Monday, November 28, 2016

Miss Millie’s Groom by Catherine E. Chapman

Publisher & Release: Self-Published, September 10, 2016

Time and setting:  1914-1919, England

Genre: Historical Romance/Edwardian

Length:  148 pages

Heat Level: 1 Sweetheart

Rating: 3.5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

It is the summer of 1914 and Britain teeters on the brink of war. Society girl, Millicent Awbridge, is oblivious to the impending conflict and preoccupied with the recent shooting of her horse. When she confronts the culprit, Ryan O'Flynn, a groom in her father's service, Millie finds romance rather than hostility. The encounter sparks a series of events that brings Millie's burgeoning womanhood to fruition.

Millie and Ryan's affair is conducted in secret but Millie's aunt has her suspicions and is determined to bring an end to it. Inevitably, the war also impacts on the young people's lives and others are implicated in the muddle. Will Millie and Ryan ever be truly united?

A sweet romance, set in England during the First World War.

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Vikki’s Musings

This is the first book I have read by Catherine E. Chapman. Miss Millie’s Groom is available through the Kindle Unlimited program, but I discovered it when reviewing book review requests to the Romantic Historical Book Lovers blog. I normally enjoy books set during the Great War, so I decided to give it a read.

Millicent Awbridge is a bit of a hoyden, enjoying a rousing ride on her horse more than the role of society girl her aunt Rose intends for her. When her beloved animal has to be put down, she is filled with rage and seeks out the culprit who did the deed.

Ryan O’Flynn is a groom in Millie’s father’s stable and the young man who had to destroy the horse. Millie’s anger quickly turns from ire and attraction. Ryan, realizing how unsuitable it would be for them to entertain the attraction does all he can to discourage the strong-willed and determined miss. Going so far, as joining the army and going to war.

When Ryan returns after injury, they see each other again at the hospital where Millie works. The attraction between them is as stronger as before he left, but Millie’s aunt has thrown an obstacle in their path.

Will Millie and Ryan find a way to move beyond the difference in class and find the love they both crave, or will Millie’s aunt’s machinations keep them apart?

Miss Millie’s Groom was different than I expected, but a very interesting read. I found the pacing steady for the most part, although, at times, it did slow a bit due to a bit too much telling rather than showing.

Millicent’s character is vivacious, endearing and determined. I truly enjoyed Millie’s character a great deal from the first page to the last. Her character reminds me of Sybil from Downton Abby, the popular period drama by Julian Fellowes that ran for six seasons on Masterpiece theater. In fact, this novel had other overtones from that drama.

Ryan O’Flynn’s character is an interesting hero, but I did not get to know him as well as I would have liked. Most of this book is in Millie’s POV, so I didn’t glean very much of Ryan’s insights and feelings. He is a likable character, though and reminded me a bit of Tom from Downton Abby, although not as fierce in his beliefs as Tom’s character is.

While Miss Millie’s Groom does have a romance, it is more of a glimpse of a young girl’s turning of age during the Great War. I did enjoy the romance between the pair, but I would have liked to see it a bit more fleshed out, which was the case with the characters as well.

Any fans of Downton Abby will enjoy Miss Millie’s Groom, but please don’t expect the brilliance of that drama. This is a sweet story, but it did lack depth. Nonetheless, I did enjoy it, and I am glad I had an opportunity to read it. Happy reading!

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