Friday, 2 September 2016

Book Review: Seasons of Love by Emily Murdoch

Title: Seasons of Love
Author: Emily Murdoch
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 286
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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Seasons of Love sees all four of Emily Murdoch’s regency romance novellas brought together for the very first time in this beautifully moving collection.


Every year for thirty years Lord Robert, the Viscount of Marchwood, throws a Christmas Ball. But this year the Marchwood Christmas Ball holds extra importance as his daughter, Lady Audrey, has just turned 18 and it is time for her coming out. With the Marchwood family fortune all but gone, Lord Robert is keen to secure her a prosperous match.
But when a handsome, masked stranger threatens to steal Audrey’s heart, will it prove to be a good or bad Christmas Surprise

Jonathan Brodie, the only son of Sir Roger and Lady Brodie, has lived in the village of Maplebridge his whole life. Penelope, the daughter of the local florist, was adopted by the Baldwins when she was just a baby. They could not be more different and yet, one blustery January morning, their paths collide in a chance encounter that is destined to change their lives forever…


Victoria Walsingham’s heart will only ever belong to Isaac Quinn, the son of the Duke of Daventry, but their opposing social standings force them apart. However, when her brother unexpectedly inherits the title of the Earl of Cheshire, Victoria’s life is transformed and she is thrown into high-society. But when Victoria finally returns home in the hope of reconciling with Isaac, an invitation is waiting for her to the wedding of Mr Isaac Quinn and a Miss Hestia Royce. With time running out, will Victoria ever get her happy ending?


When teacher Leo Tyndale moves to the small English town of Sandercombe after five years in India, he does not expect that his time at the local school will be a long one. But a brief encounter with the beautiful – and fiercely independent – Hestia Royce soon has him changing his mind. But Hestia is an outcast in the town after leaving Sandercombe a year ago to be married, only to return without a husband to a place abuzz with speculation. Will they ever be able to admit their feelings for each other? Or will society deny them their happily ever after?

Seasons of Love is a collection that unfortunately left me cold. The reason being, few of the characters behaved in a way believable for the period, and some of the romantic leads were downright unlikable to boot. Isaac feels more like a stalker than a wooer, for example. Considering the author is an historian, I really expected more period accuracy in characters' actions, their mode of dress etc., so that aspect of the book was a huge disappointment, and, coupled with unsympathetic characters, I can only bring myself to give it two stars. If you're looking for light romance and nothing else, you will probably enjoy these tales; however, if you like your historical fiction to be realistic for the period, this collection is not for you.

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