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Cry of the Peacock [Kindle Edition]

V.R. Christensen , B. Lloyd
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.95
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Book Description

An illustrious marriage, a fortune, a position of wealth and influence. These are the dreams and ambitions of any Victorian woman of sense. Or are they?

Perhaps not for Arabella Gray.

The death of Abbie’s father, the overseer of a large country estate, leaves her without means or resources, without, even, a place to live. Her landlords, in an extraordinary display of charity, invite her to live at Holdaway Hall. But the invitation is as puzzling as it is generous. Why are the Crawfords, who have never paid her any notice before, so concerned with her wellbeing now?

It’s a question the younger Crawford brothers would like to have answered as well. Certainly Miss Gray is a mercenary upstart. Certainly their brother is mad for fancying himself in love with her. Such a union would make them a laughing stock. They mean to put a stop to it, but when they learn that her past is closely—even disturbingly—connected with their own, they are brought up short, forced to ask themselves some very hard questions.

As Abbie herself soon learns, there is a great mystery at the heart of her landlords’ extraordinary offer. Everything she has ever dreamt of might be hers for the taking, but is the price worth it? More than her happiness alone rests upon her decision. If she refuses Ruskin Crawford’s offer of marriage, will she be able to live with the consequences? If she does, will she be able to live with herself?

In the end, all must ask themselves some very hard questions. What does it mean to be a man or woman of honor and integrity? What does it mean, after all, to be a gentleman? And what, exactly, is the price of a woman’s heart?

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

V.R. Christensen attended Brigham Young University, Idaho, where she earned a degree in Interior Design, while, at the same time studying English Literature, Art History and Sociology. When she is not writing, she is designing impractical clothing, redecorating her historical homes, or making impossible demands of her husband of seventeen years. She travels a great deal and considers herself a citizen of the world. Currently, V.R. makes her home in Appalachian Virginia, where she lives with her husband, three children, seven cats and a dog named Jasper. V.R. is a member of Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative, Past Times Books, Authors Anon and Literary Underground, all of which are aimed at ensuring that the publishing revolution now upon us produces some of the finest work available to the reading public–and makes it available.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1147 KB
  • Print Length: 474 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Captive Press Publishing (January 20, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,770 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Twists and turns abound in this beautifully told, complex story that takes place in the later years of the nineteenth century. The Crawfords of Holdaway Hall make an offer to a young lady, Abbie, an offer that is more than simple courtesy and care: they have something in mind, something that concerns her. This is the secret of "Cry of the Peacock." What is Ruskin's motive when he asks for Abbie's hand in marriage? A marriage, which, if it takes place, would be well beneath his station? Why does Abbie's Aunt Newhaven despise the Crawfords so much? Into this strange tableau of Ruskin asking for the overseer's daughter's hand comes the two younger Crawford brothers, David and James. Their father has not confided in them: neither understands why their brother is trying to win the heart of this common lowborn woman and they don't believe love has won him over.

Both set out to discover the truth, and both are inclined to think Abbie a gold digger. For her own part, Abbie doesn't understand Ruskin's motives either, but the pressure put upon her to accept his offer is tremendous, from everyone except her aunt. Her instincts warn her that something isn't right and she hardly knows Ruskin, but cold hard commonsense fails her when it comes to another young man.

From page one, "Cry of the Peacock" is a mystery, a journey of discovery, a peeling of the onion down to its core of truth. I found it deeply compelling, a character-driven story with a flavor reminiscent of "Pride and Prejudice." Having read the author's debut novel, "Of Moths and Butterflies," I was looking forward to a new set of well-drawn protagonists and first-rate dialogue, and I wasn't disappointed. Christensen's selfish, sometimes cruel men, especially, are so well done that one wants to throttle them. Lighthearted scenes are juxtaposed with dark drama, and carry the reader through to a satisfying end. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite historical fiction August 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
V.R. Christensen wastes not time nor words in engaging her reader with Cry of the Peacock. The action is palpable from the first paragraph of the prologue and never diminishes.

The theme in Cry of the Peacock focuses on Christensen's main character, Arabella Gray, preferably according to Miss Gray, Abbie. Abbie's father has died and left her without a cent. Mr. Gray had for years been the overseer of the rather large estate belonging to the Crawfords.

The Crawfords extend a mysterious invitation to Abbie to come and live with them. Intriguing and promising as it may be, Abbie is uncertain why the Crawfords should care enough to bestow such a large gift upon her. The invitation is equally mysterious and somewhat disturbing to the Crawfords' two younger sons. And so the story and the mystery begin.

Christensen has a knack for creating interesting characters, such as the oldest Crawford son, Ruskin. Ruskin's abilities to woo and romance are lacking in the extreme. Today Ruskin would likely be accused of harassment and perhaps rough treatment of a woman. Then there is the sweet Katherine, engaged hopefully soon to Ruskin's younger brother, David. But who loves whom?

With just the right amount of tension, magnificent scene building and a cast with dialogue to bring her story to life, Christensen reaches the climax of the story. What will Abbie's answer be to the Crawfords' invitation to her? Just what impact will Abbie's decision to do to the Crawford family. Will David Crawford assume the role selected for him in Lord Barnwell's cabinet and confirm his intention to marry Katherine Barnwell? The reader's mind is replete with questions, and the author answers each of them in a meticulously tidy ending.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pride and Prejudice? March 31, 2013
By Lujean
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Both were found in this wonderful period tale. Anyone who loves Jane Austin will love V.R. Christensen's story of love and life in the late 1800's with Arabella Gray.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book August 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I received this book free from and really wanted to love it, but thought some of the characters were a little boring. I loved the main character, Arabella, but would have liked to see some humor weaved into the story. I admit I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to see how the author would bring everything together in the end, which she did nicely.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Tale of Romance and Intrigue June 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The Cry of the Peacock is a beautifully written tale of romantic intrigue set in Victorian England. Arabella and Mariana Gray, newly orphaned sisters, find themselves entangled in a web of family lies and family loyalties spun by the fascinating Crawford brothers. Arabella is offered what seems like a dream come true--marriage into a family of wealth and respectability--but at what cost? Her sister Mariana faces a future saving other young girls from ruin--but is losing her heart to a man who seems to embody the immorality that has caused that ruin. As in her earlier work Of Moths and Butterflies, Christensen skillfully illuminates both the beauty and barbarity of a society in transition, while creating characters whose flawed humanity continue to haunt me.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing tale August 26, 2013
By cmnb
Format:Kindle Edition
Cry of the Peacock is an engrossing tale of redemption, sacrifice, honour, and betrayal. Set in the late 1800's, it is the story of Arabella Gray, a young woman of humble means who finds herself thrust into a life of privilege as the recipient of the Crawford family's benevolence. But not all is as it seems and Abbie soon finds herself having to consider compromising what she values most for a life she never imagined.

This is the first book I have read from this author and it certainly will not be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style and the subtle manner in which she developed her characters and plot. I found myself unable to put the book down and read it in just a couple of days. I plan to read it again soon but next time I will take my time with it.

It really was refreshing to read an Austen type novel that did not feel forced or rushed. The story was original and the ending, a perfect conclusion to this beautifully written love story. I highly recommend it.

I received a free download of Cry of the Peacock from Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Summer Read
What a great summer read! The plot was intriguing and the characters we'll-developed. The author does not play games with her reader; there were no 11th-hour plot twists or other... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Emerson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story
I enjoyed this story.
Published 10 days ago by Sharosa
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT READ!
Good in so many ways! It was well written, engaging and kept my interest throughout. The integrity of the main character was admirable; she was loyal and not easily influenced by... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Jor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well written and an enjoyable read!
Published 22 days ago by Yolande McAlevey
5.0 out of 5 stars She creates atmosphere and mood so beautifully. and her characters are...
V. R. Christensen has crafted a gripping story. She creates atmosphere and mood so beautifully. and her characters are very well drawn. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Lauren G
5.0 out of 5 stars substance and value
Cry of the Peacock is written in a way reminiscent of Jane Austen. Characters are developed and unfold as the story progresses, with unsuspected strengths and weaknesses. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Marva
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and entertaining
I could not put it down! Excellent and entertaining!
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!
It's so refreshing to have this kind of historical fiction with strong, independent female characters. I really enjoyed this, even more than "Of moths and butterflies. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jeanne
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Story
A fairly enjoyable novel about life in Victorian England, the main character being Abbie, he book reminding me of Jane Austen's work.
Published 1 month ago by J. Gallen
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Family Line
This was a very good book. I kept wondering about the title until close to the end. There were enough twists and turns to keep you interested.
Published 2 months ago by Linda Sue Stevens
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More About the Author

V.R. Christensen is a lifelong student of English literature, culture and history, and she draws upon a wide range of knowledge and experience to construct her work. Focusing on the age old struggles that have challenged the human spirit, her intensely emotional stories draw a parallel between our day and those of an age passed, illustrating that, while many things have changed, still others remain remarkably the same.

V.R. is the author of Of Moths & Butterflies, and its bestselling companion Cry of the Peacock. To find out more about these and other upcoming works, visit her at:

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