Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Review & Giveaway - - Love and Other Perennial Habits

Love and Other Perennial Habits
by Emmaline Warden
A Genus of Gentlemen - Book 1
Publisher: Emmaline Warden LLC
Release Date: February 6, 2023
Reviewed by PJ

All Margaret Reedy’s despicable husband left her when he died was the title of Countess of Everly, a ramshackle estate, and a pittance to repair it. Fortunately, he couldn’t deny her the most important perk of widowhood: freedom. A chance to become the woman she might have been if a forced marriage hadn’t gotten in her way. Problem is, she’s not entirely certain who that is.

Oliver Ludlow’s only desire is to spend the next month with his hands buried in the soil of his greenhouse, escaping London and his newly appointed role as the Marquess of Greenwood. Instead, he offers his help renovating the gardens of Baron Manor, which means spending his days in the company of the peculiar countess who owns it. As he gets to know her, however, he begins to find her quirks intriguing… and alluring.

An idyllic autumn in the country has a way of becoming the perfect backdrop to fall in love, but with their lives leading them in two completely opposite directions, will their newfound happiness be strong enough to weather not only their expected roles in society, but the seasons of life?

PJ's Thoughts:

This warm hug of a book should put debut author Emmaline Warden on the radar of romance readers everywhere. If I hadn't known it was written by a debut author I would have thought it the creation of a seasoned writer of many books. The characters are beautifully developed, the story flows, the humor is well balanced with emotional depth, and the romance is sigh worthy. I was fully immersed in the journey from beginning to end. Also, who knew I could develop such an emotional attachment to spinach plants?

I appreciated the time Warden took with Meg and Oliver, especially as pertains to physical intimacy. Oliver won my heart as surely as he captured Meg's with his understanding, gentleness, and care. Everyone deserves an Oliver in her life, or at least in her books. 

Both Meg and Oliver are complex characters with emotional rivers flowing below the carefree smiles they show to the world. I enjoyed the fact that their relationship began in the country where each of them was most at ease. It gave them the opportunity to take their time away from the prying eyes of society to become friends first, to peel back some of the layers to the true heart of their character. And, let me tell you, I adored these characters! 

In many ways, this felt like a coming of age journey for both the hero and heroine. When the "black moment" arrived, the author could have taken the story in a different (easier) direction. I'm glad she didn't. It gave both Meg and Oliver the time needed to face some truths, about themselves and each other, not only strengthening them as individuals but also as a couple. In the end, I was cheering their HEA and confident of their ability to happily navigate life together. 

The cast of secondary characters provide a rich landscape for the main couple, introducing some that I'm hoping we'll see again in future books. I'm eager to read more from this sparkling new voice in historical romance. 

Have you discovered any debut authors recently?

Do you enjoy historical romances set away from London?

How do you feel about heroines who chart their own path?

One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, February 9 will receive a copy of Love and Other Perennial Habits. Winner's choice of Kindle e-book or print.

*U.S. only
*Must be 18


  1. A debut author whose novel I enjoyed greatly is The Forgotten Life of Eva Gordon by Linda MacKillop. Historical romances that take place in rural areas and out of London are captivating and special. I have enjoyed many. Yes, a heroine who is independent and capable in fascinating.

  2. A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham is a book which was intriguing and new for me. I enjoy historical romances which have a locale set away from London. They interest me greatly as the setting is a big change. A heroine whose life changes because she want to chart her own path is exciting.

  3. All authors have that first book and I'll take your (PJ's) recommendations. I've been working my way thru authors I'm familiar with, so haven't read a debut authhor in a while. The English countryside is a wonderful setting.

  4. It has been awhile since I read a debut author. I have been in a reading slump - rereading books which make me laugh. I like books where the two main characters get the opportunity to become acquainted and learn about one another. That is generally easier when they are spending time outside London. This sounds like that is exactly what Ms Warden has done in this story. I do like heroines who are strong and determine their direction in life.
    Thanks for this review and an introduction to a new author. It sounds as though she is off to a wonderful new start.

  5. Sadly, I haven't discovered any debut authors recently. However, I am adding Emmaline Warden to my list of authors to read! Thanks PJ! I do love a variety of settings and love when the action of a book moves out of London especially when it is not just for a house party.

  6. I will try her book. Thanks for the review!

  7. have discovered several new to me authors, but I don't think they were debuts! This one sounds amazing, and I do love historical romances set away from London. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  8. This sounds like a refreshing, enjoyable read. I have never been a fan of insta-love and appreciate an author who takes the time to develop the characters and their relationship. She definitely soiunds like someone to watch.
    I haven't read any debut authors lately, but have been intrigued by a few mentioned here and a few other sites.
    I like romances in different settings. London has certain restrictions and setting the story in the countryside or a different country allows different aspects of a character to be explored. I doubt you would find anyone of the aristocracy digging in the garden dirt in London.
    I appreciate a heroine who tries her best against social restrictions to live her life as she wishes.

    Thank you for the review, recommendation, and giveaway.

  9. I just finished Laney Hatcher’s book Second Chance Dance. She is a new author for me. This book features a wealthy, widowed, duchess. She is independent, intelligent and in control of her life. She ignores the men after her fortune. Only Miles breaks through her boundaries but can she trust him.
    Well written. It captured my attention!

  10. Above comment is mine.

  11. Love Historical Romance set outside London, especially with women setting their own course.


  12. I do enjoy historical romance and some of my favorite stories have heroines starting over on a new path.

  13. Yes I love others places that are in the books. One of new favorite authors is Sophie Irwin's A Lady's Guide to fortune- hunting.

  14. I am happy for the change of venue when historical romances are set away from London and have added this book to my TBR list. I am a gardener and it sounds like there is a lot of rejuvenation going on here, both in the garden and in the protagonists' lives. Off hand, I can't think of any recent debut authors I have discovered.