Happy Monday, my friends!
Today it decided to turn winter on us. And I’m not sure I’m ready! I do love this time of year with the holidays coming. If it snowed this week, I think I would be excited. Cold, snowy nights are perfect for reading.
Tonight I’m sharing a double review of The Vicar’s Daughter and Miss Wilton’s Waltz both by Josi S. Kilpack. I decided on this double review because these books take place in the same regency universe telling the love stories of two sisters. They can be read as stand alone novels, but I enjoyed reading them back to back!
Obviously, these are romances. So I may have a few more spoilers than usual. I enjoy the journey to a happy ending, even if we know who will be together from the back cover summary 🙂
- I’ve raved about Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson here before. It’s still my favorite historical romance. I have recently discovered other novels in the Proper Romance collection by Shadow Mountain Publishing. These novels are beautiful, passionate romances that are also clean and often Christian. Plus I often finish these books feeling positive and hopeful. I appreciate that.
- I love Josi Kilpack’s books! Everything I read from her is clever, beautiful and passionate. I’ve raved about her Historical Proper Romances before and I hope she will be writing more of those too. I just started her new novel Promises and Primroses and am really enjoying it thus far.
According to Goodreads: The Vicar’s Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack tells the story of “Cassie, the youngest of six daughters in the Wilton family, [who] is bold, bright, and ready to enter society. . . . [But] their father has decreed that only one Wilton girl can be out at a time, Cassie [must] wait her turn. Evan Glenside, a soft-spoken, East London clerk, has just been named his great-uncle’s heir and . . . he struggles to feel accepted in a new town and in his new position. A chance meeting between Evan and [Cassie’s sister] Lenora promises to change everything, [and] 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. . . . 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?”
I literally read this book in 24 hours. It was just so fun and sweet! This darling romance is set in my favorite time period–Regency England. I loved the beautiful and surprising love story. Also, I enjoy epistolary novels so the letters were a fun touch in this one.
The characters feel like they could be my friends or neighbors; they just feel real to me! Cassie is easy to cheer for. I love how fiery she is and how easily her plans go wrong. Evan was endearing because he is an outsider but also fiercely loyal and determined to do the right thing. Even though it almost makes everyone miserable. Mostly I felt bad for Lenora but loved her strength in the end! I love that we get her story in the sequel!
This story is a bit unexpected because there are many twists that seem to prevent the love story from happening. I was surprised that Evan and Lenora actually got engaged. And that Kilpack kept Cassie and Evan so far apart during the second third of the book. The emotional turmoil was very intense during the second part of the book. And it does come together quickly and neatly at the end. I would have preferred less extremes and maybe a few less twists. That would have made the ending a bit more probable. Regardless, the ending is lovely. It makes me sigh and smile about all me “I-love-historical-romance-and-swoony-kisses” feelings. There are some truly beautiful romance moments in the end!
Overall, I enjoyed this novel from Josi Kilpack! There were a few parts that moved slowly for me. I enjoyed the way God and faith help the characters move forward during difficult times. I admire the change that Cassie goes through. She has to sacrifice and suffer and repent for her mistakes. But in the end, she finds happiness and I was glad. Although it was a big change at the end to get the love birds together. But overall, a lovely romance!
Miss Wilton’s Waltz is Lenora’s story. According to Goodreads: “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 travels to Bath to live with her Aunt Gwen and teach music at an all-girls’ boarding school. . . . 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. . . . When the chemistry between Lenora and Aiden increases, they share a passionate kiss by the River Avon, and 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. . . .” Can they still find happiness or is love impossible?
This is another quick read. I finished it in a couple days. I love quick books that make me smile and laugh. I was really excited to read Lenora’s story because I felt sad for how her story ended in the previous book.
I love seeing Lenora fall in love and how much she learns and grows in this story. She really is happy in Bath and happy teaching. And she still had to overcome so many challenges and trials in this novel before she found true love. I admire her courage! I found Lenora’s journey to overcoming her anxiety fascinating. You don’t read a lot of novels set in this time period that focus on that. Her little game to focus on sight, touch and smell was simple but useful. I’ve used it a few times myself. And it helps focus my attention as well. I was glad to see how strong she became.
Aiden is a fantastic character. I love his loyalty, compassion and strength. His determination to do right by Catherine is beautiful. I loved his relationship with Lenora. I loved how their love story developed especially because it was unexpected for both of them. Their kiss at the river is truly magical.
This story also has a lot of twists and turns. But they aren’t quite as jarring as in the first book. Right off the bat we have drastic changes, but the characters settle in quickly. I was surprised how patient Lenora continually was with Catherine. Yet I also admired her patience and was glad to see their relationship ease and blossom. I was frustrated with all the barriers between Lenora and Aiden. But was glad to see them slowly come down.
My favorite part by far is the end. I absolutely adore the ending! I love how Aiden and Lenora are finally together. I love the ways they make each other better. The epilogue is so sweet and satisfying. This is another great proper romance!
What are some of your favorite historical romances?
Have you read any Proper Romance novels? Which is your favorite?