Title: The Captive Imposter (The Everstone Chronicles #3)
Author: Dawn Crandall
Publisher: Whitaker House
My rating is 4 stars.
This is the third book in this series and tells Estella Everstone’s story. The setting is the beautiful countryside of Maine in the year 1891. Estella is the youngest of the Everstone children and often feels invisible. Men court her for her social position and substantial inheritance, not for who she is as a person. She has always kept to herself and been quiet. She has no close friends.
After a tragedy at her brother Will’s wedding, her other brother, Vance thinks it would be safer for her to go into hiding until things settle down. Estella doesn’t want to be sent off all alone, but her brother insists. She is hired as a lady’s companion and they travel to one of her father’s hotels, Everston. This hotel is Estella’s favorite and she one day hopes to own it. She meets the man who manages the hotel, Dexter Blakeley. He is distant and gruff, but she is attracted to him nonetheless. She is still trying to get over a broken heart as well as using a false identity, so she tries to not make any attachments.
She soon finds herself spending time with Dexter at the urging of her employer and discovers there is much more to this man than she initially thought. He finds Estella, or Elle her undercover name, irresistible. He is so thankful she is not one of the many spoiled society women who vacation at his hotel. Dexter preaches to the hotel guests on Sundays in the spring, summer and fall. When he preaches, Elle takes his word to heart and grows in her relationship with God. Can this wonderful man of God so full of compassion really have feelings for Elle? She has changed nothing about her person or character other than her name, so surely he won’t hold her social standing and money against her when she tells him her true identity will he?
The vivid descriptions of the scenery and Blakeley mansion made me want to see this area of the country. Dexter’s willingness to help women in desperate situations with his own time and money was commendable. Although there were certain aspects of Estella’s character that I could identify with, such as desiring to be alone more often than most people, I didn’t connect quite as well with these two main characters as I did in the first two books. The story was still very much worth reading, and I look forward to book four in the series, The Cautious Maiden.