Save the Best for Last

Next to speculative fiction and young adult, historical novels are my favorite genre, especially Gilded Age and WWII. Dawn Crandall writes romantic historical suspense novels. Her Everstone Chronicles center around a wealthy New England family. Her first novel, The Hesitant Heiress, is the story of Amaryllis Brigham and her second, The Bound Heart, is the story of Meredyth Summercourt. Both of these stories center around the social life of Gilded Age Boston. Her third novel, The Captive Impostor takes place in the mountains of Maine.


While each novel is a stand alone, I recommend reading all three books in order.

The Bound Heart ends in a murder that puts Estelle Everstone in danger. The Captive Impostor picks up where The Bound Heart ends. To protect her safety, Estelle is posing as Ella Stoneburner, a lady’s companion at Everston, a hotel in the mountains of Maine hotel owned by Estelle’s family. Of all her family’s properties, Estelle loves Everston the best. It also holds a special place in the heart of Dexter Blakeley, the hotel’s manager.

While I loved both The Hesitant Heiress and The Bound Heart, The Captive Impostor is my favorite. None of Dawn’s stories are predictable but there are added twists in The Captive Impostor. Not only is Estelle living under an assumed identity that may or may not be a good enough disguise, I was sure she would renew her engagement to her ex-fiance. To my surprise, Dexter Blakeley enters the story. Oh and is he ever a swoon-worthy hero (she does her men justice).

As an outsider, Estelle is brought face-to-face with her past and uncovers family secrets that threaten the friendship she’s built with Dexter. To me, an requirement for a good novel is a cast of well-developed characters. Dawn does not disappoint. “Ella’s” companion and Dexter’s family are three-dimensional characters as well as cameo appearances by familiar names of those who have read the first two installments of the Everstone Chronicles.

Dawn Crandall
Dawn Crandall

You can find Dawn at:

Twitter (@dawnwritesfirst)

Winner’s choice of The Everstone Chronicles at Anna Weaver Hurtt’s blog {ends 4/21}

RSVP for The Captive Imposter FaceBook Party with Author Dawn Crandall! April 24th! Lots of Prizes!

I read these three in order, but there have been other series I read out of order. In general, I prefer reading a series in order.

When an author writes a series that can be read as stand alone novels, do you still read them in order?

5 thoughts on “Save the Best for Last”

  1. Yes, I always read in order if I can help it. Even if they can be read out of order, I will wait. Usually the only way I’d read them out of order is if I didn’t know any better. I like seeing the stories build on each other and not being spoiled that this couple or that couple are going to end up together. Plus, then when you read later books and hear about the lives of main characters from previous books, you enjoy with peek into their lives more.

    1. I’ve only read series out of order when there are two related sets: Julie Lessman’s Boston series 4-6 then 1-3. There are a couple of others I did that way.
      I started Ronie Kendig’s Nightshade series out of order but realized it was a series that had to be read in order. I stopped reading and started over with book 1.

  2. You’ve read that series? What did you think? (I don’t see it in your goodreads.) #1 is one of the extremely rare books I have dnf’d.

  3. I’m woefully behind in my Goodreads list. I’m not sure which series you meant but I absolutely loved both Julie Lessman’s Daughters of Boston series and Ronie Kendig’s Nightshade series. I’ve read every one of Julie’s books and all but the latest couple of Ronie’s (I’m reading Raptor 6 right now).

    1. A Passion Most Pure – first of the Daughter’s of Boston series. The writing was great but I despised nearly every single character. And when I realized I was only halfway through (right about when the war starts) I just didn’t want to keep reading anymore.

      I also read Love at Any Cost and enjoyed that one though the “kiss her until she admits she likes you” move just makes me want to slug the guy and I learned the word suckle really makes my skin crawl. lol

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