Surprise Review on Amazon!

*This originally posted here, but I will provide it below as well.

4.0 out of 5 stars a story that will have you engaged from the first page., July 31, 2013
This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)
Set in 1860's France, often called the "second empire" this story manages to convey a feel for the time, historical details, and an amazingly well-defined main character to create a story that will have you engaged from the first page.

Orphaned and a ward of her uncle, Fara will soon be handed off to the first available "appropriate" suitor, without regard to her feelings or safety as is evidenced by his choice of suitable suitor. When this `suitor' endangers her, and leaves her without defense, Fara's realization of her precarious position in society is clearer to her. With a subtle nod to her more modern thoughts about female empowerment and choice, Fara is instantly attracted to Grant, the man who defended her against the dangers her chosen suitor provided.

In the 1860's (and long after) the idea of marriage for love, and marrying across class lines were unheard of in most circles: society did not treat social climbers well, nor were those members of society expected to consort with the `commoners'. While Fara has a crush on Grant, her continuing thoughts about him, and his determined pursuit of her despite his lack of standing in society lead her to believe that she has found the love she lived without after her parents' deaths.

The interactions between the two are cleverly portrayed and developed, while Grant veers between charming and infuriating, unable to express his love for her. Fara, however, manages to take little tiny steps to independent thought and the realization that Grant is the one for her, and his acceptance of her burgeoning feminism is endearing. Far from overreaching to the more modern beliefs about women, relationships and society, Marie Lavender has managed to show the slowly developing enlightenment and growth between the two characters: both in their love and in their social conscious. Although Grant is dragging his heels, another dangerous situation for Fara gives him the jolt he needs to finally face his truth.

This was a lovely historical romance that was full of period detail, thought and description that brought the characters to life in simple and endearing ways with her beautifully wrought prose and attention to detail.

I received an eBook from the publisher for purpose of honest review for the Jeep Diva. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.