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4 Stars Out Of 5
July 5, 2011
In 1860, 18-year-old Prince Albert Edward, son of Queen Victoria and heir to the throne, toured British North America, including a brief stop on Prince Edward Island. The royal visit only lasted 48 hours, but required a lot of planning to run smoothly. All of that is historical fact. From there, the author brings fictional characters onstage in Peter Stark, a young steward sent ahead to Charlottetown to prepare the way for the Prince of Wales, and Molly Orland, a local farmer's daughter who gains temporary employment at Government House.
Molly is a beautiful young woman who wouldn't normally be in a servant's position, save for the family's dire need after her father broke his leg in a farm accident. Her main duty is housekeeping and this is where Peter first sees her. They're immediately interested in one another, but Peter is only on the island temporarily, and Molly is certain he's above her station in life.
But there's more to the tale. Molly's grandfather is determined to speak with Peter's employer, the Earl of Washburn, about a historical family matter. The Earl is equally determined to avoid the old man. Peter and Molly get caught in the middle when the `family matter' comes to light, threatening the fragile trust they've begun to establish.
Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island, Canada is the first book in the series to be set outside the United States. As a Canadian, I enjoyed this glimpse into my country's history. Though the novel started out slow and with many characters to keep straight, I was soon drawn into Molly and Peter's story.
In LFY in Prince Edward Island Canada, we are swept away to this breathtakingly beautiful island, the setting of the beloved novels, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. It is Charlottetown, Canada, in the 1860s, and all of the island is astir, awaiting the arrival of the Prince of Wales and his entourage! The 18 year old Prince Albert Edward is making a two day "goodwill" trip to visit the people of Prince Edward Island, along with the Earl of Washburn and his loyal servant, Peter Stark.
Molly Orland takes a job as a servant in the Government House, and is nervously excited and honored to be among those who will serve the prince and British royal family. There Molly meets Peter Stark, and mistakenly assumes he is royalty. Peter is quite taken with the beautiful Molly, as is the young Prince of Wales, but keeps his distance not wanting to ruin her reputation or job. Molly's grandfather, who was unjustly banished from Britain years earlier, seeks an audience with Lord Washburn to help him get the justice he deserves. All of their lives become intertwined from a long-buried secret, that only Lord Washburn holds the key to unlock and rectify.
Molly, also quickly attracts the attention of the prince who insists she attend the festive ball given in his honor. There, Molly is surrounded by admirers, but only has eyes for the handsome Peter, who, not wanting to invite gossip stays away from her except for one dance. On the most exciting eve of Molly's young life, what happens to cause her to leave the ball in tears? And what part does the charming prince play in her distress? What causes Peter to be imprisoned and is their love doomed? And what shameful secret is uncovered involving Molly's family and Lord Washburn's?
Susan Page Davis has written a beautifully descriptive love story...from the beautiful red cliffs and farmland of Prince Edward Island, to its realistic characters, I was captivated 'til the very end! I am looking forward to reading more books by this author!
There is so much that appealed to me in this book. First, the setting. It's rare to find a Christian fiction book set in Canada so I was intrigued from the start, but throw in Prince Edward Island -- the magical land of Anne -- and I was near to swooning when I picked up my copy. LOL. And what a perfect time for this book to be released -- with the upcoming royal wedding and subsequent royal visit to Canada. Summerside Press couldn't have planned it better if they tried. Hope the royal watching hype goes far towards promoting Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Have to admit that I kept expecting Anne Shirley to pop up somewhere even though Molly and Peter's story takes place several decades before Anne's birth and that added some of the charm to my read.
I loved how Davis captured the behind-the-scenes preparations for the Royal visit and thrust innocent farm girl, Molly into the middle of it all. Her awe and nervousness leapt off the page and made me feel like I was right there and just as terrified as she was over spilling soup on a member of the royal party! Her attraction to Peter is sweet and filled with promise even though most of the events in this book cover only a few days.
Peter cuts a dashing hero for all that he is a commoner. His impeccable manners, integrity and devotion to his employer make him an admirable man but it's his personal history that Davis slowly reveals throughout the course of the story that really fleshes him out.
There is also a surprising thread of 'light' intrigue weaving its way through the pages of this book that culminates in a taut climax. Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island was a pleasurable read that I enjoyed immensely. It definitely should find it's way onto your TBR shelf.