Monday, January 25, 2021

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

When Twilight Breaks
By Sarah Sundin
Published by Revell

Munich, 1938. 
Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent as determined to prove her worth in a male-dominated profession as she is to expose the growing tyranny in Nazi Germany. To do so, she must walk a thin line. If she offends the government, she could be expelled from the country--or worse. If she fails to truthfully report on major stories, she'll never be able to give a voice to the oppressed--and wake up the folks back home. 
 In another part of the city, American graduate student Peter Lang is working on his PhD in German. Disillusioned with the chaos in the world due to the Great Depression, he is impressed with the prosperity and order of German society. But when the brutality of the regime hits close, he discovers a far better way to use his contacts within the Nazi party--to feed information to the shrewd reporter he can't get off his mind. 

What an excellent book from Sarah Sundin! This was fascinating on so many levels. The characters are terrific and multifaceted. I loved how Evelyn and Peter both had strengths and weaknesses and experienced growth throughout the book, with Peter revising his political opinions and Evelyn learning to open her heart to both Peter and God. I also liked reading about both of their jobs; the details were so interesting! The plot was equally engaging and I couldn't wait to see how each scene would play out and how things would ultimately work out. Sundin also did a great job with the setting, showing so many details as the Nazis enacted more and more anti-Semitic laws and actions. There were so many things about the story that could relate to today's political climate, which could make for some particularly interesting book club discussions. 
Really, really well done. I'm marking this as one of my best books of the year! 

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

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Georgana's Secret by Arlem Hawks (Blog Tour)

Georgana's Secret 
By Arlem Hawks 
Published by Shadow Mountain 

A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love. 

As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, "George." Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty's Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain's cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the "boy" under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy's secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her. 
Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic's compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away. 

My Review:
This book hooked me from the start. The idea of a young lady posing as a cabin was intriguing, but it was Lieutenant Dominic Peyton who just completely drew me. He was just such a wonderful character--I loved how he was so concerned about his mother and her well-being and then how, seeing a lonely, bullied boy on board, reached out to "him." I did occasionally wish George didn't tear up quite so much, but at the same time, her backstory made it understandable and believable--and made those moments when Georgana did actually stand up for herself that much more gratifying. The details about ship life were excellent; they really helped me feel like I knew what life on board would have been like, and they were woven into the story really well. There was also plenty of action. All in all, this was a totally enjoyable read and I'm already picking it as one of my favorites for 2021. 
I read an ARC provided by the publisher via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

"Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton's charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances."— Publishers Weekly 
 “This tale felt sweepingly cinematic at times and was both action-packed and heart-wrenching with an immersive narrative.”— Katie Jackson, 
 Arlem Hawks wove a magnificent tale of adventure and deception and delivered a happy ever after that was as unconventional as the rest of the story. With so many stories of romance out there, it is refreshing when one comes along that is very different than the stories that I am used to. A little adventure always livens things up fabulously.”— Emily Flynn, Reading with Emily 

"Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love."— Booklist, starred review 

AUTHOR BIO: Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn't writing, Arlem is baking her characters' favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel. 

Join the virtual blog tour of GEORGANA’S SECRET (Proper Romance Regency), Arlem Hawks’ highly acclaimed debut historical romance novel January 11 – February 14, 2021. Over forty-five 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 a Royal Naval ship. 
Jan 11 My Jane Austen Book Club 
Jan 11 Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog 
Jan 12 Wishful Endings 
Jan 12 Lu Reviews Books 
Jan 13 Lady with a Quill 
Jan 13 Timeless Novels 
 Jan 14 Reading is My Superpower 
Jan 14 The Bibliophile Files 
Jan 15 Randi Loves 2 Read 
Jan 16 The Christian Fiction Girl 
Jan 17 Nurse Bookie 
Jan 18 The Silver Petticoat Review 
Jan 18 Heidi Reads 
Jan 19 Bookfoolery 
Jan 20 Captivated Reading 
Jan 21 Greenish Bookshelf 
Jan 21 Bookworm Lisa 
Jan 22 Among the Reads 
Jan 23 Gwendalyn's Books 
Jan 24 My Bookish Bliss 
Jan 25 Wishful Endings 
Jan 25 Christian Chick's Thoughts 
Jan 26 Relz Reviewz 
Jan 27 The Lit B$tch 
Jan 28 Reading with Emily 
Jan 29 Books, Teacups & Reviews
Jan 30 A Darn Good Read 
Jan 31 From Pemberley to Milton 
Jan 31 Impressions in Ink 
Feb 01 Austenesque Reviews 
Feb 02 Laura's Reviews 
Feb 03 Literary Time Out 
Feb 04 Chicks, Rogues & Scandals 
Feb 05 The Bluestocking 
Feb 05 Library of Clean Reads 
Feb 06 The Caffeinated Bibliophile 
Feb 07 So Little Time… 
Feb 08 The Readathon
Feb 09 The Book Diva Reads 
Feb 09 Books and Socks Rock 
Feb 10 Our Book Confessions 
Feb 10 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen 
Feb 11 Rosanne E. Lortz 
Feb 11 Jorie Loves a Story 
Feb 12 Fire & Ice 
Feb 13 Cup of Tea with that Book, Please 
Feb 14 Book Confessions of an Ex-ballerina