Blog Tour and Review: Solving Sophronia

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Sophronia by Jennifer Moore

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (May 4, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 152441235X
ISBN-13: 978-1524412357

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Lady Sophronia Bremerton is a far cry from the typical debutante, but she’s the toast of London’s upper class for one simple reason: she’s a society columnist for the London Illustrated News, and the gentry loves seeing their exploits printed in the gossip pages. But Sophie has bigger plans she aspires to be an investigative reporter. When a stuffy ballroom at yet another Season proves to be nothing more than the usual rumor mill, Sophie seeks respite in the library alongside four other young women who, for their own reasons, are also looking for escape. As the conversation turns to their secret ambitions, the women form a sisterhood and a bold plan: they will make their dreams a reality, no matter the obstacles. Thus begins the Blue Orchid Society.

Hearing of a murder in a London rookery, Sophie seizes the opportunity to prove her skills. Detective Jonathan Graham doesn’t believe a civilian, a noblewoman at that, should be anywhere near a murder investigation, but Sophie insists on helping bring the killer to justice. Her investigative prowess doesn’t go unnoticed by the police, especially Jonathan, who can’t decide whether this intrepid reporter is a thorn in his side or the woman of his dreams. But as the case grows more complicated and dangerous, their very lives and their hearts may be at risk.


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I liked the intro chapter and I look forward to learning more about each of the women in the Blue Orchid Society. They don’t fit in to the constraints of the current society but they are all unique and form a lasting friendship.

“I wish to be known for more than just to whom I was born”

I enjoyed the character development of Sophie and Jonathan. The mystery itself took a little to get into. There was a touch too many crime scene details for my taste. After a little bit the mystery picked up for me and I really looked forward to seeing how it would play out.

“One cannot control matters of the heart”

I liked that this was a different kind of Victorian novel and following along throughout the inter workings of an entire police investigation was interesting aside from the crime scene itself.

“A gentleman needs to be rescued by a lady every now and then.”

Historical fiction is my favorite genre to read and I liked reading about the different groups of people during this time period.

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Read the prequel Emmeline for free!

 

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As Arthur Bremerton, Lord Mather, hurries to the opening session of Parliament, he is incensed to find his way blocked by a boisterous group protesting for women’s rights. But his annoyance turns to mortification when he finds his own cousin among their ranks, alongside a beautiful suffragette who engages him in a fierce battle of words and wills.

Emmeline’s fight for equality is just one facet of her wide-ranging interests. At the moment, her most pressing concern is how she and her mother, an eccentric Baroness, are to begin again after the family’s fortune was squandered following her father’s death. After her heated disagreement with Lord Mather, the only thought she gives the infuriating man is the hope that they will never meet again. But alas, this hope is in vain: unbeknownst to them, both Emmeline and Arthur are to be guests at a three-week house party, and fate seems determined to throw them together at every opportunity.

Get your free copy of Emmeline here!

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.

The Earl’s Winning Wager – Review

earlwager by Jen Geigle Johnson

File Size: 2589 KB
Print Length: 212 pages
Publisher: Kings Row Press (May 1, 2020)
Publication Date: May 1, 2020
Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07YL64MRW

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Lord Morley’s life will change forever when he wins a game of cards and a family of sisters to go along with it.

Miss Standish in none too pleased to have become the responsibility of yet another Lord, even if he is full of charm and goodness. Her responsibilities are to her sisters first.

With the repairs on the castle moving forward nicely and concerted efforts in a season in Bath made to find suitors for them all, Miss Standish and Lord Morley must determine where duty stops and matters of the heart take over.

Read this warm tale of family, sisters, loyalty and love to get a huge dose of the best part of a regency romance fans of Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer would enjoy.


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The Duke of Granbury gifts his best friend Lord Morley an old estate that includes a set of sisters as an unusual matchmaking attempt.

Miss Standish is the oldest and she acts like a mother figure to her younger sisters and feels like she needs to take care of them.

I like that each sister’s personality is so unique. Grace is an adorable little sister who chatters away, and I can’t wait for Charity’s story. She really stands out and has some interesting opinions.

This was a lighthearted and fun book that helps you take your mind off of things going on in the real world.

Blog Tour and Review: The Noble Smuggler

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by Sian Ann Bessey

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (April 1, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524412279
ISBN-13: 978-1524412272

Despite living at her father’s inn her entire life, Elizabeth Doyle has always managed to avoid involvement with the smugglers who frequently gather there. Until now. When a handsome smuggler is brought to her with dire injuries, Elizabeth risks everything to hide him—completely unaware that the wounded man is not who he appears to be.

When an opportunity arises to infiltrate the notorious smuggling gang he believes caused his father’s death, Jonas Ainsworth, the Viscount Langton, pretends to be one of them. But when he is wounded midcharade, Jonas’s life is placed in the hands of an unlikely savior: a smuggler’s daughter. Forced to flee before his wounds have fully healed, he does not think he will ever see her again—until she appears on his doorstep, seeking safe haven. Divided by their social standings yet united in their mutual desire to expose the leader of the smuggling ring, Jonas and Elizabeth are undeniably drawn to each other. Neither realizes, however, that they are dangerously close to uncovering explosive secrets from the past—secrets that will alter the course of their lives forever.


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The Noble Smuggler is a book packed full of adventure, mystery, and romance which you won’t want to put down!

This was my first time reading a novel by Sian Ann Bessey. I have read a number of books on smuggling but this one took a different approach than any I have read before.

Both the main characters intrigued me. Elizabeth Doyle is trapped living with her father even though she knows staying quiet about his struggling is wrong, yet she seems to have a strong and independent side. Jonas Ainsworth had uncommon relationships with his mother and sister. I also liked his friendship with his servant and former childhood friend. They had some interesting scenes together.

One of the things I love about reading historical fiction is learning things about each time period. The author seamlessly works in descriptions of the fashions and furnishings during the late 1700s as well as historic events.

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Blog Tour and Review: Lakeshire Park

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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.”

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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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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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Blog Tour and Review: Where the Stars Meet the Sea

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by Heidi Kimball

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (March 2, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524410411
ISBN-13: 978-1524410414

A broken man. A fiery young woman. Neither one’s heart will come away unscathed.

Juliet Graham fervently counts the days until her twenty-first birthday, when she can claim the inheritance that will grant her the freedom she has always craved and the guardianship of her younger brother. Until then, she is trapped under her aunt Agnes’s domineering will. When forced to accompany the family to a house party at Shaldorn Castle, Juliet’s only objective is to keep to herself. That is, until a chance encounter with a boorish stranger stirs up an unexpected whirlwind of emotions in her. Thrown off-balance, Juliet does the unthinkable: loses her temper and insults the man—who turns out to be her unwilling host, the Duke of Halstead. Fully expecting to be sent away, Juliet is surprised when the brusque and callous duke instead takes an interest in her.

Drawn to the duke in unguarded moments, Juliet finds herself more and more intrigued by the man who shuns Society’s rules as completely as she does, and over the next few weeks, their unlikely friendship deepens into a connection neither expected.

But even as Juliet comes to recognize her true feelings, her scheming aunt issues an ultimatum that threatens the future she was just beginning to hope for. Juliet must choose: either break the promise she made to herself years ago, or lose the man who has captured her heart and soul.


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I love when a story pulls you right in, and even in just the first chapter I already feel extremely interested in the main characters.

“Sometimes it is nice to be reminded how insignificant we are.”

The Duke of Halstead vows to never marry and Juliet Graham never wants to marry outside her station like her parents did. She is, however, fascinated with finding out what the Duke is really like and why she is so affected by him.

“I was the daughter of a sailor, and no matter how fancy my borrowed ball gown, I would never belong in a setting like this—in Halstead’s world.”

They are both grieving and need each other to work through it. Juliet is still grieving for her father and Halstead is grieving for what he lost in the accident and trying to figure out his new normal.

Halstead scrubbed a hand along his clenched jaw. “Did you ever stop to think, even for a moment, that I push you away for a reason? There’s a chasm inside of me so deep and dark I sometimes think it will swallow me whole.” He paused, breathing heavily. “And I fear if I give you even the smallest glimpse, I will frighten you away.”

Halstead’s struggles resonate with me. His body is constantly in pain and he tries to mask his emotions so no one can see how bad it is. Though along with masking that pain, he is masking so many other things and building up walls around himself. I think that someone who has not walked through this situation might have a harder time understanding it on the same level.

I loved Halstead and Juliet’s moments alone together, and I selfishly wanted more.

This book was well written with characters you will pull for as they struggle to find their happy ending. The minor characters were just as strong as the major ones. I loved Hugh and the Duke’s sister but I found Robert needy and annoying. Halstead’s grandmother had an overbearing personality but she was a sassy old lady.

“If you had known Halstead before his accident . . . well, he was a man with every door open to him. He possessed political power, wealth, good looks, the latter of which he of course got from me.”

The Guarded Heart is one of my all time favorite books, and I really enjoyed this book as well. I can’t wait to read more from Heidi Kimball.

“I try not to hope. Better to face the reality of what is.”

“I can’t decide if that is admirable or troubling. Perhaps both.”

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