Shades of Milk & Honey


TITLE: Shades of Milk and Honey

AUTHOR: Mary Robinette Kowal

GENRE: Romance & Historical Fiction

SETTING(S) : Regency, 19th Century, England, UK

SUBJECT:  Sisters, Magic and Love

MAIN CHARACTERS: Jane Ellsworth, Melody Ellsworth, Beth Dunkirk,  Mr. Dunkirk, Lady FitzCameron, Captain Livingston and Mr. Vincent

SUMMARY: Jane Ellsworth is in her twenties with no hope in finding a suitable match.  She is gifted in the musical and visual arts,  but lacks beauty.  Whereas her sister Melody is beautiful but lacks the gift of art and glamour.  Their parents attempt to find a well establish young men for them to marry are met with good success, even though they lack the income.  These two sisters have to overcome the obstacles of love, jealousy, heartbreak and scandal in hopes to find their one true love.

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I almost felt like I read this book before; it had very similar elements from previous books I’ve read.  Especially during the scene in the maze.  I liked this book but I don’t think it would be part of my top ten books I’ve read this year.  It has all the elements that a good book needs: good & bad characters, plot, twist and turns and of course a great ending.

Some may not really get the ending and felt that the ending match between Jane and the man she marries needed more “something” but like all regency era romances I thought the relationship had all it needed.  Yes it isn’t a relationship that had a “spark” but it is a relationship with respect, kindness and a sense of love.  Yes it wouldn’t be defined as a romantic love relationship but a relationship of friendship.  I believe reading the second book first before reading “Shades of Milk and Honey”  which is the first book of the series did not hurt it.  Yes I did not have the knowledge of how Jane and her husband met but I don’t it all matter upon reading the second book.

I think this book is great to read when you are trying to define or redefine what love and friendship are.  And how those boundaries can change over time.  We all need to step back from time to time and stop trying to find romantic sparks because sometimes it isn’t there when you first meet someone.