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Ruth Axtell’s A Heart’s Rebellion


Dutiful Jessamine Barry is tired of waiting patiently for a man to decide her future. So even though Lancelot Marfleet, second son of an aristocrat, is taking an interest in her during the London season, she refuses to consider him as a suitor. Instead, she’s ready to take fashionable society by storm–and finds a rakish young man all too willing to help her do it. When things go too far, Jessamine will learn that the man who is faithful through thick and thin is more worthy than the one who speaks pretty words. But will her disgrace keep Lance from reconsidering her as a wife? And when tragedy strikes and Lance becomes his father’s heir and a titled gentleman, will he think she only wants him now because of his title?

Fans old and new will love this lush Regency London story of discovering one’s true self and finding one’s true love.


Because Ms. Axtell has written some of my favorite novels, when I saw she had a new one out, I immediately downloaded it. Then I looked to see what it was about and I became nervous. I’m not a huge fan of reading novels where you know the main character is going to fall. I would much rather read about them after the fall, when they’re on their way to becoming a better person. So, to say I was nervous would be an understatement. Without further ado:

What I liked:

The style of writing. This novel is a regency. It’s got that beautiful slow pace, where just the minute of things can be complete game changers. There are class issues, Napoleon issues, ton parties. Ms. Axtell does a beautiful job of really capturing the era and is one of the few authors I read who can remind me of Georgette Heyer (there styles are very different, but both are definite regencies).

Lancelot. He’s pretty wonderful. He’s not your average outgoing male, but quiet, introspective, and yet has this wonderful spirit of adventure and serving the Lord. As you meet him, you cannot help but like him.

From reading what this novel is about, you become aware that Jessamine falls into disgrace. I was dreading it the whole time. And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn’t what I thought it would be exactly. And not as bad as I had anticipated. And that makes me happy.

Spiritually, there is a beautiful theme of grace. Jessamine has been good most of her life and she expected her “good works” to open doors for her. I like the way in which Ms. Axtell handles the issue.

What I didn’t like:

The problem with Jessamine is that when you create a hero as wonderful as Lancelot, you begin to wonder if a woman as unsure of herself as Jessamine deserves him. And it’s easy to blame her. Sometimes she was hard to like even if I understood where she was coming from.

I think the “back of this novel” doesn’t quite give this book justice. If you asked me what it was about, I would not stress the things that it stressed because it had me anticipating things that were fairly minute.

Romantically, while I saw Jessamine and Lancelot fall in love, something was missing a bit, and I’m not sure what it was.

Romantic Scale:8

Overall, a very good read and I’m excited about the next one in the series (dare I hope Lancelot’s sister?)

**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

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