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.

The Gentleman and the Thief – Review

by Sarah M. Eden

ISBN-10 : 1629727903
Paperback : 368 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-1629727905
Publisher : Shadow Mountain (November 3, 2020)

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A gentleman scribes penny dreadful novels by night and falls in love with a woman who is a music teacher by day—and a thief at night.

LONDON 1865

From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he’s smitten. Even though he’s from a wealthy, established family and she isn’t, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.

Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father’s successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the “Phantom Fox.” She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.

When Hollis’s brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.

When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?


The Gentleman and the Thief is the second in the series, and I suggest reading The Lady and the Highwayman first so you can learn more about the Dread Penny Society. I think if people start with this book, they might get confused about some things.

The format of the book is the same as the last one. You have chapters from the viewpoints of the main characters, but you also have excerpts from their Penny Dreadfuls. I really enjoyed the cute ghost story that Hollis wrote.

Though based on historical things like the time period and the dreadfuls, Eden makes this story seem fresh and unique.

This book is Ana Newport and Hollis Darby’s story, however, I loved that we got to see Fletcher and Elizabeth from the first book.

The Gentleman and the Thief feels more about the mystery and the Dread Penny Society than the romance between Ana and Hollis. While I enjoyed the story, I wish Ana and Hollis had spent more time together, and that their relationship was more developed.

There will be things that resolve in this book, but other mysteries will continue in the next book in the series. I’m looking forward to reading it!

The Love Note – Review

by Joanna Davidson Politano

Paperback : 400 pages
ISBN-10 : 0800736893
ISBN-13 : 978-0800736897
Publisher : Revell (October 20, 2020)

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A forgotten letter. A secret love. A vast estate.
Can one determined woman put the pieces together?

Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings–mostly negative ones–about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa’s search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words. 

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.


The Love Note is a book packed with mysteries and secrets. The lost letter weaves its way through a family, and it shows you just how powerful words can be.

The majority of the story is told as first person from the perspective of Willa, the doctor’s daughter, who dreams of being a doctor herself. However, other chapters are written as third person and focus on other characters. There are a lot of characters in this story and instead of being confusing, it brings more to the story and makes it richer.

I found myself connecting to so many characters and wanting to know what would happen to them. Nothing in this story is predictable, and it will keep you wanting to read more.

Willa Duvall had woven herself into his life as thoroughly as a golden thread running through a tapestry, never to be removed without a thorough unraveling.

The Kissing Tree – Review

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Inn for a Surprise by Karen Witemeyer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

A Haunting at Havenwood (Seasons of Change) – Review

by Sally Britton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Blog Tour and Review: Forget Me Not (The Gents Book #1)

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by Sarah M. Eden

Paperback : 256 pages
ISBN-10 : 1524413356
ISBN-13 : 978-1524413354
Publisher : Covenant Communications (September 7, 2020)
Language: English

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A Georgian Romance

Nottinghamshire, 1785

After losing too many of his friends and family to early deaths, Lucas vowed to live life to the fullest. And after traversing the world, he has returned from his adventures to find his family and home as he left them-except for Julia. The little girl he left behind has blossomed into a captivating lady, a lady who makes it clear she despises him. With little hope of reconciliation, the former friends are blindsided when their parents make a shocking announcement. Lucas and Julia have been betrothed without their knowledge and are to marry immediately. Now Lucas must rely on the help of his closest friends to win the heart of a lady who loathes him-a lady he s coming to love more deeply every day.


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Coming into this story I already had a feeling I would love it because of how much I love the stories of their children.

Those who have read the Jonquil’s books and the Lancaster’s will love seeing some beloved characters in this book. I love little Adam so much! However, this is a standalone book and the start of a new series. If you have not read the other books, there will be something special with coming into the story fresh not knowing anything that will happen in the future.

Looking at this story on its own, I always love the trope when people are friends as children and then meet up again as adults and fall in love. This book even throws in a twist to that.

Sarah Eden books are so hard to put down. The characters always have so much depth and they feel so real, the storylines pull you in, and there is always so much emotion you feel while reading her stories.

This time period is not one I read as often and I enjoyed hearing about all the fashions. I’m really glad that a number of them went out of style, like the powdered hair and wigs, and the structure in the dresses.

I cannot say enough about how much I love Sarah Eden’s books. Her stories keep you always wanting more of them and you get characters you will never forget.

Favorite quotes:

“You are building a new life; don’t forget to live it.”

“It didn’t do to believe in people. All she received in return for her faith in them was the echoing silence of empty corridors, days on end with her own loneliness, an unyielding back turned on her grief and pain.”

“She had very little control over her own life. But she was not helpless or voiceless. She would find a means of being her own defender”

“Life is meant to be lived, and that is best accomplished surrounded by people who make that life full.”

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Blog Tour and Review: A Foreign Crown

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foreign

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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