The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen
Genre: Clean Regency Romance
In Regency England, Sophie Dupont feels sure that handsome, wealthy Wesley Overtree will marry her when she tells him about their child. As she walks the path to his rented artist cottage that overlooks the ocean, she imagines joy filling his eyes at the news. But when she gets there, it’s empty. Except for a hastily scribbled goodbye note saying he’s left for Italy.
Drowning in anxiety, she throws his message off the cliffs into the crashing waves below. As she drowns in heartbreak and despair over her future as a fallen woman and her illegitimate child’s life of hardships, she feels tempted. Tempted to follow the note over the cliff and bury herself permanently in the ocean.
But to her surprise, it’s at that moment that Wesley’s brother appears—the brother he always told her was dangerous, disapproving, and cold. Wesley calls him “Captain Black.” His military friends call him Captain Stephen Overtree.
He’s the last person she would have expected to come to her rescue. Still, he’s the one there. He’s the one offering to help in a way she could never have imagined.
He offers to marry her.
Sophia Dupont’s decision to accept the proposal of this mysterious man she does not know at all sets the plotline of The Painter’s Daughter into motion. Could she come to love this man who has made such an enormous sacrifice to protect her and her child? Can she let go of her feelings for his brother Wesley? Will his family accept the daughter-in-law they never saw coming?
I fell in love with the characters of The Painter’s Daughter. I could relate to Sophia’s insecurities about her looks and talent. Stephen’s principled decisiveness endeared him to me almost as much as his sweetness and caring. The secondary characters filled the story with subplots that spiced up the story with just a bit of mystery. I loved seeing one of the secondary character’s personal growth and attempts to become a better man.
The story pulled me along, always wondering what would happen next. Which brother will she ultimately choose? Klassen has a beautiful ability to weave engaging romances while keeping them classy and clean. I was quickly rooting for one of the brothers over the other and exclaimed out loud when things took a turn for the opposing team. (Yes, I’m a terrible character shipper.)
I did feel like the characters fell in love too swiftly. On the other hand, the unusual circumstances created a premature bond which could easily lead to that.
In The Painter’s Daughter, Julie Klassen creates a world that feels warm, despite its setting on England’s foggy shores. I love the manners, dancing, and spirit of the Regency Era. Klassen’s novels feel like an extension of Jane Austen’s world. She does a superb job creating period realistic characters that modern people can relate to.
The Painter’s Daughter is the second Julie Klassen novel I’ve read. I felt delighted to find it so different. Her other novel, The Secret of Pembrooke Park, combined mystery and economic loss with regency manners and romance. The Painter’s Daughter looked at selfless love versus selfishness and charm versus depth of character. Of course, it too had regency manners and romance, developing a world that any Jane Austen lover could comfortably wrap themselves up in like a warm blanket.
If you love the Regency era and sweet and clean romance, then I would highly recommend The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen. You can shop new and used copies of this book by clicking here.