The Courting Campaign
By Regina Scott
(Love Inspired Historical)
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Sir Nicholas Rotherford retreated to the Grange, his home in Derbyshire, after an experimental safety lamp for miners on which he collaborated led to several deaths. Charged with a gross miscalculation and with plagiarizing the work of one of his collaborators, he is disgraced and expelled from the Royal Society. Although Sir Nicholas knows he is innocent of the charges, he is more interested in pursuing his work than with clearing his name. In Derbyshire, he works alone in his own laboratory, using all his knowledge to devise a way to provide miners the light they need without placing their lives in jeopardy when the source of the light comes into contact with deadly gases. He feels a particular burden because much of his personal fortune comes from coal mines he owns. He loves his daughter, but he doesn’t know her very well. She was only a year old when her mother died, and, although he has provided bountifully for her material needs, he has left the nurturing to staff and to Charlotte Dunworthy, his wife’s older sister who has run his household since her sister’s death.
Emma’s campaign to bring father and daughter closer together means that she and Sir Nicholas spend more time in one another’s company as well. She is adamant that she will do nothing to encourage the ideas of Mrs. Jennings, the matchmaking cook who has a sincere affection for her employer whom she has known since he was Alice’s age. Mrs. Jennings believes that Emma is just the one to see that Sir Nicholas spends less time at his dangerous work and more time enjoying the blessings he has been given, but Emma is aware of their differences. Still, the more time she spends in his company, the more her heart is drawn to this lonely man who has a fondness for sugar cinnamon biscuits and who knows how to include Lady Chamomile, his daughter’s most cherished doll, in nursery conversations.
Sir Nicholas is finding Emma irresistible too. He appreciates her love for his daughter, her intelligence, and her subdued beauty. He finds that his work goes better after a walk with her and Alice or after talking with her has given him a fresh view. But there can be no happy ending for these two until threats from their pasts are confronted and defeated.
The Courting Campaign is the first book in Regina Scott’s Master Matchmakers series. It is an Inspirational, and so it should be no surprise that it is a strictly sweet romance. Although faith is an integral part of the book, it is not preachy in any way, nor are faith elements ever intrusive or distracting from the story. However, readers considering the book should know that Emma believes in a God who has a plan for her life and prayer is a conversation she finds essential.
Scott has created a cast of characters who capture the reader’s affection and interest. Emma and Sir Nicholas are likeable characters for whom the reader develops a ready sympathy. They are both people who have been wounded by life but who have not been defeated by their tragedies. Alice is adorable, and Mrs. Jennings is a warm-hearted woman whose schemes are well-intentioned and amusing. Even the villains are plausible characters with motivations that the reader can understand. I also found Sir Nicholas’s work on the safety lamp fascinating. Readers who like Regency-set stories that take place beyond London ballrooms will find the story particularly appealing.
This was my first book by Regina Scott, but it won’t be my last. I’ve already checked out the release date for the next book in the Master Matchmakers series. I’ve pre-ordered a copy of The Wife Campaign, which will be delivered to my Kindle on December 1. The print edition will be available on December 3. I recommend this book for readers who like a good romance with rich contexts and no heat.