Monday, November 14, 2022

Review: Hearts of Briarwall by Krista Jensen

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing



Lydia Wooding is fascinated by the latest inventions the new century brings, including motorcars. She longs for the independence they represent and believes that women should have a say in the future of the industry—just as they should have a say in suffrage, adventure, and, of course, love.

Spencer Hayes is a man of practicality and innovation, but he lacks the financial backing to make his dream a reality. When he contacts his childhood friend, Andrew Wooding, about a promising business venture, he is invited to Briarwall Manor to discuss the terms. Once there, he is surprised to find that Andrew's once shy, younger sister, Lydia, has grown into a young woman of beauty, wit, and a bit of fire. Even better, the two share a passion for motorcars.

Andrew, however, is wary of cars, having lost his parents in a tragic auto accident when he and Lydia were young. And he's not sure a relationship between his sister and Spencer is the best idea—not when Sir Lawrence is available and could match both Lydia's social status and her fortune.

Torn between risking their hearts and being loyal to their dreams in an era of whirlwind change, Spencer and Lydia anchor themselves with the determination they both share: to live life to its fullest.

My Review

This is one of my favorite books of the year! I usually prefer Regency to Victorian, but the author was so skilled at bringing the country estate hominess of Briarwall Manor to life, with Andrew and Lydia hosting a variety of characters, including Spencer. Lydia and her friends are embracing the ideas of innovation and change, and I love that Spencer doesn't try to stifle Lydia but appreciates her mind and vibrant personality. Their friendship and romance develops quite naturally, but Andrew's interference in Lydia's prospects provide some of the conflict in the story. Spencer also feels caught between Andrew and Lydia with his business proposal and investment opportunity, and Lydia is hurt from feeling like she's not trusted by the men in her life. The genuine natures of Lydia and Spencer appealed to me, and they are such a perfect match for each other. I loved their sweet chemistry and it really made the story come to life!
Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

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