From the desk of Katie Patchell:
There: on the horizon stands elegant, grand Lakeshire Park. It is a prize for women seeking church bells and thrown rice…and of course, a large income. If you too choose to step over its threshold, you’ll find yourself facing scheming debutantes, protective older brothers, and one very determined woman trying to navigate through it all. Beyond its doors lies a world where wealth matters, an ill-timed kiss can ruin one’s future, and where “the course of true love never did run smooth” could be nailed to the wall as a
warning and as a challenge to eager young lovers…and equally to you, Lakeshire Park’s future reader.
Enter Amelia, our “one very determined woman.” She has good reason to be so. Her beloved father’s death, her mother’s remarriage to a man who despises Amelia and her sister, Clara, and recently, her mother’s passing, has all made her resilient and cautious about loving again. After her cruel stepfather’s flat refusal to be connected to her and her sister anymore, Amelia searches for a means to save them both from destitution. Her good fortune is that she is not alone to face the world–Clara is her closest friend, and Amelia would do anything for her. This “anything” includes accepting an invitation to a house party hosted by none other than the man who Clara had a tendresse for in the previous Season. There’s only one problem: another woman seeks his attention, and she also has an older sibling who is fully devoted to her happiness. With time running out, what’s a woman to do? The answer is obvious: to make a deal with the devil – Amelia’s counterpart, Peter Wood, the stubborn, cunning man who from the very first moment of meeting has tried to ruin all her plans.
Unfortunately, Amelia’s plot to get him out of the way quickly unravels. His quick smile, sparkling eyes, and ready wit make her respond in kind. Rivalry and war turn to a mock battle for one-upmanship, and before Amelia knows it, her heart is involved. With her stepfather’s threats weighing on her mind and Peter’s sister’s devious plans against Clara, Amelia must make her most difficult choice yet: to choose her sister’s future happiness over her own.
Lakeshire Park was simply fun from beginning to end. Humor, drama, adventure, sibling friendship (and betrayal), and romance…this novel has it all. What I especially loved was the relationship between the leads. Peter, our hero, and Amelia, our heroine, were each loyal, competitive, and impulsive. They were willing to do anything — even if it meant running out into a storm or slinging mud at each other — because of their love for their family and their joie de vivre. What makes this joy even more profound to see is that, as with beautiful sunlight after a storm, the light exists after — maybe even because of — the darkness. Each character has a backstory of missed opportunities, pain, and regrets. What was interesting as a reader was to see that Amelia’s hurts cause her to shy away from love, while Peter’s reaction is to hold tight to love when he finds it. Their growth throughout the book and the excellent writing style hooked me, making me feel as if I was really experiencing the story along with the characters. The only thing that jarred my wonderful experience with Lakeshire Park was Amelia’s stepfather. He was a villain who hated Amelia and Clara so passionately, that he never said a paragraph without including his wish that they had never been born, should vanish from his life, etc. Unfortunately, I can’t say he was unrealistically poisonous; I don’t doubt there are hate-filled people in the world. I do doubt, however, that someone could wholeheartedly be this level of evil, and still somehow have become a decently respected figure, trusted to take care of two young women.
What made me truly love Lakeshire Park, though, was its story arc. It begins as a tale of loyalty, matchmaking, and the standard “I hate this man I just met” trope. As the pages turn, the plot changes. Relationships sour, friendships deepen, and loyalties (even to past memories) are shaken. Clean from beginning to end, this was a slow-burn romance that isn’t predictable. I won’t give away any spoilers, but I do have to say: at the 49% mark, there’s a huge plot twist I didn’t see coming! So stay sharp.
With the lightness of Jane Austen and the charm of Georgette Heyer, Lakeshire Park still stands as an original in its own right. In a time filled with global uncertainty and fear, I highly recommend Megan Walker’s latest novel for its ability to spread light, love, and laughter…just as its own heroine and hero do.
5 out of 5 Stars
- Lakeshire Park, by Megan Walker
- Shadow Mountain Publishing (April 7, 2020)
- Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook (256) pages
- ISBN: 978-1629727349
- Genre: Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
ADDITIONAL INFO | ADD TO GOODREADS
We received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image courtesy of Shadow Mountain Publishing © 2020; text Katie Patchell, © 2020, austenprose.com.
sounds like a wonderful story
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The set up of hate to love and oneupmanship does sound fun. I definitely want to read it. :)
This sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing here.
This book sounds WONDERFUL! I’ll have to check out the other stops on the tour! ;)