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.