As Love Blooms by Lorna Seilstad
The Gregory Sisters Book #1
Visit the Author's Website HERE
Publisher: Revell Company
Publishing Date: May 19, 2015
Tessa Gregory is nothing if not tenacious. Denied a position as a horticulturalist at prestigious Como Park in Saint Paul, she is not above a little benevolent deception in order to get the park superintendent to change his mind and hire her. She plans to infiltrate the world of wealthy and influential people in hopes of drumming up financial support for a world-class conservatory. But before she can put those plans into action, she meets Reese King, a handsome gardener at Como Park--and a major distraction. Still, Reese might be the key to achieving her dream. But is his goal to help her . . . or to capture her heart?
Against a lush backdrop of early twentieth century Saint Paul, Minnesota, Lorna Seilstad weaves a sweet and sassy story that is sure to please. Tessa's young romance opens like a rose, stealing readers' hearts and filling their senses with the intoxicating fragrance of dreams come true.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Buy a copy today!
In one word? Cute. Tessa, the MC, is the youngest of the Gregory sisters. The previous two books featured her sisters Hannah and Charlotte. All of sisters are a handful, but Tessa in particular stubborn, daring, and adventurous. Seeing the continued relationships from previous books is a plus. I don't consider that really a spoiler, and beyond that you could read 'As Love Blooms' on it's own.
We also get some of Aunt Sam's story as we follow along on a possible developing romance between her and a Senator. But can she truly give him her heart if he doesn't support women's suffrage? I'm wondering if Lorna has a book planned to tell Sam's story. That would ROCK. I would like to see Aunt Sam happy in love.
As for the core of the story, the relationship between Reese and Tessa is tumultuous. They first meet at Como Park when Tessa is, of course, getting herself into trouble. Coming to realize that they could work together to accomplish great things for the park, they embark on a plan that is rife with secrets and potential heartache. These layers of half truths and secrets between Tessa and Reese have giant potential to interrupt their plans for romance.
As with 'While Love Stirs', I love all the Minnesota references and history. Summit and Chatworth. Been there, seen that. GORGEOUS. And just a two or three houses away from the Governor's Mansion. Como Park and it's conservatory are now the most beautiful parks in the entire state. It was so much fun to see this, fictional, glimpse into the history of the park.
The plot builds into a sudden, dramatic twist that had me devouring the last few pages. It was fun to guess what or who the catalyst would be. You know the secrets have to be revealed, but I wasn't expecting what happened, for good or bad. The ending? Overly perfect, but satisfying. Overall, I found it more enjoyable than the second book. I haven't read book one yet, although I do have a copy waiting for me on my Kindle. I am going to rate it with 4 stars out of 5. Pick it up for the summer!