Grace Sinclair has been callously cast out of her home. And though taken in as an orphaned child by the vicar and his wife, her unsurpassed beauty makes it impossible for her to remain in the vicar’s household—with two daughters of their own about to enter Society, the vicar and his wife see Grace as nothing but competition. Thankfully, Grace’s estranged Aunt Bell has agreed to take her in to her home in London. But Grace soon learns her situation has just gotten much worse.
It takes only a moment’s acquaintance for Grace to ascertain that her aunt has married a detestable rake. And Aunt Bell, recognizing the danger of having her lovely niece too near her husband, gives Grace an ultimatum: the young woman has two weeks to find a man to marry, after which she will be turned out. With no experience in the art of attracting a husband, Grace quickly realizes that a worthy suitor might not be so easy to ensnare
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Lila Mae Guidry is a Southern girl through and through. As a fourth-generation Latter-day Saint in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she's proud of her heritage as both a Southerner and a Saint—and she doesn't take kindly to people who disparage either. Ten years ago, Max Archer was just that kind of jerk. As the mission president's son, Max spent his entire three years mocking the South . . . and teenage Lila. After Max's family moved away, Lila forgot about her sworn enemy. Almost.
When a new job brings a grown-up Max back to Baton Rouge, Lila is less than thrilled with his reappearance, especially since everyone seems intent on throwing her together with this old adversary. Yet fight as she may, Lila soon realizes resistance is futile—their connection is undeniable. Max embodies everything she wants in a man—except perhaps the most important thing her life is rooted in the city she loves, but his dreams are bigger than Baton Rouge. With such mismatched visions of the future, Max and Lila are faced with a life-altering decision: jeopardize their aspirations or risk losing love.
Southern Charmed will take you right into the bayou with its home cooked food, barefoot walks by the dock, Cajun restaurants and society pages. Melanie Jacobson does a wonderful job of pulling the readers into a world where debutantes have been raised to answer “yes ma’am and sir, where family roots run deep. Lila Mae is beginning to get pressure from her mom to get married and raise grandbabies. Already established in a teaching career at a high school with low income teens, Lila lives at home. Her love for Louisiana runs in her veins, as does her desire to take care of her mother, who is recovering from the loss of her husband. Along comes Max, Lila’s childhood crush to mix things up.
There is a side plot with a student Kiana who has a rough home life. She’s got talent, but with a mom on drugs in and out of the home, she lacks the resources to go to college or make a better life for herself. One girl who wants to launch but may not be able to and her teacher who has opportunity to leave, but wants to stay rooted. I absolutely loved the first half of the book, the world building and the banter between Max and Lila. The drag for me was the inner conflict within Lila. It felt a bit drawn out. I saw hints things would work out on their own, but one character was forced to compromise. This book is reminiscent of Melanie’s other works with strong lead women characters, and some non-profit and political undertones. My favorite element of her writing is the clean romance.
You will want to visit the South after reading this book just to sample the food!
Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She lives in Southern California with her husband and children and a series of doomed houseplants, and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in writing for children and young adults.
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What is it like to be the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world?
Hermione knows . . . her mother is Helen of Troy, the famed beauty of Greek myth. Helen is not only beautiful but also impulsive, and when she falls in love with charming Prince Paris, she runs off with him to Troy, abandoning her distraught daughter. Determined to reclaim their enchanting queen, the Greek army sails for Troy. Hermione stows away in one of the thousand ships in the fleet and witnesses the start of the legendary Trojan War. In the rough Greek encampment outside the walls of Troy, Hermione’s life is far from that of a pampered princess. Meanwhile, her mother basks in luxury in the royal palace inside the city. Hermione desperately wishes for the gods and goddesses to intervene and end the brutal war—and to bring her love. Will she end up with the handsome archer Orestes, or the formidable Pyrrhus, leader of a tribe of fierce warriors? And will she ever forgive her mother for bringing such chaos to her life and the lives of so many others?
The Story of Hermione and Helen of Troy:
After years of writing about the young lives of fascinating women of power, from Cleopatra to Victoria, in BEAUTY’S DAUGHTER I’ve drawn on the myths of ancient Greece to tell the story of what it must have been like to be the daughter of the most beautiful woman in the world.When Helen leaves her husband and daughter and runs off to Troy with handsome Paris, a thousand Greek ships sail for Troy to bring her back..and her daughter, Hermione, goes with them as a stowaway. Hermione’s adventures on the Trojan beaches, her struggle for survival,, and her search for true love of her life drive this story.
Queen Victoria’s personal journals inform this captivating first-person account of one of history’s most prominent female leaders.
Queen Victoria most certainly left a legacy—under her rule as the longest reigning female monarch in history, the British Empire was greatly expanded and significant industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes occurred within the United Kingdom. To be a young woman in a time when few other females held positions of power was to lead in a remarkable age—and because Queen Victoria kept personal journals, this historical novel from award-winning author Carolyn Meyer shares authentic emotional insight along with accurate information, weaving a true story of intrigue and romance.
It is the first century B.C. Cleopatra, the third of the pharaoh’s six children, is the one that her father has chosen to be the next queen of Egypt. But when King Ptolemy is forced into exile, Cleopatra is left alone to fend for herself in a palace rife with intrigue and murder. Smart, courageous, ambitious and sensuously beautiful, she possesses the charm to cause two of history’s most famous leaders to fall in love with her. But as her cruel sisters plot to steal the throne, Cleopatra realizes there is only one person on whom she can rely–herself.
In Cleopatra Confesses, award winning author Carolyn Meyer writes the story of the teenage girl who would become Egypt’s most unforgettable queen, from her early years to her her ultimate destiny.
The Wild Queen
Mary Stuart was just five years old when she was sent to France to be raised alongside her future husband. But when the frail young king dies, eighteen-year-old Mary is stripped of her title as Queen of France and set adrift in the harsh world, alone. Determined to reign over what is rightfully hers, Mary returns to Scotland. Hopingthat a husband will help her secure the coveted English throne, she marries again, but the love and security she longs for elude her. Instead, the fiery young queen finds herself embroiled in a murder scandal that could cost her the crown. And her attempts to bargain with her formidable “sister queen,” Elizabeth I of England, could cost her her very life.