MISS WILTON’S WALTZ, by Josi S Kilpack, Shadow Mountain, May 1, 2018, Softcover, $15.99 (young adult/new adult/ adult)
Miss Wilton’s Waltz is Josi S. Kilpack’s latest Proper Romance novel. But this time, Josi has done something a bit different and has set the story in a world readers already know. Miss Wilton’s Waltz is both a standalone and companion piece to The Vicar’s Daughter.
In Miss Wilton’s Waltz we follow Lenora Wilton, the jilted sister of Cassie from The Vicar’s Daughter. Lenora is painfully shy. She’d rather spend her time behind the keys of her pianoforte than socializing. But in Bath, Lenora is different. There she has a purpose.
Following Cassie’s wedding, Lenora makes her move to Bath permanent, taking on a position as music teacher at an all-girls boarding school and living with her Aunt Gwen on weekends and school breaks. The longer she lives there, the more freedom she feels.
Lenora loves teaching, but when new student, Catherine, starts making waves, it’s all Lenora can do to hold on. Then Lenora meets Catherine’s uncle and guardian, Aiden Asher. She’s immediately attracted to him and him to her, but he’s got secrets of his own that could break Lenora’s heart once and for all.
In my review of The Vicar’s Daughter, I mentioned how two of Josi’s three main characters — Cassie and Evan — were well developed and likeable. I went on : “I would have liked to know more about Lenora, especially given her social anxiety disorder. Instead, we’re given a quick flyby that makes her feel more like a plot ploy than anything else. She ends up being rather one-note, and given the role she plays, that’s disappointing.”
Well, in Miss Wilton’s Waltz I got my wish. Lenora really comes to life here, and so do all of the supporting characters. In fact, I enjoyed Miss Wilton’s Waltz much more than its predecessor.
As with all Proper Romance novels, there’s a pretty predictable formula in which girl meets boy, falls in loves, must overcome an obstacle and live happily ever after. Again, the end result isn’t a surprise, but there are a few on the path getting there.
Truth be told, I don’t read the Proper Romance novels for surprises, although some like Josi’s All That Makes Life Bright are stunning. I read them for their familiarity, comfort and ease. They allow you to escape for a short while to another place and time. And sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
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