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Review: The Painter’s Daughter

by Kellyn Roth |
February 17, 2016

The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

The Painter’s Daughter
Julie Klassen
Historical fiction
Historical romance, romance, Regency era, Regency romance, adult fiction, England, Regency England.
Adult (young adult if you’re as smart as me 😉 )


Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It’s where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she’s beautiful.
Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother’s neglected duties. Home on leave, he’s sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter’s daughter. He’s startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him–one of Wesley’s discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse.
Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she’ll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.
Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family’s estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?


[May contain some little spoilers]

Very good. Well-woven, if a little confusing at times. 🙂 I was absolutely in love with it from beginning to end!
The main plot wasn’t a mystery like most of Julie Klassen’s books … it was a heartbreaking romance. 😀
Wesley Overtree, the man Sophie Dupont loves and was seduced by, runs off, leaving a heartbroken Sophie all by herself … and with child. Captain Stephen, Wesley’s young, steady, considerate younger brother, offers to marry her and erase all the potential scandal from her good name.

Of course, Stephen and Sophie didn’t expect Wesley to come back (and after Stephen had already gone off to war!), insisting that he and Sophie are meant to be together, he shouldn’t be deprived of fathering his child, etc.
So. Annoyingly. Persistent.
Can’t he just give it up and let them be happy together!!!??? Is Sophie going to forget her feelings for Stephen entirely?!? Or is she going to go back to Wesley, that snake????
I was rooting for Stephen from the start. I hated Wesley. Sophie was a little bit blinded to his faults … but I saw through that smooth exterior to a filthy insides! 😉
One last thing: It seems like the plot kinda died about 3/4 of the way through the novel. It just was kinda … hanging on. I pretty much knew how it was going to end, but it kept going on and on and on ….
Kinda like The Dressmaker’s Secret … no, I won’t think like that!


Stephen was the most amazing Prince Charming ever! I absolutely adored him! 🙂
Sophie was sweet and innocent and fallible. I liked her a lot. At times, her modesty about her painting annoyed me.
Humble people always annoy me.
Of course, so do proud people … you’ve got to have a balance between self-hatred and self-adoration to be a good person. Ok, that sounded better in my head.
I absolutely hated Wesley. Oooooooh, he was such a … a … there is not a decent word that describes him properly!!!
The minor characters, such as Wesley’s misguided, drunkard, crippled war-veteran friend (who went through a wonderful transformation), Stephen and Wesley’s little sister (so spunky and innocent!), Mr. and Mrs. Overtree (a little bit stuffy and legalistic, but very kind after you get to know them), etc. were all well-developed and interesting, most with interesting little back stories of their own, even if it could be a little confusing at times.
But I, personally, like the challenge of keeping track of all the different characters and their backstories.


The writing was wonderful. As always, the romance annoyed me by being a little.
But most contemporary-written romance drives me crazy.
I can stand Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Gene Stratton Porter, Maud Hart Lovelace, etc., but for some reason people now just don’t know when to stop.
Can we stop describing everyone’s emotions and get on the with the plot???!!!
And yes. I am overreacting. It wasn’t that corny. Not as bad as some stuff I’ve read.
But I’m a clone in a human world and I can’t stand much touchy-feely stuff. 😛

 Content Rating

It’s advertised as “clean regency romance,” and it is for the most part.
No swearing, some violence (a description of a battle which might be disturbing to some readers, but not terribly graphic), and then, obviously, the main character was pregnant out of wedlock. It was made clear that it was wrong and immoral, but it had happened (and the main character was currently in the process of bearing with the consequences of her mistakes).
There is some romance, but nothing too bad. Overall, it wasn’t too bad. It was an adult book, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under 13 unless you get your parent’s permission. 🙂

Overall Opinion

5/5 stars! 🙂 An excellent Regency romance book that kept my attention from page one to the end.

 Where can you find out more about the book, the author, and her other works?

Julie Klassen’s Official Author Website
Julie Klassen on Goodreads
The Painter’s Daughter on Goodreads
The Painter’s Daughter on Amazon
Julie Klassen’s Amazon Page

~Kellyn Roth

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16 Responses

  1. Great post, kell! I went and got the 2 chapter sample on kindle a few yrs ago and I rememeber figuring out the plot by the time I was done with the sample! It deffinitnly seemed like one of those books where the plot is more about the characters emotions than actuall stuff that’s happening. (I don’t think ive ever read a book like that..) 😉

      1. ikr! 😉
        But, ya know, some can be realy good! It depends how the author writes and if the authors a good author!
        Ive read a few parts in this action book where there was pages about what the character was feeling….and at first I was like “ok time to skip a few pages!” but as I was skimming it, I found out that i actualy LIKED it! The author wrote the emotions so well that I was feeling them myself! 😉
        The thing I cant stand in books I description! ugh I hate decription! Like, im fine if an author describes how a character looks at the beginning of the book but if that author starts to describe rooms and non-human things then, uh NO. NO. 🙂

        1. Then you might not detest Gone with the Wind. They don’t really describe the scenery, etc. Just the characters. Of course, they describe the characters for like, ten pages.

    1. Well, you really should read it! Even though it’ll probably take you like … a year. XD It took me about a week, I think, or maybe a little less. But I was speed-reading and now I’m reading it again and going … wait, that didn’t happen the first time I read it! This book totally messes up the other book! 😉

  2. Haha! I do that with books to, like, read it once and then go back over a lil slower and then back over lil more slower than again a lil more slower. *sniffs* Yup, when I read a book, I READ A BOOK.
    Anyhoo! If its gonna take me a yr, then….im not so sure I wanna read it… 😉

    1. I’m thinking about starting a book club after we’re done with the Hidden Art thing (a more private book club, though, not for the whole group) and reading Gone with the Wind. There are like 63 chapters … so I bet we could finish it in some 30 weeks. 😉

      1. *squeals*
        Yay! That would be so cool! 😉
        And then we could wach it at the end….!!!!
        It would deff have to be for the older girls but don’t make it too exsclusive lol 😉

        1. I won’t. 🙂 Gone with the Wind is really a teen girl book, though.
          I didn’t think of that … but it’s a good idea! We should totally watch the movie at the end … and the have like a movie night, like with Jane Eyre. 🙂
          Well, I’ll looked into planning it.

  3. Yay! *throws confetti*
    I have this strange feeling your gonna get way exclusive….!! (u prolly shouldn’t listen to me about this:)(I like tons of people and I would prolly include 5yr olds if I could lol;)

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