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.

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.

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Widows of Somerset – Review

by Rebecca Connolly, Jen Geigle Johnson, Heather B. Moore

Paperback : 351 pages
ISBN-10 : 1947152955
ISBN-13 : 978-1947152953
Publisher : Mirror Press (October 6, 2020)

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Rules of the Secret Society of Young Widows:
Rule 1: Be a widow.
Rule 2: Have an impeccable reputation.
Rule 3: Don’t fall in love again.

AN HEIR TO SPARE by Rebecca Connolly
Widowhood has changed much for Anna—Lady Lyndham—but an unconventional heir to the estate was not something she had anticipated. Nor had she anticipated that he would have no intention of forcing her out, although he has every right to. And she certainly did not anticipate finding him handsome, charming, and unfailingly generous. But Ned Richards, the new Lord Lyndham, has a world of surprises in store for her, and not anticipating them will become quite the adventure.

THE WIDOW OF LAVENDER COTTAGE by Jen Geigle Johnson
As a widow, Lillian Hunter has never been in love and plans to never marry again, so the rules of the Secret Society of Young Widows suit her just fine. Her days are spent attempting to transform her newly inherited Lavender Cottage into a livable space until Oliver Wentworth shows up, asking for her late husband. Anxious to establish himself as a landed gentry in Somerset, Oliver is none too pleased to discover that a widow lives alone in a tiny run down cottage bordering his new property. The fact that she’s young and attractive only adds frustration to his sense of responsibility over her. And confound her, she challenges his every attempt to help manage her affairs.


A PROMISE FORGOTTEN by Heather B. Moore
Charlotte Ashford never thought she’d marry a vicar, and she never thought she’d find herself widowed with a young child to care for on her own. She certainly never thought she’d return to Somerset to live with her mother again, and Charlotte never thought she’d see him again. But Lord Wilshore has never forgotten her, and he has never forgotten their promise made long ago. Charlotte would love nothing more than for Lord Wilshore to forgive her, but too much heartache and too much time might make that impossible. Friendship is all she can hope for, but that hope may be dashed as well. 


I love how the Timeless collections always have such great authors. The theme this time was young widows who all joined a society that had to follow certain rules. One of those rules was not to let falling in love rule over your mind.

An Heir to Spare by Rebecca Connolly

I’m a fan of Rebecca Connolly, and this was a cute story. Anna was married to a man who was entirely apathetic. She felt like she lost her identity during that marriage and has no desire to marry again.

Ned inherits from the late Lord Lyndham. He has lived as a clergyman the last few years and is very down to earth. He also loves to get his hands dirty and help his neighbors.

The Widow of Lavender Cottage by Jen Geigle Johnson

Lillian was married off to a much older man and finds herself widowed and the owner of a run down house. She is loving her independent life and never wants to lose it.

When Oliver realizes his dream of becoming a property owner, he feels obligated to take care of the widow next door. What starts as feeling protective of the young widow quickly turns to more.

In other stories I have often seen widows described as very needy and weak or overly free with their favors. It was nice to see Lillian be such a different character. She was very lucky that she was left provisions to survive, but she was also a character who wanted to thrive. She wanted to learn everything she could and even step in and do things herself.

Both characters were very different from most people of their social standings.

A Promise Forgotten by Heather B. Moore

This story had so many things I liked in it. I always love when characters knew each other from the past and then come together again. This is especially true in novellas, because they don’t fall in love too fast. I also loved the inclusion of little Emily. I felt connected to these characters right away. They both had gone through so much, and I wanted to see their happy ending.

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.

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Blog Tour and Review: A Foreign Crown

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by Jen Geigle Johnson

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc. (August 3, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524413666
ISBN-13: 978-1524413668

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Following a devastating series of misfortunes, Lady Aribella Bardsley has bravely shouldered the responsibilities of her household. But just as the bleakness of her situation threatens to overwhelm her, a summons arrives from the Queen with a providential offer: Aribella’s presence is requested as a lady-in-waiting at the palace.

Prince Layton Wilhelm’s family has clung to their neutrality in the war for far too long. As the youngest of the King of Oldenburg’s eight sons, Layton is determined to prove his worth and is unwilling to turn a blind eye to Napoleon’s encroaching privateers. When Layton embarks on a journey to England, it is for one purpose: to petition the British navy for aid. But when he becomes acquainted with the lovely Lady Aribella, he cannot deny their powerful connection. Amid the intrigues and schemes within the walls of the palace, Layton and Aribella know a future together is impossible—but torn between loyalty and love, will they risk everything to follow their hearts?


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Lady Aribella Bardsley and Prince Layton Wilhelm of Oldenburg are often thrown together at the Palace. Lady Aribella knows that the Queen wants her daughter to marry Prince Layton. As the Queen’s lady in waiting, she must always follow orders. Aribella and Layton must decide whether their hearts or duty will win out in the end.

I hadn’t known much about English ladies in waiting or their court in general and found so much of this fascinating. People often look at royalty and think they just live a life of luxury (Prince George certainly did) but this book will feel like a behind the scenes raw look into their real lives.

Aribella and Layton seemed a little over infatuated with each other upon first meeting, and their relationship came off as superficial. While this can be realistic, it is not my preference. I did like them together once they got to know each other.

Jen Geigle Johnson’s books are known to have a lot of rich historical information. While this is a fictional story, a number of the characters were based on the real royal family. I knew about some of their situations going into the story, but seeing the types of things they had to go through made them even more real to me.

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