Author of Sweet Hope and Happy Endings

Tag: Regency (Page 1 of 2)

A Castaway in Cornwall: A Book Review

BOOK REVIEW

BOOK BY: Julie Klassen

Another long-awaited Julie Klassen tale at last!

As usual, Julie Klassen delivers a poignant regency that tells of love lost and the mystery that surrounds it.

Laura Callaway has lost everyone who loves her and struggles to find a place with a distant relative in Cornwall. She spends her days scouring the beaches for lost treasure she can return to the rightful owners, or to sell the unclaimed items. She assists her uncle who is a minister in recording the deaths of those washed up on shore from the shipwrecks that plague their small community.

Alexander Caraway is caught between a political shift in history, his loyalties lying with the crown of France though the throne has been stolen by Napoleon. A captain of a French military ship, he loses the battle and finds himself a prisoner of war and accused of crimes he has not committed. Caught in a storm, Alexander is one of two survivors to wash up on shore and the one Laura nurses back to health.

There is a whole slew of cast members that bring the story to life. Characters a reader can’t help but to love, hate and wish a better outcome for. Many characters have their own hardships which end satisfactorily, even some happily. It’s hard to pick a favourite secondary character from this bunch – so I won’t.

The connection between Laura and Alexander is seamlessly woven through the pages of this novel. A beautiful story of loving a neighbour – even when he or she is considered the enemy. It’s a story of overcoming the past, forgiveness and looking to God to provide.

And I have to admit, I’m thrilled to read a novel where the French guy gets the English gal (although I might be a biased when it comes to that).

In the beginning of the novel, I found there were quite a few spots with a lot of information – historical details that were significant to the time and geography but a bit jarring. It seemed quite out of the ordinary for a Julie Klassen novel. After about the third chapter the pertinent facts had been recalled and the story flowed from there.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Gentleman Spy (Serendipity & Secrets #2)

This post is part of The Gentleman Spy Blog tour. Read all the way to the bottom to enter the Grand Prize and to find out where to purchase your own copy. Thanks for stopping by!

BOOK REVIEW

BOOK BY: Erica Vetsch

If you loved book one and couldn’t put it down, book two won’t disappoint you. Erica Vetsch turns out another fantastic regency romance full of secrets and intrigue. I blame the author for keeping me up at night so I could finish the book in two sittings.

The Gentleman Spy picks up where book one left off. Agents to the Crown are on the case of the recent assassination attempt on the Prince Regent’s life and keep turning up dead leads.

Lady Charlotte Tiptree is nearing spinsterhood at the ripe age of 21. Her father is a penny pincher and her mother insists that she hold her tongue in order to catch a husband. With an intelligent mind and a quick wit, Lady Charlotte finds it difficult to appease her parents until one day a deeply buried family secret comes to light. Resolving to accept the first offer of marriage to a man who will allow her to read books, Charlotte puts her best foot forward.

Marcus Haverly is thrust into the highest of social positions when his father and brother are killed in an accident. It doesn’t bode well for a secret agent to the Crown to be thrust in the limelight. So when his superior and mother both take issue with his bachelorhood, Marcus impulsively marries the plain and frumpy Lady Charlotte. What follows is a beautifully woven story of secrets, trust, and falling in love with a complete stranger.

I just love everything about this story.

Charlotte is my kind of heroine – she’s smart, witty, compassionate and doesn’t follow the societal expectations, but rather is focused on following God’s will and putting the Word of God into practice. She’s bold in her faith and becomes the voice for the poor, abused and oppressed. She has the means to help after her speedy marriage, but she’s not too proud to work the front lines.

Marcus is a lovable character. He is kind and sweet to Charlotte and I just adore the way he falls in love with her. He thinks he can compartmentalize his life and that a wife won’t complicate his secret mission, his standing in society or any other area of his life. He rescues her on so many different levels, I enjoyed watching it play out.

The secondary cast lends a colourful subtext to the main story-line. Our couple from book one makes several appearances and the bond of friendship deepens between the couples. A hard-nosed mother-in-law makes for interesting interactions and cold familial relationships with Charlotte’s family lends delightful tension to several scenes. The women in Charlotte’s mission tug at the heart while the relationship between one particular girl and our heroine is a beautiful picture of long-suffering and compassion.

The secret mission of the agents of the Crown is resolved in an intense action sequence and leaves readers satisfied with the ending.

This was a fantastic read and I’m anxiously waiting for the release of book three, The Indebted Earl.

A BIT ABOUT THE BOOK

He only wanted a duchess for a day–but she’s determined to make it a marriage for life

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she’s meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life–as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She’s determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society–the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she’d remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

The Gentleman Spy is available for purchase on Amazon, Christianbook and Barnes & Noble.

Author Interview

I’m pleased to present to my newsletter subscribers exclusive content.

July’s newsletter release, Bookish Things with Ann contains a fun interview with historical CF author, Erica Vetsch.

Find out what Erica has to say about drafting her books, BBC versions of well loved novels and more.

To receive your own copy of Erica’s interview, sign up for my author newsletter. The next edition drops July 15. Head to my contact page and enter your email address on the right side.

Or, click here

The Lost Lieutenant (Serendipity & Secrets #1)

BOOK REVIEW

BOOK BY: Erica Vetsch

What an absolute thrill to have read this book!

There are so many things I loved about this story, that if I started listing them all I might as well copy and paste the text. Erica Vetsch has done a fantastic job with her first full-length regency novel and I look forward to reading the rest of the series, which sadly won’t be out for some time.

Our hero is an honorable and upstanding guy that the reader can’t help but to love him right from the start. He’s been injured in a fight against Napolean, but he can’t remember what he did or why everyone is treating him like a hero. He suffers in silence for much of the story, but despite this, his compassion and concern for others shines.

Our heroine will do everything to protect her orphaned nephew from the fate her father, the duke of Seaton would inflict on him. As many regency stories, we find our heroine being forced into an arranged marriage and trying to keep secrets of her own. She is noble and the perfect match for our hero.

Enter the Prince Regent. Perhaps the most colourful cast member of all, he is the reason our hero and heroine end up crossing paths. Without him, our story would not be the funny, bizarre and unpredictable one it is. I loved him and the ripple effect he left behind.

There are cast members to loathe and ones to adore, and each play a significant role in propelling the story forward. Without any one of them, the story would fall flat. Erica Vetsch has done a beautiful job of weaving each character’s role throughout the pages of The Lost Lieutenant.

The spiritual thread is subtle throughout much of the story, but strong in others and contributes to the character development of our hero. It’s no wonder he’s the kind of guy he is.

If you love regency stories with romance, intrigue and heart racing drama, you will love The Lost Lieutenant.

Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey

BOOK REVIEW

BOOK BY: Abigail Wilson

This is the first novel I’ve read by this author and it won’t be the last.

The opening gripped my attention until I solved the murder at the end. I admit, I didn’t have it figured out until about 3/4s of the way through, but perhaps it was just my “author-mind” working through the list of suspects and secondary characters.

The characters were likeable and intriguing, though at moments Elizabeth Cantrell’s reasons for withholding information from Adrian Torrington is thin at best. However, being a mother myself and knowing what extents one goes to in protecting their children, I really couldn’t fault her for holding back at times. A large cast of secondary characters provides a variety of suspects who each have their own secrets to guard.

The story is thick with intrigue, turns and exposed the infancy of modern crime solving techniques we have today. Adventure, spies, murder, and a marriage of convenience make this regency romance a must-read for 2020.

I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

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