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.

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.

Enter Here!

The Kissing Tree – Review

by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, Nicole Deese

Paperback : 400 pages
ISBN-10 : 0764236121
ISBN-13 : 978-0764236129
Publisher : Bethany House Publishers (October 13, 2020)

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Regina Jennings – “Broken Limbs, Mended Hearts”
When a young man from her past returns and upends their small town with a new invention, schoolteacher Bella Eden is reminded of the heartbreak she suffered years ago under the old oak tree. When her job is put on the line, can she trust the man who disrupted her life to help her fight for a brighter future?

Karen Witemeyer – “Inn for a Surprise”
Determined to keep love alive for others, Phoebe Woodward builds an inn that caters to couples. When her father sends a property manager to help make it a success, she finds her whimsical vision thwarted by his stodgy practicality. Finding the right blend of romance and reality is a challenge, and her spinster heart may be in for a surprise. 

Amanda Dykes – “From Roots to Sky”
WWII airman Luke Hampstead found comfort in letters from the sister of a lost compatriot. When he visits Texas to thank her, he discovers her constructing a project with surprising ties to his letters . . . and that she herself is even more surprising. While a promising opportunity awaits him elsewhere, will what they’ve shared be enough to give their future flight?

Nicole Deese – “Heartwood”Abby Brookshire’s world is turned upside down when the historic tree she’s strived to preserve as the head groundskeeper at the Kissing Tree Inn is put in danger of removal. Making matters worse, the only way to protect its legacy is to partner with the man she’s been ignoring since he left town years ago. Will she have the courage to move on from the past and start a new beginning?


All of the stories in this collection take place in the same town which is centered around the kissing tree. I love how they can be read on their own, but they are all interconnected. The stories take place during different time periods, so we get to see future generations and how the town changes.

Broken Limbs, Mended Fences by Regina Jennings
Adam always pined for Bella, but she just saw him as the man who destroyed everything.

The intro to this story is perfection! I love the opening scene with the two main characters Adam and Bella, and the last scene in the story is so sweet. I love how everything came full circle. This was a cute story. I liked the storyline and the characters. The title is also cute.

Inn for a Surprise by Karen Witemeyer

Phoebe is a strong independent woman who dreams of running her own inn helping couples find and rekindle love using the town’s legendary kissing tree. Barnabas is tasked with helping his boss’s daughter Phoebe make the inn a success.

I love how this story is interconnected, and there is even an appearance of a character from the first story.

This was such a sweet story, and I loved it. Barnabas and Phoebe may be opposites, but they truly complete each other.

From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes
I know many years have gone by since the last story, but hearing about what happened to the future of the inn at the beginning of the story was sad.

I loved the idea of a home built from all the drawings and things Luke had seen that war tore apart. Hannah and Luke made an interesting couple, and I like how a lot of time went by in this story so they had a chance to really get to know each other. The epilogue was sweet.

Heartwood by Nicole Deese
Even though it is a shorter story, I liked that Abby and Griffin were able to grow. I love the little memorial gardens that Abby creates.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I will try to be vague. The scene with the teenagers at the tree drove me nuts, especially comments about “rights” being taken away when it isn’t their right. People like to complain about things, but they don’t do anything to realistically help the cause and find a solution for a problem.

I also didn’t like the ending. If this had been a standalone book, that would be one thing. However, we just read all these sweet stories about things that happened, and then something in this story happens to ruin it all.

Blog Tour and Review: A Hopeful Christmas

by Anneka R. Walker, Sian Ann Bessey, Carla Kelly, Krista Lynne Jensen

Paperback : 376 pages
ISBN-10 : 1524413623
ISBN-13 : 978-1524413620
Publisher : Covenant Communications, Inc. (October 1, 2020)

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Kindle the spirit of the season as four of your favorite storytellers weave tales of love and hope in this charming yuletide collection.

Lord Blakely’s Gift

When Miss Ivy Hunt and Lord Curtis Blakely establish a secret acquaintance, neither can deny that their feelings extend beyond friendship. But as the children of bitter rivals, it will take a Christmas miracle for this star-crossed pair to reach their happily ever after.

A Season of Hope

Following the death of her father, Amelia knows Christmas will be lean. But when circumstances become dire, it is the unexpected arrival of a childhood friend that renews Amelia’s hope both for the future and for love.

Christmas by the Sea

After two years at sea with the Royal Navy, surgeon Joshua Crenshaw longs for a quiet Christmas with his family. But when unrest at home threatens to ruin the holidays, it takes the kindly intervention of a mysterious house sitter to remind them of the true meaning of the season.

Expectations at Canterwood

Marina Rowley is a spinster, Richard Stanhope a war-weary military man. A case of mistaken identity throws them together, but the unexpected stirrings of their hearts lead to an unforgettable holiday romance.


I love reading Christmas books and watching Christmas movies year round. This book is especially fun because it takes place during the Regency Era. The four stories are all very different. They have characters with different social classes, some characters have just met, some are reunited, and some have been married for years. All the stories will have you wanting to grab a blanket and some hot cocoa and immerse yourself in a Regency Christmas.

Lord Blakely’s Gift by Anneka R. Walker

This is a story of a forbidden romance between two feuding families who are brought together at Christmas time by helping others.


Ivy is giving and makes sure that people are cared for. Curtis doesn’t think he can live up to the man his father was, so he really doesn’t even try.

Curtis also seems to think that throwing around money is the best way to help people. I loved that Ivy makes him a better person.


A small disagreement not only tore two families of friends apart, but it also separated a family. In their bitterness, Ivy’s father no longer saw his own mother. He comes off as very petty.

“To be worthy of you must be the greatest endeavor a man could seek.”

A Season Of Hope by Sian Ann Bessey
As a child, Amelia would follow her brother and his friend Philip around hoping to join their adventures. Further adventures take the boys away to the West Indies. When Philip returns after five years, he finds his neighborhood greatly changed… as well as his little neighbor Amelia who was now grown up.

I loved the feeling of Christmas in this story. I also loved the characters. Oftentimes novellas feel underdeveloped but this story was very well done.

Christmas By The Sea by Carla Kelly
Surgeon William Crenshaw has just returned from two years at sea to his loving wife and children. Instead of having a peaceful Christmas together, he must deal with the mess his siblings have put him in.


I love that this is a story of a couple who has been married for years, with Will gone during many of them, and they still love each other. The conversation Will had with his son Timothy on what love is was very sweet.

Expectations At Canterwood by Krista Lynne Jensen
Jensen brings us back to Canterwood in her story. While this story can be read as a standalone, it’s always fun to read a continuity story. The first time I read about Canterwood was in the anthology Christmas Grace, and the vicar and his wife make a reappearance in this book.

Enter Here!

A Haunting at Havenwood (Seasons of Change) – Review

by Sally Britton

Paperback : 222 pages
ISBN-13 : 979-8685495495
Publisher : Independently published (September 12, 2020)
ASIN : B08HT9PWB7
Language: English

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Nothing will keep Louisa from searching for an ancient fortune. Except perhaps a phantom who turns out to be a most eligible bachelor.

When Louisa Banner’s mother announces they are poor, she cannot help her misgivings when her mother sends her away to live with her great aunt in a tiny, Northumberland village. Louisa’s aunt also happens to live near the ruins of an ancient castle. Although Louisa insists she is not the least bit superstitious, tales of lost treasure and ghosts intrigue her.

When Louisa stumbles upon a forgotten graveyard, and a man whose name comes directly from a tombstone, she isn’t certain whether to run away in terror or stay and get to know the handsome spirit.

Erasmus Grey is cursed, and not only because he sometimes hears the voices of ghosts claiming to be his dead grandparents. While most men would count it a blessing to be a wealthy, eligible bachelor, Ras has no hope of finding a bride who will tolerate his stammer or his passion for writing Gothic novels.

Rather than succumb to the matchmaking mothers of London, he retreats to an old family estate at the behest of the ghostly voices. Though he manages to keep his presence in the country a secret, coming upon a lovely young woman during one of his rambles nearly undoes all his careful work. But when he realizes Miss Banner thinks him a ghost, Ras wonders if he might have found someone who truly understands him.

Treasures, castles, and ghosts combine in an autumn romance in a haunted wood.


October is the perfect month to read this book. There are spirits and superstitions, castle ruins, and a missing treasure to look for.

Ras had a very rough childhood being teased for his stutter. He seems to have withdrawn from a lot of the world but finds his voice in his writings. Louisa has keenly felt the loss of her father. Even more so when her mother sends away her governess and raises her with the sole goal of making a good match.

The main characters had a very interesting first meeting. It was strange but cute. I also liked the descriptions of the little town. The hidden away houses lent themselves to a mystery, and the town had a lot of history and passed down legends.

A Haunting at Havenwood is a fun addition to the Seasons of Change series that I have been enjoying.

“There are all sorts of people in this world, child. Those who love noise and distraction, and those who yearn for quiet and solitude. I think both have a place, and neither is wrong. If you take anything from our little gossip, I hope it is that there are many paths to happiness.”

Vying for the Viscount – Review

8aug by Kristi Ann Hunter

Series: Hearts on the Heath (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; 7/2 edition (August 4, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764235257
ISBN-13: 978-0764235252

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For Hudson, the newly titled Viscount Stildon, moving to England from India where he was born and raised was already an arduous enough endeavor. When he learns the fate of the racing empire he inherited along with his title depends upon him getting in the good graces of another stable owner, he’s even more at a loss.

The stable at the neighboring estate has been Miss Bianca Snowley’s refuge for years, and when a strange man appears to be stealing the horses, she jumps to their protection without a second thought. Upon learning Hudson is actually the new owner, she can’t help but be intrigued by the area’s newest eligible bachelor.

Any thought of romance is quickly set aside, however, when Hudson proposes they work together to secure suitable spouses for each other. As their friendship grows, Hudson and Bianca begin to reconsider what they truly want in life. But will societal expectations and the weight of their responsibilities keep them from pursuing their true desires?


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Bianca Snowley dreams of marrying a man with an impressive stable of horses. When the new Lord Stildon arrives from India after the death of his grandfather, Bianca sets her sights on him. If only she hadn’t made such a bad first impression.

Bianca is a very unusual female for this time period. Most women in her position would not be able to work in the neighbor’s stable. She seems to get away with so much because her step mother only cares about her biological daughter. Though things will change when her father gets involved.

I have read about dances and assemblies so many times during this period, but I had no idea how some of the things there worked. I felt like I was reacting to them the same way Lord Stildon was.

I love how Kristi Ann Hunter always makes her characters so realistic. They all have such interesting personalities and you want to know what will happen to them. In fact, there are so many characters I still want to hear more about and know what happens to them in the future.  The next book in the series is Winning the Gentleman which is about the beloved character Aaron Whitworth.

“With one more blink of her eyes, his future went from planned to uncertain, but it also went from dull to colorful.”