Thursday, July 2, 2015

Loving Helen by Michele Paige Holmes

Eighteen-year-old Helen Thatcher grew up under the protection of her older siblings, Grace and Christopher. Living in their shadows and keeping to herself suited Helen just fine—until she met widower Samuel Preston. Watching Mr. Preston care for his young daughter and seeing his concern extend to her own family, Helen felt her reserve slipping away, as she learned first to trust him and then realized she had fallen in love with him. But instead of returning—or even noticing her affection—Mr. Preston developed his own tender, and unrequited feelings, for Grace. In the midst of each silently nursing their broken hearts, Helen and Samuel are faced with a daunting task—reuniting Grace with her fiancĂ©, Nicholas Sutherland. Now it is Helen who must look out for her sister and sacrifice her own fragile heart, as she and Samuel pretend to be engaged. Helen finds the role surprisingly easy to play, allowing herself to imagine that Samuel’s loving remarks are sincere. As the time for their charade to end draws near Helen must summon her courage and tell Samuel the truth of her feelings, or risk losing him forever.
I really enjoyed this one! It had been awhile since I read the first book, but I was quickly sucked back into the story and the characters. This is the second book in the Hearthfire Romance series, I actually think it stands well on its own. I really enjoyed the first book and recommend reading it, but I think this one can be enjoyed on its own as well. Characters from the first book do play a role in the story though so you may enjoy it more if you have read the previous book. Helen was a likable character. She is more on the quite side, but more because of life experiences than of truly being shy. She has learned the hard way not to trust men, but with their livelihood in the balance she decides she wants to marry to help her family. She has come to admire their neighbor, Samuel Preston. Mr. Preston is still morning the loss of his wife and also happens to be falling in love with Helen's sister Grace. Lots of fun tension and complications in this one. I really liked their brother Christopher and how he looks out for his sisters. There's a good set up for his book, which I believe comes out later this year Overall, I found it to be an enjoyable story. There were some parts I thought were a little slow, a little too much inner-thought, but that's more of a personal preference. I would easily recommend this series to any regency fan. Content: Clean

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