The Thief of Lanwyn Manor – Review

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by Sarah E. Ladd

Series: The Cornwall Novels (Book 2)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 7, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0785223185
ISBN-13: 978-0785223184

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In Regency England an advantageous match could set up a lady for life. Julia knows Matthew Blake, copper mine owner and very eligible bachelor, is the gentleman she should set her eyes upon. But why can’t she steal her gaze away from his younger brother, Isaac?

Cornwall, England, 1818

Julia Twethewey needs a diversion to mend her broken heart, so when her cousin invites her to Lanwyn Manor, Julia eagerly accepts. The manor is located at the heart of Cornwall’s mining industry, and as a guest Julia is swept into its intricate world. It’s not long, though, before she realizes something dark lurks within the home’s ancient halls.

As a respected mine owner’s younger son, Isaac Blake is determined to keep his late father’s legacy alive through the family business, despite his brother’s careless attitude. In order to save their livelihood—and that of the people around them—the brothers approach the master of Lanwyn Manor with plans to bolster the floundering local industry. Isaac can’t deny his attraction to the man’s charming niece, but his brother has made clear his intentions to court the lovely visitor. And Isaac knows his place.

When tragedy strikes, mysteries arise, and valuables go missing, Julia and Isaac find they are pulled together in a swirl of strange circumstances, but despite their best efforts to bow to social expectations, their hearts aren’t so keen to surrender.


Sarah E. Ladd puts a lot of research into her books before she ever puts pen to paper and it shows. It brings the reader into that world, and her characters always make you feel so emotionally invested in them.

I like that Isaac Blake is a different kind of hero. While his twin brother Matthew is richer and more charming, Isaac is quiet, loyal, and caring.

Julia Twethewey just wants to find where she belongs. She tries to help people but is turned away numerous times and is even threatened.

This book has a gothic feel, and I love the mystery throughout it. It is the second in The Cornwall Novels series but can be read as a stand-alone.

Blog Tour and Review – Kit and Elizabeth

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by Karen Tuft

Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (December 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524412015
ISBN-13: 978-1524412012

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Lady Elizabeth Spaulding’s world has fallen apart.

Despite living her entire life to please her demanding parents, the Duke and Duchess of Marwood, she has little to show for it. After Elizabeth’s second failed betrothal, her father’s debts and appalling acts of retaliation force him to flee the country, consigning Elizabeth and her bitter mother to a life of poverty and exile. But Elizabeth’s fortunes change one day when an elderly acquaintance makes her an offer she can’t refuse.

Lady Walmsley, widowed and childless, is in need of a lady’s companion—and who better than the lovely Lady Elizabeth? Determined to rescue Elizabeth from her dreary life in the country, Lady Walmsley secures the help of Kit, the dashing Earl of Cantwell, in her quest. But the young woman they find is a ghost of the charming girl they once knew. Taken in by Lady Walmsley, and with Kit’s enthusiastic encouragement, Elizabeth finds herself pushed further and further from her empty solitude as she discovers the joy of truly living. Now, for the first time in her life, she must decide for herself who she is and if she deserves to be loved.


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Kit and Elizabeth is the sequel to The Earl’s Betrothal. There are pros and cons to having read the previous book first. There are some scenes from The Earl’s Betrothal that are skimmed over in this book, like the scene about Amelia’s parentage at the ball. If you have read the first book it makes a lot more sense, and I feel that you will better be able to appreciate the characters. On the other hand, having read the previous book, some of the recap tends to drag a little.

This book took me a bit to get in to at first. The first three chapters of the book include Elizabeth’s point of view of what happened during the book The Earl’s Betrothal which I have read. Chapter four no longer includes recap and becomes the new story which I was quickly able to get in to as the story really got going.

Elizabeth’s parents had never treated her well and they had always wanted a son. While a son had been needed for an heir, they shouldn’t have taken it out on her. She was always treated like property, and they told her often of her failure in not marrying who they wanted her to. She had always tried to make her parents proud and act like the daughter of a duke. This has caused others to compare her with being made of stone. She is still grieving the loss of her betrothed Alex and doesn’t want to marry his brother Anthony which her father is demanding. When Anthony offers her a way out, she takes it.

“I have ever only been a disappointment and have been making amends for it since the day I was born.”

Elizabeth’s father is truly evil with no morals and no love for his wife or daughter.

It’s so crazy during this time period that if someone doesn’t produce an heir, their remaining family loses everything due to entailment. Someone could just show up and kick people out of their house, even while they are in mourning. It was also a little shocking to see how some of the servants treated their masters; especially right after a tragic event.

Lady Walmsley is loud and talkative and just what Elizabeth needs to keep her from hiding in her room and shutting down. She also needs Kit to challenge her and help her find the good in life. Kit also helps her to realize who she really is and what she really wants.

“That question had raised other similar questions. Did she enjoy playing the harp? Did she even like music? Did she like doing needlework? Or painting? Or drawing? She’d taken lessons as a girl in all of these things and in others as well and had always worked to improve her skills. It had been expected of her. But she’d never thought about whether she liked doing any of them. It had never crossed her mind.”

Some favorite quotes:

“She had little faith at the moment, but maybe, just maybe, there was the tiniest acorn of faith that hadn’t been entirely extinguished . . .”

“Kit thought he might rather stick a fork in his eye than listen to a woman cry.”

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Enter Here!

The Major’s Daughter – Review

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by Regina Jennings

Series: The Fort Reno Series (Book 3)
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (December 3, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764218956
ISBN-13: 978-0764218958

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She Staked a Claim on His Land,
So He Decided to Stake a Claim on Her Heart

Caroline Adams returns to Indian Territory after tiring of confining society life. She wants adventure, and when she and her friend Amber come across swaggering outlaw Frisco Smith, his dreams for the new territory are very persuasive. With the much-anticipated land run about to happen, she may just join the rush.

Growing up an orphan, all Frisco Smith wanted was a place to call his own. It’s no wonder he fought to open the Unassigned Lands to people with the same longing. After years of sneaking across the border, he’s even managed to build a dugout house on a hidden piece of property he’s poised to claim.

But when the gun sounds, everyone’s best plans are thrown out the window in the chaos of the run. Caroline and Frisco find themselves battling over a claim–and both dig in their heels. Settling the rightful ownership will bring these two closer than they ever expected and change their ideas of what a true home looks like.


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Frisco Smith is intelligent and seems tough on the outside. On the inside, however, he is still the scared little abandoned boy. Not only is he still grieving, but he believes that people don’t ever stick around. He wants to build his own town so that he is surrounded by people that won’t leave.

Caroline Adams wants to make a mark of her own as more than just the major’s daughter. She thinks a boarding house on her own 160 acres will do that.

When Caroline claims Frisco’s land, he is torn between wanting her to go and hoping she never leaves.

“Of course you’ve changed. That girl I admired, I don’t know her anymore. Instead of a beautiful wild vine, all I see now is another potted plant, trimmed and pruned to look like every other one out there. One that will only survive when handled delicately.”

There is so much meaning in the traveling case that Frisco carries around. He has never unpacked it because he only wants to unpack it when he has found his home. A place to belong. This really stuck with me throughout the story.

“He came back and found his traveling case. He paused after he opened the latches. The bag hadn’t been completely emptied since he was a child, and then someone else had packed it for him. He’d learned to keep his things ready for the unexpected, ready for heartache, and ready to be uprooted, but no longer.”

Frisco’s relationship with the other foundlings was special. It was heartbreaking how they tried to make their own little family but were torn apart from each other. Yet each one was trying to make their own way.

This book can easily be read as a standalone. However characters from previous books are in it. I love that this is also the continuation of Bradley and Amber’s story. I adored Bound and Determined but wanted to hear more of their adventures.

“He fell in love with you in August. In Oklahoma Territory, any two people who can tolerate each other in August are in love. Otherwise the heat would make them too cranky to bear.”

Jennings’ characters, story lines, and knowledge of history are all exceptional in this series. These books are both funny and tender. Even in the first chapter alone I had laughed multiple times, and Bucky the goat was a cute little sidekick.

This part of history has always interested me. I’ve read a lot about the homesteading on the 160 acres but the setting up of a town was fairly new to me. Reading the author’s note, it was amazing to find out how many things in this book actually happened.

The Major’s Daughter is exactly why I like the historical fiction genre. Not only does it have the interesting history, it also has romance, laughter, and extremely touching moments.

“He wanted a home, a family to belong to. She understood and was willing to join him, but he had to believe it would last. She couldn’t stake her future on someone who wasn’t sure he had one.”

Valley of Dreams – Review

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by Sarah M. Eden

Series: Longing for Home (Book 6)
Paperback: 303 pages
Publisher: Mirror Press (February 4, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947152742
ISBN-13: 978-1947152748

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From the USA Today Bestselling author of the Longing for Home series, VALLEY OF DREAMS is a new romance novel set in the beloved world of Hope Springs.

Patrick O’Connor has seen far too much of the cruel and unforgiving world. Life has beaten him down relentlessly. Out of hope and out of options, he makes the terrifying and desperate decision to return home to the family he has lied to for years, the family he knows will never forgive him.

Widowed and nearly unable to care for her tiny daughter under the weight of extreme poverty, Eliza Porter jumps at the opportunity to leave behind the slums of New York City for the promise of a new life and a new beginning in the frontier town of Hope Springs.

Fate tosses the two of them together more and more often, while the burden of his tightly-held secrets and the ache of her abandoned dreams pull them further and further apart. Clinging to the whispered possibility of something more than the pain life has offered them thus far will require every bit of hope they can find in this peaceful but precarious valley of dreams.


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Through a number of books in this series we have grown closer to the O’Connor family. We feel their joys, and we feel their sorrows. This story will bring you through a journey of emotions. We grieve with them, laugh with them, and we rejoice when they find where they truly belong.

“Life hadn’t been all flowers and sunshine for the O’Connors.”

This family has suffered so much but stay together and support each other. Patrick O’Connor is not like the rest of his family. He feels that they are better off without him, and he let them believe he was dead for years. He used to be outgoing and funny but is now broken down and only wants to be left alone. Patrick is battling with his demons, but he returns to his family so they can fix him. He is gruff but tender, and he is so sweet with Lydia.

“He was a kindhearted soul, and such a thing was something that ought not be hidden.”

Eliza Porter is an extrovert who loves to laugh and is caring and strong. She has dreams that she worries are too big. She has also been going through hard times but wants to stay positive for herself and her daughter Lydia. Eliza sees Patrick as a mystery that she wants to solve.

“Happiness can be found even in the most difficult of situations.”

Finbarr and Emma’s story also continues in this book. I can’t wait for their own book and for more about the beloved O’Connors!

“Hope had brought them to this town. Love had built a life for them here. Beautiful, powerful, miraculous love.”

Saving Miss Everly – Review

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by Sally Britton

Series: Inglewood (Book 3)
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Blue Water Books (October 30, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947005197
ISBN-13: 978-1947005198

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Pretending she’s her twin gets complicated when Hope is shipwrecked with a handsome castaway. When rescue comes, will she risk her heart to confess the truth or will they part forever?

Pretending to be her sister, Hope Everly finds an adventure at last. The Caribbean’s warm waters and tropical islands fulfill nearly all her dreams. When an excursion to visit another island with a naturalist expedition is interrupted by a storm, Hope is stranded on a desert island where she and her fellow castaways are dependent on a handsome stranger for their survival.

Alejandro Córdoba, trapped and alone on the island long enough to give up all dreams of rescue, knows nothing of what has become of his war-torn homeland or his family. When he finds the beautiful Miss Everly washed up on the shore, along with her companions, he does not know if their arrival is a blessing or a curse.

Hope’s behavior, acting one way with Alejandro and another with her friends, further confuses things when they begin to fall in love. If rescue ever comes, will telling Alejandro the truth mean losing him forever?


Alejandro Córdoba has been alone and stranded on an island. He believes that his dream has come true when an “angel” washes up on the shore. However, this angel is not alone.

Hope Everly is torn between pretending to be her twin sister in front of her friends and wanting to be herself with Alejandro.

I loved the character of Alejandro, and he was so perfect for Hope. Hope has spent her entire life being compared to her sister and found wanting. Alejandro sees her for who she really is.

I liked that there were a number of challenges and everything didn’t wrap up neatly. I also found Grace’s first meeting with Alejandro very funny.

I have never read a book about people being shipwrecked during this time period. It was an interesting take on the concept.

Returning to this little club of friends from previous books felt so familiar. I am looking forward to reading Isaac’s story.

Misleading Miss Verity – Review

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by Carolyn Miller

Series: Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley (Book 3)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (November 26, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0825445914
ISBN-13: 978-0825445910

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Verity Hatherleigh has a mind of her own—but her actions do not impress her viscount papa. When she gets into one scrape too many, he sends her off to the wilds of Scotland to rethink her headstrong ways.

Anthony Jardine relished his role as curate, but his new duties as laird of Dungally aren’t always to his liking. Though he thought his new inheritance would be a blessing, somehow he’s finding nothing but trouble on these estates. And the intelligent, compassionate, feisty lass who was sent to rusticate in his territory is one of the biggest problems. He’s falling in love with her, but she doesn’t share the faith that’s his foundation—not to mention he’s been lying to her about who he really is. For the truth-loving Verity, that may be unforgivable.

The tangled web these two have woven may spell disaster for their happiness—and for the tenants of Dungally.


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Verity Hatherleigh is a hoyden who doesn’t believe in God.  She was raised by unbelieving parents and thinks of the Bible as a fairy tale. While Verity is intelligent and helpful to others, she is always getting into trouble and not living up to her mother’s expectations.

Anthony Jardine is a former curate who feels called to bring the gospel to those abroad. However, he is forced to return to Scotland and take on a new title after his cousin’s death. Anthony has a soft heart and he truly wants to help others.

“Despite his upbringing, despite the wretched condition of so many, he had come to renewed awareness that there truly was no difference between men, neither convict nor free, English nor native, that all men were considered equal in the sight of God, that all were loved by God.”

Verity and Anthony share a similar sense of humor, and they both hide who they really are.  They each want to be known for who they are instead of what they are. While I had some issues with Verity and Anthony’s “hopeful” truth, it shows they really are perfect for each other.

“I have found that those without a sense of humor invariably fail to understand those fortunate enough to possess one.”

Verity believes that she is a mistake because her parents wanted her to be a boy.  While Verity always seems bold and outspoken, she becomes incredibly vulnerable when she thinks about not being lovable.

“If God did see her heart, then He would see how cracked it was, fractured with disillusionment, disappointment, and rejection. She was a fool, a failure, a mistake, unloved by her parents, unloved by the only man she ever cared for. Ergo, Verity Hatherleigh was unlovable.”

As Verity shows, there are all matter of ways that people are drawn to God and finally accept Him into their lives. Some find God in the eye opening experiences and others come to Him in the quiet moments.

As humans, Verity and Anthony are both flawed.  Anthony knows that God looks at the outside, but he has a number of shallow outward thoughts about people that he has to work on.  Even after coming to God, Verity still struggles with honoring her parents while also obeying God.

“She possessed fire and spunk that Grandmama might applaud but so many others openly deplored. God couldn’t want her, too. Could He?”

The side characters were as well developed as the main characters and the story line was a unique one.

Readers don’t often get to see a story that includes South Wales during this time period.  I also liked reading more about Scotland during this time. Clearly Miller puts a lot of research into her books. The author’s note at the end is interesting and mentions the history that went into this book.

Misleading Miss Verity was the perfect conclusion to the Daughters of Aynsley series.