2020 Book 127: LAKESHIRE PARK by Megan Walker



Lakeshire Park by Megan Walker
ISBN: 9781629727349 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781629738864 (ebook)
ASIN: B0844PXP9D  (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B086NSGFZD (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication Date: April 7, 2020


Brighton, England 1820

Amelia Moore wants only one thing—to secure the future happiness of her younger sister, Clara. With their stepfather’s looming death, the two sisters will soon be on their own—without family, a home, or a penny to their names. When an invitation arrives to join a house party at Lakeshire Park, Amelia grasps at the chance. If she can encourage a match between Clara and their host, Sir Ronald, then at least her sister will be taken care of.

Little does she know that another guest, the arrogant and overconfident Mr. Peter Wood, is after the same goal for his own sister. Amelia and Peter begin a rivalry that Amelia has no choice but to win. But competing against Peter—and eventually playing by his rules—makes Amelia vulnerable to losing the only thing she has left to claim: her heart.






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Amelia Moore knows that the situation for her and her sister, Clara, is highly unstable and dire. Her stepfather’s health is declining and he has made no provisions for their support after his demise. Their parents, unfortunately, were unable to make provisions for them after their deaths so the only options are marriage or placements as governesses or companions. Amelia’s stepfather, Lord Gray, has given her a few weeks to secure a marriage proposal or seek employment and it is Amelia’s hope that one of Clara’s London suitors will propose, Sir Ronald – Lord Demsworth. So off Amelia and Clara go to Lord Demsworth’s country estate, Lakeshire Park for a house party. Unfortunately for Clara, Georgiana Wood is also present and vying for Lord Demsworth’s attention. Amelia knows that this may be Clara’s last shot at happiness and is willing to do whatever takes to see her sister happily wed, even if it means befriending Georgiana Wood’s brother, Peter Wood. Needless to say, Amelia and Peter don’t exactly get along initially due to a misunderstanding, but the more time they spend together the more they realize they have in common. 

Just when it seems as if things are going according to plan for Clara and Lord Demsworth, Amelia receives word that Lord Gray is on his deathbed and they are to never return to his home in Brighton. Amelia is informed that their belongings will be sent to them at Lakeshire Park. She’s also informed that both she and Clara are to find suitable employment if marriages haven’t been arranged. Seeing no other recourse, Amelia confides in Lord Demsworth’s mother and is informed that Lady Demsworth’s nephew is seeking a suitable match. Amelia meets with this man and he proposes a loveless marriage, one she always assumed would be best. Amelia isn’t sure this is the best option but is the only option available at the moment since marriage hasn’t presented as a viable choice for Clara even though Lord Demsworth seems smitten by her charms. And then Georgiana strikes and scandalizes the local society by openly kissing Lord Demsworth at a local ball. Georgiana presumes that Sir Ronald will propose marriage to her and she’ll win his hand in marriage. Although Amelia has befriended Peter, will she ever be able to forgive Georgiana for what’s she done to her sister? Will Clara and Sir Ronald ever get together despite the scandal caused by Georgiana? Will Amelia be happy with the proposed loveless arranged marriage now that she’s met a man that she has true affection for even though his family has caused heartbreak to her beloved sister?

I’ve been dealing with severe migraine after severe migraine for several weeks now on top of back-to-back bronchitis infections, so a HEA was just what I needed about now. There’s nothing quite like a happy-ever-after romance to make you feel better no matter how bad you’re actually feeling. Lakeshire Park is the first novel published by Megan Walker and it packed quite a punch folks. I felt that there were hints of Pride and Prejudice with the misunderstandings and preconceived prejudices between Amelia and Peter Wood, hints of Sense and Sensibilities with the demise of Amelia and Clara’s parents and need to find someplace suitable to live unfortunately without any available guardians, and Georgiana seemed to be a cross between the conniving Mary Crawford from Mansfield Park and sneaky Lucy Steele from Sense and Sensibilities. Yes, there’s a lot of Austen-inspired themes in this story but it is a wholly unique story. Of course, that’s just my perception, you may read it and find something totally different. Just in case you can’t tell, I enjoyed this story. I quite liked the developing relationship between Amelia and Peter and their verbal sparring, as well as the settings for their many walks and rides. If I had one wish, it would be to get to know the other characters just a little better. The reader gets to know Clara and Georgiana, but the remaining characters play incredibly minor roles and aren’t well-developed (and probably with good reason). This story presents family angst, family drama, societal strictures, and hints of romance (it is the 19th century). Yes, it ends with a HEA, but is it a HEA for everyone? Well, you’ll need to read it to find out for yourself. Seriously, if you’re in the market for a sweet, historical romance to read, then grab yourself a copy of Lakeshire Park to read. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Walker in the future. 

Happy Reading, y’all!



Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ as well as a print review copy. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Meet the author


Megan Walker was raised on a berry farm in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where her imagination took her to times past and worlds away. While earning her degree in Early Childhood Education, she married her one true love and started a family. But her imaginings of Regency England wouldn’t leave her alone, so she picked up a pen and wrote her first novella, A Beautiful Love: A Regency Fairy Tale Retelling which was published in 2019. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and three children. Lakeshire Park is her debut novel. 



Connect with the author via her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter.



BLOG TOUR


Debut novelist Megan Walker tours the blogosphere April 6 through May 1, 2020 to share her new historical romance, Lakeshire Park. Forty popular book bloggers specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, exclusive excerpts, and book reviews of this acclaimed Regency romance novel.



Blog Tour Participants


April 06:  The Silver Petticoat Review (Guest Blog)
April 06:  Katie’s Clean Book Collection (Review)
April 06:  The Readathon (Review)
April 06:  Getting Your Read On (Review)
April 07:  Heidi Reads (Review) 
April 07:  Romance Junkies (Guest Blog)
April 08:  The Calico Critic (Spotlight)
April 08:  Timeless Novels (Review)
April 09:  Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)
April 09:  From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt) 
April 10:  Courtney Reads Romance (Review) 
April 11:  Clean Wholesome Romance (Spotlight)
April 12:  The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)
April 12:  English Historical Fiction Authors (Guest Blog)
April 14:  Joy of Reading (Review) 
April 15:  The Book Diva’s Reads (Review)
April 15:  Katie’s Clean Book Collection (Interview)
April 16:  Frolic Media (Excerpt)
April 17:  The Lit Bitch (Review)
April 19:  Robin Loves Reading (Review)
April 19:  My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
April 20:  Bringing Up Books (Review)
April 21:  Lu Reviews Books (Review)
April 22:  Bookworm Lisa (Excerpt)
April 22:  Austenesque Reviews (Review)
April 24:  Half Agony, Half Hope (Review)
April 25:  Relz Reviewz (Review)
April 26:  Bookish Rantings (Review) 
April 27:  Probably at the Library (Review) 
April 27:  Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review) 
April 28:  Laura’s Reviews (Review) 
April 29:  Heidi Reads (Interview)
April 29:  Bookfoolery (Review)
April 29:  From Pemberley to Milton (Review) 
April 30:  The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Excerpt)
April 30:  A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
May 01:  Bookworm Lisa (Review) 
May 01:  Impressions in Ink (Review)

2020 Book 47: PROMISED by Leah Garriott



Promised , Proper Romance Series, by Leah Garriott 
ISBN: 9781629726144 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781629737973 (ebook)
ASIN: B081VS45P4  (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B082VK732L  (Kindle edition)
Publication date: February 18, 2020 
Publisher: Shadow Mountain


Margaret Brinton keeps her promises, and the one she is most determined to keep is the promise to protect her heart.

Warwickshire, England, 1812

Fooled by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious matchmaking party intent on securing the perfect marital match: a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake Mr. Northam.

There’s only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won’t leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret’s chances for making a good match—to his cousin or anyone else. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage—to Lord Williams.

Under no condition will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, interrupting her family games and following her on morning walks, winning the good opinion of her siblings and proving himself intelligent and even kind, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the type of man she’d hoped to marry before she’d learned how much love hurt. When paths diverge and her time with Lord Williams ends, Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose.





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Praise/Endorsements:

“Garriott’s impressive debut distinguishes itself with its expertly evoked Regency setting, a cast of realistically flawed yet eminently relatable characters, and a sweetly satisfying love story. Teen fans of Austen-era love stories will fall hard for this impeccably crafted romance.”Booklist

“Promising Regency-set debut. Vivid period details and the hero’s grand romantic efforts will please fans of historical romance.”Publishers Weekly



Review

Margaret Brinton doesn’t want a husband, especially after the fiasco of her last engagement, but she knows that society dictates she must have a husband. As a result, she decides that she will marry but she doesn’t want to marry for love and is willing to settle for a loveless marriage just so her brother can arrange his marriage and then her younger sister will be able to marry in the future without difficulties. It is for this reason that she accepts an invitation to join a weekend party at the home of friends of her mother where she will be introduced to potential suitors. Her brother Daniel thinks her plan is somewhat foolish, but he’s willing to go along as she doesn’t choose an inappropriate suitor. Fortunately, Margaret meets a man that she thinks will fulfill all of her requirements, Mr. Northam, a self-professed rake. Unfortunately for Margaret, both her brother and Mr. Northam’s cousin, Lord Williams are out to sabotage any possible match between these two. Lord Williams feels the only way he can save Margaret from herself and his cousin is by proposing marriage himself. What ensues is a series of grave misunderstandings and comedic errors that will either result in a love match between Lord Williams and Margaret or a hatred that will never fade. Can Margaret maintain the promise she made to herself or will she need to break it and make all new promises to marry for love?

I’ve been experiencing some serious vision-related issues as a side effect of the many years of chronic migraine and even with glasses, have difficulty focusing on the printed page for prolonged periods. I started off reading Promised in print form and the only reason I set this book aside was to request a digital galley from the publisher (changing font size, backlighting, etc. is quite helpful). Once I downloaded the digital galley, I finished the book in just a few hours. I quite enjoyed the Jane Austen mash-up, a little bit Pride and Prejudice mixed with a little bit of Sense and Sensibilty in this story. Margaret’s previous fiance is a little bit like Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility, Northam is a bit like George Wickham from Pride and Prejudice, and there’s even a Mr. Collins like character with Mr. Lundall. Margaret’s brother is a bit like Bingley with his relationship with Margaret’s best friend, Louisa, and Lord Williams is a cross between Darcy, Edward Ferrars, and even Colonel Brandon. Margaret’s younger sister Alice is much like Margaret Dashwood but gets seriously ill like Marianne Dashwood. Much of Promised focuses on the interactions and misunderstandings between Margaret and Lord Williams, but the story would be lost without all of the other characters. I enjoyed the action, settings, and the romance. I also enjoyed the flaws that each character exhibits because it made them more realistic and all-too-human. It may difficult for those of us in the 21st century to understand how marriage might be built on a relationship that develops without dating, texting, or even phone calls. Margaret and Gregory aka Lord Williams probably spend about 24 hours in each other’s company, but they learn quite a bit about the other’s sensibilities, values, sense of humor, and more. Promised is a sweet regency romance and one that I recommend to all of you romance fans, especially those of you that enjoy stories inspired by Jane Austen. Of course, you may read it and find that my take on the characters is completely different from yours. If so, please let us know what your thoughts are on the characters and action. I can’t wait to lend my print copy to my 85-y.o. mother to read. She enjoys these romances almost as much as I do. I hope you’ll add Promised by Leah Garriott to your TBR list. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Happy Reading, y’all!



Disclaimer: I received a free print review copy of this book from the publisher as well as a digital review copy via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




Meet the author


Though she earned degrees in math and statistics, Leah Garriott lives for a good love story. She has resided in Hawaii and Italy, has walked the countryside of England, and owns every mainstream movie version of Pride and Prejudice. She’s currently living her own happily ever after in Utah with her husband and three kids. Leah is represented by Sharon Pelletier at Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.



Connect with the author via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or her Website.



This review and blog tour brought to you via Shadow Mountain Publishing