Jessamine’s Folly by S.G. Roger
Publisher: Idunn Court Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Historical
Length: Short Story (102 pages)
Age Recommendation: 16+
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
After her estate is entailed away, Jessamine Foster has no choice but to live with relatives who detest her. When her aunt gives her an ultimatum to leave, Jessamine accepts a position as companion to Lord Kirkendale’s sister—even though she’s been warned her predecessors can’t seem to resist the earl’s exceptional good looks. Can Jessamine manage to hold onto her job without losing her heart?
To honor a promise made to his dying father, Lord Kirkendale agrees to an arranged marriage to a woman he cannot love. Although he is resigned to a life without sentiment, the arrival of his sister’s new companion awakens a slumbering passion. Can he find a way to secure his own happiness without sacrificing his family’s honor, or will his broken promise result in the ruination of the person he loves most?
Sometimes your fate can change in the span of a few heartbeats.
As soon as I read the opening scene, I couldn’t wait to learn what would happen next. A funeral definitely isn’t a typical setting for a young adult novel. It was a good choice for this one, though, as it made me eager to find out what was going on. My first impressions of the characters who attended it were as accurate as they were entertaining.
The title of this book was confusing to me. There were plenty of follies to go around in the plot, but none of them belonged to Jessamine. She was no more responsible for her parents’ death than she was for her reduced station in life afterwards. I never did understand what the author was getting at with this particular title and would have liked to know more about why it was chosen.
Jessamine’s temper problems made me like her even more than I might have otherwise. She came across as an incredibly proper woman for the time and place in which she lived. It was nice to see how she behaved when she wasn’t on her best behavior, though, because it made her so relatable. Sometimes a flaw can seem so large that it’s impossible to imagine what life would be without it. This part of her personality was written well.
It would have been helpful to have more character development in this tale. Everyone other than Jessamine tended to be portrayed in two-dimensional ways. The other characters were either written as good and kind or selfish and cruel. There was little room on either side for the complex emotions, behaviors, or motivations that I would have preferred to see.
Amelie, the young woman that Jessamine is hired to chaperone, was a highlight of this story for me. Her sharp sense of humor made me smile more than once. I especially enjoyed the scenes that involved Jessamine’s conversations with her. Their friendship was as warm as it was genuine.
I’d recommend Jessamine’s Folly to anyone in the mood for something romantic and historical.