This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Maureen Driscoll. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Where Hearts Meet by Maureen Driscoll
Series: Jasmine Cottage #1
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2017
Publisher: Independently Published
Source: Author, Maureen Driscoll
Purchase at: Amazon
From the author of the Kellington and Emerson sagas of Regency Romance novels, comes the first book in a new series set in the early Victorian era.
Arabella Warren has been trying to find employment as a governess for several months. But after having to leave numerous households for unsavory reasons, she has found it next to impossible to attain a position in a decent home. Then she sees an advertisement in the newspaper for a widower seeking a wife to help care for his two children. She sets out to convince the man that he needs a governess, not a wife, and that she would be the perfect lady for the job.
Jonathan Graves still grieves the loss of his wife, even as he tries to create a happy home for his five-year-old twins. Knowing he will never love again, he believes the best solution is to enter into a marriage of convenience. His children will have a stepmother and he can go on loving the woman who passed away. But he is not prepared to meet the lady who will change all their lives forever.
WHERE HEARTS MEET is a love story about loss, love and starting over. It contains explicit language and graphic sex scenes. It also gives hope to anyone who wonders if it's possible to love again.
When reading the synopsis for Where Hearts Meet that was the sentence that caught my eye in particular and I knew I had to read this book. I was curious to see how Arabella would go about convincing Jonathan that he, indeed, did not need a wife. Why did Jonathan need to advertise for a wife in the first place? I was delighted to get my hands on a copy of this book and even more so once I started to read it and found it to be absolutely adorable!
Arabella has been on her own for a long time due to the deaths of her parents when she was young. She has soldiered on and was happy with the life of a governess. Unfortunately, being an attractive woman with no family to look out for her well-being has put Arabella in some distasteful situations. She has had to leave more than one job due to the unwelcome advances from the man of the house. Unable to gain steady employment, Arabella was once again searching for a job when her goals were deterred and she was unceremoniously dumped in the village of Tidworth. With no place to go Arabella was taken in by Emma and Grace, sisters who had a small place they called Jasmine Cottage.
Just a few miles away in Amesbury is where Jonathan lived. He had been a widower for many years but his heart had yet to stop aching from the loss. He was unconventional for the times as he was a father who wanted to raise his children, Phillip and Louisa, and needed a proper governess to help him with that task. As his children were very creative in declaring their dislike for those in charge of their care, Jonathan was having a challenging time keeping a governess. It was this quandary which led him to coming up with the idea of advertising for a wife. He has no interest in love as feels that loving another would be a betrayal to his deceased wife but he could have a marriage where it was mutually beneficial to both parties.
Arabella learned of Jonathan’s advertisement and was certain that she could convince him that a governess would work just as well as a wife and if he was successful in finding a wife he could still employ a governess. The scene where these two characters meet is just hilarious! Jonathan was immediately struck with the fact that although Arabella was inappropriate, she spoke to the children directly and seemed to actually like them. He had decided to scrap the idea of finding a wife already but he knew he could not have Arabella as his governess. His body was reacting to her in ways that he had not experienced for years and she was temptation, a temptation that he would not and could not indulge.
It appeared though that the children were smitten with Arabella and they begged their father to employ her. He was rather against this idea but to see his children so accepting of the idea he relented. Having Arabella in his home was like a sweet torment and it created some internal battles for him. He had no interest in love but he could not help wanting more with her. Arabella for her part found her employer attractive but was not interested in pursuing a relationship. If marriage was ever in her future it was going to be with a man who could love her completely. She knew that Jonathan could never be that man but her treacherous heart could not seem to give up the hope.
I truly enjoyed this story. The only parts that were less than superb to me was I felt that Jonathan waffled a little too much. I also did not appreciate the tension that was created between Arabella and Lady Cora. I am not a fan of spiteful and manipulative women, especially when they are trying to manipulate for their own selfish gain. With that said I did enjoy Lady Cora’s character because I truly came to despise her, lol, she was perfect in her role but it doesn’t mean I enjoyed the conflict she created. 😊
Where Hearts Meet was hilarious and sweet from start to finish! There were so many scenes that had me chucking and other scenes that were just “oh my!” I loved the characters, especially the friends from Jasmine Cottage. Emma and Grace are just adorable and I want to know more about them, especially what happened between the characters of Emma and Audlsey. I need to know more and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series! This is a book that I can say that I highly recommend! It was a good read!
*Thank you to Maureen Driscoll for this complimentary copy of Where Hearts Meet*