Promised by Leah Garriott

Promised by Leah Garriott

Expected publication:  Feb. 18, 2020 – Shadow Mountain

Book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

Margaret Brinton keeps her promises, and the one she is most determined to keep is the promise to protect her heart.
 
Fooled by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious matchmaking party intent on securing the perfect marital match:  a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake Mr. Northam.
 
There’s only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won’t leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret’s chances for making a good match—to his cousin or anyone else. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage—to Lord Williams.
 
Under no condition will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, interrupting her family games and following her on morning walks, winning the good opinion of her siblings and proving himself intelligent and even kind, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the type of man she’d hoped to marry before she’d learned how much love hurt. When paths diverge and her time with Lord Williams ends, Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose. (publisher)

My take: What a delightful novel! I thoroughly enjoyed Leah Garriott’s story of a young woman who wants to secure a husband who will let her live a peaceful life as she will let him live as he likes. She doesn’t want to risk her heart after having it stomped on by a previous fiancé. No, an arrangement that doesn’t involve romantic love but instead offers security seems the pathway to a content life. She has that in mind when she and her brother attend a house party that is really a matchmaking party. She meets Lord Williams and Mr. Northam – cousins who vie for her attention which tests her resolve about what she wants in a marriage.

Promised is filled with humor, drama, sparkling characters and settings that drew me in. I enjoyed it all and can’t wait to see what Leah Garriott writes next. I think Promised will appeal to fans of Jane Austen and romantic regency novels.


 

The Lemonade Year by Amy Willoughby-Burle

Description:
LOVE. LOSS. AND SECOND CHANCES.

Nina’s once-sweet life has unexpectedly turned sour. Her marriage is over, her job is in jeopardy, and her teenage daughter is slipping away from her. Then her father dies and issues with Nina’s mother come to a head; her estranged brother, Ray, comes home; and her sister, Lola, is tempted to blow a big family secret out of the water. They say the truth will set you free, but first it will make a huge mess of things.

All Nina’s got left is her final photography assignment shooting images for the book 32 Ways to Make Lemonade. Well, that and the attention of a younger man, but Oliver’s on-again-off-again romantic interest in her ebbs and flows so much she is seasick. And then Jack, her ex-husband, shows up, wanting to get back together.

As Nina struggles to find a way through her complicated relationships and to uncover her true path, she discovers just how valuable a second chance at life and happiness can be.

My take:  I think anyone who has waded through grief will, on some level, be able to relate to the characters in Amy Willoughby-Burle’s novel. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a relationship, or an expected life path, the characters in The Lemonade Year must come to terms and move forward in their new reality. Nina’s internal dialogue moved the plot along as she acted and then questioned those actions. It was an honest and straightforward perspective of people who learn to slowly face their fears with the goal being the possibility of getting a second chance – even though it might not be the second chance they expect. Recommended to fans of novels involving messy family dynamics.


“The Lemonade Year is a smart, satisfying romance that balances life’s sour moments with its sweet ones.” –Foreword Reviews 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amy Willoughby-Burle is a writer and teacher living in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband and four children. She writes about the mystery and wonder of everyday life. Her contemporary fiction focuses on the themes of second chances, redemption, and finding the beauty in the world around us. She is the author of a collection of short stories entitled Out Across the Nowhere and a contributor to the anthology Of Mist and Magic.

Connect with Amy online:
Website: https://amywilloughbyburle.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmyWilloughbyBurle/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmyWBurle
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amywritesfiction/

THE LEMONADE YEAR
by Amy Willoughby-Burle
(Shadow Mountain/Deseret Books, 4/3/18)
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Blog tour/Review: Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

blackmoore

  • Title:  Blackmoore: A Proper Romance
  • Author:  Julianne Donaldson
  • Genre:  Regency Romance
  • Published:  September 2013 – Shadow Mountain
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead—if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured—and rejected—three marriage proposals.

Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free?

Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart. It is Wuthering Heights meets Little Women with a delicious must-read twist. (publisher)

My take:  If a novel with enjoyable main characters, an atmospheric Regency-era setting, and a bit of a twisty plot sounds good to you, you’ll want to read Blackmoore.

Blackmoore is Henry Delafield’s family summer home by the sea. Kate Worthington grew up hearing about the place from her friends Henry and his sister Sylvia. Each summer they would return with stories for their friend and neighbor Kate.  She longed to one day visit this wonderful place.

The large house was more a character than a setting. There are dark halls, drafty rooms, secret passageways, rumors of ghosts in the night – you get the drift.  A Blackmoore house party will eventually determine the futures of Henry and Kate.

I loved the main characters. They were so honorable and their story so heart-wrenching. Kate was easy to cheer for from the start. And Henry? It was difficult not to fall in love with Henry. They are faced with meeting family expectations or following their hearts. When Kate accepts a challenge from her mother it eventually forces them to reveal secrets to each other that could end any hope of a future together. You’ll have to read the book to learn more!

Blackmoore is a G-rated Regency Romance and I recommend it to fans of the genre.

Note: I enjoyed Julianne Donaldson’s writing so much that midway through this novel I purchased her first novel, Edenbrooke (which is $1.99 for both Kindle and nook in September).

About the author:

Julianne Donaldson grew up as the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. She learned how to ski in the Italian Alps, Julianne-Donaldsonvisited East Berlin before the wall came down, and spent three years living next to a 500-year-old castle. After earning a degree in English, she turned her attention to writing about distant times and places. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children.

You can connect with Julianne Donaldson at her Facebook page.

blackmoore

Proper Romance