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?
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Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack is a wonderful, sweet, heartwarming, inspiring, and positive historical romance that really tugged on my heart and warmed me from within. This is the first book of the Mayfield Family series that I have read (this is #4), and I was easily able to follow along. I enjoyed this book so much that I will now be reading the rest of the series. This book is set in the early 19th century England (which is a favorite of mine) and here we get to see the lives of Hazel Stillman and Duncan Penhale. Both are wonderfully developed characters. Their backstories are complex, interspersed with difficulties, and through their own respective “disabilities” and circumstances they end up joining in a union to secure their own futures and hopeful future successes. What starts out as a marriage of convenience, or a business arrangement, ends up blossoming into a healing, therapeutic, and completely transformative and loving partnership. The author has such a talent at crafting such real, raw, and true characters that I could not help but love. Their respective quirks lead them to one another, and in that process, they find out so much more about themselves. The process was so heartfelt, but yet never bordered on anything unrealistic or cheesy. It was so tastefully written. I loved seeing Hazel and Duncan find success in their own respective lives, as well as with each other. Beautiful. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Shadow Mountain Publishing for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately (as of 5/14/21 no BB account has been created) and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, Deseret, and B&N accounts upon publication.
A broken mind. A broken body. People of no worth? What determines someone’s value. Does a physical handicap decrease worth? Does a mind struggling to understand social norms lessen value? These are the questions touchingly looked at with this book. Hazel was born with a club foot something that couldn’t be hidden from society, so at six years old she was sent to a boarding school to be more easily ignored by her family. She progressed through her schooling to become a mathematics teacher in a school where she was able to easier hide her disability and provide for herself. Duncan struggled with social expectations and expressing himself. Changes or unmet expectations led to extreme upset. Now as an adult working as a clerk, he realized that although he could work successfully as a clerk, he would never really fir in to society. Both Hazel and Duncan are surprised to discover that they have the possibility of wealth to exceed all needs or expectations but to acquire it they must marry. But what man would want a cripple like Hazel? And what woman would consider a man as peculiar as Duncan? An excellent book about struggles, acceptance, empathy, and love where none was expected. The characters are realistic and show the strength often required by life. I received an early copy and this is my honest review. I highly recommend this book.
As a novel, this is a great read. Well written, with characters that grow over the course of the story, well developed secondary characters, and some brilliant lines. One of my favourite parts is where Sophie rebukes Hazel: "Hazel, you are one of the smartest women I know. Do not insult your own intelligence by saying something so incredibly stupid." As a historical novel however, this falls far short of the mark. Writing a character with autism in a novel set in the 1800s is a difficult task. Yet the only assistance the author cites at the end is from a Special Ed teacher. Why not interview people with autism before writing? Why not research how autism was viewed in this time period? Why not show more people's reactions to Duncan instead of keeping it predominantly at surface level? I would have appreciated this more if the author had cited her historical sources and actually spoken to people with autism in order to write Duncan accurately. A Special Ed teacher can provide a plethora of experiences of course, but only the person themselves can tell you what's going on inside during those experiences.
This story unexpectedly stole my heart. When it first started I wasn't sure at all if Iwould end up enjoying it. Duncan's character right from the start was a little off putting. As soon as I realized he was meant to, what we in modern times would call, be on the autism spectrum (like by the second chapter) my heart went out to him and I instantly loved him. Having a family member on the spectrum who has so many of the same "problems" (not sure how to better describe it) as Duncan made me understand him and feel for him even more. Being so completely honest and not understanding social que's is a huge roadblock that puts a person at a great disadvantage in life. I always feel so heartbroken for characters who have physical problems that today would be no big deal, but 200 years ago made them a sort of instant social outcast. So sad. Hazel was written as one of those characters being born with a club foot. Having no support, she did what she had to do for herself to be successful in life and I admired that about her. Duncan and Hazel together were so perfect. I loved that Hazel was protective of him and so quickly learned how to understand him. And Duncan's total honestly with Hazel was so endearing to me. The only thing I could even complain about (it still gets 5 stars) is that I wish I knew why Catherine left her life in society to be with Duncan's father. What made Caffeine tick? What made her take such good care of and love Duncan? Those questions were left unanswered and I found myself frustrated by that. There isn't a lot of typical romance in this book but I found I didn't care at all. It was perfect the way it was.
I know Josi S. Kilpack from her culinary mystery series and was excited to read her newest regency era romance. Hazel Stillman is educated, teaches mathematics and likely never to marry having been born with a clubbed foot. Her uncle Elliott Mayfield offers her a substantial dowry in hopes that she will marry. He offers a similar type inheritance to Duncan Penhale. Duncan is a ward and was raised by another aunt of Hazel's. Elliott is giftedly bright and quirky. Today we'd say he was in the autistic spectrum. Duncan comes up with the idea of a marriage of convenience thinking they could both have security with Mayfield's generosity. Instead he insists that they must live together as man and wife for a year. In a rom/com this would be a set up for flirting and funny thrown together moments. Kilpack instead gives a poignant story of Hazel dealing with her insecurities, adjusting to Duncan's routines, quirks and kindnesses. It is an uncommon love story beautifully written. I've actually read three different romances with a main character in the spectrum this past year and this is my favorite. I like the how the author shows Duncan's thinking process and seeing Hazel accept and not try to change him. This is the fourth in a the Mayfield Family series but it is written as a stand alone. A clean read and would easily recommend for 15 and up. Thank you to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an ARC ebook in exchange for an honest review.
So far I have loved every one of the novels in the Mayfield Family Regency series, but this one was quite unique! Both Hazel and Duncan are ostracized by polite Society--Hazel due to a clubbed foot and resultant limp and Duncan due to being on the autism spectrum (something relatively unknown for that time period). But rather than being institutionalized, both were given the chance at education instead, and then are offered Uncle Elliot's strange inheritance gift if they marry according to his specifications. Since it has worked so well with his three nephews--even Harry--Uncle Elliot is sure that it will work for his niece and his somewhat adopted nephew. But neither Duncan or Hazel feel that they will find love due to their respective circumstances--so they agree to a marriage of convenience to each other to keep themselves supported. Uncle Elliot agrees, but only if they agree to live in the same house for one year after their wedding. I loved both Hazel and Duncan. Hazel is pragmatic, patient, and smart. Duncan is almost savant and his straight-forward comments are detailed, honest, and occasionally funny. These characters are very well-written and well-developed and I was invested in their story. There were several laugh-out-loud moments, but also several touching scenes as well. I very much recommend this one! Rated PG for some frank discussions --no language --no overt sexual scenes, however Duncan is very...technically accurate...in his descriptions of marital expectations --no gore --no violence I received this ebook free from NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing in exchange for an honest review
This love story was unique and such an uncommon take on a marriage of convenience! The characters are unconventional as is their romance. This story is more of a journey as the reader learns about these characters as the story develops and grows fond of each of them as the pages fly by. Any time a plot can keep me invested and intrigued I am impressed and I had to see this romance play out until the conclusion! This book had so many unexpected moments that will warm your heart to this logically minded hero. He is as kind as he is observant! Josi Kilpack does a great job of writing these two characters and their challenges and showing their growth as the book progressed! The conclusion was sweet ant well worth the wait!
Featuring Hazel Stillman and Duncan Penhale, "Love and Lavender" is the emotional and heartfelt fourth installment of Josi Kilpack's Mayfield Family series. They enter into a marriage of convenience that exposes the ugly side of people's prejudice and gossip. Hazel's struggles with her physical infirmity are so realistically and vividly depicted one can almost feel her pain. Intelligent, methodical, precise and literal Duncan is only understood by those close to him. His attachment to his cat, Elizabeth, is so sweet, as is his devotion to Delores. Their journey to true love is fraught with difficulties. Uncle Elliot, Amelia and Hazel's twin brother Harry make appearances. Kilpack's prose is beautiful and descriptive. Her characters are well-developed, and their emotions are palpable. While "Love and Lavender" has its lighthearted moments, it is not a "unicorns and rainbows" tale. While technically this is a stand-alone story, the previous three installments are all wonderful, and I read them prior to this one. For me personally, this book is even more heart-wrenching than "Rakes and Roses", which I also loved. Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an ARC of this engaging and touching novel.
When I started reading Love and Lavender I thought this book wasn't a book I wanted to read. It is like an accident, you want to look away but you just can't! The characters are so unique with their flaws and indomitable spirit, It is the story of Hazel and Duncan, both of whom have received an inheritance to be received when they are properly wed. Hazel with her club foot, has never fit in and has spent most of her life in school. Now she is a teacher at a girl's school. Duncan is a special person. He doesn't like to be touched or laughed at. He takes everything literally. Duncan and Hazel decide to wed each other to gain their inheritances. Dancan could buy his building and Hazel could buy her school and they could continue on as friends, but there are some stipulations to the inheritances. Duncan and Hazel must live together for a year. It was enlightening to learn about these two very different characters. What they went through each day in their struggles just to live is amazing. It makes you realize how blessed you truly are. It also makes you realize that each of us has our own flaws. Some are more visible than others. I really enjoyed this book and I am glad I read it.
This is a beautiful, beautiful story about two people with disabilities learning to grow a life together. Hazel has a physical disability. She was born with a club foot and it's painful to walk on it. Her family sent her away at a young age and she makes a living for herself as a teach of advanced math. Duncan has a less visible disability, a mental one (autism?). He's extremely intelligent but is socially awkward, but he his the hero in this story. They meet at Uncle Elliot's house when he offers them the same he has already offered others in the family before (this is book 4 in the series). Both Hazel and Duncan don't think they can find someone who'll marry them, and therefore won't be able to accept the financial settlement. But circumstances change and Duncan comes up with the idea that they marry each other so they can each receive the bequest. But Uncle Elliot says they will have to live together for a year. Hazel and Duncan develop a friendship and peculiar relationship as they learn to accommodate their solitary lives to living together, and there are a lot of tender moments. There was a particular part that brought tears to my eyes. I highly recommend this one. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
This was such a beautiful book. So much heart. So much emotion. I felt so full of emotion by the end. Part of that is because I babysit a very smart little boy with autism and a speech disability and I often wonder what life holds for him. So seeing Duncan as a functioning adult was encouraging to me and seeing him find love was even more so. The romantic relationship between Duncan and Hazel is different from typical ones of course but so touching. I love how Hazel adapted to understand Duncan and relate to him to see his goodness and how his mind works. But I also loved that the author showed us that frustration would be a typical response to dealing with autism on a daily basis as well. And I loved that Duncan, in what appears to be a non-emotional way, cared for Hazel and her special needs. He could clearly see that her boot was not good on her clubbed foot but he didn't even talk about it. He just went to find the most expert help he could to get her properly shoed. She hadn't had anyone to truly care for her in her entire life. They are two people with special needs that learn quickly how best to care for the other and together they make a beautiful team. I loved this book. Sex: references to marital relations Language: no Violence: a little *I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley and voluntarily chose to review it.
Okay, so each of these books keep on getting better and better! Love and Lavender is the fourth book in the Mayfield Family series. I was so excited to see that Hazel had her own story especially after reading Harry’s book! Hazel Stillman was born the oldest child, the older sister but because of her clubbed foot she was outcast. Left basically on her own, Hazel learned how to make a life for herself working as a teacher. However when she finds out that her school may be sold, she finds herself needing to consider other options. Duncan Penhale has a brilliant mind and a need for order and process. He has no expectations of his life changing. When Elliot Mayfield, his guardian’s brother, presents him with an inheritance if he marries a woman of social standing, he finds it interesting but unimportant. However with his inheritance he could purchase the building he was working in and run his own firm. Hazel and Duncan come together with a solution to their problems, they could marry each other, receive their inheritances and part ways. But Elliot Mayfields puts his foot down and tells them they must leave together as husband and wife for a year, Duncan and Hazel reluctantly agree. Will they learn to love each other at the end of the year, or will they go their separate ways? Hazel was so different from the women of her time. She had to be independent because of her clubbed foot, however she was also lonely; she wanted someone to love her for herself. Life had not been easy for her and there were times when she struggled with life. I really enjoyed reading about Hazel and seeing her more. I felt bad for her, But I was also amazed at all she had done. However she was a little jaded, a little weary of those around her. She had to care for herself so she didn't quite know what to do with Duncan. Would she be able to let Duncan into her life and ultimately in her heart? Duncan was a lovely character, I liked reading about him and learning about him. He was different from those around him and he knew it but that was his life. He was a sweet guy, but there were some things that made life harder for him, he processed things differently. I liked his growth as a character as he learned how to live and care for Hazel. Hazel was a person that made him feel special and helped him learn to live. However would he be able to show Hazel his love and help her see how much she has come to me to him? Hazel and Duncan were super sweet together. They were both different and yet they found their place in the world through each other. I liked reading about them interacting with each other and watching them fall in love. They had a lot to overcome as they figured out how to be married to each other and how to build a life together. Were they willing to change their life in order to find happiness together? Love and Lavender was just as good as I had hoped! The characters were awesome and relatable. I was cheering them on as they learned to work out their relationship. I would totally recommend it! Love and Lavender is a clean marriage of convenience, historical romance. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required. I posted on Barnes and Nobles and Goodreads on 05/23/2021. I couldn't find it own Bookbub. I will post on Amazon and blog closer to release date
This is book 4 in the Mayfield Family Regency Proper Romance series and the first one I have read. I had no problem following along with the characters or keeping up with the storyline, despite not reading the first books published in this series. This regency was different than your typical romance. This has a depth of heart, emotion and featured characters looking beyond what is on the surface. Hazel is very smart and perceptive. Her character is a wonderful compliment to Duncan who is affected by what we would now define as autism. Hazel is very patient with Duncan and Duncan’s character learns to grow and accept Hazel as well. Hazel has her own infirmities and I love seeing the two of them come together and accept each other as they are and grow on that to become more than what they think they are. I thought this was a very sweet romance and for anyone looking for more substance than fluff. Thanks to the author and NetGalley for the copy. All thoughts in this review are my own.
It took reading a couple of chapters for me to connect with this story; but once I did, I loved it! This is not your typical “romance”. Duncan and Hazel are not your typical hero and heroine! They each have personal challenges that leave them with insecurities in many areas of their lives. Hazel aptly describes their challenges as “my broken body and his broken brain.” Facing an uncertain future, can a marriage of convenience be the solution to their insecurities? This well-crafted story combines humor and angst. The characters are well-developed and endearing. The intellectual discussions and number riddles that Hazel and Duncan share are delightful. Ms. Kilpack’s expressive prose enables you to feel the emotions of the relationship. Their “differences” are handled with sensitivity. Love and Lavender is Book 4 of the Mayfield Family but works well as a standalone. I highly recommend this poignant, heartwarming Regency romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Shadow Mountain Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Phenomenal. This book was phenomenal. The very best in the series. The story revolves around two characters (extremely) rarely represented in historical fiction, much less historical romance: one with a clubbed foot and one with autism. And it was SO well done. I've always loved the Mayfield family plot line. Add to that a cast of interesting characters, complicated human relationships, relatable tension, personal growth, and changing dreams. It's a recipe for perfection. I loved it so much that I immediately started reading it again after I finished because it was just wonderful and nothing else would do. Can't recommend enough.
This book is about two people with disabilities--Hazel has a clubbed foot and Duncan is on the autism spectrum--learning to live together and falling in love. For the most part, I enjoyed this book. I will admit that I found Hazel frustrating, which really dampened my overall enjoyment. Her attitude towards certain things (like her brother, her marriage, and her dislike of religion) bothered me. I know her life experiences led to this outlook, but it still frustrated me. I did really admire her determination to make a difference in young girls' lives through education, and she did show extreme resilience in overcoming the many obstacles life threw her way. And she was a great complement to Duncan, for the most part, even though I thought she got annoyed/irritated with him a tad too many times for my liking. Duncan was an absolute treasure--the best part of the novel. Everything that came out of his mouth made me smile. He was so straightforward, analytical, and blunt. It cracked me up and endeared himself to me at the same time. Maybe that's why I am being a bit unfair to Hazel. I loved Duncan so much and got so defensive on his behalf that I basically wanted Hazel to be a saint, not the girl who was planning on leaving him for most of the novel. Plus, her actions near the end of the book made me angry. Basically, if I were a character from this book, I would be Dolores. That's not fair of me, but that's how I feel 🤷♀️ The ending was great, though. I still recommend this story. I seem to be the only one so far that struggled with Hazel's character, so feel free to completely ignore what I just said. I am definitely the odd one out here. I really wanted to love this book, but I just didn't. But Duncan is the sweetest person ever and I love him. You should read this book just for him.
A beautiful love story of a marriage of convenience turning into a everlasting love. I loved the characters and their back story I definitely recommend if you are into historical romance and love great storytelling what a beautiful heart felt love story..
"Love and Lavender" was a very nice book, and I especially liked that it featured a neuroatypical individual (the hero, Duncan, is autistic, although there was no such diagnosis at the time) and a physically disabled protagonist (the heroine, Hazel, has a clubbed foot), because this kind of character is too rarely shown in historical fictions, and this allows us to acquire a different view of history once we shine light on the people who may have stayed on the sidelines at the time. "Love and Lavender" is the fourth book of the Mayfair series (after "Promises and Primroses", "Daisies and Devotion, and "Rakes and Roses" - and may I say, I absolutely love the titles of this series!!). It follows Hazel, a young, independent women working at a girls' school, and Duncan, a businessman. Both characters need money to achieve their dreams and solve their problems. A family relation has the solution to their problems, but they must marry to obtain the money. A marriage of convenience it will be then, but the contract stipulates that they must live together for a year. However, for Hazel, marrying means leaving the school she has just bought thanks to her marriage, and only return to it a year later. Unfortunately she becomes a little obsessed with her school and forgets to see what she has in front of her, while Duncan, because of his unusual understanding of the world, does not really get Hazel's point of view, which leads to misunderstandings and heartache for both. Although the story was really sweet, it didn't feel like the characters really, deeply fell in love, it seems that they just both liked each other very much and enjoyed living under the same roof. Overall, I find the story a little flat and not very exciting. But I did enjoy it nevertheless, and Duncan even sometimes made me laugh. I also appreciated the originality of the story. 3.5 stars *I received an ARC and this is my honest opinion*
'Love and Lavender' by Josi S. Kilpack really made me think. It was heart wrenching to consider the fate of characters with 'special needs' in another time and place. The harshness of Hazel and Duncan's childhoods was hard to formulate and left me with intense compassion for those who are different, in any generation. It wasn't an easy read because of the emotion it evoked, but I highly recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
I really enjoyed LOVE AND LAVENDER by JOSI S KILPACK . It is a well written historical romance about two damaged people who find love in the most unusual way. Although sad in parts, there is underlying humour. The gentle and fragrant lavender plant plays a part in the story. Hazel Stillman and Duncan Penhale have both endured extremely hard childhoods as their families could not deal with the fact that they were different. Hazel, with her club foot, was sent to boarding school when she was six years old and has very few childhood memories. Duncan was taken in by Catherine, his father's mistress, after his mother left him because she could not handle him. When Uncle Elliot comes back from India he comes up with a plan to help his nieces and nephews, as well as his sister Catherine's adopted son. Both Hazel and Duncan are brilliantly clever and have received a good education due to Uncle Elliot's generosity. I like to see the development of the various characters and their interactions with one another. I highly recommend Love and Lavender as a thought provoking and really good read. I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Shadow Mountain. The opinions in this review are completely my own.
Love and Lavender captured my interest in the opening pages and held it all the way through. Meeting and getting to know Hazel and Duncan was such fun. This a sweet romance worth reading.
“Hazel.” Hazel stared at the desk for two seconds before lifting her head and meeting Sophie’s eyes. “Choose happiness.” Hazel and Duncan both recieved similar propositions from their uncle; once they marry, they'll recieve their inheritance. But Hazel's deformed foot hindered any chances at a proposal that might have once come her way. And Duncan's autism makes him socially awkward and feeling the odd one out in most interactions. Somehow, the two social misfits hit it off during their first meeting and as they begin writing to eachother, they find they have much in common. It doesn't take long to realize that they are the best solution to eachother's matrimonial problems. A marriage of convenience and in name only, would allow them access to their inheritance and then they could go back to living as they had. Their uncle is appalled. The purpose of the stipulation was so that they find the love he enjoys in his own marriage. He allows the match, but only if they spend a year together, before they go their separate ways. I loved Hazel and Duncan's relationship. They were so perfectly awkward together and yet shared a certain familiarity and understanding with one another that the other people around them, couldn't relate to. Because of his autism, Duncan had difficulty reading between the lines or understanding social nuances we usually take for granted. Each conversation had to be frank and to the point. This forced them also to be less delicate about what would have usually been more intimate topics. I didn't find that this compromised the clean rating or made me too uncomfortable. Sometimes it did feel like I was missing a bit of backstory on some characters, probably because I haven't read the rest of the series. But in general it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. You won't find a more adorable or awkward couple and you'll love them for it. You'll love their intellectual conversations, Duncan's "experiments," their inability to express themselves while simultaneously having to be completely blunt and at times tactless to get their point across. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 stars for the quirkiest couple I have read all year😂 (Josi S Kilpack, you could have given us that 'under the mistletoe' kiss though. Don't be stingy😉🤭)
Josi Kilpack has done it again! This was a delightful addition to the Mayfield Family Series. I adored the characters. The plot was well-paced and captivating to the very end. I highly recommend this lovely and quick read.
A wonderful story with great disability representation, cleverly interwoven into the plot and showing in the characters’ actions, behavior and lives. Duncan and Hazel, the protagonists of “Love and Lavender”, by Josi S. Kilpack (Shadow Mountain Publishing), are such great characters. The insight into their issues reveals an exhaustive historical and clinical research. Kudos for that! Watching Duncan was delightful, sometimes poignant and a bit tiring, but always authentic. I loved how Josi S. Kilpack explored so many facets and dimensions of his condition, really showing it through his personality. The awkwardness, directness and sincerity are charming. The bond with Elizabeth, the cat, was so cute. The quirks, the need for order, symmetry and routine, the difficulty in social interactions and reading social clues – are all fantastically written. The love story was sweet and endearing. Hazel and Duncan are generous, goodhearted people and I loved the kindness between them and how they grew together and learned with each other. And also the fact they sort of had given up and nonetheless find love and their HEA.
I enjoyed this story and the representation of physical and mental disabilities, their strengths and weaknesses. I admit it took me some time to get into with such atypical romance characteristics, but I found it very touching and likely realistic.
4.5 stars Interesting story. Hazel has had to be independant in part because of the treatment by her twin and family and in part because of her disability. Duncan appears to be autistic and finds it difficult to relate to other people. At one point they both have factors endangering their income so they take up Hazel's uncle offer of a marraige to finance their interests. Not so much religious sentiment in this book which I appreciated and it's a clean read (I'd prefer more passion).. It's very well writen describing Duncan's viewpoint and Hazel's frustrations with her physical problems. We get her postives and negatives. It's not common to get a person's jealousies and angst but these are handled well. Great explanation of Duncan's back story. I recommend this work. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I was so excited to read this book, but something about it rubbed me the wrong way. The two main characters have flaws that society can't seem to get past, but the only way for them to receive their inheritance is to marry, so they decide to marry one another. This loophole works for a while, but Hazel's complacency and Duncan's social inabilities get in the way. I will say this, the writing was exquisite and the story was interesting enough. The reason I had a hard time with this book was the characters. Hazel was very stand-off-ish and didn't want to have anything to do with anyone really. All she wanted to do was run her school, which in itself is a magical and strong thing for a women of that era, but made her seem selfish. Duncan on the other hand had obvious social flaws to the point that I would call him autistic. As a mother of three autistic children and having several autistic traits myself, it was really hard to read through his monologues and seemed very distant and unrelatable, although not every autistic person is the same. As most of the reviews on Goodreads are raving review, as they should be, I couldn't find the joy in this one as I wished I would have. This is a personal choice with no reflection on the authors ability which happens from time to time. I would still encourage you to read this book as it was a sweet story of love that comes from the most unexpected places. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Date reviewed/posted: June 2, 2021 Publication date: September 7, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. Plus it is hot as all heck and nothing is more appealing than sitting in front of a fan with a kindle.! I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. 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 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 rumours 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 runs 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? This is a lovely romance novel for fans of the series and bodice rippers in general. I liked that it wasn't dirty and that the characters were quirky and not your average damsels in distress. I will recommend this book to friends, family, patrons, book clubs, and people reading books in the park as we do … I have had some of my best conversations about books down by the Thames! As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🌸🌸🌸🌸
What a beautiful story. I love the depth of each character. Duncan pulls on my heart strings. As awkward as he may seem, it gives us a little look into the mind of autism. The relationship that builds between Duncan and Hazel warms the heart and I had a hard time putting this down!!!!
Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack, 320 pages. Shadow Mountain Publishing, 2021. $16. Language: G (0 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG BUYING ADVISORY: HS - ADVISABLE AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE Hazel wants to continue teaching young girls mathematics, and Duncan wants to enjoy his clerk work again without his incompetent coworker. With their current contentment threatened, Hazel and Duncan agree to marry for convenience to receive their inheritances and secure their individual futures. Futures that must wait to begin because the man granting their inheritances requires that they live as man and wife for a year first. Communication is key to relationships, and I love how Kilpack highlights this principle. With Duncan’s need for transparency, Hazel has to become comfortable with feeling vulnerable and saying what she means. Clear communication is also addressed by Hazel’s brother, Harry, when he expresses a desire to change their relationship to an uplifting and supportive one instead of the sarcastic one they have used to cut each other down. Finally, Hazel must also learn how to interpret her emotions, or the communication between her mind and her heart. There are several references to the previous three books in the series, but this one stands well alone. The mature content rating is for discussions of sex. Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen
This is the second book that features a Neuro-diverse main character in as many months and I’m absolutely here for all of them! The hero in this story reminded me a bit of a historical Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Very atypical in a romance novel. This is not an alpha male hero or a sweet hero who says all the right things. You probably won’t swoon over him or collect him as a book boyfriend. And yet the notes of the romance are just right. The heroine for him is just right. And the overall love story is just as beautiful, maybe even more so, for the story itself but also all the book is doing beyond just the telling of the story.
Hazel was born with a club foot and shunned by polite society. Duncan had his own issues, what we today would probably be called being on the spectrum. They had both been abandoned and had to do so much by themselves to survive. I love the story of these two. They have to overcome so many obstacles, mental and physical. They have to learn to love and forgive and move forward. They have to learn what happens means. The characters were well developed. Their backstories are well explained and you can feel their pain. The changes they make feel real and you root for them. Another home run for Josi S. Kilpack!
Another excellent book from Kilpack in this series with a very surprising approach to the main characters and their love story. While the author never spells out what Duncan deals with (other than mentioning it in her notes at the end of the book briefly), it was very obvious to me and I was intrigued how Kilpack would take his issue and weave it into a love story. Hazel is dealing with her own challenges and to accept Duncan's is both natural to her because of her personal issues but also a challenge as well, as she learns to help him, support him, and eventually fall in love with him. This was the most surprising book for me in this series and so unexpected. I was unprepared to be so drawn into Hazel and Duncan's story and to be cheering for them to get along and to learn how to work through their personal issues with a partner, something neither one of them had been used to before, especially in a historical novel set in (Regency?) England. So well done and so engaging. Such a simple message by the end of the book too (without saying more but using the quote from the book of "Choose happiness"). Kilpack takes what was definitely taboo in that time period (late 1800s?) and what is even still taboo to many today and just makes magic with the characters and their interactions with one another and creates such an engaging cast of characters, setting, and scenarios that you can't help but be drawn into their lives and how real their pain, heartache, and everyday life is and how much you want them to succeed. I am a bit disappointed that, from things mentioned in this story that it sounds like now all the Mayfield cousins have finally found love, so I would guess this book to be the last in this series, one I have enjoyed so much with the fun premise of Uncle Elliott trying to help his nieces and nephews find love and happiness. As this book is the 4th in a series, there is some mention of details from the outcomes of the other three books, not in major detail, but enough that (me personally) it is probably best to read them all in order. If this is truly the end of the series, then Kilpack really saved the best for last. Bravo!!!
#loveandlavender #netgalley This was a sweet romance with a twist. One of the main characters I believe has a form of autism. It was really cool to see how their romance developed and how they made it work with their many differences. Loved it!
Thank you net galley for the advance reader copy of this novel. I love this author and series and was thrilled to get an advance copy of the next book about the Mayfield family. I loved this story about Hazel and her journey of self to overcome her club foot and learn to love an autistic man Duncan. Both main characters were so real and the dialogue at times was laugh out loud funny. I can't wait for the next Mayfield book and will highly recommend this clean recency romance!!!!
“Love and Lavender” is a first time read by Josi S. Kilpack, a new author to this reader. The was just a well-written and wonderful story to read. Miss Hazel Stillman has a career in education where she teaches mathematics and is content that she would never marry having a physical impairment with her foot. She loves her freedom and is respected as an educator. Her uncle has provided her with the best education but now offers her a large dowry in hopes that she will one day marry. Her uncle also offers her cousin, Duncan Penhale a gifted and odd individual a similar type of inheritance as he has been a ward raised by another aunt to Hazel. Duncan also has no notion for the idea of marriage as he likes his solitude and beloved cat. Both Hazel and Duncan must marry in order to receive the inheritance that their uncle offers. After writing each other for one year, they become friends through correspondence and their love for numbers. It is not until Hazel hears rumors of the school being sold, she knows she must consider all options in order the have the school continue and retain her freedom. For Duncan, he sees a chance to purchase the building in which he works and run his own firm. It is Duncan that comes up with a solution of a marriage of convenience, however they must live together for one year as man and wife in order to secure their uncle’s generosity. I loved both characters and their thought process of things that would make the lives work for them. Hazel has quite a bit of insecurities to overcome and let along dealing with Duncan and his daily routines. What starts out as unordinary, turns into an ordinary growing affection, respect, and love between both characters. This was just a sweet and heartwarming story that I very much enjoyed. Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for this ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review. All opinions in this review are my own.
This book is the 4th in the series and it's my favorite. I absolutely enjoyed the back story and build up of the romance between Hazel and Duncan. Both characters have led difficult lives and have little hope of change till their uncle makes them aware of a marriage settlement to be given to each of them upon finding and marrying a suitable partner. The couple write each other just as friends for over a year and come up with the idea of a marriage of convenience. I enjoyed the story of their growth as a couple. This can be read as a stand alone book. *I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley and voluntarily chose to review it.
What a lovely romance! The historical details, the depth of the authentic characters, and the realistic dialogue all contribute to an immersive story. This is not a lighthearted tale about balls and flirtations, as is typical in the genre. The protagonists are flawed humans, as we all are, and their feelings are relatable. The plot is unusual, but in an intriguing way that kept me reading far past my bedtime. Although this is the fourth book in the Mayfield Family series, I have only read one other and found this to easily be a standalone story; however, it was delightful to get glimpses of the characters from the third book. Love and Lavender is a beautiful and inspirational story about loving people just as they are.
Josi S. Kilpack tried to do something new in the world of Proper Romance- she wrote this book about a man who (we are led to assume) falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. The leading woman had a club foot which, in the time period, made her a social pariah. Her parents shipped her off to boarding school at a young age and now she teaches advanced math courses at one. Their uncle (or pseudo uncle) basically offers them a reward for marrying, and the two decide that, after a year or so of writing to each other, they should get married in name only. This would allow them to reap the reward for following their uncles directives and would have the financial ability to live their independent lives as they wish. The premise is interesting and I liked Kilpack's ideas. However, I had a really hard time getting into the book. It felt slow to me, and it was hard for me to root for the two characters together, especially at first, as I wasn't sure that the relationship would be a healthy one. But overall, the characters grew, and it was a good read. I'd recommend it to someone looking for a romance book that features characters outside of the typical romance genre, but for an end-of-the-day, relaxing read, I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
I really enjoyed this story of two “broken” people learning that being “broken” is only a matter of perspective. Duncan thinks differently than most people, which had caused him to be less social than others, but something about Hazel “heals” him and takes away most of the unpleasantness. Hazel has felt broken since birth, but her clubbed foot is to blame for her social awkwardness. She was blessed to attend school and then become an advanced math antics teacher. She never dreamed about marriage and family. That is, until Uncle Elliott made his stipulations on her inheritance known. Both Duncan and Hazel want to keep their lives as normal as possible. But to receive their inheritance, both of their lives are going to turn upside down. Will they be able to last a year as man and wife? I appreciate the notes on the back of the book. Knowing that Duncan is autistic from the beginning helps me understand him more. Thank you to Net Galley for the advanced copy of Love and Lavender. All thoughts are my own.
I have really enjoyed the Mayfield Family series, and wish they would come out sooner, but Love and Lavender was worth the wait. Hazel Stillman has a club foot, and is certainly not defined by this disability. She is bright, independent, and she teaches at a private girl's school. Duncan Penhale is on the spectrum, he loves order and predictability and struggles in social situations. Josie takes these two individuals and binds them together with the promise of Uncle Elliott's generous marriage dowry. The catch is that they must live together for a whole year. What a poignant novel! This is a deep and meaningful relationship -- not a marshmallow relationship. It is a tale of two imperfect people, (aren't we all?) that would have had a hard time fitting into the mold in Regency England. You grew to care for them and root for their success in love, and you hoped that they would be able to find love and happiness. You weren't sure that they would --- and that made me cry.. Making one cry is a hallmark of a good book. Josie is a beautiful writer who crafts unique characters and engaging dialogue. I wanted, in the worst way, for things to work out for them. I adore Josi Kilpack's Mayfield series, and this is one of my favorite in the series.
It was a very cute story, read in one sitting. It took me a while to get into it, I generally don't enjoy books where there are communications in letters. But after they got married, I really got into it and lover the interactions between the characters, and the slow love that grew between them. It was all done very carefully and sweet. Recommend to anyone that like a cute slow-burnt romance
This is a truly unique and moving story. I recently watched a movie about a woman with an amputated lower leg who accomplished incredible things during the war. So naturally, when I read this synopsis about a woman with a clubbed foot, I was intrigued. Not only would her view on life be much different than most peoples, but aside from a limp, her condition would not have been seen by the outward eye, due to the fashions of that time. And those that learned of it could either show their humanity in still loving her as the person she is or show their true colours in not seeing past outward appearances. Before I even picked this book up, I wanted to know what kind of woman she was. Is she hardened, or optimistic towards life? What are her struggles? Does she have people who support her? And most importantly, what kind of man is she about to meet? The intellect of both Duncan and Hazel astounded me. They both have brilliant mathematical minds. Over the course of a year and a half they share letters with such intriguing conversation and mathematical puzzles that flew over my head but I’m sure my husband would love, as he enjoys numbers and understands them! Duncan is a character, he is odd in his conversational manner, very blunt and to the point, and needs precision in details. So much so that I thought at first he had severe OCD, which I later learned was closer to autism. No doubt that is what makes him an exceptional mathematician. But because he a little bit odd and treated as such by most, it gives him a humility that many men of that time did not posses. If he is given simple facts, he accepts the outcome despite prejudices and biases. If you read the synopsis, Hazel and Duncan both have an opportunity to inherit either money or property, which for both of them would be the biggest difference in their own circumstances. The only catch- they must marry someone of genteel birth to get their inheritance. With both Hazel and Duncan having unique character traits and limitations, their marriage options were not many. But what if they married eachother? I had thought the largest of struggles in marrying may have been due to Hazels deformity, but Duncan’s autism really comes to the surface when things don’t go his way. It was startling and I probably would have run for the hills had I seen a man act the way he does when upset. Which just shows how much better of a person Hazel is than I. It is much easier to look past an outward appearance and see the person underneath and come to love them than it is to handle a difficult personality in a relationship. My brain has been waving all the red flags at this relationship as I see Duncan’s behaviour. I know that it is in part a condition, and now such a thing is treatable and easier to get help for. But back in the early 1800’s? That would have been scary for both parties to deal with. Yet Hazel has a way with Duncan that makes them compatible. The year of their marriage is spent getting to know one another and it became this beautiful relationship that blossomed before my eyes. I have truly never read such a unique relationship and been so moved by it. It brought tears to my eyes seeing the sincere love develop between the two. This story has been such an honour to read. It brings to light struggles that are not as common for many of us. But it can give us an appreciation for what they go through and for many how they stay positive and keep living their fullest life in light of limitations. It is something for all of us to try to emulate. Thank you NetGalley. Shadow Mountain Publishing and the author, Josi. S. Kilpack. for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Content: clean Romance: a few chaste kisses Violence: A few punches are thrown. Hazel has problems with her clubbed foot that cause her a great deal of pain. Language: none.
I really enjoyed Hazel and Duncan. I think they each had great character development and history and that they worked well together. My only problem was with Hazel’s rather swift realization that she was in love and what followed. It felt out of character for the two people we had spent an entire book getting to know and then leaving it for the last page or two. I feel like the ending could have been much more fleshed out. I was provided with an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I throughly enjoyed this story and it is a perfect addition to the Mayfield series. Hazel Stillman has limited opportunities. She loves her job as a school teacher, however, she has no prospects for marriage. Born with a club foot, Hazel has accepted her status and has put her efforts into furthering her education and pushing for the further education of all women, especially in mathematics. With Uncle Mayfield's offer, she could purchase her beloved school. Duncan Penhale is a strange man. While he is brilliant and excels in his work, he is rigid and has difficulty interacting with others. He has no expectations of marriage because of his strange behaviors. When the brother of her guardian, Uncle Mayfield, offers an inheritance, Duncan sees only freedom. But when Uncle Mayfield steps in with his marriage inheritance for each of them, hoping they will find love and a better live, Duncan finds he can solve both of their problems. A "marriage" to each other will allow them to inherit and allow each of them to find the freedom they crave. But a marriage in name only is not what Uncle has in mind. I throughly enjoyed watching Hazel and Duncan find themselves, and in the process, love.
I enjoyed this book for many reasons! It was a very light, yet very heartfelt. I really empathized with both MCs— especially with Hazel. I loved how the author really encompasses the emotion and struggles of both autism and physical deformities. This was the first book I’ve read (and I’ve read many) that included both struggles and I enjoyed it a lot. I also appreciated how the author didn’t emphasize religion on Hazel— I don’t think it would have ended as gracefully if it did. Overall I really enjoyed this book and would definitely read the rest of the series!
This dual point of view was a fascinating look inside the heads of a brilliant autistic man who is extremely literal in his words and interpretations, and a woman who has struggled with being seen and accepted for who she is, with all her limitations and her own level of brilliance. Josi Kilpack's next entry in the Mayfield Family series is unique and memorable. I appreciated her tactful treatment of mental and physical disabilities and her emphasis on the abilities that are sometimes overlooked. This is a sweet romance with strong characters that I very much enjoyed! I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are completely my own.
Well! I am in tears. This was a beautiful story. I loved the latest installment of this series. I fell in love with the life and love that was created between Hazel and Duncan. I think Josi is a marvelous writer and will always be a big fan! And this is my favorite title ever!
This was such a unique love story! Duncan and Hazel had certain limitations that made them think that falling in love wouldn't be part of their future. When Hazel's uncle gives her the news that he will give her an inheritance once she marries, she never expects to take him up on it, nor how it will change everything. I loved Duncan's character- his honesty and awkward affection. I thought the author wrote his character so well! If you enjoy regency romance, I would highly recommend you adding this one to your TBR!
This book is emotional, heart-warming, heart-wrenching, moving, and so much more. Whenever I picked up "Love and Lavender", I was whisked back in time to the Regency Era, and went on such an emotional journey with this story. This is the fourth book in Josi S. Kilpack's "Mayfield Family Series", and it is truly amazing. Ms. Kilpack's writing is very visceral, vivid, and she brings each element on her story to life in a very special way. I truly feel like I have left my couch and am right there with all of the characters from the first page to the last. The way her characters grow is absolutely beautiful too. Hazel is a young teacher who happens to have been born with a clubbed foot. Because of this, devastatingly, she is often seen as an outcast in society, and has had to really make her own way in many aspects of her life. She wants love, but does not believe that she will find it because of how much of society views her. Duncan is a brilliant young man, who, today, we would maybe consider Neurodivergent. He views and reacts to various aspects of his life differently from many others, and is often, heartbreakingly, looked down upon by society because of it. Duncan does not think he will find a love match, as he does not feel anyone could ever fully understand him. (Possible Spoilers!) What starts out as a marriage-of-convenience story in order to gain an inheritance after one year of marriage shifts into something much deeper. As Hazel and Duncan begin to truly get to know one another better, they come to care and respect each other. They grow together and bring out the best in each other, and truly love and understand the others wants, fears, and desires. Both are so much more than society sees them as, and, at a time when some disabilities were so incredibly misunderstood, they are there for each other through the good, bad, and everything in between. They truly are one another's happily-ever-after. If you enjoy historical romance, I highly recommend this book. It kept me turning the page into the early hours of the morning, and I am so looking forward to reading what Ms. Kilpack writes next. Thank you so much to Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC of this book, and to Shadow Mountain Publishing for sending me a physical ARC as well, it is incredible. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
It's not everyday you come across a romance book that features a neurodiverse character, let alone one with a disability. Where other writers in the genre might have shied away from creating characters with such "imperfections", Ms. Kilpack allowed the unique experiences of Hazel and Duncan to enrich her story. What's more, "Love and Lavender" isn't just a novel about a couple overcoming adversity and discrimination. Kilpack's skillful writing allows for moments of levity, and I found myself genuinely laughing out loud at certain sections of the book. I will continue to encourage her efforts to portray underrepresented characters in her books and cannot wait for what she brings us next! Would absolutely recommend the book to any historical romance enthusiasts out there.
Fourth of the series. Books 1&2 were my favorite. The way she handles the hero was nicely done. Never expected to have this kind of character placed in a regency setting. What a novel idea indeed! The honesty of the hero was refreshing because it absolutely held no malice. The heroine was equally interesting because she was understanding. One of the letters was also interesting, the one about men's and women's intelligence. The heroine is having difficulties with her deformity, but I like that she's headstrong. Never expected this to be a marriage of convenience. The arguments she made with their uncle were on point. Amelia was accommodating, and I liked her being part of the story again. The way Hazel was treated by her family was awful. They didn't even give her hope. When Hazel was talking about honesty and trusting few people, it resonated with me. Really appreciate that community adapted to Duncan's uniqueness. Her relationship with her twin was also on the mend. It's good to hear of Harry's change. The part where Hazel had an epiphany was moving. I sympathized with Hazel. Also, I think the portrayal of Duncan was on point because my sister had a student who was similar to Duncan. I give this 4.5/5 stars. Well crafted!!
Goodreads Summer Reading 2021 28Anonymous 5 My Books Browse ▾ Community ▾ Anonymous 5 rated a book it was amazing less than a minute ago Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack (Goodreads Author) Currently Reading This is such a beautifully written, heartfelt, and emotional story about two people with disabilities growing together and finding love. Hazel has a physical disability, club foot, and it is difficult for her to walk. She was sent away when she was young, and she is now a math teacher. Duncan has more of a mental disability. He is extremely sharp, but socially a bit awkward. Both have no inclination to marry, but when Uncle Elliot presents them each with an opportunity to claim an inheritance if they marry, and this inheritance would ease their burdens, they begin to consider the possibility. Maybe a marriage of convenience is the solution to their problems. They could marry, collect the inheritance and part as friends. Of course it's not that easy, because one of the stipulations is that they must live together for a year before receiving the inheritance. My heart just melted as these two stuck it out and their relationship grew into something more than friendship. These two were absolutely perfect for each other and Ms. Kilpack did a brilliant job of creating their story and bringing these two characters and their journey to life. Ms. Kilpack writes such unique love stories, and this one was just amazing. I can't wait to read her next book! I received a complimentary advanced reader's copy from Netgalley and Shadow Mountain and am voluntarily leaving my review.
Love and Lavender beautifully brings together a quirky gentleman and a physically disabled lady. Uncle Elliott seems to know what he is doing when he requires Hazel and Duncan to live together for a year to receive their promised funds. For a while the reader is not sure they are going to make it. Hazel has her foot with which to contend, as well as, the betrayal of her family sending her off when she was young embarrassed by her ‘deformity.’ Similarly, Duncan does not appear to have true family support with his quirkiness of being on the autism spectrum. Yet, they form a friendship and even fall in love. Just, neither knew they were in love. It begins to look like they will not make it for a full year together. Duncan was raised by his father’s mistress, Catherine, after his father died. Being a retired educator, I found the love Catherine had for Duncan easy to see as portrayed by the writer. Numerous couples, or even a single person, adopt and raise a child/children who need a good parent/s. Although fiction, Duncan was fortunate to have a ‘Catherine’ in his life. Eventually, Delores joined his ‘family’ of supporters. Even the parish where he attended church loved and protected him. Hazel, also, became one of his devotees over the year. Hazel is sister to Harry from Rakes and Roses. It is not necessary to read in sequence as this is a standalone, but it did help me to ‘know’ Harry’s story and what he went through to become the man who wants to see Hazel again. You will love this unique romance with two adorable characters. Hazel takes a while to see love and independence are not exclusive. Duncan is so real in his ‘experiments’ with touch. I loved this romance and the Mayfield Family series. Looking forward to more.
This is a book that will stay with me. The characters are unique and imperfectly perfect. Hazel was born with a club foot. Because of this deformity she was overlooked and pushed aside, even by most of her family. She was sent to school early and while there was able to learn and acquire all she needed to know to teach advanced mathematics. Duncan was born with Autism and was abandoned by his mother at a young age. Hazel's aunt took care of him until she passed away. When Duncan and Hazel meet at Lord Howardsford's house, Hazel's real uncle and Duncan's assumed uncle, an interesting conversation takes place. It is the start of an interesting relationship. I fell in love with each character. Main and side characters. This is so well written and researched. I absolutely loved reading it. I would highly recommend this book. It is not your average sweet historical romance.
From the publisher: 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. 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? 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. 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 Mayfield stipulates that they must live together for one year before receiving their inheritances, Hazel and Duncan reluctantly agree. At the end of the full year, will they go their separate ways or could an unlikely marriage have found unsuspecting love? Josi S. Kilpack excels at writing about people who don’t often appear in historical fiction. In A Heart Revealed, she wrote about a vain woman coping with total hair loss. In this book, our heroine has a club foot and our hero has autism. (Imagine Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory in 1822 England and you have a pretty good understanding already of Duncan Penhale.) Both Hazel and Duncan are prickly and at times annoying but the author presents them very sympathetically. This is book 4 in a series about a middle-aged man offering inheritances to various young people in his life if they marry. However, you definitely do not need to read the first three books to enjoy this one. They are more or less standalone stories. If you do want to start with book 1, it’s Promises and Primroses. This is a very slow moving story. Hazel and Duncan are friends before they marry, but it takes a long time for that relationship to move beyond friendship. These two characters live together and go about their normal daily lives. Hazel has medical issues from her foot; Duncan struggles with people being put off by his ways and his dislike of being touched unexpectedly. If you like action, there’s not much here – few romantic interactions between the main characters, and no highwaymen or thieving street urchins. It’s probably unrealistic that life would have gone so well for this pair in 1822, but it’s nice to think so. I read an advance reader copy of Love and Lavender from Netgalley. It is scheduled to be published in November 2021 and the Galesburg Public Library will own it. In the meantime, we own 10 other titles by Josi S. Kilpack if you’d like to read one of her other titles.
I have read one or two of the other books in this series and have enjoyed them and was excited to read that story. I received a free ARC from netgalley in exchange for a honest review. I rank this at 4.5 stars. I love the unique characters of Hazel and Duncan. They both seemed to be well written and I loved seeing the character development. I especially liked that they were both able to dream big and reach those dreams despite their limitations. This was such a sweet love story. It just shows there is a love match out there for everyone. The only thing I did not love was Hazel's decision to keep Abigail's secret from Duncan. He deserves to know whether it is complex or not in my opinion. #loveandlavender #netgalley
Hazel was born with a clubbed foot, Duncan has a brilliant mathematical mind, but not many social skills, They are both offered their dreams if they find someone to marry. They decide to marry each other in appearance only, for a year, to acquire their dreams. When they can finally have what they have dreamed of, is it still what they want? I loved this story, we are all a little broken, and it is great that despite being broken we can sometimes find someone that loves us. I am grateful to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book and hope to read more from this author.
I’ve really enjoyed this series. This book in particular, though, was different than any other I’ve read. The main characters, Duncan and Hazel, both had mental or physical limitations that made their interactions different. Duncan, is straight forward, honest, and socially a bit off. I assume that nowadays he would have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. His character wasn’t swoon worthy but he was likable. He definitely grows on you. Hazel, however, has felt like an outcast by her family because she was born with a deformed foot. Both Duncan and Hazel had unconventional and hard upbringings but meshing their worlds together somehow made it work. The story was interesting and unique. It’s a friends to marriage of convenience to something more type story. I enjoyed seeing them both grow and learn and I was happy with the ending. I look forward to continue reading about the next Mayfield family members.
This book was amazing! I adored the storyline, with two people trying to find happiness and stability in life, which leads them to helping one another. Even better, each main character lives with a disability challenge (clubfoot for one, autism for the other). It was a beautiful story of getting to the heart of what really matters, giving space for each other to grow and be your own person, and ultimately, finding your own happily ever after. I can't wait to share the story with other friends when it releases! For those who are not aware, this is part of a larger series of books around the Mayfield family. However, this title can be read as a stand alone as well.
I have to say, this book was a surprise. I will admit that I struggled to get into the romance BUT at the same time, I was so impressed at how the author portrayed both characters, Duncan especially. There were some incredibly sweet moments and I enjoyed the story overall.
I love Kilpack’s work and this series with Uncle Elliot coming up with inheritances encouraging each family member to marry for love. These books can be read out of order but I think reading in order is best as past book characters are mentioned (but you won’t be lost if you hadn’t read it). ➕ This book is about Hazel (we met her brother Harry in book 3 - that was a doozy! He had found himself in quite a pickle). 😵💫 But Hazel has a club foot which definitely hinders her in a society built upon looks. I appreciated that she had a disability and how strong she was, to be in chronic pain. Her growing up years had hardened her heart and she never thought she’d marry for love until Uncle Elliot’s inheritance. ➖ Duncan is an accountant, he likes math and numbers and how it always makes sense. He can’t figure out subtext and nuances in conversations with people. He would be labeled autistic but they didn’t have a term for that. He would’ve been in a home for kids but through many people’s kindnesses and love for him, raised him to deal with his eccentricities. He’s displeased with his coworkers and Uncle Elliot’s inheritance would let him be his own boss. ✖️ They strike up a marriage of convenience to both cash in on their inheritances. They just have to live together a year. ➗ Both of these characters are very complex. At times it made them unlikable. Duncan tries his hardest to make the marriage work but Hazel won’t budge or will manipulate to get what she wants. She understands Duncan and how his mind works to a degree but believes he can’t feel anything. It’s hard to like her a lot. ➕ But I kept reading for Duncan. The romance is slow but sweet. ➖ There were plenty of random facts throughout because they would discuss everything under the sun, and plenty of almost cringey breaks in etiquette (Duncan and his enthusiasm for some things😂) but a unique love story where two unlikely characters come together and build a life. ✖️ This book comes out in November. Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for the arc copy. These are my own thoughts and opinions. 1 like
It isn't easy to find romances (or other books) starring people with disabilities that aren't inspiration porn. I am pleased to report that Josi S. Kilpack has written one. Duncan's ASD (which is clear, even though such a diagnosis didn't exist in the 1820s) doesn't give him superpowers, it doesn't make him "better" or "special," it just is a part of who he is and how he navigates the world. Likewise Hazel's club foot doesn't make her "brave" or "amazing," it simply is a part of who she is - in fact, we could argue that it's less influential than her gender in terms of obstacles to what she wants to do in life, which is teach advanced math to girls. Their differences may bring Hazel and Duncan together initially, given that both would like the marriage inheritance that a mutual relative has offered but that neither feels likely to marry based on how the world treats them. It's in their marriage that I find myself knocking a star off my review. While I understand that this is a romance novel, and therefore marriage and true love are the goal (and frankly the guaranteed happy ending is why a lot of us love the genre!), I can't help thinking that Hazel specifically would have been better off, and maybe happier, with Duncan as a close friend rather than a husband. She finds him difficult to deal with even in the very end of the book, and while she certainly loves him for who he is (<i>for</i> not <i>despite</i>), there's just something off about their interactions that makes me think that his life will be easier, but hers more difficult if they make a go of their marriage. It's work for her, while for him it's comfort. Despite that, I very much enjoyed Kilpack's writing and the human characters she created,. The book was a bit more faith-based than I was expecting, but that's not really a detriment so much as a note. Romance novels need to be written about all people, not just the perfect ones, and that's something that this book excels at, even if I didn't entirely love the characters' relationship.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I adored both of these characters. Hazel is a woman ahead of her time, in intellect and ambition, and loves her job as a teacher, and wants to run her own school. I love how her disability does not hold her back, despite the pain it causes her. Elliot is quite obviously on the spectrum, and has issues relating to others, but feels comfortable with Hazel right away. Hazel knows what it is like to be different and accepts Elliot for who he is, even if she doesn't always understand him. Somehow these two misfits fit together,
You need to read this book! The fourth installment of the Mayfield series is absolutely stunning! Josi S. Kilpack does an incredible job writing two very distinct characters. Hazel has a physical deformity that makes her feel inferior to others and unable to be loved. Duncan is at least a little autistic or maybe some other similar mental deformity. I absolutely loved Duncan! He was brilliantly written and I have never read a story where the hero was like him. It was just wonderfully done! I loved how Hazel and Duncan were able to find love even when they did not start out in love. I think it is important to realize that you don't necessarily have just one soul mate, but many different people that you can learn to love if you both put in the effort. I appreciated the messages in this book and would recommend!
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?
Love and Lavender is the fourth book in the Mayfield Family Series. While it is part of a series it could easily be read as a stand alone. I really enjoyed reading this unique story of love found between two “imperfect “ people. The characters in this book were adorable and well written. Duncan was not your usual swoon worthy hero. He obviously has some type of autism. He was blunt and literal and I found him to be oddly endearing. Hazel, the heroine in this novel was dealing with her own hardships. She had been born with a club foot, but even worse than that had been neglected and ignored by her family because of her disability. I loved the interactions between the characters. They were real and relatable. It was fun watching them learn about and accept each other’s differences. Love and Lavender is a sweet unique romance that I will be highly recommending.
3.5 stars. This book is the 4th in a series. The story is beautifully written. I always enjoy Kilpack's writing. I enjoyed the unique characters she placed in this story--the female main character had a physical disability. I liked how she didn't want to allow that disability to limit her and worked to succeed in her goals despite it. The male main character displayed characteristics associated with autism. He was also well written and it was nice to see inside his head and understand some of his actions. Despite these positives, when I finished the book I was left feeling a little unsatisfied. The story felt a little bland, for lack of a better word. Again, it was well written but lacked a spark that would have kept me more interested.
Yes - read it! Another excellent book in the Mayfair Family series. If you haven't read the series, I would encourage it since they are great books but it's not needed. This is yet another book I read but forgot to post a review about so I read it again. Loved it just as much the second time. Great, wonderful characters that you root for and want the very best in life for them, when life hasn't been fair to them. The storyline was kind of predictable but it was fun to go along for the ride waiting to see what happens along the route. HEA ending making the final piece of the trifecta for a great read! I received an ARC from Netgalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing to prepare my honest review.
Hazel- has a physical disability on her leg, enjoys teaching, her biggest wish is to start her own school. Duncan- is misunderstood, lonely- turns out to be autistic, but there were no such diagnoses in those days. What do they have in common? Uncle Elliott- who offers them both a cash prize- if they get married.Hazel and Duncan- both loners in the family, come up with the idea of getting married together, get money, buy a school, and then go their separate ways. But- Elliott sets an additional condition for them- they must be married for at least a year before they get the money. Will they be able to hold out together? What if they also fall in love in the meantime? What will happen to their plans? __________________ I liked the book precisely because it is different. Here we have two people who are hindered by something - physically and mentally. They are both strong, independent and proud, and they find partners, friends and confidants in each other. I was afraid the book would be pretty sad, so I also put off reading for a while, but it really positively surprised me. But I read it for quite some time, it wasn’t exactly a quick read.
WOW - I forgot how much I love historical fiction!! This was quite possibly one of the cutest books ive ever read. I so admire the 2 main characters, Duncan and Hazel. I think I am obsessed with them now!! Also, I so appreciate that one of our main characters, Duncan, is neuro-divergent and our other main character is a person with a disability - I am highlighting these points because I have not read many books with this representation, ESPECIALLY within historical fiction/romance and I think it is awesome. I don’t want to leave any sort of spoilers but if you don’t want to know anything else then stop reading but I absolutely adore the growth of their relationship. Duncan obviously isn’t our typical kind of love interest - he doesn’t say the right thing at the right time, he doesn’t necessarily know how to “romance” someone, and he has difficulty processing things that are no literal. But despite not being that typical hero, he has a way of making you adore him. Also, can we talk about how FUNNY this book is? I genuinely laughed so much while reading!!! Overall, giving this wonderful book 5/5 stars. I sincerely loved it and I can’t wait for everyone to get to enjoy this <3
Hazel Stillman is incensed at her Uncle Elliot when he presents to her a substantial inheritance but it requires that she marry of which Hazel has no plans to do so. Hazel has a clubfoot and this disfigurement has led her to believe it is better for her to lead a life of education and scholarship. She loves the freedom as a professional, respected woman that she has come to be known as. Duncan Penhale is a man of order and process who possesses a brilliant mind. He also doesn’t expect to marry but enjoys his solitary life. He was looked upon as an odd man because of this. Elliot Mayfield also presents Duncan with an inheritance, but with the caveat that he must marry to claim this endowment. Both Hazel and Duncan didn’t expect to have love in their lives as normal people would, but unexpectedly, each one fell in love with the other. They agree to a year of marriage in name only, and slowly they start to see how they fit into each other's lives, and it’s unexpected. I think Love and Lavender is my favorite of the Mayfield series. Hazel and Duncan were so different yet they had so many similarities that they didn’t see at first. I really liked Hazel. She was strong yet she learned to be vulnerable with Duncan, something she hadn’t even done with her brother, Harry. Duncan may be odd to others around him, but he knew how to love Hazel in the way that she truly needed. What made others look the other way would cause Duncan to take a huge interest. He didn’t fit in the crowd but he wasn’t made to fit, and neither was Hazel and that made them perfect for each other! I really enjoyed this. My gratitude to Shadow Mountain and Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book. I have read, and enjoyed, several other books by this author and this book was as good as the others I read.
I very much enjoyed this book. I thought at the very beginning I was not going to like it till I got a little deeper in the story. I loved how the author gave such great insight into how people on the Autism spectrum operate. I enjoyed learning something a little more deep from a regency novel. Both characters had disabilities and still found ways to be productive members of society in their own ways. The whole book was so well done. It was a little more realistic and believable than most romance stories. There was also humor peppered throughout and most importantly there was a happy ending!! I have read the other books in the series, but I think if you picked this one up first you wouldn’t have a problem understanding and enjoying this book as a stand alone.
This was such an inspiring story. It did not have a lot of drama or angst or sex. It was a very nice read about two people who do not meet society's expectations, yet try to solve their independent problems as partners. The heroine, Hazel, is a 28 year old teacher of advanced math in an all girls boarding school. She was never raised to expect marriage or be acknowledged in society by her family because she was born with a clubbed foot. She has a distant cousin, the step son of her aunt, who is what would be called in today's terms, "on the spectrum". The hero, Duncan, is exceedingly smart and works as an accounting clerk. Their mutual uncle both offers them a marriage inheritance, but they have to be married. After meeting during breakfast on a visit to the uncle's home, they begin a written correspondence that lasts almost two years. Duncan is encouraged to approach Hazel about a marriage that will allow them to get their inheritances and their uncle gives them a one year living together stipulation. This story is so touching because it delves into each character and how they have dealt with their infirmity in the past and what they plan to do into the future. This story does not have rich, sensual drama, but a sweet love that transcends physical love. Once the two of them meet, it is like a miracle has occurred. I feel that Hazel has the most to lose, because her standing is determined by her husband. But her husband, even with his isolating problems, has managed to carve a niche for himself in his home town. He is aware that he is not like other men, but he works hard to overcome his handicaps. This is a successful pairing because both have empathy and compassion in their hearts. The way this author was able to depict where they started and where they ended is a magical tour. I recommend reading and give 5 stars all the way!
Love and Lavender is a regency period romance novel. I haven't read a book from this genre and era in quite awhile, so I was happy to be given the chance to read this one from @netgalley. I enjoyed this slightly unusual romance between Hazel, a young woman mathematics teacher, and Duncan, an accountant whom I would consider to be autistic or to have aspergers (although this was not something that would have been diagnosed during this time period). Hazel and Duncan are distant cousins connected by marriage. They are both given a boon when their uncle chooses to bestow a doury upon them if they were to find someone to marry. Hazel and Duncan meet at their uncles house and soon after begin a correspondence that continues for over a year. Of course one wonders if they will fall in love and marry. Don't worry, no spoilers here. This story gives us more than just romance though. We have two characters, both with real impediments that have caused them grief and pain throughout their lives, who teach us that there is more to a person than what the eye beholds. When we take the time to be fully invested in learning to really know someone and to be kind in our interactions with others, we are becoming better ourselves. I really enjoyed the lessons this story tells without actually telling us in so many words. If you enjoy good, clean romances-then this is the book for you.
I enjoyed the opportunity to read the next book in this unique and entertaining series. Hazel is an independent, intelligent woman who has found her own way in the world despite the challenges that she has faced financially and as a physically disabled woman, with a club foot that severely impacts her mobility. Early on she meets Duncan and recognizes his need for accommodation and respects his needs from the start. I appreciated that her experience as a teacher helped her become more inclusive and understanding of his unexpected responses and non traditional manners. Today we'd label Duncan as autistic, but during this time period they did not have the understanding or language that we are familiar with today when it's comes to accommodation and inclusivity. This was a story of growth for both our main characters as they each pursue a marriage of convenience in order to accomplish personal goals and growth. The time they have together enables them to see one another in new and vulnerable moments, helping them to learn about each other's needs and figure out how to pursue their heart's true desire. While the pacing felt a tad slow in portions of the story, I truly appreciated reading about this disabled and neurodivergent couple as they work their way through the trenches of daily life to carve a path for their own, well deserved, happily ever after. Many thanks to netgalley, the author and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Content: abandonment, inheritance, perceptions of others, inclusion
I loved this book! The story had so much heart and I loved the characters. I can’t wait to read what this talented author writes next!
Love and Lavender is a great addition to the Mayfield Series. I really enjoy how the author makes her characters so realistic. Their flaws make them relatable and make for a realistic story. Sure, marriages of convenience aren’t common these days, but making the main characters have disabilities really brought some much to the story. My heart strings were tugged and I loved the love and growth displayed throughout the story. We were really able to see the good traits in both Hazel and Duncan by how they treated each other. I have really enjoyed getting to know the Mayfield family through this series.
Given her station and status in life, Hazel Stillman is blessed with a rare gift — independence. Born with a clubbed foot, she has long accepted the fact that marriage is unlikely. However, she has found her passion and fulfillment working as a teacher in a private girls’ school. So she is less than happy when her uncle Elliot Mayfield sets aside a substantial inheritance with the stipulation that she must marry in order to receive it. Hazel enjoys the freedom teaching gives her and has no desire in changing that for an inheritance. However, when rumors circulate that the school might close, Hazel has no choice but to consider other options. Duncan Penhale is extremely intelligent; but, he knows his mind doesn’t quite work like those around him. He’s found contentment creating a life around order and routine, and surrounding himself by a small group of friends who don’t seem to mind his differences. A wife doesn’t fit the plan, so he doesn’t understand why his guardian would make marrying a woman of social standing a stipulation in order to receive the inheritance he needs to purchase the building that houses the firm where he works. Hazel and Duncan have found the perfect solution to their problem — marry each other, claim their inheritances, and go their separate ways. But when Uncle Mayfield agrees to the marriage with the understanding that they must live together for one year before receiving the money, they discover their plan might not be as simple as they first believed. A marriage-of-convenience set in the Regency era, I jumped at the opportunity to review Josi S. Kilpack’s Love and Lavender. The story contains everything one would expect of both tropes as well as two leads with disabilities — one physical and the other mental — which I found refreshing. Still, despite interesting characters, an intriguing premise, and solid writing, I couldn’t seem to connect with the story. In the beginning, I couldn’t put my finger on why and was at a loss for how I would write a review. Then the realization struck me. I went in expecting a romance. The cover itself says, A Mayfield Family Romance. Yet Hazel feels more like a mother or caregiver to Duncan than a love interest. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Hazel and Duncan’s relationship — as friends, as intellectuals, and fellow pursuers of knowledge and education, but at no point did they click for me as husband and wife. Kilpack never quite conveyed that romantic spark. Nonetheless, Love and Lavender offers a nice read and I would recommend it to readers who like leads who depart from the norm. For romance fans, you can definitely enjoy the story just go into it expecting a meshing of two minds rather than two hearts.
What a delightfully unique story! I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I curled up to read this one, but I should have known that it would be wonderful because it was penned by the lovely Josi Kilpack. She expertly crafts a memorable story featuring two unlikely protagonists. I loved how Hazel and Duncan both had to learn what love truly was and how to show love and communicate with one another. Kilpack twisted the marriage-of-convenience trope into a story set apart from any others I have ever read. I cannot recommend this story enough!
Fourth book in the Mayfield Family series. Hazel Stillman was born with a club foot. Her family sent her off to school as a child because of it. Hazel did not have many opportunities in life and became a teacher at a private school. Her Uncle Elliott wants to give her a inheritance if she marries. She is offended by the offer. Uncle Elliot also makes a offer to Duncan who is a guardian for. Duncan is a odd man who never wants to marry. he has very quirky ways. When Duncan and Hazel meet they decide they would marry for the inheritance and then leave the marriage. This is a very good book with lots of emotions in it. The beginning is slow but then I found myself wanting to read more. This is my first book by this author.
This was a unique love story and I thought it was thoughtfully written. Both characters were very set in their ways and ovelooked by society. I always enjoy a bit of actual history written into a story and we got a bit of that. These characters were brought to life and I felt like I was on the journey with them. I could very much see thier POV. This has been such a great series. I'll be sad when the last is written. I love the connection of the story to the flowers and what they represent. I think Josi Kilpack did great in connecting the symbolism of the flower to this story. The h & H path and connection to each other felt natural and realistic. Theirs was a sweet romance. I reccommend this story, series and author. *Thank you very much to Netgalley for an ARC of this story. Opinion is 100% my own.*
Love and Lavender was my first proper romance novel and so lovely! The characters in this book were very unique for the romance genre, I feel, and a very welcome addition. Hazel is a mathematics teacher in her late twenties, born with a club foot. She feels her physical differences will impede her chances at marriage, and so has resigned herself to a life of teaching, until her wealthy uncle informs her he will give her a dowry of £50000 if she marries. Similarly, Duncan, who is an adopted nephew of sorts to Hazel’s uncle, is told the title of the large building Duncan lives and works in will be turned over to Duncan if he marries as well. Meeting by chance, and lamenting on their uncles well-meaning but also hurtful intentions, Hazel and Duncan hatch a plan to marry, and then live apart - meeting the terms of their uncles request and also enabling them both to live the lives they wish and solve each of their problems with their current employment. What they do not gamble on, however, is their uncles interference in their plans. I really enjoyed this book, and the relationship between Hazel and Duncan (who would surely be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder). I’ll be sure to read another proper romance in future!
Hazel was born with a clubbed foot and is fully aware that it will make her unmarriageable. She has never really known love from anyone, including her family, so she makes her own path with the help of her Uncle Elliott. She gains knowledge and is a mathematic wizard. Duncan is the not related to Uncle Elliott but he has provided for Duncan from a young age when he lost both parents and his father's mistress cared for him until her death. Duncan is described as being a bit odd. From the description of his characteristics, I would guess that he was probably on the autism spectrum. Uncle Elliott has granted them both an inheritance with some conditions, one of which is they need to marry. Hazel and Duncan have formed a friendship with one another and Uncle Elliott and Aunt Amelia think that if they can bring the two of them together, maybe they would be perfect for one another. Duncan and Hazel's story was beautiful in that they understood each other weaknesses and embraced their strengths. There is a happy ending to this story; one with which I absolutely loved. I have grandchildren on the autism spectrum so it was especially poignant for me to read this beautiful story. I was given an arc copy of this book and I willingly offer my honest review.
This book was amazing! I loved the different characters and how they aren’t the typical main characters! They have their oddities but instead of having it detract from the story, it made it even better!
I actually really enjoyed this book. I have a nephew with high functioning autism and couldn’t help but think of him as I read this book. Although this book didn’t have the swoony romance scenes in many of Josi Kilpack’s novels I really enjoyed how they came to care for one another and support each other because that’s what real love is all about.
Josi S. Kilpack is back with the newest installment of the Mayfield Family series, and it’s her best yet. There were so many heartbreaking moments, and I found myself tearing up more than once, but there was such beauty in the heartbreak. Perhaps I simply related to this story more than its series predecessors, but Hazel and Duncan’s story will stick with me for some time. Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for sending me an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.
This is such an unusual romance. I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance with a hero so definitely on the autism spectrum. Adding a heroine with a physical disability makes this doubly unique. Whether this scenario was probable during this era is above my pay grade. But the author makes it all so plausible that I want to believe it. What a brave soul for creating these characters and telling this story. Having a daughter with high-functioning autism, some of the hero’s behavior is very familiar. The pacing, the hyper-focused and technical discussions, and the bouts of frustration are all very common occurrences. Serious kudos for making him so authentic. I appreciate this story for its uniqueness and authenticity in describing people with disabilities. I enjoyed how this story explores what loves is and that its expression in a marriage is unique to each couple. This makes a great addition to the Mayfield Family series.
#LoveAndLavender #NetGalley This the fourth book in the Mayfield series. This book was different than any book I've read. I really enjoyed reading about Hazel and Duncan. Hazel was born with a club foot and has always felt like an outcast in her own family. Duncan is a highly functional autistic man. When Uncle Elliot insists that Hazel marry in order to claim her inheritance, Hazel, is angry because she knows she isn't like everyone else and no one would want to marry her. Duncan just wants to own the building he lives in and works at, that also would allow him to branch out and own his own accounting firm. Then Hazel and Duncan make a decision that will change their lives. Can they each bring something good into their relationship? This book was unique and so well written. I loved it.
This is another wonderful addition to the Mayfield family series by Josi Kilpack. I loved how unique each of these characters were. They both had things that made it hard for them to believe that they would ever marry or be happy in a marriage. I loved how Josi showed how Duncan and Hazel’s marriage progressed from a marriage of convenience to a marriage of love even though it might look different then other peoples’ marriages. I really loved this story and thought it was very well done. I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors. A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.
This is a very unique and beautiful love story. I really enjoy Kilpack's writing style and grew to care about and root for these characters. This is definitely a slow burn romance and I felt like it took me a little while to get into this book. I loved the ending and message of choosing happiness. There were a few mistakes in the math problems/"terms" that I'm hoping get fixed before publication (I read an uncorrected copy). That bothered me a bit, but I feel like the average reader might not pick up on those. Overall though it was a great read! I've loved this series and highly recommend to fans of regency romances.
Hazel Stillman was born with a club foot and has learned to rely on herself to get through life. Her uncle has offered her a substantial inheritance if she marries, an offer she finds offensive. Only someone who wants her money would marry her. An offer from the logical and precise Duncan Penhale makes her change her mind. Will a marriage of convenience turn into something more, or will Hazel's fear keep her from changing her dreams for the future? I enjoyed the first two books of the series, but felt let down by the third. I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. It was interesting to have a main character (Duncan) who was Nero-diverse. I know little about what life if like or how someone might think. Duncan seemed like a sweet young man. Hazel was a hard character to like. She was bristly, always on edge. Her anger at the world was understandable, but it was her way of looking at the world from a superior point of view that made me dislike her. I never really warmed up to her through the story. The romance fell flat for me. It felt more like Hazel was mothering Duncan and he was more like a close friend. It was otherwise well written and the side characters were interesting. My rating would be more like a 3.5, but I am rounding up to be generous.