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Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack

love and lavenderTitle: Love and Lavender
Author:  Josi S. Kilpack
Series:  Mayfield Family #4
Publish Date: November 2, 2021
Source: reviewer received from publisher

Publisher’s Description:Hazel Stillman is a woman of rare independence and limited opportunities. Born with a clubbed foot, she was sent away as a child and, knowing her disability means a marriage is unlikely, she devoted herself to scholarship and education.

Now working as a teacher in an elite private girls’ school, she is content with the way her story has unfolded. When her uncle Elliott Mayfield presents her with the prospect of a substantial inheritance if she marries, Hazel is offended. What kind of decent man would marry for her money? Besides, she loves her freedom as a professional, respected woman. When she hears rumors of the school possibly being sold, however, she knows she must consider all her options.

Duncan Penhale has a brilliant mind and thrives on order and process. He does not expect to marry because he likes his solitary life, shared only with his beloved cat. When Elliott Mayfield, his guardian’s brother, presents him with an inheritance if he marries a woman of social standing, Duncan finds it intrusive. However, with the inheritance, he could purchase the building in which he works and run his own firm. It would take an impressive and intellectual woman to understand and love him, quirks and all.

Hazel and Duncan believe they have found a solution to both of their problems: marry one another, receive their inheritances, and then part ways to enjoy their individual paths. But when Uncle Mayfield stipulates that they must live together as husband and wife for one year before receiving their inheritances, Hazel and Duncan reluctantly agree. 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?

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

I always like Josi Kilpack’s books.  Proper Romances focus mostly on the emotional connection between the love interests instead of the physical one.  This is a very unique couple.  Duncan is an accountant and it appears that he has the symptoms of some sort of neurological issue kind of like Asperger’s Syndrome because he is INCREDIBLY smart, but has difficulty in social areas of his life.  I was impressed that an author would write a less than perfect main character.  Hazel is a teacher at an all girls school and her niche is advanced mathematics.  She wants to better young girls lives so they have the ability to pick and choose the rest of their lives rather than pigeonholed in an uneducated, underpaid and less satisfying life.

I enjoyed the story and I cannot imagine the research that this author had to do in order to make this book cohesive.  I have to admit that I skipped over the math parts because I am not good at it nor understand it.   I could definitely see the support each half of the couple gave to the other.  It wasn’t an extremely romantic book, but it was very interesting.

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Our reviews in this series…

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Isabelle and Alexander by Rebecca Anderson

Isabelle and Alexander are married in an arranged marriage.  Alexander has a tragic accident after only 2 month being married.  Will love conquer all?

Title: Isabelle and Alexander
Author:  Rebecca Anderson
Publish Date:  May 4, 2021
Source:  NetGalley

Publisher’s Description:  London, 1850

Isabelle Rackham knows she will not marry for love. Though arranged marriages have fallen out of fashion, hers has been settled for some time to combine the upper-middle-class wealth of her father’s coal mines with Alexander Osgood’s prospering Northern country textile mills. Though not a man prone to romantic gestures, Alexander is well-known as an eligible bachelor. His good looks have turned more than one head, so Isabelle is content to think of herself as Alexander’s wife.

However, her marriage is not what she expected. Northern England is nothing like her home farther west in the lake country. Cold, dreary, and dark, the soot from the textile mills creates a gray hue that seems to cling to everything in the city of Manchester. Alexander is distant and aloof, preferring to spend his time at the mill rather than with her at home. Their few conversations are brief, polite, and lacking any emotion, leaving Isabelle lonely and desperately homesick.

Sensing his wife’s unhappiness, Alexander suggests a trip to his country estate. Isabelle hopes this will be an opportunity to get to know her new husband without the distractions of his business. But the change of scenery doesn’t bring them any closer. While riding together on horses, Alexander is thrown from his and becomes paralyzed. Tragedy or destiny? The help and care that Alexander now needs is Isabelle’s opportunity to forge a connection and create a deep and romantic love where nothing else could.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This a proper romance from Shadow Mountain Press.  Proper romance means that there are no sex scenes.  No hot and bothered kissing scenes.  It’s all about relationship building.

Isabelle was fully aware of the arranged marriage thing before she entered into the agreement.  What she expected was not what she thought she’d get.  Her marriage was a fairly distant one.  I’m not sure what drove Alexander to such lengths to not take the offered friendship and support of his new wife.  I guess that’s the answer maybe found in the history of the time.

Just because this is a proper romance doesn’t mean that there is no emotion.  There’s plenty of emotion and growth.  A woman learning to navigate in a world that she is not used to, with a whole army of people she doesn’t know.  At that time, there wasn’t much respect for women and their thoughts.  I could understand Isabelle’s reaction when Alexander started to warm up.  It was nice but when tragedy struck, it struck hard.

I got to hand it to Isabelle.  She was far stronger than she gave herself credit for – fighting for her husband and trying to build an impossible relationship.

I give this book a solid 4 stars.

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Spotlight on Daisies and Devotion by Josi Kilpack

Book Spotlight on a proper romance written by Josi S. Kilpack and published by Shadow Mountain Publishing.

 

 

 

 

 

I am a fan of the Mayfield Family series.  Josi S. Kilpack is back with part 2 and it released May 14, 2019.  This is a proper romance so it is appropriate for all.

TitleDaisies and Devotion
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Series:  Mayfield Family #2
Release Date:  May 14, 2019
Description:  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.

Book Spotlight: A Song for The Stars by Ilima K. Todd

One Book Two proudly presents a spotlight on A Song for the Stars by Ilima Todd published April 2, 2019.

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Title: A Song for the Stars
Author:  Ilima Todd
Genre: Proper Romance
Released:  April 2, 2019
Publisher:  Shadow Mountain Publishing
Book DescriptionHawaiian Islands, 1779

As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaiʻi, and he taught her everything he knows—how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.

But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.

Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiancé, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. And in the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead.

John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with her homeland and her people—and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle—a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.

When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.

 

Healing Hearts by Sarah Eden

Wyoming Territory, 1876. Running away.  She has to get away before ‘he’ gets her and forces her back.  A small town should do the trick, but these folks can’t learn her secret.  If they do, she will be shunned and have to run all over again.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title: Healing Hearts
Author: Sarah Eden
Series:  Savage Wells #2
Publish Date:  February 5, 2019
Genre: Proper Romance
Source: Shadow Mountain Press

Publisher’s Description:  As the only doctor in the frontier town of Savage Wells, Gideon MacNamara knows his prospects for a bride are limited. The womenfolk in town are either too young, too old, or already spoken for. So, being a practical man, he decides to take advantage of the matchmaking service of the day—mail-order brides—and sends away for a woman with nursing experience.

When Miriam steps off the stagecoach in Savage Wells, she sees a bright future in front of her. But when the town—and Gideon—meets her, ready for a wedding, her excitement quickly turns to horror. Somehow Dr. MacNamara’s message had gotten turned around. He didn’t want a nurse, he wanted a wife. When she refuses to marry him, she finds herself stranded in Savage Wells with some very unhappy townspeople.

But Gideon is not like the other men Miriam has met. Embarrassed by the misunderstanding, he offers her a job, and the two begin an awkward—and often humorous—dance of getting to know each other as they work to care for the people of their town. Romance blossoms between the two, but when a former medical associate of Miriam’s arrives in town, Gideon and the other townsfolk must rally around Miriam to protect her from a dangerous fate. Gideon and Miriam must decide if they are willing to risk their hearts for each other even as buried secrets are brought to light.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

 

This is called a “Proper Romance”.  That means there is no sex.  It’s historical fiction but it’s not the hard, reality wild west that this story is set.  It’s a romantic west where the men of the small town actually respect the women and all residents stand together no matter what.

I enjoyed this book because it dealt with something that not many romance books deal with.  Mental health stability.  Right now we are living in a time where some people still find mental health problems a thing to keep secret. They are ashamed.  They shouldn’t be.  Mental health issues is a malady just like cancer.  There’s no cure, but there is treatments.  Slowly but surely folks of this present time are being educated and these issues are talked about without shame.  At least folks should be without shame.

Miriam is escaping a world that her father sent her to in order to forget the shame she brings to her elite family.  Luckily, she stumbles onto Savage Wells.  These folks, who live in the wild west are times far behind the east coast elite, but they all have the common sense to understand that brain trauma is a health problem just like anything else and they deal with it with acceptance.

All the folks that I was introduced to in The Sheriff of Savage Wells made an appearance.  All these characters endeared themselves to me right from the start.  This was not a difficult read.  It was smooth and uncomplicated which made for a quick read.

Our reviews in this series…

 

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

 

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