Review of Promises and Primroses by Josi S. Kilpack

Promises and Primroses by Josi Kilpack

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Book Review of Promises and Primroses by Josi S. Kilpack

I always get excited when I hear that Josi Kilpack has another book out! She has such a fun writing style, and is good at allowing the reader into the hearts and minds of her characters. She has written about a wide variety of characters in different settings, and they always seem to become some of my best friends. When I heard about this new book I may have done a little happy dance. The cover art is beautiful, the title is fun with alliteration, and I couldn’t wait to meet the characters and delve into this world of primroses. So what did I think? Find out in my book review of Promises and Primroses by Josi S. Kilpack.

Blurb:

“Lord Elliott Mayfield has done his best to take care of his family, first his siblings and now his nieces and nephews. Unfortunately, he sees this new generation moving in the same direction of bad matches and scandalous relationships as the last. In hopes to change their course, he establishes a ‘marriage campaign’ to motivate them to improve themselves through making respectable matches. With his heart in the right place, what could possibly go wrong?

Peter, Elliott’s eldest nephew, thinks the entire idea is ridiculous. A widower with two young daughters, he simply needs a governess, not a wife. Julia Hollingsworth certainly has the credentials and the experience, but is altogether too young and pretty for such a job. So why can’t he stop thinking about her?

Julia loves working as a governess, despite the objections of her mother, Amelia. And as it turns out, Amelia has a lot to say about the Mayfield men—none of it good. But Julia dismisses the rumors of ruined reputations and instead concentrates on helping Peter with his children and his fledgling business in canine husbandry. His kindness and gentleness is endearing—and increasingly attractive.

But Amelia, whose heart was broken thirty years ago by none other than Elliott Mayfield, is determined to prevent any relationship from blooming either between Peter and Julia—or between herself and Elliott.

Hearts and history collide as both couples must face their pasts and decide if risking it all is worth the promise of new love and a new future.”

My Book Review:

Hahaha! Can you imagine your uncle coming to you and proposing that he will give you a very large gift (money or something else) if you decide to settle down and get married to a respectable person? I have to admit that it might be tempting–as long as I already had a fiancée. It might be a little weird otherwise. People just don’t talk like this anymore. Of course parents want their children to marry good people, but thankfully it’s not the same as it used to be. Again, thankfully, women have a lot more options now than they did back then. I’m so glad that times have changed on that one!

I love Julia’s character. She’s so sweet and tenderhearted. I loved how cute she was with the little girls in the story. It was fun to read about the tea parties, the games, and the love she had for them. I liked that she thought independently, she didn’t care what her mother thought, and she did what she thought was best for herself. After learning about Julia’s mother, I don’t blame her for wanting to get out from her mother’s thumb.

Peter seems like a good man. He may be a little too blinded to see what’s important sometimes, but I think he has good intentions. It was interesting learning about the dogs and some of the care that went into them. I know that scandals in families still happen, but thankfully, I don’t think they affect the whole family for generations like they used to. Peter worked very hard to prove himself despite his family’s reputation, and I liked that he put that effort into rising above his circumstances.

I liked the easy-going writing style of this book. It’s well written, has great character development, and is a sweet story. I did think it was a bit predictable and a little cheesy in parts, but honestly, that’s what I want in a romance. Right? Love stories need a little cheese and a few “awwww” moments! It’s fun and entertaining, and I enjoyed it. I liked how it all came together, and how the characters fit together in the story. It’s a fast, easy read; I read it in a couple of days, and loved that I could get sucked into this fun world of promises and primroses.    

Content Rating GContent Rating: G (It’s clean! There’s no profanity, violence, or “intimacy,” except for a few brief kisses.)

Age Recommendation: YA and up

My Rating: 4/5

4 Star Review

Promises and Primroses Blog Tour

 

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2QO44D2

 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

A Heart Revealed by Josi S. Kilpack The Lady of the Lakes by Josi S. Kilpack  Forever and Forever by Josi S. Kilpack
 

Book Review of Miss Wilton’s Waltz by Josi S. Kilpack

Miss Wiltons Waltz by Josi Kilpack

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Book Review of Miss Wilton's Waltz by Josi S. Kilpack

I liked the first book in this series, The Vicar’s Daughter. So, I got excited when I heard about the second book. I like how it’s told from Lenora’s perspective, and how it shows her healing and growth throughout the book. Lenora definitely got the raw end of the deal in the first book, so I hoped that she would be able to find happiness in this second book. Does she? How does her teaching go? Well, I won’t reveal too much, but find out what I thought about this book in my book review of Miss Wilton’s Waltz by Josi. S. Kilpack.

Blurb:

“Lenora Wilton has spent her life hiding behind the keys of her beloved pianoforte and the vibrancy of her younger sister, Cassie. But Lenora is ready for a change and begins her journey of self-discovery by traveling to Bath to live with Aunt Gwen and teach music at an all-girls’ boarding school. She is different in Bath and enjoys the freedom and independence of her new life there.

When Lenora meets Aiden Asher, she finds herself attracted to him, but her unexpected feelings become more complicated when she learns that Catherine—Lenora’s newest and most troublesome student in the school—is Mr. Asher’s niece.

Catherine is a difficult student, but Lenora feels as though she is making progress with the girl even as the chemistry between Lenora and Aiden increases. When they share a passionate kiss by the River Avon, Lenora feels it is the beginning of a new forever—until she learns that Aiden has withheld an important detail about his life that changes everything.

Lenora closes her heart to him, and Aiden, caught between his obligation and his heart, must do what he can to make amends. And Lenora, after years of hiding from everyone and everything, faces a decision only she can make.”

My Book Review:

I’m a sucker for romantic stories. You add teaching to that, and I’m hooked. Reading about Lenora teaching and trying new things to help her students reminded me of my teaching days. It almost made me miss it. And then comes Catherine. Ha! Yep, I don’t miss dealing with unruly students. I had a few of those, and it’s difficult. You know that they just need love and stability, but it’s hard to get them to the point where they trust you.

I liked Lenora a lot. Her character was well developed and real. Although I could relate to her in some aspects, I couldn’t in others. That’s fine, though because people are complex. I liked her dedication to her students and felt bad for her difficult position. Aiden grew on me; I didn’t like him at first. He seemed gruff and insensitive, and made some choices that irritated me. His character was well developed, complex, and also real.

Catherine is one of those characters that you want to like. You feel so bad for her and the struggles she’s had in her lifetime. It seems as if when you put your arms around her and care for her that she’ll either stomp on your love or embrace it wholeheartedly. And, you never know which one you’ll get. I thought her character was also developed well. Aunt Gwen was one of my favorite characters. She seemed like she would be fun to hang out with.

I thought the book was well written. It was a little predictable, but there were a few surprises along the way that made it interesting. I liked the story line and the characters. There were a few times that the characters irritated me because of their choices, but overall I enjoyed it. It’s a fast, easy, entertaining read. I thought that there was just enough romance; it wasn’t overly cheesy (Just a little cheesy—but you need a little cheese with your romance, right?) If you enjoyed The Vicar’s Daughter, you will enjoy Miss Wilton’s Waltz.   

Content Rating PGRating: PG (There isn’t any profanity or violence. There’s no “intimacy” except for kissing.)

Recommendation: Young Adults and up

My Rating: 3.5/5

3.5 Star Rating

If you’d like to purchase this book, click here: https://amzn.to/2KIXB9y

 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

Forever and Forever by Josi S. Kilpack The Lady of the Lakes by Josi S. Kilpack  A Heart Revealed by Josi S. Kilpack
 
 
 

[Book Review] The Lady of the Lakes by Josi S. Kilpack

The Lady of the Lakes by Josi S. Kilpack

[Book Review] The Lady of the Lakes by Josi S. Kilpack

I’m loving the historical fiction proper romance thing going on here! How fun to learn about a real literary historical figure and his love story. It’s fiction, of course, but Ms. Kilpack did her best to base the story off of real events and people. I liked this book a lot, and I hope you enjoy my book review of The Lady of the Lakes  by Josi S. Kilpack.

Blurb:

“Walter Scott has three passions: Scotland, poetry, and Mina Stuart. Though she is young and they are from different stations in society, Walter is certain their love is meant to be. For years, he has courted her through love letters. She is the sunshine of his soul.

Though Mina shares Walter’s love of literature and romantic temperament, it’s hard for her to know if she truly loves him or if she has only been dazzled by his flattery. When she meets the handsome and charming William Forbes, her heart is challenged. Who will she choose?

But as every poet knows, “the course of true love never did run smooth,” and on a windy morning in the lake country, Walter meets Charlotte.

At twenty-six, Charlotte Carpenter believes she will never find love. After all, she is a Catholic-born Frenchwoman living in London with a family history shadowed by scandal. Though quiet, practical, and determined to live a life of independence, her heart longs for someone to love her and a place to call home.

Passion and promises collide as Walter, Mina, and Charlotte must each decide the course for their futures. What are they each willing to risk to find love and be loved in return?”

 

My Review:

I have always enjoyed a sweet love story, and The Lady of the Lakes is no exception. This story has all the elements that make a good love story: poetry, romance, dedication, heartbreak, suffering, and true love. I love that Sir Walter Scott’s poetry is written throughout the book. As a reader you can just picture him writing his poetry for the love of his life, and also to combat his heartbreak. 

The characters come to life on the page. Josi S. Kilpack did a great job of developing them well and making them realistic. I especially liked Sir Walter Scott’s voice and Charlotte’s voice. Charlotte was one of my favorite characters. Her need for independence and her strong voice make for a great character. It was fun to see her grow and progress throughout the book. There were times when Walter’s character was a little irritating; I just wanted to scream, “Get over it already!!!” Thankfully, his brother and friend were there to help him!

The story flows well, and the transitions from person to person are easy to follow. Josi S. Kilpack does a great job of describing the scene without overdoing it. While reading, I felt like I had been transported back to the late 1700s. Each character sounds and feels different as you’re reading, so you don’t need to keep checking the beginning of the chapter to figure out which character you’re reading about. Reading this book definitely makes me want to go to Scotland and see where it all took place! It’s too bad we can’t all take a Readathon fieldtrip to Scotland; that would be so much fun! I thought this was a sweet love story and I enjoyed it. 

There is no profanity or violence in this book. There isn’t any “intimacy” either, except for some brief kissing and a few romantic moments. I love that it’s clean and you don’t need to worry about what the next page may hold! That’s definitely a benefit to reading the proper romances!

 
 Content Rating PG+

Rating: PG (There’s no profanity, violence, or “intimacy,” except for a few brief kisses and some romantic moments.)

Age Recommendation: YA and up (It is YA approved; girls will definitely enjoy it more than boys. My boys -15 and 13- would not enjoy this book, but girls will love it.)

Rated 3.5/5 

3.5 Star Rating

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 
 

Similar Titles You May Be Interested In:

A Heart Revealed by Josi S. Kilpack Beauty and Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen  Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright
 
 

This post was first published on 1/20/17; updated on 3/1/18.

All That Makes Life Bright by Josi S. Kilpack

All That Makes Life Bright by Josi Kilpack

All That Makes Life Brightby
Josi S. Kilpack

Blurb:

“When Harriet Beecher marries Calvin Stowe on January 6, 1836, she is sure her future will be filled with romance, a family (in due time), and continued opportunities to develop as a writer–Calvin has said she must be a literary woman, after all. Though Catharine, Harriet’s sister, worries Hattie will lose her identity in marriage, she is determined to preserve her independent spirit. God has called her to fulfill the roles of wife and writer, and she knows that God will help her accomplish everything she was born to do. Two months later, Hattie discovers she is pregnant just as Calvin prepares to leave for a European business trip. Alone, Hattie is overwhelmed–being a wife has been harder than she thought and being an expectant mother feels like living another woman’s life. Knowing that part of Calvin still cherishes the memory of his first wife, Hattie begins to question her place in her husband’s heart and yearns for his return; his letters are no substitute for having him home. When Calvin returns, however, nothing seems to have turned out as planned. Struggling to balance the demand of motherhood with her passion for writing and her desire to be a part of the social change in Ohio, Hattie works to build a life with her beloved Calvin despite differing temperaments and expectations. Can their love endure, especially after ‘I do’? Can she recapture the first blush of new love and find the true beauty in her marriage?”

My Review:

I’m loving these proper romances based on literary figures’ lives! Ms. Kilpack has found a fun niche; I like that she does her research and tries to form an accurate picture of what might have occurred in the lives of these important figures. In my mind, Harriet Beecher Stowe is Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and that’s about it. I didn’t really know anything else about her, and you know what? I think she and I would have been besties. Like her, I have struggled to keep clean house (I’m a perfectionist, but kids make that an impossible dream…), and dinner is never ready on time when my husband gets home. Yep, I think Hattie and I would have been on the phone (if it were available) chatting about how in the world we were supposed to sand the floors and tie the bed frames and take care of the kids without burning dinner. Hahaha! I’m pretty sure I’ve had similar conversations with my friends over the years. I felt for Hattie and a little for Calvin. I think he was just a little spoiled and should have been able to help out a little more at the beginning. I told my husband I was glad I didn’t live back then because I would not have put up with his attitude. I’m not going to tell you–you’ll have to read it to find out what Calvin requested as their daughter’s name. Oh boy! It’s a doozie! This is a fun read. It’s well written, it flows well, the dialogue is realistic and the characters are well developed. I couldn’t help but relate to Harriet. I did hope to learn a little bit more about how Uncle Tom’s Cabin came to be, but I’ll just need to find another book written on that. I’ve never actually read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, have you? Let me know in the comments. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it. It’s a fun, entertaining read. 

Rating: PG (There isn’t any profanity or violence. There isn’t any “intimacy” besides kissing.)

Recommendation: YA and up

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Vicar’s Daughter

The Vicar’s Daughter
by
Josi S. Kilpack

Blurb:
“Cassie, the youngest of six daughters in the Wilton family, is bold, bright, and ready to enter society. There’s only one problem: her older sister Lenora, whose extreme shyness prevents her from attending many social events. Lenora is now entering her third season, and since their father has decreed that only one Wilton girl can be out at a time, Cassie has no choice except to wait her turn. Evan Glenside, a soft-spoken, East London clerk, has just been named his great-uncle’s heir, and though he is eager to learn all that will be required of him, he struggles to feel accepted in a new town and in his new position. A chance meeting between Evan and Lenora promises to change everything, but when Lenora proves too shy to pursue the relationship, Cassie begins to write Mr. Glenside letters in the name of her sister. Her good intentions lead to disaster when Cassie realizes she is falling in love with Evan. But then Evan begins to court Lenora, thinking she is the author of the letters. As secrets are revealed, the hearts of Cassie, Evan, and Lenora are tested. Will the final letter sent by the vicar’s daughter be able to reunite the sisters as well as unite Evan with his true love?”

My Review:

This is a fun new addition to the proper romance genre! It is well written, has good character development, and a sweet love story. Although I usually liked Cassie, there were times when I wanted to scream at her; she could definitely be strong willed and had a tendency to make poor choices. Lenora was more complex than you think she will be the first time you meet her, and she could also drive me crazy at times. Evan was a great character. I actually liked him a lot. He wasn’t perfect, but he was a gentleman and did his best. I like how he protected his family, and how he felt he had to take care of them. This story was a bit predictable, and cheesy in some parts, but that’s what we love about romances, right? I think it ended a little too perfectly, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the ending. 🙂 If you’re a Josi Kilpack fan, or if you enjoy the proper romance genre, you will definitely enjoy this book. It was entertaining and was a cute story.

This book is clean! There may be a kiss or two, but the only scandalous thing in the book are a few secret (clean) letters. Boy am I glad times have changed for dating and marriage!

Rating: PG (It’s clean!)

Recommendation: YA and up

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton

Forever and Forever: 
The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton
by
Josi S. Kilpack

Blurb:
“It’s 1836, and nineteen-year-old Fanny Appleton, a privileged daughter of a wealthy, upper-class Boston industrialist, is touring Europe with her family. Like many girls of her day, she enjoys the fine clothes, food, and company of elite social circles. But unlike her peers, Fanny is also drawn to more intellectual pursuits. Published author and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is also touring Europe, but under much different circumstances. Widowed while in Europe, he has stayed in order to gather credentials that he hopes will secure his professorship at Harvard College. When Henry meets Fanny, he sees in her a kindred spirit, a lover of language and literature and high ideals. He is in love. Fanny, however, is uncertain. He is ten years older than she is, and from a much  lower social class. How could such a relationship ever thrive? Could a book of Henry’s poetry, personally delivered, persuade Fanny to believe in a love that lasts forever and forever?”
My Review:
I thought this was a cute love story. Henry and Fanny are both well written, and it was fun to get to know them and their story. Fanny is quite the character. She is a strong female character; almost too strong, in fact. She is a bit stubborn and set in her ways. Henry seems like such a nice guy. He’s down to earth and up in the clouds at the same time. He is stubborn in his own way. Because each of these characters is so strong-willed, it takes most of the book to actually reach the romance part. There are bits and pieces here and there along the way, but the lead-up is definitely most of the book. This could be seen as a negative, but I actually enjoyed getting to know the characters and their stories. I liked how their paths intertwined and how they both needed the time it took. It’s funny how age and a little experience can make you look at things differently. I also loved getting sucked into the 19th century with its customs, traditions, and language. It was fun as a reader to know that these people were real, and that many of the events that took place and the people that surrounded them were also real. I thought it was a good depiction of what their lives could have been like. As a woman I’m also thankful that times have changed a bit in regard to women and their circumstances. We’ve come a long way since the 19th century, and it makes me wonder what Fanny would be like if she were living in today’s world. I also thought it was fun to have quotes from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poetry intermixed throughout the story. Although it was a little slow in parts, and there were quite a few typos (the spelling of one character’s name changed throughout the book), I thought this book was sweet and fun, and I think it’s a good addition to the proper romance genre. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it. 
Rating: PG (There might be a kiss or two. 🙂 There is also the death of a character, but it doesn’t go into too many details, and it’s not gory or anything.)
Recommendation: Young Adult and up (13+ years-old and up)
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

A Heart Revealed

A Heart Revealed by Josi S. Kilpack

Blurb:

Amber Marie Sterlington, the Rage of the Season in Regency-era London, has her pick of men, and she knows what she wants most in a husband: a title and a fortune. Why would she ever marry for something as fickle as love? And why would she ever look twice at Thomas Richards, a third son of a country lord?

But when Amber’s social standing is threatened, the character of her future husband becomes far more important than his position. After a public humiliation, she finds herself exiled to Yorkshire. Alone except for her maid, Amber is faced with a future she never expected in a circumstance far below what she has known all her life. Humbled and lonely, Amber begins to wonder if isolation is for the best. Who could ever love her now?


My Review:

I have only read one of Josi Kilpack’s other books, and that was Lemon Tart. It was one of her Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series, and I liked it. It was entertaining and I enjoyed the recipes in it. When I was asked to review this new book I was excited, especially since it is a different genre for her. I have read a few of the proper romances and have enjoyed them, so I couldn’t wait to read this one. I was hooked from the start. It is very Jane Austin-esque with the setting in England and the season of balls, debutantes, and beautiful gowns. I enjoy reading about this time period, so I got all giddy when I realized that’s what it was. Miss Amber Sterlington is “the rage of the season.” She is the one who turns the men’s heads and is never in want of company or a dance partner. She is beautiful with long dark hair and bright eyes. She has a distinctive voice and is confident in herself. Unfortunately, she is arrogant, mean, uncaring, and unlikable. I didn’t like her at the beginning of the book. At all. She was rude to her servants and her sister, and she only cared about herself. She looked past many eligible men because of her station, and if they didn’t fit her desire she would not give them the time of day. Then the unthinkable happens. This “unthinkable” thing was different than what I expected. I thought it was kind of corny at first, but then I saw where it could take the story and I realized that it does happen to people; it is a real thing. It may not be very common, but it actually fits here. The story is written well. It flows well, is easy to read and understand, and the character development is very good. I especially liked Suzanne, Mr. Richards, Fenton, and Darra. The growth that occurs in Amber, Darra, and Suzanne is fun to watch. Lady and Lord Merchant were characters that I did not like. I couldn’t believe how they treated Amber. I couldn’t imagine treating my children like that-ever! I enjoyed the lessons taught in this book. Unconditional love, treating others with respect and kindness regardless of their station, loyalty, friendship, and hard work were only a few.    

The story was somewhat predictable; I had the who figured out right away, it was just the how that I wasn’t sure about. It was cheesy and sappy, but that is what makes a romance a romance right? I also felt that there was a lot of time spent on getting to the ending, and then the ending was super fast. I wouldn’t have minded a few less pages to get there and a few more pages to slow the ending down a bit. I think the decision made at the end was made quickly, and before much was known (I’m trying to say it so it doesn’t give it away….), but that’s also part of a romance, so it was ok here. I loved that it was clean. It is definitely a proper romance. There is some kissing. There is a slight allusion to symptoms that might be the result of an STD. There is not a name associated with it, and it never actually says it. A younger reader would probably not even pick up on it. It’s so brief that I almost passed right over it. It’s not a reason to bypass this book. Other than that it is squeaky clean, which is great. There is no profanity or violence. If you enjoy the proper romance genre the you will definitely like this one.

Rating: PG (Some kissing and a brief allusion to symptoms that might be the result of an STD–by the way, it’s not an STD and the symptoms are not associated with that. It has nothing to do with that. It was simply speculation by another character that was briefly mentioned. I feel like I’m making it more than it was. It really was so vague and brief. I debated whether or not to even mention it, but I thought I better just in case. There is no “intimacy,” profanity, or violence.)

Recommendation: 13-14 and up. It is YA approved, and it’s great for adults too. 

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart by Josi Kilpack
(Summary from the back of the book) “…Cooking aficionado-turned-amateur detective, Sadie Hoffmiller, tries to solve the murder of Anne Lemmon, her beautiful young neighbor–a single mother who was mysteriously killed while a lemon tart was baking in her oven. At the heart of Sadie’s search is Anne’s missing two-year-old son, Trevor. Whoever took the child must be the murderer, but Sadie is certain that the police are looking at all the wrong suspects–including her! Armed with a handful of her very best culinary masterpieces, Sadie is determined to bake her way to proving her innocence, rescuing Trevor, and finding out exactly who had a motive for murder.”
Okay, let me start out by saying that I was very skeptical. Any fiction book you can buy at “Seagull Book” scares me. I don’t like cheesy Mormony fiction, usually. This book surprised me. There are a few cheesy moments, for example, when it starts out Sadie is canning applesauce. Overall, though, it is good. There were some twists and turns, it held my attention, and I enjoyed it. I don’t know if I’ll run out for the next one, but if I get my hands on it then I’ll read it. There are some yummy recipes in it also. I’ve had the brownies and they are delicious! I’m going to try the rest of them. One thing I didn’t like was that it almost marginalized the murder because of the cutsy-ness of it all.
Rated: PG-13 (It is a murder, after all.)

Recommended for: High School and up.