Monday, April 13, 2015

Book Review: A Heart Revealed by Josi S. Kilpack

A Heart Revealed, by Josi S. Kilpack
2015, 336p, Clean Regency Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

Amber Marie Sterlington, the Rage of the Season in Regency-era London, has her pick of men, and she knows what she wants most in a husband: a title and a fortune. Why would she ever marry for something as fickle as love? And why would she ever look twice at Thomas Richards, a third son of a country lord?

But when Amber’s social standing is threatened, the character of her future husband becomes far more important than his position. After a public humiliation, she finds herself exiled to Yorkshire. Alone except for her maid, Amber is faced with a future she never expected in a circumstance far below what she has known all her life. Humbled and lonely, Amber begins to wonder if isolation is for the best. Who could ever love her now?

I'm most familiar with Josi Kilpack for her culinary cozy mystery series which I love so I was interested to see how she would do in the regency romance arena. I'm glad to say that she delivered!

Amber Sterlington is beautiful and knows it. She's a snob and extremely unlikable. She's shallow and has men lining up for her attention. Thomas Richards doesn't have title or a fortune. He's kind and likable and isn't too serious about finding a wife. He feels drawn to Ms. Sterlington but she is rude to him and he decides to avoid her. Suzanne is Amber's new maid. She's not treated well but needs the job.

Early on, we get a taste of what the "scandal" will involve and I was interested to see how it would play out. I liked that it was different from the typical scandal with regency romances--and it certainly would have been easy enough for Ms. Kilpack to go in that other direction. It builds to one humiliating incident at which point Amber is exiled. When that happens, Suzanne goes with her but doesn't plan to stay for long.

I enjoyed the character development of Amber, Suzanne and Thomas. Amber had a lot of changes to make and they didn't happen overnight. It still took her a while to understand the sacrifices Suzanne made to stay with her and help her. She was put in a situation she wasn't at all prepared for and Suzanne's compassion showed as she made unselfish, yet quiet, choices. It took a while for Amber and Thomas to meet back up again. Thomas showed his patience during this time as he was trying to put the pieces together yet didn't want to scare her off. The romance unfolded slowly, but in the end, it was completely satisfying.

I wasn't crazy about the way Amber's family treated her, especially when Amber learns something significant towards the end. There was a lot to this book and I enjoyed it all! If you enjoy regency romance, this is one you'll want to pick up!

Author Josi S. Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Her novel, Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense. Lemon Tart, the first book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series was a finalist in 2009. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, children and super-cute cat.


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