Sophia Rose is visiting today with a sweet, slow burning historical romance you’ll want to add to your TBR pile. Come check out her review of Kingscastle by Sophia Holloway.
by Sophia Holloway
Genres: Historical Romance
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
An enchanting romance that fans of Bridgerton will take to their hearts
Captain William Hawksmoor of the Royal Navy never expected to inherit Kingscastle and is none too pleased when he does so. Especially when he learns that he must marry within a year or be forever dealing with trustees.
As the new Marquis of Athelney, the captain takes command of Kingscastle and discovers much to be done to set it in order. He must also contend with his aunt, Lady Willoughby Hawksmoor, who is determined that her daughter will be his wife. When she discovers he is far more interested in Eleanor Burgess, her underpaid and much put-upon companion, Lady Willoughby shows she will stop at nothing to keep them apart.
Sophia Rose’s Review
One day a captain in the Royal Navy and content to be married to his career; the next he’s a Marquis in need of a wife. An old-style Regency Romance from a new to me author caught my eye and I didn’t hesitate to grab it up for a light, gently-paced engaging tale.
William Hawksmoor is a good commander and well respected. He’s perfectly happy with his place in the cadet branch of the family. In fact, he delivers a staggering frown to the family lawyer who is in disbelief that Captain Hawksmoor doesn’t want to be Marquis of Athelney after the close deaths of uncle and profligate cousin. Being told he has to be married within two years or forever have the funds left in the hands of the trustees is just more woe. Hawksmoor is a military man and this helps him adjust and make the most of matters including the main estate having fallen into disorganization and disrepair as the old Marquis grew feebler and his calculating, forceful aunt, Lady Willoughby, determined to marry him off to her second daughter, Charlotte. Too bad he has a penchant for Lady Willoughby’s sensible and bright companion, Eleanor Burgess, instead.
Kingscastle has in the blurb that it is for Bridgerton fans. I enjoyed a few of the Bridgerton books and many other Regency authors so I can say with some certainty that this was not much like Bridgerton. I think the comparison will do this book a disfavor when people come looking for more Bridgerton. This one is closer to books in the style of Georgette Heyer or Carla Kelly, rather. In fact, there were a few scenes that were more than nods to some Heyer book moments.
I settled into the storyline right away and enjoyed the set up and introduction to characters and situation. The author has a brilliant grasp of Regency Era and I happily enjoyed descriptions of life, dialogue, and style. It is a book given to gentle scenes and pacing with the exception of Lady Willoughby’s obnoxious over the top moments that were funny to me because she was so extreme. How so ever did this woman not end up the victim of accidental-on purpose hit her with the carriage I do not know? No one liked her and she had no redeeming qualities.
Speaking of characters. Interestingly, the main characters were not easy to know as some of the secondary characters like his naval lieutenant friend who came to help him get things organized at the castle or the local vicar and his sister. There are a few different plot threads going on with romance in the air for several. William and Eleanor are the main players, but their romance is not dominant. They were at the forefront of the story, but not as a developing couple- though yes, they are understood to be a romance pair. They have few scenes together and this is not so great because in the latter half of the book Eleanor seemed to alter in character. She goes from being loaded with common sense and seeing her fellow human creatures rather well to someone who chooses to believe an always conniving, spiteful Lady Willoughby about William. This is especially off-putting because William is fabulous. If he has a fault as a character, it is to have no real faults.
I sound like this book seems loaded with drama, but it is rather low-angst and I appreciated that. I even appreciated that there was plenty going on beyond the main romance as William gets Kingscastle in order and thwarts his aunt’s plans. It seemed a well-balanced book with all that went on though as I indicated before, I could have used a bit more William and Eleanor developing their romance.
So, in summary, Kingscastle was sweet, easy and delightful. I hope the author writes more Regency romances. I would recommend this one for those who enjoy sweet, slow burn historical romance.
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Yes, I do think some books suffer when they’re compared to other books. I understand it’s to lure readers into reading but if you go into a book expecting something and it doesn’t deliver it can be disappointing. Glad to hear this was a low angst historical romance.
Exactly! I figured I should say something if it helps others. It was a light and fun one. 🙂
Oh this sounds good! I like that the romance isn’t center stage and while it is action packed it isn’t packed with angst. Definitely need to add this to my TBR!
Well, the action is gentle, but yes, you caught the gist well. Hope you like it if you get the chance, Katherine. 🙂
It does sound like you had a good time with this one.
I sure did. It was nostalgic for me since it is old-style Regency writing. 🙂
It looks like a nice one. It’s the first time I hear about this one
I had a good time with this story. I forgot to bring out the fun parts.