09 October 2019

Tour & Giveaway: Secrets and Suitors by Joanna Barker

Secrets and Suitors by Joanna Barker.
Audience/Genre: Historical Fiction, Clean Read, Romance.
Publication: October 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications, Inc.
Reluctantly returning to London for yet another Season, shy Nora Hamilton has nearly given up hope that she will ever find the love match she longs for. After all, the one man she does harbor feelings for—her closest friend, James—has made it perfectly clear he views her as just that: a friend. With James traveling half a world away and Nora's father pressuring her to marry for wealth and status, Nora is forced to set aside her desire for love and accept the future she has always dreaded.
Until James returns unexpectedly and Nora's feelings once again rush unbearably close to the surface. Determined to save what is left of their friendship, Nora ignores her own heart and allows herself to be swept up in the London Season, soon finding herself the object of two very different gentlemen's affections. Though she should be thrilled, both men come with a glaring fault: neither is the one man who holds her heart.

But there is much more at stake than heartbreak. When long-kept secrets are laid bare, Nora must face the fears that have plagued her all her life and decide what true love is worth.

Reviewed by Kelly.

I really enjoyed reading Secrets and Suitors! I could feel all the warm fuzzies and the sorrow, disappointment, family bonds and healing! I felt urgency with the characters and was drawn to keep reading to find out what would happen next! There was a question from the very beginning that I knew the answer to but wanted to find out what had happened that formed that question! There were so many secrets. I am ever so grateful I did not live in those times! Just putting that out there!

Nora and James have been friends since childhood. James knew Nora better than I think Nora knew herself. He could pry anything out of her. He knew when things were not right with her. Last summer he left to his plantation in Jamaica for business and left Nora devastated. She had thought he loved her but he had left. She is trying to move on. He returns and is ever there for her again and Nora’s heart can’t seem to get over him. But Nora has been forced to marry Mr Weston by her seemingly uncaring father. Nora then notices that Lord Worthington has noticed her. He is attentive to her and she thinks that maybe she can get him to propose to her so she would not have to marry the quiet and humble looking Mr Weston.

Meanwhile James who is in need of an investor into his plantation has also been invited to Lord Worthington’s grandmother’s home for a visit along with Nora who had fallen ill and needs the country air and has also become good friends with Lord Worthington’s sister. James is hard to let go of. I wouldn’t let him go either. The author writes him so kind and caring and really a wonderful man that I want him too! Hehe! But Nora tries hard to be herself and get Lord Worthington to be hers.

Nora and James are a match if ever there was one! He would grab her hand and just pull her somewhere and the way the author wrote it, I could feel her hand in his and her feelings over a simple act. She reacted every time he showed up in a room! How difficult it must have been. I forget that it is just a story and not real! I enjoyed learning all these secrets everyone has kept and how it impacted soo much of the story and you don’t even know they did until the secrets come out! I love watching people grow. I also love watching people do stupid things as well. Keeps the book interesting! Haha! And stupid things were done!! And you don’t really know who Nora will end up with till the end after all the secrets are out!

If you like stories of families who grow, people who guard their hearts to protect from getting hurt, rakes, secrets, tree climbing, little brothers who adore their older sister, lions, running away from home, families who make mistakes but learn to fix them, intimidating people, deceiving people, and doing what is right and kind and fair and full of love than this story might be for you. As for me, it is on my shelf to be read over and over!

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Joanna Barker was born and raised in northern California. She discovered her love for historical fiction after visiting England as an eleven-year-old, and subsequently read every Jane Austen book she could get her hands on. After graduating Brigham Young University with a degree in English, she worked as an acquisitions editor before devoting herself full-time to writing. She enjoys music, chocolate, and reading everything from romance to science fiction. She lives in Utah and is just a little crazy about her husband and two wild-but-loveable boys.

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27 September 2019

Tour: The Marquess Meets His Match by Julie Coulter Bellon

The Marquess Meets His Match by Julie Coulter Bellon.
Audience/Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Clean Read.
Publication: August 15th 2019 by Stone Hall Books.
A traitor with a deadly plan. Two agents sent to expose his identity before he strikes. But danger is closer than they think . . .

Lord Christian Wolverton―known as Wolf in a covert group operating during the war against Napoleon―has been called home from his military duties. For the moment, his family responsibilities require him to suspend his more clandestine activities. But information falls into his hands that a traitor will soon try to tip the scales back into French favor and Christian doesn't have much time to stop it from happening.

Going to the one person who can help him, the powerful Duke of Huntingdon, Christian comes face to face with Lady Alice. She's a beautiful member of the ton with a very big secret―she's also a trained agent and already on the case. Forced to partner with her to lure the traitor out of hiding, Christian wants to quickly close the case himself, before Lady Alice is more closely involved. But Lady Alice has ideas of her own and she's going to prove her theories correct―with or without him.

Danger is closer than they think, however, and it's a race against time to expose the traitor's identity before British lives are endangered. Both Christian and Alice have strong opinions on who he is, but which one will be proven right and can they catch him before it's too late?

Reviewed by Kelly.

First of all this book got me out of a reading slump. I opened the book and didn’t stop till I was done. I haven’t done that in a while. The mixture of historical fiction/romance/romantic suspense/mystery was the perfect combination to keep me interested! I suppose having a female bada** is what helped too! She was a future girl living in the past. She wasn’t dainty at all but she still had her proper self!! I wanted to know who the bad guy was and why! I had ideas but I was sooo wrong! I loved it!!

The romance was just right and it showed how sometimes you have to have faith and trust in the other person and not get distracted in what needs to be done. Lord Wolverton at first didn’t care to find Alice to be a spy. But he grew to trust her. And Alice still somehow kept herself from reproach and knew her stuff. They both had skills that complimented each other and together, they got the job done.

I really really loved this book. I just haven't had a book to keep me fully engaged lately. But I couldn't stop once I opened it up! It was full of action, adventure, mystery, intrigue and a touch of romance. I just can’t really describe enough of why I loved it!!

If you like historical fiction, post war problems, stories of mystery, finding out who the bad guy is, loving families, women who are spies, knife skills, horseback riding, people having good instincts, and finding love than this might be for you! As for me, it’s on my to read and reread list!

Julie Coulter Bellon is the author of nearly two dozen romantic suspense books. Her book All Fall Down won the RONE award for Best Suspense, Pocket Full of Posies won a RONE Honorable Mention for Best Suspense and The Captain was a RONE award finalist for Best Suspense. Most recently, her books The Capture and Second Look were both Whitney finalists for Best Suspense/Mystery.

Julie loves to travel and her favorite cities she's visited so far are probably Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. In her free time she loves to read, write, teach, watch HawaiiFive-O, and eat Canadian chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.

If you'd like to be the first to hear about Julie's new projects and receive a free book, you can sign up to be part of her VIP Readers Group at juliebellon.com

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13 September 2019

Tour & Giveaway: All Hearts Come Home for Christmas by Sarah M. Eden, Esther Hatch, Joanna Barker and Anita Stansfield

All Hearts Come Home for Christmas by Anita Stansfield, Joanna Barker, Esther Hatch and Sarah M Eden.
Audience/Genre: Historical Romance, Anthology, Clean Read, Holiday.
Publication: September 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications.
Christmas at Falstone Castle · Sarah M. Eden

The Dowager Duchess of Kielder eagerly anticipates spending Christmas with her son and his family. Though their relationship has been strained, the duchess is determined to heal the chasm. Even with the help of the widowed local vicar, her plan will take a Christmas miracle. But during this magical season, anything is possible . . . even two second chances for love.

The Heart of Christmas · Anita Stansfield

When a chance meeting brings together a gentle seamstress and a widowed banker, each lonely soul finds a first hint of hope. As their lives become entwined, it will take Christmas spirit to guide a broken family to love and healing.

’Tis the Season to Be Daring · Esther Hatch

Elizabeth Davenport has had quite enough of the London Season. Determined to evade a parade of unsuitable suitors, she seeks help from the one gentleman who has no regard for Society’s rules. All of Society knows Lord Hawthorne is not interested in marriage, yet he cannot deny Miss Davenport’s unique charm. And as the Christmas season works its magic, their charade begins to feel less like playacting and more like love.

The Christmas Dress · Joanna Barker

Seamstress Nell Addington is thrilled when her childhood friend Jacob Hammond commissions a dress for his sister. But when Nell realizes her feelings for Jacob run far deeper than friendship, an unexpected snowstorm—and some holiday cheer—may convince them both that love is worth fighting for.

Reviewed by Kelly.

I'm glad I decided to read this book. I generally don't read much anthologies. I like stories that are longer. But I really love all these authors and couldn't resist. This is a great compilation of Christmas Spirit and finding a little happiness and love! I can tell you that I did shed a tear or two while reading each of these stories. That shows how much they affected me!

My only complaint or something is that I was sad to read the Dangerous Duke's wife's delivery in here. I was hoping to read it in the next story. If I hadn't picked it up or that I got some warning about who Sarah Eden was writing about, I might have missed it and I so love the Dangerous Duke!

If you like short stories, holiday anthologies, Christmas Spirit, traditions, dressmaker's, finding love than this might be for you!

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Sarah M. Eden : https://www.sarahmeden.com/

Anita Stansfield : http://www.anitastansfield.com/

Joanna Barker : https://www.authorjoannabarker.com/about.html

Esther Hatch : https://estherhatch.com/

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09 August 2019

Tour: A Lady's Maid by Jen Geigle Johnson

A Lady's Maid by Jen Geigle Johnson.
Audience/Genre: Historical Fiction, Clean Read.
Publication: August 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications.
Molly O’Malley, lady’s maid to the progressive Lady Amanda Halloway, is determined to continue the life’s work of her lost love, killed in the Peterloo Massacre. But when her efforts and a trip to Lady Halloway’s charitable orphanage culminate in her own abduction, Molly’s eyes are opened to the horrifying crimes transpiring in the city’s slums. Despite the risks, she broadens her mission and is drawn ever closer to the peril all around them.

Thomas Flaherty, a footman in the Halloway household, has been with Molly from the beginning, but he fears she will never trust him with her heart. Even though her cause and happiness are of foremost importance to him, his loyal patience is tested by the fears that keep her at a distance. But with their safety on the line, Thomas is resolved to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves.

Risking their lives and their love, Molly and Thomas and a team of nobles on their side will stop at nothing to empower the powerless, no matter the personal cost.

Reviewed by Kelly.

This is not your typical historical book at least for me. I usually like the romance in them. The romance in this book is very light and secondary to the plot of getting Parliament to sign a women’s suffrage bill. There is some fact mixed into the book and a piece of note after the book ends.

Molly is Lady Amanda’s personal maid. Lady Amanda has been working on getting women the right to vote. And Molly is totally on board with it. Molly acts before she thinks and she gets herself into some major problems. Molly has a huge heart and just wants justice for all!

Chloe is the daughter of a high nobleman. She is also shy. But as she learns more about the movement, she finds her own voice.

Annesley is the son of another high nobleman who is caught in the snares of an evil bossman who is willing to help everyone out of their debts in return for helping him with his side business of brothel and pretty much free child labor in the factories. Most of the children go because their parents are high on opium or the like and are told to go.

Annesley was also a spy once and was now out of the business until he is blackmailed into doing some spywork about the movement. Chloe is someone whom he is very fond of and she is right in the middle of the intel and Annesley is sick about it and left with nothing to do about it.

Molly gets in deep with the evil Theo and learns of all he does. She is determined to right this injustice. There are no indecent scenes but there is a child who gets hurt in the factory. There is a kissing scene or two towards the end.

If you are looking for women’s suffrage, child labor laws, woman who fight for justice, parliament, the start of change in England, orphanges, a well written story, finding freedom and happiness with a little romance sprinkled in then this might be for you!

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Jen Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep's roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.

Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.

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03 July 2019

Love in Disguise by Anneka R. Walker

Love in Disguise by Anneka R. Walker.
Audience/Genre: Historical Fiction, Clean Read.
Publication: June 1st 2019 by Covenant Communications.
Marion Watt is set to embark on her first London Season, and her parents have spared no expense to help her secure a suitable husband. Unlike most of the social-climbing young women in her position, Marion has no desire to marry hastily or for anything less than love. But when she learns of her mother's declining health, she knows she must keep an open mind and allow herself to be courted. What she does not anticipate, however, is that the attentions of the insufferable Lord William Everton will be placed squarely on her. He might be the most sought-after bachelor of the Season, but she sees in him nothing but a frivolous cad.
Until William inherits his father's title and seat in parliament, he must rely on his own devices to change the world. Dressing like a ridiculous dandy serves its purposes, but he is certain his newest disguise will help him find a wife to please his parents and further his own agenda. From among the glittering group of debutantes, William finds only one woman who passes his test. Unfortunately, the perfect choice is the only woman in all of London who despises him.

Reviewed by Kelly.

It’s always funny how you can despise someone and realize later that you really didn’t even know that person and all your reasons for despising them were not really who you thought them to be. I guess it just goes to show that we shouldn’t judge people! Also funny is how we have problems verbalizing our feelings or even acknowledging to yourself about your feelings!!

Once I started reading, I didn’t get up to do anything until I was done. I was curious how this would turn out. I was sitting in a need to be reupholstered furniture that was really lumpy but I just wanted to know what kind of person William really was and how Marion would learn who he really is!

Discovering people’s characters and what they stand for brings me to tears in books easily. I liked seeing William soften to Marion. The twists at the end; well I wasn’t expecting those. I loved seeing how family is important to both Marion and William.

If you like historical fiction, twists, loving families, righteous quests, gamblers, disguises, how one bad moment can make you want to stop sharing what you love, not saying what you are feeling, humor, falling in water, and finding love in a time where it wasn’t the norm to marry for love than this might be for you!!

Anneka Walker was raised by a librarian and an English teacher turned judge. After being fed a steady diet of books, she decided to learn about writing. The result was a bachelor's degree in English and History. When she isn't dreaming up a happy ending for a story, she's busy living her own together with her husband and adorable children.

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