Book review: Cassandra Austen, The Portrait

The Portrait
by Cassandra Austen

Publication Date: December 31, 2018
Apollo Grannus Books
eBook & Paperback; 340 Pages

Genre: Historical/Romance/Suspense



Lady Catherine, banished to the countryside as a useless girl with a lame leg, got her revenge by playing a dangerous game. And now it will ruin her.

When the old earl dies, his only child feels no sorrow. The earldom will now revert to the crown and Lady Catherine will continue to live life exactly as she pleases. But when she learns that she is the heir to a secret family title, everything changes. Marriage had once seemed unnecessary and out of the question; now it is the only thing she wants. The two men in her life both need her influence and wealth. Whom shall she choose? The kind but secretive Captain Avebury? Or the notorious Sir Lyle, the handsome smuggler? Both men deal very differently with honor. And when Catherine’s secret self-destructs, which man can be trusted to save her?

The Portrait is about a strong woman, foolish decisions, trust, and the definition of honor. Fans of Jane Austen’s independent women will recognize in Catherine a voice which will not be silenced.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble


I’ve not read much romantic suspense before now, but I really enjoyed this from Cassandra Austen, taking us into the world of Lady Catherine, and her strong desire to find a husband, following an unexpected change in fortune. Catherine is an interesting character, refusing to let what others would (and do) see as a major disability harm her and her prospects. She defies convention, moving through society and doing what she wishes, safe, partly, in the knowledge that few would ever say anything against her.

Captain Avebury and Sir Lyle are interesting characters, but if I’m honest, I found Sir Lyle the harder of the two to fathom. It’s clear something is holding the Captain back, but quite what isn’t immediately clear, but once things begin to unravel for him, as well as for Catherine, it’s clear that the two need to get this resolved, and resolved quickly.

I found it a great read, pacey and interesting, and certainly intriguing, as I tore through the pages, especially once the action moved to London, although of course I won’t say how or why! I would recommend this to those looking for a romance with a mystery, and something a little bit different in their historical fiction…

About the Author

Cassandra Austen writes historical and contemporary fiction set in both old and New England. She is the author of The Portrait, a historical romance that takes place during the Regency period in England, and Coming Home to Greenleigh, a contemporary New England romance. She lives and works in her 1700s farmhouse in northern New England, but you are welcome to visit her at her virtual home: You can also find Cassandra on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, July 1
Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Tuesday, July 2
Feature at A Holland Reads

Wednesday, July 3
Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, July 4
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, July 5
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Monday, July 8
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, July 9
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, July 10
Review at McCombs on Main

Thursday, July 11
Feature at What Is That Book About
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Friday, July 12
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Book Reviews from Canada

Monday, July 15
Review at My Vices and Weaknesses


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two copies of The Portrait! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

The Portrait

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