A Castaway in Cornwall – Review

by Julie Klassen

Paperback : 400 pages
ISBN-10 : 0764234226
ISBN-13 : 978-0764234224
Publisher : Bethany House Publishers (December 1, 2020)

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Set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers, Laura Callaway now lives with her uncle and his disapproving wife in North Cornwall. There she feels like a castaway, always viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong.

While wreckers search for valuables along the windswept Cornwall coast–known for its many shipwrecks but few survivors–Laura searches for clues to the lives lost so she can write letters to next of kin and return keepsakes to rightful owners. When a man is washed ashore after a wreck, Laura acts quickly to protect him from a local smuggler determined to destroy him.

As Laura and a neighbor care for the survivor, they discover he has curious wounds and, although he speaks in careful, educated English, his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Despite the evidence against him, the mysterious man might provide her only chance to discover the truth about her parents’ fate. With danger pursuing them from every side, and an unexpected attraction growing between them, will Laura ever find the answers she seeks?


First of all, check out the cover! Besides the beautiful image, it has a pearl finish that I have not seen on a book before. It is very eye catching.

We are introduced to Laura Callaway who feels like she doesn’t belong anywhere and is like a castaway who has no place to call home. Not long later she saves Alexander who is an actual castaway from a shipwreck. It is clear from the beginning that he is hiding something, but she still feels drawn to him. Together they will look for the answers they both need.

This book was lighter on the romance. It focused more on the historical elements and the mystery. Klassen has clearly done a lot of research in writing this book. There were so many things I learned about Cornwall.

I was really interested in the Sinkininny church. A church covered by sand where they lowered the pastor through the roof sounds crazy. I love that it’s true. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. There were so many interesting historical things that were weaved throughout the story.

Mr. Gardiner and the Governess – Review

by Sally Britton

ISBN-10 : 194700526X
ISBN-13 : 978-1947005266
Paperback : 226 pages
Publisher : Pink Citrus Books (November 9, 2020)

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A duke’s governess, a gentleman scientist, and a castle full of flowers is the perfect setting for a summer romance.

As the new governess to the duke’s family, Alice Sharpe must learn to control her impulsive ways. Employment in the duke’s household is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and could mean living in comfort the rest of her days. Unfortunately, her first encounter with the duke’s neighbor, a handsome scientist, proves she may not be ready for the austere role of governess. 

Rupert Gardiner has one goal: to have his work in botany published by the Royal Society. He is fortunate that his neighbor, the duke, believes in him and enlists Rupert to make a record of all the flora on the castle grounds. But Miss Sharpe’s spontaneity and continual appearance during his work is a rather annoying distraction. At least, that’s what he tells himself.

While Alice struggles to adapt to her new role, constantly battling who she is and the person she believes she must become, she cannot help but admire Rupert’s intelligence and focus. The more often they fall in together, the more her admiration deepens. But could a gentleman such as he ever fall in love with the governess?


Alice Sharpe has spent her life as the unwanted family member. She is treated like a burden passed around from house to house and eventually becomes a governess for a Duke’s family. People have always wanted things from her and have never valued her. Instead of becoming bitter, Alice likes to make the best out of the situation.

Rupert Gardiner is a gentleman who is staying at the Duke of Montfort’s estate in order to catalog the flora and fauna. He has a love mostly for the insects which turns off many people.

Rupert wants Alice’s help with his project, and he is intrigued by her. Alice just wants to stay in the shadows since she knows how tenuous her position in the household could be.

I loved the children in this story. My heart went out to little Geoffrey. How people could treat another human this way is appalling, especially an innocent little boy.

This was a very sweet story. The epilogue gives you a peek into the next book A Companion for the Count.

A Christmas Promise – Review

by Joanna Barker, Annette Lyon, Jennifer Moore

ISBN-13 : 978-1952611025
Paperback : 304 pages
Publisher : Mirror Press (November 17, 2020)

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THE TWO BELLS OF CHRISTMAS by Joanna Barker
Roland Hastings made a promise to his father: to marry and carry on the family line. But after a year of searching, he has given up hope of finding the right woman. Anticipating a quiet Christmas with his mother, Roland is frustrated to learn she has organized an entire house party to help him find a bride. Cassandra Bell arrives for the house party with her twin sister Vivian, who has set her heart on winning a proposal from the eligible Mr. Hastings. But when Vivian grows ill, she begs Cassie to switch places with her and keep the other conniving ladies away from Mr. Hastings. Cassie reluctantly takes on the role of her poised and proper twin, but things become much more complicated when Roland begins to take an interest in the spunky and unconventional Cassie…

PROMISE ME AGAIN by Annette Lyon
Secret wedding plans. A powerful brother who will go to any lengths to stop them. Can love truly conquer all? Miriam and Jacob have loved each other for as long as they can remember. They want to wed, but Jacob’s older brother Norman forbids it. Deciding to do so secretly without his blessing, Miriam and Jacob make plans to marry on Christmas Eve at a church several hours’ journey away. Despite their efforts, Norman’s long reach finds them. Miriam’s love is tested to the very limit when she is forced into a devil’s bargain with him. She agrees only to spare Jacob pain, but can their hearts find their way back to each other no matter what—or who—stands in their way?

A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY by Jennifer Moore
The war is over, but Lucy Breckenridge’s plans for a perfect Christmas are ruined when Captain James Stewart brings news that her father will not return in time for the holiday. Determined to not miss yet another Christmas with her father, Lucy starts on a journey for London with her trusty maid and manservant. Learning they have gone, James follows, hoping to stop her before she discovers the true reason for Colonel Breckenridge’s absence. Along the way, the two join in local holiday celebrations and learn that families have flaws, friendship requires trust, and Christmas traditions can be created in the most unexpected places.


I love Christmas Regency books, and Timeless Anthologies always brings together such great authors. I highly recommend reading this one!

The Two Bells of Christmas by Joanna Barker

Joanna Barker is one of my favorite authors. Her stories are always interesting, and I love her characters.

Roland Hasting’s mother has decided that it’s time for Roland to marry. She throws a house party which includes approved females for him to choose from. Cassandra is not one of the approved women, but she steps in as a companion for her sister Vivian when their mother gets sick. Unfortunately, Vivian becomes ill and convinces Cassie to pretend to be her so she doesn’t lose her chance with Mr Hastings.

I really liked that Cassie and Roland spent so much time talking and getting to know each other. Everything felt natural with their relationship and not rushed.

I often feel like it’s harder to connect to shorter stories, but I loved this one so much!


Promise Me Again by Annette Lyon

Miriam is the daughter of a sheep farmer and is in love with her wealthier neighbor Jacob. Jacob returns her feelings and wants to marry her, but his controlling brother Norman stands in their way.

Norman is the true definition of a villain, and it is amazing what lengths he will go through to get what he wants.

Some of this story seemed a little far fetched, but I liked that I didn’t know what would happen next.


A Christmas Journey by Jennifer Moore

Lucy Breckenridge dreams about having a real family Christmas at home with her father. With the war finally over, it looks like her dream will finally come true. When the carriage finally arrives, instead of Colonial Breckenridge, it is Captain James Stewart with a message that the Colonial cannot get away from London.

Lucy decides if her father cannot have Christmas at home, she will bring Christmas to her father in London. Captain Stewart feels it is his duty to go along, because he hasn’t told her the entire truth about her father.

I love that Moore always writes characters with emotions that are so raw and real.

I found the Christmas album that told of Christmas traditions throughout the world interesting. There are so many ways people celebrate Christmas, and I love how this journey added even more to the special book.

Snow and Mistletoe – Review

by Jen Geigle Johnson

Publication date : October 30, 2020
Print length : 131 pages
Publisher : Kings Row Press (October 30, 2020)

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Lady Theodosia wants more than one season before she accepts a proposal. Mr. Easton will never ask.

Except Julian must find a wife by Christmas or his brother Edmund will choose one for him.

And Dosie finds she just might need that proposal after all, not only during her first season, but her first ball.

Can they make a marriage between them? A marriage of convenience?


Julian has hit rock bottom and has been a spot upon his family name. His oldest brother forces him to either marry or get an occupation.

Lady Theadosia is recently out in society. Before she even thinks about marriage, she wants to flirt with as many guys as she can.

When Theadosia is threatened with ruination, Julian steps in to save her. However, something else is afoot and threatens to ruin everything.

Even when Julian is acting like a complete wastrel, there is a certain charm to him.

I have always loved stories when the characters knew each other as children before falling in love. I would have liked some memories or flashbacks of the two of them together.

This is a quick read. The Easton family continues in Tabitha’s Folly.

Spinster Ever After – Review

by Rebecca Connolly

Paperback : 264 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-1952103179
Publisher : Phase Publishing (October 27, 2020)

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When a man loves a spinster…

Charlotte Wright has had enough. All of her friends have now married, leaving her the lone writer of the Spinster Chronicles who is still a true spinster. So she’s decided it is time for her to join the ranks and get married, groom to be determined. She’s an heiress, after all. How difficult could it be to find a husband?

Michael Sandford has been there by Charlotte’s side from the very beginning, loving her all the while even when she turned down his proposal. When she tells him of her plans to marry and marry soon, he begins to make plans himself. He cannot stand by and watch her marry someone else, so he’s decided to distance himself from Charlotte entirely while she hunts for a husband… one that is not him.

And Charlotte doesn’t like that one bit.


Charlotte has always been a darling of society with a bevy of beaux. She has been proposed to multiple times but has never seriously considered anyone.

“I say I will marry, if and only if I can find a love that pales all other loves to persuade me out of what is sure to be a most glorious spinsterhood.”

Michael has been in love with Charlotte for years. Even after a rejected proposal, he continues to follow her around like a lapdog. Only after Charlotte decides to truly pursue finding love does Michael realize that he lost himself while in Charlotte’s shadow.

“Charlotte had never tried to find the love she’d always claimed she was after. She’d simply expected the thing to fall into her lap like so many of the buffoons that had paid homage to her.”

Charlotte is fortunate to have understanding parents who support her and don’t pressure her. However, Charlotte can come off as superficial and spoiled. It was nice to see the developments she made throughout the book while staying true to herself.

Charlotte has the classic case of you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Michael has always been there for her, and she has taken advantage of him. She doesn’t even notice what is right in front of her.

“I always knew if I stayed by you, one day you’d see me.”

This story reminded me of Emma by Jane Austen. There were a lot of parallels, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

The Wright family scenes are so classic. I love how the siblings act with each other and how the parents react.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the epilogue. To see the transition of Michael as a lapdog and Michael at the end of the story was gold.

I don’t want to say goodbye to the Spinsters. I hope we see them again.

*This book is clean, however, it does have some cursing.

The Gentleman and the Thief – Review

by Sarah M. Eden

ISBN-10 : 1629727903
Paperback : 368 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-1629727905
Publisher : Shadow Mountain (November 3, 2020)

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A gentleman scribes penny dreadful novels by night and falls in love with a woman who is a music teacher by day—and a thief at night.

LONDON 1865

From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he’s smitten. Even though he’s from a wealthy, established family and she isn’t, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.

Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father’s successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the “Phantom Fox.” She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.

When Hollis’s brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.

When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?


The Gentleman and the Thief is the second in the series, and I suggest reading The Lady and the Highwayman first so you can learn more about the Dread Penny Society. I think if people start with this book, they might get confused about some things.

The format of the book is the same as the last one. You have chapters from the viewpoints of the main characters, but you also have excerpts from their Penny Dreadfuls. I really enjoyed the cute ghost story that Hollis wrote.

Though based on historical things like the time period and the dreadfuls, Eden makes this story seem fresh and unique.

This book is Ana Newport and Hollis Darby’s story, however, I loved that we got to see Fletcher and Elizabeth from the first book.

The Gentleman and the Thief feels more about the mystery and the Dread Penny Society than the romance between Ana and Hollis. While I enjoyed the story, I wish Ana and Hollis had spent more time together, and that their relationship was more developed.

There will be things that resolve in this book, but other mysteries will continue in the next book in the series. I’m looking forward to reading it!

The Love Note – Review

by Joanna Davidson Politano

Paperback : 400 pages
ISBN-10 : 0800736893
ISBN-13 : 978-0800736897
Publisher : Revell (October 20, 2020)

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A forgotten letter. A secret love. A vast estate.
Can one determined woman put the pieces together?

Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings–mostly negative ones–about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa’s search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words. 

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.


The Love Note is a book packed with mysteries and secrets. The lost letter weaves its way through a family, and it shows you just how powerful words can be.

The majority of the story is told as first person from the perspective of Willa, the doctor’s daughter, who dreams of being a doctor herself. However, other chapters are written as third person and focus on other characters. There are a lot of characters in this story and instead of being confusing, it brings more to the story and makes it richer.

I found myself connecting to so many characters and wanting to know what would happen to them. Nothing in this story is predictable, and it will keep you wanting to read more.

Willa Duvall had woven herself into his life as thoroughly as a golden thread running through a tapestry, never to be removed without a thorough unraveling.

Blog Tour and Review: Otherwise Engaged

by Joanna Barker

ISBN-13 : 978-1524413705
ISBN-10 : 1524413704
Publisher : Covenant Communications, Inc. (October 12, 2020)

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Constantly stifled by the rules of Society, spirited Rebecca Rowley enjoys finding ways to quietly or not so quietly rebel. But riding bareback and avoiding nosy neighbors are nothing compared to the thrilling secret she is keeping from her family.

When Rebecca’s quick thinking saves the life of a young girl, she unwittingly attracts the attention of the child’s dashing brother, Lieutenant Nicholas Avery. As that attention turns flirtatious, Rebecca is forced to tell him the truth: she is secretly engaged to the one man her family would never approve of. Fortunately, Lieutenant Avery is a navy man with no wish to marry, or so they both assume as they enter into a friendship. Rebecca hopes to change her family’s mind about her betrothed, but the more she comes to know the handsome lieutenant, the more she wonders if she promised her hand too hastily.

After all her carefully laid plans are shattered during a family crisis, Rebecca must force her heart to decide. Should she stay true to the promise she made or fight for the future she’s only just begun to imagine?


This book is just so pretty! I love the design and the color palette they chose. It definitely stands out as a favorite design.

Although this book can be read as a standalone, I liked that characters I loved from The Truth about Miss Ashbourne are in this book.

There were certain things I expected to happen, but I was pleasantly surprised that I did not see some things coming. There is also a family mystery in this story, and I love a good mystery.

Barker always creates the best characters; that’s why it was even better to catch up with them. While I loved the characters, I had a harder time watching them fall in love when one of them was in a committed relationship with someone else.

One of my biggest problems is when people are not honest about things. A number of characters in this story keep major secrets from each other. However, I loved to see how they grew from the situations.

I’m really, really hoping that Olivia will be getting her own story.

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