Fortune Favors the Sparrow – Review

by Rebecca Connolly

Publisher : Phase Publishing (January 26, 2021)
Language : English
Paperback : 296 pages
ISBN-10 : 1952103215

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Mischief is as mischief does…

Clara Harlow is perfectly content with her life as a teacher of art and French at the Miss Masters Finishing School, so nothing startles her more than to discover that the school is far more than it seems, and its purposes more complicated than anything she could have imagined. She finds herself accepting an assignment from the highest powers in England to use her talents for a particular mission: to impersonate the ward of the late Duke of Kirklin, gain access to the estate, and to discern how a strip of the Kent coastline there is being used against the security of England.

The present Duke of Kirklin, George Russell, better known as Hawk, does not know what to make of the appearance of the former ward of his late uncle, but he is captivated by her. Her skills in art are unlike anything he has ever seen, and her company grows more agreeable with every passing day. His boring, bachelor life grows less and less appealing, and the company within his walls more perfectly suited for the place than he ever dreamed.

What could possibly go wrong?


Fortune Favors the Sparrow was the perfect blend of romance and mystery and such a fun idea for a new series. It was filled with sweet little romantic moments that the Regency era is known for.

Clara Harlow and the Duke of Kirklin (Hawk) may not have known each other long before they started falling in love, but in a way it felt that they knew each other forever. I loved the little notes they sent to each other when they were apart.

Nat has a great sense of humor and plays well off Hawk’s serious nature. I really hope that we get to see more of him. I am also really interested in learning more about Phoebe’s story. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

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

The Widow of Falbrooke Court – Review

by Kasey Stockton

Publisher : Golden Owl Press
Language : English
Paperback : 270 pages
ISBN-10 : 1952429072
ISBN-13 : 978-1952429071

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Can true love break the curse?

Amelia Fawn is cursed—or so she believes. How else can she explain each of her husbands’ deaths within the first year of marriage? So after the ton names her the Black Widow and warns eligible men to stay clear, Amelia vows never to marry again. Not even if she falls in love.

Charles Fremont has loved Amelia Fawn his entire life. But after enduring countless rejections and watching her get married three other times, he’s finally had enough. He swears a vow to never ask anything from her again. Even if it kills him.

Book three in the Ladies of Devon series, The Widow of Falbrooke Court, is a clean Regency romance continuing the story of the four women who make up a literary society in Devon and form a lasting friendship.


The Widow of Falbrooke Court can be read as a standalone, but it also has some characters in it that have shown up earlier in the series. I love when books include characters we already love in them. It’s great to see more to their story than an epilogue can provide. The previous book in the series (The Lady of Larkspur Vale) was one of my favorite reads last year. I really think that readers will enjoy it more if they read the entire series.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t a fan of Amelia Fawn at the beginning of the story. She repeatedly thinks of the hero as idle and lazy. When she thinks he is no longer interested in her and likes someone else, she selfishly wishes he didn’t even though she isn’t interested in him. At least she recognized her selfishness though. She also didn’t notice him for his kindness and character, she only become interested in him due to his muscles and physical build.

Charles Fremont reminds me a little of a lost puppy who is trying to find his way. He is so loyal and caring about other people.

The characters that Stockton has created for the Ladies of Devon series feel like old friends, and I look forward to visiting with them again.

“Sometimes the unexpected turns out to be the greatest blessings of our lives.”

The Vanishing at Loxby Manor – Review

by Abigail Wilson

Publisher : Thomas Nelson (January 26, 2021)
Language : English
Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 0785232958
ISBN-13 : 978-0785232957

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Her friend is missing.

After five years abroad, Charity Halliwell finally returns to Loxby Manor, the home of dear friends—and her lost love. No longer a young girl, she is now haunted by a painful secret and the demise of her dreams. Instead of the healing and happiness she hopes to find, she encounters a darkness lurking in the shadows of the once-familiar house. When her friend, Seline, disappears the very night of her arrival, Charity is determined to uncover the truth.

Her only hope is the man who broke her heart.

Branded a coward, Piers Cavanaugh has lived the last five years as an outcast far from his family home. When his sister presumably elopes with a stable hand, Piers joins forces with an unlikely partner—the one woman he thought he’d never see again. Together they launch an investigation that leads to strange nightly meetings in the ruins of an old abbey and disturbing whispers of a secret organization. The more they learn, the more desperate the situation becomes. 

The house seems determined to keep its secrets.

As they struggle to piece together the clues, Charity and Piers also endeavor to rebuild their friendship. One cryptic letter changed everything between them. To find happiness they will have to overcome the grief and shame keeping them apart. But first they must discover why Seline vanished and confront the growing fear that she may never return. 


I really enjoyed Abigail Wilson’s previous books and looked forward to reading this one. The Vanishing at Loxby Manor has something of a gothic feel to it. The mystery starts right near the beginning and is weaved throughout the story. Wilson writes some fantastic historical mysteries!

There were lots of twists and turns and some things that kept me guessing about certain characters. I was sad about what happened to one of the characters. I felt like I had grown attached to them and hoped for a happy ending. But in a way it did seem fitting what happened to them.

The Vanishing at Loxby Manor was another excellent book by Wilson.

Blog Tour and Review: Georgana’s Secret

by Arlem Hawks

Publisher : Shadow Mountain (January 12, 2021)
Language: English
Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 162972792X
ISBN-13 : 978-1629727929

1811

A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.

As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.

Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.

Georgana’s Secret is about two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.


I loved Georgana’s Secret!

This book had me on an emotional rollercoaster wanting to stay up all night. I ended up hiding in my room to finish it, and I’m not even sorry I ignored all my responsibilities.

It has the perfect amount of action and adventure with a sweet, non traditional love story.

After the death of his wife, Captain Woodall whisks his daughter to his ship to hide her from his abusive mother. Georgana Woodall is able to stay under the radar disguised as a cabin boy for three years. Until Dominic Peyton.

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton hates leaving his mother on shore, but he feels the siren call for the sea he loves. The sea is the only wife he would ever need. Until he meets someone whose siren call is even louder.

I love a good, strong heroine. I also loved how unique this story was. I have enjoyed Arlem Hawks’ novellas, and I had really looked forward to reading this book when I first heard about it. It certainly lived up to my expectations! I look forward to reading more from Hawks.

“Only one person seemed unaffected by the ocean’s wrecking grasp. Someone who laughed into the wind and smiled through the mists. Georgana groaned, burying her face into her shoulder. She was not falling for Lieutenant Peyton. She wasn’t.”


Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn’t
writing, Arlem is baking her characters’ favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.

The Best-Laid Plans – Review

by Sarah M. Eden

ASIN : B08PW54CQ5
Publisher : Covenant Communications (January 1, 2021)
Publication date : January 1, 2021
Language: English

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Newton Hughes has long dreamed of pursuing a career in law, an acceptable choice for a gentleman of status and wealth. His parents, however, disapprove of his ambition, urging him instead to take his rightful place as a gentleman of leisure—with a suitable wife of their choosing, of course. 

Ellie Napper would like nothing more than for her parents to abandon their incessant efforts to marry her off to the greatest possible advantage. Her lack of matrimonial enthusiasm drives her family mad, but she refuses to feign frivolity in order to make herself more palatable to potential suitors. 

When Ellie and Newton are introduced through their mutual acquaintance, Charlie Jonquil, they commiserate over their shared plight. In desperation, they hatch a plan: Ellie and Newton will feign an interest in each other—enough to convince their parents not to push them toward unwanted matches but not enough to cause whispers or expectations. Their plot quickly spirals out of control, but the greatest complication is the one they didn’t see coming: their plan never included falling in love.


My Review

Ellie Napper has always had her fun, intelligent, and slightly outspoken personality pushed down by her family. They want her sister to shine, so Ellie is supposed to quietly stay in the background and follow their directions on who they want her to marry.

Newton Hughes dreams of being a barrister. His family believes that a gentleman having an occupation is beneath them.

With the help of their mutual friends Charlie Jonquil and Artemis Lancaster, Newton and Ellie plan to fake their relationship to appease their parents.

No matter if it is a novel or a novella, Eden always draws the reader in with her characters. They are so memorable, and you wish you could know them in real life.

I loved the story, but felt the ending was a little abrupt. I hope Charlie’s story will at least mention how Newton and Ellie are doing.

Yes, this is a lead up to Charlie and Artemis’ story which so many of us greatly anticipate reading. However, I also loved this as a standalone and as Newton and Ellie’s love story.

Top 20 Books of 2020

Losing yourself in a good book was even more important this year than in previous years. I am so thankful for these amazing writers that share their work with us. Here are the Top 20 Books in 2020.

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Courting Misfortune – Review

by Regina Jennings

Publisher : Bethany House Publishers (December 1, 2020)
Language: English
Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 0764235346
ISBN-13 : 978-0764235344

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Calista York needs one more successful case as a Pinkerton operative to secure her job. When she’s assigned to find the kidnapped daughter of a mob boss, she’s sent to the rowdy mining town of Joplin, Missouri, despite having extended family in the area. Will their meddling expose her mission and keep Lila Seaton from being recovered?

When Matthew Cook decided to be a missionary, he never expected to be sent only a short train ride away. While fighting against corruption of all sorts, Matthew hears of a baby raffle being held to raise funds for a children’s home. He’ll do what he can to stop it, but he also wants to stop the reckless Miss York, whose bad judgment consistently seems to be putting her in harm’s way.

Calista doesn’t need the handsome pastor interfering with her investigation, and she can’t let her disguise slip. Her job and the life of a young lady depend on keeping Matthew in the dark.  


Calista York feels a calling to become a Pinkerton agent and help save people. While undercover on a case, she finds herself in a seedy part of town. Matthew Cook is in Joplin trying to save the lost sheep. When he runs into Calista, he gets tangled up in quite a mess.

I loved how unique this story was and that I didn’t know what would happen next. There were a number of things I didn’t see coming.

This book is connected to Graham and Willow’s story in Intrigue a la Mode (Harvey House Brides), but it can be read as a standalone. Intrigue a la Mode is an excellent story, so I suggest reading it. 🙂

Calista has a large family and at the beginning it got a little confusing with all the characters, but they were all different. I enjoyed learning about each family member.

This book was a good lesson in not judging people. You never know what someone else is going through, and you often don’t have the full story.

I enjoyed reading the author’s note at the end and learning about the history and research that went into the writing of this book.

This was a great start to a new and interesting series.

“You’re my heart, and anything that threatens you threatens my future.”

Blog Tour and Review: The Duke Meets His Match

by Karen Tuft

Publisher : Covenant Communications, Inc. (December 1, 2020)
Language: English
Paperback : 208 pages
ISBN-10 : 1524414557
ISBN-13 : 978-1524414559

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At thirty years of age, Susan Jennings has long been considered a spinster. Exceptionally intelligent, she has little tolerance for London and the dreaded Season̵if that’s how one is expected to find love, it’s not for her. But when an invitation arrives that cannot be ignored, Susan leaves her comfortable life in the country and enters the fashion and frivolity she most despises. She quickly discovers, however, that there is more to loathe in London—and his name is George Kendall.

George, Duke of Aylesham, has learned to keep his distance from cloying females chasing the title of duchess. Susan Jennings, however, proves an entirely different challenge—a woman who has pushed him to the limit of his patience with their every encounter. But their simmering hostility is disrupted by a thoughtless slipup: to avoid a marriage of political strategy, George claims he is already betrothed. And when pressed for the name of the lucky woman, only one name comes to mind: Susan’s. Their forced betrothal proves advantageous, but when their verbal sparring must change in order to be convincing, the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred by something neither expected: love.


Susan Jennings and George Kendall, The Duke of Aylesham, have had one bad meeting after another before the Duke puts them in a situation where they must marry.

Their first conversations with each other have been fairly volatile. The title of this book is so appropriate for their relationship. This is definitely an enemies to lovers book.

The Duke has been living in high society for years and is used to the mask he has had to put on. Susan is new to the attention and has trouble with it. Even though it doesn’t look like they have much in common, and there is a lot of tension, I love that they communicate with each other when they have a problem. I just wish they had shared more about their lives with each other. They both have gone through bad previous relationships, and I was waiting for them to share that with each other and connect over it.

Aunt Margaret and Foster are as cute as ever in this book.

I look forward to reading more of Karen Tuft’s books.

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