Blog Tour and Review: The Redgrave Murders

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by A. L. Sowards

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (July 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524409456
ISBN-13: 978-1524409456

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When her father is murdered, Evie must prove her boyfriend innocent and find the real criminal before he kills again.
Loss is inevitable, as Evie Hampton knows all too well. But despite losing her mother to cancer and her older brother to a war, she knows she’s one of the lucky ones. After all, she still has her father, a distinguished professor of medieval history. And she has Gary Redhawk, the man she loves despite the emotional scars he carries from the Second World War–and despite her father’s opposition to their relationship.

When Evie’s car suddenly careens off the road, she chalks it up to poor maintenance or sheer bad luck making another appearance in her life. Little does she know a host of hardships is just beginning–the car was her father’s, and the brake lines were deliberately cut. Someone wants them dead–but why? All fingers point to Gary, a man with a troubled past and no solid alibi, but Evie is unwilling to believe he’s involved. Determined to uncover the truth, she begins to piece together a startling picture of deception and vice. But as she closes in on the truth, it is clear that someone is determined to silence her–and the next attempt on her life may be a deadly success.


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The Redgrave Murders is listed as a romance and suspense story which peaked my interest. I read almost all historical fiction, but haven’t read a lot from this time period.

Knowing the summary of the book, the first chapter did not immediately draw me in, but I became interested soon after. I am not used to stories being written in the first person, and I think it threw me off a little at first.

While the story is about the solving of murders, the characters all seem realistic and raw. My favorite character was Gary Redhawk.

Gary makes you immediately feel protective of him. Being in the Indian reform school, and then being a POW must have really been traumatic for him. Of course, this would not make him innocent of the issues that arise against him, but there is something that seems innocent and vulnerable about him from the very beginning. You slowly get to learn more about his history, and I felt even more of a connection to him.

Gary felt that he was broken after the war. He still had nightmares every night, and he worried about hurting others. My favorite scenes were when Evie was trying to break down Gary’s walls and show him he could still be loved. Everyone is broken. We are just broken in different ways.

Since the book is written in first person, I felt that I didn’t learn as much about Evie Hampton’s past. The letters from her brother at the beginning of each chapter helped some.

Evie’s father is a history professor, and I loved hearing about the decor of their house. My favorite was the suit of arms that they named. I would love to know what happened to it.

There are a lot of intense issues in this book. PTSD is a major theme. There is also a minor character who is a pedophile and continues to be non-repentant. The PTSD was especially interesting to me. During this time, many men returning from war were written off as having psychological issues if they displayed any symptoms at all. Yet there was no real help for them.

The main characters are in an interracial relationship which causes a lot of conflict with others. Gary has been through so much, and I loved the lighthearted comment he made after someone made a derogatory comment about him.

I liked the pace of the book. There were a lot of things happening, but it didn’t feel rushed. I also liked that things didn’t feel predictable. It felt like I was trying to solve the case right alongside Evie.

If you enjoy an excellent blend of romance, action and mystery, be sure to checkout The Redgrave Murders.

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


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By Hook or By Rook (London League #4) – Review

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by Rebecca Connolly

Series: London League, Book 4
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Phase Publishing (July 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1943048843
ISBN-13: 978-1943048847

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The most dangerous journeys…

Jeremy Pratt is a spy for the Crown, and one of the best. He had been in more dangerous situations than he can admit, and has always come out unscathed. But escorting his colleague’s cousin home to her family, even in disguise, just might be beyond his skills, and the temptation beyond his ability to withstand.

May be ones of the heart…

Helen Dalton is convinced there is more to this man escorting her than meets the eye, and something familiar about him, as well. There is only one man in the world who looks at her so intensely, banters with her so easily, and makes her blush so furiously. And when he manages a daring and heroic rescue, she wonders if she ever knew him at all.


By Hook or By Rook is the newest installment in the London League series by Rebecca Connolly. I love this series! There is a thread that continues through every book in the series, but the book can be read as a stand-alone.

Jeremy Pratt (Rook) has been interested in Helen Dalton for over a year, but it has never gone beyond some casual flirting in the ballrooms. When Jeremy is asked to protect Helen from a suspected attack during a journey to her brother, he reluctantly agrees.

Rook and Helen have a unique relationship with the fun bantering, but they also have sweet moments. During the journey, Helen threatens to kick Jeremy. In a moment of annoyance, he tells her that he will kick her back. This threat eventually turns into sweet moments with them gently kicking each other often.

“His smile, though fleeting, soothed her heart, and she hesitantly kicked his shin. His eyes remained on hers, his throat worked in a swallow, and then, very faintly, he tapped his foot against hers.”

I also loved the scene with them holding hands under the door.

“A soft sound below her caught her attention and she looked down.

The tips of a few fingers had slid under the door, resting against the floor and seeming to hold a very faint tremor in them.

Helen stared at them, still grinning, only now her eyes began to prickle with tender tears. She sniffed them back, then sighed as she laid her fingers atop his, gasping quietly when they curled against hers.

An accompanying almost gasp echoed from the other side of the door.”

Despite Jeremy and Helen finding love, things do not tie up so neatly. Rook has a dilemma of leaving the woman he loves in order to protect her.

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

While this book focuses on Rook, there is quite a bit of my favorite series character Gent in it. His book is the first in the series, The Lady and the Gent. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest reading it.

It’s hard enough to wait between books in this series, but waiting after the end of this book might be like going through Rook’s torture.

Underestimating Miss Cecilia (Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley #2) – Review

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by Carolyn Miller

Series: Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley (Book 2)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: KREGE (July 23, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0825445906
ISBN-13: 978-0825445903

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Shy, sweet Cecilia Hatherleigh has always been in love with Edward Amherst, the boy next door. Yet he’s never seen her as anything but the quiet girl in the background as he flirts with the other vivacious women of the ton.

When a near tragedy brings Edward’s attention to his family duties, this prodigal son decides he needs to settle down with a proper wife. Cecilia hopes to convince him to choose her—but God may want her to forget the wayward nobleman and put her future in His hands alone.

These two try to find their way toward happiness, but prejudice, political riots, and the changing face of England’s societal structures begin to block them at every turn. Can their struggles turn to triumph—or will their paths permanently diverge?


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Carolyn Miller brings us a story about what happens when the Prodigal Son comes home.

Cecilia Hatherleigh has always held a candle for Edward who not only does not love her, but has said some unkind things about her.

Before dedicating his life to God, Edward Amherst lived a sinful life. He is now trying to turn his life around and redeem his past by using his background in law to help gypsies, the Irish, and orphans.

Cecy is also trying to help those that need it by writing anonymously to the papers. She is having a hard time living with her non-believing parents who belittle her faith.

Having two sisters with strong personalities, Cecy is often talked over and has chosen instead to remain quiet, which often means she is overlooked.

She has never liked what many women talk about in those days like fashion and the weather. Women were expected to be more simple, and bluestockings were looked down on. Cecy wanted to not only know about important news, but she wanted to help people.

I really appreciated the research the author did in learning of the historical events during this conflicted time period and weaving them into the story. I had not known a lot of the gypsy history during this time or the pagan rituals.

Those who enjoyed The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd are sure to love Underestimating Miss Cecilia. They are both very eye-opening into the working man’s life during this time period.

Ned and Cecy grew up right next to each other, yet they really didn’t know one another. While it is very realistic, I wish that it hadn’t taken jealousy for Ned to finally notice Cecy. I also found that the part with Ned and Cecy after the major event in the book seemed rushed.

I have often read the story of the prodigal son in the Bible and wondered what happened to everyone after his return. Underestimating Miss Cecilia is a very interesting take on the concept.

This is the second book in the Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley series, however, it can easily be read as a standalone. I am looking forward to youngest sister Verity’s story next in Misleading Miss Verity.

The Heart of a Vicar (The Jonquil Brothers #6) – Review

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by Sarah M. Eden

Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications (June 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524408611
ISBN-13: 978-1524408619

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Young love is all too fleeting, as Harold Jonquil painfully discovered years ago when Sarah Sarvol, the niece of a neighboring landowner, captured his heart. After an idyllic few weeks in the throes of blossoming love, reality intervened. They could have no future. Following their disastrous parting, Harold attempted to push aside thoughts of love and regret, but Sarah has never left his heart. Now, years later, he has achieved his lifelong aspiration of becoming the local vicar. However, the role proves more difficult than he imagined. He feels hollow and uninspired—until the most important person in his past returns, challenging him as no one ever has.

When Sarah’s ailing uncle summons her back to the family estate in England, there is only one person from her past she is reluctant to see again: Harold Jonquil, the only man who has ever claimed her heart. But when she comes face-to-face with her former beau, she hardly recognizes the aloof and dull man before her. She is determined to help Harold rediscover the passion he once felt toward his chosen profession. Soon, despite their exasperation with each other, they cannot deny the stirring of feelings long buried—but is it too late for second chances?


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In true Sarah M. Eden fashion, we have complex characters that we really care about (how could we not love the Jonquils!) and beautiful moments as well as funny ones. This book has everything you could ask for.

Sarah Sarvol has left America and returned with her brother Scott to England. Having spent time in the area as a child, she is returning to her uncle’s house so her brother can learn his duties as the heir. Her uncle has no use for females and considers her a poor relation. She is forced to live in the governess quarters and not socialize with others. Even through her trials, Sarah believes you make your own happiness and is a very outgoing and optimistic person.

Harold Jonquil has spent his life knowing that he would be a vicar, and he has been ridiculed by his brothers for it. They love calling him “Holy Harry” and using the term pious as an insult.

Harold has always looked up to his father and considered him exemplary. His goal is to emulate him and follow his advice. “Act well your part; there all the honor lies.” He believes that this means he must always be serious and hide all of his “strange” tendencies like climbing things like a monkey and singing songs about drinking.

Harold and Sarah were once sweet on each other until something happened that left them both heartbroken; and Harold soaking wet. Years later they are reunited and drawn together by a challenge.

I have been looking forward to reading Harold’s story. I knew there had to be a reason for him being so serious and proper all the time. This was not the story I expected. While the reasons behind Harold’s mask were similar to what I anticipated, I never expected the real Harold hiding underneath! He has some unusual and really fun quirks, and I loved seeing his relationship with Sarah. There is such a sweet tenderness with those two that is like calm in all the chaos.

Harold is so lonely and vulnerable. He is an introvert and has problems socializing with others. His belief of how the perfect vicar is to behave causes him to be even further separated from people, and he keeps his true self hidden. He is such a fun person when he is in personal settings and allowed to be himself. I loved his relationship with his housekeeper.

None of the Jonquil relationships are easy. They deeply love each other and grow closer together as they go through emotional and even heartbreaking times.

The Heart of a Vicar is the sixth book in the The Jonquil Brothers Series. So many beloved characters from previous books come back and even play large roles in the story. Philip and Sorrel have been such a special couple to me since the first book, and it is heartbreaking to see what they have to go through. Layton, another one of my favorite characters from a previous book, is still going through a lot of emotional turmoil as is his daughter. Just as in real life, things do not always wrap up easily. While this book can be read as a standalone, I love how many story-lines continue with previous characters. This book makes me want to binge read this entire series again.

More Than Words Can Say (Patchwork Family #2) – Review

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by Karen Witemeyer

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 4, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764232193
ISBN-13: 978-0764232190

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After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn’t the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?


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In More Than Words Can Say, Karen Witemeyer brings us a story about forgiveness.  We need to bring it to God,  forgive others, and forgive ourselves.  As Zach stated, we also need to make sure we are not going in circles by keeping one foot in the past. Furthermore, it is a story about learning to always put God first in our life.

Zacharias Hamilton grew up as an orphan and at thirteen made a patchwork family with fellow orphans Evangeline and Seth. After Evangeline and Seth each find their spouses, Zach sets out on his own.  Zach is known to communicate in nods and grunts and never share his emotions.   However, he is an incredible listener, and when he knows that someone is upset he wants to talk it out before the sun goes down.  I love how he wants to make the most of his marriage and how fiercely protective he is of his family. Zach being terrified of crying women is hilarious. Though it’s sweet that he actually stays to talk even when he is scared.

Abigail Kemp grew up learning to be a baker under her father.  After his death, the city council informs her that only a man is allowed to own a business. She is afraid of someone else having control over her bakery, so she looks for a marriage of convenience.

Abigail works hard, and she doesn’t complain. She is very practical and just does what needs to be done. While she may have a negative thought about someone, she tries to see the best in them.

Zach is good for Abigail. While Abby is a hard worker, she really lacks self confidence. Zach helps her really she who she is on the inside and out.

As a Martha myself,  I found the biblical talk on Martha very interesting. While God’s word must always come first, practicality is very important.

While Zach and Abby are confessing their pasts, there is also a powerful speech about not living life as a hypocrite.

Overall, I enjoyed the book.  However, while Zach’s take on the “benefits” conversation was lighthearted and funny, there was too much talk about the physical side of marriage.  There were thoughts by both characters that were repeated too often.

The cover is cute with some traditional Witemeyer quirkiness to it, but the cover is missing a lot of Abigail’s correct characteristics.

More Than Words Can Say is the sequel to Evangeline Hamilton’s story in More Than Meets the Eye. I highly suggest reading them in order to know more about Zach’s history. And the prologue in More Than Meets the Eye is not to be missed!

Rescuing Lord Inglewood (Inglewood #1) – Review

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by Sally Britton

File Size: 1636 KB
Print Length: 329 pages
Publication Date: May 23, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07PP7BLXH

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All he wants is someone he can trust. All she wants is to belong. But when compromising circumstances force them together, do they have a chance at finding love?

Silas Riley, Earl of Inglewood, is known among his peers in Parliament as the man made of stone. As a wealthy peer, there are few he trusts with his friendship. He guards his heart and his honor with vigilance, and when an accident nearly takes his life, he’s faced with a situation which threatens his standing in society.

Growing up in the shadow of her older brother, Esther Fox’s acceptance in his circle has been indifferent at best. So when she ends up in a compromising situation as she saves the life of her brother’s dearest friend, the Earl of Inglewood, she is forced to marry him to save her own reputation. Once again, she finds herself accepted only because of the situation, and not because she is truly wanted.

Neither are prepared for a loss which further complicates their new relationship. With such a difficult beginning, can they ever hope to understand one another, let alone find love?


This is one of those can’t put down – read in one day – kind of books!

Esther was the unwanted little sister who always tried to follow her brother and his friends around. After gossip surrounding her reputation, she is forced to marry one of those friends but still feels like the unwanted little sister.

Silas is the stone faced Earl who tries to hide his emotions and only cares about doing his duty.  He does a lot of things because he feels he is protecting someone, yet he never explains his reasons. As an Earl, he is also used to giving commands and expects to be obeyed.

Silas and Esther both make a lot of mistakes along the way, and they don’t do a great job of communicating with each other. They both have very real feelings and emotions, and I enjoyed seeing them learn more about each other.

There were some predicable things in the book which I will not spoil, but it was still a great book.

I am fairly new to the author Sally Britton. I found that I really liked her complex characters and her style of writing. I look forward to reading more from her.

Grace Everly’s story is next. Discovering Grace comes out in August, and I already have it on preorder. 🙂

Daisies and Devotion (Mayfield Family #2) – Review

daisiescover by Josi S. Kilpack

Series: Mayfield Family (Book 2)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (May 14, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629725528
ISBN-13: 978-1629725529

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Timothy Mayfield is ready to marry for love, but, since his personal finances are thinner than he’d like, he knows he’ll also need to find a wife with wealth. After receiving an unexpected inheritance, Timothy’s circumstances change, and he is free to pursue his “perfect woman”—one with blonde hair, blue eyes, a light laugh, arched eyebrows, elegant fingers, and a dazzling smile, among nearly twenty other characteristics.

Maryann Morrington doesn’t match anything on Timothy’s list—except for wealth. An heiress in her own right, she is tired of men pursuing her only for her money. But at nearly twenty-two years old, and not a particularly stunning beauty, she can’t be as picky as her friend Timothy is.

The two friends end up playing matchmaker for each other. Timothy will find a decent gentleman for Maryann, and Maryann will prove to Timothy that his “perfect woman” doesn’t exist.

Until Miss Shaw comes to London.

Now, with Timothy’s heart captivated by the blonde, blue-eyed beauty, Maryann must decide if she should risk her heart and reveal her true feelings for her friend, or if she should settle for someone else. It’s an up-and-down game of “he loves me, he loves me not” with both hearts and friendship on the line.


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I found myself not liking Timothy at first. He is shallow and clueless and hurts people; though unintentionally. But he is also so real. He has a lot to learn and I enjoyed being on that journey with him.

Maryann is a far more forgiving person than I am, especially when it comes to her potential suitors. While she does not have a chipper personality by nature, she does not hold on to people’s mistakes and truly wants those she loves to be happy. I hurt for Maryann for some of the things that were said to her and the way she was treated.

I liked that this book had a realistic feel. Everything wasn’t all tied up in a neat bow. People had real and raw feelings and there were consequences to them.

Timothy and Maryann’s relationship reminded me of a quote from Jane Austen’s Emma

“Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another”

This was the second book in the Mayfield Family series. While we do get to see Peter and Julia again from Promises and Primroses, each book can be read as a standalone.