Dec 242018
 

A Small Town Romance Series Begins with Sweet Seasonal Celebrations!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Gift from Author

TYPE OF NOVEL: Contemporary Romance, Novella

SERIES: Sylvan Hills #1

SETTING: Sylvan Hills, North Carolina a small mountain town not far from Asheville

SYNOPSIS: Tara dreams of buying and restoring her grandparents’ farm, a place where she felt happiness and peace as a child. But Tara’ s dreams are crushed when another offer that she just can’t beat is made and accepted. Before Tara finishes overcoming her disappointment, she unexpectedly encounters the new owner of her grandparents farm, Justin Hunter, an ex-lawyer who is moving away from Manhattan to raise his half-sister Marley. Tara and Justin are easily attracted to each other, but when Tara finds out he is the one who outbid her, she firmly decides she wants nothing to do with him. Is Tara too stubborn and prejudiced to give Justin a chance? Will she learn to let go of the past and open her heart to new possibilities?

WHAT I LOVED:

  • North Carolina Mountains: Yes!! This setting is brilliant and this fictional town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the perfect backdrop for a small town series with its quiet country life, southern hospitality, breathtaking scenery, and strong artistic vibe. Not to mention its a place this Carolina girl loves to visit and explore!
  • Sylvan Hills and Its Inhabitants: Sylvan Hills is a charming hamlet full of quirky residents that memorable and endearing – think: modern-day Highbury or Stars Hollow. I loved learning about some of the businesses and traditions of Sylvan Hills, it is definitely a place I’d love to visit or maybe even live! In addition, aside from our main characters – Tara, Justin, and Marley – it was interesting to encounter and spend time with some other characters, who I can tell will be featured in other novels of this series, such as Tara’s sisters – Shelby and Charlotte.
  • Personal Obstacles and Baggage: Aside from the conflict over the farm, I loved that there were other deep-rooted personal obstacles for these characters to work through. They all have painful pasts and people/experiences that have left scars. This story illustrates how these experiences can shape a person’s actions, how difficult it can be to cope with what life deals you sometimes, and how rewarding it is when you experience a personal breakthrough and move on/rise above. It was an inspiring experience to see how these characters overcame their own personal roadblocks and found their paths to happiness.
  • Heartwarming Relationships: I loved all important relationships Ms. Lynne created in this story. Justin’s care and concern for Marley is inspiring and palpable. And his fears for her and his responsibilities are understandable. In addition, I enjoyed seeing little hints of Marley’s thoughts and feelings, she is a quiet and moody teenager on the outside, yet much more is revealed on the inside. It was lovely to witness the relationships between Justin/Marley and Tara/Marley. And when all three were together it just gave you all the warm fuzzies!
  • Pride and Prejudice Nods: As you may already know author Alexis Lynne and Austenesque author Pamela Lynne are one and the same! And I was delighted to spot some subtle nods/similarities to Pride and Prejudice in this tale, such as the large age difference between Justin and Marley, the fact that Justin and Marley are orphans, and Tara’s dad being negligent.

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

  • Minor Quibbles: I thought Justin may be a little close to being too flawless and his feelings for Tara maybe came on a tad too quickly. This may be more of a personal preference, but I would have loved to have seen Justin have a little less perfection and a little slower development.

CONCLUSION:

I’m already enchanted by Sylvan Hills and I cannot wait to return! Even though she is writing under a different name and in a different genre, I see so many Pamela Lynne trademarks in this story, such as: a large cast of well-drawn and interesting characters, strong antagonists, and a swoon-worthy romance! This is one holiday romance I heartily recommend!

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  20 Responses to “Newness and Wonder – Alexis Lynne”

  1.  

    Thank you for the review. I love Pamela Lynne”s writing and will give her modern story a try.

  2.  

    Thanks for the review. I like the author Pamela Lynne’s writing. Going over to Amazon .

  3.  

    Thank you for alerting us as to the new “name” and book. It does sound interesting. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.

  4.  

    I was lucky enough to get a copy of this book from Pamela and I loved it. I know it isn’t about Darcy and Elizabeth but, as you say Meredith, there are similarities with the characters. I look forward to more.

  5.  

    Wonderful review! Thanks for sharing and for all of the holiday stories you’ve been featuring this season. They are awesome!

  6.  

    I thought this was a cutie, too.

  7.  

    Loved your review. I had already grabbed this and look forward to reading it. I could see the nod to P&P in your descriptions of this story. Have a blessed rest of the year. Enjoy the remainder of the Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you Meredith and to your Mr. Bingley.

  8.  

    I love whatever Pamela writes! Can’t wait to read this one!

  9.  

    I knew as soon as read that this took place in North Carolina that is would be right up your alley, Meredith. This sounds heartwarming. I like the idea that there might be a series. I love the title, too.

    I haven’t commented for over a week, I think. I have a fraction of things to do to get ready for Christmas compared to when I was much younger. Now I just don’t have the strength. :/ All that to get to the point: I ALSO have enjoyed your December agenda of Austenesque Christmas stories this year. So, thank you for this fun month of reviews and guests.

    •  

      YESSS!! Love my NC! 🙂

      LOL! We are square…I don’t think I’ve responded to comments in over a week! Trying to catch up now! So thankful for everyone reading these posts and sharing their thoughts!

      I’m so happy to hear readers are enjoying the month of Christmas reads as much as I did!

      Wishing you a very happy and health 2019!

  10.  

    Thanks for the recommendation, I find this novel really charming and knowing Alexis is Pamela Lynne is a good reference 😉
    I like you compare Sylvan Hills with Stars Hollows because Lorelai and Rory ‘s village is a beautiful and sweet one.
    By the way, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Meredith! . What did Santa bring to you? I received 3 austenesque: Longbourn and Netherfield (Maria Grace’s dragons) and “Teaching Eliza ” by Riana Everly. It’s very helpful for Santa to have such recommendations from your blog LOL! 😉

    •  

      Absolutely! Yes, I love Stars Hollow – so where I’d want to live!

      Ooh! what lovely gifts you received this year!! I’m so glad my blog was helpful to Santa’s elves! 😉 I will be sharing my gifts in a few days! I got some books and some other things…and one thing that will definitely help my reading!!

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