Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Series: Mayfield Family #4
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: Audio, eBook, Print
Date: November 2, 2021
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Hazel Stillman is a woman of rare independence and limited opportunities. Born with a clubbed foot, Hazel knows marriage is unlikely, so she devotes herself to teaching at a private girls’ school.
When her uncle offers Hazel a substantial inheritance is he marries, she is offended. What kind of decent man would marry for her money? But when she learns the school might be sold, she knows she must consider all her options.
Duncan Penhale thrives on order and process. He has no interest in marriage, so when Elliott Mayfield, his guardian’s brother, offers him an inheritance if he weds, Duncan finds it intrusive. However, an inheritance means he could purchase a building and run his own firm.
Hazel and Duncan believe they have found a solution to both of their problems: marry one another, claim their inheritances, and then part ways to enjoy their individual paths. But then Uncle Mayfield stipulates that they must first live together as a couple for one year.
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?
This was such a beautiful book. So much heart. So much emotion. I felt so full of emotion by the end. Part of that is because I babysit a little autistic boy and I often wonder what life holds for him. So seeing Duncan as a functioning adult was encouraging to me and seeing him find love was even more so. The romantic relationship between Duncan and Hazel is different from typical ones of course but so touching. I love how Hazel adapted to understand Duncan and relate to him to see his goodness. But I also loved that the author showed us that frustration would also be a typical response to dealing with autism on a daily basis as well. And I loved that Duncan, in what appears to be a non-emotional way, cared for Hazel and her special needs. He could clearly see that her boot was not good on her clubbed foot but he didn’t even talk about it. He just went to find the most expert help he could to get her properly shoed. She hadn’t had anyone to truly care for her in her entire life. They are two people with special needs that learn quickly how best to care for the other and together they make a beautiful team. I loved this book.
Sex: references to marital relations
Violence: a little
*I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley and voluntarily chose to review it.