Thursday, December 28, 2023

Protecting Her Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen

Protecting Her Heart (Matchmakers #3)
By Nancy Campbell Allen
Published by Shadow Mountain
Publication Date: January 2, 2024

Description from the publisher:
London, 1887 When newly graduated medical doctor Charlotte Duvall receives word that her father has died, she immediately leaves America and returns home to see to her family's estate. Among her father's possessions is a box of her late mother's letters, which feels like a balm to Charlotte's grief-stricken heart. But the letters contain some inconsistencies that suggest there was more to her mother's death than Charlotte had been told. She turns to the one man she trusts more than anyone--her treasured friend and director of London's police force, John Ellis.
John Ellis has harbored feelings for Charlotte ever since he first met her. Tucked into his heart are thoughts of her sharp mind, quick wit, and remarkable beauty. Though he has not yet found the courage to share his feelings with the young doctor, he is eager to help her in her hour of need. Investigating the details of a death was not how Charlotte imagined she would find love, but as she and John work to unravel a dark web of secrets and lies, she finds herself relying on him more and more--and opening her heart to him in the process. As the danger draws ever closer, John vows to do everything in his power to protect Charlotte from harm. But he fears protecting her heart might come at the cost of breaking his own.

My review:
Fantastic! I completely devoured this book. From the get-go, I was drawn in by Charlotte and John and their story. I loved the friendship between them and how the attraction quickly flared up when they were together again. I also appreciated that there wasn't a whole bunch of dithering (e.g. oh, he can't possibly like me; oh, she's too good for me, etc.) but just a rather straightforward romance--yes, there were obstacles but they weren't pretending not to have feelings for each other. I loved their banter and the way they worked together. The mystery aspect and the details of Victorian life were also really engrossing.
5 stars.

Content note: This is a clean read as far as sexual content. It does get a bit gory as Charlotte delves into what happened to her mother.

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

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Missing in Action

 I haven't posted in two months! I hit a bit of a lull in my reviewing schedule, and rather than seeking out a bunch of ARCs to review, I've been making my way through my to-read list on Goodreads as well as all those unread books on my tablet. It's been kind of awesome watching the number of unread books go down! I found a series that I loved and binge read (listened to) it, I read a bunch of cheesy but fun Christmas stories, and I started and then deleted a few that I've been waiting years to read just to find out they're not for me. It's been a long time since I've just plowed through a bunch of books without needing to write reviews, and I enjoyed the break, but I'm also excited to share reviews soon of books I have really enjoyed. I don't have a ton of books lined up for the first part of next year, yet, either, so I'll probably push forward with making a dent in my to-read lists, but I'll try to remember to review the best ones, too.