Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Contemporary Clean Read, RomCom

Meet Me in the Margins (2022)

About the Book

Book: Meet Me in the Margins

Author: Melissa Ferguson

Release Date: February 15, 2022

Genre: Contemporary Romance; RomCom

Savannah Cade is a low-level editor at Pennington Publishing, a prestigious publisher producing only the highest of highbrow titles. And while editing the latest edition of The Anthology of Medieval Didactic Poetry may be her day job, she has two secrets she’s hiding.

One: She’s writing a romance novel.

Two: She’s discovered the Book Nook—a secret room in the publishing house where she finds inspiration for her “lowbrow” hobby.

After leaving her manuscript behind one afternoon, she returns to the nook only to discover someone has written notes in the margins. Savannah’s first response to the criticism is defensive, but events transpire that force her to admit that she needs the help of this shadowy editor after all. As the notes take a turn for the romantic, and as Savannah’s madcap life gets more complicated than ever, she uses the process of elimination to identify her mysterious editor—only to discover that what she truly wants and what she should want just might not be the same. Melissa Ferguson’s latest—a love letter to books, readers, and romance—will leave fans laughing out loud and swooning in the same breath.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson is a seriously fun read. The premise of this story is what drew me to this book — I love the idea of a relationship that blossoms into romance based on secret letters being passed back and forth. Yes, it is Jr. High-esque, but it’s also a great way to get the hero and heroine to be more vulnerable and honest with each other. The anonymity of the notes in the margins of Savannah’s manuscript provides both Will and Savannah a sense of safety to be themselves. There is no pretense to impress anyone, and in this, the relationship is allowed to grow into something a bit more authentic. I also like this book because it made me chuckle … a lot … and I really needed the laughter. Savannah Cade is a great protagonist and I really liked being in her head. What I love the most about Savannah is her ability to go from 0 to crazy in like 3.2 seconds in her thought processes. This is actually where most of my chuckles came from. I feel like Savannah is one of my fictional kindred spirits. I, too, have the unfortunate ability to take my thoughts from sane to spiraling out of control faster than Speedy Gonzalez can run. Another aspect of this story that I appreciated is the fact that this story is all Savannah’s. Yes, there is a great cast of characters — I really love her best friend Lyla and Will is the perfect hero for Savannah — but this story is all about Savannah and her journey to self-discovery, claiming her voice, standing up for what she actually wants, and finding her happily ever after. Meet Me in the Margins is a fun read, but it’s also a subtly empowering one I won’t soon forget.

Meet Me in the Margins is a unique, well-crafted Rom-Com that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. This is a novel I highly recommend, and I highly recommend you add it to your TBR pile today.

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via NetGalley, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Contemporary Clean Read

Jilted (2016)

About the Book

Title: Jilted

Series: Discovered by Love #1

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 19, 2016

Exclusive e-book, free to Carla’s newsletter subscribers! More details on author’s web site.

Three days. Two jaded hearts. One unexpected love.

Bethany Hall is hiding out on a remote private island off the coast of Belize, creating romantic meals for the rich and the privileged. But when her client Derek Moretti’s bride jilts him at the altar, he’s left with a bitter view on love, a $30,000 a week bungalow, and for the first time in his life, nowhere else to be.

After Derek overhears his beautiful personal chef talking about how he dodged a bullet when his bridezilla left him, he begins to think that maybe she’s right. He convinces Bethany to act as his personal tour guide for the remainder of his trip, but neither expects that their purely platonic arrangement could shake their preconceptions about love.

Could Derek have been in the right place at the right time…just with the wrong woman?

Click HERE to visit Carla’s Website for Your Copy of this Novella!

My Thoughts

What a fun and engaging read! I really loved my time reading Jilted by Carla Laureano. The first thing to know about this book is it’s a novella, so it’s a super fast-paced story. The romantic chemistry between Bethany and Derek ignites fairly immediately, but that’s to be expected. It is a novella after all. I have to say the insta-attraction is well written. Sometimes, you really know when you meet the one. And, even though they are reluctant to admit it because they are both love cynics, Bethany and Derek know they’ve met someone different, someone special. Laureano does a great job pacing Bethany and Derek’s meet-cute, their blossoming friendship and attraction, and their inevitable happily ever after. I found their story believable. The issues that Bethany and Derek struggle with in regards to matters of the heart are quite relatable. And, the yummy food and beautiful settings described in this story make me long for a vacation to Belize like yesterday! All in all, Jilted is a really sweet, really enjoyable Contemporary Romance I highly recommend. Head on over to Laureano’s website today to grab your copy of this fun read.

I received a copy of this novella in eBook form from the author, Carla Laureano, via her website in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Historical Fiction, Inspirational

Love and Lavender (2021)

About the Book

Book: Love and Lavender

Author: Josi S. Kilpack

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing

Release Date: November 2, 2021

Hazel Stillman is a woman of rare independence and limited opportunities. Born with a clubbed foot, she was sent away as a child and, knowing her disability means marriage is unlikely, she devoted herself to scholarship and education.

Now working as a teacher in an elite private girls’ school, she is content with the way her story has unfolded. When her uncle Elliott Mayfield presents her with the prospect of a substantial inheritance if she marries, Hazel is offended. What kind of decent man would marry for her money? Besides, she loves her freedom as a professional, respected woman. When she hears rumors of the school possibly being sold, however, she knows she must consider all her options.

Duncan Penhale has a brilliant mind and thrives on order and process. He does not

expect to marry because he likes his solitary life, shared only with his beloved cat. When Elliott Mayfield, his guardian’s brother, presents him with an inheritance if he marries a woman of social standing, Duncan finds it intrusive. However, with the inheritance, he could purchase the building in which he works and run his own firm. It would take an impressive and intellectual woman to understand and love him, quirks and all.

Hazel and Duncan believe they have found a solution to both of their problems: marry one another, receive their inheritances, and then part ways to enjoy their individual paths. But when Uncle Mayfield stipulates that they must live together as husband and wife for one year before receiving their inheritances, Hazel and Duncan reluctantly agree. Over time, their marriage of convenience becomes much more appealing than they had anticipated. At the end of the full year, will they go their separate ways or could an unlikely marriage have found unsuspecting love?

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Advanced Praise

“What a lovely romance. The historical details, the depth of the authentic characters, and the realistic dialogue all contribute to an immersive story. [A] beautiful and inspirational story about loving people just as they are.”— Katie Jackson, Regency Proofreading

“Phenomenal. This book was phenomenal. The very best in the series.”— Lyssa Armstrong, For Where Your Treasure Is

“This love story was unique and such an uncommon take on a marriage of convenience! [S]weet and well worth the wait!”— Ashley Johnson, Bringing Up Books

“Beautifully written, sensitive, poignant addition to the Mayfield Family series.”— Susan K., The Flipped Page

About the Author

Josi S. Kilpack has written more than thirty novels, a cookbook, and several novellas. She is a four-time Whitney award winner, including Best Novel 2015 for “Lord Fenton’s Folly, and has been a Utah Best of State winner for Fiction. Josi loves to bake, sleep, eat, read, travel, and watch TV–none of which she gets to do as much as she would like. She writes contemporary fiction under the pen name Jessica Pack.

Josi has four children and lives in Northern Utah.

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My Thoughts

Love and Lavender by Josi Kilpack is a rare gem. Unique is the best word to describe this lovely story. From the storyline to the characters to the love story itself, I can honestly say I’ve never read a book quite like this one. Hazel is a beautiful woman, but a woman who never believed marriage could be an option. She has spent the majority of her life away from her family — a family who got rid of her because of a deformity. Duncan is not your typical hero. He is not selfless. He is not smooth and savvy. He doesn’t make a girl swoon. But in his own way, he is seriously perfect for Hazel. And, as it turns out (shockingly so to Hazel), Hazel is just the woman Duncan needs. Is this the most passionate of love stories? Nope. Is it a genuine love story? Yep, totally. Love and Lavender is a beautiful illustration of real love — the kind you have to work at every single day. The kind of love that doesn’t seem like love on the surface, but if you take a step back and really examine the relationship it so clearly is authentic. My most favorite aspect of this slow-burn romance is just how different the relationship is between Hazel and Duncan. They are not your typical romantic couple … and I LOVE this! It’s so refreshing to read about a couple who is truly unique. They are both broken people who have some hurts, hurts that have made them a little prickly and different. But hurts that have also made them strong, independent, and capable people. People who are strong enough to be the partners each one needs — even though it takes them some time to realize this fact. I like this story because not only is it one I won’t soon forget, but because I feel I can relate to it. I’ve read a lot of romance stories in my day, and while I always enjoy them, relating to them is sometimes difficult. I’m not rich, stunningly gorgeous, poised, or perfect. I have defects and flaws. I’m definitely not the heroine in a romance novel. And, that’s the cool thing about this novel — neither is Hazel. She’s one of the realest characters I’ve ever read. And so is Duncan.

Love and Lavender is the first novel I’ve read by Josi Kilpack, but it will not be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this story and its characters. I cannot recommend this story enough. If you are in the mood for a high-quality, well-written, engaging Historical Romance that’s truly a unique read, well, then Love and Lavender is the book for you.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishing, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Blog Tour Participants

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Historical Fiction, Inspirational, Spotlight

The Inns of Devonshire (2021): Spotlight Post

About the Book

Book: The Inns of Devonshire: Timeless Regency Collection (Book 18)

Authors: Sally Britton, Annette Lyon, & Deborah M. Hathaway

Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction

Publisher: Mirror Press

Release Date: October 5, 2021

The Seventh Star Inn, by Sally Britton — After years of looking after one another, Susan Baxter and her mother view their neighbors in Totnes as family. When a new landlord inherits the leases on their homes and businesses alike, Susan dreads knowing her world could change at the whim of a stranger. But when she meets Collin Stonecroft and his inquisitive daughter, her feelings shift quickly from cautionary to hopeful. Collin has lived in the confines of London boarding houses all his life, and he’s determined to give his daughter more. They check into the Seventh Star Inn with plans to return to London as soon as possible, but both find Miss Baxter and her local history lessons far too enchanting to leave behind. When Susan learns of Collin’s proposed changes to her beloved neighborhood, will she be able to help him see that some things are perfect the way they are?

The Truth about Mr. Blackmore, by Annette Lyon — Leigh’s life at the Old Grey Inn is drudgery broken by flights of fancy thanks in part to novels by Simon Blackmore. When Mattias McGrady comes to the inn for a fortnight, Leigh captures his attention. A relationship develops, and she dreads the end of his stay, which will mean a return to an unhappy life. An urgent letter to Mattias leads to him inviting Leigh to an event that stands to change both of their lives forever. If all goes well, Leigh will have a life of her choosing after all. But half-truths and lies have a way of complicating matters. When their plans go awry, Leigh loses her reputation and Mattias almost surely loses his career. Can either of them find happiness?

The Coachman’s Choice, by Deborah M. Hathaway — Ever-reliable Mary Thorne has helped her widowed mother run The Golden Mermaid Inn for years. She spends her days greeting guests, ensuring the inn runs smoothly—and dodging flirtatious remarks from passing coachmen. But she’s far too busy to pay any attention to such men, even the enticingly attractive Mr. Northcott. Known far and wide for his horsemanship, punctuality, and dallying reputation, Robert Northcott relishes his life as a coachman, especially his freedom to flirt with numerous women from inn to inn, all without the messy details of commitment. There’s just one woman who’s immune to his charms: the lovely, single landlady of The Golden Mermaid. Robert is determined to win Mary over, just as heartily as she is determined to keep her distance from him. But his carefree life is threatened when his pursual of Mary becomes more than just a game.

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About the Series

Since 2015, Mirror Press has been publishing the Timeless Regency Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories set in early 19th century England. Featuring bestselling authors from the historical romance genre, the series has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.

About the Authors

Sally Britton is a wife, mother, and author who loves the world of romance, received her BA in English from Brigham Young University, and reads voraciously. She started her writing journey at the tender age of fourteen on an electric typewriter, and she’s never looked back.

Sally primarily lives in Oklahoma with her husband, four children, and Izzie the Aussie Shepherd. She loves researching, hiking, and eating too much chocolate.

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Annette Lyon is a USA Today Bestselling author. She’s won a Whitney Award (2010) and is an eight-time recipient of Utah’s Best of State medal for fiction and short stories. She’s the author of more than a dozen novels, even more novellas, a cookbook, a grammar guide, and some 120+ articles. She’s worked as a professional editor for publishers and bestselling authors and graduated cum laude from BYU with a degree in English.

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Deborah M. Hathaway graduated from Utah State University with a BA in Creative Writing. As a young girl, she devoured Jane Austen’s novels while watching and re-watching every adaptation she could. She finds inspiration for her novels during her travels with her English husband to the United Kingdom, where she draws on the beauty of the country in such places as Ireland, Yorkshire, and her beloved Cornwall. Be sure to sign up for Deborah’s Newsletter to stay updated on new releases, free and discounted Clean Romance novels, and more!

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Join the virtual book tour of THE INNS OF DEVONSHIRE, a collection of novellas by bestselling authors Sally Britton, Annette Lyon, & Deborah M. Hathaway, October 4-17, 2021. Thirty-five popular on-line influencers specializing in Regency romance, historical romance, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of the release of the 18th book in the bestselling Timeless Regency Collection with a spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new anthology set in Regency England.

BLOG STOPS

Oct 04 Fire and Ice (Review)

Oct 04 Austenprose (Excerpt)

Oct 04 Timeless Novels (Review)

Oct 05 Lu Reviews Books (Review)

Oct 05 Beauty in the Binding (Spotlight)

Oct 05 For Where Your Treasure Is (Excerpt)

Oct 06 Probably at the Library (Review)

Oct 06 Our Book Confessions (Review)

Oct 06 Bookworm Lisa (Review)

Oct 07 Literary Time Out (Review)

Oct 07 Reading with Emily (Review)

Oct 08 Bringing Up Books (Review)

Oct 08 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

Oct 09 Becky on Books (Review)

Oct 09 Books and Socks Rock (Review)

Oct 10 The Christian Fiction Girl (Spotlight)

Oct 10 Heidi Reads (Review)

Oct 11 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)

Oct 11 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review)

Oct 11 Wishful Endings (Review)

Oct 12 So Little Time… (Excerpt)

Oct 12 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Spotlight)

Oct 12 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Oct 13 Austenesque Reviews (Review)

Oct 13 Storeybook Reviews (Excerpt)

Oct 13 Rosanne E. Lortz (Review)

Oct 14 From Pemberley to Milton (Spotlight)

Oct 14 Chicks, Rogues and Scandals (Excerpt)

Oct 14 Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)

Oct 15 A Darn Good Read (Review)

Oct 15 Relz Reviewz (Spotlight)

Oct 15 Reading is My Superpower (Review)

Oct 15 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

Oct 16 My Bookish Bliss (Review)

Oct 17 The Book Diva Reads (Spotlight)

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Contemporary Clean Read, RomCom

Just His Secretary (2021)

About the Book

Book: Just His Secretary

Series: Southern Roots Sweet Rom-Com #1

Author: Donna Jeffries

Genre: Contemporary Rom-Com

Release Date: April 1, 2021

She’s just his secretary…until he needs someone on his arm to convince his mother that he can take over the family business. Then Callie becomes Dawson’s girlfriend—but just in his text messages…but maybe she’ll start to worm her way into his shriveled heart too.

Callie:
Dawson Houser makes sure everyone who comes into the office knows I’m “just his secretary.” Heck, I’ve even said it to suppliers and CEOs when they smile knowingly at the two of us during business meetings. He scowls and grumps around the office afterward, as if the two of us dating is the most ridiculous thing on the planet.

Dawson can handle them. I can handle them—and him too, once they leave. And he’s no picnic, let me tell you.

Who can’t we handle?

His mother.

When Lila Houser comes to town with her faux furs and fashion sunglasses, she only has one question for her spoiled rotten son: When are you going to get married, Dawson, darling?

I expect him to laugh and tell her he’s never getting married. I mean, I’ve heard those exact words come out of his mouth. Instead, he pulls me to his side and says, “Maybe sooner than you think, Mother.”

Oh, that Lila Houser can make a woman feel two inches tall with a simple up-down look. I think I’m a pretty good catch…no matter what my last three boyfriends say.

When Lila says, “I thought Callie was just your secretary,” I suddenly want to prove her dead wrong…

Get ready to laugh out loud in this hilarious, sweet workplace romantic comedy! The romance is clean, the jokes witty, and the office grump swoon-worthy.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

This year, it has been my goal to read as many new-to-me authors as I can get my hands on. In my search for new authors I have discovered that I have a real love for Contemporary Rom-Coms. Just His Secretary by Donna Jeffries fits all my current reading parameters: a new-to-me author and a seriously sweet Contemporary Romance that had me chuckling often. I love when I find a good, new author to follow, and I plan to get all of Jeffries’s novels now. What did I like so much about Just His Secretary? Well, do you have an hour?! No, I’m just kidding. But I really did love a lot about this book. First, there is the engaging storyline. I was so hooked I read this book clear through the night. I just did not want to put it down. Then, there’s the characters, Dawson and Callie. I really loved them as individuals, but together they make a really great team. I feel their relationship is quite realistic, and their chemistry is on fire! I appreciate how Dawson transforms into a new man after he lets Callie in a bit. At first, Dawson is all rough edges, but after he allows Callie to see that he has a vulnerable side, he changes and grows into a really spectacular man. I like the message that we can help our significant others’ become better people…perhaps the people they are meant to be! I also loved that this story made me chuckle. I really need more laughter in my day.

Just His Secretary is a true gem. I’m really glad I found this sweet story, and I am super glad I found a new author to follow. If you are in the mood for a well-written, highly engaging Contemporary Rom-Com, then I highly recommend you read Just His Secretary by Donna Jeffries ASAP.

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on April 6, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Historical Fiction, Suspense

The Merchant and the Rogue (2021)

About the Book

Book: The Merchant and the Rogue

Author: Sarah M. Eden

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing

Release Date: August 17, 2021

London, 1865

Vera Sorokina loves reading the Penny Dreadfuls and immersing herself in tales of adventure, mystery, and romance. Her own days are filled with the often mundane work of running the book and print shop she owns with her father. The shop offers her freedom and an income, and while she is grateful for the stability it brings to her life, she often feels lonely.

Brogan Donnelly was born and raised in Ireland, but has lived in London for several years, where he’s built a career as a penny dreadful writer. He has dedicated himself to the plight of the poor with the help of his sister. But with no one to share his life with, he fears London will never truly feel like home.

Brogan and Vera’s paths cross, and the attraction is both immediate and ill-advised. Vera knows from past experience that writers are never to be trusted, and Brogan has reason to suspect not everything at Vera’s print shop is aboveboard. When a growing criminal enterprise begins targeting their area of London, Brogan and Vera must work together to protect the community they’ve both grown to love. But that means they’ll need to learn to trust each other with dangerous secrets that have followed both of them from their home countries.

Purchase Links

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About the Author

Sarah M. Eden is the author of critically acclaimed and award-winning Proper Romance series novels including The Lady and the Highwayman and Ashes on the Moor. Combining her passion for history and an affinity for love stories, Sarah crafts smart, witty characters and heartfelt romances. She happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library and dreams of one day traveling to all the places she reads about.

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My Thoughts

The Merchant and the Rogue by Sarah M. Eden wins my award for book with the most highlights. When I say there is so much to love about this story, I mean it! I’ve heartily enjoyed each novel in this series, but book #3 is my favorite. I found the plot wonderful and totally engaging. The characters are excellently crafted. It was fun getting to see many of the characters I grew to love in previous installments in The Merchant and the Rogue, and I really fell for the new characters, especially the children, Olly and Licorice. The relationship and romance that grows between Vera and Brogan are very realistic and relatable, and I felt it grew at a good pace. I also REALLY loved the many, many timely themes discussed in this story. As I said above, I highlighted this book like crazy. As much as I feel this book can be read and loved by anyone, I think it would really make a great book-club choice. It would lend to some good conversations.

Of the many, many wonderful topics discussed in this book my favorite is the idea of taking a stand against evil. Of the three stories told in this book, two of them deal with a very, very “bad” guy. In the main story, it’s actually a cabal — a group so heinous they are able to manipulate and threaten community members, friends, and family against fellow community members, friends, and family. In the penny dreadful, the main character, Tallulah, must battle a fear dearg — a demon — or lose her very life. In both stories, the solution to the heroes’ and heroines’ conflicts is clear — stand and fight no matter how scary the situation appears. In both stories, the main characters begin their quests against evil by bringing the community together, by showing one another that they have each other’s back. Once the community realizes they are not in the fight alone they are more than willing to do what is necessary to take back their communities and their lives. I LOVE so much this illustration of good, regular people coming together to fight against an evil that initially seems too big to be defeated. I feel like today we good, regular people are in the fight for our very lives too, but unlike the characters in this excellent story, we are forced to fight this battle alone. It makes me sad, but reading this book has given me some hope. I just need to find my fighting community.

The Merchant and the Rogue is an excellent story. One I highly recommend. If a well-written Historical Romance filled with suspense and intrigue sounds like the read you need then I highly recommend this excellent story.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishing, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Special Offer

Please help Sarah M. Eden get her latest novel, THE MERCHANT AND THE ROGUE, to hit the New York Times best-seller list by purchasing a copy between August 15-22, 2021.

Everyone who submits a copy of their receipt and fills out the form during the week of August 15-22 will receive The Merchant and the Rogue – Swag Bundle. Supplies are limited, so act today. Please visit the Swag Bundle webpage for details.


Blog Tour Stops

Join the virtual book tour of THE MERCHANT AND THE ROGUE, Sarah M. Eden’s highly acclaimed historical romance, August 16-29, 2021. Thirty-five popular on-line influencers specializing in historical romance, mystery/suspense, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of its release with spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in London, England.

Aug 16 Among the Reads (Review)

Aug 16 Austenprose (Review)

Aug 16 Reading is My Superpower (Review)

Aug 17 Literary Time Out (Review)

Aug 17 Getting Your Read On (Review)

Aug 17 Heidi Reads (Excerpt)

Aug 17 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

Aug 18 Our Book Confessions (Review)

Aug 18 Bookworm Lisa (Review)

Aug 19 Fire & Ice (Review)

Aug 19 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)

Aug 20 My Bookish Bliss (Review)

Aug 20 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

Aug 20 Storeybook Reviews (Excerpt)

Aug 21 Bookish Rantings (Review)

Aug 21 The Calico Critic (Review)

Aug 22 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

Aug 22 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt)

Aug 23 My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight)

Aug 23 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Review)

Aug 23 Reading with Emily (Review)

Aug 24 Wishful Endings (Review)

Aug 24 Relz Reviewz (Review)

Aug 24 The Book Diva Reads (Excerpt)

Aug 25 Bookfoolery (Review)

Aug 25 Greenish Bookshelf (Review)

Aug 26 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)

Aug 26 Nurse Bookie (Review)

Aug 27 So Little Time… (Excerpt)

Aug 27 Probably at the Library (Review)

Aug 27 Bringing Up Books (Review)

Aug 28 Books and Socks Rock (Review)

Aug 28 The Bibliophile Files (Review)

Aug 29 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

Aug 29 A Darn Good Read (Review)

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Historical Fiction, TBR Challenge

With Love, Louisa (2021)

About the Book

Book: With Love, Louisa

SeriesLarkhall Letters #3

Author: Ashtyn Newbold

Release Date: July 14, 2021

Genre: Historical Romance

An innocent letter is only dangerous when it falls into the wrong hands.

Louisa Rosemeyer is a lady with no money, no parents, and, regrettably, no husband. Left with no place to go, she writes a letter to her aunt, Mrs. Irwin, asking for an invitation to live with her. Ever cautious and optimistic, Louisa hopes the trip will bring the new beginning she has been searching for.

After being forced out of his childhood home, Jack Warwick lets Mrs. Irwin’s house, happy to be away from his family and their many squabbles. Haunted by his past, he drowns his loneliness in drink, and with it, his better judgment. When a letter arrives at his new house, addressed to the previous occupant, Mrs. Irwin, from her niece, Jack writes an incoherent reply, inviting the young lady to come stay…an event which his drinking causes him to forget.

When the chaos surrounding Louisa’s untimely arrival at Jack’s house causes a scandal, there is only one way to mend her reputation: Marriage. As Jack’s feelings for Louisa grow, he realizes there is only one way to mend himself: To be loved by Louisa. Devastated to be married to a near stranger, and a scoundrel at that, Louisa closes off her heart. She has always planned to marry for love. But she quickly learns that love has plans of its own.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

There is so much to love about With Love, Louisa by Ashtyn Newbold. Each novel in the Larkhall Letters series just keeps getting better and better. In this installment, we get Louisa’s story. Louisa is Alice’s sister, the heroine from book 1, and Bridgette’s best friend and companion, the heroine from book 2. At the start of this story, Louisa is in a predicament. Her sister is newly married and expecting her first child. She is also living on a fixed income and doesn’t have the room to take in Louisa. Bridgette is also newly married and has moved away from Larkhall. This leaves Louisa alone at Larkhall with Matthew, Larkhall’s bachelor owner. While Matthew is like Louisa’s brother in many ways, he isn’t biologically related. As innocent as their relationship is, Society will never accept Louisa’s living in Matthew’s home as anything appropriate as long as she is just Matthew’s sister’s best friend. So, Louisa decides to write to a distant relative in the hopes that this woman has room for her in her home. Louisa receives a letter back from whom she believes is her relative granting her permission to come live with her. Louisa is off on a new adventure. Along the way she encounters Jack Warwick and her life changes in an instant.

As I stated above, there is a lot to love about this book. The plot is excellent. Again, I felt compelled to read this story well into the night. I was highly engaged right from the beginning and hated to have to put it down. The characters are all excellently crafted. I feel like both Louisa and Jack are highly relatable and very endearing characters. What I appreciate the most, though, is the discussion about forgiveness. Jack is a man who lives with bone-crushing and soul-sucking guilt and shame. When he was a teenager an accident occurred on his family’s estate and he has completely and totally blamed himself ever since. Jack has even gone so far as to separate himself from his family entirely, and he drinks and gambles to dull the pain. In a nutshell, at the start of this story, Jack has basically hit rock bottom. Then he meets Louisa and his life changes in an instant too. After a super quick wedding, Jack finds himself married to a woman he does not deserve. Louisa is too good for him and he doesn’t know what to do, how to think, what to tell her, etc. Slowly, he comes to really love Louisa, but the guilt and the shame he carries refuses to abate. He takes two good steps forward in becoming the man he thinks Louisa deserves only to take ten steps back once he allows his guilt and shame to get the better of him. Everything comes to a head, and he finally confides in his wife. She asks him the BEST question, “Have you asked for forgiveness?” I love this question. We humans get so caught up in the idea of being too bad for forgiveness that we often forget that sometimes all it takes to achieve forgiveness is to ask for it. How many of our hurt relationships could be fixed if all we did was open our mouths, admit our feelings and failings, and ask for forgiveness?

With Love, Louisa is a highly engaging, unforgettable love story. I am so glad I took the time to read this book. If you are in the mood for an excellent Regency Romance then I highly recommend With Love, Louisa by Ashtyn Newbold.

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on July 23, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Historical Fiction, TBR Challenge

The Captain’s Confidant (2021)

About the Book

Book: The Captain’s Confidant

SeriesLarkhall Letters #2

Author: Ashtyn Newbold

Release Date: February 27, 2021

Genre: Historical Romance

An accidental letter, a long-lost love, and a slew of secrets.

For as long as Bridget Northcott can remember, she has loved her brother’s closest friend, Colin Foster. She loved him long before he grew up, became Captain Foster, and long before he left her behind for a life at sea. Although she knows her feelings will never be returned, Bridget cannot help but turn away every suitor in the hopes that one day Colin will come back to Larkhall and see her for what she has grown up to be—refined, elegant, and the precise opposite of the silly girl he once knew.

When winter brings Colin’s unexpected return, he too has changed. Once carefree, he is now cold, hard, and distant. Determined to unravel the mysteries of Captain Foster, Bridget writes her thoughts in a note, one she never meant to send. As a hesitant friendship grows between them through their letters, Bridget determines to keep her heart uninvolved. But when her facade begins to break, she realizes the childhood silliness she abandoned might just be precisely what is needed to pull him back to shore.

Faced with a choice between loyalty and selfishness, love and letting go, Bridget must find the strength to confide her own secret in Captain Foster before the man she loved is lost forever. But there is only so much she can do when she discovers a match between them is what she has always feared—forbidden.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

OH. MY. WORD … this book is FANTASTIC! I loved every second I spent reading The Captain’s Confidant by Ashtyn Newbold. Everything about this story is so good, and it is truly a book I did not ever want to put down. In book one, The Ace of Hearts, readers meet Bridget, her brothers, Bridget’s companion and best friend, Louisa, and Miss Tabitha Terrell. We learn in book one from Bridget that her heart belongs to Captain Colin Foster and always will, which is an important fact that allows the heroine in book one the go-ahead to seek after the man who holds her heart. We also learn that Miss Tabitha Terrell is rather horrible. In fact, she is Bridget’s nemesis. This is important info that comes into play big time in The Captain’s Confidant. Because of this, I highly recommend reading book one first before reading The Captain’s Confidant. As much as I loved book one, I could not wait for Bridget and Colin’s story. I knew it would be excellent, but I was totally unprepared for just how deeply this book affected me emotionally. The chemistry and romantic tension between Bridget and Colin took my breath away. Their heartaches wrecked my heart and made me cry a few times. And as far as heroes and heroines go, Bridget and Colin are excellently written. I love their friendship, their deep loyalty towards one another, and their respect for each other’s present circumstances. I love how they always try to do the best thing, or what they perceive as the right thing, for one another. They are great examples of what it means to be a selfless friend. I also appreciate how they are not afraid to confront one another when issues arise and speak the truth when it needs to be heard. Bridget and Colin make each other better people — something we should all strive to have in our own lives: people who make us want to be better. My most favorite aspect of this novel is the amazing letters Bridget and Colin secretly pass to each other. I loved this! I would get as excited as the characters when another letter was waiting in their various secret hidey spots. I know this sounds goofy but I really found it super sweet and super fun, and I loved how it made me excited to get back to the story when I did have to put the book down for a minute or two.

I could go on and on gushing over this book, but then I definitely would spoil the story. I don’t want to do that because The Captain’s Confidant is an experience and I don’t want to ruin a single second for anyone. Suffice to say, this Historical Romance is outstanding. It is one I will not soon forget. If you are in the mood for an excellently written Romance with endearing and unforgettable characters then this is the book for you!

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on March 11, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Historical Fiction, TBR Challenge

The Ace of Hearts (2020)

About the Book

Book: The Ace of Hearts

Series: Larkhall Letters #1

Author: Ashtyn Newbold

Release Date: April 14, 2020

Genre: Historical Romance

A secret venture, a regrettable love letter, and a heart he can’t afford to lose.

Faced with her stepbrother’s betrayal and an unwanted marriage, Alice Rosemeyer accepts an invitation to the estate of Larkhall. Determined to earn her future security without a husband, she begins operating as the anonymous Ace of Hearts, writing love letters on behalf of the men eager to secure a match at the close of the London season. If she can manage to keep her identity secret, her reputation intact, and avoid the arrogant house guest, Mr. Thomas Herring, she might just call herself successful.

When Thomas Herring’s sister marries an indebted man because of a love letter, he has no choice but to marry into money himself. Invited to stay at Larkhall, he sets his sights on the wealthy sister of his host. When she appears indifferent, he stumbles upon an advertisement: a gentleman offering assistance in matters of the heart. An ace, so he is called. But when he turns out to be she, and also a guest at the same house, his task is further complicated—especially as Alice proves herself to be as captivating as she is clever.

With reputations, secrets, and more than one heart at risk, Alice and Thomas become trapped in a game with no rules, a game neither intended to play. Had they been wrong to play love for a fool?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I admit that I purchased The Ace of Hearts by Ashtyn Newbold because of its cover. It’s really pretty and it called to me. Then I read the back cover and knew I had to read this book ASAP. Unfortunately, life hit me hard and I completely forgot about this book until about a week ago when I was cleaning out my Kindle. I am sorry it took me so long to get to because The Ace of Hearts is a great story — a total Historical Romance #mustread! The Ace of Hearts is a great Historical Romance where the pages simply fly by! I hated when I had to put this book down. The enemies-to-lovers trope is not typically my favorite, but I really love how it’s utilized in this story. My issue with the trope stems from the harshness of the characters when they are enemies. It’s usually so in-your-face harsh that I struggle to believe when the hero and heroine finally fall for one another. But in The Ace of Hearts, the hero and heroine do something amazing — they actually communicate. And, not just at the 3/4 mark. They have genuine conversation and get to the bottom of their initial issues pretty early on in the story. Yes, there is still conflict and struggles they have to deal with as the story progresses, but the initial “enemy” feelings dissipate efficiently. It’s nice to read a story where the characters act like adults and clear the air early rather than drag out the hate through most of the plot. In fact, if more authors utilized the enemies-to-lovers trope as Ashtyn Newbold does in this book I would be inclined to read more of those types of books. There’s nothing more annoying than to read almost an entire book where the characters don’t communicate well and act immaturely towards one another only to find out their reason for hating one another is just a simple misunderstanding that could have been cleared up early on in the narrative. Another aspect that I loved about this story is how well Alice and Thomas problem solve together as friends. I know that sounds like a goofy thing to like, but for me it really works well in this story and adds to their friendship and romantic chemistry. Both Alice and Thomas have serious financial issues. They never whine or gripe about it. They vent to one another their concerns, but they never whine. I LOVE it! Instead, they act as friends and listen to each other. They come up with potential solutions. They talk things out. When things seem like they won’t work out, they encourage each other to not give up. Alice and Thomas’s relationship is a good illustration of what a great relationship looks like.

There is actually quite a bit more I could say about this lovely story, but instead I’m just going to highly recommend you pick up a copy of this novel ASAP if you haven’t already done so. If you enjoy a solidly good Historical Romance then The Ace of Hearts is definitely the book for you!

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on April 15, 2020, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Contemporary Clean Read

Serving the Prince (2018)

About the Book

Book: Serving the Prince

Series: Royal Secrets #3

Author: Lucinda Whitney

Release Date: May 25, 2018

She’s a waitress with no room for distractions. He’s a prince wishing for a simpler life. Is there any hope for a happily-ever-after?

Julie Winters’ life is simple: work and college. Her five-year life plan doesn’t allow for detours of any kind, and that includes no dating. With her family counting on the money she makes from her tips at the lodge, Julie is serious about her responsibilities. She definitely won’t let a man distract her, even when he looks like Max, a guest from Europe.

But when Julie’s old car breaks down, the mysterious Max is the one to rescue her. And when she needs an archery tutor, Max volunteers for the job. Soon, they’re spending time together, and Julie likes it. Maybe a little too much.

Prince Maximilian Wolfe is in the U.S. to look for investors, not to find a girlfriend. His friend Prince Henry likes to go clubbing, but Max prefers the simple things. When he meets Julie at the restaurant where she works, he’s immediately intrigued by her beautiful brown eyes. Julie is different and genuine, and Max looks for ways to spend more time together.

There’s only one problem—Julie doesn’t know Max is a prince.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Several days ago I saw an ad for Serving the Prince by Lucinda Whitney, read the synopsis, and thought, “I’ve got to get this book now!” It was actually free on Amazon when I went to purchase it, which I thought was an extra bonus and further proof I needed to read the book ASAP. I pretty much devoured it in less than 24 hours. Coming in at a little more than 100 pages, this book can easily be read in one sitting. I actually really appreciated that. This week was our finals week at my school and I needed something lovely, light, and fast-paced to see me through the final days of testing and grading for this school year. I found this story engaging and unputdownable. I like Julie and Max. I appreciate Julie’s hesitancy upon first meeting Max. She doesn’t swoon and fall head over heels for the guy. Instead, she takes a moment to evaluate his character. Then, once she gets a good sense of who he is, she allows herself to feel something for him. Max, however, is instantly drawn to Julie, but in a super sweet, he-notices-a-diamond-when-he-sees-one, kind of way. I like how much he respects Julie. He treats her like a princess the whole time — he even rides in on his noble, white steed (a white Ford Mustang, LOL!) and saves the day. It’s pretty excellent and quite clever in my honest opinion. One thing that stood out to me is how well the author portrays Max’s sense of loneliness. That cliched saying, “It’s lonely at the top,” is pretty true. I would imagine many wealthy people, many royals included, often feel a sense of deep loneliness because of who they are. Can they really trust people to like them, respect them, for who they are? Or are people just looking for a handout? I appreciated being able to see things from Max’s point of view and to get a real sense of his vulnerability. Many assume rich and popular people have easier lives than regular people, but Max reminded me that this isn’t really true at all.

Serving the Prince is a fun story that I’m really glad I got to read. My only issue with this story is that it ended too soon! I guess I’ll just have to read the next book in the series 😉. If you’re in the mood for a fast-paced, sweet, Contemporary Romance then I highly recommend checking out Serving the Prince and the other novels in the Royal Secrets series.

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on May 31, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.