Primroses & Arranged Marriages: A Book Review - Reading List

Primroses & Arranged Marriages: A Book Review

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Promises and Primroses by Josi S Kilpack a book review on Reading List

Are you a fan of fiction that is set in the past - the idea of historical fiction, without much focus on any specific event in history?

How about books that launch from the idea of an arranged marriage?

I'm going to be very honest, both of those tend to build fictional tropes I am not a huge fan of.  But sometimes we have to pick up a new book just to see if we can expand our palate, so to speak.

So when the chance to read Josi Kilpack's new book, Promises and Primroses, was presented to me, I knew I needed to give it a chance.  The mix of generations intrigued me...

Promises and Primroses by Josi S Kilpack a book review on Reading List

Promises and Primroses

Josi S Kilpack

Story Overview 

Peter Mayfield mourns the loss of his wife every day, but with two young girls, a growing business, and the promise of stepping into the family title someday all sitting squarely on his shoulders, he never allows much of his time to linger on the heartbreak.  He focuses on providing the stability he assumes his girls need, and that includes keeping a governess employed, as his late wife wished their girls to be well-educated. 

When Julia Hollingsworth finds the surprising opportunity to take the position as governess in the Mayfield house she is torn with following her dream of independence, and pleasing her mother.  Yet she knows that deep down, in time, her mother will understand Julia's need to be self-sufficient. 

Little do both Julia and Peter know that the pasts of their families will turn this new arrangement into a swirl of emotions that had laid stagnant in both Peter's uncle, Lord Elliott Mayfield, and Julia's mother, Amelia Hollingsworth, hearts for decades. And of course when old matters of the heart are stirred back to the top, emotions rise quickly often leading to destruction. 

Personal Likes

I greatly enjoyed the family dynamic of Peter Mayfield's house.  His personal decision to raise his girls as closely to his understanding of his wife's wishes was heartwarming.  It was also interesting to see how he struggled with his old love,  his love for his girls, and the inevitable new love that blooms.  Then again, I'm usually a sucker for men who are willing to spend quality time with their children and embrace the idea of being a father.

I was pretty sure I was not going to be a fan of the subplot involving the dog breeding, as it is not an interest of mine in the slightest.  However, Kilpack did an excellent of job of allowing the subplot to pull together strings for the main plot, and kept me interested in the idea.

Promises and Primroses by Josi S Kilpack a book review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

Mostly my dislikes surrounded Elliott Mayfield and Amelia Hollingsworth's scene together - their past and present story-lines felt added in order to make this book into a set of standalone books to make a series to follow Lord Mayfield's campaign - which I simply am not interested in at all, as all the other kids of the Mayfield line were described horribly and very flat.

And because of my lack of interested in the campaign story-line - the idea of a possible future romance between these two also fell flat... it felt like wasted pages in the story - simply there to add volume to this story.

Reading List Rating

I'm going to give this story a four heart rating, because over all I enjoyed the main story. While I'm unsure any future books will attract my eye, I can see this getting rave reviews for the genre.  It fulfills the clean romance/historical fiction ideals to a tee.

There are not many issues in this book at all - only minor points of violence that one would expect from a historical fiction with quite a bit of scenes focused on how to raise children (minor corporal punishment, not even to the level of Annie).  As the children's mother is dead, the trigger for widows and widowers is of course present, but I believe the topic is very well handled.  There are some religious scenes, but they are minor. Mostly, I feel confident saying this fits squarely into the Proper Romance genre and could easily be made into a sweet Hallmark movie.  

My Suggested Audience

I would suggest this book to adult readers, mostly because of the characters.  There are no young characters.  Peter and Julia are older (not old, but clearly not in the "high school/college" age groups of today) and then of course Amelia and Elliott are of the older generation in comparison to Peter and Julia. So while there is nothing to keep a teen reader from this book, it is clearly not the intended audience. 

Wondering Questions to Consider

This book allows for some great opportunity for a reading group. Granted, the author has included discussion questions - suggesting the publisher hopes this book will get picked up for a small book club - the topics are broad, and will lead to great conversations. 

Promises and Primroses by Josi S Kilpack a book review on Reading List

What are some clean romance or historical tropes you enjoy reading? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

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**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Shadow Mountain. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  1. Sounds like an interesting book. I agree, not sure it's my cup of tea, but I'm glad you liked it enough to rate it a 4!

    1. it was interesting, and had many good aspects, so a four seems perfect. But the best part about books is that we can always find a genre we will enjoy

  2. I am going to share this with my sister. She loves these types of books! Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Oh that's great! I hope she enjoys it

  3. Thanks for sharing this amazing review, not sure if this is my genre but would still give it a try.

    1. I love book blogs because they let us see into a book a bit more before we try, especially new genres. No need to spend time reading a book you wouldn't enjoy at all. Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation!

  4. Going to find this book and give it a read. I need a good book this start of Fall.

    1. Oh I'm putting together my Cozy Reads for Fall list this week! I hope this one works for you - but if you want a different one ever, I have many many more great recommendations


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