The Roses of Feldstone
By: Esther Hatch
Publication: August 1st 2018 by Covenant Communications
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--Standing before Feldstone Manor, site of so many happy memories, Rose Davenport feels nothing but dread. Her family’s annual visit to the stately home was once brightened by her friendship with the earl’s youngest son, William, but everything changed the day his elder brother was disinherited and William became heir to his father’s earldom. From that moment, William made it clear he has no interest in continuing an acquaintance with Rose. Heartbroken, she sets out to prove that she will simply not be ignored—or outdone—by the arrogant future lord of the manor. When his elder brother marries for love, William’s entire life changes in an instant. He does not have the same option to marry whom he chooses, and he must let go of the feelings he has harbored for his dear friend, Rose. He steels himself against her annual visits, determined to keep his feelings for her a secret. But when he makes the hasty promise to marry within six months, he never dreams that his actions will lead Rose to impulsively undertake the same challenge.
The Roses of Feldstone was such a pleasant surprise. I sometimes feel like I'm taking a risk when I check out a new (to me) author. But in this case, the risk was rewarded with such a great experience. I did not want to put this book down.
Before I discuss the characters and plot, I did briefly want to mention that I appreciated that the title of this book goes beyond the main character's name being Rose.
The description above pretty much tells you all you need to know--perhaps even tells you too much. An author has to walk a fine line when the reader has more information than the characters do. It can be really frustrating to read what feels obvious yet the characters aren't picking up the signs. In the case of The Roses of Feldstone, I felt that Esther Hatch just toed the line. Too much more or taken just one step further would have frustrated me. I think maybe this worked well because both Rose and William were in the dark about multiple things so it helped that it wasn't just one or the other missing out.
I immediately connected to Rose. Who hasn't been in a situation where they were forced to socialize with someone they have a huge crush on that isn't reciprocated? I certainly know that I have. She handles herself well given all of the circumstances. William was even easy to relate to because his feelings were pretty obvious to me even if Rose was oblivious.
About the 60% mark I started to feel like things were wrapping up too quickly, and I wasn't sure how the conflict would last through the remainder of the book, but Esther Hatch did a great job of carrying things out just right.
I even appreciated the small historical bit about the chimney sweep. This was included just perfectly in that it gave the story relevance and context while not overwhelming the story line.
The Roses of Feldstone was such a pleasant reading experience for me despite being fearful of a new author. I'll be on the lookout for more Esther Hatch in the future. I absolutely adored Rose and William's story. The Roses of Feldstone gets 4 Stars. Have you read The Roses of Feldstone? What did you think? Let me know!
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