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 CafĂ©. 
 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



Monday, March 22, 2021

Until Vienna by Heather B. Moore


Until Vienna (Romance on the Orient Express #3) 
By Heather B. Moore 
Published by Covenant Communications 
Publication Date: April 1, 2021 

Georgina Ballard has been disappointed in love more than a few times, a fact that she is uncomfortably aware of amid her sister’s wedding preparations. When her elderly aunt Rowena bids Gigi to accompany her on an art tour across Europe, Gigi hesitates but eventually resigns herself to the train journey alongside a group of aged art connoisseurs, if only to mollify her aunt. 
Once aboard the Orient Express, Gigi is pleased to discover that not everyone on the tour is in their twilight years: Clyde Haskins, an energetic young art professor from the University of London, will serve as the group’s tour guide. Clyde is equally intrigued that a young lady has joined the tour, and Aunt Rowena and her friends immediately set out to play matchmaker. Clyde and Gigi both find humor in Aunt Rowena’s antics despite knowing that each is determined to keep their heart carefully guarded. Yet, the enchantment of their European exploration weaves an undeniable spell between them. When their journey ends, can their holiday love story endure the obstacles of real life? 

I really liked the setting as well; the glimpses of the Orient Express made me want to go book a spot in a sleeper car and the stops on the art tour had me longing to go on a tour of my own. I also enjoyed seeing Gigi and Clyde fall for one another. I didn't love the main conflict in their romance; I won't give away what it is in order to avoid spoilers, but my personal preferences have always made this type of conflict one that I just don't care for. However, I did like how Clyde finally got to the point of reconciliation and the conclusion of the book. This is a good choice for those looking for a sweet historical romance. 
3.5 stars. 
I read an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.