Have you ever found yourself surrounded by people and lonelier than when you were by yourself? Have you ever found yourself the odd person out because you didn’t understand the unspoken rules that everyone else just accepted? Have you ever found yourself running out of time to make an important decision and hating all your options?
If so, you could be friends with Hudson and Bianca, the two lead characters in Vying for the Viscount.
For Hudson, the newly titled Viscount Stildon, moving to England from India where he was born and raised was already an arduous enough endeavor. When he learns the fate of the racing empire he inherited along with his title depends upon him getting in the good graces of another stable owner, he’s even more at a loss.
The stable at the neighboring estate has been Miss Bianca Snowley’s refuge for years, and when a strange man appears to be stealing the horses, she jumps to their protection without a second thought. Upon learning Hudson is actually the new owner, she can’t help but be intrigued by the area’s newest eligible bachelor.
Any thought of romance is quickly set aside, however, when Hudson proposes they work together to secure suitable spouses for each other. As their friendship grows, Hudson and Bianca begin to reconsider what they truly want in life. But will societal expectations and the weight of their responsibilities keep them from pursuing their true desires?
I love Kristi Ann Hunter’s writing because, along with some pretty hilarious scenes and dialogue, she creates characters I could be friends with. This particular story resonated with me because in just about every place I have ever lived, I have had difficulty fitting in until I found my group, and it was never who I originally thought it would be. Hudson and Bianca’s story is full of moments that are swoon-worthy, excruciating, hilarious, heart-pricking, and inspiring. Like Bianca, I’ve been the girl whose solitary habits kept me from the “in-group”, and who ended up feeling lonelier when I tried to fit in than when I kept to myself.
While Hudson frustrated me many times during the story, I had to admit I have struggled through similar mindsets before. Feeling that I had to do everything on my own, thinking it had to play out a certain way, and being frustrated when things didn’t work out. It was great to see him work through these feelings and come to a deeper faith in God as a result.
You can read this book on its own, and if you are new to Kristi Ann Hunter’s books, this is a great place to start. However, if you want an added experience, I would definitely recommend reading An Uncommon Courtship because of one particular scene in this book where the main character from that novel makes a cameo appearance in this one. It was great to see that character paying it forward to a kindred spirit. Also, Aaron Whitworth from A Defense of Honor is one of the main supporting characters in this book, and rumor has it he’s going to get his own book soon!
I received an advanced copy of this book for reviewing purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
“Suffolk was as beautiful as his father had claimed, and the estate and stable were even grander than his grandfather had described in his letters, but no one had warned Hudson that the area was inhabited by crazed women.”
“For her whole life, marriage and family had simply been an extension of the life she was already living. If men saw it differently though, she had more of a challenge than she’d thought.”
“It was strange, the number of these she’d attended without a single concern, but now, when she was forced to consider the ramifications of every action, every accepted invitation, every non-forthcoming invitation, she understood why so many girls ended up in the retiring room in need of remedies to calm their insides.”
“Why did people have to be so exhausting? In truth, it wasn’t people so much who were exhausting. Most of the time, Bianca liked people in general. It was trying to navigate a relationship that went beyond occasional greetings that drained her.”
“If he truly believed God was loving and powerful, wouldn’t that mean he could trust that God knew what He was doing?”