The Lady of the Lakes
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?
|Published||Shadow Mountain 2016|
|Book on CD||Unabridged, 8 discs, approx. 9.9 hours|
By Anon, Submitted on 2017-06-01
I loved this book! Josi S Kilpack is an excellent author. She is at the top of my list. I listened to the audiobook (which is the main way I devour books these days). As such -- for me -- the narrator is a critical piece. And Cassandra Campbell did not disappoint here -- I continually find her to be an exceptional narrator.
By Anonymous, Submitted on 2017-05-31
The characters never 'came alive' for me - probably because almost everything in this book was assumption.
I did like putting myself in each of their circumstances. The author made me sympathize with Mina - she shouldn't choose a husband to please her family OR Walter. Being a French orphan like Charlotte would be hard - I like how independent she seemed. I think it's interesting that Walter was the "romantic" type and she was the practical one of the relationship.
The dialogue wasn't consistent or true to the time. Every once in awhile, a word or two suggested a Scottish accent, but they were so random and odd that it sounded weird (and I usually love Scottish accents). I could never "hear" a character's voice. Charlotte rarely sounded French. There were many "th" words in her dialogue that weren't adjusted to her accent. And I think they made the wrong adjustments in the first place (shouldn't it be "zat" and "zis" rather than "dat" or "dis" for a French accent?). She even said "tings" once... As I said, not consistent at all.
I don't think any of them would have kissed so much at their age, at that time in history, or in any of those circumstances (maybe I'm being naive). It made them seem juvenile and lustful.
There was too much physical description going on. Every eyebrow tilt and nostril flare was made known to us. There was too much emotion that made it seem unrealistic. I didn't care for the book, but I am picky about what I read.
By Heather C, Submitted on 2017-05-18
I am not one to read romance novels. I'm usually reading fantasy/science fiction or non-fiction. However, this one intrigued me and I'm so glad I had the chance to read it. It's fairly predictable, but it's a great story that is told well and definitely got my heart pounding as the relationships between Walter and his 2 love interests grew (and yelling at the cd when it skipped during one of the best parts!). I really appreciate that there are chapter notes at the end to clear up where the author took creative liberties and where she had actual facts to support her writing, as this is based on a true story. If you need a cute love story to brighten your day, this is perfect. I highly recommend it.
By Charissa, Submitted on 2017-04-23
This is based on the true love story of Walter Scott, Scottish poet and author. It’s about first loves and best loves. The author did an AMAZING job weaving history into a heart-tugging tale. I really loved Walter. He’s a passionate soul that wears his heart on his sleeve. He believes in love at first sight, because he has experienced it with Mina Stuart. They correspond long distance for over four years and he believes he will marry her, even though she’s in the upper class, and he’s but a lowly barrister in the middle class. So begins the true-life journey of this amazing, good man. The other character is Charlotte, who is a French woman who is the ward of Lord Devonshire since her parents both died when she was a child. She lives in England and has given up hope of ever marrying. She won’t marry for any other reason than love, and she is too old and on the shelf to find that—in her mid-twenties. But she’s determined to become independent and not rely on her guardian any longer since she is getting on in age. When she meets Walter on a vacation, they both feel that each is a special friend they get along well with. But Walter’s heart was caught and broken once. He does not feel he will ever be able to love again, nor dares he risk it. You must read his story to experience this beautiful journey of his heart. It’s awesome. I was fascinated with his history. This book was super well done. Writing was flawless, with bits and pieces of Scott’s original writings woven into it. Bravo.
By Aimee Bryan, Submitted on 2017-04-15
I thoroughly enjoyed Josie's Forever and Forever and was very excited about reading this one as well.
I must say, I am pretty picky about what I think is "proper"...that being said, I didn't feel this one lived up to that label.
I was really happy with the first 2/3 - 3/4 of the book but then towards the end I felt there were 2 or 3 'scenes' that were too passionate for my taste.
Sadly, I was unable to recommend this one to my friends.
Also, I will often buy books of favorite authors before reading them. This is the second time I have regretted doing that with Josie Kilpack. Some of hers are wonderful but I no longer feel like I can take the gamble on her.
By Taunya, Submitted on 2017-03-07
I really enjoyed this book. I have heard the name Sir Walter Scott but did not know very much about the man or his life. I think everyone has a story and I really liked how the author told his story as well as the two other women in his life. It was interesting to see the conflicted between all of the characters involved and the choices that they all had to ultimately choose to follow their individual hearts.
By Rachelle, Submitted on 2017-01-13
I love a good historical romance and because this one is based on actual lives in history, it made it all the more intriguing to me. Walter Scott lived a humble life and fell in love with someone far above his station. I think it's interesting to note that later in his life, he was knighted and became Sir Walter Scott. The love story unfolds as Walter and Mina are very young, as they grow, Mina begins to question if she is truly in love with Walter. The character of Walter is written as a man who felt things deeply and experienced life's hardships, failures, and successes with the viewpoint of a writer. When Walter meets Charlotte, it is a completely different feeling from the young Mina which brings more confusion. What is the right love, the true love for his heart?
I love Charlotte's no-nonsense character and immediately thought of her as someone I'd like to be friends with. She also had a hard life and rose above her circumstances to do great things. During a point of history where scandal and history taint innocent children, Charlotte believes she will most likely not marry. It was with great anticipation that I read this novel to find out the story that actually took place in Walter Scott's life.
If you like historical romance that is well-written, clean, and enthralling, read the Lady of the Lakes. Kilpack has proven that her novels won't ever collect dust on the nightstand because they're too good to put down!
I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I've shared.
By Old Tome, Submitted on 2017-01-10
This book was a beautiful escape. In it, I discovered history, culture, and romance in perfect measures. I enjoyed each of the characters, the development of their stories, and their decisions to find joy in their lives. The author did an amazing job melding imagination and speculation with what I could only imagine was dry historical information, and spinning it into a tale I felt honored to encounter. A very pleasant read that made me re-evaluate important themes of real love, joy, patriotism, familial loyalty, romance, and art.
By Lisa F, Submitted on 2017-01-09
I love historical fiction. When real people in history are the focus, it makes the book more interesting.
This story is about the romances of Sir Walter Scott. I love to read, so I am familiar with his name, but I was not familiar with his life. I love that this book made him more real to me. He isn't just a name anymore. He was a man with hopes and dreams. At the beginning of the book his hopes revolve around Mina. She was from a "higher" social class than he was. She was the daughter of gentry, while Walter's father was not.
The book simultaneously tells the story of Walter and Charlotte. Walter was in love with Mina and Charlotte was trying to figure out a life that she thought would be spent alone. Both of their stories are interesting. Their struggles and dreams were brought to life for me. Eventually the stories come together as Walter and Charlotte meet and discover unexpected dreams.
This is a clean romance. I love Josi Kilpack's writing. I have loved every book of hers that I have read. I feel that I can't go wrong picking up one of her books!
By Katie, Submitted on 2017-01-08
When I was younger, I loved to read a series about the biographies of famous people in history. I loved learning more about these people and how their lives shaped or contributed to history. As I grew older, I found myself enjoying fiction a lot more and non-fiction a lot less and I hardly ever read those types of books anymore. However, I still find them very fascinating.
This author took on a book about well-known writer, Walter Scott. I don't know much about this man, aside from some of his works, and found it very interesting to learn more about him and his life. If there's one thing I learned about him, it's that he's very passionate, meaning he feels very deeply. The story tells the tale of his one true love and how intense, desperate, and fervent his feelings toward Mina were. Although the romance is gentle, his emotions are strong and tangible. Another romance angle appears, and this one is just as gentle and not quite as zealous.
The characters are done in a way that brings them to life--their hopes, dreams, and disappointments are extremely vivid. I think that's why I enjoyed this story so much--it's more than just facts, but an emotional element is woven in that completely engaged my attention and made it feel more like the fiction books that I love so much. I hope to see more of this type of book in the future.
Content: mild romance.
*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which didn't influence my thoughts in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
By Aimee Brown, Submitted on 2017-01-05
There is something wonderous about this book. I was so completely enthralled with it and as I sit here thinking about the whole story, I find that outside of two very slow moving romances, there was not really a lot going on. No danger, no big heart pounding moments of suspense and no heart wrenching scenes of tragedy and dying. It's a simple tale of a man with a romantic heart, falling in love. Josi Kilpack has done an amazing job of crafting a story, so simplistic in it's base form, into something I was completely enthralled by. I really couldn't put it down.
I'll admit I don't know much about Walter Scott. I've never studied the man or his works. I know who he is in the most base form and that's it. I really enjoyed learning more about how his works and writings came to be, and his journey as a man.
The characters in this book are fully developed and I felt like I knew them intimately. I understood their struggles and felt the tugs of empathy and compassion toward them. I love when that happens!
This was such an enjoyable book! From start to finish. I'm so glad I got to read it. Josi Kilpack has really refined her craft in her last few books. I enjoyed her earlier books, but these last few books are really her crowing jewels. They are full of substance and so rich. I can't wait to see what comes next!
Oh, and I LOVE this gorgeous cover!!
- I received a copy of this book from the publisher. A favorable review was not required and all opinions expressed are my own.
By Andrea, Submitted on 2017-01-04
When I was given the opportunity to review the latest novel in the Historical Proper Romance line, I was a bit hesitant because the pacing in the last one I read was a bit slow for my taste. However, I'm very glad I decided to give The Lady of the Lakes a try. I really enjoyed it! This true love story was very well written, eye opening, and entertaining.
I truly felt for Walter and found him to very very interesting (and a bit blind at times, but they say love is blind so it worked well). Mina was awful, as was her father. Charlotte was such a great character. I loved that she wasn't like everyone else in society.
I enjoyed that the outcome wasn't one hundred percent certain early on. I had my hopes, and they were realized, but there were times when I wondered how it would turn out.
The prejudices portrayed throughout the story were really eye opening. The Scottish people were portrayed as very proud of their clans and heritage, along with a hesitation to welcome outsiders. The prejudice against the French was sad and interesting. I really enjoyed how the main characters didn't succumb to the prejudices.
I highly recommend The Lady of the Lakes.
By Cathy J, Submitted on 2017-01-04
I really love the way that this author writes her historical fiction novels. This is another one of her Historical Proper Romance books, where she re-tells the love story of a famous person. I loved everything about it, including the chapter notes at the end, and I don't usually read those.
I loved the way Sir Walter Scott became more of a real person to me as I read this one. I know he was a real person, but his character jumped off the pages for me as I read and became even more real. I loved his romantic attitude and the way he treated Mina and especially his beautifully romantic letters to her.
I liked Mina, as I was reading the discussion questions at the end, one of them was "Who was your least favorite character in the book?" My first thought was Mina because of the way she treated Walter during the book, but as I was thinking about it longer, I realized that she was just a victim of her circumstances really in this book. She is a young woman of money and expected to stay in her own caste. I thought she probably could have treated Walter better, but she was young and we all make mistakes. She did the best she could to make happiness for herself in her life.
I liked that we were able to see things from Charlotte's point of view as well as Mina and Walter's. I truly loved the way their love story was, it was just beautiful, realistic and romantic all at the same time.
This is a great addition to the Proper Romance line. I can't wait for another Historical Proper Romance book!
By Becca (aka Paij Slater), Submitted on 2017-01-03
Let me start by saying I devoured this book in one day. Devoured. I could not put it down. So. Good.
I cannot get enough of a good love story. It always makes it fun when it's a true story. That, I think is the reason I was unable to put it down. It's not like I didn't know the ending, but it was fascinating to read about what Sir Walter Scott went through on his pursuit of marriage.
I don't know about any of you, but I will always remember my first "love". I am not with that person, but that person helped me find the man I am with today who is my "true love". Experiences bring us to where we want and who we want to be with in life.
This story is just like that. Sir Walter Scott assumed he had met the love of his life and that no other would ever be able to replace her. His expressions of love in poetry and devotion were such a wonderful thing to read.
Unfortunately, in the end the love of his life didn't work out the way he had planned. He suffered for a long time, and thought that love would never happen again for him. He was still completely devoted to his first love.
Then, a wonderful thing happens. Sir Walter Scott meets a woman, and the real love story begins. It's so beautiful. It is one of those love stories that I am happy is in writing because it should live on forever.
I adored this world. I adored Sir Walter Scott. He was a man of integrity, and honor. He was a true gentleman. Kilpack brought this story to life with such joy, and passion that I could not put it down for one minute.
What I loved about this book is that Scott and his wife had been married for some time, the love, and passion were still there. Scott was truly devoted to his wife and family in every way. He chose to love and care for them in a way that is more beautiful than words could express all the days of his life. His wife in return was completely devoted to him. His cheerleader, his confidant, his partner. Beautiful.
If you like historical romances, pick this one up. You will not be disappointed.
Content: Clean and wonderful
Source: I was given this book as part of a blog tour. I was not compensated in any way for my review. These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.
By Heidi G., Submitted on 2017-01-03
Josi Kilpack does such a great job writing historical romances. Her Sadie Miller culinary mysteries are great as well, but this historical romance based on the life of Sir Walter Scott comes together so beautifully. The prologue, told from Walter's point of view, introduces the reader to his first reaction to the young Williamina Belshes, later Stuart. He is smitten from the very first time he lays eyes on her. Walter is determined to win Mina for his wife, but of course has to wait for her to reach the appropriate age as well as develop a strong enough income to buy a house. During those intervening years, Walter and Mina write to each other, expressing their feelings as well as their interests. But when they meet up again, Mina isn't as sure as Walter of the future of their relationship. Especially after her father pressures her to marry someone who can boost the family's prospects (his prospects really). Mina isn't sure she really knows what he wants. And when Walter meets and befriends Charlotte, a young Frenchwoman who as just become independent from her British Guardian, his feelings also become conflicted.
I think one of the things that I enjoyed most about this book is the realistic nature of the relationships, how they develop and fluctuate as the characters struggle to understand what they are feeling and what they really want. I also couldn't help falling in love with the Scotland that Kilpack (and Scott himself) portrays so clearly. While there is romance here, there is also the realities of messy relationships and the challenges that come when fantasies turn out not to work in reality. Kilpack has created a wonder novel exploring the nature and difficulties of love. The notes at the end make it clear what parts of the story are known or inferred to be true, and where the author took some literary license in order to create a story that flowed.