Author: Amy Paine
Title: A Gathering Storm – Book 2, Travelling Companions
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: June 13, 2016
Length: Novella. Words: 24,900
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Purchase Links: NineStar Press.
Marriage is proving hard for Millie, and as her love for Benita grows new wings, she is thrown into the impossible position of risking all for the thrill of a love so exciting, so deep and heart stopping that her life could be changed forever.
Millie faces a gathering storm of emotion that is about to topple her over the edge into an instruction in sin. On the one hand, she must fight to sustain her marriage and secure a certain future for her impoverished mother. On the other, she longs to break free to chase the dream of a forbidden love.
The church looked lovely. The pews were decked out in foliage, and the large vases of spectacular flowers in their Greek urns, from Hemsby’s gardens, flanked the doors and naves.
Millie gathered her skirt up in her hands. It was difficult because the dress was so huge and elaborate, made up of copious lengths of lace and silk. Its train and long veil tangled around her arms and legs as if the confounded dress were trying to tell her something.
No, no, she must not think like that. She pushed such nonsense from her head. It would be hard enough as it was to get through what lay in front of her. Millie pasted a smile onto lips that didn’t want to smile at all. She had to think ahead, to think of the good points of being married to James.
Her uncle smoothed his hand along her thin arm. “Darling, there’s no need to be nervous.”
“No, I know. I’m not. Well, just a little…perhaps,” she replied, forcing a weak smile.
She was having absurd notions, as if she were delirious. Maybe, despite the preparations, James wouldn’t show up. Of course, that was wishful thinking. She was about to marry into the Hemsby fortune, and last-minute hitches didn’t happen to a family like his. But still she thought about it, as she had so many times over the last week or two. Wondered what it would be like to be free, free to live and love who she wanted. And she did love, didn’t she? But it wasn’t James.
She fluffed out her dress, smoothed the silk and satin with her hands.
It was a perfect day for a wedding, with a clear blue sky and not a cloud in sight. The crowds from the village had turned out in their finery, lining the one main street flanked by the jolly houses in burnished golden stone, the sunlight reflecting from their windows. The little public house was decked with bunting.
She passed beneath the lychgate and, glancing up, noticed the servants from the house that was soon to be her home. Some of them she liked. Davies, her maid-to-be, for instance. Others, such as Foukes the butler, she didn’t like quite so much. He was stodgy and patrician, and she’d once heard him whispering about her to the housekeeper. He’d said she was a fly-by-night. But she could cope with it. She had to.
Her mother, Patricia, arrived behind her in the car. The lines on her face seemed less etched than they had been of late. She was responsible for that, Millie thought with a sense of pride. She had saved the day—was saving the day, and salvaging her mother from a life of penury. When her father had died, leaving them in so much debt, the lovely dower house had been about to be taken off them. Then, amazingly, James had come along out of the blue. Her own angel. Ready to save her, incorporate her into the kind of wealthy lifestyle her mother had dreamed of, had wanted for her but never expected her to get. Sometimes she wondered how she had managed to trap him, when to all intents and purposes she wasn’t his type. James was a playboy who frittered away his considerable income in Monaco. She knew he’d had affairs, but none of those women had suited him and she had. She was flirtatious, she supposed, but she had always acted so coolly towards him, and maybe that was the reason. He had taken her reticence as morality when, in fact, the true reason was she just didn’t have an eye for men, not at all. No, her interests lay in a rather more feminine direction.
The little gatehouse waited for Patricia Carruthers, and Millie knew she was content with it. Content to have her daughter on her doorstep.
While she would be Lady Millicent Alice Hemsby. Her heart did a flutter. Any other girl would be delirious with joy, and she was grateful, she truly was, except…She loved someone else; she didn’t love James. Yes, he had been kind to her, made her immensely grateful, rescued her, but she couldn’t love him, not in the way he wanted because…because…
Amy Paine © 2016
All Rights Reseved
I just love this book so much. It was so beautiful. It started with so much emotion and from the first pages it was easy to see that this would be more center on romance than the previous book.
The story it’s seen from Millie’s point of view. She has been recently married and is not enjoying the life as a wife. She’s feeling overwhelmed by the changes in her life but mostly she is unable to see her life without Benita in it.
The plot was nice, I enjoy the story very much but it was sort of expected for the moment in time they are living. It had a steady pace and it was very well written.
It was nice to see that most of their personality traits remain the same, but there were some changes on Millie. The unapologetic attitude she had, it’s very different in this book, but I feel like it was due to the experiences she had since the reader, and Benita, met her on the travel and it was appropriate for her current reality. It was delightful to see her internal struggle.
On Benita’s case, the reader gets to know her a little better, I liked the way she acted and how down to earth she was about the whole situation they were living.
There is definitely a more melancholic sentiment on this book. There has been a growth in Benita and Millie’s relationship, and this time, I saw so much sentiment, love and despair. This book was pure romance. It was nice to see the differences they have and how that is shown on the expectations each have of life and how, even seeing life from completely different points of view, they were able to be respectful to the other’s ideas, hopes and dreams. The love scenes between them were passionate but also so sweet.
I liked this book very much, and I think anyone who like historical romances would be able to enjoy it. A reader who prefer F/F stories would be most likely to feel more attracted by it, but I have to say F/F it’s not my favorite paring, and yet this book was so beautiful that I can see anyone who loves romance, regardless the pairing, could like it.
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.
Amy Paine is the LGBT name of a well-known author of contemporary romance. She loves writing about strong women with tantalizing stories to tell, and always likes a happy ending. She writes across a broad spectrum of genres, enjoying penning both historical and contemporary stories.
Right now, she is busy at work on the rest of the Travelling Companions series that sees her two heroines negotiating many twists and turns with their 1920s romance. She also has plenty of other ideas in the pipeline.
When she’s not writing, Amy loves to cook, take walks, paint, and spend time with friends. She is probably to be found at least one day a week in her favourite café, enjoying her preferred tipple—a frothy cappuccino—or indulging in plenty of cakes at afternoon tea.