The Vicar's Daughter
By Josi S. Kilpack
Cassie, the youngest of the vicar, can't be out in society until her older sister Lenora, makes a match. Frustrated with her sister, who is in her third season and shows no signs of being able to talk to a man, let alone make a match with one, Cassie fears she'll never be able to make a match of her own. So when Lenora expresses interest in Evan Glenside, who has recently risen to the role of heir of a nearby estate, Cassie does something drastic: she begins writing to Evan for Lenora. As they pen letter back and forth, Cassie is drawn to Evan--and when she actually meets him, she realizes it's going to be much harder to help her sister make a match with him when she herself has come to care for him. For his part, Evan enjoys the letters he exchanges with Lenora and he hopes that she will overcome her shyness and display the same personality in person as she has in her letters, but when that doesn't come to pass, he doesn't know what to think.
I was really worried about how this book was going to play out, and if the author went a certain direction, I was sure it was going to ruin the whole book for me. (See spoilers below if you want to know what the plot line that would have ruined it for me was.) Luckily, she didn't, and I liked how things played out. (I might have to go reread it now that I know how it ends so I don't have to be nervous the whole time!) There were times when Cassie was (realistically) frustrating and self-absorbed, but at the same time, I could understand that, since I'd have been totally frustrated in her situation, too. Evan was a terrific male lead; I liked seeing how he'd been raised in a lower class and needed to learn the rules of polite society and how not knowing all the rules compounded the problem he found himself in. I also liked how there's a message of forgiveness and trying to fix things one has done wrong. All in all, a great historical romance.
I read an ARC via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
SPOILERS!!! I would have hated this book if the resolution to the problem had come by having Lenora die. That just would have been really frustrating to me, so I'm happy to report that Lenora is alive and well as the end of the book...and I'm hoping we could actually see her as the protagonist of another book.