Review of “An Inconvenient Beauty” (Hawthorne House #4) by Kristi Ann Hunter

Hunter, Kristi Ann. An Inconvenient Beauty. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-0-7642-1827-9. Print List Price: $14.99.

4 stars

This book was somewhat unusual for me, as oftentimes, when a story sets up the idea of there being a love triangle, the heroine often pales in comparison to her much more beautiful rival. But, as you might assume based on the title, that is not the case, as the heroine, Isabella, is stunningly beautiful, while her cousin, Frederica, who the hero, Griffith, plans to marry, is a plain spinster. This set-up could have worked, but I found Isabella a bit too hard to like. I did admire her for wanting to do anything possible to save her family, but I still had no idea what Griffith saw in her by the end, especially given how much we have come to know him over the past three books.

Like her previous release, An Uncommon Courtship, this story also features a rather unlikable parent/guardian. This brings a sense of authenticity to what it was probably like to be an unmarried woman in this time period, as courtship and marriage was still very much about both families’ mutual advantage.

Hunter also interweaves real historical events, from the events leading up to and succeeding the Battle of Waterloo, to the passing of the Apothecary Act. While these are events that we can look up in a history book or on Wikipedia, she brings a sense of immediacy to these events, so even though you know how things will pan out, you are still surprised by how they affect the characters of the Hawthorne House world.