Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It’s where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she’s beautiful.
Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother’s neglected duties. Home on leave, he’s sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter’s daughter. He’s startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him–one of Wesley’s discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse.
Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she’ll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.
Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family’s estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?
When I first discovered Julie Klassen, I knew I found a great gem. She’s one of the most frustrating authors for me to read because her books are too long to read in one sitting and yet they’re too good to put down. If you’re new to Klassen, then allow me to introduce you to an author that will force you to skip meals, lose sleep, and neglect all housework.
And I can’t think of a better way to ring in the New Year than with The Painter’s Daughter. It was my first read for 2016 and it sets the bar rather high.
I have a rather weak spot for love triangles. I enjoy the tension, the elephant-in-the-room type of scenes, and, yes, even the bickering. I love trying to guess who will come out on top. And The Painter’s Daughter certainly had me guessing well into the final chapters.
Aside from the amazingly-done tale of romance, there was also a very well rounded Christian message. Klassen focused on themes such as redemption and true love.
There was so much to love here in this page-turning romance, however, I will warn you, there was a rather awkward and overly detailed scene concerning a mother nursing her child.
For those more sensitive, you should know that the story centers on an unmarried mother so there is talk of intimate relationships outside of wedlock. These things are talked about and hinted to, but never overly detailed.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for the next great read!