Review: Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

August 5, 2013 Review 0

Review: Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

Fara Bellamont has been back in society for a year after leaving Cluny Abbey, where her uncle sent her long ago. When he chooses a suitor for her for marriage, she fears that she will be forced to marry a stranger and live a miserable life.

But, Fara finds herself thrust into an adventure of a lifetime when unforeseen circumstances cause her to place her trust in a strange man for protection. His intervention not only saves her, but puts her in an even more compromising position.

Grant Hill, a trading captain, is enchanted by the young heiress not only because of her beauty, but because she is hardly conventional. Underneath her ladylike exterior lies a tigress. Grant cannot help but offer his protection as she is in need and he is far from immune from her charms.

Fara just never bargained on the passion that she feels for Grant Hill. As events unfold, she must decide whether her desires and the dictates of her heart should trump the rules of society in this exciting tale.

Title: Upon Your Return
Author: Marie Lavender
Published by Self
Source: Author
Published: 13 February 2013
Genres: Historical Romace
Pages: 353
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website

Stars: four-stars

Set in 1860’s France, often called the “second empire” this story manages to convey a feel for the time, historical details, and an amazingly well-defined main character to create a story that will have you engaged from the first page.

Orphaned and a ward of her uncle, Fara will soon be handed off to the first available “appropriate” suitor, without regard to her feelings or safety as is evidenced by his choice of suitable suitor. When this ‘suitor’ endangers her, and leaves her without defense, Fara’s realization of her precarious position in society is clearer to her.  With a subtle nod to her more modern thoughts about female empowerment and choice, Fara is instantly attracted to Grant, the man who defended her against the dangers her chosen suitor provided.

In the 1860’s (and long after) the idea of marriage for love, and marrying across class lines were unheard of in most circles: society did not treat social climbers well, nor were those members of society expected to consort with the ‘commoners’.  While Fara has a crush on Grant, her continuing thoughts about him, and his determined pursuit of her despite his lack of standing in society lead her to believe that she has found the love she lived without after her parents’ deaths.

The interactions between the two are cleverly portrayed and developed, while Grant veers between charming and infuriating, unable to express his love for her.  Fara, however, manages to take little tiny steps to independent thought and the realization that Grant is the one for her, and his acceptance of her burgeoning feminism is endearing.  Far from overreaching to the more modern beliefs about women, relationships and society, Marie Lavender has managed to show the slowly developing enlightenment and growth between the two characters: both in their love and in their social conscious.  Although Grant is dragging his heels, another dangerous situation for Fara gives him the jolt he needs to finally face his truth.

This was a lovely historical romance that was full of period detail, thought and description that brought the characters to life in simple and endearing ways with her beautifully wrought prose and attention to detail.



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