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March 10, 2019

House of Stone and Ivy by Anita Stansfield ~ a Review

by MK French

Hennie and Lottie were close friends when they were in the same orphanage and workhouse. They separated afterward, but Lottie soon was able to track Hennie down to explain how she found work posing as a man. Hennie is glad to leave the job she had in order to join her, though she is increasingly nervous when she realizes it is the manor home she had lived in with her mother prior to her death. No one recognized Hennie, and she is able to pull off the deception, even making friends. It turns out that the blacksmith is her former childhood friend, also in disguise. They grow even closer and decide that their path forward eventually includes honesty for everyone.

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House of Stone and Ivy
January 2019; Covenant Communications, Inc.
978-1524408565; audio, ebook, print (280 pages)
Regency romance
House of Stone and Ivy is a very sprawling novel, spanning several years from beginning to end. We're often told what the characters think and feel instead of inferring it for ourselves, but the relationships do flow naturally. It doesn't feel clunky at all and does portray the difference in social classes. Even among servants, there is a divide, one that Lottie and Hennie feel keenly as women and as men. The play-acting lets us explore masculine and feminine roles as well as class. Even though Jack is of a higher class than Hennie and Lottie, they weren't the titled members of the ton that are usually written about in Regency romance novels. The family did have a lot of money, and there is scheming from another family to get the property and finances, so that would be familiar.

There aren't any sex scenes or bad language, and hardly even any kissing. The romance is born of friendship, not sexual desire, so don't expect any grand declarations of death-defying passion. Hennie and Jack talk about God's will and forgiveness a lot, especially given the hurts that Jack's father had been the cause of. Friendship and love endure in this novel, and it wins out over greed only because of patience and last minute deals to show characters' true colors.

Buy House of Stone and Ivy at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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2 comments:

  1. This sounds like my kind of romance read!! :)

    Erica | Erica Robyn Reads

    ReplyDelete
  2. It was definitely an interesting one. Hope you like it!

    ReplyDelete

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