Daisies and Devotion

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

This is book two in the Mayfield Family series by this author.

From the very beginning, Timothy is out to find love. He has no idea how to go about it and ends up muddling a dear friendship in his pursuits. He has a picture in mind of what he wants in a wife, but he’s in for some surprises along his journey. This proved that what we want sometimes changes over time, and it helps to be open.We may be chasing the "wrong" thing when all along what we need and truly want is right in front of us.

Our heroine, Marianne, is a mature, competent character, much more attuned to life and love than Timothy. She’s likable, but her one flaw keeps her from full acceptance in society—her laugh. I thought this was an interesting trait to highlight. And as I read, I wondered why she didn’t work on her laugh, which I interpreted to sound like a bark. Haven’t we all had traits we needed to rework in order for them to be more “palatable” in public? The author’s point is “take me or leave me,” and I respected that too. There was also a mirror in this aspect: Timothy is looking for the perfect mate; Marianne is imperfect. Aren't we all?

Overall, there was a lot to like in this novel. Josi’s writing is enjoyable to read; I always look for her books as they come out.

Was this review helpful?
I'm a newcomer to Josi S. Kilpack's writing, and now I can share my happiness in 'discovering' her writing. Kilpack has a talent for creating relatable, imperfect characters who show an unexpected kind of daring in their behavior: both heroine and hero choose to live differently, deciding not to conform to the cynicism, excessive snobbery, and occasional cruelty of  upper class Regency England. This is, after all, and era when public hangings drew audiences, many of the upper ten thousand grew rich from brutal enslavement of human beings and colonization, and thieves could be transported to Australia for thievery. 

Kilpack provides a neat twist on the marriage-of-convenience plot, with the protagonists trying to suggest mates for each other while struggling with their mutual attraction to each other. Events unfold at a pace just brisk enough; their shared affection builds in a believable way. As a librarian, I’d recommend Daisies and Devotion to readers new to historical romance, or those seeking engaging love stories that keep the bedroom door closed. I’d also suggest the novel to readers suspicious of inspirational or religious romances; there’s nothing saccharine here. To the contrary, the difficulty of sticking to one’s ethics and morals -- specifically, kindness, being mindful of other people’s needs -- are shown to be difficult but worthwhile endeavours. Enjoyed this novel and would like to read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
I was really excited to see Josi Kilpack's next installment of her Mayfield series. The first one, Promises and Primroses introduced so many intriguing characters and in Daisies and Devotion we get Timothy's story!

Timothy is a man who has a lot to recommend him, but he needs to marry for money until his uncle offers him the opportunity to marry for love. Timothy immediately sets out a list of traits he wants in a wife and his friend Maryann offers to help him find her.

Maryann is such a great character. She's a little too much for some people---she laughs out loud, she speaks her mind, but she's never unkind. She's developed feelings for Timothy, and while she doesn't fit his list at all, she's so perfect for him!

This was such a gentle, sweet story of friends to something more. I totally related to Maryann and felt every little heartache and hope dashed. I really wanted her to have her happy ending and Ms. Kilpack does not disappoint. There are twists and turns and ups and down, but this was a sweet, sigh-worthy romance and definitely a keeper! I can't wait for the next one in the series.
Was this review helpful?
Daisies and Devotion is a Proper Romance by Josi Kilpack, set in Regency England. The self-proclaimed “plain” heroine is an heiress looking for a husband who will love her more than her fortune. She strikes up a friendship with Timothy, her brother-in-law’s best friend. At the start of the novel, Timothy is attempting to be one of Maryann’s suitors and as they speak candidly, he admits that as a second son, he must marry for monetary considerations but that he hopes to fall in love with his chosen bride as well.  Maryann considers accepting his suit when Timothy receives notice of an inheritance of his own from the uncle who has been supporting him, provided that he marries sensibly. Timothy tells no one of this inheritance except for Maryann, confiding that he will now be able to find true love without seeking an heiress. Maryann hides her disappointment and endeavors to help Timothy find a woman who meets his new list of criteria which include superficial things like being blonde, blue eyed, versed in two languages and a lover of art. In return, Timothy introduces Maryann to a newly retuned Navy man looking to settle down. The man has his own fortune and seems not to know that Maryann is an heiress. Confusion and complications ensue. Feelings are hurt. A scandal is avoided. But this IS a Proper Romance so you know a happy ending is in the works. I was a little miffed by Maryann’s reaction towards the end, but the final pages were very satisfying. That’s how I feel after reading a Proper Romance, satisfied with the hours well spent with lovely characters and a happy ending. This is the second book in the series but it reads like a stand alone.
Was this review helpful?
Excellent!! The series just gets better! Timothy and Marianne are such a great couple. It makes me laugh how much a dunce he is to his feelings. But also how mature he tries to be in his situation. Marianne is full of wit and wisdom and kindness. Just who I would want as a sister-in-law. 😊 

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists,
and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive
reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this
in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
Was this review helpful?
I am truly enjoying this Mayfield Family series. I could relate to Maryann more than I might have wanted to in this story. I love how genuine Timothy is, even if misguided in his feelings sometimes. Neither character is perfect and they learn together. There were surprises and the sweetest ending. I feel very attached to these characters and look forward to learning more about this family in future stories.
Was this review helpful?
Friends to lovers have some of the sweetest moments. 

In Daises and Devotion, Timothy and Maryann play matchmaker to each other. Maryann wants to find someone who wants her, not her money. And since Timothy's uncle surprised him with an inheritance, he is now able to search for the "perfect" woman, not just a wealthy woman.

As their searches go on, Maryann gets more and more discouraged. I think part of her always thought that Timothy didn't look at her for her money, so therefore he would be a good match for her. As he continues with his list, her feelings about herself grow more and more self conscience. But she won't say anything except to be his loyal friend and confidant. 

These two were so sweet in their own heads. They wanted to want someone else but hey kept thinking back on each other. Maryann didn't fit Timothy's list at all, but then why couldn't he stop thinking about her? And why couldn't Maryann be happy with any of the men that wanted to court her? Why was she always watching Timothy?

This is another Proper Romance that's the second in a series, but it can totally be a standalone. In fact, we get a glimpse of what I'm hoping is the next story. I'm keeping my eyes opened for that one.
Was this review helpful?
**I received and read an advanced copy from Net Gallery and it was not the final script.

This is the second in a series but since its based on different characters, you could read this one first without being lost.
Timothy started courting MaryAnn for her dowery, just like all of the other men who have called on her. He learns he will actually be receiving money from his uncle and will no longer need to be a fortune hunter. They part as friends, but Maryann actually has feelings for him. While they are friends he some things that hurt her feelings and can be pretty naive at times. I actually wasn't a fan of his (maybe that's why I didn't want to give it more stars). They try to find matches for each other, but she compares all me to him.
It's okay. It is clean. I like Josi S. Kilpack's other books better.
Was this review helpful?
Daisies and Devotion by Josi S. Kilpack

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Story Notes

Josi S. Kilpack offers an enchanting story of finding the love you are looking for has been right in front of you all along.

I love a good story that has two opposites attracting without their knowledge. This is just such a story and it even had some sharp wit to go along with the really sweet story. Maryann is a wealthy young heiress who is in Town for the season to look for a husband who wants more than just her money. She is a bit older than most debutantes because she chose to care for her mother until her death a year before. But as she refuses to marry a fortune hunter, her choices have become very slim. Enter Timothy Mayfield, a kind but rather dense young man who is also looking for a spouse. Until recently his goal had been to find a young lady to love who also possessed a fortune. He had been forming an amiable friendship with Maryann that might have become something more but Timothy’s uncle, impressed with Timothy’s careful search for suitable wife, offers him the chance to marry for love alone. Thrilled with the idea that he can now choose his ideal without thought of money, Timothy sets forth a list of desirable traits. Maryann is quite piqued at Timothy’s shallowness but kindly offers to help him in his quest. Nevermind that she has lost her heart to him; she doesn’t fit any of the traits Timothy has listed. She even finds a young woman who meets almost exactly the list Timothy has made but will find it hard to encourage him to marry a girl without much substance. Timothy meanwhile, is convinced that Miss Shaw will be the perfect wife as she is everything he believes he wants. But Maryann still lingers in his mind. As he gets to know Miss Shaw he will come to find that while she is outwardly the perfect mate, there is much to be desired in her intelligence and wit. But how can Timothy not marry his ideal? Could it be that what he imagined he wanted really is too shallow to stand the test of time? Both Timothy and Maryann will have to set aside their hurts and what they thought they wanted if they are to find the love they both hope for with the person they never thought of before. I really enjoyed reading this wonderful story. Maryann was a great character with plenty of smarts, wit and sweetness that made you wish she was your actual friend. She does not suffer fools but offers her correction with grace and kindness. I loved that she was confident in her intelligence while also being insecure with some of her outward qualities. I also really liked Timothy. While he was a bit dense when it came to his “ideal wife”, he did really work to find someone that he could love, not just love to look at. His sincere apology when he caused someone hurt was another quality I liked, given there are not many male characters who are willing to apologize. One other part of the story I liked was the discussion/advice the Maryann gave Timothy about his clothes. Her ideas seemed silly at the time but he quickly came to realize how right she was. All in all, it was a very cute story with lots to love. I will certainly be recommending this story to others as I’m sure they will find it as delightful as I did. I’m also looking forward to reading more from Ms. Kilpack very soon as I have found she has several other books from the same time period already in print.

I received this E-book free of charge from Shadow Mountain Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
How I love this new series by Josi S. Kilpack! She's been one of my favorite authors since before there were e-readers (yes, I'm that old). Remember from the previous book that Elliott Mayfield has come up with a "marriage campaign" to help his nephews and nieces make better choices in marriage partners.

Timothy Mayfield is very forthright about needing to marry someone with money, but he also wants to have a marriage of love. He's described as "fun-loving, overly -optimistic, energetic, engaging, and silly to some" and honest, which is important to Maryann Morrington because it seems as if all of her callers have heard about her inheritance. Maryann is a older (22 years old) than the other young women in London for the Season, and more mature because she's been running her family's household since she was 15, when her mother became ill. She's not what you'd call a beauty, but her inheritance more than makes up for that in the eyes of her suitors.

When Timothy learns of what he'll inherit from his Uncle Elliott upon making a match he's thrilled that he no longer need marry for money--he can marry purely for love and sets out to find his perfect mate. He's got quite the list of requirements--"blonde, tall, graceful, with blue or green eyes, a bow-shaped mouth, dainty fingers, and rosy cheeks. Come from a large family, possess a hearty appetite without being plump, and have a tinkling laugh. Enjoy dogs and riding horses, traveling at a moment's notice, dancing in the rain, fine wine, and society events. Her mother should think him wonderful. She should speak French and Italian, have musical ability, love babies, and possess an affinity for art, especially watercolor." Maryanne is quite the opposite of Timothy's ideal wife. 

Timothy seems to take their honesty with each other a bit too far when he tells Maryann Your laugh is very much like the bray of a donkey. Of course he realizes he hurt his feelings and apologizes with daisies again. 

In the course of the story Maryann finds someone she thinks she could happily live out her days with, but it turns out he's not the man she thought he was. I was impressed by how she handled the the news and the aftermath. By the time that relationship has ended Timothy does indeed find his perfect woman. 

I loved Timothy and Maryann's friendship. I liked when she gave him fashion advice and how surprised he was by the compliments he received when he followed it. Silly men don't think women know what we're talking about. Timothy had had a difficult upbringing and I found it wonderful that he was such an optimistic person. I thought it funny how he liked to run home after church because he didn't like sitting still for such a long period of time.

Maryann is a wonderful character--she's not like the younger debutantes, she knows what she wants and speaks her mind, but she's kind to others. I felt her pain when she wanted to be more than Timothy's friend and he couldn't see it.

When you read a love story the reader already knows the two main characters are going to end up together, but we don't know how the author's going to do that. That's what pulls me into a book. Once Maryann's relationship with Colonel Berkins ended I thought for sure she and Timothy would get together, but no, but that time he'd found his "perfect woman"! I didn't see how Maryann and Timothy would get their happily ever after--it didn't come easily , or quickly, but it finally came. 

Thanks to Shadow Mountain and NetGalley for a copy of this book to review. All ideas and thoughts expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Daisies and Devotion was a lovely book. I read this book as a stand alone but based on the content provided I think reading the first book in the series would help the back story information come together easier. Seeing Maryann and Timothy's relationship grow throughout the book was very sweet. I loved the concept of Timothy realizing the unique beauty of Maryann who was right in front of him. This book will keep you turning the pages awaiting the swoon worthy happy ending.
Was this review helpful?
****I received a free copy of this ebook to review. All opinions and responses to the book are my own and honest, as always.****

It’s been far too long since I’ve read a clean romance as textbooks and schoolwork have kept me busy. And to have my first foray back be with one that didn’t make me want to lecture the darling main characters for being swoony and stubborn punks, determined to make their own lives difficult and painful, was a relief. 

Okay maybe I was irritated with Maryann near the end, but no more than her sister Deborah was. I tend to identify with side characters in these stories. Deborah handled it much better than I would. She allowed Maryann to discover her own path. 

I was cheering on the match between the two as much as Deborah and her husband, Lucas, were. But I also wanted Maryann to stop dwelling on her shortcomings and tallying up reasons she would not measure up. Then again, that is a caution many people, myself included, would do well to heed.

I love the reminders in this book that perfect doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist in people or situations. More relevant and useful in life is that it is important to be with those who not only make you better but make you want to be better. 

Supporting characters I’m eager to learn more about: cousin Harry—obviously—but I would also enjoy learning some of Deborah and Lucas’ story. As well as more of Uncle Elliott and Amelia. And even though his story was unexpected in many ways, the Colonel. Maybe. Maybe not. I’ll probably have to read this again on the next rainy day to think about that.

I love books that do more than entertain or set hearts beating, I appreciate books that encourage me to be better. This book practices what it preaches.
Was this review helpful?
What a delightful followup to Promises and Primrose.  While this book is a stand alone book, you will find a few of the characters from the first book intermingled in this book.

Love could be hard to find especially if you aren't sure what you are looking for in a potential spouse...OR your ideas were so off base and crazy that it kept you from realizing what is right in front of you.  This was Timothy's case.  He has this long list of characteristics that he thinks he wants in a spouse until he meets that perfect woman and realizes that just maybe his dream woman comes in another form.

Maryann is a bit older than the other debutantes and has the luxury of not having to settle for just any man that comes her way that doesn't appreciate or love her for her.  She is very grounded and that helps her in seeking out a potential suitor.  She is even clever enough to have her maid, Lucy, snoop around and find out information about those suitors - are they who they portray to her?  Lucy is on the case and find out things for Maryann that she may not have learned otherwise and it helps her in a few situations.

This was a delightful read.  I enjoyed all of the characters and their interactions with one another.  Donna the protective older sister, and Uncle Elliott who has the answer to Timothy's marriage issues are two that stand out to me.  Times were very different during that time period and what men and women went through to find the right match might make your head spin, especially since the women had to have a chaperone!  Despite all that, Timothy and Maryann form a friendship that is the foundation for so much more if Timothy would open his eyes.  My heart broke a little for Maryann when a certain gentleman wasn't who he portrayed himself to be to her.  What a cad!  But as the story unfolded, both Timothy and Maryann realized that sometimes the heart knows what it wants and won't settle for less.

If you are in the mood for a historical romance, this is a good choice!  We give it 5 paws up.
Was this review helpful?
I so enjoy everything I read from Josi S. Kilpack, but her audiobooks are an even better treat!
Timothy Mayfield has been open and honest with Maryanne Morrington from the get-go. He needs to marry well and she’s his choice. But when his circumstances change, he’s free to find his ideal woman. As Maryanne introduces him to society ladies who meet the criteria on his list, Timothy finds fault with all of them.

The friendship these two have formed often falls into rock territory and it takes them a bit to get back on solid ground, all while Marianne struggles to hide (and at one point overcome) the love she carries for Timothy.

Daisies and Devotion is a testament to love knowing no bounds, unconstrained by plans and checklists, and best grown when rooted in friendship. Kilpack once again delivers a book that I couldn’t put down.

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Was this review helpful?
This was another great story by this author. I felt like it was realistic with how dense a guy can be at times, not seeing what was right in front of him. I loved that he was trying to get the impossible “perfect woman”. His specifications were hilarious. Many times I laughed out loud at how H kept offending h. But he always learned from his mistakes so it was enjoyable to read, seeing how both characters transformed and matured. The storyline wasn’t rushed so it felt really natural reading how they fell in love and found their HEA.
Was this review helpful?
London  -  1822

Maryann Morrington, age 22, is in London to begin her delayed season.  She has been at home for the last 5 years caring for her ailing mother who passed away some months ago.  She loved her mother dearly and was happy to be the one to care for her.  Maryann is an heiress with a large dowry.

Timothy Mayfield is a friend of Lucas, the husband of Deborah who is sister to Maryann.  Lucas has suggested that Timothy call upon Maryann.  In addition, word has spread that Maryann is a wealthy young woman which is what Timothy seeks.

When they meet, they seem to get along but Timothy tells her he is in need of a wealthy wife and lists the qualifications he is looking for which are totally counter to Maryann.  She likes his honesty and tells him she will help him find a woman with the attributes that he desires.

In the meantime, Timothy is summoned by his Uncle Elliott who informs him that he will bestow a goodly sum of money and land upon him when Timothy marries a woman of whom Elliott approves.  Timothy is delighted because his funds are very limited.

As Timothy and Maryann meet up at soirees, she introduces him to young ladies and a Miss Shaw turns out to be the one who ticks all of his boxes.  Yet, the friendship between Timothy and Maryann becomes more than that and they both wonder at what to make of it.

This is a very good story with two delightfully, strong characters, both of whom have a great sense of humor.  The descriptions of the events are sumptuous, and the plot is well-written.  I have always enjoyed Josi Kilpack’s books and look forward to more from her.

Copy provided by NetGalley and Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I have developed a real fondness for Proper Romance and Josi S Kilpack never disappoints.  This is the second book in this series and it manages to be both completely different and equally as enjoyable as the first.  The author creates real female leads, they are intelligent, competent and not perfect.  I really liked Maryann, the lead in this book and could relate to her a lot.  Timothy, the male lead, was annoying at first but I warmed to him over the course of the book much like Maryann.  Also, the end setting of the book, without giving it away, was one of the best.  Can't wait for the next one!
Was this review helpful?
Oh, I loved this book so much. What a sweet little love story. Can't wait to continue this fun series of proper romances. I preferred this book to the first one and absolutely adored the characters and their interactions with one another. It reminded me so much of my beloved Edenbrooke, and not just because the main character's name is also Maryann. This was so special and wonderful.
Was this review helpful?
Maryann and Timothy have such tremendous growth from the beginning to end of this story, it's such a beautiful journey. I got a little frustrated at how clueless Timothy was at some points, but it was worth it. This is the second book in the series and while it can be read as a standalone, it's definitely more enjoyable if you read them in order, especially as previous characters come into this story as well. A charming and unexpected romance, based on friendship.
Was this review helpful?
I didn't quite know what to think about Maryann and Timothy at first- she seemed without personality and he appeared to be a light headed dandy. It made me curious, and I absolutely loved getting to know them as aspects of their personalities unfolded and characteristics were revealed. Their friendship is unique in that they are completely upfront with each other- blunt almost to a fault. They appreciate the honesty in each other... until feelings get hurt. Unrequited love is one of my favorite tropes because it has such a strong element of longing. Maryann is a lovely friend and does want Timothy's happiness, even at the expense of her own. He had to experience for himself the value of her devotion in contrast to the empty fantasy, and the final scenes in the book are oh-so-sweet and a wonderful give and take in their complex relationship. Highly recommend!!!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
Was this review helpful?