Promises and Primroses

Written by Josi S. Kilpack
Review by Val Adolph

England, 1822. Lord Elliott Mayfield has decided that, with the help of his wealth, he will guide his nephews and nieces towards responsible marriages. Within his family he has seen too many scandalous relationships and ill-considered marriages. Starting with his eldest and most respectable nephew Peter, a widower, Elliott embarks on his career as marriage-meddler. Peter, a dog breeder who has struggled to cope with two young daughters since the death of his wife, hires Julia Hollingsworth to be their governess. He is unaware that Julia is the daughter of Amelia Hollingsworth, a woman who had once trembled on the brink of an affair with his uncle Elliott. The growing attraction between Julia and Peter is enhanced as Julia proves herself to be talented not only as governess but also as dog whisperer who can ably assist with the birth of litters of puppies. The scenes with the children and with the dogs lift this book out of the routine of period romances. The author presents a well-paced storyline somewhat spoiled by inadequate research and the superimposing of 21st-century vocabulary and middle-American values on pre-Victorian characters. Generally, a pleasant read for anyone who enjoys a period romance.