Title: A Harvest Passion
Author: Emily Murdoch
Series: (four loosely linked seasonal novellas)
Genre: Regency Romance
Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you…
When teacher Leo Tyndale moves to the small English town of Sandercombe after five years in India, he does not expect that his time at the local school will be a long one.
But a brief encounter with the beautiful -and fiercely independent – Hestia Royce soon has him changing his mind.
A Harvest Passion is a charming regency romance novella about the acceptance of unlikely love.
Good gracious, there are spoilers here!
Source: Review copy from Endeavour Press via NetGalley
This is a short Regency read with a clean romance. It’s quick and undemanding and might have made for a pleasant read, but for a few important things.
Hestia is a problem. She’s been ostracised by her village after being jilted at the altar. I could just about go along with that, since Regency society wasn’t well known for giving the woman the benefit of the doubt when details were scarce. But everything else about the whole thing confused me.
Firstly, her fiancé was the youngest son of a duke, so he should have been Lord Isaac, not Mr Whoeveritwas. Secondly, why didn’t she sue for breach of promise? Because although she gets a pathetic letter about how wonderful she is for not suing, how happy he is and does she want to come and stay with him and his new wife? – which should have been her – her life is essentially ruined by the whole debacle. And since he married so swiftly after their non-wedding, surely she would then get the sympathy she deserves, rather than being treated like a pariah? Because if anyone was getting up to something before the wedding, it was likely the other woman.
Also, she’s supposedly a wealthy woman now, so why doesn’t she have any servants and why is she so angry at Leo for talking about travel? If she’s wealthy enough, she could have gone on her own. Likewise, if she’s wealthy enough, why does she stay in that hateful village? And if she isn’t wealthy, why do people think she is?
Then, when gossip starts running rampant about her and Leo, why does she firstly demand a walk with him, then turn up at his private rooms, and then blame him for ruining her character?! I wanted to shake her at that point, because she’s so ridiculously annoying.
Why did Leo want to marry her? Why did he even like her?
But I couldn’t get too worked up about it, because I didn’t care much for Leo either. He’s just a non-character. The first few chapters are about how much he missed England and is so glad he’s home and how he’ll never leave again. Then suddenly it’s India he misses and how he wishes he’d never left and he can’t wait to go back. He’s also a useless teacher, despite claiming to love the pursuit of knowledge.
So, basically. this one didn’t work for me. One character was unlikeable and the other uninteresting, while the plot made no sense. I have no idea why they would fall in love, since I’m not sure they even liked each other. And on the basis of this book, I’m not sure I’d want to try anything else by this author. It was short and easy enough to finish, but overall it wasn’t for me.
A Harvest Passion is Out Now.
Visit Emily Murdoch for more details.