Love and Lavender, Mayfield Family #4, by Josi S. Kilpack ISBN: 9781629729299 (paperback) ISBN: 9781649330345 (ebook) ASIN: B09DDKF4F7 (Kindle edition) ASIN: B09BK6MRR5 (Audible audiobook) Release Date: November 2, 2021 Publisher:Shadow Mountain Publishing Genre: Fiction | Historical Fiction | Historical Romance | Regency Romance | Inspirational Fiction
Hazel Stillman is a woman of rare independence and limited opportunities. Born with a clubbed foot, Hazel knows marriage is unlikely, so she devotes herself to teaching at a private girls’ school.
Duncan Penhale thrives on order and process. He has no interest in marriage, so when Elliott Mayfield, his guardian’s brother, offers him an inheritance if he weds, Duncan finds it intrusive. However, an inheritance means he could purchase a building and run his own accounting firm.
Hazel and Duncan believe they have found a solution to both of their problems: marry one another, claim their inheritances, and then part ways to enjoy their individual paths. But then Uncle Mayfield stipulates that they must first live together as a couple for one year.
Over time, their marriage of convenience becomes much more appealing than they had anticipated. At the end of the full year, will they go their separate ways or could an unlikely marriage have found unsuspecting love?
Duncan looked up from the ledger he was copying to see Mr. Ludwig pop up from his desk on the other side of the room. Mr. Ludwig did not mean actual horse races; rather, it was a phrase he used regularly to explain that he was leaving the office.
Duncan glanced at the clock on the wall. “It is only a quarter ’til six.”
Mr. Ludwig reached for his coat and hat hanging beside the door of their shared office. They had been working together for several months now, but it seemed like a much longer period of time due to the way the man increased Duncan’s workload and continually grated on Duncan’s nerves.
“I have finished my day’s work, old boy, and will return in the morning to start anew.”
Duncan did not like being called “old boy,” but it was an-other phrase Mr. Ludwig liked to utilize in his regular speech. If the man would speak concisely and not force Duncan to translate the meaning behind the things he said, they would likely get on far better than they did. Oh, and it would be nice if Mr. Ludwig cared at all for accurate accounting practices and did not interfere with Duncan’s relationship with the partners.
“Office hours are until six thirty on Tuesdays and Wednesdays,” Duncan said slowly, as if he were talking to a child or someone for whom English was not their first language. “If you have finished the Carillon account, you may begin tomorrow’s work.”
On Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, office hours for the junior clerks went to 5:30. Duncan had spoken to the partners on seven different occasions about choosing the same time to end each of the five workdays of the week so as to mitigate confusion, but they did not find the varying times inconvenient since they left whenever they wished.
The varying end time of the workdays was only one of several details that Duncan would change if he were the one making the decisions. But since he was not the one making the decisions, he had no choice but to abide by the stipulations enforced by the partners. He was the senior employee on the premises right now, and therefore it was his responsibility to make sure the rules were followed.
“Hmm,” Mr. Ludwig said as he walked to the clock located by the door and opened the glass face.
Duncan shot to his feet. “Mr. Ludwig!” He came around his desk and marched across the room while fumbling in his vest pocket for his pocket watch while Mr. Ludwig moved the hands of the clock.
Duncan was horrified. He wound his pocket watch every evening and checked the time with the clockmaker, Mr. Handlery, every Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Handlery’s clock was kept to Greenwich Time and cross-checked monthly.
Mr. Ludwig stood in front of him, the grin gone from his face. Duncan stepped left in order to move around him, but Mr. Ludwig stepped in the same direction, blocking Duncan’s path to the clock.
“I have an appointment tonight, Mr. Penhale, and I will be on my way, is that understood?”
“Changing the time on the clock does not change the time,” Duncan said, holding up his pocket watch to prove that he had possession of the actual time of day. The watch chain attached to Duncan’s vest pulled tight. He took a breath and forced himself to look Mr. Ludwig in the eye. Catherine had taught him it was an important social protocol he should use whenever possible, and he found it especially effective when he was trying to make a point, even though it made him uncomfortable.
“Office hours are until six thirty on Tuesday and Wednesdays—that is your appointment. Any other personal business you need to conduct must be done outside of business hours or with the stated permission of one of the partners. Since such permission has not been communicated to me, your early departure is a breach of policy.”
Mr. Ludwig grabbed the pocket watch from Duncan’s hand, snapping the chain, and threw it against the wall. The metal casing hit the wood panel like a stone and fell to the ground.
Duncan stared at the watch, his hands tightening into fists at his side.
“Unlike you, Mr. Penhale, I have a life outside of this miserable office,” Mr. Ludwig said, hissing through his teeth, his misty spittle hitting Duncan’s face.
“You are obligated by both employment and ethics to remain working until—”
“Go back to your desk, Mr. Penhale, and leave me be.” He moved to go around Duncan, but Duncan copied Mr. Ludwig’s earlier practice and stepped to the side, further blocking the man’s access to the door.
“You are not authorized to leave early.”
“My uncle owns this firm, Mr. Penhale, and he has about had his fill of you. One more complaint from me and you may very well find yourself on the street, is that what you want?”
“That is not what I want nor is it worth my concern. Terminating me would be a serious error in judgment, as you are a very poor clerk and I am a very skilled one.”
Mr. Ludwig laughed, but it was an odd sound that did not reflect amusement. He tried to step around Duncan a second time, and Duncan, fueled by his growing temper, once again blocked his passage.
“Take your place at your desk and finish the workday, Mr. Ludwig.”
Mr. Ludwig growled low in his throat and shoved Duncan’s right shoulder to move him out of the way. Upon the violent contact, Da’s voice sounded in Duncan’s head: Never start the altercation, Dunny, but if a bloke hits you first, hit back twice as hard.
Duncan caught himself mid-stumble, looked into Mr. Ludwig’s face to take aim, and punched the other man straight in the nose.
Josi S. Kilpack has written more than thirty novels, a cookbook, and several novellas. She is a four-time Whitney award winner, including Best Novel 2015 for “Lord Fenton’s Folly, and has been a Utah Best of State winner for Fiction. Josi loves to bake, sleep, eat, read, travel, and watch TV–none of which she gets to do as much as she would like. She writes contemporary fiction under the pen name Jessica Pack.
Josi has four children and lives in Northern Utah.
The Inns of Devonshire, Timeless Regency Collection #18, by Sally Britton, Annette Lyon, and Deborah M. Hathaway ISBN: 9781952611223 (paperback) ASIN: B099SJDFGV (Kindle edition) Release Date: October 5, 2021 Publisher: Mirror Press Genre: Fiction | Historical Romance | Regency Romance | Anthology
Three novellas, three times the romance, and three times the love…in this brand new Timeless Regency Collection: The Inns of Devonshire
The Seventh Star Inn by Sally Britton After years of looking after one another, Susan Baxter and her mother view their neighbors in Totnes as family. When a new landlord inherits the leases on their homes and businesses alike, Susan dreads knowing her world could change at the whim of a stranger. But when she meets Collin Stonecroft and his inquisitive daughter, her feelings shift quickly from cautionary to hopeful. Collin has lived in the confines of London boarding houses all his life, and he’s determined to give his daughter more. They check into the Seventh Star Inn with plans to return to London as soon as possible, but both find Miss Baxter and her local history lessons far too enchanting to leave behind. When Susan learns of Collin’s proposed changes to her beloved neighborhood, will she be able to help him see that some things are perfect the way they are?
The Truth About Mr. Blackmore by Annette Lyon Leigh’s life at the Old Grey Inn is drudgery broken by flights of fancy thanks in part to novels by Simon Blackmore. When Mattias McGrady comes to the inn for a fortnight, Leigh captures his attention. A relationship develops, and she dreads the end of his stay, which will mean a return to an unhappy life. An urgent letter to Mattias leads to him inviting Leigh to an event that stands to change both of their lives forever. If all goes well, Leigh will have a life of her choosing after all. But half-truths and lies have a way of complicating matters. When their plans go awry, Leigh loses her reputation and Mattias almost surely loses his career. Can either of them find happiness?
The Coachman’s Choice by Deborah M. Hathaway Ever-reliable Mary Thorne has helped her widowed mother run The Golden Mermaid Inn for years. She spends her days greeting guests, ensuring the inn runs smoothly—and dodging flirtatious remarks from passing coachmen. But she’s far too busy to pay any attention to such men, even the enticingly attractive Mr. Northcott. Known far and wide for his horsemanship, punctuality, and dallying reputation, Robert Northcott relishes his life as a coachman, especially his freedom to flirt with numerous women from inn to inn, all without the messy details of commitment. There’s just one woman who’s immune to his charms: the lovely, single landlady of The Golden Mermaid. Robert is determined to win Mary over, just as heartily as she is determined to keep her distance from him. But his carefree life is threatened when his pursual of Mary becomes more than just a game…
Sally Britton is a wife, mother, and author who loves the world of romance, received her BA in English from Brigham Young University, and reads voraciously. She started her writing journey at the tender age of fourteen on an electric typewriter, and she’s never looked back.
Sally primarily lives in Oklahoma with her husband, four children, and Izzie the Aussie Shepherd. She loves researching, hiking, and eating too much chocolate.
Annette Lyon is a USA Today Bestselling author. She’s won a Whitney Award (2010) and is an eight-time recipient of Utah’s Best of State medal for fiction and short stories. She’s the author of more than a dozen novels, even more novellas, a cookbook, a grammar guide, and some 120+ articles. She’s worked as a professional editor for publishers and bestselling authors and graduated cum laude from BYU with a degree in English.
Deborah M. Hathaway graduated from Utah State University with a BA in Creative Writing. As a young girl, she devoured Jane Austen’s novels while watching and re-watching every adaptation she could. She finds inspiration for her novels during her travels with her English husband to the United Kingdom, where she draws on the beauty of the country in such places as Ireland, Yorkshire, and her beloved Cornwall. Be sure to sign up for Deborah’s Newsletter to stay updated on new releases, free and discounted Clean Romance novels, and more!
Join the virtual book tour of The Inns of Devonshire, a collection of novellas by bestselling authors Sally Britton, Annette Lyon, & Deborah M. Hathaway, October 4-17, 2021. Thirty-five popular on-line influencers specializing in Regency romance, historical romance, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of the release of the 18th book in the bestselling Timeless Regency Collection with spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new anthology set in Regency England.
A Seaside Summer, #17 in the Timeless Regency Collection, by Josi S. Kilpack, Martha Keyes, and Mirror Press LLC Release Date: August 24, 2021 Genre: Fiction | Historical Romance | Regency Romance | Inspirational Fiction
Summer on the seaside . . . a perfect place for romance.
Join us for three novellas in one collection:
The New Countess by Josi S. Kilpack
Diane knows why the earl asked her to marry him; he needed a mother for his daughter, an heir for his title, and a hostess to assist with his position in Parliament. With two sons of her own, and no security to speak of, she never thought twice about accepting his proposal. Summering at his holiday cottage at the sea was meant to be a reward for a busy first year as the new countess, and a time for her to rest before their baby is born. She is expecting lazy days on the beach with the children, simple meals, and keeping her own schedule. When the earl surprises her with a visit, she does her best not to resent the intrusion. When she learns that he came for the sole purpose of being with her and getting to know her better, she realizes that perhaps this marriage can be more than she expected. Is she ready for him to know her and love her and explore this new possibility together? She wants to be, but it is not an easy thing to let go of expectations and open up to an entirely new way of life.
Mishaps and Memories by Martha Keyes
Judith Jardine’s one chance at a brilliant match is doomed from the start when she is ignored and then mocked by the ton’s most sought-after gentleman. Under a gloomy cloud of failure, Judith is exiled to a seaside cottage to spend the summer helping her sister—and living a life far below the one she experienced for her week in Brighton. When she discovers the man responsible for her misfortune unconscious on the beach, she heeds her better impulses and has him brought to the cottage to be seen to. But James Carlisle has no recollection of who he is, what happened to him, or how he has wronged her, and Judith sees the opportunity to teach him a valuable lesson—unless the deception and her feelings get the best of her first.
Moonlight Summer by Heather B. Moore
Oscar Rosewell’s life is not lacking in many things even though he lives on the fringes of society due to his father’s ruined reputation. He’s sworn off having any personal relationships with ton members—his only interest lies in keeping his business thriving. He’s content with his day-to-day anonymity, and business keeps his heart from getting exposed. It’s safer that way. Until Oscar meets Miss Dorothea Atkinson. A woman capturing his interest is a rare thing, but Miss Atkinson is nearly engaged to a man of her parents’ choosing. Would it be wrong to wish for something to go terribly wrong between the couple? Soon, Oscar learns that wishing can become a reality, but often, the price is an even heavier thing to pay.
Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Regency Romance Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories set in early 19th century England. Featuring bestselling authors from the historical romance genre, the series has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. In October the Timeless Regency Romance Collection will present its 18th anthology, The Inns of Devonshire, including stories by Sally Britton, Annette Lyon, and Deborah M. Hathaway. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.
Meet The Authors
Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance, Timeless Romance series, and a Cozy Culinary Mystery series. Her books, A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton’s Folly; were Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children.
Martha Keyes is a Whitney Award winning author born, raised, and educated in Utah—a home she loves dearly but also dearly loves to escape whenever she can by traveling the world. She received a BA in French Studies and a Master of Public Health, both from Brigham Young University.
Word crafting has always fascinated her, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she considered writing her own stories. When she isn’t writing, she is honing her photography skills, looking for travel deals, and spending time with her family. She lives with her husband and twin boys in Vineyard, Utah.
Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestseller and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She’s lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about anything in history and, as an author, is passionate about historical research.
Join the virtual book tour of A Seaside Summer, a collection of novellas by bestselling authors Josi S. Kilpack, Martha Keyes, and Heather B. Moore, August 23-September 19, 2021. Over twenty-five popular online influencers specializing in Regency romance, historical romance, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of the release of the 17th book in the bestselling Timeless Regency Romance Collection with a spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new anthology set in Regency England.
To qualify, please leave a comment with this blog post before 11:59pm, September 26, 2021. Visit each stop on the tour and leave a comment to increase your chance to win a book.
This contest is open internationally. The winner will be drawn randomly from the comments and announced on each blog on September 27, 2021. The winner must claim their prize before October 04, 2021. Good luck to all! Void where prohibited by law.
This spotlight and blog tour brought to you by AustenProse
A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.
As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”
Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.
Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.
Georgana quickly loses her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care, but needing to maintain her disguise as a cabin boy, she is convinced nothing can come of her affection.
Georgana’s Secret is about two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.
“Good, George. Good!” Dominic motioned for the lad to pause his punching. Half a dozen days of practicing had not turned George into a fighter, but he was learning quickly. The wardroom was warm and stuffy that morning, and already Dominic had lost his cravat and coat. Now he unbuttoned his waistcoat and added it to the pile. He pulled at his loose shirt, letting cooler air dry the sweat.
He didn’t know how George kept going with his jacket securely buttoned.
“Now, I don’t want you to think about hitting my hand this time.” Dominic raised his hand again. A thin layer of grease coated his palm from the lad’s fist. He’d never known a boy to worry over dry skin unless it started to crack, but young Mr. Taylor was an odd one.
The boy cocked his head.
“When you swing, I want you to try to punch the wall.” He motioned behind him with his head.
George obediently walked toward the back of the wardroom, glancing at Dominic out of the corners of his eyes. Dominic laughed, grabbing his arm to stop him. “No, stay where you are.”
“But I can’t reach the wall.”
Dominic repositioned the boy. Maybe a different explanation would work better. “Hit my hand, but instead of aiming for the surface of my hand, imagine going through it. A cannonball doesn’t stop at the hull, it pounds straight through.”
“Unless it misses.” Was that a grin on George’s face? Dominic blinked, and it was gone.
“Those are French guns.” The fleeting spark in the boy’s eyes gave him hope. “Don’t be a French cannon. Be a sound English cannon.”
George chewed the corner of his bottom lip and stared at Dominic’s hand. His fist shot forward. Dominic’s hand smarted when the boy made contact. The punch was harder than any of his previous ones.
“Much better. Again.”
A stocky form stomped through the door, and George snapped into a salute. “More practice, Peyton?” Jarvis asked. His watch clearly hadn’t cured the foul mood he woke up in. The second lieutenant didn’t wait for an answer before entering his room and slamming the door.
They wouldn’t see him for several hours, Dominic bet.
George continued hitting Dominic’s hand until it began to ache. Dominic’s chest swelled with pride. Already the timid cabin boy was showing more determination.
A cabin door opened, and this time it was the young chaplain. George paused to glance at the orange-haired clergyman, who nodded in greeting.
“Will you be attending services today, sir?” the chaplain asked, adjusting his spectacles.
Ah, right. Sunday. Dominic scooped up his discarded clothes. “Of course, Mr. Doswell. I just need to fetch my prayer book.” And dress himself properly.
Captain Woodall always wore his dress coat for services, and Dominic tried to remember to do the same. He still hadn’t managed to form a friendship with the captain, something he’d never failed to do on his previous assignments. The captain had set firm boundaries with the crew, even with his officers. As far as Dominic could tell, no one had been able to penetrate those walls.
Except George, of course. Dominic wondered at that. They were barely relations.
George followed him to the door of his cabin. Dominic threw his things onto his cot and knelt by his trunk.
“Will we practice again tomorrow?” the boy asked.
“If you want to.” Dominic glanced sideways at him. “Do you want to?”
The boy nodded, face still red from the exertion of their lesson.
“I will see you after forenoon watch.” George was enjoying it, then. That pleased Dominic. The lad was as quiet as ever, but now he regularly looked Dominic in the eye, and he had even told a joke.
Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn’t writing, Arlem is baking her characters’ favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.
Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man’s world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.
Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he’s a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an alley.
When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she’s so carefully built.
“Uplifting…Kilpack flips the typical Regency romance script, with the heroine rescuing the hero. Kilpack’s strong, upright heroine who finds a way to claim her power in Regency society sets this love story apart. This magnetic tale will appeal to fans of emotional romance.”—Publisher’s Weekly
“Kilpack takes traditional regency roles and challenges them. She shows how one person can make an impact in the world. I found the story and premise unique.”—Heather Gardner, Fire and Ice
“This is a story of redemption above all else…the ending was perfect.”—Lucinda Whitney, author of Rescuing the Prince
Meet The Author
Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance and Proper Romance Historical series and a Cozy Culinary Mystery series. Her books, A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton’s Folly were Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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
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.
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.
Daisies and Devotion, Mayfield Family#2, by Josi S. Kilpack ISBN: 9781629725529 (paperback) ISBN: 9781629737454 (ebook) ISBN: 9781982652326 (audiobook) ASIN: B07QHYKXC2 (Kindle edition) Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing Release Date: May 14, 2019
Timothy Mayfield is ready to marry for love, but, since his personal finances are thinner than he’d like, he knows he’ll also need to find a wife with wealth. After receiving an unexpected inheritance, Timothy’s circumstances change, and he is free to pursue his “perfect woman”—one with blonde hair, blue eyes, a light laugh, arched eyebrows, elegant fingers, and a dazzling smile, among nearly twenty other characteristics. Maryann Morrington doesn’t match anything on Timothy’s list—except for wealth. An heiress in her own right, she is tired of men pursuing her only for her money. But at nearly twenty-two years old, and not a particularly stunning beauty, she can’t be as picky as her friend Timothy is. The two friends end up playing matchmaker for each other. Timothy will find a decent gentleman for Maryann, and Maryann will prove to Timothy that his “perfect woman” doesn’t exist. Until Miss Shaw comes to London. Now, with Timothy’s heart captivated by the blonde, blue-eyed beauty, Maryann must decide if she should risk her heart and reveal her true feelings for her friend, or if she should settle for someone else. It’s an up-and-down game of “he loves me, he loves me not” with both hearts and friendship on the line.
Maryann Morrington knows that she isn’t the ideal woman for marriage. She’s a little too old at twenty-two for most men looking for a bride. The one thing she has in abundance is the one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know about, wealth. Maryann is an heiress and does not want a man that only wants her for her monies. She’d prefer someone that wants her for her mind, her wit, her humor, and her sensibilities. She knows that is a bit of a longshot, but it’s what she desires even if it is unattainable. The one male acquaintance that she’s made during this London season that she likes, is Timothy Mayfield. Timothy is looking for a bride and knows that due to his lack of finances he’ll most likely need to find a bride that is an heiress, but he also wants to find a woman that he loves or at least can come to love. Timothy’s list of attributes is long and seemingly superficial and, needless to say, Maryann doesn’t fit any of the qualities Timothy is seeking in his perfect mate. Knowing that she’ll never fulfill Timothy’s desire for his “perfect women,” Maryann does the only thing a true friend can do, she sets out to help him find her. Luckily, Maryann does find a woman that seems to meet all of the items on Timothy’s list, Miss Rachel Shaw, and she goes out of her way to introduce Timothy to this paragon of virtue and beauty. Timothy feels he must reciprocate Maryann’s matchmaking abilities and introduces her to one Colonel Charles Berkins. Superficially, Colonel Berkins and Miss Shaw are the perfect matches for Maryann and Timothy, but appearances can be deceiving. Can a relationship be built on superficialities? Will Maryann and Timothy recognize the folly of their efforts before it is too late?
I found Daisies and Devotion to be a fast-paced and engaging read and one that I started (okay, started anew—weather-related migraine headaches forced me to set the book aside so I began reading from the very beginning when I restarted the book) and finished in just a few hours. For those of you that have been following my blog for awhile now, you know that I enjoy reading romance just as much as I enjoy reading mysteries and thrillers. Daisies and Devotion is the first romance that I’ve read by Ms. Kilpack, but it won’t be my last. I enjoyed this regency romance and all of the historical and social amusements. I loved the exchanges between Timothy and Maryann, as well as Maryann’s relationships and exchanges with her sister, her brother-in-law, her maid, and the Callifours. Yes, this is a romance and yes, it has a happy-ever-after, but it is also a story of self-discovery, acceptance of self in a time when conformity is praised, friendship and love. If I had to classify Daisies and Devotion it would be as a wholesome, historical romance and one I wholeheartedly recommend it to readers of romance and/or historical romances. Ms. Kilpack was able to craft characters and scenarios that I found wholly believable and kept my attention from the first page to the very last. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read Daisies and Devotion and can’t wait to read more of Ms. Kilpack’s books in the future.
Josi S. Kilpack is the author of twenty-five novels, one cookbook, and a participant in several coauthored projects and anthologies. She is a four-time Whiney Award Winner—Sheep’s Clothing (2007), Wedding Cake (2014), and Lord Fenton’s Folly (2015) for Best Romance and Best Novel of the Year—and the Utah Best in State winner for fiction in 2012. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children.