• Love and Lavender

  • The Proper Romance Mayfield Family Regency Series, Book 4
  • By: Josi S. Kilpack
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,291 ratings)

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Love and Lavender

By: Josi S. Kilpack
Narrated by: Justine Eyre
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Publisher's Summary

Hazel Stillman is a woman of rare independence and limited opportunities. Born with a clubbed foot, she was sent away as a child, and, knowing her disability means a marriage is unlikely, she devoted herself to scholarship and education.

Now working as a teacher in an elite private girls’ school, she is content with the way her story has unfolded. When her uncle Elliott Mayfield presents her with the prospect of a substantial inheritance if she marries, Hazel is offended. What kind of decent man would marry for her money? Besides, she loves her freedom as a professional, respected woman. When she hears rumors of the school possibly being sold, however, she knows she must consider all her options.

Duncan Penhale has a brilliant mind and thrives on order and process. He does not expect to marry because he likes his solitary life, shared only with his beloved cat. When Elliott Mayfield, his guardian’s brother, presents him with an inheritance if he marries a woman of social standing, Duncan finds it intrusive. However, with the inheritance, he could purchase the building in which he works and run his own firm. It would take an impressive and intellectual woman to understand and love him, quirks and all.

Hazel and Duncan believe they have found a solution to both of their problems: Marry one another, receive their inheritances, and then part ways to enjoy their individual paths. But when Uncle Mayfield stipulates that they must live together as husband and wife for one year before receiving their inheritances, Hazel and Duncan reluctantly agree. Over time, their marriage of convenience becomes much more appealing than they had anticipated. At the end of the full year, will they go their separate ways or could an unlikely marriage have found unsuspecting love?

©2021 Josi S. Kilpack (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Love and Lavender

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Sweet but different

I really enjoyed the mayfield series, the first 3 each unique and telling a lovely story. I was excited about this one, since I believe it is the last one. It was simple and sweet, I think the author did a wonderful job on Duncan’s character. Although his problem is mental and it wasn’t fully diagnosed as is in todays world she did a fine job.

I think if you aren’t aware of the spectrum of autism this book may not be to your liking. I say this because Duncan’s mental issue can be hard to understand and the reader may find parts annoying or may not have the patience to continue forward.

Their love story is very different from the previous, it’s slow and talks a lot about Duncan’s issue.
It is not at all like the others. It will take patience to get through this one. And that is why I say it is a miss and different.

I would only recommend this book to those who have the patience to really get to know a character and how it effects the overall telling of the story- because it is a very different set up for a love story.

7 people found this helpful

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Love this book series

I love that in these book series that her female characters show some strength! She did a good job with getting some of the traits down of somebody that has is on the spectrum. Not that she ever mentioned autism in the book. Sadly, what she discribes is not what it's like to be married to somebody that is on the spectrum. The female character in this story starts out being strong. But no matter the excuse that was made, she pretty much gave up everything to be married and he gave up almost nothing. That sadly is very common for the time period and being in marriages like this. I don't think relationships like this should ever be romanticized. I think this will give people the idea that this kind of thing is easy, and it's not! This sets people up for failure thinking that being married to somebody who has these struggles is going to work out like any other relationship just a little harder.. That is not realistic. A marriage like that is FILLED difficulties! A lot more than marriages between people that are both neurotypical. I had my finger up throughout the book trying to decide if I was going to like the story or not and it was very dependant on how it ended.. If it ended like some kind of cute love story instead of the realistic story that was being set up, I was not going to enjoy the storyas a whole.

The female character just starts to crumble most of the way through the book when some problems arise.. I am all about strong women! The story had too many flaws. Just can't enjoy it.

6 people found this helpful

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All the feels!

I was apprehensive when I read the reviews about the odd match in this book. I worried it was be be uncomfortable of offensive or I just wouldn't like it. After their first meeting I was completely hooked! Duncan was so well written I felt all the feeling! I truly enjoyed the way the story took time and how he spoke so plainly! I laughed so much more than I expected to! I loved the way they complemented each other and grew together! I should never have doubted you Josi! You are one of my favorite authors and you have given me a new favorite book! Thank you!

4 people found this helpful

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So excellent.

Such a delight to listen to this wonderful story. The fully drawn characters of Hazel and Duncan provided an inspired book in the historical romance genre. Ms. Kilpack's nuanced descriptions, internal monologues and external dialogues by Duncan amazed me and was so spot on for someone on the Autism spectrum (certainly unknown and misunderstood during this time period) and relayed so well. Hazel's struggle with her club foot - physically as well as emotionally and mentally was blended adeptly by Ms. Kilpack also. The story of Hazel and Duncan and their very challenging HEA could not have satisfied me more.

3 people found this helpful

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What a heartfelt history

This story is very inspiring. Being a mother of two children in the Autism spectrum it’s wonderful to read that love cross all limitations. I truly appreciate the author addressing such issues giving hope to the ones reading it!

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!

This was a great series! Book 4 was by far my favorite! I could turn around and listen to it all over again.

2 people found this helpful

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Extremely good listen

I loved this book. It gave such wonderful detail into the lives and minds of these 2 characters and their disabilities and how they both accept and overcome. Their love is genuine.
The narration is very well done.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful

I loved every minute of this book. The characters are very well developed. You fall in love with them and also feel the frustration of their situations, but also cheer them on.

2 people found this helpful

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Great original book!

I really enjoyed this book. It was an original idea and a great story. I couldn't predict the ending like so many other romance novels.

2 people found this helpful

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Wow! I was really moved by this story

Autistic Love Story and it was so beautiful I could really identify with the characters.

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  • eliza rose
  • 11-24-22

Enjoyable story

This was a very sympathetic book, a romance between an Asperger's man and a brilliant girl with a clubbed foot.
The descriptions of how Duncan felt and thought processes are so well described, as was Hazel and her thoughts about being rejected by her parents because of her foot.
I really enjoyed the tale.

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  • Mary
  • 11-18-22

Wonderful story!

This book was extraordinary. The characters were really endearing.
The autor did a really good job of creating a believable character on the autism spectrum in the 1800s with Duncan Penhale and also with Hazel Stillman's character who suffers from a clubbed foot.

It was beautiful to watch their love story develop little by little over time.The novel was so well-written in how each of their lives had been and how they became.
I will certainly read it again!
Great performance!

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  • Jan
  • 11-09-22

Not to my taste.

Not a fan of Justine Eyre. Still not. Might have enjoyed book with different narrator but found it slow and wasn't interested in the mathematical formulas.

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  • Karen Hassen
  • 11-04-22

Touchingly different love story

Beautifully moving story. The narrator’s voice suits the story perfectly. I really enjoyed this book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Carôle
  • 11-01-22

So Many Things…

Wrong with this tale and Right with this tale…

Firstly (& most tediously), why is every distance measured in ‘Blocks’? It’s such an American term and really NOT an English term at all and to use it to describe distances in Ipswich is just plain wrong!

Secondly, I can’t work out Ms Eyre’s accent! It’s almost English, but quite weirdly not! Some words are pronounced strangely - especially ‘Cravat’!

But, there is so much that is enjoyable about this too!

I’m assuming that ‘Autism’ or ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’ was not fully identified at the time, because it’s never once mentioned, either in the dialogue or the description of D’s disability. As a reader, you understand from the outset that his social limitations must be due to one or the other (or both). But it’s not labelled.

I think that, that makes the story quite a slow burner to begin with… you’re tempted to give up, the minutiae of their interactions, especially the letters, can seem to drag (notwithstanding that I felt like one round of letters had been left out - or badly edited). The story doesn’t really kick in until chapter 7!

Actually, I have to say something about the editing: it was very poorly done. In quite a few characters there were duplicate phrases, immediately after each other!

This is a meandering tale. It’s subject matter (& lead characters) lend itself to that. But notwithstanding this, it is a very interesting take on a Regency Romance.

But probably not one to revisit - too many things to find fault with it.

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  • ellie illing
  • 10-05-22

Great book

This book is a love story between a woman with a clubbed foot and a man with autism. In the time it is set they are both very disadvantaged and have had to do the best they can with their lot in life. Hazel is an independent woman who teaches mathmatics and matches Duncan itellect which is a rare find for him. They warm to each other and realise they quite like each others company. They both do sweet things for each other and don't seem to mind the others disability. I thought the author did a great job of showing the reader the everyday impact of their disabilities and how much its affected them. It gives you an insight into peoples life with these disabilities and i think she did it in a respectful way. Their love story is a slow burn, but well worth the wait.

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  • Janet Matthews
  • 10-01-22

loved this book so much.

Written with tenderness, sensitivity. Reminding the reader of the challenges of those with physical and learning disabilities in families, work, community and life. Injected with subtle humour and passion

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Skippy
  • 08-30-22

A lovely read

I loved this book from start to finish. The story captivated me and I was sad when it finished!
The narrator was excellent too.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Margaret west
  • 08-29-22

Such a beautiful story

I loved this book because it shows people it’s our differences that make us unique. The storyline was brilliant and as always the narrator brings the characters to life with all there flaws. Making this a lovely relaxing read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shell Barrett
  • 07-31-22

What a Beautiful Story

Of all the four books in this series, I think this one was the best. It even bought tears to my eyes towards the end.
It was such a simple story but was told in such a way that you couldn't help but be swept along with it.
Is sad that it's the last one in the series but I'm so pleased I found them.
I would definitely recommend it.

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  • Kitty
  • 12-05-21

A hastily written and poorly edited, Bridgerton wannabe knock-off

A hastily written and poorly edited (if at all), mere Bridgerton wannabe knock-off, obviously written by an American, without *ANY* thought or research into regency England, customs, traditions, and etiquette!

Dead giveaways are: The ‘author’ uses Silverware for CUTLERY;

In one paragraph it’s £5,000 , the next sentence someone says $5,000 !!!Talk about a big slip, AND a terrible editorial error, though this isn’t the worst;


One hundred, twenty two, (when it should be one hundred AND twenty two!!!);

The school teaches “Advanced Subjects”, rather than “SENIOR MATHEMATICS” and considers Latin ‘unnecessary’, and ‘superfluous’ when Latin is taught in schools today!

Hazel is sent away to school at age 6, where her brother goes much later… Girls would usually be taught at home. Boys would be sent away.

Some paragraphs start with the reader unsure of who the characters are because of bad editing. i.e. Peter changes to Patrick within a sentence…
And He to she are interchangeable at times, so often in a sentence, it’s hard to understand the meaning.

And the *SEVERAL* Christian proselytisings were so overbearing, it could have been an advert for the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints!

Narration:
“Books he had read” (to rhyme with reed not RED!!!)

Sometimes tear (as in tear drop) is read as “a rip”

Hastily written, & even more so, (if at all) edited… by an American, pretending to be English, half a step up from a Mills & Boone. And if that’s your thing, go for it!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-22

A refreshing change

This was truly a refreshing change to the run of the mill Regency Romances. The characters were well written and well performed and treated the issues of neuro diversity and disability with dignity and respect.

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  • Alvie.Huit
  • 08-13-22

Heart-warming

Josi writes with emotional intelligence. I’ve listened to books 2 and 4 of the four-part Mayfield series and am impressed by her subject matter, the characters created and the storyline development. Hazel and Duncan’s marriage is very sweet and made all the more endearing by the excellent narration. I look forward to exploring the other titles in this series.

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  • Chazza
  • 06-24-22

Great Read

I loved this story. It is refreshing to read a Regency romance that is a bit different from the usual. The lead characters were amusing and endearing.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-16-22

Positive Review

Loved it, found it a bit slow to start with but glad I persevered

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-10-22

Cute story.

This story is so cute. I was a bit bored at the beginning, but then I started loving their innocent and pure love. The book is beautiful.

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  • Sue Review
  • 02-21-22

Delightful story

This is the last in the series, all quality, engaging stories and beautifully narrated. I shall seek out more stories by this author and narrator. Thoroughly recommend!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Maryanne
  • 02-16-22

Enjoyable

Very enjoyable and light easy listening. I am glad I didn't judge this from reviews that I read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fiona
  • 01-31-22

I loved it!

Such an unusual love story. But it was the only story that has made me cry in such a long time. Beautifully written and wonderfully performed. Do yourself a favour and listen to this beautiful tale.

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  • Janette J Ryan
  • 01-31-22

characters made the story

This could have been another, “been there, done that”, except for the two main characters.
Hazel was a disposable daughter due to her club foot.
Duncan definitely had Asperger’s syndrome.
Hazel had the patience of a saint.
Duncan was hard to put up with, but together they made an interesting pair.