Monday, December 13, 2021

The Finder of Forgotten Things by Sarah Loudin Thomas


The Finder of Forgotten Things
By Sarah Loudin Thomas
Published by Bethany House


It's 1932 and Sullivan Harris is on the run. He promised the people of Kline, West Virginia, that he would find them water, but now he's failed and disappeared with their cash. Although he's determined to stay a step ahead of pursuers--like Jeremiah Weber--his resources are running low.

Gainey Floyd is suspicious of Sulley's claim to be a dowser when he appears in town but reconsiders after he finds water. Rather, it's Sulley who grows uneasy when his success makes folks wonder if he can find more than water--like forgotten items or missing people. He lights out to escape such expectations and runs smack into something worse.

Hundreds of men have found jobs digging the Hawks Nest Tunnel--but what they thought was a blessing is killing them. And no one seems to care. Here, Sulley finds something new--a desire to help. As Jeremiah--and now Gainey--pursue him, Sulley becomes the unexpected catalyst for finding what even he has forgotten. Hope.

This story is so beautifully written. Having been born and raised in upstate New York and then moving west as an adult, I've never been to West Virginia, and yet, Sarah Loudin Thomas described the setting and the time period so well that it felt completely familiar. As for the characters, well, I might not have much in common with them at first glance, but Thomas made me feel so connected to them that I would go to war for these people! I seriously just was hooked and cared so much about them. There are lots of authors who make me laugh or entertain me, but Sarah Loudin Thomas makes me FEEL in ways few other authors do. It was a pleasure to read this book.

4.5 stars.

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

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Love and Lavender (Mayfield Family Romance#4) by Josi S. Kilpack BLOG TOUR

Love and Lavender (Mayfield Family Romance #4)
By Josi S. Kilpack
Published by Shadow Moutain

Hazel Stillman is a woman of rare independence and limited opportunities. Born with a clubbed foot, she was sent away as a child and, knowing her disability means a marriage is unlikely, she devoted herself to scholarship and education.
Now working as a teacher in an elite private girls’ school, she is content with the way her story has unfolded. When her uncle Elliott Mayfield presents her with the prospect of a substantial inheritance if she marries, Hazel is offended. What kind of decent man would marry for her money? Besides, she loves her freedom as a professional, respected woman. When she hears rumors of the school possibly being sold, however, she knows she must consider all her options. 
Duncan Penhale has a brilliant mind and thrives on order and process. He does not expect to marry because he likes his solitary life, shared only with his beloved cat. When Elliott Mayfield, his guardian’s brother, presents him with an inheritance if he marries a woman of social standing, Duncan finds it intrusive. However, with the inheritance, he could purchase the building in which he works and run his own firm. It would take an impressive and intellectual woman to understand and love him, quirks and all.
Hazel and Duncan believe they have found a solution to both of their problems: marry one another, receive their inheritances, and then part ways to enjoy their individual paths. But when Uncle Mayfield stipulates that they must live together as husband and wife for one year before receiving their inheritances, Hazel and Duncan reluctantly agree. Over time, their marriage of convenience becomes much more appealing than they had anticipated. At the end of the full year, will they go their separate ways or could an unlikely marriage have found unsuspecting love?

Having a male protagonist who would today be classified on the autism spectrum and a female protagonist with a physical deformity definitely set this book apart from out other historical romances that I've read. Besides being unique, though, their characters both feel very well-developed and they were both endearing and sometimes annoying, making them feel so real! The author did a good job showing their common interests and how those things brought them together, giving them a foundation for a marriage. The romance wasn't quite as well-developed as I would have liked, but at the same time, it felt realistic for characters with their particular backgrounds.
4 stars.
I read an ARC provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

“What a lovely romance. The historical details, the depth of the authentic characters, and the realistic dialogue all contribute to an immersive story. [A] beautiful and inspirational story about loving people just as they are.”— Katie Jackson, Regency Proofreading 

“Phenomenal. This book was phenomenal. The very best in the series.”— Lyssa Armstrong, For Where Your Treasure Is 

“This love story was unique and such an uncommon take on a marriage of convenience! [S]weet and well worth the wait!”— Ashley Johnson, Bringing Up Books 

“Beautifully written, sensitive, poignant addition to the Mayfield Family series.”— Susan K., The Flipped Page 


Josi S. Kilpack has written more than thirty novels, a cookbook, and several novellas. She is a four-time Whitney award winner, including Best Novel 2015 for "Lord Fenton's Folly, and has been a Utah Best of State winner for Fiction. Josi loves to bake, sleep, eat, read, travel, and watch TV--none of which she gets to do as much as she would like. She writes contemporary fiction under the pen name Jessica Pack. Josi has four children and lives in Northern Utah. 

Book Tour Participants 
 Nov 01 Storeybook Reviews (Review) 
Nov 01 Austenprose (Review) 
Nov 01 Getting Your Read On (Review) 
Nov 01 Wishful Endings (Review) 
Nov 02 Reading Ladies Book Club (Review) 
Nov 02 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 
Nov 02 Captivated Reading (Spotlight) 
Nov 02 Literary Time Out (Review) 
Nov 03 Timeless Novels (Review) 
Nov 03 Our Book Confessions (Review) 
Nov 03 The Bibliophile Files (Review) 
Nov 04 Chicks, Rogues and Scandals (Excerpt) 
Nov 05 Heidi Reads (Review) 
Nov 06 Reading Is My Superpower (Review) 
Nov 07 Reading with Emily (Review) 
Nov 08 Austenesque Reviews (Review) 
Nov 09 Between the Lines Books 'n' Stuff (Excerpt) 
Nov 10 The Book Diva's Reads (Excerpt) 
Nov 11 Novels Alive (Review) 
Nov 11 Gwendalyn's Books (Review) 
Nov 12 Nurse Bookie (Review) 
Nov 13 Christian Chick's Thoughts (Review) 
Nov 14 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review) 
Nov 15 Wishful Endings (Excerpt) 
Nov 16 A Bookish Way of Life (Review) 
Nov 17 Lady with a Quill (Review) 
Nov 18 Relz Reviewz (Review) 
Nov 19 The Lit Bitch (Review) 
Nov 20 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Spotlight) 
Nov 21 For Where Your Treasure Is (Review) 
Nov 22 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt) 
Nov 23 My Bookish Bliss (Review) 
Nov 24 Laura's Reviews (Review) 
Nov 25 Library of Clean Reads (Review) 
Nov 25 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review) 
Nov 26 Books and Socks Rock (Excerpt) 
Nov 26 Greenish Bookshelf (Review) 
Nov 27 Literary Quicksand (Review) 
Nov 28 CozyNookBooks (Review)

Monday, September 20, 2021

Under the Texas Mistletoe by Karen Witemeyer

Under the Texas Mistletoe 
By Karen Witemeyer 
Published by Bethany House 

Spend Christmas in Texas this year with these charming holiday novellas from bestselling historical romance author Karen Witemeyer, whose writing is spiced with her signature blend of humor, thrilling frontier action, and sweet romance. 
In this 3-in-1 novella collection, Witemeyer presents the new story "A Texas Christmas Carol," where a town's wealthy, Scrooge-like bachelor finds his world invaded by a woman set on earning his donation for helping the local poor, and the penetrating questions of three mysterious visitors. 
It also includes, for the first time in print, "An Archer Family Christmas." When the Archer clan gathers for the holiday, they encounter an unexpected request for help that will require all their effort and a Christmas miracle to see them through. 
In previously-published "Gift of the Heart," a widow uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local resort owner. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love this Christmas. 

This book was delightful to read. Although I'd read two of the three stories before, rereading them was just as fun as reading them the first time, and I loved reading a brand new story as well. All of these stories lifted my heart and made me really happy. I enjoyed every minute. There were moments of humor along with serious, even heart-wrenching problems, making the stories feel realistic and relatable. The characters were charming and I can't even pick a favorite. At a troubling time in my own life, this book was the perfect choice to boost my spirits. 
5 stars. 
I read an ARC provided by the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen

The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart 
By Nancy Campbell Allen 
Published by: Shadow Mountain 


Amelie Hampton is a hopeless romantic, which makes her the perfect columnist to answer lonely heart letters in The Marriage Gazette. When Amelie plays matchmaker with two anonymous lonely hearts, she also decides to secretly observe the couple’s blind date. To her surprise, the man who appears for the rendezvous is Harold Radcliffe—a grieving widower and a member of Amelie’s book club.

Police detective Michael Baker has been struggling ever since his best friend and brother-in-law died in the line of fire. Because he knows the dangers of his job, he has vowed never to marry and subject a wife and family to the uncertainty of his profession. But when he meets Miss Hampton, he is captured by her innocence, beauty, and her quick mind.

When a woman’s body is pulled from the river, Michael suspects the woman’s husband—Harold Radcliffe—of foul play. Amelie refuses to believe that Harold is capable of such violence but agrees to help, imagining it will be like one of her favorite mystery novels. Her social connections and clever observations prove an asset to the case, and Amelie is determined to prove Mr. Radcliffe’s innocence. But the more time Amelie and Michael spend together, the more they trust each other, and the more they realize they are a good team, maybe the perfect match.

They also realize that Mr. Radcliffe is hiding more than one secret, and when his attention turns toward Amelie, Michael knows he must put an end to this case before the woman he loves comes to harm.

This book was really fun and interesting. I wouldn't ever pick out a murder mystery to read, but I appreciate how this book brought together the murder mystery with romance and put it all into the Victorian era. It made it similar enough to what I like to read for me to enjoy it while simultaneously being different enough to make it give me a break from what I normally read and keep things fresh. So I really liked that. I also liked the characters; Amelie and Michael are very different and yet they worked well together. I was also intrigued by secondary characters whom I hope to see more of in future books. Fun book for a quick escape. 

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

About the Author:

NANCY CAMPBELL ALLEN is the award-winning author of eighteen published novels and several novellas, which encompass a variety of genres, ranging from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. Her most recent books, which include Regency, Victorian, and steampunk romance, are published under Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance brand, and the What Happens in Venice novella series is part of the Timeless Romance Anthology collection published by Mirror Press. She has presented at numerous conferences and events since her initial publication in 1999.

Nancy loves to read, write, travel, and research, and enjoys spending time with family and friends. She nurtures a current obsession for true crime podcasts and is a news junkie. She and her husband have three children, and she lives in Ogden, Utah, with her family, one very large Siberian Husky named Thor, and an obnoxious but endearing YorkiePoo named Freya.

For author interview requests, please contact Callie Hansen at

Advance Praise:

“Allen pairs a matchmaker and a detective in this charming Victorian romance. Allen expertly combines mystery and romance into a fast-paced tale complete with plenty of surprises and a central relationship founded on mutual admiration and respect. Readers are sure to appreciate the strong, well-shaded heroine and twisty plot.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Allen's chaste tale of Victorian romantic suspense will also appeal to historical mystery readers, and it would be great for mother-and-daughter reads. This has great appeal for teens who like historical fiction laced with mystery and romance.”


“Michael and Amelie's slow-burning romances combines well with the fast-paced tale of surprise, death, and heart. The core of the story is their relationship; it builds from a place of admiration and respect, and eschews any forced obstacles to being together. Amelie is a nuanced heroine who is both naïve and fierce as she gathers her knowledge of fictional crimes and joins Michael in his off-duty undercover work. And the endearing secondary cast of friends and coworkers results in humor and warmth; they support Amelie's headstrong nature and Michael's softening heart. Charming...combines a Victorian murder mystery with an endearing romance between two souls.”

—Foreword Reviews

Join the tour!

Join the virtual book tour of THE MATCHMAKER’S LONELY HEART, Nancy Campbell Allen’s highly acclaimed historical novel, September 6-19, 2021. Thirty popular on-line influencers specializing in historical romance, mystery/suspense, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of its release with spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in London, England.


Sept 06 Timeless Novels (Review) 

Sept 07 The Book Diva Reads (Excerpt)

Sept 07 Wishful Endings (Review) 

Sept 08 Robin Loves Reading (Review) 

Sept 08 A Darn Good Read (Review) 

Sept 08 Storeybook Reviews (Spotlight) 

Sept 08 Austenesque Reviews (Review) 

Sept 09 Bookfoolery (Review) 

Sept 09 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt) 

Sept 10 The Bluestocking (Review) 

Sept 10 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 

Sept 10 The Silver Petticoat Review (Review) 

Sept 11 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review) 

Sept 11 My Bookish Bliss (Review) 

Sept 11 Nurse Bookie (Review) 

Sept 12 The Bibliophile Files (Review) 

Sept 12 My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight) 

Sept 13 Heidi Reads (Excerpt) 

Sept 13 Reading with Emily (Review) 

Sept 13 Our Book Confessions (Review) 

Sept 14 Rosanne E. Lortz (Review) 

Sept 14 Laura's Reviews (Review) 

Sept 14 Beauty in the Binding (Spotlight) 

Sept 15 All-of-a-Kind Mom (Review) 

Sept 15 Gwendalyn's Books (Review) 

Sept 15 Life of Literature (Review) 

Sept 16 From Pemberley to Milton (Review) 

Sept 16 Probably at the Library (Spotlight) 

Sept 17 Greenish Bookshelf (Review) 

Sept 17 Relz Reviewz (Review) 

Sept 18 Novel Kicks (Review) 

Sept 19 Historical Fiction with Spirit (Excerpt)

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The Slow March of Light by Heather B. Moore

The Slow March of Light

By Heather B. Moore

Published by: Shadow Mountain


Sometimes all you have is hope.

In the summer of 1961, a wall of barbed wire goes up quickly in the dead of night, officially dividing Berlin. Aware of the many whose families have been divided, Luisa joins a secret spy network, risking her life to help East Germans escape across the Berlin Wall and into the West.

Bob Inama, a soldier in the US Army, is stationed in West Germany. He’s glad to be fluent in German, especially after meeting Luisa Voigt at a church social. As they spend time together, they form a close connection. But when Bob receives classified orders to leave for undercover work immediately, he doesn’t get the chance to say goodbye.

With a fake identity, Bob’s special assignment is to be a spy embedded in East Germany, identifying possible targets for the US military. But Soviet and East German spies, the secret police, and Stasi informants are everywhere, and the danger of being caught and sent to a brutal East German prison lurks on every corner.

Best-selling author Heather B. Moore masterfully alternates the stories of Bob and Luisa, capturing the human drama unique to Cold War Germany was well as the courage and the resilience of the human spirit.


Wow! This story was so engrossing! I haven't read much Cold War fiction, so it was fascinating to see things both from the perspective of an American soldier/spy through Bob's character and from a West German citizen who gets involved in helping East Germans escape through Luisa's character. Both perspectives were so well written, drawing me right into the characters' thoughts and emotions. Bob's character was made all the more captivating with the knowledge that he was a real person and his experiences really happened. Although this book covers dark situations, it was also hopeful, as we get to see Bob persevering through an extremely nerve-wracking military assignment and the fallout of that assignment. Bob is just so inspiring! This book was thoroughly enjoyable and one I highly recommend to anyone looking for a great historical novel. 5 stars. I read an ARC provided by the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today best-selling and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She has lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about history and is passionate about historical research.

For author interview requests, please contact Callie Hansen at

Advance Praise:

“Moore conveys extensive historical knowledge without sacrificing the emotional impact of the stories of two protagonists whose Christian faith helps them survive and make a difference in the face of epic adversity.”


“Outstanding novel is a harrowing account based around actual events. The author chillingly and graphically captures daily existence where the controlling political party, national security apparatus, and media work together to crush all dissent. A timely and cautionary tale. My highest recommendation.”

—Historical Novel Society

Launch Bundle: 

Help Heather B. Moore get her latest novel, The Slow March of Light, to hit the New York Times best-seller list by purchasing a copy between September 6-11. Everyone who submits a copy of their receipt and fills out this form during the week of September 6-11 will receive The Slow March of Light - Swag Bundle*.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

The Merchant and the Rogue (The Dread Penny Society #3) by Sarah M. Eden

The Merchant and the Rogue (The Dread Penny Society #3)
By Sarah M. Eden
Published by Shadow Mountain

London, 1865 
Vera Sorokina loves reading the Penny Dreadfuls and immersing herself in tales of adventure, mystery, and romance. Her own days are filled with the often mundane work of running the book and print shop she owns with her father. The shop offers her the freedom and income to employ and protect the poverty-stricken Londoners she’s come to care about, and it gives her father something to do other than long for their hometown of St. Petersburg. She is grateful for the stability in their lives, but she often feels lonely.
Brogan Donnelly was born and raised in Ireland, but has lived in London for several years, where he’s built a career as a Penny Dreadful writer. He has dedicated himself to the plight of the poor with the help of his sister. His membership in the secretive Dread Penny Society allows him to feel he isn’t entirely wasting his life, yet he feels dissatisfied. With no one to share his life with but his sister, he fears London will never truly feel like home. 
Brogan and Vera’s paths cross, and the attraction is both immediate and ill-advised. Vera knows from past experience that writers are never to be trusted, and Brogan has reason to suspect not everything at her print shop is aboveboard. When the growing criminal enterprise run by the elusive and violent Mastiff begins targeting their area of London, Brogan and Vera must work together to protect the community they’ve both grown to love. But that means they’ll need to learn to trust each other with dangerous secrets that have followed both of them from their home countries. 

Oh, man, after reading the first book in this series and the male protagonist, Fletcher Walker, quickly becoming one of my favorite leading men of all time, I anticipated enjoying the remaining books in the series but not having any character surpass Fletcher. And in the second book, that was true--I did quite like the characters but Fletcher remained my favorite. Here, though, in the third book, Brogan Donnelly has given Fletcher a run for his money in my esteem. I still love Fletcher, but Brogan has the advantage of being an Irishman (I love all the Irish characters Sarah M. Eden has ever written!), and I found him and his insecurities so endearing. It was really interesting to read a story with a male character who is insecure, who sees himself as a good "foot soldier" but not a general, not someone who can strike out on his own and take the lead. That made him very fascinating--and then throw in his good heart and how he's trying to take care of as many people as he possibly can, and I just adored him. I also really liked Vera; she's as kind-hearted as Brogan, looking out for her customers and fellow merchants. I was pulled in by the plot, wanting to see how things would play out, and while there are definitely things that will need to be resolved in later books in the series, things wrapped up at a good spot in this novel. As for the two penny dreadfuls woven in through the book, I really liked those as well, particularly Mr. King's. I liked seeing the parallels between the penny dreadful and the main story. This is one of those books that I wanted to start re-reading as soon as I finished reading it. It's also one I'm hoping will be made into an audiobook because I think it would awesome to listen to these characters! This is definitely one of my favorites of 2021! 
5 stars.
I read an ARC provided by the publisher via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own.


Sarah M. Eden is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning Proper Romance series novels including The Lady and the Highwayman and Ashes on the Moor. Combining her passion for history and an affinity for love stories, Sarah crafts smart, witty characters and heartfelt romances. She happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library and dreams of one day traveling to all the places she reads about.

Join the virtual book tour of THE MERCHANT AND THE ROGUE, Sarah M. Eden’s highly acclaimed historical romance, August 16-29, 2021. Thirty-five popular on-line influencers specializing in historical romance, mystery/suspense, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of its release with spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in London, England.


Aug 16 Among the Reads (Review) 

Aug 16 Austenprose (Review) 

Aug 16 Reading is My Superpower (Review) 

Aug 17 Literary Time Out (Review) 

Aug 17 Getting Your Read On (Review) 

Aug 17 Heidi Reads (Excerpt) 

Aug 17 Laura's Reviews (Review)

Aug 18 Our Book Confessions (Review) 

Aug 18 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 

Aug 19 Fire & Ice (Review) 

Aug 19 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt) 

Aug 20 My Bookish Bliss (Review) 

Aug 20 Gwendalyn's Books (Review) 

Aug 20 Storeybook Reviews (Excerpt) 

Aug 21 Bookish Rantings (Review) 

Aug 21 The Calico Critic (Review) 

Aug 22 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

 Aug 22 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt) 

Aug 23 My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight) 

Aug 23 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review) 

Aug 23 Reading with Emily (Review) 

Aug 24 Wishful Endings (Review) 

Aug 24 Relz Reviewz (Review) 

Aug 24 The Book Diva Reads (Excerpt) 

Aug 25 Bookfoolery (Review) 

Aug 25 Greenish Bookshelf (Review) 

Aug 26 A Bookish Way of Life (Review) 

Aug 26 Nurse Bookie (Review) 

Aug 27 So Little Time… (Excerpt) 

Aug 27 Probably at the Library (Review)

Aug 27 Bringing Up Books (Review)

 Aug 28 Books and Socks Rock (Review) 

Aug 28 The Bibliophile Files (Review) 

Aug 29 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review) 

Aug 29 A Darn Good Read (Review)

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

A Seaside Summer by Josi S. Kilpack, Martha Keyes, & Heather B. Moore (and Giveaway!)

A Seaside Summer
By Josi S. Kilpack, Martha Keyes, & Heather B. Moore
Published by: Mirror Press

Description: This engaging anthology features three novellas by Josi S. Kilpack, Martha Keyes, & Heather B. Moore who are known for their captivating characters and heartfelt romance. 

The New Countess by Josi S. Kilpack 
Diane knows why the earl asked her to marry him; he needed a mother for his daughter, an heir for his title, and a hostess to assist with his position in Parliament. With two sons of her own, and no security to speak of, she never thought twice about accepting his proposal. Is she ready for him to know her and love her and explore this new possibility together? 

Mishaps and Memories by Martha Keyes
Judith Jardine’s one chance at a brilliant match is doomed from the start when she is ignored and then mocked by the ton’s most sought-after gentleman. But James Carlisle has no recollection of who he is, what happened to him, or how he has wronged her, and Judith sees the opportunity to teach him a valuable lesson—unless the deception and her feelings get the best of her first. 

Moonlight Summer by Heather B. Moore 
Oscar Rosewell’s life is not lacking in many things even though he lives on the fringes of society due to his father’s ruined reputation. He’s sworn off having any personal relationships until he meets Miss Dorothea Atkinson. Soon, Oscar learns that wishing can become a reality, but often, the price is an even heavier thing to pay. 

I really enjoyed the variety in this collection--while they all take place at the seashore, the stories are very different, with a married couple learning to understand each other and build their relationship into something more, a woman having the chance to get a little revenge on a man who humiliated her and coming to recognize there's more to him than she thought, and a man who has turned from society realizing that the right woman might make it worth his while to re-enter society. All three stories were well-written and enjoyable. A great choice for those looking for a quick romantic escape! 
4 stars. 
I read an ARC provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

 Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Regency Romance Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories set in early 19th century England. Featuring bestselling authors from the historical romance genre, the series has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at In October the Timeless Regency Romance Collection will present its 18th anthology, The Inns of Devonshire, including stories by Sally Britton, Annette Lyon, and Deborah M. Hathaway. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website. 

 Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance, Timeless Romance series, and a Cozy Culinary Mystery series. Her books, A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton's Folly; were Publishers Weekly Best Romance Books of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents of four children 

Martha Keyes is a Whitney Award-winning author born, raised, and educated in Utah—a home she loves dearly but also dearly loves to escape whenever she can by traveling the world. She received a BA in French Studies and a Master of Public Health, both from Brigham Young University. Word crafting has always fascinated her, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she considered writing her own stories. When she isn’t writing, she is honing her photography skills, looking for travel deals, and spending time with her family. She lives with her husband and twin boys in Vineyard, Utah. 

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestseller and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She's lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about anything in history and, as an author, is passionate about historical research. 

Join the virtual book tour of A SEASIDE SUMMER, a collection of novellas by bestselling authors Josi S. Kilpack, Martha Keyes, and Heather B. Moore, August 23-September 19, 2021. Over twenty-five popular online influencers specializing in Regency romance, historical romance, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of the release of the 17th book in the bestselling Timeless Regency Romance Collection with spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new anthology set in Regency England. 

 Aug 23 Austenprose (Review) 
Aug 24 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt) 
Aug 24 Getting Your Read On (Review) 
Aug 25 The Bibliophile Files (Review) 
Aug 26 Heidi Reads (Review)
Aug 27 Our Book Confessions (Review) 
Aug 30 The Lit Bitch (Spotlight) 
Aug 30 Wishful Endings (Review)
Sept 01 The Book Diva Reads (Spotlight) 
Sept 01 Rosanne E. Lortz (Review) 
Sept 02 Laura's Reviews (Review)
Sept 04 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Excerpt) 
Sept 07 Probably at the Library (Review) 
Sept 08 Gwendalyn's Books (Review) 
Sept 09 Books and Socks Rock (Spotlight) 
Sept 10 Christian Chick's Thoughts (Review) 
Sept 11 Storeybook Reviews (Excerpt) 
Sept 13 From Pemberley to Milton (Review) 
Sept 13 My Bookish Bliss (Review) 
Sept 14 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 
Sept 15 Relz Reviewz (Spotlight) 
Sept 15 Reading with Emily (Review) 
Sept 16 Lu Reviews Books (Review) 
Sept 17 Greenish Bookshelf (Spotlight) 
Sept 17 Austenesque Reviews (Review) 
Sept 17 Bringing Up Books (Review) 
Sept 18 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review) 
Sept 19 Eli's Novel Reviews (Review)

Mirror Press is pleased to offer one digital copy of any of the 16 previous books in the Timeless Regency Romance Collection to one unique winner at each stop on the tour. To qualify, please leave a comment on this blog post before 11:59pm, September 26, 2021. Visit each stop on the tour and leave a comment to increase your chance to win a book. This contest is open internationally. The winner will be drawn randomly from the comments and announced on each blog on September 27, 2021. The winner must claim their prize before October 04, 2021. Good luck to all!

The lucky winner of the Timeless Regency Collection Giveaway is… Caryl Kane!
Caryl, you have until Oct 4, 2021 to claim your prize.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

To Write a Wrong by Jen Turano

To Write a Wrong (The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency #2) 
By Jen Turano 
Published by Bethany House 

Miss Daphne Beekman is a mystery writer by day, inquiry agent by night. Known for her ability to puzzle out plots, she happily works behind the scenes for the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, staying well away from danger. However, when Mr. Herman Henderson arrives on the doorstep of the agency, desperate for someone to investigate numerous attempts on his life, Daphne soon finds herself in the thick of a case she's determined to solve. 
Mr. Herman Henderson is also a mystery writer, but unlike the dashing heroes he pens, he prefers living a quiet life, determined to avoid the fate of his adventurous parents, who perished while searching for the Lost City of Gold. 
As the list of suspects grows and sinister plots are directed at Daphne, the situation quickly deteriorates, and a revealed secret jeopardizes their newfound affection. Only time will tell if Daphne will be able to regain Herman's trust and save both their lives. 

I love knowing that when I'm in need of a good laugh, I can scoop up a book by Jen Turano and be guaranteed to get several. This book is a hoot. Daphne is hilarious, due to her blurting out exactly what she's thinking and her propensity for ending up in madcap situations (I mean, who knew bustles could be so entertaining?). Herman is wonderful; I love how he fell quickly for Daphne and appreciated her for who she was. Woven into the humor, there are serious issues, too, such as how limited women were at the time, with men controlling them in areas from their careers to their health and more. 
Such a fun book to read. 4 stars. 

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

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Carved in Stone by Elizabeth Camden


Carved in Stone (The Blackstone Legacy #1)
By Elizabeth Camden
Published by Bethany House
Publication Date: August 31st, 2021

Gwen Kellerman is an heiress to the infamous Blackstone family, whose history of scandal nearly destroyed her. She now lives a quiet life at the idyllic college founded with her family's fortune and hopes to keep the tragedies of her past safely behind her. 
Patrick O'Neill survived a hardscrabble youth to become a lawyer for the downtrodden Irish immigrants in his community. He's proud of his work, even though he struggles to afford his ramshackle law office. All that changes when he accepts a case to challenge the Blackstones' legacy of greed and corruption by resurrecting a thirty-year-old mystery. 
Little does Patrick suspect that the Blackstones will launch their most sympathetic family member to derail him. Gwen is tasked with getting Patrick to drop the case, but the old mystery takes a shocking twist neither of them saw coming. Now, as they navigate a burgeoning attraction, Patrick is the only one who can save Gwen from new danger on the horizon.

What an interesting historical romance!
I really liked Patrick from the get-go, and while I was slower to take to Gwen, I did end up really liking her as well, particularly those times when she said exactly what needed to be said. Secondary characters Liam and Natalia were also really interesting. ( I personally relate to both of them more than Gwen, so I'm hoping subsequent books in the series will put them front-and-center.) 
The romance was great. I loved the final scenes and how things worked out; I just smiled so much through those pages! I also really appreciated how the main culprit wasn't the character who would have been the obvious choice, although I would have liked to know more about the fallout for the culprit (that part of the story ended a little abruptly for my liking.). 
There's a lot going on in this story, with a family mystery, business dealings, keeping a college running, and more, and but the details were really woven into the story so I got a great sense of what life was like at that time without ever feeling like the story was cluttered or bogged down. I especially appreciated how the author wove in historical details about tetanus, which is something that I didn't even realize I would want to learn about but found to be so fascinating. 
This book is a great start to what I suspect will be a fabulous series! 4.5 stars.

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

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

A Child of God by Chantel and Mauli Bonner and Morgan Bissant

A Child of God
Written by Chantel and Mauli Bonner
Illustrated by Morgan Bissant
Published by Ensign Peak
Publication Date: September 7th, 2021

Even with a different name and skin a different shade, everyone’s a child of God. He loves us all the same.

A rhyming, read-aloud book with warm illustrations conveys a comforting, faith-filled message from a Black father and mother to their children who see visual representations of their Christian faith, but question what it means when they don’t see their skin color, their physical features, or their gender portrayed. 

 “What about the angels, will they stop and stare, when they see that I may not have their same color hair?” asks the girl.

 In soothing verse, the father assures his children that everyone looks like Jesus and the angels by the things they do. As the family walks through their neighborhood, the father points out the beauty in God’s creations, from flowers, all unique and different, to all the children in their community “each with skin a different shade.” He reminds his children that pictures of faith such as angels were drawn by someone and encourages his children to draw their own pictures so angels look like all of us. 

About the Author: 
Mauli Junior Bonner is a songwriter and film director from Las Vegas, Nevada. He recently completed production on the award-winning film His Name Is Green Flake Chantel L. Bonner is a University of Southern California alumna and works as a licensed marriage and family therapist providing trauma-informed care to children in foster care. The Bonners have been happily married for more than ten years and live in Southern California with their two children, Geo and Ari. The Bonners are dedicated to equality and justice among marginalized communities, and they provide resources to underserved children through their nonprofit, Lift Up Voices.

Illustrator Morgan Bissant is based in New Orleans. She started drawing as a child by copying cartoons and other things around her. She later attended a professional art school, pursuing a career in illustration and design. She received a degree in fine arts at Louisiana State University. She focuses on characters with various skin tones and distinct features, seeking to bring ideas to life and inspire others through illustrations. 

This is a lovely book about how we are ALL children of God, no matter what we look like. It's an engaging book that deals with real concerns, has great illustrations, and includes a discussion guide to facilitate conversations with children. My children all enjoyed this story; my baby (20 months) saw it on my bed and wanted me to read it to her--and immediately upon finishing it wanted me to read it to her again and again. I also read it with my 8-year-old twins (boy and girl) and 4-year-old son; they all listened to it and wanted to look in-depth at each picture and talk about different things they noticed. When we finished, I used some of the discussion questions to engage in more conversation right away, and then brought up other questions from the guide later on. This is a book with a very important message, and I highly recommend it!

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

Author Interviews:

Monday, July 5, 2021

Between the Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette

Between the Wild Branches (The Covenant House #2)
By Connilyn Cossette
Published by Bethany House

Ten years ago Lukio fled Kiryat-Yearim, where he'd been adopted by the Levite family who guarded the Ark of the Covenant. Feeling betrayed by everyone, he returned to his birthplace in Philistia to become a famous fighter. Now the champion of Ashdod, Lukio has achieved every goal with the help of his ruthless cousin. But just as he is set to claim the biggest prize of all, the daughter of the king, his past collides with his present in the form of Shoshana. 
After a heartbreaking end to her secret friendship with Lukio, Shoshana thought to never see the boy with the dual-colored eyes and the troubled soul again. But when she is captured in a Philistine raid and enslaved in Ashdod, she is surprised to find that the brutal fighter known as Demon-Eyes is Lukio himself. 
With explosive secrets and unbreakable vows standing between them, finding a way to freedom for both may cost them everything.

This book is fabulous! It's so well-written, with tons of details that show what day-to-day life was like at the time, interesting plot lines that show the tensions and conflicts between the Philistines and Hebrews in addition to the main storyline, and absolutely wonderful characters in Lukio and Shoshana. Shoshana has this quiet strength that made me admire her, while, Lukio, who is a bit of a mess but a heart of gold, absolutely stole my heart. He has just such a relatable character, with wounds from his childhood that hadn't quite healed leaving him hurting and vulnerable and kind of lost. I loved seeing how he just couldn't help but be kind to people, even as he has spent his life pushing people away. I just loved reading his story and seeing how things played out for him and Shoshana. Even though there's a lot of dark stuff that happens in this book, due to the violence and depravity of the Philistine culture, it was still such a boost to my spirit as it showed how God's goodness and love can shine even in those dark places and times. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!
5 stars.

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

Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Heart's Charge (Hanger's Horsemen #2) by Karen Witemeyer

The Heart's Charge (Hanger's Horsemen #2)
By Karen Witemeyer
Published by Bethany House
Publication Date: June 1st, 2021

Members of Hanger's Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they'd deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman he'd nearly married a decade ago.
After failing at love, Katherine Palmer dedicated her life to caring for children, teaming up with Eliza Southerland to start Harmony House. From mixed ancestry, illegitimate, and female, Eliza understands the pain of not fitting society's mold. Yet those are the very attributes that lead her to minister to outcast children. The taciturn Jonah intrigues her with his courage and kindness, but there are secrets behind his eyes--ghosts from wars past and others still being waged.
However, when a handful of urchin children from the area go missing, a pair of Horsemen are exactly what the women need. Working together to find the children, will these two couples find love as well?

I was a little worried about there being four protagonists in this story, particularly about whether they would all feel like well-developed characters, but I should have known better. While I would have loved to have two separate books so each character could have more "page time," that's simply a reflection of how much I liked the characters and would have loved to spend even more time with them. With four characters, their backstory, the current plot, and a lot of serious topics (kidnapping, depression/suicidal thoughts, and slavery among them), it takes skillful writing to balance it all--and Karen Witemeyer totally pulled it off. The book flows really well, the characters are beautifully written and totally lovable, the themes and messages thought-provoking but not overbearing, and the whole book was just a delight to read. 
4.5 stars.
I read an ARC provided by the publisher via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, May 17, 2021

No Journey Too Far (McAlister Family #2) by Carrie Turansky


No Journey Too Far (McAlister Family #2) 
By Carrie Turansky 
Published by WaterBrook & Multnomah 
 Publication Date: June 8, 2021

It's 1919, and Garth McAlister returns 
 to England to be reunited with his family after fighting in the Great War. But his heart is still in Canada with his sweetheart, Emma Lafferty. It's been four months since he has heard from Emma, and he is determined to return to Canada and discover if she still loves him or has given her heart to another. The ten-year search for his youngest sister Grace continues, and the family is stunned to receive a letter from Grace, who is now almost eighteen and living in Toronto, Canada. Follow the heart-tugging story of these young adult British Home Children as they seek to be reunited with those they love. 

While I was interested to learn more about British Home Children and their experiences, including the prejudice against them, I just didn't find myself connecting with the characters in this book. They came across as a little flat--almost too good to be true, without enough emotion to make them feel real. I found Emma to be the most compelling character and the plotline involving her to be the most interesting element of the book. I enjoyed seeing how things came together for the McAlister family and the gentle reminders to trust in God. This is a heartwarming story that fans of gentle romance will enjoy. 
3 stars.

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

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham

A Lady in Attendance
By Rachel Fordham 
Published by Revell 
Publication Date: June 1, 2021 

Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel's real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts's lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all. 

As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can't help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities? 

 What a lovely book! I loved the themes, including finding forgiveness, forgiving oneself, and finding love even when you might not feel worthy of it. I also really loved the characters. Hazel, with her past mistakes, is so relatable; she just felt so real as she struggled to move on and to make her way in life. Gilbert was such a sweetheart; even though he thought of himself as pretty boring, he was so perfect for Hazel, and I loved seeing him reach out to her and open up his heart. I also loved secondary characters Ina and Duncan. The historical background of the story was spot-on, and the quest to figure out what really happened in Hazel's past was engaging. This is a sweet and satisfying story that will leave readers with a smile.

4..5 stars.

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

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Blog Tour for Isabelle and Alexander by Rebecca Anderson

Isabelle and Alexander
By Rebecca Anderson
Published by Shadow Mountain

Isabelle Rackham knows she will not marry for love. Though arranged marriages have fallen out of fashion, hers has been settled for some time to combine the upper-middle-class wealth of her father's coal mines with Alexander Osgood's prospering Northern country textile mills. Though not a man prone to romantic gestures, Alexander is well-known as an eligible bachelor. His good looks have turned more than one head, so Isabelle is content to think of herself as Alexander's wife. 
However, her marriage is not what she expected. Northern England is nothing like her home farther west in the lake country. Cold, dreary, and dark, the soot from the textile mills creates a gray hue that seems to cling to everything in the city of Manchester. Alexander is distant and aloof, preferring to spend his time at the mill rather than with her at home. Their few conversations are brief, polite, and lacking any emotion, leaving Isabelle lonely and desperately homesick. 
Sensing his wife's unhappiness, Alexander suggests a trip to his country estate. Isabelle hopes this will be an opportunity to get to know her new husband without the distractions of his business. But the change of scenery doesn't bring them any closer. While riding together on horses, Alexander is thrown from his and becomes paralyzed. Tragedy or destiny? The help and care that Alexander now needs is Isabelle's opportunity to forge a connection and create a deep and romantic love where nothing else could.

"Anderson’s first foray into historical romance is an atypical, yet satisfying story set in Victorian Manchester’s upper middle class. Hand this to readers looking for a book that navigates the peaks and valleys of two strangers attempting to make a life together despite the hardships life throws at them."— Library Journal

"Isabelle transitions from an unaware, leisure-class woman to a more enlightened spouse and supporter of the working class. Intimacy and romance develop between Isabelle and Alexander because of simple gestures, like a long look or a thoughtful gift, and their conversations. Their slow, stately courting is reader appropriate for any age or audience. Manchester also gets its due as a place of grit and incredible production. Descriptions of bustling mills reveal their impact on the couple’s family and its fortunes. Isabelle and Alexander is an intimate and touching romance novel that focuses on women’s lives in the business class of industrial England."— Foreword Reviews

"Isabelle must use her quiet spunk, busy mind, and compassionate spirit to woo her husband in a wholly new way. Anderson's debut is a lovely northern England Victorian romance about confronting the seemingly impossible and the power of empathy. Anderson also addresses the time period’s treatment of physical and intellectual disabilities. Most of all, she beautifully depicts love in its many forms beyond romance, such as compassion, patience, and vulnerability; and her characters illustrate the ways that these expressions of love carry us through even the darkest hours. Isabelle’s loving and persevering fervor and devotion will resonate with any caregiver’s heart."— Booklist

My Review:
This book had a lot of really interesting elements. As much as I love a good Regency story, I'm loving the trend of publishing more books set during the Victorian era. I found the details of Isabelle's life as a business owner's wife, as well as the details of Alexander's business really interesting. I thought it was awesome that the book had featured two characters with disabilities--Alexander with his physical paralysis and secondary character Glory with her developmental disability. Getting glimpses of the struggles and the recommended treatments for both as well as their limitations and what they could do was really engaging. (Side note: before knowing what the book was about, I really liked the cover; however, now, while I still think it's a beautiful cover, I wish it actually showed Alexander in his wheelchair. A visual depiction like that would have been really powerful.) Isabelle's character really resonated with me; her emotions fluctuated in a way that seemed very real as she struggled with her new situation and not knowing how to connect with Alexander. I appreciated her resilience and determination as she struggled to figure out how to interact with Alexander and his medical staff, and it was gratifying to see her find her voice. Alexander's character, with his moodiness and frustrations, was also very believable but not as enjoyable. Not having any of the book written from his point of view made it harder to truly see the good aspects, and it was pretty late in the book that we finally got a look at his heart. I wish there had been more of that, both when it did finally come as well as earlier in the book. The tone is understandably somber and the romance is hard-fought rather than fluffy and fun, but the book is well-written and engaging. 
4 stars. 
I read an ARC provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Rebecca Anderson is the nom de plume of contemporary romance novelist Becca Wilhite, author of Wedding Belles: A Novel in Four Parts, Check Me Out, and My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions. Isabelle and Alexander is her debut historical romance novel.
High school English teacher by day, writer by night (or very early morning), she loves hiking, Broadway shows, food, books, and movies. She is happily married and a mom to four above-average kids.

Join the virtual blog tour of ISABELLE AND ALEXANDER (Proper Romance Victorian), Rebecca Anderson’s highly acclaimed historical romance novel, May 3–16, 2021. Over forty popular blogs specializing in historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and Victorian romance will join in the celebration of its release with spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in Manchester, England.

May 03 Lu Reviews Books (Review
May 03 Timeless Novels (Review)
May 03 Our Book Confessions (Review)
May 04 Literary Time Out (Review
May 04 My Bookish Bliss (Review)
May 04 The Book Diva's Reads (Excerpt)
May 05 Heidi Reads (Review)
May 05 Laura's Reviews (Review)
May 05 Wishful Endings (Review)
May 05 Gwendalyn's Reviews (Review)
May 06 Margie's Must Reads (Review)
May 06 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Excerpt)
May 06 Relz Reviewz (Review)
May 07 Randi Loves 2 Read (Spotlight)
May 07 The Reading Frenzy (Review)
May 07 Nurse Bookie (Review)
May 08 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)
May 08 The Bibliophile Files (Review)
May 09 Reading with Emily (Review)
May 09 Fire and Ice (Spotlight)
May 10 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)
May 10 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review)
May 10 Booked Solid (Review)
May 10 From Pemberley to Milton (Spotlight)
May 11 Greenish Bookshelf (Review)
May 11 Captivated Reading (Review)
May 11 The Green Mockingbird (Review)
May 12 For Where Your Treasure Is (Excerpt)
May 12 Bookworm Lisa (Review)
May 13 Books, Teacups & Reviews (Spotlight)
May 13 Library of Clean Reads (Review)
May 13 Robin Loves Reading (Review)
May 13 So Little Time (Excerpt)
May 14 Eli's Novel Reviews (Review)
May 14 The Lit Bitch (Review)
May 14 The Bluestocking (Review)
May 15 Reading Is My Superpower (Review)
May 15 Christian Chick's Thoughts (Review)
May 15 A Darn Good Read (Review)
May 16 The Silver Petticoat Review (Excerpt)
May 16 CozyNookBooks (Review)


Sunday, May 2, 2021

A Proper Scoundrel by Esther Hatch

A Proper Scoundrel 
By Esther Hatch 
Published by Covenant Communications 
Publication Date: May 10, 2021 

As the successful owner of multiple railroad lines, Diana Barton is all too accustomed to fending off suitors seeking to stake their claim on her wealth. In order to keep the wolves at bay, Diana has contrived the perfect plan: appeal to the most notorious rake in London, the Baron Lord Bryant, to ruin her reputation and scare off the worst of the time wasters. The ruse will be no hardship—she’s secretly been fascinated by the man for years. 
Lord Bryant is well aware of his questionable reputation. Indeed, he has cultivated the image carefully, and the last thing he wants is a wife. But when he’s approached by the younger sister of a business associate, he tells her in no uncertain terms that he cannot help. However, when he sees for himself what she is up against, Bryant grudgingly offers his assistance. Faced with his most complicated entanglement yet, Bryant is firm in his conditions—and Diana knows that to get romantically involved with Bryant would spell certain heartbreak. But as the counterfeit couple grow ever closer, the line between truth and lies becomes blurred, threatening both Lord Bryant’s well-laid plans and the future of Diana’s railroad business.

EEK! I've been looking forward to reading this book for so long, and it didn't disappoint. This book is easily one of my favorites of the year and one that I want to reread immediately! I've been eager to read Lord Bryant's story and get to know him better; he was such an intriguing character. Seeing his back story and why he did the things he did was so interesting. Diana Barton was also a terrific character. I loved seeing her determination to run her railroad business and how capable and intelligent she was. The two of them were perfect together; every interaction was just so much fun to read. I loved how they teased each other but also challenged and supported each other. I loved the whole book, but the final couple of scenes were especially fabulous. I adored everything about this book! 
5 stars. 

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

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright (Blog Tour)


Join the virtual blog tour of A CAPTAIN FOR CAROLINE GRAY (Proper Romance Regency), Julie Wright’s highly acclaimed historical romance novel March 1 – 28, 2021. Over forty popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard an English ship bound for India!

Caroline Gray's third season in London society ends as badly as her first two—no marriage proposal, no suitor, not even a glimmer of an interested prospect. She suspects it's because she is far too quick to speak her mind to men who are put off by her forthright opinions, her eager intellect backed by a formal education, and her unconventional ideas about the future. She is far more daring than demure to suit the taste of her class. Besides, Caroline thinks there will always be next season to find a husband. 
However, her family's dwindling income leaves Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: a one-way ticket to sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend waits. If the match doesn't work, Caroline cannot return home. 
Captain Thomas Scott loves the thrill of the open sea, and as commander of one of the ships of the Fishing Fleet, he ferries scores of young English girls to the shores of India to find husbands. The voyages pay well, but he struggles to understand why families would allow young women to be matched with total strangers so far away. 
The trips have always been routine and uneventful—until this trip's first night's dinner with one Miss Caroline Gray. She engages in a lively political conversation, presenting opposing viewpoints to the conventionally opinionated gentlemen at her table. Captain Scott is secretly amused and delighted at her boldness, not to mention quite drawn to her beauty. 
The rest of the passengers are shocked by her behavior and Caroline finds herself an outcast, suffering harsh judgments from the other passengers. However, she finds an unlikely ally in Captain Scott which quickly draws them closer. 
Both know an arranged marriage awaits Caroline at the end of their voyage, yet the attraction between them is undeniable. Caroline will have to decide if she will honor her mother's wishes and marry a man in India whom she has never met, thus securing a future for her and her mother, or be brave enough to throw convention to the wind and commit to love a sea captain. He may be enchanted by her bold and unconventional ways, but will his love and admiration last? 

My Review: 
This is another great book from the Proper Romance line. Although enemies who fall in love isn't one of my favorite tropes, I really enjoyed it in this case. It was a little reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice, with Thomas having preformed opinions about women who travel to India to make a match in general and then Caroline in particular, and Caroline quickly disliking Thomas. Caroline was an engaging protagonist, and I could really empathize with her struggle as she felt she had to choose between being herself and being accepted. As for Thomas, there were a few times I wanted to smack him upside the head (it certainly took him long enough to apologize when he needed to!), but his stubbornness made him realistic and I appreciated how he wasn't put off by Caroline's intelligence and strong opinions. Having their interactions take place on a ship bound for India was a refreshing break from the typical Regency setting; I really enjoyed seeing some details of ship life. I do wish a bit more of the book had taken place in India itself, though; it would have been really interesting to get a better feel for the culture and customs at the time. The ending felt a little rushed, but all in all, I found this book to be well-written and very satisfying. 4 stars. I read an ARC provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

Advance Praise
"A charming historical romance in which smarts and sass are vindicated."— Foreword Reviews 
"…a delightful, not exactly traditional Regency romance. Teen readers will enjoy this adventurous journey with its proactive heroine and exotic settings."— Booklist, starred review 
"An unconventional woman finds herself at home at sea in this stirring Regency from Julie Wright…This adventure is sure to entice fans of historical romance."— Publishers Weekly

About the Author:
Julie Wright wrote her first book when she was fifteen and has written over twenty novels since then. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her books Cross My Heart and Lies Jane Austen Told Me, and she is a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café. 
 She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition). She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner. She hates mayonnaise.



BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE                   

  • March 01      My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)
  • March 01      Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog (Review)
  • March 02      Storeybook Reviews (Review)
  • March 02      Lu Reviews Books (Review)
  • March 02      Bookworm Lisa (Review)
  • March 03      Probably at the Library (Excerpt)
  • March 03      Our Book Confessions (Review)
  • March 03      Lady with a Quill (Review)
  • March 04      The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review)
  • March 04      Fire & Ice (Review)
  • March 05      Literary Time Out (Review)
  • March 05      Among the Reads (Review)
  • March 06      Books and Socks Rock (Review)
  • March 07      Encouraging Words (Excerpt)
  • March 08      So Little Time… (Review)
  • March 09      For Where Your Treasure Is (Review)
  • March 10      Laura’s Reviews (Review)
  • March 10      My Bookish Bliss (Review)
  • March 11      Heidi Reads (Review)
  • March 12      Reading with Emily (Review)
  • March 13      The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)
  • March 14      Silver Petticoat Reviews (Excerpt)
  • March 15      Austenesque Reviews (Review)
  • March 16      The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)
  • March 16      Greenish Bookself (Review)
  • March 17      Inkwell Inspirations (Review)
  • March 18      A Darn Good Read (Review)
  • March 19      Relz Reviewz (Review)
  • March 20      Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)
  • March 20      Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)
  • March 21      Jorie Loves a Story (Review)
  • March 22      From Pemberley to Milton (Review)
  • March 23      Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)
  • March 23      Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)
  • March 24      Captivated Reading (Review)
  • March 24      Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt)
  • March 25      Roseanne E. Lortz (Review)
  • March 26      Cup of Tea with that Book, Please (Review)
  • March 26      Randi Loves 2 Read (Review)
  • March 27      Library of Clean Reads (Review)
  • March 28      The Bibliophile Files (Review)

A Captain for Caroline Gray: Proper Romance Regency, by Julie Wright

Shadow Mountain Publishing (March 2, 2021)

Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook (336) pages

ISBN: 978-1629728469