Tag Archives: historical romance fiction

Book Review: My Dear Miss Dupre´

2 Apr

Willow Dupré never thought she would have to marry, but with her father’s unexpected retirement from running the prosperous Dupré sugar refinery, she is forced into a different future. The shareholders are unwilling to allow a female to take over the company without a man at her side, so her parents devise a plan–find Willow a spokesman king in order for her to become queen of the business empire.

Willow is presented with thirty potential suitors from the families of New York society’s elite group called the Four Hundred. She has six months to court the group and is told to to eliminate men each month to narrow her beaus until she chooses one to marry, ending the competition with a wedding. Willow reluctantly agrees, knowing she must do what is best for the business. She doesn’t expect to find anything other than a proxy . . . until she meets a gentleman who captures her attention, and she must discover for herself if his motives are pure.

Grace Hitchcock is the author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in Baton Rouge with her husband, Dakota, son and daughter. Connect with her online at GraceHitchcock.com.

My Impressions:

My Dear Miss Dupre´ is something of a Gilded Age Bachelorette. Author Grace Hitchcock takes a modern idea and gives it a historical twist. While the premise sounded good, I just don’t think it came off on the page. I did like main character Willow Dupre´ and her marriage dilemma — find a husband to help her run her family’s business empire, since women of the day were seen as emotional and fit only to raise children. Turning those notions on their heads was a good thing, but I felt the way the suitor competition was carried out was a bit far-fetched. I found the various competitors endearing and annoying, just as I was supposed to. But the whole competition didn’t ring true to me. Not a fan of the modern-day TV version, I am probably not the target audience for this book anyway. 😉 Besides the romance, there is a bit of suspense as one character changes his mind on his motive for marrying Willow. Please note that reviews are very subjective and based on the reviewer’s likes and sometimes biases. My Dear Miss Dupre´ has 76% 4 and 5-star reviews, so I urge you to find out for yourself. I have enjoyed other books by Hitchcock, and my experience with this one will not keep me from picking up more books by her.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Blog Tour — Harvest Moon

31 Mar

Harvest Moon JustRead Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour for Harvest Moon by Jenny Knipfer, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Harvest MoonTitle: Harvest Moon
Series: By the Light of the Moon #4
Author: Jenny Knipfer
Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: November 23, 2020
Genre: Christian Historical Romance

A tale of finding grace and blessing amongst life’s hardships

In the wilds of 19th century Ontario, Maang-ikwe, a young Ojibwe woman, falls into a forbidden love, breaks her father’s honor, and surrenders her trust to someone who betrays it. The abuse she suffers divides her from her tribe and causes her to give up what she holds most dear.

Niin-mawin must come to grips with his culture being ripped away from him. Brought up in a “white man’s” school, he suffers through an enforced “civilized” education and separation from his family. When a man he respects reveals a secret about Niin-mawin’s past, he embarks on a search for the person he hopes can mend the part of his heart that’s always been missing.

Both Maang-ikwe and Niin-mawin wonder how a harvest of pain and sorrow will impact their lives. Will they find the blessings amongst the hardships, or will they allow the results of division and abuse to taint their hearts forever?

Fans of historical fiction, Native American fiction, Christian historical fiction, clean romance, and literary fiction will be moved by this deep, heartfelt novel.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub

EXCERPT

My mother always said that one day I’d get ripped open by my stubbornness, and she was right. It’s my fool, stubborn heart which led to Ignacio’s banishment and will most likely lead to mine. 

A harvest moon of orange glows in the evening sky like a pumpkin guiding my steps. My feet squash down the mounded soil as I walk through the corn in the field. I hope I have not been followed. I turn my head to watch, but I see no one in the shadows. Some spidery strands of corn silk cling to my hide dress. Tufts of silk spring from the corn ears, brown and brittle like an old woman’s hair. 

I walk deeper into the maze of stalks. Wide, curved leaves as big as my arm cling to me as I pass. Most are dry and they crunch as I wade into them. They are reluctant to see me go. Perhaps the corn wonders when I will ripen. 

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jenny Knipfer

Jenny Knipfer lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken, and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling. Spending many years as a librarian in a local public library, Jenny recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability. Her education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions.

She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Wisconsin Writers Association, Christian Indie Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association. Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set.

She is currently writing a new historical fiction series entitled, Sheltering Trees. The first title in that series, In a Grove of Maples,—inspired by the lives of her grandparents in the late 1890’s—is slated for summer of 2021.

CONNECT WITH JENNY: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

Harvest Moon JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 29, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 5, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Top 10 Tuesday — Ruin A Book With One Letter (Or Two)

23 Mar

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday challenge is Funny Titles. I posted on that not too long ago, and frankly I don’t read many funny books, so the titles aren’t either. So I decided to share the ever popular Ruined Titles. Basically, you change one or two letters of one of the words in a book’s title so that a great read becomes, well, ruined. 😉 My apologies to the authors.

For more funny titles, make sure to visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Ruined Book Titles

All Manner of Strings by Susie Finkbeiner

small town sewing

Collision of Pies by Tom Threadgill

pastry train derailment

Daughters of Northern Snores by Joanne Bischof

sleeping in Scandinavia

Echoes Among The Scones by Jaime Jo Wright

past mystery in a pastry shop

Facing The Lawn by Cynthia Ruchti

grief and lawn care

The Mouse at The End of The Moor by Michelle Griep

Victorian city and country mice

On A Coastal Sneeze by Suzanne Woods Fisher

love and hay fever in Maine

The Traitor’s Prawn by Lisa Harris

Chinese spies and seafood

Under a Turquoise Sty by Lisa Carter

desert pig farming

Audiobook Mini-Review: More Than Meets The Eye

22 Mar

The past month has been tough emotionally, so I really needed an easy read for my morning walk. So how do I define easy? — a book with engaging characters, perhaps a little (or a lot) of romance, some humor, and no heavy topics. While More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer checked all the boxes, is was not fluffy. There is a great message about not judging people’s appearances or limitations, but looking at them how God does. This book was really what I needed!

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?

For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warm-hearted historical romances with a flair of humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home. 

Winner of the HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website. To learn more about Karen and her books, or to join her subscriber list, please visit http://www.karenwitemeyer.com.

My Impressions:

I admit I read The Patchwork Family series out of order. I learned about the Hamilton family in More Than Words Can Say which features oldest brother Zach. I found the book charming, so I was eager to learn more about this patched together family. More Than Meets The Eye, book 1 in the series, starts with the main characters as children riding an orphan train to find new families. They are not successful for a number of reasons, and tragedy and a promise cause them to form a family of their own. The book follows Zach, Seth, and Evangeline in their early adulthood. Although they are prospering, they still haven’t found a place in the surrounding community. Differences seen and unseen from the townspeople of Pecan Gap keep the siblings aloof. Two strangers enter their circle, and the dynamics change quickly. I really liked all of the characters in the book. Each has a unique story that many can identify with. The plot moves at a brisk pace, and besides romance, there is mystery and suspense. I loved how God changed hearts and minds as well.

If you are a fan of historical romance set in the western America, I think you will really enjoy More Than Meets The Eye. I found it to be a great way to keep on track with my morning walks.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Happy Release Day! — A Tapestry of Light

16 Mar

Kimberly Duffy‘s debut novel, A Mosaic of Wings, was fantastic! Its exotic setting and unusual subject matter made it a highly recommended historical novel. Today, her second novel, A Tapestry of Light, has released. Happy release day Kimberly!!

 

Calcutta, 1886.

Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.

When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.

But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.

Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes readers back in time and across oceans. Her books feature ahead-of-their-time heroines, evocative settings, and real-life faith. Kimberly loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of 20 years. He doesn’t mind.

You can find Kimberly at:

http://www.kimberlyduffy.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKimberlyDuffy/

https://www.instagram.com/kimberlyduffyauthor/

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Spring TBR List

16 Mar

Life is full of seasons, and I am finding Spring 2021 to be filled with fun, joy, and sorrow. Building a vacation home, my daughter’s wedding, and the passing of my sister a few weeks ago have filled my days. Not a lot of reading going on in my life right now, which under the circumstances is more than okay. But I do have some books on my Spring TBR List. I am hopeful to get many of them read and will be sharing my thoughts in the coming weeks. Posts may be sporadic for a few months, but I hope you will enjoy those I manage to schedule.

For more Spring TBR Lists, please check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Books on My Spring TBR List

 

At Lighthouse Point by Suzanne Woods Fisher

My Dear Miss Dupre by Grace Hitchcock

Night Fall by Nancy Mehl

 

Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

The Secret Place by Camille Eide

A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy

 

To Save A King by Rachel Hauck

Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow

Whispers in The Branches by Brandy Heineman

 

 

Book Review: The Earl’s Lady Geologist

11 Mar

Cassandra Linfield is a lady fossil collector who declares she will never marry as no man will ever take her studies seriously. When circumstances force her to travel to Town for the Season, Cassy infiltrates the hallowed portals of the Geological Society from which she has been banned. She is horrified when she comes face to face with her nemesis, the infuriating Earl of Rothbury.

Lord Rothbury is a gentleman-geologist with a turbulent romantic past. After a youthful disappointment he vows never to fall in love again, and makes the decision, instead, to seek out a convenient wife when he returns to England from his geological travels abroad.

Brought together by their close family ties, Cassy and Rothbury collaborate on a geological paper and discover a powerful attraction. Marriage, however, is the one subject they cannot agree upon. But when Cassy’s life is threatened, the two realize that love matters more than their objections.

Alissa Baxter wrote her first Regency romance, The Dashing Debutante, during her long university holidays. After travelling the world, she settled down to write her second Regency romance, Lord Fenmore’s Wager, which was inspired by her time living on a country estate in England. A Marchioness Below Stairs, her third Regency romance, is the sequel to Lord Fenmore’s Wager.

Alissa’s Regency romance, The Earl’s Lady Geologist (#1 in the Linfield Ladies Series) was released by Vinspire Publishing in February 2021.

Also the author of two chick lit novels, The Truth About Clicking Send and Receive (previously published as Send and Receive) and The Truth About Cats and Bees (previously published as The Blog Affair), Alissa currently lives in Johannesburg with her husband and two sons.

 

My Impressions:

The Earl’s Lady Geologist, book 1 in the Linfield Ladies series, combines all you’ve come to expect from a Regency romance — debutante balls, fine ladies and gentlemen, and grand country estates — with something a bit unique. Alissa Baxter’s heroine is not your run-of-the mill deb looking to hook a husband. She is well-educated, decidedly independent, and definitely not looking to marry, and a geologist to boot! Geology was a man’s field in those days, reserved for the wealthy class to study and report on. Cassy is a fun character with fears, doubts, and a good awareness of her own shortcomings. Paired with the handsome and sometimes arrogant Lord Rothbury, she comes into her own. The settings of Lyme Regis and London provide a good contrast between country and city society and expectations of the time. The position of women in early 19th century is eye-opening. I found all of the women in the novel to be engaging and enterprising in each of their social stations. Baxter also mixes in some mystery and danger — a good way to add depth to the romance. The faith thread is developed in a natural way, as well, highlighting the struggles we all face.

If you are a fan of the Regency genre, then give The Earl’s Lady Geologist a try. More books are promised in this series, and I am anxious to see where Baxter will take the other Linfield ladies.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I received a complimentary copy from the author. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Characters And Their Jobs

2 Mar

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday features characters with jobs we would like to have. I worked as my husband’s bookkeeper for almost 25 years as I helped him grow his business. It was the right choice for us and helped us achieve our goals. But did I regret leaving upon my retirement a year and a half ago? Uh, no. 😉 While my first year of retirement was a bit different than I imagined, I am enjoying more flexibility and freedom. Not having to plan time off around biweekly payroll is great! So, no, I don’t envy any character’s job!

For a bit of a twist on today’s challenge, I am featuring characters whose jobs play an integral part in their story. They wouldn’t be where they are without the jobs they have. All are recent reads.

For more on character jobs, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Character Jobs

 

Amara Alvarez — homicide detective

 

Josephine Bourdillon — fiction author

 

Caroline Bragg — corporate attorney

 

Evelyn Brand — international journalist

 

Margot De Wilde — codebreaker

 

Madison James — U.S. Marshall

 

Layla Karam — CIA analyst

 

Caitlyn Lindsey — research scientist

 

Alice Grace Ripley — librarian

 

Jeremy Winter — FBI agent

Book Review: When Twilight Breaks

22 Feb

Sarah Sundin is a go-to author for me. Her WWII-era novels are always well-researched and filled with relatable characters. When Twilight Breaks is an exceptionally good book — I found the pre-war Germany setting to be a chilling reminder to modern-day readers. It is highly recommended!

 

Munich, 1938. Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent as determined to prove her worth in a male-dominated profession as she is to expose the growing tyranny in Nazi Germany. To do so, she must walk a thin line. If she offends the government, she could be expelled from the country — or worse. If she fails to truthfully report on major stories, she’ll never be able to give a voice to the oppressed–and wake up the folks back home.

In another part of the city, American graduate student Peter Lang is working on his PhD in German. Disillusioned with the chaos in the world due to the Great Depression, he is impressed with the prosperity and order of German society. But when the brutality of the regime hits close, he discovers a far better way to use his contacts within the Nazi party–to feed information to the shrewd reporter he can’t get off his mind.

This electric standalone novel from fan-favorite Sarah Sundin puts you right at the intersection of pulse-pounding suspense and heart-stopping romance.

Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the bestselling author of When Twilight Breaks (February 2, 2021), The Land Beneath Us (2020), The Sky Above Us (2019) and The Sea Before Us (2018), as well as the Waves of Freedom, Wings of the Nightingale, and Wings of Glory series.

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California and enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups. Her novel The Land Beneath Us was a finalist for the 2020 Christy Award, The Sky Above Us won the 2020 Carol Award, The Sea Before Uswon the 2019 Reader’s Choice Award from Faith, Hope, and Love, and When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were both named to Booklist’s 101 Best Romance Novels of the Past 10 Years. Sarah serves as Co-Director for the West Coast Christian Writers Conference. Please visit Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com, on Facebook at SarahSundinAuthor, on Twitter at @sarahsundin, and on Instagram at @sarahsundinauthor.

 

My Impressions:

When Twilight Breaks, Sarah Sundin’s newest historical novel, is a page-turner! Sundin does an excellent job of creating characters that you not only come to love, but hold your breath and bite your nails over as they navigate the dangers of pre-WWII Germany! Well-researched, this book will get you thinking as you experience the race to war by Hitler and his regime. I could not put this one down!

When Twilight Breaks revolves around two main characters — Evelyn Brand, an American journalist assigned to Munich in 1938 and Peter Lang, an American doctoral candidate doing research at the university in the same city. At the beginning of the novel the two have very decidedly different views of Nazi Germany. They are repeatedly thrown together and become somewhat of a team, as Evelyn seeks to report on the true happenings in the Nazi regime. I was fascinated by the contrasting views Americans had of what was happening in Europe. While most readers are familiar with the war years, this perspective on how Hitler achieved power and exerted control over the citizens is eye-opening. There are a great many parallels to modern events, and the novel will make you think. You’ll also want to talk about it — When Twilight Breaks is an excellent choice for book clubs. (I can’t wait to discuss it with my book club later this year.) Concepts of justice, order, mercy, and freedom become concrete in the scenes depicted by Sundin. The book builds slowly as it prepares the characters and the readers for what is to come, but towards the end, I could not read fast enough. No spoilers, but this one will keep you on the edge of your seat. Romance also grows slowly, but when the two finally admit their true feelings? — there’s an awe moment. 😉

When Twilight Breaks has it all and has gone to the top of my favorites by Sarah Sundin. Grab a copy and some friends and jump in! You will love it too!

Highly recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Mardi Gras!

16 Feb

I don’t have to tell you that nothing is normal right now! Events are cancelled left and right, including 2021 Mardi Gras! Although Mardi Gras is celebrated across the Gulf Coast, New Orleans is famous for it. I went a few years ago to some family-friendly Mardi Gras events (yes, that’s a thing) and had a great time. New Orleans is one of my favorite places to visit. Despite the dirty streets and less than savory areas, the city is a great gumbo mix of culture, art, food, and fun.

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday is all about books with covers of purple, green, and yellow — the colors of Mardi Gras. Of course I am tweaking the topic yet again, this time with books set in New Orleans. Ranging from colonial times to present day and historical to suspense to women’s fiction, the books capture the New Orleans vibe. There’s even one that has a green/purple/yellow cover 😉 .

For more Mardi Gras fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

Top Books Set in New Orleans

 

Mark of The King by Jocelyn Green

The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Chasing The Wind by Pamela Binnings Ewen

 

Dancing on Glass by Pamela Binnings Ewen 

The Edge of Grace by Christa Allan

Missing Max by Karen Young

The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy

 

Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll

Midnight on The Mississippi by Mary Ellis

Stratagem by Robin Carolll