Why did I want to read this book?
I’ve become a follower of Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series and I will see this series through to the finish line. lol!
What worked for me?
This is exactly the slow-burn romance that I was craving for during the time I was reading the book. There wasn’t really any ‘big’ drama or conflict in the book. Don’t get me wrong. There was some conflicts they need to overcome but it wasn’t epic in proportions and I find it refreshing this time. If I can describe it in short terms, this was a story that was great in its simplicity. It was sweet, so, so sweet.
I can’t help but feel deep affection for Philippe and Elise. Philippe, with his almost smiles and his charm, his devotion and kindness of heart, is a true hero. Elise, on the other hand, is a spunky and fiery heroine. She’s a woman who doesn’t shy away from her feelings and desires that was pretty refreshing for me to read as well. But she still knows her responsibility and where her faith and loyalty would lie. Of course, her love and devotion for her son is admirable but the way that she was able to see through Philippe was also a great thing to read.
I love their conversations, their honesty, always their honesty with each other and how they treat each other without malice or calculation. I also love how they weren’t really bothered with putting a label to what they’re feeling or starting to feel, they just genuinely let these feelings wash over them. They just feel them. Period. The struggle doesn’t end there but it was another refreshing take on the obstacle that they have to overcome. There was no histrionics or drama about how their circumstances or differing stations are keeping them apart. They were so mature about it and they acted as how I believe mature adults would have acted. It was just wonderful to see that in the characters.
I loved JAL’s prose as usual. My connection to her writing fell a bit on the short end in her previous book, whose story I found entertaining but somehow lacking that spark I’ve come to expect from her. But now I’ve connected well to her writing again and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this whole book.
What did not work for me?
There wasn’t anything, really.
My over-all take on it?
I just loved this refreshing story. It’s not something I haven’t read before but I love JAL’s treatment of the plot and especially the characterizations in this book. Like I’ve mentioned earlier, the key to my enjoyment and appreciation of this book aside from its freshness is its simplicity and no-big-drama plot.
And oh my gosh, the next one will be the last book in the series, poised to become one of the most epic love stories in historical romance since it’ll be Lyon’s and Olivia’s story. I’m almost afraid to read that.
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.
Julie Anne Long originally set out to be a rock star when she grew up, and she has the guitars and the questionable wardrobe stuffed in the back of her closet t prove it. When playing to indifferent crowds at midnight in dank clubs lost its, ahem, charm, she realized she could incorporate all of the best things about being in a band—namely, drama, passion and men with unruly hair—into novels, while at the same time indulging her love of history and research. So she made the move from guitar to keyboard (the computer variety) and embarked on a considerably more civilized, if not much more peaceful, career as a novelist.
Julie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with a fat orange cat. (Little known fact: they issue you a cat the minute you become a romance novelist.)
Connect with Julie Anne Long:
More Julie Anne Long on the blog:
Between the Devil and Ian Eversea (Pennyroyal Green #9)
What do you think of slow-burn romances? Have you read Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series? Do you have a favorite?