Book Review: The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall

The Captive ImposterABOUT THE BOOK:

Sent away for protection, hotel heiress Estella Everstone finds herself living undercover as a lady’s companion named Elle Stoneburner at one of her father’s opulent hotels in the mountains of Maine—the one she’d always loved best and always hoped to own one day, Everston. The one thing she doesn’t like about the situation is that her ex-fiancé is in the area and is set on marrying someone else. Reeling from her feelings of being unwanted and unworthy, Estella reluctantly forms a friendship with the gruff manager of Everston, Dexter Blakeley, who seems to have something against wealthy young socialites with too much money, although they are just the kind of people Everston caters to.

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer she can’t refuse. She sees no other choice aside from going back home to her family and accepts the position as companion to his sister. Throughout her interactions with Dexter, she can’t deny the pull that’s evidenced between them every time he comes near. Estella realizes that while she’s been hiding behind a false name and identity, she’s never been freer to be herself than when she’s with Dexter Blakeley. But will he still love her when he finds out she’s Estella Everstone? She’s not entirely sure.

The Captive Imposter is now available! Purchase Dawn’s latest release here.


Dawn Crandall, author of the Everstone Chronicles series, is a superb author. I knew the moment I opened her first book, The Hesitant Heiress, that she would be an author to follow. Less than seven months after that thought came to me, The Hesitant Heiress won the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence (Romance Writers of America), and I still choose her novels just as eagerly as I did that first one. Filled with romance, faith, suspense, and wit, Crandall has ended her Everstone Chronicles series with a novel that will make readers sad to close the last page of The Captive Imposter.

Known for her novels told in first-person point of view, Crandall’s The Captive Imposter follows her other two novels just as brilliantly as The Hesitant Heiress and The Bound Heart. First-person point of view is notoriously challenging for authors to pull off because one perspective can be biased, but in The Captive Imposter this perspective creates both suspense and empathy. Estella Everstone is the perfect person for which to tell a story in first person; her limited point of view requires readers to constantly wonder about Estella’s world and circumstances, but her personality and the arc of her character immediately draw you into her thoughts and emotions. I felt as I were with Estella during the entirety of The Captive Imposter—experiencing her growth in character and faith, understanding her confusion over a lost love, and feeling the excitement and wonder of a new relationship.

Crandall’s love for Maine, setting of The Captive Imposter and primary settings for the other novels in the Everstone Chronicles, is evident within her writing. Aside from her superb and compelling writing style, the detail and attention to which Crandall infuses her setting demonstrates just how much she loves this area. I have never been to Maine but have no doubt that my imaginings of the state are just what Crandall wants her readers to see. The areas where Dexter and Estella walk, pray, and spend time together come alive because of the care Crandall puts into her settings.

Crandall creates stories and characters that make readers, to use one of her favorite phrases, “feel deeply.” Estella, with her craving to be loved for who she is—not what she is—is just the sort of character with whom readers can identify. I particularly loved that from the outset of the novel Estella recognized her flaws and searched out ways to better herself. Dexter, the perfect foil for Crandall’s heroine in The Captive Imposter, broods just as much as our beloved Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester. Ever the hero who comes in to save the day, Dexter stands apart from other heroes with his passion for helping others and being a man of God. The Captive Imposter is a character-driven novel in which Crandall excels at developing her hero and heroine.

I recommend The Captive Imposter for readers who enjoy inspirational historical romance; however, due to some subjects of a sensitive nature, this novel may be better suited for adults rather than teenagers. Crandall’s novel touches upon  For its character-driven story, deeply emotional faith and romance aspects, and superb writing, I claim The Captive Imposter as one of my favorite novels of 2015.

RATING: 5/5 stars


Dawn’s two other novels in the Everstone Chronicles, The Hesitant Heiress and The Bound Heart, have earned high praise since her original lease in the summer of 2014. The Hesitant Heiress just won the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, awarded by Romance Writers of America! Descriptions and links for the first two novels are below, in addition to my reviews.

The Hesitant Heiress

The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall Published by Whitaker House

The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall
Published by Whitaker House

After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother. Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt’s Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men, Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother’s tragic death. However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems…and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn’t who she thought at all.

Read A Way With Words’s review of The Hesitant Heiress here.

The Bound Heart 

The Bound Heart by Dawn Crandall Published by Whitaker House

The Bound Heart by Dawn Crandall
Published by Whitaker House

One accidental kiss from Lawry Hampton. That was all it took to throw Meredyth Summercourt’s world upside-down. Determined to marry the ever-elusive Vance Everstone, she simply doesn’t have the time or the desire to fall for her best friend. But with Vance out of the country, and with Lawry at her side nearly every day, teaching her what the world is like through the eyes of a little orphan girl named Wynn–Meredyth can’t deny that what’s holding her to Vance is nothing more than a desire to redeem herself from her past. Will she marry Vance once he returns from Europe? Or will she be strong enough to break free from the tangled web she’s convinced she deserves, and accept that God’s plan for her life includes redemption…and, quite possibly, Lawry Hampton?

Read A Way With Words review of The Bound Heart here


Dawn CrandallA graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming traditionally published, he encouraged her to quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing her debut novel, The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

Apart from writing books, Dawn is also a first-time mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014) and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Northeast Indiana.

Dawn is a member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter.

The Everstone Chronicles is Dawn’s first series with Whitaker House. All three books composing the series were semifinalists in ACFW’s prestigious Genesis Writing Contest, the third book going on to become a finalist in 2013.

Links to Dawn: 



Twitter: @dawnwritesfirst