LOVE AND LAVENDER
SERIES: Mayfield Family #4 (Proper Romance)
GENRE: Inspirational Historical/Regency Romance
PUBLISHER: Shadow Mountain
RELEASE DATE: November 2, 2021
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?
Other Books In This Series
What do you get when you combine two atypical romance novel protagonists with a Regency setting, two unconventional dowries, and a marriage of convenience? Well, for starters, you get this tender & beautiful romance from Josi S. Kilpack – Love and Lavender!
The tentatively budding relationship between a neurodiverse hero & a physically challenged heroine is one of the sweetest romances I’ve read in recent memory. While both Hazel and Duncan take some getting used to, their awkwardness (particularly Duncan’s) becomes endearing with little effort on the part of the reader. Kilpack has done a masterful job of drawing these vivid characters, amplifying their value through the other’s eyes. And I found it equally poignant that the character whom we would be more likely to outwardly judge as the most difficult to love turned out, in fact, to be the easiest.
I absolutely adored that their friendship – which led to their marriage of convenience – developed through writing letters, that through these frequent communications they were able to form a connection with each other. A connection that neither of them were anticipating or used to. This allowed them to get to know each other – and for readers to do the same, in such a way that showed us rather than told us. In fact, Kilpack develops these characters and their relationship thoughtfully and realistically, neither labeling Duncan or Hazel nor exaggerating their mannerisms to make a point. I greatly appreciated her approach and found that their characterizations enhanced my enjoyment of their journey all the more.
Bottom Line: Love and Lavender is a sweet and unique marriage of convenience romance, with dimensional characters (main & supporting) and a gentle message of faith and inherent worth. A story of being loved even when deemed unlovable and of subtly challenging those social conventions when it matters. While this is the fourth book of a series, it reads nicely as a standalone, and there are many layers to explore beneath the surface of its main plot. An excellent choice for Regency romance & marriage of convenience fans!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
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.
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What about you? What makes you want to read Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack?