Courted by Time by Bree Cariad
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ms. Cariad just seems to be getting better and better as this series progresses. I enjoyed the first three books in the series and considered them all 4-star reads. The second set of three books were better and I considered them all 5-star reads as they were each re-readable books for me for various reasons. That said, I found Courted by Time to be even more enjoyable than its predecessors. Part of my enjoyment was in seeing how Deeka’s father Barrett had become such an integral part of the Straynar household and provided DeLynn and her siblings paternal support without “taking over” as the entire family’s Head of Household. But most of my enjoyment came from watching DeLynn blossom and come into her own over the course of the book.
As we have learned from previous books in the series, once a girl in Hyacinth turns 19 and has not entered into a courting, she considers her chances of being courted to be pretty much nonexistent. When DeLynn’s expected courting request failed to materialize in Courted by a Knight, we got a chance to see firsthand how hard it was for a girl and her friends to balance being happy for a friend who is being courted with being supportive of one who is not – and yet these girls often manage to do it and remain close friends. The friendship that DeLynn has with Deeka proves to be invaluable as Deeka’s plans to attend the local community college despite her marriage to Curtis encourages DeLynn to pursue her own education. As her friendship with Deeka has put her under the watchful eye of Barrett for years, he is very supportive of her request to enroll in college for the upcoming term and not only goes to bat for her with her mother, he also helps her with choosing courses, providing transportation on days that carpooling is not an option, and encouraging her to meet her goals.
Because of this, Ms. Cariad is able to take the series outside of Hyacinth and give readers the opportunity to see how a girl raised in a Domestic Discipline oriented community fares in a world that does not understand it. That DeLynn is naturally shy makes the transition a bit tougher socially, but she is there to learn and takes pride in her classes and studies hard. Yet when she meets Zachary, the school’s chaplain, she finds herself interested in a man and curious as to whether or not a relationship with someone who does not prescribe to DD would work. But being pathologically shy makes this a non-issue and DeLynn relegates her interactions with Zachary to school-based activities. As someone who preferred studying to partying in college, I sympathized with DeLynn’s situation and was thankful when Mother Nature took charge of the situation and gave Zachary the chance to come to her rescue (even if that situation was scary as heck at the time).
If you have read any of the books in the series (or are a romance reader in general), that Courted by Time ends happily is not a spoiler. But it’s the journey to DeLynn’s happy ending that made the book for me. I loved watching DeLynn come into her own. While she will likely always be shy, she found an inner strength and confidence she did not possess prior to this book and one I’m not sure she would have found had she not gone to college – or at least not to the same level. I appreciated that Zachary had already been attracted to the DD lifestyle and had made his decision to move to Hyacinth before meeting DeLynn; this meant that while DeLynn may have hastened his entrance into DD, it was not the sole cause of it. The relationship that DeLynn developed with Barrett was beautiful to see because he provided her the paternal guidance she had been missing since her father’s death and only implemented DD when she needed it and at her request. I found that scene particularly emotional for reasons I won’t go into because it was pivotal to the story in so many ways. The author added another layer to the book with Chrissa’s story – one I’m torn between wanting to read and not wanting to read – and as much as I hated that DeLynn felt the sting of Chrissa’s selfishness early in the book, I liked how she was able to take the situation and forge something positive out of it. And I really, really, really, really, really liked what her friendship with Jonah may foreshadow about the future of the series. Courted by Time is an excellent addition to the In Hyacinth series and is now my favorite of them. I cannot wait to see what happens next.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Check out the Courted by Time (In Hyacinth #7) by Bree Cariad blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.
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