Debutante Alice Knight is ready for her first social season in London. She’s determined to impress society and her mother with an affluent match, at last escaping her past and embracing a future of her own making.
Peter Strauss, an American reporter visiting England, isn’t exactly what Alice had in mind. However, his friendship proves invaluable as Alice faces the challenges of her debut. Almost immediately, she attracts the attention of a well-born gentleman—perfect save for the simple fact that he’s not a Christian.
The life she longs for is finally at her fingertips, but between her own heart and the convictions of her faith, she isn’t sure she ought to grasp it.
At Her Fingertips, a romantic women's fiction novel, is the third novel in Kellyn Roth's Christian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy.
Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the Kees & Colliers series, which follows a broken family in the tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century.
Kellyn is a student of the Author Conservatory and a writing coach. When not building her author career, she is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.
When I wrote this novel for the first time back in 2016, it fast became my favorite, and even though I'd call book 4 the better novel objectively, I still can't quite let go of this little story.
It was the fulfillment of the ship I've been shipping since I was eleven years old. The first time we see Peter Strauss on screen - and Riley Farjon, for that matter. When I wrote this book, I realized, with a start, that my little "Rubyverse" was coming together.
And, shocked but joyful, I present the first link in a Celtic knot to you.
Official Content Guide for At Her Fingertips:
Bloody (x1), as adj., corrected by another character.
An instance of someone “uttering a curse” but the actual word isn't used
Expressions: thank goodness (x1), for goodness' sake (x1), honest-to-goodness (x2), thank heavens (x1), heavens (x2), heaven help (x1), for heaven's sake (x1).
A man gets angry at a woman and "throws her to the ground," leading to a mild concussion.
Kirk often acts like he wants to commit violence, but he hasn't yet.
Mentions that a few different men have been "rough" with women in the past. References to two different men being rakes, more or less.
A main character was in love with his best friend's wife when they married. However, he told his friend and worked to fight those feelings.
A character threatens to kiss another character if said other character doesn't shut up, which in context, is entirely appropriate and super cute. Out of context, not so much. :P
Lots of talk of romance, "catching a husband," and so on.
The Incredibly Complicated History of the Knights is discussed once more.
Mentions of miscarriage, and a minor character has had two miscarriages which are briefly discussed (no details about the actual events).
References to alcohol, a few instances of social drinking, a character references his decision to not drink alcohol/specifically not drinking champagne at a party. Mentions of a character having alcoholic tendencies.
This author chose to take a stance on covering faces as being dehumanizing, in the context of a masquerade ball. The purpose of such masquerade masks is, after all, the dehumanize the subject. Such is widely accepted fact. No other stance needs be taken, as everyone who breathes on earth has already made up their minds.
Coffee exists in this world.
There's far too many moral arguments, but honestly, Peter can't help himself, and you must forgive him.
Will there ever come a time when Kirk is not condescending?
Recommended for older teens, but honestly, if you've read Wuthering Heights or ... I don't know ... the Bible ... you're probably good.
That said, romance is not for everyone, and this I freely admit.
A confession before I begin … I’m more of a suspense novel reader than a reader of English historical fiction, so some of my comments will reflect that. :)
Characters: Both Peter and Alice were complex, well-developed characters. Their personalities were defined and guided the majority of their decisions. I did think Peter could’ve used a couple more flaws, but that might just be my sin nature wanting company :) Alice’s spiritual state confused me at times. In the beginning, I almost understood her as not being a Christian, but later on, she was presented as quite devout. I did like seeing Alice’s character arc throughout the book. Out of all the side characters, Nettie and Ivy were my favorites.
Moral: I appreciated that this Christian novel was actually Christian. Too often, I read supposedly Christian books where God isn’t mentioned much at all. I’m happy to report this wasn’t the case with this novel. Now, onto the moral … At Her Fingertips contained themes of marriage, love, dealing with emotions, and following God’s plan. I really liked the emphasis on Christians only marrying other Christians.
Plot: This is where my suspense-reading self struggled. The plot seemed a bit slow, and I needed a little more action. I don’t think, however, this will bother readers who enjoy historical fiction set in this time period. This character-driven plot contained a gentle romance, family relationships, multiple love interests, and old family secrets.
Romance: Clean. I was a little surprised by how quickly Alice’s change of heart toward Peter took place.
Writing: Kellyn Roth has an easy-to-read writing style that worked well for this story. Unlike the writing style found in some books in this genre, her writing style isn’t stuffy or overwhelmingly poetic. The dialogue seemed natural for the time period, and readers of the classics will appreciate all the quotes from those works that Kellyn included through Peter’s perspective.
Overall: At Her Fingertips was a well-researched, well-written novel that will be enjoyed by readers of Christian fiction, historical romance, and historical fiction.
And before I forget … I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest thoughts.
At Her Fingertips jumps to when Alice is 18, and I said to myself, "Well, this will be pleasantly interesting."
HAHAHA NOPE it was a headache ... in a good way if you know what I mean. It was all about HIGH SOCIETY BALLS and TEASING BANTER and A LOVE SQUARE.
Please. I saw all this ^^ and said to myself, "Well, we all know how it ends," and proceeded to rant to my mom about the same subject for half an hour but ... LOL NO IT DIDN'T GO HOW I HAD PLANNED.
Which was frustrating and fun and made me pull out my hair (don't look at me, I'm bald now). It's very hard to review this book without giving spoilers.
In essence, great writing, great theme, great setting, and all what I said previously. For the characters ...
Alice was ... GREAT but ... slightly less mature and wise than I'd expected. No worries, though, she goes through A TON OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Also! The Knights have THIS ADORABLY HUGE FAMILY.
This one suitor, Gibson, was... frankly, annoying. REALLY REALLY ANNOYING. I mean, I took one look at him, and said, NOPE. Obviously, certain characters were not as wise as I was (not to praise myself or anything.)
The other suitor, WHOM I PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED AS MY FAVE CHARACTER, was ... STILL MY FAVORITE CHARACTER, thank you very much.
The third suitor, was, technically, NOT A SUITOR AT ALL, but ya know ... His name was Peter Strauss and ... haha it was very very distracting for me. Do any of you know about the relatively well known American actor from the past century called PETER STRAUSS?? Bc I was seeing his face in this book every time I read his name. -_- Distracting. However, on the plus side, he was A WRITER. A CHRISTIAN. AN AMERICAN. A JOURNALIST. AN AWKWARD AND ADORABLE PERSON. And yeah ... all that XD
I cannot reveal the ending. :( I'm sorry.
Why you should read:
- very intense love square
- some characters have DARK BACKGROUND STORIES
- some characters ARE VERY MUCH MORE QUESTIONABLE THAN MEETS THE EYE
- ALICE IS SO GOOD AT DRAWING
- She even gets to beta read Peter's book!!!
- (and illustrate it, but ya know #spoilers)
- Alice's siblings are all so sweet!
- KIRK MANNING
- the love square
-THE RIDICULOUS LOVE SQUARE WHICH STRESSED ME OUT FOR THE ENTIRE NIGHT
- also this book ended very differently from HOW I WANTED IT TO
- so ... just so you know ... MY SHIP = DESTROYED
- thanks, Kell #sarcasm
- lovely parent advice/relationships which, honestly, TEENS IN YA COULD LEARN FROM HA
- And Alice has a best friend all the way from BOOK ONE AND HER BOARDING SCHOOL SO YAY
- I cannot remember anything else
- Except that crazy love square which broke my heart
- Just read the book and you'll know
- I gotta admit though, that it stayed true to that era's standards and rules of society
ALL IN ALL ... ALL THESE THREE BOOKS DESERVE A FULL FOUR STARS FROM ME.
*Warnings* #1 This is a long review, so pull up a chair and grab a bowl of popcorn. You’ll be here awhile. #2 When I read a review, I want substantial information. So I will not skimp on the details. Which may mean some spoilers, so watch out.
What can I say? I think it’s common knowledge by now that I have thoroughly enjoyed Kellyn Roth’s novels and that I view her as an amazing writer, in league with Christian literature’s top authors. Every installment of her Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series was entertaining, deep, unique, and so very well-written.
So naturally I jumped at the chance to beta-read At Her Fingertips and then later to read the ARC (both of which I barely finished in time).
The things that struck me while reading it the first time haven’t changed, but seriously, guys. It’s better the second time around. This novel is without a doubt a five-star read (but I’m unofficially giving it four and a half so that Ivy’s story can get the full five stars)!
First, I just have to say that I absolutely love Roth’s writing style. Now that Alice, one of the POV characters from The Dressmaker’s Secret and the heroine of Becoming Miss Knight, is eighteen years old, Roth’s prose has flourished! In some ways, it’s still seven-year-old Alice talking—because though all of her characters have grown and matured, they haven’t changed a bit—but in others there is this Austen-like slant to her voice that makes every paragraph such a pleasure to read. There’s something about the way Roth writes her characters’ thoughts, intersperses their opinions through a distant third-person perspective, and crafts such deep and witty dialogue that reminds me greatly of Austen.
On top of that, everything else is basically an Austen novel—albeit set almost seventy years in the future—from the pacing to the settings to simply the way the story unfolds.
I love it.
On that note, Roth inspires a lot of thought in AHF. To be honest, she’s done the same with her past novels—which I absolutely adore—but this time we have a message, almost a problem that must be solved. And like Austen, Roth presents multiple points-of-view on the subjects of love and marriage, developing each perspective (from Alice’s and Ivy’s to Nettie’s and Claire’s to Gibson’s and Peter’s) so perfectly that you can’t help but understand everyone’s opinion. In the end, we’re led to mull over what we’ve learned (and all the thought-provoking comments Peter made that could’ve started arguments in their own right) and draw own our conclusion from the outcome of each character.
Make sense? Eh, probably not, but weird philosophical stuff like this is seriously my jam, so I enjoyed it. And I enjoyed listening to Peter put in his two cents—er, pence, I should say—every so often. The man is unceasingly full of wisdom.
I love him.
But have I made it to him yet? No. I’ve still got to talk about Alice and Gibson and Nettie and probably gush a bit about Kirk too.
(Did I mention that this review is going to be really gushy? No? Oh, well, you’ve been warned now.)
Remember what I was saying about Alice not changing? Yeah, let me expound.
So y’all know how Alice was stubborn and didn’t always listen or understand when she was a child? She still the same. Still has the same mannerisms and voice and little nuances that haven’t ever left her—and that’s one of the main things I like about Roth’s characters and just like about how Roth writes in general. I honestly don’t know if I can think back to a single series I’ve read that had characters so vibrant and real in it. From the children to the grandparents, they’re all so well-developed and they retain their individual personalities throughout the entire series! Not to mention, the way the side characters (like Claire and Gibson and Mr. Parker, etc.) are portrayed is just as strong from the perspective’s of other characters as it is or would be from their own.
Without a doubt, Roth is a master with characterization. She never misses a single beat.
Speaking of Alice...have I ever mentioned I don’t like her? Like, at all. There are so many little things—from her personality to her attitudes and actions to her personal views—that I just don’t like. If she were any other author’s character, from any other series, or any other heroine, I’d probably just hate her guts and continue to love on my man Peter.
But she’s Kellyn Roth’s character and she’s Alice Knight (or, well, technically she’s not Alice Knight, she’s really—ach, spoilers; don’t mind me). Therefore, I must love her, because even if I don’t agree with her or like her, I still admire the strength of her character and how well Roth has developed her to the point where I completely understand every aspect of her skewed philosophy, even though I disagree with it. Make sense? She’s perfectly imperfect, and just so unlikable, and yet I can’t help but love her.
As for Peter? AUGH! I mean, every review that you’ll ever read for this book will be FULL of gushing over Peter, trust me...so I’ll try to keep my own gushing tamped down. Just...Peter was amazing. He was almost perfect, you know, but his being good was an imperfect in and of itself, so therefore he wasn’t entirely perfect—he was just the kind of guy every girl wants in her life, am I right? He was so sweet and awkward, but almost always confident...in a humble, his-assurance-comes-from-God kind of way, not in the least bit arrogant. He was kind and loving and compassionate and helpful and respectful and so wise and perceptive.
Not to mention he’s a writer. And German. And on top of that, American. I mean, does it get any better?
No. No, it doesn’t.
(Speaking of, am I the only one who’s noticed that most fictional Peters are German???)
Unless we’re talking Scottish doctors with questionable pasts or stable boys with even more questionable pasts...but I’ll save the Jordy talk for the next book.
However, I did just open things up for a Kirk discussion, didn’t I?
I MEAN, Y’ALL. KIRK IS SO PRECIOUS. My heart ached for him the entire novel. I mean, it wasn’t like I wanted him to get with Alice...because she’d tear him to shreds and my baby Kirk needs someone way better (ahem, me), but his heartbreak. AAAAUUUUGH. AND THEN THAT AT THE END. OH. MY. WORD.
Like, after The Dressmaker’s Secret, I didn’t think Roth could possibly conjure up any more plausible plot twists. But she did. AND THE SUSPENSE IS TEN MILLION TIMES WORSE. LIKE, NETTIE AND CLAIRE HAVE A LOOOOOT OF EXPLAINING TO DO!!!!!!!!!!
(I really need to get my caps-lock button under control, don’t I?)
On that note, Nettie was her regular awesome self in this book. If it weren’t for her and Peter… Anyway, she’s marvelous and I love her. End of story.
But I haven’t made it to Gibson yet, have I?
So...the love triangle—or was it a square?—in this was blatantly obvious...but there was always something about Gibson. The first go-round, I fluctuated between liking him and being extremely wary of him (for good reason), until the end, where I flat-out hated his guts. (#nospoilers) The second go-around, I for sure didn’t like him—he’s really not all that likable—but I sensed a lot more potential. He said a lot of things that were either wise or so stupid that I had to pause and think about them, and of course he’s got this nuance that sets him apart from every other man of his ilk...even though he’s still just like every man of his ilk. Make sense?
Eh, I know it doesn’t. Just read the book, for Peter’s sake.
So I say all that to say that I really like how Roth pulled off his character. He was simultaneously the annoying love interest that we all dislike and the multifaceted side character with a story of his own that must be told.
There were other things I wanted to say about this book—I’m sure there were. (I have them written down somewhere...all my thoughts and notes...in the laundry room...which is just soooo far away from my bedroom…) But to be honest, whatever else I could say doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, got a lot of Austen vibes, fell in love with Peter, understood Alice despite it all, want a Kirk story, and can’t wait for Beyond Her Calling!
Oh, and that you should totally buy this book. Like, now. Or yesterday. Yeah, yesterday’s good. Buy At Her Fingertips yesterday.
(Side note: just realized what a good title that is. Fits really well. Not to mention I adore that cover. OH! And I never mentioned Riley. Darn. Well, I loved Riley too. He was great. The End. I mean it this time.)
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
oH mY goODNESS I loved this book so much! - The cover is gorgeous. If you ever need a cover designer, go find Willowy Whisper. - The writing and story is AMAZING. If you ever need an author, go find Kellyn Roth.
Review: I'm not sure what to say! This book absolutely killed me- it had me crazy wondering who Alice was going to pick and now that the book is over I'M NOT SURE IF SHE PICKED THE RIGHT PERSON. In other words, my ship died. Went up in flames. (woohoo. thanks, Kell) But it's okay- the person she picked is fine. Absolutely fine. Brilliant and kind and great for Alice and I love their relationship. <3
The characters were all built so well. I'm always blown away by Kellyn's characters. - Gibson. uM can someone please remove him from my sight? Treating a girl like that is not okay. >.< *nudges him aside with one toe* - Peter! He's so adorably awkward. - KIRK. ❤ ❤ ❤ Enough said, I think. - Alice's parents! Aw, I love their relationships with Alice.
And of course y'all know how much I love Kellyn's writing, so I won't get into how much I loved the plot and era an' all that.
Overall: My stance still holds. The whole series is absolutely amazing and I can't recommend them enough. If you're into historical fiction, you need to read these. If not, read them anyway. I'm generally not a fan of historical fiction at all, but this series is the best. ❤ 5 stars.
*FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and a positive review was not required.*
When I found out Kellyn was releasing a romance novel, I knew I had to read it. I've enjoyed all of Kellyn's books, and I especially love romance. I was not disappointed. I was a huge fan of at the beginning, but then I got annoyed with that, and I became a devoted fan. But I loved how the romance wasn't all there was, even though that was very much the focus of the book.
Confession: I'm a control freak. People don't really notice it, and I'm not that bad, but I am a control freak. So, the lessons Alice learned in At Her Fingertips were good for me too.
All in all, I loved At Her Fingertips, and I'm really excited to read Beyond Her Calling.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Summary: Alice and Ivy are now 18, and Alice is ready to marry. She enters her Débutante Season with a bang, being presented to Queen Victoria and then swept into a multitude of balls. She hopes to marry as soon as possible, and- in part due to her personality and in part to her family's past- decides to let logic guide her choices. She doesn't believe in romance. Especially not after her argument with the stable boy, Kirk. She's afraid of the future, and wants to control and create her own. So when Gibson Ashfield comes along seeking her affection- it's okay if she doesn't love him, right? He's witty, charming, rich and prestigious, and decidedly non-Christian. Should Alice compromise her ideals to make a good match, or can she trust God with the future?
Peter Strauss visits England both for work and for an escape. His love life is in shambles, the girl that he loves got married to his best friend and cousin. He's drawn near to God through it, but can he ever be trusted with love again? And what should he do when he becomes attracted to a girl who starts dating someone else?
Main Characters: The Knight family, mainly Alice. Peter Strauss, and Gibson Ashfield.
Setting: Late 1800s Victorian England.
Order It could be read as a standalone, but some of the family details are explained more in other books. I'm glad I read the others first.
Content: Overall this was a pretty clean and well handled book. :) There are two characters born out of wedlock, and that is mentioned very briefly. As well as a mention that one mother did not have a choice. There are a few men that have a reputation for being bad with women (meaning "rough" with them, some in a physical way). There is a mention of someone being drunk, and a mention of someone cursing. As well as a mention of miscarriages and births. One character has remarried twice, through different circumstances. But everything is handled very discreetly, and it is a well-done and real book.
My thoughts: I loved Peter the most. He cares for people so much, and though he had moment's where he viewed it as a weakness (as we all do) it was one if his greatest strengths. He is so kind and mature, but, yet, unsure of himself. He knows his struggles and sinful nature. But that's what made him real. Alice was afraid and controlling, and I didn't connect with her as much as I did Ivy in Ivy Introspective. But her arc was good, and she ended up with the best guy. *wink* Though that relationship felt a little rushed to me, but welp, who can say? Gibson, I'm still mad at him. Let's leave it at that. Kirk- the poor boy. Someone please help him. Ivy is sweet as always, even when Alice was rude to her. I would have loved to see her grow in that area, but maybe later. I loved how God was present in it all, and the character's relationships with Him. They had many good conversations about faith that we can learn from. I love Kell's writing with that. Nettie is amazing. I would have liked to see more of Alice's parents though too. And the ending, ahhh my heart. The book thing, yas. The epilogue, wow, the suspense. Alice has got to know soon! Poor Nettie. And Kirk. Cliffhangers warning with this one!
Quotes to come!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for promotional purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.*
(Note: as I alpha and beta read this book, I might be a little biased ... but does it really matter?)
This was so adorable. What characters! I might have said it before: characters usually make the book for me. First, there was Alice, the main character. She is so developed, but not in any way cliché. She has her ways (some smarter than others) but is not cookie-cutter. Her planner personality fits the story, but it also provides humor, tension, and everything else needed in a good book.
Then there was Kirk. I love Kirk so much. He is basically the perfect love interest. His adamant vows to kill certain people absolutely cracked me up.
Peter is the perfect American. I loved the crack made by Cassie about Americans. I also loved Alice's reply to Cassie's crack. But Peter is so much more than his Americanism. His passion for Christianity, his gentleness, his compassion ... just everything about his is adorable. (Yes, I must use that word) The only strange thing that didn't take away from the story, but could for some select people, is his similarity to Peter of A Name Unknown--German heritage and everything.
Gibson is one of few characters that I hate to love. Not many antagonists' backgrounds are developed and shown so much, and it's possible that its presence in all cases would be bad. But in this case, because of the 'love square', it is appropriate. I just felt so bad for him (in a 'get away from Alice' sort of way), especially after his last encounter with Peter--aww!!!
I was glad to see Ivy's appearance and necessity to the story. I imagine it would be easy to completely ignore Alice's siblings for the entire story--it is about Alice and her romance, after all! But Ivy isn't ignored, and she is as sweet, yet true to her character, as always.
I also love Alice's parents, and their fierce protection of their daughter. Especially Philip Knight. Another one who must be restrained from killing someone ... XD As far as I can tell, their method of parenting is working out all right. Sure, they made a few mistakes, but they admit them, and they also hold Alice accountable for her actions. And they're still authority; they don't just leave Alice to her own devices now that she's an adult.
The characters already make the story, but the plot represents the chocolate chips in the cake. Such good substance, sensitive issues are handled exceptionally well, and I love the way the 'love square' played out. Obviously someone's feelings were hurt, but he'll get over it. ;) (MAJOR spoiler here)
The faith of the Knight family is integrated in their lives, and it is so wonderful. They're wise, but not perfect. Alice is a little dense sometimes, but hey, she learns. That's what's important, right? God's promise to direct our paths, and that our ways are not His ways, is brought alive through Alice's struggle. It's so encouraging, especially to someone right now who is greatly confused as to what God has planned with her life.
I probably could go on and on about what I loved about every single scene, but that would take way too many words, too much of your time, and especially way too much of my time. Suffice it to say that this is an amazing book, and it's clear that Kellyn Roth has improved her writing very very much(for lack of a better word).
Loves: Two main loves: one, the richness of the characters–for example, there’s Alice, all grown up but still the same Alice we know and love. And two, the adorable, sweet, clean romance that was impossible to not like. EEEEEK. The sweetness of this book is on overload.
Dislikes: I didn’t like Alice’s interactions with Ivy; she didn’t treat her sister the best in this novel, and I wish we could have seen her taking care of Ivy more, or realizing in the end that Ivy deserves just as much as she does. In this regard Alice became a little snottish, and I hope in future novels to see Ivy taken care of. Despite my frustration with Alice, though, it was so cool to see her all grown up and still the same Alice at the same time; she truly is a remarkable character.
Analyzation: The author’s talent keeps improving with each book, and this one is definitely my favorite yet. How she managed to pull off not a love story, not a love triangle, but a love square, is beyond me, but she did and I can’t say I didn’t like it. Each character is rich and alive, different in their own way.
I really liked that we got Gibson’s perspective, even with him being the so-called “bad guy,” and that we really felt for Kirk, even though we know him and Alice can’t be together. There were some beautiful themes that weren’t blatant but simply there. The author writes way above her years, and it blew me away how she carefully crafted these concepts without being preachy. Instead of simply telling us that we are designed for love, to wait for the one we really love to marry, and to be very careful with that choice, she shows us this through many options and examples.
Nothing I would label as “dirty” or “inappropriate”; everything is handled well.
Overall: I don’t think this book could have been any cuter. Aaaagh. It was the sweetest, most heartwarming romance I’ve read in a long time.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Recommendation: Probably ages 13+…anyone looking for a different, but sweet, romance.
A lovely story that exceeded my expectations. Alice grew so much as a character (I admit she was a little shallow and annoying at first), and the whirling London society kept me guessing! There were many sweet moments, but also some nasty ones that made the story that much deeper. I loved Alice's journey of faith and her diary entries, an element I rarely enjoy so much. Great job!
5+ stars & 6/10 hearts. I loved Ivy Introspective & Becoming Miss Knight. Yet somehow I didn’t want to read book 3, because I knew it would talk about a topic that was heavy on my heart just now—marriage.
And boy, did I ever need this book. Not only was it amazing to see all the truths about marriage expounded and reinforced, but the characters really spoke to me. In Alice, I saw my desperate desire to get married MY way, to MY perfect way. Alice’s journey to surrender her “perfect marriage” and “perfect man” were hard to watch, but a needed reminder. I also closely identified to Peter’s fear and doubts and lack of self-worth. His arc was really encouraging and inspiring to me. Ivy’s thoughts were amazing, and Nettie was as wonderful as ever. I also loved all of Peter & Alice’s conversations and ponderings on Christian life (sooo convicting).
Besides these characters and that aspect of the plot, there was also new and intriguing characters and fascinating side-plots (I was screaming at the characters a couple times). I’m expecting certain secrets to be spilled at any minute, and in fact we were left on a bit of a cliffhanger! I didn’t agree with 100% everything, but 99% of it was excellent. Overall, it was a wonderful addition to the series and I highly recommend it to women struggling to surrender marriage, and struggling to pull out of one’s flaws and walk the Christian life.
Recommended age: 18+ for some content (mentions that a man was “rough” with a woman—in an inappropriate way); part of the plot is the fact that 2 main characters were conceived out of wedlock + by rape; a tense scene where one is left to wonder if perhaps a male character would behave inappropriately with a female character).
A Favourite Quote: “‘Remember that God is profoundly sensible—but to us, in the moment, God’s plans don’t always feel as if they are guided by sense. Sometimes they seem quite strange! They seem like a request to walk on water or a building plan for a big boat that’s to be constructed in the middle of a desert. However, in the end, they are profoundly sensible. We can only follow His perfect plans and trust that they will lead us along the right path.’ “Again, Alice offered her whole-hearted agreement, but inside, she doubted. If faced with a plan that contained no sense, faced with a life that contained no rhyme or reason, would she really embrace it?” A Favourite Beautiful Quote: “Horse hooves and carriage wheels over cobblestone made their own unique melody, and Peter loved it. Now, granted, there was nothing quite like the country. However, Peter found himself equally at home here. He felt every place he’d ever visited had its poetry, a set of rhyme and rhythm, and how he loved to memorize those verses.” A Favourite Humorous Quote: “He believed he was supposed to talk mostly to one side or the other, but he couldn’t limit himself that much. He didn’t want the lady on his other side—whoever that was—to feel abandoned. Especially if he was thinking of the wrong side … Now, was it right or left? “Miss Knight was sitting a ways up the table, next to Gibson, and she smiled at everything he said, though she didn’t quite laugh. Gibson, on the other hand? Much to Peter’s shock, not only was Gibson somewhat smitten with her—the complete, individual attention he was giving her confirmed that for Peter—but he was acting like a gentleman.... Peter’s mind spiraled between these two points until he had to apologize to the lady on his right for not having any idea what she’d been talking about for the last two minutes. He also almost spilled his champagne glass on his lap, which was quite the feat for a man who wasn’t drinking from his champagne glass.”
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for promotional purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.*
Any time you sit down with a teenager or young twentysomething, there’s usually a conversation about their future. And 9 times out of ten, there’s usually some kind of plan involved. I know, for myself, I had it alllllll mapped out. I think one thing actually kind of went according to what I set out to happen—I finished college. But that’s because that was the part I knew was also...dun dun dun...GOD’S plan!! The rest happened as I let Him unfold it instead of me—and that’s exactly what happens with Alice. She has a plan, and is decidedly stuck to it and certain it will be a go. She soon learns that not only is letting God unfold the rose the right thing, it’s also the BEST thing.
Well, I thoroughly enjoyed that. There were multiple aspects that I loved about At Her Fingertips, but I think what really made the book for me was the dialogue. Doused with clever and witty conversations and capturing so well the proper and sophisticated speech of the time, I'm pretty sure it kept a grin plastered on my face for much of the book ... except for when any of my family members were around, then I put on my poker face to keep them from asking questions. ;) So yes, I believe the verbal exchanges were my favorite part of the book. There were even times when the thought crossed my mind that this would make a great BBC film ... I could just see it so clearly.
Historical fiction, as well as classics, is my staple literary diet. So you can believe me when I say that I'm particular about liking my books to be historically accurate. Now I don't know much about England in the 1880s, but At Her Fingertips' portrayal felt authentic to me. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into London high society, though I must say that the endless rounds of social events exhausted me! Also, the pressure of having to find a husband honestly sounds terrifying.
I really liked Alice, even though I'm nothing like her. She was just a fun protagonist to read about. She had a really nice character arc, too. Allowing God take complete control of our lives is a lesson I believe we all have to learn, sometimes on a day-to-day basis.
And as far as Alice's suitors ... I'm not sure if I have much to say about them, except that I liked them all. Kirk, Peter -- both nice fellows. I even liked Gibson in his own way. I guess I just felt sorry for him. Aside from appreciating the characters as individuals, yes, I was happy with whom Alice ended up with. Not that I didn't have a pretty good guess who that would be all along ...
For some reason, this book reminded me a lot of Little Women ... Not sure why. Maybe it was Kirk that reminded me of Laurie. Or something about the overall atmosphere of the book ... I don't know, but at any rate, it was a positive thing seeing as Little Women is one of my all-time favorite books.
I believe the only part of the book that I wasn't wild about was the last scene and the scenes leading up to it. Now don't get me wrong, it WAS the perfect ending and was to be expected considering the nature of the plot. I'm just funny in that I enjoy a romance without the "romantic" parts. Neither do I care much for reading about love-sick people. But the ending was really quite sweet, so I imagine that most girls would be sighing happily over it. :)
I can definitely see myself picking this book up as a re-read in the future, and would readily pass it on to my younger sisters to read. Highly recommended.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
First of all, to get it out of the way - this one gets a solid 5/5 from me. That's all.
I absolutely love this series, and At Her Fingertips definitely does not disappoint. The thought that's put into the historical context of the book is so rich that I learn something almost every time I pick up one of these books. The characters are vibrant and hop right off the pages. The Christian elements are important and leave the readers with something to chew on. I have to say that Peter is an absolute dear, as is Alice. And Gibson...well, I'd like to have a little chat with him. The story itself is compelling and thought-provoking; I ended up reading it in about two sittings even though I planned to read it a bit more slowly than that. It's attention-grabbing and maintains your interest pretty much from start to finish, and you'll find yourself rooting for the good guys, curious about the motives of the morally-gray, and wanting to yell at the bad guys -- just the blend I enjoy. (Plus, the book mentions horses and does so with accuracy, so that's always a bonus in my eyes.) If you enjoy historical fiction or women's fiction (or both), you'll love this book. And if you haven't checked out the rest of the series, you'll want to do that too. This book is fine as a standalone, but you'll just want to read the rest of them too. Trust me.
At Her Fingertips was my first of Kellyn Roth's books, and even though it is the third in the series, I was able to read it as a standalone quite easily. At least until the end, when that cliffhanger was thrown into the epilogue. That's a sure way to make me want to read the next one!
This book focuses mainly on Alice's quest for a perfect marriage - not one filled with love, but a sensible marriage that will afford her security. There's a lot of discussion about what marriage should and shouldn't be. Does it have to include a bunch of dramatic emotions, or should it be basically a business partnership? I think this was addressed pretty well throughout the book - Peter was definitely the more sensitive, emotional side of things, and he was a good parry to Alice's more stoic approach. Peter was probably my favorite character, given he was a kind, thoughtful writer. (And when he shows up in England and immediately declares that he's staying ... that's my boy.) His comments about masks at the masquerade party were quite insightful, as well, and he didn't even know what was coming ...
The writing style fit this book, and I also enjoyed the research that went into making everything realistic. I had no idea how involved and ceremonial Seasons were in the late 1800s! Although there wasn't a lot of action, the book picked up for me in the latter half where things started progressing a bit more. I also enjoyed the clear discussions about Christians not marrying non-Christians. I feel like a lot of Christian fiction books can kind of skate over that fact, or they're ok with it as long as the person becomes a Christian in the end. Nettie's input was much-needed, and I'm glad Alice had such a good confidante!
The romance element was completely clean (which was wonderful), as well as the language. I would recommend this book to those who enjoys historical fiction, especially fiction involving British, high-society activities.
Thanks to the author for a free copy of this book!
Okay. So. Before I start this review, I want to state plainly that I am NOT a romance reader at all. Actually, I pretty much despise all kinds of romance in fiction. And while I know this book isn't actually in the romance genre, I knew it contained romance before I even opened it. I actually tend to stray away from Christian historical novels because a lot of them contain heavy romance.
Secondly, though I'm a good friend of the author and I support her wholeheartedly, I've always thought her novels just weren't my thing (sorry, Kell :P). But when I saw she was opening her launch team, I decided to go ahead and support her by signing up.
I wasn't quite sure what I'd think of AT HER FINGERTIPS. But I'm SO SO glad I gave it a try.
WHAT I LOVED - The characters. Can we just give a huge round of applause for the way Kell weaves these amazing, SO lifelike characters?? I genuinely want them in my life. While I wasn't a fan of Alice at first (she seemed too stiff and proud) I loved her care for the children and gradually began to sympathize with her as the story went on. And Peter. I loved his awkwardness and his maturity and obedience to Christ. Truly amazing to read about. After reading BECOMING MISS KNIGHT, I already loved Nettie, and I was thrilled to find out that she was in this book, too! She continues to be so full of wisdom and insight. - The authentic, historical feel of this book. You can tell Kell put so much research into this novel. The characters weren't like other "historical" novels I've read—where they use modern language and borrow other aspects of modern life. - The Christian themes and the romance (yes, I said that. XD). I love how Christ-focused a lot of the relationships were, especially romance. It was really clean—there wasn't even a described kiss.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE - The plot seemed a tiny bit slow at times, and there were some time jumps that were a little difficult to keep up with. But I do see how most of them were necessary, as a writer! It just wasn't my favorite as a reader. - I can't really think of anything else!! It was REALLY good.
Overall, I highly recommend this book! It's really clean, the romance and relationships are (mostly 😉) Christ-focused, the characters are AMAZING and so realistic, and the feel of this story is genuinely historical. If you're looking for a clean Christian historical novel, look no further. You've found the perfect book.
(And Kell, if you see this, you are doing wonders with your writing and I'm so proud of you!!)
*Disclaimer: I received a free ARC copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. It did not affect my review whatsoever, as I'm sure you can tell :)*
If you have ever read a review from me regarding any work of Christian fiction then you already know how I feel about it, but I’ll say it once again. I’m very particular when it comes to Christian fiction—as a Believer myself, I just want my favorite genre to be represented by the best and I think its safe to say Kellyn Roth is one of the best!
Christian fiction carries the stigma of being cheesy and somewhat unbelievable. What annoyed me most when I would read through lovely faith-filled romantic novels was how cookie-cutter it seemed; a gentle and innocent Christian girl falling for an unsaved bad boy and eventually turning him into a Christ-filled hunk.
This boring theme has somehow welded itself into place as the best form of entertainment in Christian romance, so I was pleasantly surprised to see things told a little differently in this book. I won’t say Roth totally stirred things up, but she did something with Christian romance that made things work better than any other book in this genre I have ever read before; she put them in the proper time period.
Reading this wasn’t like cracking open a new romance I’d never seen before—not at all—there was a fair number of stereotypes and the main character, while she did go through serious development along the way, was your typical annoying main character. The best part of At Her Fingertips was that it took place in 1800’s England. It made sense for there to be a hundred fair maids frolicking about, searching for a rich hunk to sweep them off their feet. It made sense for Christian women to be portrayed as always sweet, kind, meek, and innocent. It made sense for Alice to be frustrated and obsessed with her singleness and the desire to marry. Roth took every stereotype in Christian fiction that I hate and made it work.
At Her Fingertips is structurally wonderful but there is a lot to appreciate within the story, beginning with the main character. I liked Alice, a little, but what I truly enjoyed was who she became throughout the book. There’s nothing like watching someone you dislike take all the bad things about them and melt them down into a wonderful new being. Watching Alice’s growth felt exactly like that; she seemed very young, irritating, and naïve when she was first introduced but she was a totally different person by the end of the book. Maybe it was because she had to deal with a number of different men with very different personalities, or maybe it was because she learned to lean on the Lord and trust in His judgement—which brings me to my next point.
There’s a lot to love about this book but what I really enjoyed most was the way Christianity was woven into the storyline. Alice had very believable struggles that I think many young Believers—man or woman—face every day. I think Alice dealt with her problems in a fair and entertaining way but still held on to the integrity of the faith and who could ever dislike a story like that?
I recommend this book to Christian readers of all ages. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction will certainly enjoy this and those with a soft heart and a romantic side will read it in one go.
Miss Roth has done it again. She’s written a wonderful story that entranced my heart and soul. Not only do we have the delightful Knights and Nettie to return to, but we also have a certain Peter Strauss to captivate me us.
Honestly, as much as I love Alice, Nettie, Ivy, the little ones, and all the other characters (excluding certain rogues who will not be mentioned lest my ire be raised.) by the end of the book I was just here for Peter. XP Seriously, if you want a fictional man who has the semblance of an Austen hero but with something more read this book. I mean it! I love Peter more than Darcy, Knightley, and all the others put together.
Speaking of Jane Austen, I don’t believe in reincarnation but if I did, I’d wonder if Kellyn Roth was previously Jane Austen come back to write more delicious novels set in a different time period. XD If my gushing isn’t enough, let’s move on to a semblance of an actual review, though you should totally count gushing as a legit review. *nods seriously*
While I lean more towards Ivy in personality and don’t always understand what goes on in Alice’s head, Kell expertly draws the reader into caring about Alice and why her Season as a debutante is so important to her; why security is more important than love to her. Alice is very practical and a lot like Austen’s Emma, so even if I never quite understood her actions and motives, I did enjoy my time with her (and Peter, don’t forget Peter) and loved watching her grow through her journey.
I loved watching Alice’s family come and go throughout her time in London, her parents, of course, stayed with her, but sometimes Nettie, her children, and the young Knights would come and I really enjoyed all the family scenes, especially the ones involving Peter. (Have you caught onto the fact that I’m a Peter fangirl? XD)
The plot was wonderful and well paced, I never felt like it dragged or sped past leaving me wondering what’s going on and where am I at. There were a few, small, time jumps but those were done very well and I didn’t feel like I missed pieces of the story that I’d have rather “watched” unfold instead of having it summed up.
Now for Peter. *grins* I’m not sure I’ve ever loved a fictional hero like I do Peter. And no, this is not a fictional crush. This is more of “I love this character, where can I get my own real life version?” … … Okay, that does sound like a crush now that I’ve said it out loud… XD But come on, he’s such a great guy. He has faults (of which have completely flown my mind as soon as I tried to think of them, but he does have a few) one of which is he can be a bit cowardly and he also tries to avoid conflict by not telling someone they’re doing something wrong, (But that’s something I deal with too, so hey, I’m not judging. ;p) but his virtues far exceed the faults. For one thing, his relationship with God is the most important thing to him and any advice he gives (of which there is a lot given) it’s always from a Biblical perspective and “have you prayed about it?” and “God will guide you.” which was so wonderful. Honestly, he and Nettie would get along wonderfully. *smile smile* Peter is also a writer which was a big win in my book, (pun unintended) and he’s all the time quoting and making references to books. He’s also awkwardly adorable and is always fumbling over himself or being a bit scatterbrained. But what makes him so wonderful is how grounded in his faith he is.
Wow. Did I just make half the review about Peter? *blinks* Oookay, if that doesn’t show how much I love this book and Peter, I’m not sure what will.
I also loved how much history Kell gave us in this book. It felt as if I really were in the Victorian Era alongside the Knights and Peter, especially the scenes with Queen Victoria, the Epsom Derby, and the Royal Academy of Arts. All of it was, in my opinion, expertly done and I was immersed in the history without loosing the feel of the story or feeling like I was suddenly being given a history lesson info dump. I am in awe over how Kell interwove history and the story together so seamlessly. #writergoals (Yes, I know this is historical fiction, but I’ve read fiction that reads like a history textbook with dialogue before…)
And no review of a book in The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy is complete without bringing up Nettie who was, yet again, spectacular and I just couldn’t get enough of her. I would fork over money for a novella of just her and Peter spending time together. Nettie is such an inspiring role-model. She always seems to know just what to say and do to help those around her to see things how God sees them and encourages them to seek God’s will. I’d say she’s not perfect, but I’ve yet to see a flaw in her and I’m okay with that. *smile smile* Oh, wait, there’s actually one small thing that could be a flaw, but it’s kind of spoiler territory and honestly, Nettie is just doing the best she can in the situation. *zips lips before divulging spoiler* I love Nettie so much! ^_^
I believe I should conclude this review lest I gush further and more incoherently about Peter and Nettie, and everyone else. 😉
References to alcohol, a few instances of “social” drinking, a character is shown drunk once or twice, I believe wine was served at parties. Vague references to a man abusing his wife, a discussion about two women having children out of wedlock and a mention that one of them had no choice. An instance of someone “uttering a curse” but the actual word wasn’t used. And a brief moment of violence where a man struck a woman, knocking her to the ground.
I received a complimentary e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions, and fangirling are my own. I was not required to give a positive review.
The Characters: Alice - she turned out to be a lot like her mother, because she was a little too controlling for my liking! I'm pretty sure I liked her a lot more when she was a child, but that's a personal preference! :D It was neat to see her grown up though! I love how she's writing letters to her daughter in this book!! <3 Alice's eighteen and feels like she's an old maid already - well, girl, I'm eighteen and I don't feel that way. So there. :p Kirk - okay, I still like him more than any of the other guys! Gibson - blech! *still feels like punching him* Nope, nope. I'm glad Alice realized what a fool he was! Peter - he's American, of course I'm going to like him! *smiles sweetly* Even if he wasn't, I'm sure I'd still really like him … maybe! :D He was the best though! Ivy - I love her!! I just wish Alice understood her more!
The Story-line: Basically Alice was trying to "find" a husband throughout the book. At least that's how I took and read it! Which is fine, but it's not exactly my favourite story-line of all times! :P I like how the characters travel around to different places in these books!
Content: A scene where a unmarried male kisses an unmarried female several times while they're alone in the garden; the man rubbed his hand down the girls arm too. Mentions of couples having relationships before marriage. Not a ton of detail.
All-in-all: I loved the ending! So sweet and I love how Ivy was involved with that! <3 Sorry it took me so long to finish and review this, Kellyn! Looking forward to book 4!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
"At Her Fingertips" is the first full-length novel by Kellyn Roth that I've read, but despite not being familiar with the earlier books in this historical romance series, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Alice and Peter manage to be infuriating, delightful and relatable characters—perhaps alarmingly so. The author's ability to create people who feel so real is a gift. Too often characters in romances tend to follow the cookie-cutter pattern of "troubled girl/perfect boy" or vice versa. Not here! Alice and Peter both live their multifaceted lives and face their separate problems and dilemmas with such clarity (particularly Alice) that I had to speculate that the author was at least in part painting a portrait of herself, or at the least one of her nearest and dearest. I'd recommend "At Her Fingertips" to anyone who enjoys historical Christian romance (this one is set roughly in the Victorian period, I believe) with great character development and a simple love story told in a polished, readable style.
I received a free copy from this author for the purpose of sharing an honest review.
This series quickly found a place in my heart with its first book, The Dressmaker’s Secret, and At Her Fingertips just secured it there firmly with all its truth, beauty, and goodness.
I felt this was such a wonderful book from the get-go, instantly inviting you to delve deeper into its characters, wondering where the story would take them and I enjoyed getting to meet the new characters as well as revisiting with some of the others.
I think I’ll just have to reiterate what everyone else is saying: Peter is definitely my favorite! I truly wish there were more men, more people in general, like him. He is a subtle, guiding light and everyone should have a “Peter” in their lives!
I loved how Miss Roth included some real-life happenings in her story as it made it feel even more real. Yet never once did I get lost or bored in the details of this nicely-paced story!
This book is all about finding the path that God would have you walk instead of trying to forge it on your own without Him, and that message is one that is dear to my heart.
**I received a complimentary copy from the author in hopes of an honest review. I was not obligated to leave a positive review. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
So many quotable lines in this book! Wonderful writing!
One of my HUGE pet peeves in Christian fiction is the unequally yoked theme…in other words, Christian authors who are okay with a Christian having a relationship with, and even declaring love for a non-Christian. I shake my head constantly when an author is so irresponsible with God's Word that they make sin okay. The Word warns against being unequally yoked, so it’s simply not okay.
Ms. Roth not only deals with this issue, she drives it home often, and in such an eloquent way. Well done!
Another theme was pray, pray, pray, then to trust God rather than our untrustworthy feelings. So good.
Three men seem to care for Alice: Gibson Ashfield, a wealthy bachelor pursued her, virtually barring all other suitors during her first season. Kirk Manning, the stable master at her father's country estate had been her friend since childhood, and had always felt a strong bond with her. Peter Strauss, a reporter/writer from America. To be fair, he never pursued her, but it’s obvious to the reader his fond feelings for Alice.
The story dealt with Alice’s internal struggle, her great desire to marry, and then to finally come to grips with what God really wants for her life.
This is my favorite in the Alice and Ivy series. Extremely clean and I highly recommend it.
PETER IS A CINNAMON ROLL. ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. HE IS THE SWEETEST KINDEST MOST GENTLE CINNAMON ROLL OF CINNAMON ROLL HEROES.
Alice was...Alice. But I loved seeing her learn to be a little more emotional, a little more vulnerable, a little more sweet...
IVVVVVYYYYYYYY. I NEED MORE IVY. WHY MUST I WAIT UNTIL JANUARY FOR MORE IVY?? WHY KELLYN WHY??
*seethes* Gibson. I shall call him Mr. Jerkface Jr.
NETTIE IS THE BEST.
ALSO THE PLOT TWIST AT THE END. WHAT.
All in all, I love this book. It has some good messages about marriage, and just about the sweetest romance of romances. The lessons that both Peter and Alice had to learn...also I knew once she got the package what was going on. You'll have to read it yourself to see what I'm talking about. 😉
My second favorite of the series so far. It was great to revisit all the characters, see how they’ve changed and grown, and meet new ones like Peter Strauss, my favorite out of all the whole series.
Some of the dialogue sounded modern, but otherwise everything felt period appropriate and well researched, especially the viewpoints of characters. I appreciated the deep discussions of marriage and other important issues in life.
Next book we’re with Ivy again. I look forward to that as Ivy is my favorite of the two sisters. Alice has her good and interesting points, however. She has a refreshingly different personality from many other book heroines, with her rational and unemotional views of life and marriage.
SUCH a good book! (The cover is absolutely breathtaking!) I love seeing a grown-up-Alice, although it is a bit odd at first. Ivy is as sweet as ever, although she doesn't feature so prevalently in this book. (I can't wait for the next book, Beyond Her Calling, which is her!) Also the person Alice ends up with... <3 I had several doubts along the way and never guessed it! And, Kell you sneak! Peter is the same Peter from AAWC- isn't he?