Hunter, Kristi Ann. Vying for the Viscount. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House, 2020.
ISBN-13; 978-0764235252 | $15.95 USD | 348 pages | Regency Romance/Christian Fiction
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 received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Vying for the Viscount is an exciting start to Kristi Ann Hunter’s latest Hearts on the Heath series. While I admit to not being super into horses, I was pleased the relevant information was conveyed without being confusing or beating me over the head, and provided just as much for the non-horse lover to enjoy.
Hudson, Lord Stildon has recently returned from India, and is mystified by the societal customs in England, something which I could empathize with. I like that it allowed him to be unaffected by the snobbery that many of his class have, and as a result, when he encounters someone who doesn’t fit the mold of society strictures, due to something like illegitimate birth, he doesn’t think less of them for it, and treats them like human beings.
Bianca Snowley is also likable, and dealing with an unpleasant situation in the form of her mean stepmother, evoking comparisons to Cinderella. I rooted for her to gain strength to fight against her, and she does over time.
The romance between the two is a gradual one, first starting as friends trying to help one another, but the tension is well built up, foreshadowing when they finally make the move toward admitting their feelings toward one another.
And while this is a new series and can stand on its own, there are appearances from characters from previous series that will please longtime fans of Hunter’s books. My personal favorite is Hawthorne House’s Trent and his pineapples!
This is another winner for Kristi Ann Hunter, and one I think her fans and new Regency readers alike will adore.
Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is an RWA Golden Heart contest winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.
Bookshop (affiliate link)