A heartwarming read... Windsong Manor by Julie Wright (Review) #histfic #historicalromance #regencyromance #cleanromance @ProperRomance @ShadowMountn

I've enjoyed this author's books and especially loved her last one, A Captain
for Caroline Gray. I'm sharing my review of her newest today. Read that below...

Windsong Manor
(A Proper Romance Regency)
By Julie Wright
Historical Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 256 Pages
October 3, 2023 by Shadow Mountain


A young widow. A gentle stable master. A secret that could change everything. Will Nora dare risk her heart?

The London Countryside, 1820

Eleanora Coventry comes from a life of title and privilege, but even that isn’t enough to prevent her from being wed at sixteen to a controlling and dismissive husband. So when she finds herself a widow at only twenty-seven, the idea of choosing her own path forward both thrills and terrifies her. She knows how to be a daughter and a wife and mother, but she has no idea how to be Eleanora.

She moves her son and daughter to her late husband’s country estate, where she meets Ridley, the young stable master. He is ruggedly handsome, but also kind, and Eleanora finds herself drawn to him. There is only one problem: Eleanora has a title, and Ridley does not.

Ridley Ellis has a way with horses. Even the most spirited stallions trust his soft voice and gentle touch. He has the same effect on people, and when he first lays eyes on Eleanora, he is smitten by her beauty. But he quickly discovers it will take more than soft words to gain her trust―Lord Coventry had been cruel to people and animals alike. But the closer he gets to Eleanora, the more he is willing to share his heart, and more importantly, his secret.

In a world where title and privilege mean everything, will Eleanora and Ridley risk it all to find happiness? Or will the shadows of their pasts destroy everything they hope to build together?

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My Review

WINDSONG MANOR is a story about a mother who gets a second chance at happiness but finds that happiness threatened by her late husband's final wishes. It's a story of family, friendship, and love that blossoms as this family tries to find their way. A very heartwarming read.

There were such likable characters in this story. I liked Eleanora and Ridley from the start. I liked Ridley's relationships with the other stable hands and with the children. He was steady and wise while also being quite dashing. Eleanora had always been treated as a possession and this was her first experience with freedom. She wanted to find happiness but wasn't sure exactly how to do that and also escape the threat of losing her son. Eleanora and Ridley were lovely together. They steadied each other. I also adored Eleanora's adoptive daughter and seeing her son begin to step into his new role. Each of these characters had their own choices to make, if they would choose kindness and love, or bitterness. 

The story moved at a steady pace. There were a few climatic moments and an underlying fear of Eleanora losing her son and Ridley's past finding him that drove the story. However, it was mostly full of heart, hope and love. I liked that nothing was too easy. These characters had to fight for what they wanted and there was no guarantee it would all come together in the end.

I did have a few issues with the story. The major one was that the main characters talked maybe twice and all of a sudden they were in love. It felt like it was almost insta-love. I would have liked a lot more interaction between them to develop the romance and chemistry, which I felt was lacking. I also didn't like a later development in the story. It was something that should have caused quite a scandal and didn't make sense to me how it was handled from the person who showed up to how it turned out. I think if this person would have just found who he was looking for in the first place it would have made more sense. The other thing was Eleanora's son. I felt like he should have been older for his dialogue and how he acted. Closer to 12 than 10. I also wish the ending would have been drawn out a bit more. Usually I think they're drawn out too much, but not here.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an overall delightful book about a family, both found and by blood, who each come into their own over the course of the story. The familial aspect was full of heart, with lovely supportive characters, and a sweet romance.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books by the Author

(Linked to my reviews.)

About the Author

JULIE WRIGHT was born in Salt Lake city, Utah. She’s lived in LA, Boston, and the literal middle of nowhere (don’t ask). She wrote her first book when she was fifteen. Since then, she’s written twenty-five novels and co-authored three. Julie is a two-time winner of the Whitney Award for best romance with her books Cross My Heart and Lies Jane Austen Told Me and is a Crown Heart recipient. Her book Death Thieves was a Whitney finalist. She has one husband, three kids, one grandbaby, one dog, and a varying amount of houseplants (depending on attrition). She loves writing, reading, traveling, hiking, snorkeling, playing with her family on the beach, and watching her husband make dinner.

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