Take one lovely young woman.
Add two ambitious young men.
Stir … and stand back.
While Love Stirs is the second book in Lorna Seilstad’s The Gregory Sisters series and is set in 1910. I found the tagline above to be a bit overstated. Yes, there are two men, but only one who stands out. Not to worry, the relationship between Charlotte and Dr. Joel Brooks is highly satisfactory.
The story revolves around the efforts of Charlotte Gregory, trained at Fannie Farmer’s School of Cookery, to become a chef. She’s wise in the ways of nutrition and very vocal about it. Joel is a man who seeks to have his temporary position of an assistant superintendent at the hospital made permanent. He isn’t about to let Charlotte and her expensive ideas cost him the job.
Joel leans toward being what we would now call OCD. Oh, all right, he more than “leans.” Everything has a place and MUST remain in that place. If it’s half-an-inch off, he can tell. His sister tweaks him by moving the order of his books and is delighted to walk in when Charlotte’s in the middle of her own version of upsetting Joel’s ordered office.
Charlotte is strong in determination, independence, and self-confidence, but that strength developed from a bad experience. In the end, it becomes a hindrance to her happiness. She refuses to let any man control her, and Joel is all about control after living through a turbulent childhood. The characters have a good mix of both positive and negative traits, making them people readers can relate to.
A number of subplots make up the book and complicate matters for the hero and heroine. It’s my guess the author used the one involving Charlotte’s sister to set up the third book. For me, it was distracting. But I love old movies and Tessa reminded me of the younger, trouble-causing sister in so many of those old black-and-white pictures. (I kept seeing a teen-aged Margaret O’Brien.)
If you’re seeking to lose yourself in a delightful romance during those summer vacation days, I recommend taking a trip with Charlotte and Joel in While Love Stirs.
Historical Flavor: Odd, but I had never heard of a Jewel gas range until I read this book. Right in the midst of reading it, my husband and I prowled an antique mall. What do you think I found? Yep. Right smack dab in front of me, waving hello, was an enamel-surfaced Jewel range. I believe it was probably a little newer than Charlotte’s, though not by many years. Of course, I dragged hubby over to show him. His eyes rolled. 🙂
Have you ever been in the middle of reading a novel and come across something in real life mentioned in the story—something you’d never noticed before?
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Revell, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.