About the Book
Book Title: A Tale of Two Hearts
Author: Michelle Griep
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: September 1, 2018
Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life. She saves every penny to attend a finishing school, dreaming of the day she’ll become a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.
William is a gentleman’s son, a charming rogue but penniless. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his puritanical cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.
William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t as she comes to love the old man. And when the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.
Can two hearts survive such a deception?
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About the Author
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Captured Bride,The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.
Guest Post from Michelle
VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS FOODS
So, it’s September, and you know what that means? It’s back to school. Pumpkin spiced everything is just around the corner. And it’s nearly time for cardigans and colored leaves. But besides all these autumn staples, it’s also time to start thinking about Christmas, because it will be here before you know it. How about this year you plan ahead to serve some traditional Victorian food?
In my newest release, A Tale of Two Hearts, the heroine’s father is known for his annual oyster stew that he serves on Christmas Eve. Here’s a bit of the background on that tasty soup.
Victorian Oyster Stew
Oysters have been savored in Britain since the days of the Romans. By Victorian times, industrialization cheapened oysters to the point of them becoming a staple of the poor man’s diet and were a frequent fare served in public houses. This, however, depleted their abundance, and by the mid 1800’s, the natural oyster beds became exhausted, making it harder to find good oysters. While other foods were served as well on Christmas Eve, oyster stew was as common as goose or turkey.
Another Victorian favorite that goes great on a crisp evening is good ol’ hot chocolate, though in Dickens’ England, it would’ve been called something else.
What we now call cocoa or hot chocolate was called drinking chocolate in the mid 1800s. This beverage was a favorite among Victorian ladies. You can find recipes for it even from the Regency era (early 1800s) and here is one for you to make at home.
And last, but not least, who hasn’t heard of Christmas pudding? To our American ears, that sounds like a tasty dish that you’d eat with a spoon and slap a little whipped cream on top. Actually, it’s more like a fruit cake.
Christmas pudding is quite a production, one that begins well before Christmas Day. In fact, it begins on Stir-Up Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent (which is five weeks before Christmas). This is why when Mina, the heroine in A Tale of Two Hearts, returns home from dinner at Uncle Barlow’s, and though it’s not yet Christmas, she sees the pudding moulds on the kitchen table.
If these tastes and the accompanying smells still aren’t quite enough to get you in the Christmas spirit, then snatch yourself up a copy of the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series. A Tale of Two Hearts is sure to get you in the mood.
Michelle Griep is one of my favorite Christian Fiction authors. Her writing is always good and well researched, and her characters are so personable. I always look forward to what she has in store next for her readers. A Tale of Two Hearts, book 2 in her Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series, is such a fun story! I was thoroughly engaged in every page, and I was rooting for Will and Mina the entire time. I am sad my time with these characters is over.
I adore Mina’s character. Mina loves to read — so much so her head is firmly set in the pages of her beloved books, and she one day dreams of falling in love with a hero of novel proportions who will whisk her away from her humdrum, weary life. Mina works with her father who is an Innkeeper. It is there at the inn that she meets William Barlow, the man she believes is the hero of her dreams. Will is charming, gentlemanly, and handsome. He can get Mina to crack a smile and blush just with a single look and wink. One day, Will offers Mina an offer she can’t refuse — be his pretend bride in order to help him gain his inheritance. What could possibly go wrong?! Not only will she get to experience life as the upper crust do, but she will also get to spend more time with Will.
As Mina gets deeper and deeper into Will’s world, she begins to realize that perhaps the life God gave her is the best life for her. Mina concludes that “pretty dresses and dining in fine establishments doesn’t necessarily bring significance. Significance comes in caring — really caring — for those around us.” I enjoyed watching Mina’s character grow over the course of this fun story. I love how Mina gradually learns to be content with whom she is and the life God has blessed her with. It’s a really great reminder for me to be grateful for my life exactly as it is because GOD has me exactly where He wants me to be. When I get tired or bored or annoyed with my life, or when I start to think that others have it better, I need to remember that the grass is not always greener in someone else’s yard just as Mina does in this really sweet story.
Overall, I have very much enjoyed my time with this book. A Tale of Two Hearts is a highly engaging page turner that had me smiling the entire time. This delightful story made my heart very happy. If you are looking for a fun, fast-paced story with timely lessons and a sweet romance, then A Tale of Two Hearts is definitely the book for you.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click the link below to enter.
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