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A Return of Devotion

(Haven Manor #2)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  617 ratings  ·  201 reviews
Daphne Blakemoor was content living in her own secluded world for the last twelve years. She had everything she needed—loved ones, a true home, and time to indulge her imagination. But when ownership of the estate where she works as a housekeeper passes to a new marquis with an undeniable connection to her past, everything she's come to rely upon is threatened.

Paperback, 396 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers (first published February 2019)
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Kellyn Roth
Read the Full Review {and watch the vlog} on my blog!

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to provide a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

Title: A Return of Devotion

Author: Kristi Ann Hunter

Series: Haven Manor, #2

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Era: 1810s (Regency)

Setting: England, countryside

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Source: from NetGalley in exchange for honest review

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

5 Reasons You Should Read A
Alysha (For The Love of Christian Fiction)
I KNEW I shouldn't have started this book at 8 p.m on a work night!
Did I listen to myself?
The consequence of this was staying up until 3 a.m, then having to be the perkiest zombie in the Subway industry! (Do not ask me how I made it through that shift)
Am I sorry?

I know Kristi Ann Hunter will ALWAYS grab my eyeballs and my heart within the first few words, and this book did not disappoint! I was instantly swept back to Haven Manor and I disappeared into the story within minutes.

If you've
Cara Putman
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
For those of you who love Jane Austen Regency England, you must read Kristi Ann Hunter. You know how there are characters who crawl under you skin and won't let you walk away? Daphne is one of those for me. She was a sweet character in the prior book, but now she steps to the foreground.Daphne's story is poignant and one that needs to be told. William, the hero, grows personally as Daphne works her way beneath his defenses. His journey beneath hers is much more challenging, but her story is told ...more
I cannot put into words my love for this book. This book was a beautiful masterpiece. This book had me feeling so many emotions throughout the entire thing. This book had me laughing, sighing, squealing, and hiding underneath my pillow because (view spoiler) I literally freaked out. My sister was looking at me so weirdly. This book also had me nearly crying.

I loved Daphne's character. I related with her on a lot of things, well not all things, but a
In the first Haven Manor novel, we meet Daphne, and she is a lovely character. In A Return to Devotion, we get to see the Haven Manor story continue through her eyes, and she is absolutely charming and endearing. I loved getting to know her better in this story. I appreciate the Hunter continues to tackle a subject not done often in this historical setting, the consequences of having an illegitimate child in a time when it was considered to be a terrible scandal and not mentioned in "polite" ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, favorites
Conundrum. Bewilderment. Touched on the head.
Those are the words William, Marquis of Chemsford, chooses to describe his housekeeper. From the moment she bangs the door of his house on his face to when she acts as she owns his house, not to mention when she acts as she owns him - bossing him around, corraling him in his own house-, he knows something about the entire situation is absurd. Especially since he has to remind himself now and then that the house is actually his, not hers. Thus, his
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
What stood out to me most about this book was the daydreaming and fantasizing of Daphne! It's something I've done, more at some times in my life than others. It was interesting to see how her fantasies faded as she became more present and invested in a real relationship and her own life beyond her son and the other children. I love the premise of this series, how the characters provide aid to women in desperate circumstances, even raising their children. Their haven came to an end, and it was ...more
Sarah Monzon
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really love how Kristi Hunter is tackling the subject of physical relations (come one, its a historical. I can’t just say sex )in this series. Yes, premarital sex is wrong, but it isn’t an unpardonable sin. God’s amazing grace is sufficient and His forgiveness boundless. As sinners, no matter what the sin, we need to come to the point of forgiving ourselves. And, let’s face it, sometimes that’s hard.
Daphne was an interesting character. I related to her social awkwardness and not wanting to be
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved Daphne. She's whimsical and day-dreamy, rather shy, and a terrible liar. She isn't spunky, nor quite the proverbial Mama Bear, but she is a brave Mama Bird, dragging her wing to lure the predator away for her nest. She's delightful. And I have to give credit William--though his decision process is maybe not the soundest (choosing to do whatever he thinks is the opposite of what his father would have done), he has a good heart: he cares as he learns Daphne's story. He knows where he has ...more
Beth Erin
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review on

A Return to Devotion is genuine, heartfelt and sprinkled with humor and grace. The personality of Haven Manor itself leaps from the pages, inviting readers to reminisce even as it conforms to its new purpose. William's inner dialogue as he attempts to sort out the unusual clues and occurrences surrounding him at Haven Manor (as well as Daphne’s often frantic or dramatic inner musings) cleverly fills the natural void between the two introverts.

Fans of Regency
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sqqqqueeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! Swoonworthy Regency alert! Clear off your fainting couch (I know you've been piling books on it) and lay in a supply of chocolate...and perhaps a tissue box or two and be prepared to be dazzled by the sweet perfection that is A Return of Devotion.

I listened to the audible version and loved the narration. Something about a British accent stirring my imagination up into a vivid frenzy! I usually listen while I work around the house or exercise but I finally gave up any
Caitlyn Santi
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a great second installment in the Haven Manor series! I loved both Daphne and William, and I could totally relate to Daphne's fear of crowds and her propensity to daydream! One of the things I loved most about Daphne and William's relationship was their willingness to compromise and come up with a way to live their lives as a married couple that would best suit them both, this example of working together to make a marriage work is something that, in my opinion, we need more of in fiction! I ...more
Kristine Morgan
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Daphne has been content to live a quiet life hidden away from society for 12 years. She has her secrets and doesn't feel the need to share. Then suddenly her quiet world is disturbed when William, Lord Chemsford comes to claim his home. A Return of Devotion is a story of redemption. If God has forgiven us but we haven't forgiven ourselves are we truly alive?
Kristi Ann Hunter is one of my favorite authors. She creates intriguing characters who have real life problems. Her characters have depth
Jane Potter
I was so excited to read another novel by Kristi Ann Hunter! I love love love her Hawthorne House series so I knew I would love this one as well.

I find the setting and plot set up fascinating in this novel. It's so interesting that everything is set in a situation that isn't talked about let alone written about much. Giving a voice and a story to women and their illegitimate children is fascinating and noble. I applaud Kristi Ann Hunter who takes on a controversial issue with grace and poise.

Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved the first book in this series, A Defense of Honor, and so I was looking forward to diving into the sequel. I was slightly hesitant about Daphne (I wasn't sure what to make of her in book one), but I figured the author could make her shine! However, I did have problems with the book, most of which are probably just personal preference. I want to explain some of my thoughts though, so there will be a few non-minor spoilers ahead!

DAPHNE. I couldn't connect with this sweet gal. She was
I have loved this series. I was so sad to not like this one. The first 100 pages should have been condensed to one or two chapters. It drug and went no where for too long. I was detached because of it and just felt like things were repetitive too often and the characters didn't get me like they always do with her books. I did really like how this ended and felt so sad that the rest of the book didn't feel the same as the end.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Something wasn't right here, but he wasn't sure if it was the remoteness of the house or an indication of a bigger problem."

Living in virtual obscurity, Daphne Blakemoor has had plenty of time to conjure, until her imagination runs head on into reality; the new owner of Haven Manor decides to reside at his lovely, slightly dilapidated country estate. How is she going to hide the fact that the manor has been under the supervision of two women and a handful of children or more importantly, how
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't know what took me so long to get around to reading this book. I loved A Defense of Honor. This book picks up where the first left off. The ladies of Haven Manor are amazing. They put aside their hopes and dreams to help women/children have a better life without the stigma of illegitimacy.

Daphne makes me laugh. She ran a home for children for years and struggles to be a respectable housekeeper when the rightful owner moves in. She is awkward and does not know what to do when he arrives at
Paula Shreckhise
A Return of Devotion is book two in the Haven Manor series by Kristi Ann Hunter. It is best to read the first book in the series: A Defense of Honor.

Kristi Hunter delves deep into the emotions of Daphne Blakemoor. Daphne is currently the housekeeper at Haven Manor, a remote estate in England. Due to an incident long in her past, Daphne has spent her time out of society and secretly helping the less fortunate.
William Oswald, the new Marquis of Chemsford, has come to inspect one of his many
Andrea Boyd
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kristi Ann Hunter is tops when it comes to Regency romance. I've read all of her books and have never been disappointed. This is a continuation of the story of two friends, bonded together through a rough time who found God's purpose in their lives. In this one, it's Daphne's turn for love. William (my favorite character in this book. Well, besides Jess.) Comes into the picture as an unexpected tie to her past. Can they get past her fears to find a future together? I suggest you read it to find ...more
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is definitely my favorite by this author. Regency fiction is my favorite "relaxing" read, but this one goes well beyond brain candy. In the glut of Regency fiction out there, very few rise to the level of Georgette Heyer or Patricia Veryan, but this one gets a little closer than the rest with its unique and memorable characters who find themselves in hilarious situations of their own making. The other books in this series are good, but this one is great.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"A Return of Devotion" is a Christian romance set in 1816 in England. This is the second book in a series. It can be read as a standalone, but reading the previous story will help you to better understand the situation that Daphne is in. This book does not spoil much of the previous story.

When Daphne was young, she let her imagination carry her away into a romantic fantasy which misled her into becoming pregnant with no chance of marriage. She has raised her son at Haven Manor, a remote house
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Facing head on the anxiety and fears that Daphne has dealt with far longer than the night she found herself running from London. There’s so much more to Hunter’s stories than a bit of historical fiction, romance and fluff. Every character she introduces are intricate, with a depth that makes them entirely unique from each other. Kit is now gone on her wedding trip, and Haven Manor has been left to Daphne & Jess to prepare for the unavoidable arrival of the new owner.

William the Earl of
Toni Shiloh
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A happy return to Haven Manor.
Daphne makes an unusual heroine with some qualities you don’t see too often in the romance world. But it’s what made her interesting and added twists to the story.

And the hero! William is one of my favorite Kristi Ann Hunter heroes. He doesn’t accept at face value anything presented to him. It made for some laughable movements and kept me turning the page.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. The review was not required nor influenced.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Daphne Blakemoor lives happily in the country caring for the children and working as a housekeeper, and continuing to keep her secret. But when the new Marquis decides to move into the mansion, she finds every things that she has fought for threatened.

William is the new Marquis of Chemsford, and he is determined to establish a legacy completely the opposite of his father. He is looking forward to a quiet life in the country away from the foils of society. But when he arrives at his country
V. Palmer
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Return of Devotion by Kristi Ann Hunter holds the cheeky humor and endearing characters that we've all come to cherish in Kristi Ann Hunter's stories! The story is humorous and fun, while staying true to the beautiful era! I adore the humor between the characters and the hilarious situations in which they find themselves! Readers, you won't be disappointed!

William wasn't the typical hero that you see in Christian Fiction -- and that's a good thing! He was raised with the kind of privilege and
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Regency is my favorite genre to read. I like the intertwining of the culture with mystery and romance and manners. When the setting is an out-of-the-way manor house used to house illegitimate children of the upper crust, my interest is piqued. These things happened. A lot. This is not a subject that is delved into in any of the books I had previously read until this series from Hunter. While it may sound slightly uncomfortable, the matter is dealt with compassion and sensitivity.

William, Lord
Kathryn Voss
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kristi Ann Hunter has impressed me again with her latest, A Return of Devotion. Taking up where its predecessor, A Defense of Honor, takes off (yes, you will want to read these books in order), Hunter centers this story on Daphne and her own journey to accept her past. With a message that we all can relate to – accepting our mistakes and moving forward in grace and freedom – Hunter delivers a story filled with humor and meaning. This is a story of hope, a story of redemption. With characters you ...more
Dana Michael
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Return of Devotion is the second book in the series and I recommend reading them in order. That way you'll enjoy it more and get the full picture. It took me a quick minute to get into it, but once I did, it was really good. I loved the characters and I felt for the heroine. She had so many issues and yet was still so loveable. The hero was quite patient and in awe of his quiet and quirky housekeeper. It was a moving story and had moments of humor as well. I loved the ending. That's why I give ...more
Tricia Mingerink
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good sequel. Less action than the first and more focused on the love story. I missed all the craziness of the children from the first book.

I can't wait for book 3 that will hopefully be about Jess. Hopefully a story about the tough-girl ex-spy will have a bit more tension and intrigue!
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Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Computer Science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is an RWA Golden Heart contest winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at

Other books in the series

Haven Manor (3 books)
  • A Defense of Honor (Haven Manor, #1)
  • A Pursuit of Home (Haven Manor, #3)
“She possessed not a single tangible skill that was better than what any other average person could accomplish. Admitting that out loud, though, would make her sound pitiable and self-conscious. She knew she wasn’t a horrible person or even an unworthy person. She just wasn’t all that remarkable anywhere except her imagination.” 0 likes
“It would mean that he, too, had come to the place where he was able to separate the regret of the past from the blessings of the present. He would see that God could do wonders despite the consequences that had befallen her.” 0 likes
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