Dear Ms. Hammond,
I discovered your novels while looking for more recommendations for quiet Regencies. I followed my own advice by checking out books at Regency Reads and voila, there you were. With the help of the very welcome first chapter excerpt offered there, I felt confident in selecting “Autumn Bride” from the list of your available stories.
Even though I know that modern wills don’t allow the deceased to insist on such an important thing as whom someone must marry in order to receive a bequest, I’m willing to be more lenient about historical novels. With a her only future prospect that of continuing to be a governess, I didn’t blame Caroline Hetton for being interested in the unorthodox proposal made to her by Major Philip Lagallan. Per the details of Philip’s recently deceased stepmother’s will, her son must marry Caroline or another suitable young woman in order for Vivyan to inherit the estate left to him. Yet at the same time, I also thought Caroline wise to insist on a few weeks to get to know his younger brother to see if marriage would suit. Huzzah for a young woman who doesn’t immediately leap into marriage with a total stranger.
Though he’d like to see the somewhat wild Vivyan settled into a good marriage, I like that Philip wisely agrees to Caroline’s request. And thus she journeys to their home where she’s well received, treated with respect by all including their sweet housekeeper who remembers Caroline from the years she lived in the area. Vivyan is attentive to her, even though it’s clear that he’s impatient with the slow pace of life in the country, and promises to treat her with all due respect as his wife. Yet, it’s clear that things might not end up working out as everyone initially imagines they will. Thank goodness there’s no gothic melodrama here.
I picked up on the identity of the highwayman fairly early on and was delighted that a few others who ought to as well actually do so. I usually find it silly when people who should be able to reason such things out can’t. The gradual revelation of true love is nicely done with all parties acting honorably. The ending makes sense given the state of affairs and I love that you let it gently settle around us instead of bashing us over the head.
Your website lists only three of your titles as being available as ebooks. I hope that this will change as I enjoyed your writing style and watching two lovely characters fall in love. B
This book can be purchased in ebook format.