, or where they lived and died, you are living proof they existed.
This thought never crossed my mind while writing and winning awards with contemporary romantic suspense, westerns, and even sci-fi. It wasn’t until Lady Evangeline stirred me with her story that I was lured into writing about the Middle Ages. I was even more surprised when I won RWA Faith Hope & Love chapter’s, Touched by Love historical category and the overall award with The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline. Thus began my next exciting adventure, for I had never written a medieval.
While doing research for the time period, I was humbled by the revelation that I’m alive because of ancestors further back than my genealogy has thus far revealed. They survived not only the medieval era, but many other difficult, even horrific times over the centuries before my birth. You and I are truly blessed by our ancestors’ perseverance. We are alive at such a time as this for a reason. Help us Lord to be the light so others might find You and through You life eternal.
Jan Davis Warren
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Blogging With Carol, September 25
For Him and My Family, September 26
Inklings and notions, September 27
deb’s Book Review, September 27
Texas Book-aholic, September 28
Connect in Fiction, September 28
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 29
Romances of the Cross, September 29
Connie’s History Classroom, September 30
The Book Chic Blog, September 30
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 1
CarpeDiem, October 1
Older & Smarter?, October 2
Locks, Hooks and Books, October 3
Life, Love, Writing, October 3
Artistic Nobody, October 4 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Labor Not in Vain, October 4
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 5
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 6
Emily Yager, October 6
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 7
Mary Hake, October 7
Splashes of Joy, October 8
To celebrate her tour, Jan is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.