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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.


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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Rakes and Roses by Josi S. Kilpack

A wholly different kind of romance.

Title:  Rakes and Roses
Author:  Josi S. Kilpack
Series:  Mayfield Family #3
Publish Date: May 5, 2020
Source: Shadow Mountain Press – for my independent review

Publisher’s Description: A Mayfield Family Romance

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 ally.

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.

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

Nervous Nellie says…

I loved the Mayfield Family romances to date and Rakes and Roses came from a different angle.  It’s still a proper romance but it’s the heroine that is completely the hero in this case.

The male protagonist is a down an out individual that has wasted his money, talent and resources on booze and gambling.  He does not recover quickly and save the day.  This is a study of how one man could get himself into such dire straights – beyond saving, but yet find a saving grace.

I found this story more along the lines of true life as far as what substance abuse can do to a person’s life.  How people that are thought of as friends, really are not there to prop you up, but let you fall a little farther.

This is not a modern story with a little historical thrown in for good measure, this is a true historical that, I feel, brought to the surface some of the darker elements of that time.

I have never read a romance that put an widely spread issue such as gambling and substance abuse into light as this one did.  Also, I found it quite extraordinary that once the male protagonist felt he could stand on his own, he didn’t just take over and assume the part of all powerful.  He still depended on the heroine and that’s what made it so special.

Our reviews in this series…


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Invisible Heroes of World War II: True Stories that Should Never Be Forgotten by Jerry Borrowman

These true heroes with incredible stories of bravery, split second decisions and all the pressure that war can deliver.

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

Title:  Invisible Heroes of World War II
Author:  Jerry Borrowman
Publish Date:  May 1, 2019
Genre: Non Fiction
Source:  Shadow Mountain Publishers
Publisher’s Description: This unique collection documents twelve fascinating and largely untold stories of minorities, women, and Native Americans who supported the Allied cause in World War II. Courageously serving as soldiers, spies, POWs, builders, medics, and movie stars, they fought for the cause of freedom and democracy against the combined threat of the Nazis and Axis powers.

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

Nervous Nellie says…

This is not the normal kind of book for me.  I usually go for urban fantasy and away from anything realistic.  I saw the cover and it reminded me of the episodes on M*A*S*H that had the journalistic twist to them.  I don’t have anyone that went to war during WWII.  For those of you that aren’t history buffs, WWII started in 1939 with the Nazi’s invading Poland and ended with the atomic bombs being dropped on Japan in 1945.  That war was spread globally over 30 countries. That was a terrible time in history.  It was war.  Bloody, vicious and cruel war.  Nazi’s brutalized people, imprisoned people in concentration camps, bombed people and places, stole and destroyed art, money and tried to dominate white supremacy and bragged about it.  These are stories of people fighting against the Nazi Germans as well as the Japanese. This book has stories from soldiers and stories of people that were not soldiers but had more bravery in their little toe than I have in my whole body.

I chose this book because it intrigued me. I wanted to read about these heroes.  The people that I found fascinating were the Navajo Code Talkers.  They are true heroes for the code they developed and the ability to deliver messages quickly and efficiently though surrounded by noise, violence and chaos.  There were 29 men that designed this code and served their country even as they were bullied and ridiculed themselves because they were Native American.  Their story is amazing.  There was woman by the name of Nancy Wake whose story was told in this book.  She led over 7000 troops HERSELF!  She was so clever at subterfuge that she evaded capture for years.  She was a British Spy, she was a member of the French resistance and she fought sexism the whole time she volunteered for the fight.  She was not the only one.  So many people have stories that should not EVER be forgotten and this book brings their bravery, strategical thinking and cleverness to light.  I was absolutely blown away by these people.  Their life accomplishments make mine seem like a kindergarten effort.

This is not a long book, I read it in a couple of hours.  It was a humbling book. It was incredible.


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


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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.

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