The Potter’s Lady: Refined by Love, Book 2

Written by Judith Miller
Review by Lauren Miller

In The Potter’s Lady, Miller returns to the Irish immigrant McKay clan in the next book of her Refined by Love series, which is set in West Virginia and Philadelphia in the 1870s. Ewan and Laura McKay (featured prominently in the first book) are looking to acquire a pottery business, and Ewan’s sister, Rose, a fresh graduate of the Philadelphia School of Design, is looking to make her mark. Rose’s ideas for transforming the struggling business draw admiration and conflict from Rylan Campbell, an assistant at the pottery, and Joshua Harkness, who runs a competitive pottery business. A prestigious design contest with a lucrative contract may be the turning point the McKays are looking for, but can Rose trust those closest to her?

Rose McKay reads as a naive character, a little too innocent given her exposure to city life, educated in design but not in the ways of the world. Peppered with research on pottery making during the 1800s, Miller’s novel shines with rich, historical detail that enriches the story. Those familiar with The Brickmaker’s Bride will smile at the continued antagonism of Aunt Margaret’s attempts to sink her hooks in family affairs, empathize with new characters that want a better life for themselves, and speculate on how Miller will wrap up this series.