Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Love and Lavender by Josi S. Kilpack (Austenprose PR Book Tour)


What book has surprised you recently?  I love the Regency Romance genre and this book Love and Lavender surprised me by going in a completely different direction than most Regency Romance novels.

 Hazel Stillman was born with a club foot and was sent off to school at an early age to never return home.  What could a girl with a club foot with gentle birth, but no dowry expect?  She discovers she is brilliant at mathematics and becomes a mathematics teacher at a girl’s school. Here her life would have remained if her Uncle had not bestowed on her a grand dowry if she will marry a man of gentle birth.  She begins a correspondence with Duncan Penhale.  Her Uncle has also bestowed the inheritance of a building on Duncan if he too finds someone of gentle birth to marry.  Duncan is different than everyone else, today he would probably be diagnosed as autistic.  He sees the world as very black and white.  He has a great mind and loves to discuss a great many things including mathematical problems.  Duncan and Hazel enjoy their correspondence until they decide that perhaps the best thing for their future would be a marriage of convenience where they both would be able to come into their inheritance. Can they stay together for one year?  Will this marriage work out and will both be able to live their dreams?

 I can’t express how much I loved this book.  I read most of it in one night and couldn’t put it down.  This book brought me to tears and it called to me.  If you’ve every known or loved someone with Autism, Duncan’s story is very compelling.  Autism has always existed, but people didn’t know what it was or how to deal with it during this time period.  Duncan was lucky to have a father and a stepmother who loved him and taught him how to deal with his emotions and sensory issues.  They also provided the schooling that he needed for his sharp mind.  Hazel was his perfect foil with her own sharp mind.  As a female engineer, it was wonderful to read a book where the female character not only likes math but excels at it.  Her only limits are that there are no careers for women in math in the Regency period.  Even finding a teaching position is hard.  That’s why the inheritance would be a godsend where Hazel could buy her own school and stability.

 Marriage of convenience is one of my favorite tropes in romance novels.  Will Hazel and Duncan be able to make their marriage work?  I loved both the plot and fantastic characters in this novel.

 I also enjoyed that although Hazel didn’t attend church or have faith of her own, Duncan had a great faith.  When Hazel attended church with Duncan for Christmas, she realized that Duncan’s church community accepted him for who he was and were a family to him. 

 Overall, Love and Lavender was a touching Regency Romance novel with a unique plot and great characters.  I highly recommend it.

 Book Source:  Review Copy from Shadow Mountain Publishing for being a part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour.  I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


·       Title: Love and Lavender: A Mayfield Family Romance (Book 4)

·       Series: Proper Romance

·       Author: Josi S. Kilpack

·       Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction

·       Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (November 2, 2021)

·       Length: (320) pages

·       Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 

·       Tour Dates: November 1-28, 2021



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?




“What a lovely romance. The historical details, the depth of the authentic characters, and the realistic dialogue all contribute to an immersive story. [A] beautiful and inspirational story about loving people just as they are.”— Katie Jackson, Regency Proofreading

“Phenomenal. This book was phenomenal. The very best in the series.”— Lyssa Armstrong, For Where Your Treasure Is

“This love story was unique and such an uncommon take on a marriage of convenience! [S]weet and well worth the wait!”— Ashley Johnson, Bringing Up Books

“Beautifully written, sensitive, poignant addition to the Mayfield Family series.”— Susan K., The Flipped Page






Josi S. Kilpack has written more than thirty novels, a cookbook, and several novellas. She is a four-time Whitney award winner, including Best Novel 2015 for "Lord Fenton's Folly, and has been a Utah Best of State winner for Fiction. Josi loves to bake, sleep, eat, read, travel, and watch TV--none of which she gets to do as much as she would like. She writes contemporary fiction under the pen name Jessica Pack.

Josi has four children and lives in Northern Utah.



1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Laura. I am glad that you enjoyed it. It was a surprising story. Josie is a talented writer. You should check out the previous books int he series. Best, LA