Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Beneath an Italian Sky--Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Book description: A love match turns into a lonely marriage. Will Clare and Emmett reconcile their differences before it's too late?

From USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie, comes BENEATH AN ITALIAN SKY, An American Heiress novel.

American heiress Clare Herschel made what she hoped was a love match when she married the handsome, witty Emmett Markham, the Earl of Linwood. A little over a year into her marriage, though, Clare finds herself wintering in Sicily—alone. She is sure the mild climate is the answer to avoiding another miscarriage and Emmett’s apparent indifference, so she’s determined to remain in Italy as long as possible. The last person she expects to show up at the villa is her husband, especially when Emmett confesses he’s there to convince her to return to England.
As the only surviving son of a marquess, Emmett has done everything his father has asked of him—even agreeing to run for a seat in the House of Commons. However, this latest task comes with a nearly impossible caveat. He must convince his wife Clare to come back to England with him in order for them to appear to be a happy couple for his political campaigning. Emmett isn’t confident Clare will agree to the plan, though, not when she seems to want nothing to do with him or the life they’d begun building before she abruptly left him for Italy.
When a massive earthquake strikes Messina, Sicily, claiming the lives of thousands, Clare and Emmett must set aside their mutual misgivings about their marriage in order to survive and lend a helping hand to others. But in the wake of the destruction, they begin to realize they’ve been given a chance to decide if their love is stronger than the upheavals of the past.

Night at the Opera
Beneath an Italian Sky
Among Sand and Sunrise (October 2019)

My thoughts: The historical setting for this story was so interesting. It was fascinating to see details of the earthquake and its aftermath. I also really liked how the story alternated between the past (letting us see Clare and Emmett's happy courtship and then the decline of their marriage) and the present. I found Clare and Emmett to be well-developed, with good reasons for the choices they make. This was just a really gripping story, and I really enjoyed it. I read an ARC provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Blog tour schedule:
April 22nd - Heidi Reads
April 23rd - Peggy Urry
April 26th - Wishful Endings / Literary Time Out / Singing Librarian Books

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Friday, April 5, 2019

The Governess of Penwythe Hall

The Governess of Penwythe Hall (Cornwall #1)
By Sarah E. Ladd

After her husband's death, Cordelia Greythorne left Cornwall, warned by her in-laws never to return, and obtained a position as a governess. For three years she has worked for the Tretheway family, and when the children are left orphans, she knows they need her to stay with them and provide a constant, loving force in their lives. However, their uncle Jac, their new guardian, lives in Cornwall, and staying with the children means returning to the area she's been avoiding.

Jac Trethewey is busy trying to revitalize his estate, Penwythe Hall, hoping that if he can get the apple orchards to flourish, the estate can thrive as well. When his estranged brother's five children and their governess arrive at Penwythe Hall, he knows he will take them in but he doesn't know how to make things work. What he does come to quickly realize is that Delia is more than the average governess--she is the one holding the family together and he wants to support her as much as she supports everyone else. And yet, there are rumors about her and secrets that make his new situation even more complicated than it first appeared.

I loved this book. It's easily my favorite of Sarah E. Ladd's books (all of which I've read and enjoyed) and one of the best books I've read in 2019. I was just so pulled into the story; I loved impulsive Jac who wants to do right by his nieces and nephews, and strong, good Delia who just works so hard to care for the children. I found the plot to be engaging and moving. The romance was slow-building and sweet, and I wouldn't have minded if there'd been a little more of the book that took place after their feelings were revealed, but all in all, it was a lovely book that I highly recommend.
5 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

No Ocean Too Wide

No Ocean Too Wide (McAlister Family #1)
By Carrie Turansky

Laura McAlister is working as a lady's maid while her mother does sewing for a shop owner, trying to make ends meet and care for her three younger children. When Laura gets word that her mother is ill and hospitalized, she heads home to London only to find that her siblings have been sent to a children's home. When she goes to get them back, that is more complicated than she anticipated as Garth, Katie, and Grace have actually been sent to Canada as part of England's orphan emigration program.

Andrew Frasier, the heir to the estate where Laura was employed, is a solicitor who, along with his partner, is working on investigating the emigration program for the British government. While he has long admired the program and its leaders, Laura's story brings to light problems with its management. He promises to help Laura find her siblings and get them back--but will he be able to keep that promise?

This was a really engaging, interesting story. At times it was actually painful to read (the parts written from Katie's perspective, in particular) because it felt so real. This is a really fascinating piece of historical fiction, with some gentle romance that makes it all the better. I wouldn't have minded a bit more romance, but all in all, it was very well done and definitely makes me want to continue the series to find out what is next for the McAlister family.

4.5 stars.

I read an ARC provider by the publisher, WaterBrook & Multnomah, via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own.