If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that I have a special place in my heart for Regency fiction, be it in book or in its film version. This new lovely book (by, I must add, a new favorite author) adds someone from the British Empire days where the sun never set on their colonized holdings: India. Keep reading for more about Mary Grace, her adjustment to British society after growing up in India–and a mystery as well. And don’t miss your opportunity to win a copy of Meriden Park, an Amazon GC, and fun book swag.
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Meriden Park by Julie Daines, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Meriden Park Author: Julie Daines Publisher: Covenant Communications Release Date: December 5, 2022 Genre: Clean & Wholesome Romance/Historical/Regency/Suspense
Following her childhood rescue from the gutters of Calcutta, Mary Grace’s life has been an astonishing rags-to-riches tale. The Wellings raised the half-Indian orphan with all the love and care the childless couple possessed, allowing her to grow into a beautiful and refined woman. But upon Mr. Welling’s death, it is time for Mrs. Welling to take Mary home to England―home to Meriden Park.Despite her genial nature, Mary is received with suspicion by the villagers. For his part, however, Mr. Robert Markham is intrigued by the curious new beauty in town. Determined to make her acquaintance, he offers Mary a bargain she can’t refuse: a hot cross bun for a kiss. That seemingly innocent exchange is the first of many encounters between Robert and Mary, whose friendship blossoms into love during long walks in the privacy of Sherwood Forest. But the shadows of the forest hide a sinister secret, one Mary fears Robert might be a part of. As the mystery of the recent string of murders creeps closer and closer, Robert and Mary are drawn into a dangerous game, and unless she can unearth the truth, the couple risks losing one another forever.
PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie Daines is an award-winning and best-selling author. She was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was raised in Utah. She spent eighteen months living in London, where she studied and fell in love with English literature, sticky toffee pudding, and the mysterious guy who ran the kebab store around the corner.She loves reading, writing, and watching movies—anything that transports her to another world. She picks Captain Wentworth over Mr. Darcy, firmly believes in second breakfast, and never leaves home without her vervain.
Connect with Julie by visiting juliedaines.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.
(1) winner will receive a signed copy of book, $25 Amazon gift card, bookmark, stickers, and button.
Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 5, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 12, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
My impressions of Meriden Park
As you might have surmised from my introductory paragraph: I LOVED Meriden Park. If you’ve loved exploring the Regency period through fiction as I have, you’ll have discerned that (despite its fabulous clothes and the love stories we’ve delighted in), life for women then was NOT easy. Proscriptions for one’s behavior (in public, when meeting others, with the opposite sex, at balls, while calling on others) were rigid. Dowrys for women were expected. And marriage contracts were often offered and accepted without the bride-to-be’s knowledge or sometimes consent.
Meriden Park‘s heroine Mary Grace faces all of those expectations. But she has one additional essence that, in Regency England, counted against her hugely. Today, we’d call those others’ opinions and actions racism. For Mary’s mother was British and her father was Indian; and her lovely darker skin identified her as their offspring immediately. That counted against her in potential suitors, friendships, and even in local stores when she was attempting to make a purchase.
However, Mary has had one enormous advantage. When she was abandoned by her mother in Calcutta, and left alone to scrounge and beg for survival, she was seen–and rescued–by Mrs. Welling. She was loved, accepted, and enabled to grow into the remarkable young woman she became. And yet, she’s still a young women without her own wealth or social standing, which puts her at the mercy of those who’ll inherit Mr. Welling’s holdings (who’ve moved right in to Mrs. Welling’s home at the edge of Sherwood Forest). Mary doesn’t know what she’ll do. But a chance encounter in town with a handsome young man and a hot cross bun leads to surprising events!
Robert Markham is the man with the pastry. And unlike most others, he looks at Mary and is fascinated and entranced. But he has his own difficulties and challenges, as well as a secret life. (He’s quite a fan of another young man whom we’d associate with Sherwood Forest.) And, there is an unscrupulous businessman who’s committing terrible crimes at night, to protect his own position.
Ahead of them? Dreams. Bows and arrows. A forest. Lots of Shakespeare. And something more, that neither of them expected.
In closing, here’s what you can remember about Meriden Park: Extraordinary characters who’ll tug at your hearts. An intriguing mystery set around actual events in the British Empire’s history. And a story written with so much love that you’ll have no choice but to fall in love with it yourself!
Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.