The countryside of England provided an idyllic backdrop for Charles Brumley’s and Leah Hastings’s childhood. Neighbors and best friends, the pair passed many happy days racing through the rolling hills of Derbyshire. Everything was perfect—until Charles ruined it all and abandoned Leah for university. Six years later, the former friends are thrust into each other’s paths once more. Leah had been looking forward to the ball, an opportunity to further her acquaintance with the handsome Mr. Wilkins—but when she sees Charles’s familiar face through the crowd, her traitorous heart leaps. Charles faces his own struggle: he has loved Leah since he was fifteen years old, yet it seems he is too late—it appears that her affections are otherwise engaged. As the pair tentatively renews their friendship, the spark between them is undeniable. After so many years apart, Leah endeavors to reconcile her feelings toward her once cherished companion. But when a conniving rival for Charles’s attention approaches Leah, the threat is clear: give up her association with Charles or a devastating secret about her family will be revealed. Faced with an impossible decision, Leah must make a choice—the ruin of her family or the ruin of her heart?
Charlon Linton's debut novel 'An Inconvenient Romance' is delightful! It's easy to see that Jane Austen has a heavy influence on this author. We see plenty of spunky 'Elizabeth Bennet' in the heroine, Miss Leah Hastings. Leaving out the usual titles we see in most Regency novels today, it has the familiar feel of Austen's work, without the classical writing style. That is where the comparisons end. Fresh new story, in which we find childhood best friends Mr Charles Brumley & Leah inevitably destined to be together yet thwarted at every turn! Charles has returned ready to claim his lady, but there has been bumps in the road and he isn't sure Leah even wants him more than a friend.
With competition on the horizon, a spiteful woman who uses threats to intervene and make Charles a match for her own daughter, endless miscommunications it appears love will not conquer all. Just when a possibility arises tragedy strikes, and all is now lost.
I loved so much about this book. The movement around a variety of locations, is something I crave in a story, especially Regency England. (I'm English and homesick and I love being taken around the country!) It keeps the story interesting and prevents it from getting a little stagnant. The introduction of Charles' Cambridge buddy Fausett, brings lighthearted relief. There's a lack of humor within the group, and the banter between the two friends is fun to follow.
Charles is an endearing character. He's lost his father and has had to come to terms with his new role of taking care of the estate, and his family. He knows what he wants, and that something is Leah. It was nice to see him unwavering and despite every pitfall he did not easily give up. Leah on the other hand is a little more difficult for me to connect with. I liked her enough, but her constant flitting back and forth got a little tiresome. She realizes she must love Charles, then we are back to just friends. I know the events that play out in the book played a large part in keeping them apart, at times I could literally feel Leah's agony over the situation she was put in. I would have preferred once she realized she loves him, as she does early on, for her then suffer that 'love loss' without questioning her feelings. The emotional flip flopping with Leah is my reason for this not being a 5 star review.
That said, I could not put this down! I absolutely loved the way this was written, the plot and the way it all came together. Plenty to keep the reader guessing and unpredictable. I cannot wait to read more from this author!
Thank you to Covenant Communications & Netgalley for the complimentary copy. This is my honest review.
Regency is such a fun genre and the English countryside always makes for a beautiful backdrop. This book revolves around Charles and Leah, childhood friends with the spark of something more. I enjoyed the alternating points of view which helped me form a stronger bond between both characters. It was fun to see both sides of the story and made me a champion to both Charles and Leah.
In the beginning I thought the characters acted much younger than their supposed ages. I wish I would have had a bit more definition of their early relationship. I was also bugged by the continued name change (which another of my blogging friends mentioned as well). From first names to Miss or Mr, or just last names. It was distracting.
But, aside from these minor annoyances, I really enjoyed this book. The characters were both easy to like and understand. The back and forth banter made me smile and I could easily picture this story playing out like a movie in my head. There was a dangerous accident, a dastardly villain, secrets and misunderstandings.
I do believe this is an author new to me. And, I also believe that this is her first book. This makes me extremely happy because while I enjoyed the book, there were some things that bothered me but that can only get better as this author refines her craft. I'm really excited to have another author to keep my eyes on and I will be watching for future books.
I really enjoyed this one! I liked the way it started out with Leah and Charles as teens and friends before it really got into the romance part of the book. I loved how comfortable they were with each other, one of my very favorite parts of the whole book.
I liked the plot of this one. It had surprises for the characters around every corner, from a beast mother of another young lady, to a tragic accident, things never quite settle down for these two, making their romance a tenuous one at best.
I liked the way the book bounced back and forth between Leah's and Charles' perspectives. I liked the way that you kind of got to know what each of them were thinking during each of the key events in the book. And it was fun to see each of their personalities come out during these parts where you knew their thoughts.
I liked Leah, she is a loyal young woman, fiercely protective of her family. That actually causes part of the problem for these two in the book. I enjoyed seeing things through her eyes.
Charles was great too. I loved the way he cared so much for Leah that he was willing to go out of his way to get the person he thought she loved most when Leah needed him most.
I liked that this book was written differently than most Regency Romances are, some of them can be a bit tedious to get through and this book was not like that at all. I loved it!
What a GREAT book! I LOVE regency romances! Emotions are OH. SO. REAL. And sometimes they conflict and get in the way of each other-- especially when it comes to love!
PERFECT read for February!
An Inconvenient Romance is a cute and sweet story. I liked the characters and enjoyed the long relationship they had had as neighbors that added so much to their feelings. The alternating points of view really added to the story.
As a reader there was a bit of frustration that Charles and Leah didn't just talk to each other, but their fears, coupled with Leah's dedication to her family, made for an entertaining read.
I would read more from this author.
I loved the Regency setting in this friends-to-romance story! Charles and Leah are so informal with each other as youth, there was a real contrast to how polite and civilized they must act around each other as adults. All the fun parts of their relationship are shown in the prologue when they are young, but the majority of the story is full of hurt feelings, misunderstandings, lack of communication, and heartache. Even with all the angst, there is an underlying tone of hope and perseverance that makes the characters endearing (despite their flaws) and I was rooting for a happy ending as Charles and Leah flounder from the obstacles standing in their way. Leah's father and sister were grounding and their wisdom helped Leah as she is faced with decisions that will determine her future happiness. Another secondary character that balanced out Charles' moodiness is his friend from university who is visiting and knows just how to tease him and also propel him to fight for Leah. While I would have liked to see more happy moments between Leah and Charles throughout the book, I enjoyed the plot and would recommend this book to fans of sweet romance!
(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
Leah and Charles have been childhood friends forever, but when Charles leaves for Cambridge for six years, Leah feels abandoned and tries to protect her heart by moving on from her childhood ‘crush.’ But when Charles hears that a certain army captain is paying her specific attention, he races home to proclaim his love and devotion for her. But it might be too late. I really loved this book. It’s told from the point of view of both Leah and Charles and really tugged at my heart. The characterization is done well, and I really liked the plot twists and emotional appeal. I finished it in two days because I couldn’t put it down once I started. ***I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review, and I honestly adored this Regency romance.