About the Book
Book: Georgana’s Secret
Author: Arlem Hawks
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Release Date: January 12, 2021
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.
About the Author
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.
Praise for Georgana’s Secret
Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love.”— Booklist, starred review
“Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton’s charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances.”— Publishers Weekly
Arlem Hawks wove a magnificent tale of adventure and deception and delivered a happy ever after that was as unconventional as the rest of the story. With so many stories of romance out there, it is refreshing when one comes along that is very different than the stories that I am used to. A little adventure always livens things up fabulously.”— Emily Flynn, Reading with Emily“
“This tale felt sweepingly cinematic at times and was both action-packed and heart-wrenching with an immersive narrative.”— Katie Jackson, RegencyProofreading.com
Click HERE to read my thoughts on this excellent story!
Georgana sat at one of the windows, letting the light of the full moon flood the paper in her lap. The ship’s creaking seemed louder in the stillness of night, interrupting her father’s quiet snores. He’d drawn the curtains around his hanging cot to block out the soft light. It was a rare moment of solitude.
She skimmed her pencil across the blank page, outlining the crest of a wave.
Grandmother had never let her draw the sea. Or people. She said it kept them wallowing in their past. Now Georgana drew only the sea. Wave after wave washed over pages in her sketchbook. Something about the sea compelled her to draw it night after night. Was it the delicate foam that adorned a gentle crest, or the strength of a surge as it crashed against the hull? The sea could be whatever it wanted. It never had to ask permission.
She sketched so many pictures, she’d started discarding them out the window when her father wasn’t looking. The drawings weren’t particularly beautiful, so it wasn’t a loss to watch them melt into the sea. Grandmother had never let her forget what a poor artist she was, and Georgana still heard the woman’s critiques hissing in her ear as she drew.
Georgana set down her pencil and placed her hand against a cool windowpane. Moonlight skipped across the ocean’s black surface. Lanterns, tiny dots poking through the darkness, twinkled to mark the position of the merchant ships.
A laugh drifted down from the quarterdeck, disrupting the quiet. Georgana grasped the handle on the window and cracked it open. The laugh sounded too jovial for Jarvis and too deep to be Moyle. Must be Lieutenant Peyton.
She listened as she continued her drawing. She couldn’t make out words, but the cheerful hum of conversation soothed her.
The lieutenant hadn’t stopped giving her attention, something Fitz and the other ship’s boys added to their list of grievances against her. Though they kept quiet in his presence, they harassed her more frequently now. She rubbed her knee, still sore from the confrontation a week ago. Lieutenant Peyton was harming more than helping, but he didn’t see that. Just like her father hadn’t.
Georgana squeezed her eyes shut and tugged at the back of her hair. Father had done what he thought was best, stealing her away to be a cabin boy. On board, Grandmother couldn’t reach her. She couldn’t even find her.
Flashes of memory shot through Georgana’s mind. Blood on her hands. Tears rushing from her swollen eyes. Grandmother standing over her with the poker.
The scar running across her palm had faded, but a little ridge that ran from wrist to fingertip still pressed against her pencil as she drew. Her grandmother’s anger over Georgana’s mourning for her mother had come to a blazing head that night. Perhaps Georgana’s display of emotions had run her patience too thin. The beating that ensued had been the worst of Georgana’s life.
And Papa, nearly mad with grief, stole her away that very night. They told Grandmother she’d gone to a school in York. A lie. In the heat of her pain and his outrage, the deception had seemed the best plan. With Georgana on board, Papa would know she was safe.
But sailing the seas with her father had not been what she’d imagined. Though she insisted he not fret his decision, after three years, she worried as much as he did of the damage to her reputation should she be discovered. Grandmother might have let her out in Society by now. She could be married and settled far away from the woman. Many girls were by eighteen.
Lieutenant Peyton laughed again, and Georgana leaned in toward the window. Her ear rested against the crack, reaching for the carefree joy of the sound. For all the trouble he was causing, she wasn’t sorry he’d joined the crew, if only because of the sound of his laughter and his easy smile.
Her eyelids grew heavy, and her head sank against the windowsill. She dozed, ears filled with the gentle lapping of waves and the new lieutenant’s pleasant voice.
Excerpt taken from Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks, pages 23-25.
Join the virtual blog tour of GEORGANA’S SECRET (Proper Romance Regency), Arlem Hawks’ highly acclaimed debut historical romance novel January 11 – February 14, 2021. Over forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard a Royal Naval ship.
Georgana’s Secret — A PROPER ROMANCE BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
Jan 11 My Jane Austen Book Club Excerpt
Jan 11 Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog Review
Jan 12 Wishful Endings Review
Jan 12 Lu Reviews Books Review
Jan 13 Lady with a Quill Review
Jan 13 Timeless Novels Review
Jan 14 Reading is My Superpower Review
Jan 14 The Bibliophile Files Review
Jan 15 Randi Loves 2 Read Review
Jan 16 The Christian Fiction Girl Excerpt
Jan 17 Nurse Bookie Review
Jan 18 The Silver Petticoat Review Review
Jan 18 Heidi Reads Review
Jan 19 Bookfoolery Review
Jan 20 Captivated Reading Review
Jan 21 Greenish Bookshelf Review
Jan 21 Bookworm Lisa Review
Jan 22 Among the Reads Review
Jan 23 Gwedalyn’s Books Review
Jan 24 My Bookish Bliss Review
Jan 25 Wishful Endings Excerpt
Jan 25 Christian Chick’s Thoughts Review
Jan 26 Relz Reviewz Review
Jan 27 The Lit Bitch Review
Jan 28 Reading with Emily Review
Jan 29 Books, Teacups & Reviews Review
Jan 30 A Darn Good Read Review
Jan 31 From Pemberley to Milton Spotlight
Jan 31 Impressions in Ink Review
Feb 01 Austenesque Reviews Review
Feb 02 Laura’s Reviews Review
Feb 03 Literary Time Out Review
Feb 04 Chicks, Rogues & Scandals Excerpt
Feb 05 The Bluestocking Review
Feb 05 Library of Clean Reads Review
Feb 06 The Caffeinated Bibliophile Spotlight
Feb 07 So Little Time… Spotlight
Feb 08 The Readathon Review
Feb 09 The Book Diva Reads Excerpt
Feb 09 Books and Socks Rock Review
Feb 10 Our Book Confessions Review
Feb 10 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Spotlight
Feb 11 Rosanne E. Lortz Review
Feb 11 Jorie Loves a Story Review
Feb 12 Fire & Ice Excerpt
Feb 13 Cup of Tea with that Book, Please Review
Feb 14 Book Confessions of an Ex-ballerina Review