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REVIEW: Autumn Bride by Melinda Hammond

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

~Jayne

This book can be purchased in ebook format.

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

6 Comments

  1. SonomaLass
    Aug 12, 2008 @ 15:52:02

    I do like it when I can read an excerpt when the author is new to me. Sounds like a pleasant and satisfying read, so I will be adding it (and her) to my list.

    Thanks, Jayne, for the recommendation.

  2. DS
    Aug 12, 2008 @ 16:00:20

    OH NOES! Those wills are even worse in a Regency setting because there was all kinds of rules that could be broken rendering the will invalid. However, I read the excerpt and it’s a trust, which has different rules so that’s ok.

    I may actually read this one– I haven’t tried a new Regency in a long time.

  3. Melinda Hammond
    Aug 13, 2008 @ 03:18:23

    Jayne

    I am so pleased you enjoyed Autumn Bride – it is a favourite of mine: the setting of Sandburrows is based on a beach where I spent many happy childhood weekends. A fourth historical, Maid of Honour, is now available on Regency Reads and another – The Bargain – will follow shortly.

    Melinda

  4. Hilcia
    Aug 13, 2008 @ 07:42:44

    I have Dance for a Diamond on my Wish List — it’s been there for about a month, and I forgot to put it in my cart. Thanks for the review on this book and for reminding me that I really, really want to read Dance for a Diamond and Melinda Hammond.
    I look forward to Maid of HOnour and The Bargain.

  5. Jayne
    Aug 13, 2008 @ 09:23:20

    I love having excerpts available to try. And good length excerpts too. I’m glad to hear more Hammond ebooks are out now as shipping from the UK sucks now. ;)

  6. Meanne
    Aug 13, 2008 @ 14:29:54

    I love quiet, well-written regencies…Thank you so much, Jayne, for introducing us to this new author..I’ll be checking out her ebooks.

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