Promises and Primroses

Promises and Primroses

by Josi S. Kilpack


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Promises and Primroses by Josi S. Kilpack

Lord Elliott Mayfield aims to correct the very messy marital mistakes and spousal scandals of his brothers and sisters by requiring his nieces and nephews to choose worthy companions.  If they choose wisely, they will receive their generous share of the family’s inheritance.

Peter, Elliott’s eldest nephew, thinks the entire idea is ridiculous. A widower with two young daughters, he simply needs a governess, not a wife. Julia Hollingsworth certainly has the credentials and the experience, but is altogether too young and pretty for such a job. So why can’t he stop thinking about her?

Julia loves working as a governess, despite the objections of her mother, Amelia. And as it turns out, Amelia has a lot to say about the Mayfield men—none of it good. But Julia dismisses the rumors of ruined reputations and instead concentrates on helping Peter with his children and his fledgling business in canine husbandry. His kindness and gentleness is endearing—and increasingly attractive.

But Amelia, whose heart was broken thirty years ago by none other than Elliott Mayfield, is determined to prevent any relationship from blooming either between Peter and Julia—or between herself and Elliott.

Hearts and history collide as both couples must face their pasts and decide if risking it all is worth the promise of new love and a new future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629724577
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Series: Proper Romance Mayfield Family Regency Series , #1
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 237,158
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance and Proper Romance Historical series and the cozy mystery series, Culinary Mystery series. Her book, A Heart Revealed, is a Publishers Weekly Best Romance Book of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children. 

Read an Excerpt

“I have created a campaign that could save the others from their current courses by gifting them each a generous settlement upon an appropriate marriage. Your cousins are all of age, and with my sister Jane’s passing last year, I have no more family to stand in my way.” Elliott attempted a smile, then realized he had made a jest that his siblings and their respective spouses—including Peter’s parents—were dead. Perhaps not the best way to go about lightening the mood.

Peter looked less uncomfortable but more suspect. “A campaign?”

“A marriage campaign, you might say. I have seven nieces and nephews, all of whom I have cared for, but you are the only one who has married successfully and enjoyed the security and self-respect of a solid and loving union.”

Peter looked at the desk and squared up the edges of the notebook with the table.

Perhaps it would have been better for Elliott to have relayed the entire plan in a letter where he could have found the perfect words to explain. In a letter, the recipient need never know how many drafts existed between first and final. For Elliott, those drafts often counted into double digits.

“I know you miss Sybil very much,” Elliott said, his voice softening even as the awkwardness in the room increased. “Your daughters will benefit from the steadiness of their parents’ characters for the rest of their lives. I would like my other nieces and nephews to find similar happiness as you had with Sybil.”

Peter leaned toward one side of his chair, rested one hand on the wooden armrest, and tapped his finger. “With all due respect, Uncle, my match with Sybil was not the result of a campaign, and I can’t imagine we would have found happiness together had our relationship not started with love, commitment, and respect. I struggle to see how your . . . enticements will change anyone’s course. A life of virtue and integrity cannot be forced or, in regard to this situation, bought. It must be an individual choice.”

“I understand your concern,” Elliott admitted with a nod. “But I fear that without my enticements, as you call them, the others will never change their current courses. I need them to see the benefits of an upstanding life, and I believe this is an opportunity to frame the future into something that it is both clear and attainable.” He paused and took another breath. “This family is everything to me, Peter. I have sacrificed a great deal to provide for those over whom I have charge, but the hope that my efforts will heal the broken generations is faltering. There is no unity, no commitment to future generations—yourself excluded—and a pattern of poor choices is beginning to be sewn into our family tapestry yet again. We have been given a noble trust of land, wealth, position, and opportunity. I cannot in good conscience do nothing to prevent it from being completely squandered.”

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Promises and Primroses 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
lilacqueen75 4 months ago
The Regency books this author has been writing lately are so unique and fun! The very beginning of the book has a family tree and I loved studying that to try and get a feel for who the characters were before I began reading it, but I was kind of surprised that not many of those said people even made an appearance in the story. I'm definitely going to be watching for more in this series because I'm really curious now. This particular installment focuses on Peter and his never-married uncle, Elliot. Peter needs a governess and finds one in Julia, but her mother, Amelia, has a connection to Elliot and disapproves of this position. Have I confused anyone yet? I promise, the story makes sense and is written in a very clean way, while showing four different points-of-view. This is such a satisfyingly sweet and cozy story that brought out all the feel-good feelings. Julia doesn't need employment, but thrives in her work, especially as she comes to care for and teach Peter's two young daughters and assists in the dog breeding hobby on the estate. Those two things really set this story apart, adding interesting dimensions to the plot, to go along with the vivid characters. And those characters are what blow these books away--they are so dimensional and written so well. I've been reading books by this author since her early days of writing and I'm beyond impressed at how much she's grown and developed as a writer, which is apparent by the quality of her books. Content: mild romance *I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.*
Heidi_Reads 4 months ago
This is a book I finished with a sigh and satisfied smile. Isn't that the best feeling? The premise of the book and series with Lord Elliot's marriage campaign is unique and intriguing, and I'm looking forward to the books that are sure to follow. This first book focused not only on the oldest nephew, Peter, but also explored the history of Lord Elliot's past relationship with Peter's governess's mother. The four-person point of view wasn't overwhelming at all, but seamlessly woven together in a lovely balance as each character worked through their issues. I especially loved Julia and her selfless service for Peter and his children, even though she doesn't have a need for employment. The slowly blossoming romance between her and Peter was oh-so-good and despite the conflicting family dynamics, they are able to find their way to a happily-ever after. Such a wonderful Regency romance with depth and the promise of more to come! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
mara1108 4 months ago
I love (adore, am crazy about, put on a pedestal) Josi Kilpack, and don't think I've read anything by her that I haven't liked. I'm so excited for this new series about the Mayfield family. There's a family tree at the beginning of the book, which means there could be quite a few books coming. When Lord Elliott Mayfield's father died, Elliott gave up a great deal to "restore the family coffers and then grow his personal wealth." He never married and used his wealth to take care of his nieces and nephews. He wants them to avoid the marital problems and scandals that his brothers and sisters have caused others to associate with the Mayfield name, and he comes up with a "campaign" to entice them to make better choices including marrying responsibly. His nephew Peter, is the only one who married, had a family, lives an upright life and has managed to stay away from scandal. Peter is now a widower with two young daughters in need of a new governess. Julia Hollingsworth loves being a governess and fits right in with the Mayfield household--she's patient and kind with the Peter's daughters, and also knows about raising dogs (Peter breeds dogs). Unfortunately, her mother, Amelia, was once in love with Lord Elliott Mayfield and she wants Julia out of that house now, and seems determined to get her way no matter the cost. This isn't just Peter and Julia's story, it's also Elliott and Amelia's story. Peter and Julia's story is about Peter letting his heart mend enough to let someone else in, but Elliott and Amelia's story is about Amelia letting go of the hurt that Elliott inadvertently caused her by his abrupt departure when his father died. Josi Kilpack's characters are so well written that I come to love them, hate them, and want to throttle them. I loved Peter and Julia--he misses his wife so much he pours most of his energy into breeding and training his dogs. Julia is perfect for his family but it takes time for him to see that and see that she loves his daughters as if they were her own. Elliott wants to stop his nieces and nephews from making the same mistakes their parents had made. He wants the future generations to be better and had sacrificed having a family of his own building up the family fortune so he could use that to take care of them. I wanted to wring Amelia's (Julia's mother) neck several times. Yes, Elliott had hurt her, but it wasn't intentional, and she went on to marry and have a family with a wonderful man. But she hadn't forgiven Elliott--she was still holding onto the hurt over 30 years later. Amelia didn't understand Julia and didn't treat her as an adult (she was 27 years old) who could make her own decisions. My heart didn't soften towards Amelia until almost the end of the book when she visits Peter Mayfield's house and finally talks with instead of to Julia. Parenting adult children can be a fine line to walk. Having lived through it, I know it's difficult to show love for them when they make choices you don't agree with. As Amelia tells Julia "I felt that if I came, I would be showing support for a choice I did not agree with, and so I did not come." Sometimes what we want for them blinds us to how great they are without our help. "I am sorry that I have been so set on what I wanted you to be that I have not realized what an exceptional woman you truly are." I loved the ending of this book. How can you not, when you get two, happy endings. I look forward to reading more about the Mayfield family.
Lyssa Armstrong 11 days ago
I really enjoyed this book by one of my favorite authors. I loved the changing point of views and multiple story lines running at once. I feel thoroughly invested in these family members and hope that novels are written about the other nieces and nephews (particularly those who have made the biggest messes). Can't wait for more!
WishEnd 27 days ago
PROMISES AND PRIMROSES is a delightful story! There are two storylines that intertwine, great characters, and plenty of tension to keep things interesting. A sweet beginning to this new series about a family who needs some saving and an uncle who is trying to do so in his own creative way. This was a fun story to read! I always appreciate when an author can write dialogue that feels genuine and is also engaging. The characters were easy to relate to and the plot had enough twists and turns with some emotional pulls that kept me interested in what would happen next. I loved the chemistry between these characters, particularly between Julia and Peter, although both couples have great chemistry. I don't always enjoy stories with two different storylines, but I was okay with how these two different romances played out. The romance is of course the focus of the story, but there was also a bit more going on here. There is the whole situation with Peter's uncle and their family as well as with the dogs. Peter's little girls were also adorable and added another enjoyable aspect to the story. In the end, was it what I wished for? I really enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to Peter's brother's story next and to get to know others in the Mayfield family who may need to redeem themselves. Content: Clean Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.
Old_Tome 3 months ago
Poignant and beautiful! Every time I read one of Josi Kilpack's books, I think it more sweet and touching than the last, and this one was no exception. I have to be honest that the first chapter was difficult for me to get into, and I'm not sure why. I mean, the premise should have been intriguing, but I wanted the main character to be the first one to come out and grab me, and this one, well, didn't. It was actually a little confusing because I felt more time was spent on getting to know the uncle rather than the main character. However, I stuck with the book and was so glad I did. Eventually, it got to the point that I didn't want to leave the Mayfield world. It wasn't until I finished the book that I realized that I had slowly grown to care deeply for the characters in much the same was as the characters had fallen in love with each other. Peter was an amazing character, and I enjoyed the journey of watching how he and Julia repaired a family. I would definitely read the next book in the series.
Kerischneider 4 months ago
I am in love with these historical romance novels. They are not to much on the romance side. Julia is learning to be herself away from her family. This novel is about forgiveness and learning to love again. There is a family tree at the beginning so I am hoping this is a series of books. The ending turned out just right.
JBronder 4 months ago
Lord Elliot Mayfield has decided that he is going to help out his nieces and nephews with their lives. He comes up with a proposal for them if they expect to inherit their portion of the family legacy. This story is about his nephew Peter, a widower with two young daughters. Peter hires Julia Hollingsworth to be a governess with the strict belief that she will never be more than that. Julia has no plans to have a relationship with Peter and even though she doesn’t need a job, she enjoys the girls and helping Peter with his dog husbandry. But she finds herself wanting to spend more and more time with Peter. Her mother Amelia is determined to keep the two of them apart. But she has her own secret about Elliot Mayfield. This was a great, sweet story with two pair of broken hearts trying everything they could to keep from falling in love again. Peter directs his loss of his wife into the dog breeding and Julia is perfect for his daughters. Of course Amelia is bound a determined to keep Julia from going through the same heartache that she went through. I understood her but at the same time wanted to slap her upside the head. Over all this is not one of my normal reads and a first from Josi Kilpack. But I think I will be checking her other books out very soon. This is definitely one book that you need to read. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Anonymous 4 months ago
1822 Elliott Mayfield, fifth Viscount Howardsford is meeting with his nephew and heir, Peter Mayfield. As many family members have made bad choices and bad marriages in the past, Elliott wants to see the family members turn toward better things. There are 7 nieces and nephews that he wants to see marry well and have happy lives. To that end, he wants to offer them an enticement to help them obtain a happy marriage with someone who will be a good mate for them. Peter admires his uncle for his generosity and concern, but hopes his cousins will not try to take advantage of Elliott in his endeavor. The gifts will be in the form investments with growth potential. Peter is a widower with 2 daughters to raise. He is a hard worker and does not feel his uncle should give him an enticement to marry again as he has no wish to do so. He lost his wife, Sybil, 4 years ago and he still mourns her. While Peter appreciates his uncle’s concern, he is only thing of his daughters, Leah and Marjorie, and how he must hire a new governess for them. At the employment office, Peter interviews three women. Miss Julia Hollingsworth is a young woman whose age is 27. She has recently finished a governess position in London that she held for 5 years. A lovely woman, he discovers that her father raised dogs which is Peter’s passion. Since Julia is such a lovely woman, he decides to hire a dour woman as governess because he realizes he is much to attracted to Julia. However, the woman is totally unsuitable and Julia finally gets the job. Julia’s mother, Amelia, is a widow and at one time had been in love with Elliott. Thinking he was about to propose to her, he was called away on urgent family business and their relationship stalled. While Amelia had a good marriage to a banker and 3 children, she is still bitter about Elliott. Therefore, she does not wants Julia to have anything to do with the Mayfield family and begins a mission to get Julia away from them. This story has some good things about it. I felt the the addition of Amelia could have totally been cut out. Her bitterness is very irritating and I quickly tired of her character. However, the gentleness of Julia with the girls and the dogs is very well-written. I’m sure readers will enjoy this book. I am a fan of this author. Copy provided by Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.
yellowrubyjewels 4 months ago
What's better than reading one of Josi Kilpack's books and having a sweet love story? Why, it's reading one of Josi Kilpack's books and getting TWO sweet love stories to enjoy, of course! I am really looking forward to this new Mayfield Family Series. What a fun idea! I'm pretty curious to see how many books will be written for it. After all, when you look at the family tree included in the beginning of this book there are many, many possibilities. Promises and Primroses is very worthy of the five star rating, and then some. Lord Elliot Mayfield, uncle, and the family Patriarch, has strived his whole life to help his family and create stability in the failing family estate. Through his own sacrifices and loss of what he had hoped for, he finds himself older and carrying a great desire to help his nieces and nephews find happiness by righting past mistakes. So emerges his marriage campaign (so named by the first nephew to be told about it). I have to say that my favorite aspect about this book was how the author showed missed opportunities in some of the characters' lives and how they were given different opportunities, which shaped their lives and led them to become who they are. Yet with those missed opportunities, the author goes on to show that these characters embraced their lives and don't say 'what if,' or wish for what might have been. They accepted their mistakes, worked through the healing process, wanted forgiveness, and worked to make their lives the best they could and be grateful for what came their way. Peter Mayfield has felt defined by the choices of his family's past. He has strived hard to be good and do good all his life. He will not allow any scandal to touch him. A widower and father of two young daughters, he believes himself content with where his life is now. All until an upsetting encounter. One that will forever find him changed. In doing everything he can to force his path away from one person, he soon learns that his path lies in the one direction he is fighting to avoid. There are many great characters written into this novel. Sometimes we believe we know what is best for us or our family. But what we believe to be best only succeeds in pushing us away from what we truly want and what is truly best. How to find that balance, protect your heart, hide the aches and keep living with love in your life, is what these characters must figure out. I finished reading this and wanted to return right away. I wasn't ready to close the book and say goodbye for now to these flawed, yet hopeful, characters who had become friends. Julia and Peter have such a sweet and gentle love story. If you're a regency era reader, the gentlemanly manners will have you swooning and sighing. You'll be cheering these two on and wishing Peter would see everything more clearly. His daughters are such a fun addition to the story and will steal your heart away. Dog lovers will also enjoy the addition of Peter's love of dogs. I'm very much looking forward to seeing who the next candidate for Lord Elliott's marriage campaign will be. Content: Clean. I received a copy from the author. All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own. Happy Reading!!!
Heidi_Reads 4 months ago
This is a book I finished with a sigh and satisfied smile. Isn't that the best feeling? The premise of the book and series with Lord Elliot's marriage campaign is unique and intriguing, and I'm looking forward to the books that are sure to follow. This first book focused not only on the oldest nephew, Peter, but also explored the history of Lord Elliot's past relationship with Peter's governess's mother. The four-person point of view wasn't overwhelming at all, but seamlessly woven together in a lovely balance as each character worked through their issues. I especially loved Julia and her selfless service for Peter and his children, even though she doesn't have a need for employment. The slowly blossoming romance between her and Peter was oh-so-good and despite the conflicting family dynamics, they are able to find their way to a happily-ever after. Such a wonderful Regency romance with depth and the promise of more to come! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
quibecca 4 months ago
Oh, how I love a Proper Romance Series book!!! Josi Kilpack knocks it out of the park with this sweet story. I haven't read a historical romance novel for a while, so this book was a breath of fresh air for me. Not that I haven't enjoyed reading others, this is just my favorite kind of book. All the fluff, and romance is just always such a great restart for me. This book did not disappoint. I have decided though that while reading these historical romances, that I probably would have been one the women back then that was stoned to death....or beaten to death....or you know, burned at the stake. I was not born to keep my mouth shut, so stories like this sometime infuriate me... I am woman hear me ROAR, is what I want to say during the whole book. Which I LOVE it if a book brings out those kinds of emotions in me. Let's return to the story at hand though. I want to just talk a little about the characters and what I love about them. I think that is the best way for me to get my point across without revealing too much about the book, because you MUST pick this one up and read it for yourselves ;). Lord Elliot - Is a good man. He was determined to help his family over come scandal and dishonor. He worked his whole life doing this. I think his greatest achievement is his eldest nephew Peter. Lord Elliot decides he is going to come up with a plan for his nieces and nephews to marry in a proper way and to renew the favor of the Mayfield family. I just liked him because he was the kind of man who wanted the best for everyone and was willing to give up his life for the happiness of others. Peter - Oh, Peter. Yummy, sweet, delicious, handsome Peter. It may be time to tell my husband that he has been replaced by my new book love interest. Peter is the type of man, that I believe every man should be. He is kind, gentle, hard working, and just a good man. He does have one flaw I think though. He didn't allow his workers to have personal lives. Maybe because he was lacking one himself. That doesn't last long, and it comes slow, and beautifully. Peter had been married once before and has two beautiful daughters. He needs a Governess for them though. He cannot simply take care of his house and his land and his dogs without the help of a Governess. Right? Julia - Oh, sweet, beautiful Julia (aka Governess). Like I said, Peter couldn't simply take care of the children himself. Peter needed Julia. Julia, is my favorite. I think I love her most because she is a strong willed woman, who is determined to live her life like she wants to, and not how her mother wants her to. She loves being able to make her own choices, and be herself. My kind of girl. She loves children, which comes in handy now that she is taking care of Peter's two girls. Who of course love her, because she is the greatest thing to happen ever. She's what I want to be as a mother. Alas, I am too late because mine are all grown, but maybe I can be like her when I have grandchildren. So kind, generous, loving, and filled with attitude. Last but not least there always has to be that one family member that ruins everything. Am I right or am I right??? hehe Amelia - well lets just say Kilpack gave me a great villain to hate. She might redeem herself, but boy does she make my blood boil. Amelia is Julia's mother, and of course thinks that Julia cannot make any of her own decision. I mean a girl not married by age 27 is just scandalous. She is a
BecKiC 4 months ago
I stayed up way past a reasonable bedtime to finish reading this because I just had to know how it ended. I love the characters in this novel from the two main characters, to the supporting main characters, to the children, and the dogs. There were a lot of interesting story elements. Julia Hollingsworth is trying to make her own way in the world and taking a path that is much different than the one her mother, Amelia Hollingsworth, wants for her. When Julia becomes governess for the widower Peter Mayfield, her mother does all she can to put an end to the job because of the Mayfield family’s tainted reputation – and because Lord Elliott Mayfield, Peter’s uncle - once broke her heart. But Peter is a good man, and Julia fits in easily with his daughters. Peter also finds her experience with dog breeding almost as helpful as her gift with children. They’re thrown together often, and even though he is determined never to marry again, Peter finds himself growing ever more attracted to his daughter’s governess. Julia struggles with her attraction to him knowing she is considered a servant in the household. Things get really complicated when Amelia asks Peter to ‘fire’ Julia without Julia’s knowledge, and when Amelia finds herself frequently in the company of her former beau, Lord Mayfield, whom she has never quite gotten over. I love all the twists and conflicts in this plot. I also like the various life lessons learned through the mistakes and good choices made Lord Mayfield, Amelia, Peter, and Julia. This is a beautiful story with wonderful characters.
AE2 4 months ago
Lord Elliott Mayfield's family has, for the most part, lived scandalous lives, and Elliott hopes that he can rectify that situation by offering his nieces and nephews certain enticements if they marry successfully and live more circumspect lives. Elliott's oldest nephew, Peter Mayfield, is one family who has always lived a respectable life and wants no part in Elliott's plan. As a widower, he doesn't plan to marry again--but what he does need is to find a governess for his two daughters. When he interviews candidates, he immediately knows he will not hire Julia Hollingsworth. While she's well-qualified, she's too young and too attractive. However, when his other options fall through, he does hire her, and while she's a great fit for his household, he soon finds that Julia's mother, Amelia, objects to Julia working for the Mayfield family and, having had her heart broken by Elliott years ago, will do all that she can to break Julia's connection with the Mayfield family. I wasn't sure how much I'd like a book with essentially four main characters (I like delving deep into the characters and wasn't sure there'd be enough depth with that many voices), but it worked really well. I liked seeing all of them, with their stubbornness and flaws and their goodness and their growth, too. I don't think there were really any big surprises, but there were unique and interesting elements to the plot (like Peter breeding dogs). Great choice for those who really like character-driven stories. I'm really interested to meet more of the Mayfield family in upcoming books! 4.5 stars. I read an ARC via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.