Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Review & Giveaway: Where the Stars Meet the Sea by Heidi Kimball

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


A broken man. A fiery young woman. Neither one's heart will come away unscathed.

Juliet Graham fervently counts the days until her twenty-first birthday, when she can claim the inheritance that will grant her the freedom she has always craved and the guardianship of her younger brother. Until then, she is trapped under her aunt Agnes’s domineering will. When forced to accompany the family to a house party at Shaldorn Castle, Juliet’s only objective is to keep to herself. That is, until a chance encounter with a boorish stranger stirs up an unexpected whirlwind of emotions in her. Thrown off-balance, Juliet does the unthinkable: loses her temper and insults the man—who turns out to be her unwilling host, the Duke of Halstead. Fully expecting to be sent away, Juliet is surprised when the brusque and callous duke instead takes an interest in her.

Drawn to the duke in unguarded moments, Juliet finds herself more and more intrigued by the man who shuns Society’s rules as completely as she does, and over the next few weeks, their unlikely friendship deepens into a connection neither expected.

But even as Juliet comes to recognize her true feelings, her scheming aunt issues an ultimatum that threatens the future she was just beginning to hope for. Juliet must choose: either break the promise she made to herself years ago, or lose the man who has captured her heart and soul.

My Review

First of all, isn't that a striking cover?! I think it's my favorite of the year. This is a wonderful Regency romance, with a house party setting, a mysteriously brooding duke, and a spirited young woman who makes friends easily but is long-suffering under her domineering aunt. Juliet has some complicated dynamics in play- the unrequited love of her brotherly best friend/cousin, an inequality in her social status, a younger brother unhappy at boarding school, and an unexpected attraction to the brusque Halstead. I enjoyed how the author wove the story around the various comings and goings at the castle, and the tension that built as Juliet grows closer to Halstead but was pressured to accept her cousin's proposal. It's alluded that there is some secret reason for Halstead to be avoiding society and refusing to marry, so I was a bit let down when the resolution turned out to be rather simple and cliche. I felt like there could have been deeper exploration into his character, but the plot moved on with more misadventure in store for Juliet and her brother. Overall this was an entertaining story perfect for fans of sweet Regency romance!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

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