Love and Lavender (Proper Romance: Mayfield Family, 4)

Written by Josi S. Kilpack
Review by Ray Thompson

1822. One would think that her wealthy uncle’s offer to bestow upon her a substantial dowry would delight Hazel Stillman, especially since the young schoolteacher’s prospects are both limited and precarious. She, however, is offended at the idea of buying a husband who will overlook her deformed foot. Then she meets her ‘sort of cousin’ Duncan Penhale, who has been told he is ‘odd’ (on the autism spectrum, in modern parlance). He too has been offered a ‘marriage inheritance’, but acknowledges he is unlikely to be able to meet the conditions. They resume their familiar lives, though they agree to correspond by letters. But when both face a crisis, Duncan suggests that it can be resolved if they marry each other to fulfill the terms of the inheritance. Reluctantly, she agrees but stipulates they be free to pursue their own lives separately after one year.

This is an absorbing inspirational romance, which shows two unlikely but sympathetic protagonists working their way through difficult adjustments. Fortunately, both learn to appreciate one another and to recognize that, despite the challenges, their new life together is more rewarding than their original aspirations for greater independence. Strongly recommended.