Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland
Summerside Press, 2011
All Lark Benton wants is for Emerson Fielding to love her as she loves him – surely that’s not too much to ask of one’s betrothed. But after a painfully long drawn out engagement, Lark suffers one final betrayal that convinces her once and for all that she will never be enough. Wishing never to see Emerson again, Lark takes her brother’s place on a trip to visit friends in Annapolis, Maryland, but not before extracting a promise from her brother and parents not to reveal where she has gone. Though she arrives with a flood of inner turmoil and heartbreak, she finds some solace in the warm welcome she receives and the new circle of friends that gathers around her. And in a different environment from the one she grew up in, Lark finds herself questioning the woman she has been and what will become of her future.
Emerson understands now what a fool he’s been. Kicking himself for not realizing Lark’s worth until she was gone, he vows not to quit searching until he has found her. When a bit of luck points him in the right direction, he follows his beloved to Annapolis, intent on making things right. But that goal might be much harder to achieve than he imagined, given the transformation that seems to have taken place in Lark. Gone is the silent, tolerant girl he knew, replaced instead by a woman of spirit and conviction – a woman who wants nothing at all to do with him.
Set against the backdrop of a new nation, the couple tries to find their way back to each other while wading through complex politics that sometimes set them at odds. Will Emerson be able to convince Lark that he truly does love her? More importantly, will Lark be able to believe that she is worthy of that love?
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I was introduced to Roseanna M. White’s books a few weeks ago with her latest, A Name Unknown, which I raved about. Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland could not be more different from A Name Unknown in tone and setting, yet the story and characters were inarguably of the same great quality. I was captured from the first few pages by the strange dynamic between Lark and Emerson. How is it possible for someone to be portrayed simultaneously as a bad guy and a character worthy of sympathy and respect? I don’t know how she did it, but even as I was condemning Emerson for his terrible treatment of Lark, I was also rooting for him to win her back.
Another thing that earned my attention was how completely the mood shifted when Lark left her home in Williamsburg. As soon as she arrives at the Randel’s home in Annapolis the atmosphere changes from safe but stifling, with it’s formality and expectations, to equally safe, but also filled with camaraderie, freedom, and humor. The author did a great job of changing the setting in order to spur internal changes in her characters. And speaking of characters, there were a lot of really interesting ones that clearly served a purpose in propelling the story forward and helping Lark and Emerson figure out what had gone wrong between them.
Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland is set in young America in 1784, so the politics of the time are infused in the story throughout. Even as an avid reader of historical fiction, I am often pleased to find a perspective or bit of information from a historical event about which I wasn’t previously aware. In this book, that bit came from the character of Edwinn Calvert, who possesses a very interesting point of view on his loyalty to the new United States before, during and after the war. I won’t say anything more about that, you’ll just have to read the book to see what I mean.
I give this book two thumbs up and would not hesitate to recommend it. From this point forward I will officially consider myself a Roseanna M. White fan and can’t wait to read more from her.
Check out more books from the Love Finds You Collection, like this one or this one. I’ve read several of these charming standalone novels and enjoyed them all. There is a huge selection which includes both historical and modern day stories, so there is something for everyone!