I really enjoyed reading Where the Stars Meet the Sea as it was set in a sprawling English castle that the author allowed her character to explore freely. So, while the main character Juliet is not sparing with the taciturn duke of Halstead she is exploring libraries, observatories, and a sunny orangery. On the surface this novel is a typical romance full of familiar regency tropes and a predictable plot but that is also part of what makes it so compelling. Kimball layers many conflicts on top of one another but expertly weaves them together in a way that deepens her characters and makes them feel real and human.
Juliet Graham fervently counts the days until her twenty-first birthday, when she can claim the inheritance that will grant her the freedom she has always craved and the guardianship of her younger brother. Until then, she is trapped under her aunt Agnes’s domineering will. When forced to accompany the family to a house party at Shaldorn Castle, Juliet’s only objective is to keep to herself. That is, until a chance encounter with a boorish stranger stirs up an unexpected whirlwind of emotions in her. Thrown off-balance, Juliet does the unthinkable: loses her temper and insults the man—who turns out to be her unwilling host, the Duke of Halstead. Fully expecting to be sent away, Juliet is surprised when the brusque and callous duke instead takes an interest in her.
Drawn to the duke in unguarded moments, Juliet finds herself more and more intrigued by the man who shuns Society’s rules as completely as she does, and over the next few weeks, their unlikely friendship deepens into a connection neither expected.
But even as Juliet comes to recognize her true feelings, her scheming aunt issues an ultimatum that threatens the future she was just beginning to hope for. Juliet must choose: either break the promise she made to herself years ago, or lose the man who has captured her heart and soul.
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