Tag Archives: novella collection

Audiobook Review — Her Country Gentleman

19 Apr

Love historical romance? Then you should definitely check out the novella collection, Her Country Gentleman (Timeless Georgian Collection, Book 1) by Sian Ann Bessey, Sarah M. Eden, and Rebecca Connolly. I listened to the audiobook, and it was the perfect accompaniment for my morning walks and chores. All the details and my thoughts are below.

Not all love is found in London . . .

Spring at Tribbley Hall by Sian Ann Bessey
When Charlotte’s grandmother invites her to accompany her to Norfolk, Charlotte jumps at the chance to visit the sea and escape the fuss surrounding her sister’s wedding preparations in London. Lord William Cheston, on the other hand, is most unhappy when his mother informs him that her old friend and a granddaughter are coming to stay. Not only is it lambing season, but he’s also dealing with the mysterious loss of several sheep. The last thing he needs is a child underfoot. When Charlotte and William first meet, he does not realize that the lovely young lady is the granddaughter in question, and she assumes that the man dressed in work clothes in the barn is a servant. Soon afterward, however, Charlotte stumbles upon a clue to William’s sheep’s disappearance, and when her life is placed in jeopardy, William is forced to choose between saving his unwanted houseguest and catching the thief.

Love of My Heart by Sarah M. Eden
Cordelia Wakefield has never lived anywhere but London and is not overly happy when her family is forced to retrench to a small estate near Teviotbrae, Scotland. An ill-fated game of battledore and shuttlecock brings her face-to-racquet with Sebastian, who runs the home farm at nearby Teviot Castle. What begins as a clash of personalities, expectations, and preferences, soon leads to a friendship neither had expected. As the magic of Teviotbrae weaves its spell, the possibility of something more than friendship begins to blossom. But what future is there for a lowly farmer and a London lady?

Miss Smith Goes to Wiltshire by Rebecca Connolly
Martha Smith wants to marry for love, and will not be persuaded otherwise. She is highly sought after in Society for her beauty and status, but refuses to consider any suitor whose only claim is that his prospects meet with her mother’s approval. Her widowed mother has had enough of Martha’s romantic sensibilities, and is sending her to stay with unfortunate cousins in Wiltshire to show her that marrying for love is a risk that is too great. Benjamin Steele, Lord Hillier, is working on his new and dilapidated estate when he first catches sight of the striking Martha Smith. Becoming Lord Hillier has only brought him a house that needs significant repairs, tenant farms that had been abandoned, and only the money he’d already possessed. He wants meaning in his life, and he’s more than willing to work for it. Though worlds apart in all else, on this point they can agree: a life of meaning would change everything.

Sian Ann Bessey was born in Cambridge, England, but grew up on the island of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales. She left her homeland to attend university in the U.S. and earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in English. 

She began her writing career as a student, publishing several magazine articles while still in college. Since then she has published historical romance and romantic suspense novels, along with a variety of children’s books. She is a USA Today best selling author, a Foreward Reviews Book of the Year finalist, and a Whitney Award finalist.

Although Sian doesn’t have the opportunity to speak Welsh very often anymore, she can still wrap her tongue around, “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.” She loves to travel and experience other cultures, but when she’s home, her favorite activities are spending time with her family, cooking, and reading.

You can visit Sian on the web at http://www.sianannbessey.com

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today bestselling author of multiple historical romances, including AML’s “2013 Novel of the Year” and Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, and the Whitney Award’s “2014 Novel of the Year,” Longing for Home: Hope Springs. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.

Rebecca Connolly is the author of more than two dozen novels. She calls herself a Midwest girl, having lived in Ohio and Indiana. She’s always been a bookworm, and her grandma would send her books almost every month so she would never run out. Book Fairs were her carnival, and libraries are her happy place. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She received a master’s degree from West Virginia University, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.

My Impressions:

Her Country Gentleman, a collection of 3 romance novellas set during the Victorian-era in England, was just what I needed for my morning walks. This book had just the right mixture of romance, suspense, whimsy, and Victorian touches to keep me engaged and listening (I had a copy of the audiobook). I liked that each novella was about 2+ hours long — I could get my exercise in, do a few chores, and look forward to the next installment the next day. Before you think the books were just time fillers, let me tell you that they were well-crafted with interesting historical details and characters that I truly liked! Although each novella has its own unique voice due to the different authors, they each revolve around finding love and purpose in the countryside of England. There’s no stuffy London drawing rooms to be found, but there are plenty of sheep! LOL! Seriously, I enjoyed the suspense Bessey created in Spring at Tribbley Hall, the focus of being true to oneself in Love of My Heart by Eden, and the fun and love found in Miss Smith Goes to Wiltshire by Connolly. I loved traveling outside of London and getting into the fresh air of the countryside with the plucky heroines and their dashing love interests.

This fresh voiced collection is perfect for those who love historical romance. Whichever version of the collection you choose, I can promise you will be swept up in all three stories.


Audience: adults.

(Thanks to AustenProse for a complimentary audiobook. All opinions expressed are my own.)

Book Review: Protecting Tanner Hollow

8 Oct

Lethal Homecoming
Nolan Tanner never got over Kallie Ainsworth’s sudden, unexplained departure. Now when he comes to her rescue after an attempt on her life, all the old feelings come rushing back.

Lethal Conspiracy
When professional fundraiser Lillian Maloney sees her father’s campaign manager commit murder, she goes on the run from the men he hires to kill her. A close call brings firefighter Jason Tanner to the rescue, but the killer is closing in . . . 

Lethal Secrets
Someone wants Honor McBride dead. When Eli Murphy helps her change a flat tire and discovers the danger Honor is in, he longs to help — but Eli has secrets of his own that could get them all killed.

Lethal Agenda
When Detective Derek St. John rescues a woman he’s met only once before –and has never been able to forget — he finds himself falling for her. But he’ll have to keep Claire Montgomery alive if they’re to have a future together.

Award-winning, best-selling author, Lynette Eason writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line and for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her books have hit the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won numerous awards such as the prestigious Carol Award, the Selah, the Daphne, the IRCC award and more. Lynette is married, has two children, and lives in Greenville, SC.

My Impressions:

I have had Protecting Tanner Hollow on my TBR shelf for a while now. I scratched out a little just because reading time and pulled it down. It was the perfect choice for a quick and entertaining reading experience. If you like romantic suspense and the novella form, this book is for you.

Each of the four novellas in Protecting Tanner Hollow take place in the small North Carolina town of the same name. Many of the same characters overlap in each story, such as Sheriff Nolan Tanner, but the plot lines are distinct. Eason also includes characters from her Blue Justice series! In true novella format, there’s not a lot of character development and the romances are quick to take off. But the twisting, turning suspense keeps the pages turning and the reader guessing. Themes such as greed, betrayal, and jealousy run throughout. Each installment is less than 100 pages — great for when you want to complete a book, but have only a little time. I read one story a day, and found that to be just right for me.

Full of fast-paced action and romantic sparks, Protecting Tanner Hollow is a fun read!


Audience: adults.

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

2019 Carol Award Finalists!

29 Jun

Congratulations to the talented authors who are finalists for the 2019 Carol Awards. Sponsored by ACFW, the winners will be announced at the annual conference in San Antonio. Your summer TBR stack just got taller!


The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli

Miles From Where We Started by Cynthia Ruchti

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West



Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Melody of The Soul by Liz Tolsma

The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts


Historical Romance

Where The Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

A Light on The Hill by Connilyn Cossette

Across The Blue by Carrie Turansky



Cascade by Janice Boekhoff

Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright



In Sheep’s Clothing from A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas

Her Redcoat from The Backcountry Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas

MissTaken Identity from The MissAdventure Brides Collection by Kimberley Woodhouse



The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

Freedom’s Kiss by Sarah Monzon

Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh


Romantic Suspense

Lethal Target by Janice Cantore

Called to Protect by Lynette Eason

Hidden Peril by Irene Hannon


Short Novel

A Widow’s Hope by Vanetta Chapman

The Rancher’s Surprise Daughter by Jill Lynn

Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe



Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart


Young Adult

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

A Worthy Rebel by Jody Hedlund

Common by Laurie Lucking



The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson

First Love Forever Blitz Tour

4 Apr


Title: First Love Forever Romance Collection
Authors: Suzanne Dietze, Cynthia Hickey, Marcia Gruver, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Martha Rogers, Lorna Seilstad, Connie Stevens and Jennifer Uhlarik
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Release Date: April 1, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance Fic

Amazon l Goodreads l Book Depository l CBD l Itunes

A first love is never easily forgotten…

and coming face to face with that person again can be awkward when the heartstrings are still holding on to the what ifs.

In settings from 1865 to 1910, nine couples are thrown back on the same path by life’s changes and challenges. A neighbor returns from law school. An heiress seeks a quick marriage. A soldier’s homecoming is painful. A family needs help. A prodigal son returns. A rogue aeronaut drops from the sky. A runaway bridegroom comes home. A letter for aid is sent. A doctor needs a nurse. Can love rekindle despite the separation of time and space?

A Most Reluctant Bride by Cynthia Hickey
1880 – Ozark foothill ranch: Maggie Spoonmore marries her father’s former foreman, Zach Colton in order to salvage her reputation, yet struggles to believe he married her for love and not her inheritance.


A Most Reluctant Bride

Cynthia Hickey

Ozark Mountains, Arkansas, 1880

“Oh, Cricket.” Margaret Spoonmore, or Maggie as she insisted everyone call her, leaned her forehead against the white patch on her horse’s head.“ Mama has yet another pompous, stuffed shirt coming to supper tonight. What do you say we run away together, you and I?” She’d much rather live alone with her horse then marry a man she didn’t love.

Cricket nickered and turned to her feed. Obviously, Maggie’s only true friend in theworld had other things to do than listen to her whining. Sighing, Maggie pushed away from the stall and headed for the house nestled among the cottonwoods.

She remembered the day Pa moved her and Mama in. He’d been so proud. Ten years of building up his ranch of quarter horses in a rich Ozark mountain valley, then like a whiff of wind, heaven called him home and Mama wanted Maggie married off. Life wasn’t fair.

“Margaret!” Mama stood on the front porch, hands cupped around her mouth, and yelled.

“I’m here. No reason to holler.”

“Mr. Mason will be here soon and you’re still in your riding clothes.” Mama scowled then pointed inside. “Go get dressed. You know I’m dying. I’ve got to get you married before theGood Lord has me join your Pa.”

Maggie rolled her eyes. A bit of indigestion last month and Mama had thought herself on death’s door ever since. The doctor plainly said she was as healthy as a horse. She giggled. As a woman who constantly had to watch her weight, Mama had taken offense at the comparison and pouted for days.

“Unchaperoned? Mercy, Mama.” Maggie grinned. “How scandalous.”

“Hush. The man was clear when he stated he had no notions regarding you.”

“That was five years ago, Mama. I was a child.” Still, her face heated every time she remembered the humiliation of her trying to steal a kiss from the mountain’s most handsome young man. Since then, she’d avoided Zach like the black plague. Now, her mother wanted her alone with him? Could the day get any worse?

Yep. Mama laid out her pink ruffled dress. “It makes me look like a child.”

“Men like women in frilly things, dear. Stuff the bodice if you want more curves.” With those embarrassing words, she strolled out of the room. Well, Maggie refused to wear such an atrocity. She marched to her wardrobe and pulled out a dress of deepest green. One with a simple bodice and full skirt. A dress complimenting her dark hair and fair skin, one that made her feel pretty. Yes, she was petite, more thin than not, but she wasn’t going to put on false airs for anyone.

She donned the dress and put her hair up in a fashion her mother would approve of and headed downstairs as a knock sounded on the door. Squaring her shoulders, she greeted their guest for the evening.

The banker’s nephew. She hadn’t known his name, only his face, as someone pointed him out at church last Sunday. The man was barely taller than Maggie’s five foot two and almost as round. Shifty eyes like a weasel’s ran over her.

“Miss Spoonmore. You do look a vision.” He removed his felt hat and bowed.

“Thank you. Please come in.”

“Excuse me?” Maggie froze. “Why, didn’t your mother tell you?” His eyes widened. “My uncle will remove the loan on this house …

paid in full … on the day we say our vows.”

Mama was selling Maggie like a prize colt? She wouldn’t get away it. Maggie was taking Cricket and making good on her promise to run away. “I, uh, fear I have a terrible headache. Please accept my apologies.” She hiked her skirt above her ankles and thundered to her room.

She’d just thrown herself across her bed when her mother barged in. “You are embarrassing me.”

“Don’t you think you should have let me in on your little secret? ”Maggie rolled over and glared. “I wasn’t aware we had a loan on the ranch, much less that I was a bargaining chip!”

“Don’t be so melodramatic. We all have to do things we don’t want to do to make it in a man’s world.”

“I won’t.” She kicked her legs, very aware she was behaving like a child. “You’re selling Pa’s legacy.”

“Seriously. Get up. Zacharius arrived early. I’ll pacify Mr. Mason in the meantime. But …” She tapped Maggie on the head.“ You will go through with this marriage. I’m tired of your silly games, and I want off this mountain.”

Tears rolled down Maggie’s cheeks. Pa hadn’t been dead a full year and Mama wasalready giving up. Sure, it was tough running the ranch themselves, but they had good help and had placed an advertisement in the paper for a new foreman. It was only a matter of time before things got easier. Mr. Mason didn’t look the ranching type. He’d most likely sell off the stock and the land to pad his bank account.

Maggie sighed and pushed off the bed, quickly redressing in her riding clothes. A barn was not the place for a nice dress. Especially, since Maggie intended to leave at the first opportunity. She tossed a few things into a small fabric bag and rushed outside before Mama could ask questions.

She tried to skid to a halt to avoid a collision with the man on the porch. Instead, her feet slipped. She slammed into his broad back. They both fell to the packed clay ground, her on top of him as they rolled.

Zach Colton grinned up at her. “Well, hello to you, too. It’s been a long time, Maggie. I can’t imagine a better greeting.”

Mercy. She scrambled to her feet, trying unsuccessfully to pat

her hair into place. “My apologies.” Nose in the air, face flaming, she headed for the barn.

Multi-published and Amazon and ECPA Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey has sold over a million copies of her works since 2013. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference, several small ACFW chapters and RWA chapters. She and her husband run the small press, Winged Publications, which includes some of the CBA’s best well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs, one cat, and three box turtles. She has eight grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”.



One print copy of First Love Forever Romance Collection

One print copy of My Heart Belongs in Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels (or any other one of her released titles)

A pair of handmade earrings (*style subject to change from what is pictured)

Additional book swag and a $20 Barnes & Noble Gift Card.

(Only Gift card open internationally. All items open to US mailing addresses.) To Enter, click HERE. Be sure to stop at every stop on the tour for additional entries.

Tour Schedule