Thursday, May 30, 2024

Review & Giveaway - - Seasonal Habits of Husbands and Honeybees

Seasonal Habits of Husbands and Honeybees
by Emmaline Warden
A Genus of Gentlemen - Book 2
Publisher: Emmaline Warden LLC
Release Date: May 28, 2024
Reviewed by PJ

Harrison Metcalf, the newly appointed Earl of Everly, has only ever been in love with Margaret Reedy, his uncle’s widow. When she marries another, and he is once again alone, he decides the cost of love is far too steep to hazard again. Alas, duty calls, and he is required to procure a wife and secure the line. He will fulfill his obligation, but he could never knowingly marry someone who requires love.

Phoebe Kent would happily trade beekeeping for the uncomfortable noise and the press of bodies the social season requires. But with her parents’ fear of spinsterhood, she knows marriage is a must. If only she could approach her inevitable union in the straightforward way one does a business deal.

With an agreement made, and a contract written, Harrison and Phee embark on the beneficial bargain that is to be their marriage. They never fathomed that nightly card games and pesky kittens would be a surefire path to flirting. Contract modifications are made as a touch becomes a kiss, and a kiss becomes a night, and the two settle into their new life as husband and wife. But can their burgeoning love prevail when it was never part of the plan?

PJ's Thoughts:

This is what I said in my review of Love and Other Perennial Habits, Emmaline Warden's debut novel, when it released in February of 2023: "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." The same can be said of the newly released second book in her A Genus of Gentlemen series, Seasonal Habits of Husbands and Honeybees. 

The slow-burn, marriage-of-convenience journey between Phee and Harrison is endearing, sigh worthy, and an absolute delight. I love the time, care, and attention to detail that Warden uses in portraying this couple. It becomes apparent rather quickly that Phee is neurodivergent (though in those days she would have just been "odd"), resulting in her being misunderstood and, in some cases, ridiculed by members of the ton. I love her. She's unfiltered and set on her path. She's also slowly blooming as she awakens to confusing feelings for a man who encourages her to be her true self and what that will mean for her life going forward. How Harrison treats her, eases her path, even when he's baffled by her, sets the tone for their emerging friendship and eventual romance, winning my heart in the process. 

Harrison, while highly sought by society mamas for their daughters, is carrying a fair amount of emotional baggage, baggage well hidden behind a carefully cultivated mask that only his best friend is privy to. He's committed to his marriage with Phee, if only as friends, but gradually, bit by bit, desire sneaks in, then feelings, then realization that only Phee - and a wee kitten - have the key to unlock that baggage that's been weighing him down. 

Honestly, the way these two tug at my heartstrings. Essentially, they save one another and I am here for it. I adore them, their journey, and the fact that the author keeps them true to themselves, especially Phee. The epilogue is laughter - and joy - inducing evidence of that. 

Emmaline Warden is quickly becoming one of my favorite historical romance authors. Her books really are like a warm hug, with complex characters, intriguing settings, humor, multi-layered storylines, slow-burn (open door) romance, and heartwarming, happy endings. I have my fingers crossed that Warden has at least one more book planned for this series. Harrison's best friend, Averndale needs his happily ever after and I am eager to tag along. 

Do you enjoy stories with atypical characters or settings?

Do you - or do you know someone - who keeps bees?

Have you read Emmaline Warden yet?

One person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, May 31 will receive a print copy of either Love and Other Perennial Habits or Seasonal Habits of Husbands and Honeybees (winner's choice).

*U.S. only
*Must be 18


  1. Sounds intriguing.

  2. Another new to me author. This does sound like an interesting book. I enjoy meeting characters who are not the normal, blonde and blue eyed heroine, strong and reserved hero. It is fun to think of people who are more like actual people, imperfect, but fascinating. Thanks for the review.

  3. I love stories with atypical characters - as long as the story celebrates them not mocks them. I know and love more people who are considered atypical from the norm - normal is boring. ;-) I do need to read Ms Emmaline Warden!

    As far as bee keeping goes, a dear friend and former coworker and her mother are bee keepers! I learned a lot about bees during conversations with them! I have several neighbors who are bee keepers as well - which is wonderful for my veggie and herb garden.

  4. This story sounds captivating and unique. I have not read this author's novels. Atypical characters appeal to me. I have never met a bee keeper but have read about them.

  5. Thank you for the chance to win this book!

  6. Marriage of convenience are one of my favorites. I'm excited to try a new author.

  7. I definitely like variety. Atypical characters in places works for me! I have a friend that raises bees and my grandfather used to as well. This author is new to me, and I'm definitely going to have to check them out!

  8. I do like atypical characters and settings. I don't know anyone that keeps bees, but I have seen them at a local nature center. I've not read anything by Emmaline, but this sounds like a great book! Thank you for the review, PJ!

  9. Sounds like a wonderful book!

  10. Sounds great! I do enjoy atypical characters and settings. I don't know anyone who keeps bees and have never read anything by this author.

  11. Thank you for the review. I have not yet read her books, but it certainly sounds like I must. This story sounds like a delight. It is a refreshing change from the many insta-love stories out there. I like atypical people in my life and enjoy them in stories. A change of setting in both life and stories is looked forward to.
    We know several people who have bees and had a couple of hives in our yard one year. We have considered getting a hive of our own, but it would be too much to get into right now.
    Patricia Barraclough

  12. Sounds lovely. And of course, atypical settings always add a nice break. I so admire bee keepers; one of the teachers where I taught set up hives and led a club for student enthusiasts on the school roof. It was wonderful! I also learned a lot from Jodi Picoult's Mad Honey (about so many things, but the bee bit was special plus)! I'm eager to read Emmaline Warden for the first time.

  13. New to me author. I like books with atypical characters who show their strengths, or learn them along the way. I know several beekeepers and live in a rural area. I was tempted to start keeping bees until I attended a half-day "So You Want to Keep Bees" seminar at a local farm. I am happy feeding the native bees with my native flowers and buying honey from a local beekeeper for now.