A Portrait of Dawn

Romance - Historical
379 Pages
Reviewed on 01/27/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Portrait of Dawn is a work of fiction in the historical, romantic fiction, and interpersonal drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Samantha St. Claire. The work is intended for the general reading audience and is free of any explicit or triggering content. Our protagonists are artist Luke Brennan and local lady Dawn Fairburn, who both have immense challenges to face in the new state of Idaho in the year 1890. Though she is a rare beauty, Dawn’s deformed leg sees her shunned from society, until the Irish-rooted Luke falls under her spell. What results is a very engrossing romantic and uplifting tale that is sure to keep readers turning the pages from cover to cover.

Author Samantha St. Claire has crafted a beautiful, poignant, and captivating work of fiction with plenty of atmosphere, emotion, and high dramatic moments to offer its readers. One of the features which I found particularly impressive about this piece was the reality of the characters, which differs from many idealized romantic novels of the genre. With these characters, a reader feels like they’re getting to know authentic people, and the author’s emotional presentation and close narrative techniques allow them to follow and experience every high and low. The author creates a similarly realistic setting with an optimistic mood in the new state by the use of attention to detail in their atmospheric language but also outlines the tensions and prejudices of the time with the lexical and descriptive choices. Overall, I would highly recommend A Portrait of Dawn to fans of inspiring characters, diverse representation in historical fiction, and romance readers everywhere.

Rabia Tanveer

A Portrait of Dawn by Samantha St. Claire is a historical romance, a story that will speak to your heart. Set in 1890, Dawn and Luke just might be each other's saving grace. Luke is an artist who is a little lost in the current spectrum of art. He finds solace in oils and Dawn. She becomes his muse and his key to the artistic freedom he craves. Dawn, on the other hand, has a hard time finding her path in life. With a passionate lawyer for a father, Dawn is unsure of what her future holds. With a physical disability holding her back, she realizes she has no decided path for her future. However, when she meets Luke, she realizes there is beauty to be found in everything around her. Both of them have to find the strength and the desire to move forward and find a goal to fight for. Will they give themselves a chance to do so?

A Portrait of Dawn by Samantha St. Claire is a simple yet beautiful story of self-discovery and romance. Dawn and Luke are two very powerful protagonists who stand out together and separately. It rarely happens, but these two characters are equally intriguing and fascinating to read. They have their battles to fight, they have their demons to let go, and they have each other for support. They each have their story to tell, and the author gives them the page space to do so. The flow of the narrative makes sure readers turn those pages and stay in the moment with the characters. The personal growth of both Luke and Dawn is under the spotlight and makes the story even more interesting. Their relationship is not only central to the plot but also their character arc. This novel is highly recommended!

Joy Hannabass

It's Idaho Territory in 1890 and Idaho is about to become a state. Newspaper illustrator Luke Brennan ends up at the Hartmann Guest Ranch when he is sent to capture the events. Dawn Fairburn and her father end up at the same ranch on a long-deserved vacation. Luke's and Dawn's paths cross many times, but they just don't seem to get along. Both characters are so flawed as they try to find themselves and find where they fit into the world they live in. A Portrait of Dawn by Samantha St. Claire will not only take you on an adventure through the dangerous Idaho mountains, but you will also take a journey through the lives of characters that will capture your heart and keep it until long after you finish reading the story.

A Portrait of Dawn is such a sweet historical fiction read. Samantha St. Claire does an exceptional job of vividly describing the beautiful mountains of Idaho and the wildlife there. Reading about life at the Hartmann Guest Ranch was wonderful, as Evan and Lena welcomed their guests and taught them the ways of mountain living. Luke and Dawn gripped my heart because they were both hurting so much, and I wanted them to like each other. I was excited to see how Luke's sketches brought them together more. I love how Lena and Evan took them under their wing, giving advice and teaching them things that would last. There is so much going on in this book; the Idaho state celebration was interesting. The downpours of rain, the surrounding beauty, rustic mountain hunting, and a set of twins that will steal your heart are just a touch of what you will enjoy in this wonderful book. If you love historical fiction, life in the mountains, or just a good clean, sweet read, this would be a really nice book for you.