Thursday, July 30, 2020

Review: A Lily in Disguise by Jessica Scarlett

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


One woman. Three identities. A handsome lord trying to unmask them all. 

To escape the scandals tied to her name, Lillian Markley has gone by an alias for eight years. It was the only way for her to get a reputable job and save enough money to reunite with her sister in America. But when Lily is suddenly let go just as she’s about to reach her goal, she’s offered a salary she can’t refuse in exchange for the unthinkable:

She must masquerade as an heiress at a country estate for the summer.

Being exposed means facing prison, or worse—never seeing her sister again. Run-ins with kidnappers, a suspicious young boy, and a dangerous gentleman who knows her secret quickly has Lily spouting lies as often as she sips her tea—all while battling her growing feelings for Peter Wycliffe, the smiling host who seems to best her at every turn.

Nothing is as simple as it seems. And as the falsehoods begin to mount, Lily must use her arsenal of wits to keep her three facades separate, while preventing Peter—and herself—from discovering the true woman beneath them all.

My Review

This was such a fun read! The complexities of Lily's various personas kept the plot interesting and moving at a steady pace. I loved Peter with his teasing personality and really felt for him as he falls for Lily but is confused by her as well. She is just trying to keep her head above water as she interacts in society and all the complications that arise. There are issues of trust, jealousy, betrayal, and forgiveness, all interwoven with Lily's ultimate resolve to leave England and these new relationships to join her sister. I enjoyed the characters and the way the author allowed me to connect with their emotions and experiences- the desperation, confusion, attraction, friendship, and romance. The scenes with Lily and Peter's fun banter were my favorite, especially since there is a strong undercurrent of longing on his part and apprehension on hers. The secondary characters rounded out the story well and I hope the author writes more with them as main characters. I'm excited to read more from this author! Definitely a must read for fans of sweet Regency romance.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Don't miss the prequel novella in the Wycliffe Family series . . .

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When Mary Raynsford's lifelong friend, Ellis Harrington, returns from Tour and says he aims to marry within six months, Mary hatches a plan to thwart his efforts. It simply wouldn't do for him to find a bride. Especially if it's not her.

About the Author

Jessica Scarlett grew up in rural Utah, where lots of wide-open space served as a blank canvas for her rampant imagination. Along with being an author, she is a songwriter and a huge Broadway fan, so don’t be surprised if she hears the people sing or defies gravity on a regular basis.

Being mother to two crazy-eyed kiddos, she has been forced to develop a deep appreciation for humor—which is probably why she laughs so much at her own jokes. Though Jessica currently writes regency romance, she loves dashing heroes from all eras in history, and hopes to one day branch out. 

Connect with Jessica:

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Review: Not a Fine Gentleman by Donna Hatch

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Margaret, the eldest of the misbegotten Amesbury family, is accused of murdering her jerk of a husband and then fleeing. Conner Jackson, a Bow Street Runner, is hunting her down to bring her to justice. Or so he thinks...

This romantic story of loss and betrayal, forgiveness and redemption, and strangers marrying, will leave you laughing, crying, and swooning. Sprinkled liberally with suspense, mystery, and heart-melting kisses, this is not your ordinary historical tale of an arranged marriage nor of redeeming the rakes. Fans of Victorian and Regency Eras, as well as those seeking clean and wholesome romance with plenty of chemistry, will love this story!

My Review

I always wondered why Margaret was unhappy in the previous books, so it was wonderful to have her story! It starts off with a bang and stayed exciting throughout. The author did a good job of showing the hardships and coping mechanisms of Margaret in her marriage, and how her perceptions get turned on their head when she is finally free. Connor is from humble beginnings and is proud of his accomplishments, even if they are still beneath the level of Margaret and upper society. They had fun banter as they work to solve the mystery of who killed her husband- sometimes together, and sometimes against or in spite of the other. They sure kept each other on their toes! I loved when they began to soften and develop romantic feelings that added to their attraction and chemistry. The scenes with Margaret's siblings (from the previous books) were great, revisiting them with their strengths and loyalties. An exciting addition to the Rogue Hearts series!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Don't miss the previous books in the Rogue Hearts series . . .

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Review & Giveaway: Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews

Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews

Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Perfectly Proper Press
Series: Victorian Romantics, Book One
Genre: Historical Romance

A Secret Burden…

After a mysterious sojourn in Paris, Beryl Burnham has returned home to the village of Shepton Worthy ready to resume the life she left behind. Betrothed to the wealthy Sir Henry Rivenhall, she has no reason to be unhappy—or so people keep reminding her. But Beryl’s life isn’t as perfect as everyone believes.

A Longstanding Love…

As village curate, Mark Rivenhall is known for his compassionate understanding. When his older brother’s intended needs a shoulder to lean on, Mark’s more than willing to provide one. There’s no danger of losing his heart. He already lost that to Beryl a long time ago. During an idyllic Victorian summer, friends and family gather in anticipation of Beryl and Sir Henry’s wedding. But in her darkest moment, it’s Mark who comes to Beryl’s aid. Can he help her without revealing his feelings—or betraying his brother?

Available on Amazon

My Review

5 stars / It was amazing

This author’s stories are always a delight to read, even when she tackles difficult themes. Her characters are so vibrant, and I find myself completely immersed. I love the friendship between Mark and Beryl, and the way he thoughtfully supports her unconditionally. He is in such a hard position, divided between loyalty to his brother and his own romantic feelings. His relationship with his brother is complex, and it was interesting to see bits and pieces emerge that gave deeper understanding to the dynamic. Beryl struggles with frequent bouts of melancholy, what we know today as depression. The author was delicate in her portrayal as she explored the ways it affected Beryl’s well-being, her otherwise golden personality, and how she managed to cope with the symptoms, despite the misunderstandings in the medical field at the time. What I especially loved was the overall feeling of hopefulness as Mark learns of her condition and becomes her champion- listening, understanding, and encouraging. It was such a contrast to the others in her life who were trying, but didn’t know where to find the answers or how to “fix it.” Beryl is going through a season of self-discovery, and I loved her strength and kindness as she learns more about herself and what she truly wants for her future. Highly recommend!!!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions expressed are my own)

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats. For more information, please visit Mimi Matthews’ website and blog. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitterBookBubPinterestGoogle+, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 14 Review at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, July 15 Interview at Austenprose Review at Gwendalyn's Books Feature at I'm All About Books Review at Probably at the Library
Thursday, July 16 Review at Library of Clean Reads
Friday, July 17 Review at View from the Birdhouse
Saturday, July 18 Review at The Green Mockingbird
Sunday, July 19 Review at Robin Loves Reading
Monday, July 20 Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Tuesday, July 21 Review at Book Bustle
Wednesday, July 22 Review at Bookish Rantings
Thursday, July 23 Review at Heidi Reads...
Friday, July 24 Review at The Lit B****
Saturday, July 25 Feature at What Is That Book About
Monday, July 27 Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
Tuesday, July 28 Review at Donna's Book Blog


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Paperback giveaway is open to the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

  Fair as a Star

Book Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Healing Their Hearts by Cleopatra Margot #HTHPrism

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Healing Their Hearts
(Faith to Love, #6)
By Cleopatra Margot
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 302  Pages
June 21, 2020

After spring's many trials, Knox County Sheriff Liam McKay is ready for a season of restoration. He needs time to grieve the loss of his grandmother and work on becoming a better husband and father. Liam learned the hard way that life is fragile, and he doesn't want to miss out on any precious moments.

Emma McKay loves her role as a wife and mother. After she lost her parents, the McKay family became her saving grace. Being married to a police officer brings both challenges and adventures into her life, though, and when something hits on a more personal level, will her past be brought into the light?

Officer Mark MacLaughlin is motivated by two things: his family and his job. Add a beautiful stranger to the mix, and Mark can't help but want to get to know her better. But when he takes on fatherhood for a three-year-old girl, he has to learn how to blur the lines between his personal and professional life too.

Evangeline Taylor was on the way to confront her past, until her plans came to a grinding halt. Now injured and stranded in a tiny Nebraska town, Eva's heart opens up. The town, the people, and maybe one handsome police officer in particular help her to heal...but will they be enough to make her stay?

(Affiliate link included.)


You like her.Sam pointed her spoon at him. You like Evangeline!

He let his shirt fall into place and crossed to the freezer. Youre off duty and its past your bedtime. Stop throwing accusations around.

Mark Bryant MacLaughlin, youre in denial.Sam shut the freezer door before he could grab his ice cream. Admit it. You. Like. Evangeline. Taylor!

Could you not yell in my face?Using his height to his advantage, he blocked her with his shoulders, then grabbed the butter pecan gelato. I didnt say I like her, and I havent given you cause to think that. Now, if you could excuse me, Id like to enjoy my ice cream before work.

Sam let out a sigh. Come on, bro. Ive known you for twenty-nine years. Almost thirty. Also, youre getting old, so you should probably settle down and have a family before Mom disowns you and adopts another son.

Mark leaned a hip against the counter and took a bite of gelato. First of all, thirty-one is not old. And—”

Youll be thirty-two this fall.

But Im not there yet, am I? Anyhow, thirty-one is not old, and I havent found the right woman yet. What about you? Youre nearly the big three-o and youve yet to find a husband. A highway goes two ways, sis.

Yeah, well, I wasnt talking about me.She grinned. SoAre you gonna ask her out?

Really? If I wouldnt end up getting charged for assault by my own sister, Id throw this spoon at you.

No, you wouldnt. Youre a softie. Look, Mark, all Im saying is that I saw how your face lit up when I said her name. I know that shes not from here and that breaks your shop localrules, but I also know my brother. And he doesnt let minor details get in the way of what he wants. More importantly, what God wants for him. The fact that Miss Taylor happened to end up in Believe isnt just a coincidence. If you need more prodding, call Mom. Shed love to give you the spiel I just gave you, even at ten-forty-five at night. But at least hers wouldnt be specific to one lady. Maybe that would help you.

No, I think one of you is enough for one night.He set his spoon in the sink, put the lid on the gelato, and slid it back in the freezer. I wont deny that I noticed Miss Taylor, but theres a lot that would go with it. She doesnt live here, for one. Im not moving, Sam.

“Who says you have to?”

Sam. Shes from Washington state.

Fine. But Im just saying, you havent lit up like this in a long time. If ever. Even Ettie noticed it when you finally came back to the station yesterday.

You werent even at work yesterday, so how would you know? Besides that, Ettie would notice a caterpillar that likes another caterpillar, Sam. Thats a poor example to support your case. Remind me again how you passed your state patrol training?


Other Books in the Series

(Linked to an Amazon affiliate link.)

About the Author

Cleopatra Margot resides with her family and their golden retriever in small town, rural Nebraska. Inspiration for her novels comes from both real life + fictional characters and storylines in her brain. The town of Believe is based on her own hometown, but with embellishments. She and her two younger siblings are homeschooled, and enjoy traveling with their parents and the dog. When she’s not writing, Cleopatra enjoys Bible journaling, time with family and friends, playing cards, being outside (when it’s not subfreezing temps), laughing, singing, and enjoying life.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Healing Their Hearts by Cleoptatra Margot, a vinyl sticker, bookmark, and free shipping coupon (for a future purchase through the author)

US only
Ends July 29, 2020

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Review: A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime.

Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. While there, he's devastated by the news from his fiancee in England that she's marrying another man.

With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Zoe accepts a proposal from a miner of questionable character after he promises to help her locate her brother. Intent on protecting Zoe and frustrated by his failed engagement, Abe offers his own hand as groom. After a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.

My Review

I’m always up for a good marriage of convenience story, and this one was excellent! Zoe has such a compassionate heart and I loved her desire and willingness to care for orphaned children. Abe has a plan and is doing his best to stick to it, even when he struggles with the bishop’s formality and demands for how he interacts with the community. Even though the beginning of their relationship is a bit rocky with doubts and hesitation, they are both sincere and genuine, and recognize the goodness in each other. It was fun to see their growing attraction and the blossoming of deeper feelings of romance. Their future is uncertain and a variety of obstacles challenge them and their little family that quickly grows as Zoe brings more chicks under her wing. I loved how their vulnerabilities contrasted with their strengths and the way God led them to each other and others who needed them.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Don't miss the other books in The Bride Ships series . . .