She’s the other sister . . .
Overshadowed by the beauty of her older sister, Lillian is better known as the other Tisdale; unremarkable and unsure how she will ever deliver on the promise of her family’s name.
He’s a rake in need of reforming . . .
Will Colton leads a frivolous existence, embracing notoriety instead of managing his family’s fortune. Determined to forget his financial burden and his father’s growing resentment, he maintains a lifestyle dedicated to pleasure and self-indulgence.
When Will is invited to the Tisdale estate for an extended holiday, he never expects to become friends with the forgettable Lillian. But when a family secret comes to light, he must choose between leaving London and protecting the honor of one woman or staying and risking the reputation of another.
Upon his return, Will finds the girl he left behind has come out of the shadows and into her own. Lillian’s finally the center of attention, and not all of it good. With his own reputation in tatters, can a reformed rake lure her out of the hands of London’s bachelors and back into his own arms? Can he escape his past and reclaim her heart, or has he lost her forever?
Publisher and Release Date: Soul Mate Publishing, February 25, 2015
Time and Setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by Maria Almaguer
The third book in Jessica Jefferson’s charming Regency Blooms series, telling the stories of four sisters with floral names who come from a loving, titled, and prosperous family, is a rather melancholy and dramatic book, quite different in tone from the first two. I’m not sure if it’s due to personal circumstances or the mood of the story itself, but this book lacks the joie de vivre found in the other stories, and I was disappointed. The events in this book take place before the first one as, in that book, Lilly is already married. Because of this, I feel it’s best to read the series in order for a better understanding of plot progression and events.
Lillian – Lilly – Tisdale is the second eldest daughter in the respectable Tisdale family. The daughter of a viscount, all four Tisdale sisters are expected to marry well. But Lilly isn’t as poised and beautiful as Ambrosia, her elder sister, who is about to have her first London season. A lady who enjoys quiet pursuits and is also an accomplished artist, Lilly is insecure in both her looks and personality.
Will Colton, an old school friend to Thomas, Lilly’s elder brother, is a profligate rake on holiday from Oxford when he first meets seventeen-year-old Lilly at a family house party on the Tisdale estate. He is caught in the act of seducing another woman when Lilly literally falls into his arms. Will is charmed by Lilly and, by the time he leaves the house party to go back to Oxford, they agree to a friendly correspondence.
Two years pass as they write often to each other and Will finds himself telling Lilly things he has never told anyone. We learn about Will’s unhappy family life, his questionable and painful past, and the choices that eventually force him to leave the country. During this time Lilly, too, matures and grows more confident and self-assured. When they meet again, after a tragedy, they rekindle their friendship and it blooms into romance, but misunderstandings must be overcome for them to find their happy ending.
This story is a bit too long and actually rather sad. Yes, it ends happily, but it seems an arduous road to get there and as a result, it isn’t as fun as the other books in the series, especially the second, which is full of humor and light.
Ms Jefferson’s writing moves along nicely and she writes a good story, but some of the secondary characters are a little flat. I don’t quite get the feel for the family dynamics in this book as I did in the others, especially since the Tisdale family is a close and companionable one.
The romance between Lilly and Will has some passionate moments but again, they feel tinged with sadness as their story is filled with poor communication, separation, and unexpected circumstances.
The final book in the series will feature the youngest Tisdale sister, Rose, a voracious reader and writer; I just hope it’s a happier story than Lilly’s.