Michelle Willingham is an unknown author to me. I am pleasantly surprised to find another excellent writer that I must start reading. This book kept me captivated. The cover is beautiful, the story is excellent and the writing is superb. I liked very much how she brought the problems and frighting realness of the potato famine and the devastation it caused.
I really cared for Rose and for Iian. Her struggles were well written and felt real. The struggle to walk was well done and not rushed along. She let Rose work through the entire plight with dignity and strength. The family seemed to truly care for one another, and to have that many things working against them all, I felt part of it. It was not all love,shopping and silliness over tea.
These women had real problems with a mother that was suffering from something close to dementia, and the decision to keep her with them instead of putting her into a sanitarium, was to me, very well thought out.
The issues here are vast. Problems with money,people stealing ,the Irish roaming the streets and the docks,Rose losing her father, and her inability to walk,and of course the loveless marriage she gets to look forward to once she does. It all seems to work.
There is also Lily and her true and desperate love for a man who disappeared, and of course Rose’s brother, who went missing with Lily’s love. The stories will intermingle and I am hoping to hear more of this wonderful family in the future!
But I must confess… It fell a little for me at the end.
The thing that bothered me is the point where Iian decides Rose is the only one for him, and the scene continues in the library. The whole thing was slightly off. When Rose could and should have stood up (no pun intended, the premise of the book being that she is recovering from an illness that makes it very difficult to stand) for Iian when he needed it most. It would have made her character and her love seem more vivid and real, even if it was only for a moment, before her hopes and dreams were shattered. I wonder if the writer struggled with what to do at that particular moment. Rose lost some of my respect right there… right at that point where she could have shown who she was… that was the point that irked me. After that, It started feeling off for me, just a little, but maybe it was because of that.
As the story concluded and you were brought ’round and Rose realized the mistake she made, Willingham brought her character back to reconsider her actions, but in reality, if I was Iian, I would have not only been angry, I would have been devastated, and I would have had a hard time working through that. He is such a nice guy, he just does not go there. I suppose there is a cookie in there for him, but it also shows a weakness, especially with all the heat they had just shared. I wish Rose would have made me proud.
Roses mother to me what the highlight and the smart one. In the end, she rocked it by saying everything her daughter couldn’t. She was wise, and she saved the day. I loved how Iian handled the odd family with the finesse that not many men could. He is a keeper. I truly wish the book did not rush through the end of the story, the bread and butter was spread a little thin.
I got the “Hey Wait!” feeling you get when so many things moved too quickly to end their story too soon. I wanted more of them, and I do not think it is a bad thing to love a character or characters so much you want to continue to watch them grow.
This is part of a series, and I will be waiting impatiently for the next installment to this. Impatiently is the word to emphasis here.To say it once more, I loved Rose’s mother and her wolves. Plus, Plus, Plus!!
*I was given this ebook in exchange for an honest review. Thank you !!
Here is the excerpt from Goodreads as to what this wonderful book is about:
Lady Rose Thornton never expected to find a half-naked man in her garden. The handsome Irishman claims to be the Earl of Ashton, but was Iain Donovan truly robbed by thieves? Or is he merely an impoverished stranger lying to her?
After losing everything in the potato famine, Iain is searching for a wife whose dowry will save his estate. The beautiful and charming Lady Rose, unable to walk because of an illness that stole her strength, agrees to help him find a wife, but only if he will help her learn to take her first steps.
As their friendship takes root and blossoms into something more, secrets about Iain’s birthright threaten the growing feelings between them. He has no right to love a woman like Rose, who deserves a better life than he can give her. Rose believes that there is more to Iain than a broken past, and she brings light to his shadows.
Within the walls of a secret garden, sometimes miracles happen…