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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 11/2020
  • 978-1-7351401-0-0 B08GJV5R8R
  • pages
  • $3.99
Paperback Details
  • 11/2020
  • 978-1-7351401-1-7
  • 314 pages
  • $14.99
The Land Steward's Daughter

Elaina Walker has waited for her childhood sweetheart to return from the Napoleonic Wars for eight years. At five-and-twenty, the pressure to marry well is mounting, despite being unable to forget Will, the Duke of Blackmore's second son.

Will Winter doesn't care much for his father's qualifications for a proper wife. When he returns to England and sees Elaina again, he knows he must have her, despite her meager dowry and precarious standing in society as the daughter of his family's land steward.

As their attraction to one another intensifies, Elaina must make a decision: one that may further damage her reputation and Will's already delicate relationship with his family, or one that will leave her unfulfilled and wondering for the rest of her life.

Reviews
Michaels’s expertly realized debut historical romance (the first installment in the Winters series) breathes fresh air into the genre. Elaina Walker has been raised almost as family by the duke and duchess of Blackmore; though her father is only a land steward, her late mother, Lady Eleanor Crawford, was a close friend of the duchess. Elaina’s maternal family may snub her at every opportunity, but her middle-class station is elevated by ducal support. No longer a tomboy running amok with the second son, Will, she’s now a refined spinster of 25, entertaining the idea of marriage with banker Giles Hunt—until Will returns from 11 years of school and military service. Although she’s not considered an acceptable match for him, their faithful correspondence during his absence has strengthened their already close bond.

Michaels steers the story with a steady hand, alternating between Will’s and Elaina’s viewpoints and rendering unusually sympathetic portraits of supporting characters and romantic rivals, including Hunt, Will’s older brother Montgomery, and Montgomery’s young fiancee Clara. The protagonists’ history is fleshed out through excerpts from old letters, and the epistolary basis of their relationship is wholesomely romantic.

But this novel is more than a traditional romance; it examines the work of creating a mature, partnered relationship, too. Classic genre themes are touched upon—the conflict between marrying for duty and for love, scandal and propriety in high society—but the centerpiece is a richly imagined, vibrant celebration of love. Readers will be swept away by this new twist on an old favorite.

Takeaway: This smart, refreshing historical romance, focused less on winning and wooing and more on the evolution of a relationship, will sweep readers off their feet.

Great for fans of: Eloisa James, Georgette Heyer.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Michaels explores the social hierarchy of Regency England in her enchanting debut. Elaina Walker, daughter of the Duke of Blackmore’s land steward, has long believed that she would marry Will Winter, the duke’s youngest son. Close childhood friends, the pair haven’t seen each other for the eight years that Will has been off fighting in the Napoleonic Wars but have maintained an intimate correspondence. When Will returns home to Blackmore Park, his father informs him that he has purchased Larkspur Castle in Cambridgeshire and wants Will to move there to take over the estate—but Will refuses to go without Elaina as his bride. The duke and duchess refuse to give their blessing, hoping instead to arrange a match between Elaina and their family banker. Defiant, Will and Elaina elope to Gretna Green before embarking on a future together at Larkspur. But their severely lacking funds force them to engage in much manual labor, testing their marriage and pushing them to evaluate what is most important in their lives. Michaels critically analyzes the aristocracy’s elitism while highlighting refreshing protagonists willing to risk societal censure for a chance at happiness. The allure of the lifelong love between Will and Elaina will entice readers from the first page. (Self-published)
Formats
Ebook Details
  • 11/2020
  • 978-1-7351401-0-0 B08GJV5R8R
  • pages
  • $3.99
Paperback Details
  • 11/2020
  • 978-1-7351401-1-7
  • 314 pages
  • $14.99

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