Review of “Promises and Primroses” (Mayfield Family #1) by Josi S. Kilpack

Kilpack, Josi S. Promises and Primroses. Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2018.

Paperback | $15.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1629724577 | 322 pages | Regency Romance

4.5 stars

I was excited that Josi S. Kilpack was starting a new family-oriented historical romance series, but upon reading the blurb for Promises and Primroses, I did wonder if she would manages to pull off making me feel invested in two romances, when some authors can occasionally fail at investing me in one. But I did not have to worry here, as Kilpack does double duty masterfully.

Admittedly, I was initially drawn more to Elliott and Amelia’s romance, due to its semi-originality, with romances among older couples (Elliott being sixty, Amelia being I would guess somewhere in her fifties), especially if they have a shared past. I love how Kilpack conveyed the lingering feelings between the two, along with the other emotions associated with both of them caring for their families and being overly concerned with their interests. Amelia in particular drew me in because of the way she was so closed off due to this past heartbreak that she otherwise appears to have put behind her, but encountering Elliott again has reopened old wounds. While she may be hard for some to like, and I found myself infuriated with her at times for how she kept interfering with Julia’s life, I felt she had the best arc of the book, and truly enjoyed seeing her working to make amends with Julia, as well as opening her heart to a second chance at love.

I was less sure about Peter and Julia’s storyline, especially since, in spite of Peter being touted as the “honorable Mayfield,” I could easily see the trajectory going in a similar vein to other governess stories, and I wasn’t much of a fan of how he callously said he would be considering other candidates within her hearing, but let the head of the employment agency lie to her. But over time, I warmed up to them together, especially when I saw what they had in common, which was their shared love of dogs, as Peter has taken to dog breeding, and I found it a very unique thing to bring the characters together, especially in that situation.

Kilpack managed to craft a great dual love story that also sets up the premise for future installments in the series in exemplary fashion. I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of family-oriented historical romances, whether they be stand-alones or series.

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