Review: The Lady of the Lakes by Josi S. Kilpack #SweetDelight

Review: The Lady of the Lakes by Josi S. Kilpack #SweetDelightThe Lady of the Lakes by Josi S. Kilpack

Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Small Publisher on January 3, 2017
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Walter Scott has three passions: Scotland, poetry, and Mina Stuart. Though she is young and they are from different stations in society, Walter is certain their love is meant to be. For years, he has courted her through love letters. She is the sunshine of his soul.

Though Mina shares Walter’s love of literature and passionate temperament, it’s hard for her to know if she truly loves him or if she has only been dazzled by his flattery. When she meets the handsome and charming William Forbes, her heart is challenged. Who will she choose?

But as every poet knows, “The course of true love never did run smooth,” and on a windy morning in the lake country, Walter meets Charlotte.

At twenty-six, Charlotte Carpenter believes she will never find love. After all, she is a Catholic-born Frenchwoman living in London with a family history shadowed by scandal. Though quiet, practical, and determined to live a life of independence, her heart longs for someone to love her and a place to call home.

Passion and promises collide as Walter, Mina, and Charlotte must each decide the course for their futures. What are they each willing to risk to find love and be loved in return?

Classics live Ivanhoe and Rob Roy fueled my love for history and deep tempestuous romance. Imagine my delight to see the author of such favorites is the hero of this sweet historical romance. I had no idea the man, Sir Walter Scott, had his own unrequited love story only to get a new chance so when I saw this one I just had to read it. It was a lovely story and the author did a fantastic job marrying fact and fiction.

The story begins with young nineteen year old Walter Scott falling in love at first sight with Mina Stuart. She was even younger and was from a class above his own middle class roots. Walter is a romantic and courts Mina with poetry and heart-felt letters for four years. He thinks she is ‘the one’ and is forced to re-evaluated love before he can find the love of his life.

Mina delights in the romantic gestures of Walter and tries to match it, but her feelings are changing as she grows into womanhood. Now that she is older, she can see the differences in their situations and temperaments. Her father wants her to allow another man of her station to court her. Mina is torn between her conflicted desires, her family expectations, and tendres toward two very different men.

Charlotte grows up with the stigma of her nationality, the reputation of a mother run off with a lover, death of her father and care of a guardian. As a Frenchwoman living in an England at war with France, no dowry or status, and reliant on a guardian, she never sees herself being the object of someone’s love and having her own family for her future.

Alright, this is a story told by three different narrators with Walter Scott being the central figure. I thought the attention to historic detail particularly that of Georgian era Edinburgh and the border country to be well-drawn. I liked how the author portrayed the characters. She was sympathetic to Mina, Walter, and Charlotte weaving a plausible tale of how things came to be. I liked how she had her characters grow and come into their own.

The story hits on Walter’s writing talent, but the focus is on his romantic relationships and his incurably romantic personality. He really came alive for me. I liked both the ladies and was glad to see things sort out the way they did.

All in all, this was a lovely sweet romance about a very romantic famous author. Those who enjoy equal parts historical and romance with real-life characters should give this a try.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • That does sound like a nice romance.

    • It was neat to see a famous author be the center figure in his own romance. 🙂

  • Love the sound of this one.

  • Along with adding this to my tbr pile, I added Forever and Forever The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton which Jodi also wrote.

    • Oh yes, I saw that, she had a stack of other ones, too. Definitely caught my attention. Hope you enjoy them if you get the chance, Velvet.

  • Braine Supie

    Ooh I like this. Have you read The Paris Wife? If not, I suggest you check it out. It’s similar to this but it’s Hemingway and the FItzgeralds

    • Oh cool! No I haven’t. I’ll have to add it to my list.

  • This sounds interesting. I really don’t know a lot about Walter Scott but it neat to read about his life like this. Great review!

    • Yeah, I didn’t either, Carole. It was neat to get his story even in fiction format. thanks!

  • You always find the most interesting reads, Sophia. I’m glad you enjoyed their story 🙂

    • That Net Galley. It snares me so often when books just jump out and snag me into one clicking. 🙂 I loved this one, but truth be told, I’ve been doing immensely better at not leaping at every book on NG.

  • This sounds familiar, for some reason! But it was published recently… for some reason, it seemed like an old title too me. Love at first sight is a wonderful thing! Is this book love-triangle-y? It has that feel to it, with the three narrators. o_O

    Great review, Sophia! Have a fantastic week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • I know she has written other author’s stories so maybe you saw one of them, Alyssa.

      Well, the love at first sight didn’t work out for him and there never really is a love triangle for him because the first one rejects him before he meets his second chance lady. The confused in love person is his first lady love, Mina. I did think it was an odd choice to give her her own story line and narration since she isn’t the one he ends up with, but I guess it just made it a story with more than one angle.

      Thanks, Alyssa. Wishing you well on finals.

  • Oh cool! I wonder how much was fact and how much was fiction. I like stories like this, when there’s truth mixed with fiction. Sounds like a great book.

    • I think it was probably half and half. She has notes in the back that explain what she knew was fact and where she filled in with ‘what could have been’ to fit between the known facts. Since its fiction, I anticipate that and enjoy it. I didn’t know anything about Walter Scott’s life at all so this was a good intro for me.

  • The attention to historic details appeals to me Sophia.

    • Yes, it was fun with the Victorian Scottish settings and then the northern England Lake Country and also the issue of her being French.

  • This does look like a lovely read. Right up my alley.

    Great review, Sophia.

  • RO

    Even though I haven’t been reading many historicals lately, I am drawn to the research behind the stories in a book much more, so this definitely peaks my interest. Loved your review! Hugs…

    • You do bring up one of the fun things about reading historicals, Ro. They get me to checking out further study topics after the initial book piques my interest.