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.

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.”

A Castaway in Cornwall – Review

by Julie Klassen

Paperback : 400 pages
ISBN-10 : 0764234226
ISBN-13 : 978-0764234224
Publisher : Bethany House Publishers (December 1, 2020)

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Set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers, Laura Callaway now lives with her uncle and his disapproving wife in North Cornwall. There she feels like a castaway, always viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong.

While wreckers search for valuables along the windswept Cornwall coast–known for its many shipwrecks but few survivors–Laura searches for clues to the lives lost so she can write letters to next of kin and return keepsakes to rightful owners. When a man is washed ashore after a wreck, Laura acts quickly to protect him from a local smuggler determined to destroy him.

As Laura and a neighbor care for the survivor, they discover he has curious wounds and, although he speaks in careful, educated English, his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Despite the evidence against him, the mysterious man might provide her only chance to discover the truth about her parents’ fate. With danger pursuing them from every side, and an unexpected attraction growing between them, will Laura ever find the answers she seeks?


First of all, check out the cover! Besides the beautiful image, it has a pearl finish that I have not seen on a book before. It is very eye catching.

We are introduced to Laura Callaway who feels like she doesn’t belong anywhere and is like a castaway who has no place to call home. Not long later she saves Alexander who is an actual castaway from a shipwreck. It is clear from the beginning that he is hiding something, but she still feels drawn to him. Together they will look for the answers they both need.

This book was lighter on the romance. It focused more on the historical elements and the mystery. Klassen has clearly done a lot of research in writing this book. There were so many things I learned about Cornwall.

I was really interested in the Sinkininny church. A church covered by sand where they lowered the pastor through the roof sounds crazy. I love that it’s true. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. There were so many interesting historical things that were weaved throughout the story.

Mr. Gardiner and the Governess – Review

by Sally Britton

ISBN-10 : 194700526X
ISBN-13 : 978-1947005266
Paperback : 226 pages
Publisher : Pink Citrus Books (November 9, 2020)

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A duke’s governess, a gentleman scientist, and a castle full of flowers is the perfect setting for a summer romance.

As the new governess to the duke’s family, Alice Sharpe must learn to control her impulsive ways. Employment in the duke’s household is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and could mean living in comfort the rest of her days. Unfortunately, her first encounter with the duke’s neighbor, a handsome scientist, proves she may not be ready for the austere role of governess. 

Rupert Gardiner has one goal: to have his work in botany published by the Royal Society. He is fortunate that his neighbor, the duke, believes in him and enlists Rupert to make a record of all the flora on the castle grounds. But Miss Sharpe’s spontaneity and continual appearance during his work is a rather annoying distraction. At least, that’s what he tells himself.

While Alice struggles to adapt to her new role, constantly battling who she is and the person she believes she must become, she cannot help but admire Rupert’s intelligence and focus. The more often they fall in together, the more her admiration deepens. But could a gentleman such as he ever fall in love with the governess?


Alice Sharpe has spent her life as the unwanted family member. She is treated like a burden passed around from house to house and eventually becomes a governess for a Duke’s family. People have always wanted things from her and have never valued her. Instead of becoming bitter, Alice likes to make the best out of the situation.

Rupert Gardiner is a gentleman who is staying at the Duke of Montfort’s estate in order to catalog the flora and fauna. He has a love mostly for the insects which turns off many people.

Rupert wants Alice’s help with his project, and he is intrigued by her. Alice just wants to stay in the shadows since she knows how tenuous her position in the household could be.

I loved the children in this story. My heart went out to little Geoffrey. How people could treat another human this way is appalling, especially an innocent little boy.

This was a very sweet story. The epilogue gives you a peek into the next book A Companion for the Count.

A Christmas Promise – Review

by Joanna Barker, Annette Lyon, Jennifer Moore

ISBN-13 : 978-1952611025
Paperback : 304 pages
Publisher : Mirror Press (November 17, 2020)

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THE TWO BELLS OF CHRISTMAS by Joanna Barker
Roland Hastings made a promise to his father: to marry and carry on the family line. But after a year of searching, he has given up hope of finding the right woman. Anticipating a quiet Christmas with his mother, Roland is frustrated to learn she has organized an entire house party to help him find a bride. Cassandra Bell arrives for the house party with her twin sister Vivian, who has set her heart on winning a proposal from the eligible Mr. Hastings. But when Vivian grows ill, she begs Cassie to switch places with her and keep the other conniving ladies away from Mr. Hastings. Cassie reluctantly takes on the role of her poised and proper twin, but things become much more complicated when Roland begins to take an interest in the spunky and unconventional Cassie…

PROMISE ME AGAIN by Annette Lyon
Secret wedding plans. A powerful brother who will go to any lengths to stop them. Can love truly conquer all? Miriam and Jacob have loved each other for as long as they can remember. They want to wed, but Jacob’s older brother Norman forbids it. Deciding to do so secretly without his blessing, Miriam and Jacob make plans to marry on Christmas Eve at a church several hours’ journey away. Despite their efforts, Norman’s long reach finds them. Miriam’s love is tested to the very limit when she is forced into a devil’s bargain with him. She agrees only to spare Jacob pain, but can their hearts find their way back to each other no matter what—or who—stands in their way?

A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY by Jennifer Moore
The war is over, but Lucy Breckenridge’s plans for a perfect Christmas are ruined when Captain James Stewart brings news that her father will not return in time for the holiday. Determined to not miss yet another Christmas with her father, Lucy starts on a journey for London with her trusty maid and manservant. Learning they have gone, James follows, hoping to stop her before she discovers the true reason for Colonel Breckenridge’s absence. Along the way, the two join in local holiday celebrations and learn that families have flaws, friendship requires trust, and Christmas traditions can be created in the most unexpected places.


I love Christmas Regency books, and Timeless Anthologies always brings together such great authors. I highly recommend reading this one!

The Two Bells of Christmas by Joanna Barker

Joanna Barker is one of my favorite authors. Her stories are always interesting, and I love her characters.

Roland Hasting’s mother has decided that it’s time for Roland to marry. She throws a house party which includes approved females for him to choose from. Cassandra is not one of the approved women, but she steps in as a companion for her sister Vivian when their mother gets sick. Unfortunately, Vivian becomes ill and convinces Cassie to pretend to be her so she doesn’t lose her chance with Mr Hastings.

I really liked that Cassie and Roland spent so much time talking and getting to know each other. Everything felt natural with their relationship and not rushed.

I often feel like it’s harder to connect to shorter stories, but I loved this one so much!


Promise Me Again by Annette Lyon

Miriam is the daughter of a sheep farmer and is in love with her wealthier neighbor Jacob. Jacob returns her feelings and wants to marry her, but his controlling brother Norman stands in their way.

Norman is the true definition of a villain, and it is amazing what lengths he will go through to get what he wants.

Some of this story seemed a little far fetched, but I liked that I didn’t know what would happen next.


A Christmas Journey by Jennifer Moore

Lucy Breckenridge dreams about having a real family Christmas at home with her father. With the war finally over, it looks like her dream will finally come true. When the carriage finally arrives, instead of Colonial Breckenridge, it is Captain James Stewart with a message that the Colonial cannot get away from London.

Lucy decides if her father cannot have Christmas at home, she will bring Christmas to her father in London. Captain Stewart feels it is his duty to go along, because he hasn’t told her the entire truth about her father.

I love that Moore always writes characters with emotions that are so raw and real.

I found the Christmas album that told of Christmas traditions throughout the world interesting. There are so many ways people celebrate Christmas, and I love how this journey added even more to the special book.

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.

Spinster Ever After – Review

by Rebecca Connolly

Paperback : 264 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-1952103179
Publisher : Phase Publishing (October 27, 2020)

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When a man loves a spinster…

Charlotte Wright has had enough. All of her friends have now married, leaving her the lone writer of the Spinster Chronicles who is still a true spinster. So she’s decided it is time for her to join the ranks and get married, groom to be determined. She’s an heiress, after all. How difficult could it be to find a husband?

Michael Sandford has been there by Charlotte’s side from the very beginning, loving her all the while even when she turned down his proposal. When she tells him of her plans to marry and marry soon, he begins to make plans himself. He cannot stand by and watch her marry someone else, so he’s decided to distance himself from Charlotte entirely while she hunts for a husband… one that is not him.

And Charlotte doesn’t like that one bit.


Charlotte has always been a darling of society with a bevy of beaux. She has been proposed to multiple times but has never seriously considered anyone.

“I say I will marry, if and only if I can find a love that pales all other loves to persuade me out of what is sure to be a most glorious spinsterhood.”

Michael has been in love with Charlotte for years. Even after a rejected proposal, he continues to follow her around like a lapdog. Only after Charlotte decides to truly pursue finding love does Michael realize that he lost himself while in Charlotte’s shadow.

“Charlotte had never tried to find the love she’d always claimed she was after. She’d simply expected the thing to fall into her lap like so many of the buffoons that had paid homage to her.”

Charlotte is fortunate to have understanding parents who support her and don’t pressure her. However, Charlotte can come off as superficial and spoiled. It was nice to see the developments she made throughout the book while staying true to herself.

Charlotte has the classic case of you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Michael has always been there for her, and she has taken advantage of him. She doesn’t even notice what is right in front of her.

“I always knew if I stayed by you, one day you’d see me.”

This story reminded me of Emma by Jane Austen. There were a lot of parallels, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

The Wright family scenes are so classic. I love how the siblings act with each other and how the parents react.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the epilogue. To see the transition of Michael as a lapdog and Michael at the end of the story was gold.

I don’t want to say goodbye to the Spinsters. I hope we see them again.

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