Love and Lavender (2021)

About the Book

Book: Love and Lavender

Author: Josi S. Kilpack

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing

Release Date: November 2, 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 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?

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Advanced Praise

“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

About the Author

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.


My Thoughts

Love and Lavender by Josi Kilpack is a rare gem. Unique is the best word to describe this lovely story. From the storyline to the characters to the love story itself, I can honestly say I’ve never read a book quite like this one. Hazel is a beautiful woman, but a woman who never believed marriage could be an option. She has spent the majority of her life away from her family — a family who got rid of her because of a deformity. Duncan is not your typical hero. He is not selfless. He is not smooth and savvy. He doesn’t make a girl swoon. But in his own way, he is seriously perfect for Hazel. And, as it turns out (shockingly so to Hazel), Hazel is just the woman Duncan needs. Is this the most passionate of love stories? Nope. Is it a genuine love story? Yep, totally. Love and Lavender is a beautiful illustration of real love — the kind you have to work at every single day. The kind of love that doesn’t seem like love on the surface, but if you take a step back and really examine the relationship it so clearly is authentic. My most favorite aspect of this slow-burn romance is just how different the relationship is between Hazel and Duncan. They are not your typical romantic couple … and I LOVE this! It’s so refreshing to read about a couple who is truly unique. They are both broken people who have some hurts, hurts that have made them a little prickly and different. But hurts that have also made them strong, independent, and capable people. People who are strong enough to be the partners each one needs — even though it takes them some time to realize this fact. I like this story because not only is it one I won’t soon forget, but because I feel I can relate to it. I’ve read a lot of romance stories in my day, and while I always enjoy them, relating to them is sometimes difficult. I’m not rich, stunningly gorgeous, poised, or perfect. I have defects and flaws. I’m definitely not the heroine in a romance novel. And, that’s the cool thing about this novel — neither is Hazel. She’s one of the realest characters I’ve ever read. And so is Duncan.

Love and Lavender is the first novel I’ve read by Josi Kilpack, but it will not be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this story and its characters. I cannot recommend this story enough. If you are in the mood for a high-quality, well-written, engaging Historical Romance that’s truly a unique read, well, then Love and Lavender is the book for you.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishing, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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2 thoughts on “Love and Lavender (2021)

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