[Promises and Primroses]: A Review

Hi y’all!

I hope you are enjoying this Christmas season and are getting close to ready for the big day next week! Santa needs to finish his wrapping for everyone at our house. But otherwise, we are sure getting close to ready!

Today I am reviewing Promises and Primroses by Josi S. Kilpack. I discovered Josi’s books this year and have loved everything I’ve read by her, especially her historical proper romances. I like her books because they are easy to get into, have fun characters and love stories, and are a nice break from some of the longer classics or heavy subject matter of other books. Sometimes, I just like to read a book and enjoy it start to finish. And I always enjoy these novels.

Initial Thoughts:

  • I am glad this is part of a series! There is so much potential here to follow the stories of other family members in additional books. I look forward to glimpses of these characters in future as well!
  • The historical details on canine husbandry are fascinating in this novel. I had no prior knowledge (or interest really) in learning about raising hounds in Regency England. But I was fascinating by the details and the work involved in it.

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According to Goodreads, “Lord Elliott Mayfield aims to correct the very messy marital mistakes and spousal scandals of his brothers and sisters by requiring his nieces and nephews to choose worthy companions.  If they choose wisely, they will receive their generous share of the family’s inheritance. 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.

What I enjoy most about this novel is the multiple perspectives. I’d call this a quad perspective novel with chapters from Elliott, Amelia, Peter and Julia. We get inside the heads of all four of the main characters which is unusual. I think it works here. Kilpack switches between perspectives fairly smoothly and it’s easy to keep track of each character’s feelings and reactions to others. I enjoy how we piece together the story through several sets of eyes. Each character has a different priorities that shape how they interact with others. It’s fun to know all those intentions as we follow the plot.  There are a lot of moving pieces in the plot and we need all the perspectives to piece them together. 

I loved the growing romance between Peter and Julia and between Elliott and Amelia. There are several moments in this novel when they all seemed determined to not fall in love. But as this is a historical romance, they do find ways to be together in the end. Peter and Julia seem so different but soon we see how similar they are in interests and priorities. They also build each other up in beautiful ways. I was glad they found their happy ending together. I was relieved when Amelia finally stopped fighting everyone and is able to change for the better. Her softer, kinder persona is really quite beautiful. I love Elliott throughout the story. His sincerity and love for family and for Amelia make him so endearing.

My one qualm with this novel is the rushed ending. I felt like everything came together so easily–almost too easily. I wondered how realistic it was for a governess to be accepted as the lady of the house. That transition seemed so easy. I would have liked more complexities–perhaps some barriers–before the happy ending.

Overall, a fun historical romance! I like that the marriage campaign leaves lots of potential for sequels. 

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Have you read any of Josi S. Kilpack’s books?
Any favorite historical romances I should add to my TBR?

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