Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Susan Anne Mason: The Best of Intentions

By Kelly Bridgewater

In the aftermath of WWI, Grace Abernathy is determined to reunite with her family, crossing an ocean to convince her widowed sister to return home to England. Yet Toronto holds more tragedy and her nephew Christian is now in the custody of his paternal relatives, the formidable Easton family, who rejected Grace's sister because of her low social status.

Unconvinced the Eastons can be fitting caretakers, Grace jumps at the chance to be Christian's nanny and observe the family up close under an assumed name. In the course of her new position, she is shocked to discover herself falling for Andrew Easton, the boy's guardian. Unfortunately, Andrew is promised to a spoiled socialite who will make a terrible stepmother for Christian. Will Grace be able to protect her nephew . . . and her heart?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

Historical Romance is much different than contemporary romance. Yes, both genres are completely predictable, such as most romance stories are, but I enjoy traveling to a different time period and watching people live in their different worlds. Seeing things we don't have around anymore. Living in houses with customs we don't hold dear anymore. Susan Anne Mason has created a new story The Best of Intentions taking place at the end of World War I, and I loved watching the characters interact in this world.

Mason does a wonderful job at inviting me into the Eason's massive house with all their finery and money. She shows me what I need to see when I need to see it and invites me to travel through the property with Grace. Mason stays in Grace or Andrew's point of view. She really doesn't head hop, but she allows me to understand and empathize with their emotions.

Grace is a strong character who lives with a lot of guilt and wants to discover forgiveness from her mother. From things in her past to her sister and brother. Mason doesn't show us if the return to England brings the forgiveness she is looking for, but I do know that Grace has accepted God's forgiveness and hopefully, she can move on with her life now.

Andrew is a sweetheart of a man who only wants to do what is expected of him since his brother Frank disappointed his parents. But at what cost? His future and his happiness. Changes bloom and change at the Eason home for a number of important characters.

The plot has been seen before, but I enjoy that Mason does throw a couple of surprises near the end. The story captured my attention, allowing me to rush through the pages, begging for more of the story and budding romance between Grace and Andrew. The ending made me smile, and I was grateful for their predictable happily ever after.

One issue I had with the story is the world surrounding the Easons and Grace. It is right after World War I. Everything around them appeared to be happy and go-lucky, but I wish there was more of the aftermath of World War I mentioned in the story. Like for instance, did Canada take any hits? Was the world different for the people? How did the war affect Mr. Eason's job and money? What about the visitors to the hotel? The world changed after World War I, but in the plot, it didn't really affect the characters expect they lost family members, which is horrible in itself I understand, but I wanted more to make the time period stand out. This story could have been written during the Regency period, and I don't believe anything would have changed.

Overall, The Best of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason is a delightful read with strong characters and a wonderful story. The time period fell a little short for me, but I still enjoyed spending time with Grace and Andrew. Fans of Mason's other stories, Rachel McMillan, or Jen Turano would, I believe, enjoy The Best of Intentions.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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