Monday, May 8, 2023

Review: To Know Miss May by Deborah M. Hathaway

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


He's supposed to convince her to marry someone else. What happens if he falls for her instead?

Living on the small tidal island of St. Michael’s Mount, Miss Livvy May has the freedom to do as she wishes and go where she pleases, thriving in harmony with the Cornish seas. As much as she loves living on the Mount, however, there is one thing she wishes she could the fact that everyone wishes to know everything . In an effort to help, Livvy’s father encourages her to find a spouse off of the Mount, but the very thought of leaving her home is unbearable—even if that home includes people who constantly misjudge and misunderstand her. But such a matter is hardly important when she has her books to keep her company. After all, reading is far easier than acknowledging the secrets she is desperate to keep to herself. Secrets about her past, about her family, about her heart—and whom she holds inside of it.

Known as the Mount’s Charmer, August Moon has it all—a promising occupation as the castle’s undergardener, a family who loves him, friends who support him, and a community that adores him. The only thing that could make his life better? Finding a wife whose cheerful temperament and sense of adventure match his own. Such a thing is easier said than done, however, when his time is unexpectedly usurped by his supervisor, Mr. May, and a shocking August must help the unsociable Livvy May to find her place in Society or risk losing his place of work at the castle. Spending any amount of time with the woman will most assuredly be a waste of August’s time, but how can he willingly give up his position at the castle when he’s spent his whole life working to get there?

With no choice but to accept Mr. May’s demands, August is determined to make quick work of the situation. But assisting the woman proves more than difficult as she refuses to comply with Society’s standards, putting his job—and his future—at risk. Livvy can’t begin to understand why the man is suddenly paying attention to her, but she is determined to keep her secrets to herself, especially the ones that involve August. And yet, when a fraction of the true Livvy shines forth, both of them must decide if their futures are better left spent apart or if falling in love is worth the risk of everything changing—and not entirely for the better.

My Review

Such a unique setting! I loved the moody vibe of the island and Livvy's appreciation of all its seasons. There's an element of unrequited love here, until circumstances change and August takes notice of Livvy. There's something irresistible about August, and it's so sweet that he finds Livvy irresistible! Social and family dynamics make their budding friendship and romance complicated, but the author weaves in beautiful moments for them to share their hearts with each other. For fans of Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, this book has a similar quality of delicious anticipation and romantic tension, even though the stories are very different... but then again, there are subtle parallels when I look close enough. Highly recommend!

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.

Don't miss the other books in the Castles and Courtship series . . .

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