Blog Tour and Review: Forever Phoebe

by Chalon Linton

Publisher : Covenant Communications, Inc. (February 8, 2021)
Language : English
ISBN-10 : 1524416886
ISBN-13 : 978-1524416881

At the dignified age of eighteen, Phoebe Jamison knows she should behave in a manner befitting her station, as her three loving elder brothers often tease. Unfortunately, the lively young woman has a personality every bit as fiery as her red hair, a fact brought to her attention in the criticism from the gentleman she has long pined for. But not every man is of the opinion that a woman should be decorous above all else. The newest resident of Somerset, Mr. Franklin Everly, is considered a most eligible bachelor, and he is immediately drawn to Phoebe’s spirited nature as he becomes acquainted with the delightful Jamison siblings of Primly Park.

Franklin embarks on a friendship with Phoebe that quickly deepens into a warm and thrilling connection. But even as he fights for Phoebe’s attentions, a very real danger is revealed: girls in neighboring villages have gone missing, and the kidnapper is moving ever closer to Primly Park. Despite the guard of her fiercely protective brothers and Franklin, Phoebe must rely on her own strength when she finds herself in the sights of the Bride Snatcher. 


Phoebe Jamison is a spunky redhead who likes to follow after her three older brothers. She has pined after their friend Mr Mason for years and dreams that he will return her feelings. Instead he constantly admonishes her and tells her to be more like a fine lady.

Franklin Everly is new to the neighborhood and is soon smitten by the feisty Phoebe. He must find time to fix up his estate, win Phoebe’s heart, and fend off her protective older brothers. All this while a kidnapper is on the loose stealing young woman.

I couldn’t stand Mr Mason from the beginning. The guy is just so full of himself, and I don’t see any positives. It’s amazing how someone so fun and full of life like Phoebe could be hung up on him.

A lot of the time the heroes are overly masculine. I love that Franklin is quietly heroic and self sacrificing. Even when it’s hard for him, he stands back and lets Phoebe be herself.

This is my favorite book by Linton. I loved the characters, the sweet romance, and the added mystery. I loved the dynamic between Phoebe and her brothers. I would love for Peter to get his own story.

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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.

Giveaway, Blog Tour, and Review: The Gentleman Spy

gentspyby Erica Vetsch

Series: Serendipity & Secrets (Book 2)
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (July 28, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 082544618X
ISBN-13: 978-0825446184

Purchase from Amazon

He only wanted a duchess for a day–but she’s determined to make it a marriage for life

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she’s meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life–as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She’s determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society–the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she’d remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?


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“He supposed that someday he would have to forgive the child for being a girl.”

From the first line of the book, I was drawn right in.

Marcus Haverly never wanted to be the next Duke of Haverly. He is coerced into marriage and the chosen bride is Lady Charlotte Tiptree. Charlotte is not one to simper in the background and soon she is completely changing Marcus’ life.

I loved that the heroine is described as plain. So many books have the heroine be unbelievably gorgeous. I also love that she has a brain. Marcus and Charlotte have so much in common and can have intelligent conversations.

Fans of Rebecca Connolly’s London League Series and Kristi Ann Hunter’s Haven Manor Series will love The Gentleman Spy.

Between the characters, the mystery, and the pace of a good plot, it kept me from wanting to put the book down.

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Blog Tour and Review: A Proper Charade

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by Esther Hatch

Paperback
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (May 1, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524412317
ISBN-13: 978-1524412319

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Lady Patience Kendrick was born to a life of privilege, and with the London Season looming, she finds herself facing unprecedented pressure to adhere to the rules of society. Unfortunately, the free-spirited young woman is anything but proper. Patience’s elder brother, a former military man, bemoans his sister’s antics—but when he accuses her of incurable frivolity, it is simply more than she can bear. Determined to prove her brother wrong, Patience undertakes a drastic experiment: she will disguise herself as a maid and demonstrate her ability to work as hard as anyone.

Taken on as household staff by her brother’s former general, Patience soon learns that willingness and ability are two very different things. While her plan sounded promising in theory, the reality is that she is out of her depth—and the irresistibly charming son of the house isn’t helping matters. Patience soon finds herself embroiled in a charade far more complicated than she imagined. With both her pride and her heart at stake, she is determined to prove her brother wrong—even as her plans spiral delightfully out of control.


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I can always count on Esther Hatch to write a story where I will become completely immersed in her world. Her story-lines draw me in and I love her writing style. I also feel connected to her characters and hate when the time comes to leave them behind.

Patience just wants to feel useful and needed. She never had an opportunity to prove herself like her brother did, so she goes about trying to in a really unusual way.

Anthony has always wanted to make his father proud. Since he promised his mother he wouldn’t join the army, he has to find another way. Anthony is always stiff and serious and all about duty, but he knows how to make some legendary lists. Patience grew up living a carefree life and wants to learn responsibility. Together they will learn what is most important.

Lord Bryant stood out to me in A Proper Scandal and I loved seeing even more of his real self in this book. I can’t wait to read his story.

I have read A Proper Charade twice so far and even the second time I had a hard time putting it down. When I looked at the clock after I finished reading, it was 8am and I had read through the night and turned off my alarm while reading.

There are always scenes that stay with me long after I finish reading. I don’t think I could ever look at a duck’s “smile” the same way again, and who knew that a simple desk and lighting a fireplace could be so interesting. There were so many great moments. You won’t regret reading this book and entering into Hatch’s world.

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Blog Tour and Review: Rakes and Roses

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cover by Josi S. Kilpack

Series: Proper Romance Regency (Book 3)
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (May 5, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629727350
ISBN-13: 978-1629727356

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A Mayfield Family Romance

Lady Sabrina endured an abusive marriage, a miscarriage, and early widowhood to emerge as a smart, successful, confident woman who found a way to make her mark in a man’s world. She has friends and purpose, but cannot hide from the emptiness she feels when the parties are over and the friends have gone home to families she will never have.

Harry Stillman may be charming and handsome, but he’s a gambler and a rake who has made a mockery of his privileges. He turns to the mysterious Lord Damion for financial relief from his debts, but still ends up beaten nearly senseless by thugs and left in an alley.

When Lady Sabrina comes upon Harry after the attack, she remembers the kindness Harry once showed to her six years ago and brings him to her estate to heal. Though their relationship begins on rocky footing, it soon mellows into friendship, then trust. But Lady Sabrina needs to keep Harry at a distance, even if he is becoming the kind of man worthy of her heart. After all, she is keeping a secret that, if exposed, could destroy everything she’s so carefully built.


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While we see a glimpse in the prologue of the caring man that Harry Stillman could be, we are introduced to him in chapter one when he is at the lowest of the lows that is of his own making through drinking and gambling. Lady Sabrina is introduced to us as a battered wife who is hiding in a rose bush in fear of her brutal husband.

As a 32 year old widow, I like that Sabrina is an older more mature heroine. While she has had many benefits in her upbringing, she is very much aware of what her life could have been like as the illegitimate daughter of a Duke. She now wants to use her position for something good.

Even if we cannot personally identify with Harry’s struggles of drunkenness and gambling, there are a number of things we can learn from it in this book.

Whether positive or negative, the words that we say can greatly affect another person. Harry’s father’s words tore him down but Sabrina’s words helped lift him up.

We also have to be careful not to become an enabler for other people. Feeding in to their vices is not helping them in any way.

I usually have a hard time liking a rake. Especially one who has put themselves so far into the gutter because of things they did. I liked that this story showed what could happen if someone believed in them and extended them mercy and grace. No matter what we have done, we all need this in our life.

*This book includes topics of drinking, gambling, domestic abuse, and the loss of a child. All of this happening in the very first chapter.


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Josi S. Kilpack is the bestselling author of several Proper Romance and Proper Romance Historical 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.

Blog Tour and Review: Lakeshire Park

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lakeshire

by Megan Walker

Series: Proper Romance Regency
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (April 7, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629727342
ISBN-13: 978-1629727349

Brighton, England 1820

Amelia Moore wants only one thing–to secure the future happiness of her younger sister, Clara. With their stepfather’s looming death, the two sisters will soon be on their own–without family, a home, or a penny to their names. When an invitation arrives to join a house party at Lakeshire Park, Amelia grasps at the chance. If she can encourage a match between Clara and their host, Sir Ronald, then at least her sister will be taken care of.

Little does she know that another guest, the arrogant and overconfident Mr. Peter Wood, is after the same goal for his own sister. Amelia and Peter begin a rivalry that Amelia has no choice but to win. But competing against Peter–and eventually playing by his rules–makes Amelia vulnerable to losing the only thing she has left to claim: her heart.


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Lakeshire Park is such a beautiful story of two people falling in love, and there are a number of really beautiful moments throughout the book.

Amelia Moore is a self sacrificing person whose heart is drawn to naturally put others first, especially her sister Clara. I think it is more about being naive but Clara comes off as selfish. There is no way she doesn’t know about Amelia and Peter spending time together yet she never asks Amelia about it and only cares about her own comfort.

As the story is told in first person we don’t know Peter Wood’s inner dialogue but I still feel like the reader is given a true connection to him. He thinks of himself as selfish but he puts his sister first as long as things are done in a fair way.

The first meeting between Peter and Amelia was a little strange to me. Peter clearly had the gloves first and Amelia was so put out for so long because he wouldn’t give them to her. Why did she deserve what he had first? And why was he crawling out from under the table?

I found the story very interesting and it moved along at the perfect pace. I also liked the characters and found them very realistic.

I would love a sequel with Georgiana and Pendleton and we could see a little of what Peter and Amelia are up to. I’m not ready to leave these characters.

Favorite quotes:

“You never know who you are hurting by denying kindness.”

“Before he died, he told me to remember that some things aren’t worth being angry over, but plenty of things are worth fighting for. It is a motto I try to live by.”

“I don’t mind the trouble. As long as I’m with you.”

walkerbioAUTHOR BIO:
Megan Walker was raised on a berry farm in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where her imagination took her to times past and worlds away. While earning her degree in Early Childhood Education, she married her one true love and started a family. But her imaginings of Regency England wouldn’t leave her alone, so she picked up a pen and wrote her first novella, A Beautiful Love: A Regency Fairy Tale Retelling which was published in 2019. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband and three children. Lakeshire Park is her debut novel.

Blog Tour and Review: His Lady in Hiding

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hiding

by Jen Geigle Johnson

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (April 1, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524410454
ISBN-13: 978-1524410452

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Lady Elizabeth Davenport is desperate. Her hand in marriage has been offered to the highest bidder, a distressing proposition in and of itself but made all the more repulsive when she meets her father’s first choice for her hand—Lord Pinweather. When her parents refuse to hear her pleas, Liz is forced to take drastic measures—she will impersonate her maid and begin anew in America on her own terms.

Once on board the ship to America, another passenger, Lord Barton, discovers her true status as a noble almost immediately. After listening to Liz’s highly modified version of her life and her plans to begin again, Barton has compassion on her, teaching her to abandon her noble mannerisms. Upon disembarking, however, Barton’s generous spirit quickly dampens when he discovers Liz has indeed found work—as his own head housekeeper. Suddenly the tender feelings they hid from one another on the ship are inescapable—but their difference in station makes romance impossible. As misunderstandings abound and a shocking character from Liz’s past looms, she knows she can’t hide her true identity forever. But as her deception begins to unravel, will her charade cost her the man she loves?


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Lady Elizabeth Davenport is happy living her spoiled existence until her father auctions her off to the highest bidder – a cringe worthy Lord Pinweather. Then she runs, which quickly becomes a habit for her.

Elizabeth meets Lord Anthony Barton on the ship to America while she is pretending to be a maid. They have instant chemistry that starts as more of a friendship between them that builds. They also have a relationship with witty banter that gets very entertaining.

“Her life was full of mystery and adventure, full of promise, and full of the unknown.”

I haven’t read a lot about the English nobility that wanted to make a life for themselves in America. I really appreciated Anthony’s dream of making a name for himself through his own hard work instead of just getting by on his title.

“Discovering your housekeeper outranks you in every way is a bit disconcerting for a chap, I’ll admit.”

There is also an interesting look behind the scenes at servant’s life that I always enjoy in Johnson’s books. This book has more of a lighter side than some of her other books but still touches on some very important topics. I also appreciated the amount of research that went in to the writing of this book.

I enjoyed that so much of the story was unpredictable. Although I did want to smack Anthony a number of times.

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Author Interview, Blog Tour and Review: Secrets and Suitors

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secretscover

by Joanna Barker

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (October 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524411728
ISBN-13: 978-1524411725

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Reluctantly returning to London for yet another Season, shy Nora Hamilton has nearly given up hope that she will ever find the love match she longs for. After all, the one man she does harbor feelings for—her closest friend, James—has made it perfectly clear he views her as just that: a friend. With James traveling half a world away and Nora’s father pressuring her to marry for wealth and status, Nora is forced to set aside her desire for love and accept the future she has always dreaded.

Until James returns unexpectedly and Nora’s feelings once again rush unbearably close to the surface. Determined to save what is left of their friendship, Nora ignores her own heart and allows herself to be swept up in the London Season, soon finding herself the object of two very different gentlemen’s affections. Though she should be thrilled, both men come with a glaring fault: neither is the one man who holds her heart.

But there is much more at stake than heartbreak. When long-kept secrets are laid bare, Nora must face the fears that have plagued her all her life and decide what true love is worth.

*Secrets and Suitors has received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly.*


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Nora always wanted to be in the background at social events and after two seasons in London she still hadn’t had a serious suitor. After receiving pressure from her father, she makes a bargain with him that she will marry Mr. Weston (a man she barely knows) if her two younger siblings are allowed to join her for the season in London. She also makes her father agree that she can continue being friends with her childhood neighbor James.

After time away at his family plantation, James is suddenly back in Nora’s life. He wants to still be her friend, but there is often a seriousness about him.

“A fancy could be forgotten, and I was determined to forget it.”

While back for a third season, Nora is torn between her feelings for James, a new acquaintanceship forming with Lord Worthington, and a commitment to Mr. Weston.

“James was my best friend, yes, but my heart yearned for so much more. He was the one who understood me best, who made me laugh, who listened to me.”

Nora has a completely different relationship with each of her three suitors. She and Mr. Weston are practically engaged, and she doesn’t even know his first name.

“He had run halfway across the world the last time I had given signs of having feelings for him. What would he do now if I were to give the slightest hint that he still held a piece of my heart?”

When Nora and James are together it feels like the air in the room changes. They are comfortable with each other because of being best friends growing up, but now there is tension and secrets between them.

“I would pay dearly for such a skill right now, to peer into his mind and discover all his tightly held opinions and secrets.”

This book is told in the first person, so we only know Nora’s point of view. When I first started reading it, I wished it also told James’ point of view. I was often wondering what was going on in his head. As it turns out, I loved that there were things I didn’t see coming. I was truly surprised by some of the secrets, and I liked that I didn’t know what would happen next.

I liked that it was not just about the romance, it was also about a broken family trying to find their way.

Besides the strong main characters, there were some lovable side characters like Ralph. He was absolutely adorable. Ralph’s relationship with Nora reminds us that we have to be careful with the promises we make, and his relationship with James made them both even more endearing.

Secrets and Suitors is a sweet story that also has a lot of deeper meaning. This book earns a well deserved five stars.

While I received a complimentary copy of this book, I was not required to write a positive review.


Interview with Joanna Barker

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Do you have any future books in the works? I would love a story about Ralph!

I’m currently working on a sequel to my debut novel, The Truth about Miss Ashbourne. This new book features Rebecca Rowley, the sister to the hero of that story, and I am having so much fun with it! But one day I would so love to write a story for Ralph! He deserves his own happy ending, doesn’t he??

Was there something that inspired you to write Secrets and Suitors?

I wanted so badly to write a best friends love story, and I went through about eight different versions of this story before deciding on the plot. What finally helped me nail down the idea was hearing Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” on the radio and realizing it described so perfectly the story I wanted to write. This song brought to life James Allen’s character, and if you listen to it after reading Secrets and Suitors, you might see how the chorus inspired the garden party scene ?

Do you like writing novels or novellas better? And was it harder working with other authors when you were writing All Hearts Come Home for Christmas? 

It always seems like the grass is always greener for me! When I’m stuck in the murky middle of drafting a novel, I always wish I was writing a novella. But when I’m running out of words for a novella, I’m longing for the word count of a novel! But I think novels are my true love. There’s a depth that’s generally only possible through spending more time with the story and characters, and I love to dig in deep. Oh, and I am extremely wordy, so that might be part of it, haha! I actually loved working with the other authors so much! All three of them are incredibly talented and kind, and I just felt lucky to be a part of the project.

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