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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Dauntless Hearts: A Tale of Heartbreak, Courage, and True Love by Lincoln Tuvelais is a Regency romance with a bit of a difference. Kitty Otis is not your typical, simpering young woman desperate for a husband during the London “Season”. No, Kitty is indeed a beautiful, young woman but smart, business-savvy, and strong-willed to go along with it. With her ailing former pastor father in tow, Kitty embarks on turning around a rural northern England estate that has somewhat been left to rack and ruin. With her modern, scientific farming methods, Kitty won’t endear herself to everyone, though. When she meets a brash, young Irish nobleman, the atmosphere is immediately electric for both of them but any relationship between the pair is bound to be fraught with political difficulties as his Irish family treat the British with as much disdain as they themselves consider the Irish. Despite appearing for her “debut” season in London, Kitty is lacking suitable suitors and perhaps must consign herself to achieving her business dreams ahead of her romantic notions.
Dauntless Hearts is a genuinely warm and at times quite funny dip into the waters of Regency romance. The period around the beginning of the nineteenth century is ripe for a clever author to highlight the disparities between the “haves” and the “have-nots” and the all-pervading strictures of the class system. This is something Lincoln Tuvelais does superbly, with the character of Kitty. Kitty is, in today’s parlance, a strong, independent, and free-thinking woman, none of which would be seen as a leading characteristic for a young lady of the time. What I particularly liked about Kitty was her warmth and her compassion, which served to feminize other aspects of her nature that would be seen as vulgar and crass in a woman in 1812 or thereabouts. This is a character a reader can definitely get behind and root for and I did enjoy the twists and turns in the plot the author threw in from time to time to ensure a reader never lost interest. The style is as you’d expect from a period piece, redolent of the times and its unique language, customs, and manners and beautifully written throughout. This was a relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable read that I can highly recommend.