Heaven Knows by Elaine Coffman

Heaven Knows by Elaine Coffman
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (247 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Lizzie Robinson has loved Tavis Mackinnon all her life, but her fiery spirit, vivid imagination and flair for the flamboyant has made him see her as nothing more than a meddlesome child. Desperate to attract his attention, she dyes her hair red, and when that doesn’t work, she stuffs her bosom with batting, never dreaming she would literally drop it at Tavis’ feet at a ball. This causes her father to send her to Boston for some much needed training.

She returns years later, no longer Lizzie, but Elisabeth, a beautiful, sophisticated lady. And Tavis notices, but remains aloof, until their forced marriage drives them apart, and Elisabeth makes a life for herself without him. How could she know that one day the man who has haunted her dreams for years…the same man who abandoned her on her wedding night, would come walking down a sandy Nantucket beach, determined to win back her love.

You never miss what you had … until it’s gone. Heaven Knows is a wonderful and heartbreaking tale of unrequited love. It’s an old school romance, the likes of which I hadn’t seen in a while. The author broke my heart and made me sigh before giving me the happy ending that I craved. You know what ? I loved every word of this story.

Lizzie Robinson had loved Tavis Mackinnon since she was a young girl. She had a wild crush on the handsome young man, that at times got way out of hand. Her antics caused her family to send her away to live with an aunt in Boston for several years. Years later, she finally returns to her hometown of Nantucket as Elisabeth, a beautiful and poised young lady. Still Tavis spurns her love and was at times snarly and rude, ridiculing her to my dismay. It seemed that Tavis had some baggage from his past, he thinks that everyone he loves ends up leaving him in the end. He doesn’t believe that a future with Elisabeth is in the cards, he doesn’t want there to be either.

Then they are forced together, desire takes over and he sleeps with her. Her family finds out and force them into marriage to save Elisabeth’s reputation. She knows this will push Tavis over the edge but since she is secretly pregnant there is no other choice. Tavis thinks that she tricked him and he reacts very badly. Harsh words are said and Tavis leaves town on their wedding night, without giving Elisabeth the chance to tell him about the baby. Elisabeth is left alone for three years and in that time she faces some tragedy that changes her. By the time a repentant Tavis returns to Nantucket, her heart is hardened against him. No doubt he is shocked at some of the surprises that await him, and at his wife’s reactions. He is determined to win back the family he threw away. Now, I hadn’t liked Tavis until now. He redeemed himself in the end, by throwing away his prejudice, declaring his love and wearing his heart on his sleeve. Elisabeth made it hard and at times I was uncertain as to the outcome. Together they faced even more tragedy before he was able to win this game of love. Of course in all romance books the guy is gonna get the girl, but in this book the journey to a happy ending was filled with heartache and frustrations. It made an entertaining read, and my greedy romantic heart loved every second.

The author’s writing style and the engaging characters ensnared me right from the beginning. The plot was intriguing and and filled with romantic heartache. It was a true pleasure reading a book such as this one, with the authentic dialogue and eloquent prose. The entire book covered a good chunk of time, though, and there were some times when the story bogged down a little bit. I felt that the author gave too much detail to Elisabeth’s time in Boston and with the people she met there. The tentative romance with her friend’s brother, Harry, seemed inconsequential to me. The relationship had absolutely no effect on the heroine even though I’d thought that maybe it would. It irritated me once I’d realized that it wasn’t going anywhere, so I could’ve done without it entirely. Other than that , I felt that the book was perfect. It was a story that played on every emotion I had, I felt fruststed with Tavis, and heartache for Elisabeth. It kept me in a state of suspense with all the romantic angst. I sighed with joy at the romantic ending and the wonderful epilogue.

I suggest that anyone who loves historical romance is bound to love this book. It is romance written the way it should be and I loved it. Everyone should read at least one of Elaine Coffman’s wonderful books. I’m thinking that you won’t be disappointed.

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