Tuesday, October 22, 2019


By Leah Garriott
Published by Shadow Mountain
Publication Date: February 18, 2020

After calling off her engagement when she realized the true character of the man she was to marry, Margaret Brinton has decided the best path for her is to marry someone she will never love--that way she'll have safety and security and not have to risk her heart again. When she attends a matchmaking house party, she meets Mr. Northam, a rake who will suit her purposes perfectly. However, his cousin, arrogant Lord Williams, intentionally undermines her chances, and when Margaret returns home, she finds that her father has agreed to her engagement to Lord Williams! Margaret is adamant about not marrying him, and yet, as Lord Williams visits her family's home, she finds that maybe she misjudged him and might be the type of man she could love--which makes him precisely the wrong sort of man for her.

Fun story! Margaret cracked me up--she was totally blunt with Lord Williams and said things that would have had society matrons fainting right and left if they had heard. I loved it, how she didn't pretend with Lord Williams but said what she really thought. The plot was unique and kept me reading, wanting to figure out what Lord Williams' true intentions were and why he had rushed off to arrange an engagement to Margaret. Good addition to the Proper Romance line!

4 stars.

I read an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 21, 2019


Hereafter (Lost Princesses #3)
By Jody Hedlund

Emmeline, raised as the daughter of a charcoal burner deep in the forest, has always known her true identity as a princess--and she has never wanted to embrace it. She's perfectly happy living with her adoptive parents away from civilization, other than the fact that she's constantly afraid they'll be found. When her parents tell her it's time to join her two sisters and claim her true identity as a princess, fighting against the evil King Ethelwulf, she doesn't want to. Before she can figure out a different plan, however, King Ethelwulf's soldiers arrive at her home, and in order to spare her parents from being tortured, Emmeline agrees to go with them. She hopes to be able to escape, particularly knowing that the plan is to force her to wed Ethelwulf's heir, Ethelrex, but she's not counting on her reaction to Rex, who is different than she expected anyone associated with Ethelwulf to be.

Rex has trained to be the most elite warrior in his father's forces. He is deeply loyal to his father and will marry Emmeline as he's expected to--but he's not expecting to fall for her, especially not so quickly. With his father and his wife at odds, Rex, who is just as committed to his marriage vows as he is to his father, must reconsider his path in life.

I've enjoyed the previous books and prequel novella in this series, but this book is easily my favorite. I just loved it. Rex was such an intriguing character; the heir to an evil, brutal ruler, he has been taught violence and domination, but he also has a deep moral compass and wants to do what's right. I loved seeing how he interacted with Emmeline--both the times he was totally sweet and the times he failed her as he struggled to figure out how to please her and his father. As for Emmeline, I really liked seeing her try to figure out what she should do to try to establish peace in the kingdom as well as trying to sort out her feelings for Rex. This was a great conclusion to a terrific series...and I already want to go re-read it!

5 stars.
I read an ARC provided by the author. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Major's Daughter

The Major's Daughter (Fort Reno #3)
By Regina Jennings
Published by Bethany House
Publication date: December 3, 2019

Caroline Adams is restless and wants to find a path for herself that isn't defined by her position as the major's daughter. When the president signs off on a bill to allow the Unassigned Lands in Oklahoma territory to be claimed by homesteaders, Caroline decides this is her chance. She'll stake a claim and establish a boardinghouse. She even finds the perfect place--only realizing after she has claimed it (and there are no other plots to be claimed) that it's the exact spot Frisco Smith had picked out for himself.
Frisco, who has long been trying to settle in the unassigned lands, was instrumental in getting the territory opened for settlers--and he's picked out the perfect spot to set up a town. He even started building, put in a garden, and sold plots to others who will come to settle the land after he claims. On race day, however, he's held up at the starting line, trying to establish who was really there and who might have left early to stake a claim dishonestly--so Caroline reaches the land before he does. He desperately needs to convince Caroline to let him have the land and tries everything he can think of to get her to trade him for the small plot he claims in a neighboring developing town. She's equally determined to hold on to her dream and it seems one of them is bound to be a loser--unless they can find a way to work together.

The historical background for this book was really interesting. Seeing people who wanted a chance at claiming the land and their struggles was captivating, from those like Caroline who were successful in claiming the land but then needed to actually get to work settling there, to those like Frisco who didn't get the opportunity they so desperately wanted but were still trying to find a way to be successful. I also enjoyed the plot line with Frisco, a lawyer, trying to figure out if the very men who settled the town where he managed to buy his small plot did so legally or if they started out early in order to stake a claim. The romance angle wasn't quite as appealing to me as the other romances in this series, but all in all, it made for a good read.
3.5 stars.
I read a copy of the book provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor (Cornwall #2)
By Sarah E. Ladd
Published by Thomas Nelson
Publication date: January 7, 2020

Julia goes to Lanwyn Manor to be with her cousin Jane through the remaining months of Jane's difficult pregnancy. It also gives Julia the chance to escape the gossip at home, as everyone seems to know that her heart was broken when a man she considered a suitor announced his engagement to someone else. Arriving at Lanwyn Manor, Julia finds that all in not well--her uncle has shut down the mine that he owns, putting many men out of work and causing unrest in the town, while her aunt hates being away from London and also seems determined to marry Julia off to local mine owner Matthew Blake. While Matthew does seem charming, Julia can't help but be drawn to his twin brother, Isaac, even though her aunt deems Isaac, as a second son, totally unsuitable. As Isaac tries to help the people in his town and Julia tries to find her place, they both come to realize that something dangerous is happening and must figure out who is behind it.

First off, I just have to say I love the dress on this cover so much. Just beautiful! As for the book itself, I loved the fact that Julia is a strong character who says what she thinks, not a shy, demure character. That made for some good interactions with both of the Blake brothers, as she did say what she really meant. Isaac was a great leading man; he was just a really good guy, trying to help those around him and do his best.  I also really liked seeing more about the mining industry; while there wasn't an overabundance of details, there were enough things woven into the story to really bring to life the impact on the townspeople, which I found really interesting. For those looking for a good historical fiction novel with both romance and mystery, this is a great choice.

4 stars.

I read an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Cover Reveal and Giveaway! An Oxford Murder

Coming soon from G.G. Vandagriff--An Oxford Murder!

Back cover: 
A stylish 1930’s mystery set in Oxford with a love triangle, a murder, and a cast of eccentric suspects. 

Fans of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane will love this tale!
“Vandagriff’s atmospherics are first rate. She amazes me.”—Anna Stone.
After Miss Catherine Tregowyn, poet, and Dr. Harry Bascombe, her bĂȘte noire, discover a body in the Somerville College chapel, they are declared suspects in a murder inquiry. How can they prove their innocence? The pair decide they must launch their own investigation into the strangling of Oxford don, Agatha Chenowith. But working as a team will not be easy. Their relations are anything but cordial.
It is not long before they uncover motives aplenty. Apparently, Dr. Chenowith was not at all what she seemed. As the surprises about the victim’s secret life multiply, they are awash in a sea of suspects. 
Into this scenario sails the former love of Catherine’s life as he returns from Kenya. Is she going to give Rafe another chance to break her heart? He convinces her to give him a six-month trial, and eager to show his worth, he joins in the investigation. Rafe offers to fly Catherine and Harry in his de Havilland six-seater to the Isle of Man where they must pursue a lead. Inevitably, Rafe and Harry square off in a battle for Catherine’s affections.  
Meanwhile, playing detectives proves to be a dangerous pursuit. Catherine and Harry shortly embroil themselves in a plot much larger than mere murder. No one wants to hear their theory, however. It contains truths too painful to contemplate. And it makes Catherine and Harry’s lives expendable.
Release date: November 6th, 2019

Giveaway! When you pre-order the book, take a screenshot of the Amazon "thank you" page, post it in the comments, and you will be entered in the drawing to win a $30 Amazon gift card! Contest runs Thursday through Sunday, and the winner will be notified on Monday.

Friday, October 4, 2019

The Duke's Second Chance

The Duke's Second Chance
By Jen Geigle Johnson

Second chances often come from surprising places. Will the Duke find another chance at love when everything seems to be combining against him? Gerald feels as though he’s lost everything when his wife takes her last breath. Amelia’s world turns upside down when the Duke of Granbury steps into her tea shop and leaves with her heart. But when a secret from Amelia’s past unveils possibilities, will the duke get a second chance at love from an unexpected source?

The premise was interesting, but the story just felt really rushed and didn't hold my interest like other books. The romance aspect especially was just too fast and didn't have enough time to develop.

I read an ARC provided by the author. All opinions are my own.

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Secrets & Suitors

Secrets & Suitors
By Joanna Barker
Published by Covenant Communications

Nora Hamilton would rather remain at home in the country than go to London for her third season--and she'd much rather spend time with her friend James, recently returned to England, than Mr. Weston, the man her father wants her to marry. But since James made it clear he doesn't return her feelings for her, she reluctantly tells her father she'll agree to marry Mr. Weston at the end of the season if her younger sister is allowed a season and her younger brother is allowed to accompany them to London. As she participates in the season, she wonders if her feelings for Mr. Weston might grow, and she also attracts the attention of an earl who seems to enjoy her company, but even with two men interested in her, she still can't convince her heart to forget James.
Time is running out and she must decide what is the right path for her before it's too late.

Big sigh! This was lovely (particularly the last couple of chapters! Swoon!). Timid Nora and charming James were just terrific. I loved the moments when Nora actually pushed through her shyness and let her true self show. I enjoyed the plot; there was more going on than just a romance and the elements all fit together well. The story flowed really well, and it was just a delight to read. I read a lot of Regency romances, but this one stands out--and I've already reread the last couple chapters because they were so perfect!
5 stars!
I read an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.