The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

governess pen

Book Summary:

Cornwall, England, 1811
Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she tries desperately to forget.

Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of this brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

My Thoughts:

Sarah Ladd has written another beautifully descriptive Regency novel!  The Governess of Penwythe Hall had a different feel from other Sarah Ladd books that I have previously read.  It was a more slow paced, character centered book I felt.  The relationships between the orphaned children and Deila as well as Jac really made this story rich. I loved that Jac was a man who labored alongside his workers, it made him more approachable and I respected him for it.  Deilia’s past is filled with such heartache that you are anxious for her to get a happy ending. I felt that there was more emphasis placed on winning the children’s affections and making them feel secure than on the pursuit of romance between the characters.  I didn’t mind that a bit!  It showed a great deal about Jac and Deilia in the way that they cared for the Tretheweay children.  Delia’s vaugue past adds a bit of mystery and the hint of danger is always lurking.  As with all Sarah Ladd books there was a bit of suspense and some danger as the story concluded!  No spoilers!   I was happily satisfied with the ending!

 

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Governess of Penwythe Hall or learn more about Sarah E. Ladd, visit the links below!

Amazon: The Governess of Penwythe Hall

https://sarahladd.com/

 

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Golden Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse

golden bride

Book Summary:

The Daughters of the Mayflower series continues when Olivia Brighton finds herself widowed and working her brother’s restaurant in San Francisco during the height of the rush for gold. Even though she receives at least twenty marriage proposals a day, she will never marry a gold miner. Her brother’s friend Joseph Sawyer has gotten caught up in local politics and the plight of Chinese in forced labor. The more Joseph gets pulled into investigating crime in the city, the less Olivia sees of the compassionate man. And just when she thinks she could love again, a fire threatens to steal all hope.

 

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this latest novel in The Daughters of the Mayflower series.  I thought that the story was interesting and the characters were easy to like.  Olivia was a great heroine and I really loved how strong and resilient she was.  I loved that this book had a heavy faith element and that the character’s were burdened for their lost city.  I enjoyed that Olivia and Joseph created a strong friendship before they shared any romance, it made their relationship more genuine.  I enjoyed that journals from Olivia’s ancestors made an appearance in this book, it really helped to connect this book to the series.  The Golden Bride was a great addition to this series!

 

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Golden Bride or learn more about Kimberly Woodhouse, visit the links below!

Amazon: The Golden Bride

https://kimberleywoodhouse.com/

 

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Artful Match by Jennifer Delamere

artful match

Book Summary:

At loose ends in 1881, Cara Bernay befriends a carefree artist, the brother of the handsome but infuriating Henry Burke, the Earl of Morestowe. Recognizing the positive influence Cara has on his brother, Henry invites her to accompany them back to their estate. When secrets on both sides come out, Cara devises a bold plan with consequences for her heart.

 

My Thoughts:

The Artful Match is the third book in the London Beginnings series, and tells Cara Bernay’s story.  I found this book really hard to get interested in compared to the previous books in this series.  I think that I mostly did not care for Cara as a character and it made it difficult for me to connect with this particular story.  I also felt like the group of “bohemian” artists and their lifestyle really gave this book a weird vibe from the start.  It seemed very scandalous for this particular time period for unmarried men and women to live together and work together.  Cara embraced this non-traditional living situation without pause and it caused me to question her character.  I just did not care for this particular story or the way the characters were written, basically this just wasn’t the book for me.  I was happy that at the conclusion of the book that all of the story lines of this series were wrapped up nicely.   I would encourage and Historical Fiction fans to read the book blurb and if this book sounds interesting to you then most definitely give it a try!  Each book affects readers differently and I think this book could definitely interest the right reader.

 

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Artful Match or learn more about Jennifer Delamere, visit the links below!

Amazon: The Artful Match

https://jenniferdelamere.com/

* I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Edge of Mercy by Heidi Chiavaroli

edge of mercy

Book Summary:

Suspecting her husband is having an affair, Sarah Rodrigues fights to appear unbroken while attempting to salvage her family. Though distracted by her own troubles, Sarah is summoned to an elderly friend’s deathbed for an unusual request—find a long-lost daughter and relay a centuries-old family story.

Determined not to fail her friend, Sarah pieces together the story of her neighbor’s ancestor, Elizabeth Baker, a young colonist forced into an unwanted betrothal but drawn to a man forbidden by society.

While Sarah’s family teeters on the edge of collapse, her world is further shaken by the interest of a caring doctor and a terrible accident that threatens a life more precious than her own.

Inspired by the unconditional love she uncovers in Elizabeth’s story, Sarah strives to forgive those who’ve wounded her soul. But when light shines on the dark secrets of her neighbor’s past and the full extent of her husband’s sins, will looking to a power greater than herself rekindle lost hope?

 

My Thoughts:

The Edge of Mercy is a thought provoking and deeply emotional book.  I have come to anticipate as much with Heidi Chiavaroli’s writing.  She is truly gifted at tackling hard subjects and making her reader truly examine a situation from an angle that they may have never considered.  I always find myself very deeply invested in her stories and this one was no different.  I loved the time slip aspect of this book and felt as though it effortlessly fit into the story line.  Her characters feel real and genuine and that really allows the reader to connect with this story.  While there was a lot of heartbreak in this book, I loved how Elizabeth’s story impacted Sarah and her family and inspired them to seek hope. The conclusion of this book was a reflection of that hope!  That is all I will say! No spoilers!  I also loved the authors notes about this particular novel.  The history and information packed into them was so interesting and really gave me more of an appreciation for this story.  I am usually not a huge fan of really emotional or heavier books, but I always make an exception for Heidi Chiavaroli’s novels.  I just love her writing and her storytelling keeps me coming back for more!

 

If you would like to purchase a copy of The Edge of Mercy or learn more about Heidi Chiavaroli, visit the links below!

Amazon: The Edge of Mercy

https://www.heidichiavaroli.com/

 

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

 

 

Up From The Sea by Amanda Dykes

up from the sea

Book Summary:

Deep in a New England forest, an ancient tree stands at the center of a tale passed down through the generations. So much so, that the residents of Ansel-by-the-Sea, Maine, no longer know what is truth and what is fable. A woman fleeing in the night, rumors of treason, revolution, retribution . . .

When Savannah Mae Thorpe, born and raised near the golden sands of the South, arrives with a version of the story unlike any heard before, she finds herself the unlikely leader of an expedition into the woods to discover the truth. With help from local lumberjack Alastair Bliss, who holds a shadowed past of his own, her search to discover the truth of the Atonement Tree may have unexpected ramifications on her life–and the lives of those around her.

A tale of origins, this novella is a story complete on its own but also an invitation to discover the legacy that came before the story of Robert Bliss, the fisherman-poet who changed the tide of a nation with his unsuspecting words in Amanda’s full-length novel, Whose Waves These Are.

 

My Thoughts:

This novella was absolutely captivating.  I have rarely been so completely lured into a story, but this novella really drew me in to it’s descriptive and intriguing tale.  Up From The Sea gave me a feeling of folklore meets fairy tale, as the story of the woman in the woods is shared over a crackling fire.   Amanda Dykes has a mesmerizing and descriptive style of writing that brings this story to life and transports the reader to  the woods of Maine in search of answers right alongside the characters in this novella.  I enjoyed the progression of this story and was completely invested in the outcome.  I loved that so many details of this story came full circle.  It was beautiful and redemptive.  After reading Up From The Sea I cannot wait for the following novel Whose Waves These Are!  I have absolutely fallen in love with Amanda Dykes writing style and am excited to see more of her work!  I am always so nervous to read a “new to me” author, however after reading just the prologue of this novella I was completely in awe and am a fast fan!  I highly recommend grabbing this novella and getting lost in this story!

If you would like to download a free copy of Up From The Sea or learn more about Amanda Dykes, visit the links below!

Amazon: Up From The Sea

http://amandadykes.com/blog/

 

 

The Baron’s Daughter by Laura Beers

barons daughter

Book Summary:

Lord Morgan Easton is, first and foremost, an agent of the Crown. To achieve his purposes, he has become Society’s golden boy, and a renowned rake. When it’s discovered that notorious French spy, Genet, is attending a house party in a small seaside village, he is tasked to infiltrate the gathering and arrest the spy. But first, he must convince a certain woman to become his partner and pose as his wife. The challenge is that she would rather see him dead.

Miss Josette Northcott guards her secrets fiercely, trusts few, and enjoys the anonymity that goes along with being the headmistress of a private school in the rookeries. When Lord Morgan offers her a deal she can’t refuse, she makes it clear that this is nothing more than a business arrangement. No man, no matter how charming or infuriatingly handsome he is, can know the truth of her sordid and twisted past.

As a nefarious plot begins to unfold, threatening the stability of two countries, Morgan and Josette must learn to trust each other in order to stop the assassination of both the King of France and their own prince regent. However, trust does not come easily to either agent, and when the truth of Josette’s past is finally unveiled, will they be able to accept that not only is their mission on the line, but their hearts, as well?

 

My Thoughts:

This book combines spies and Regency!  I mean seriously!  I was totally hooked into this series after reading this book!  I am coming into this series in book 6!  So naturally, I have missed a lot.  However, I never felt lost or that I needed a lot of backstory to really get into this story.  The author did a great job of including characters from previous books without making their story lines too prominent to relate to this particular book.  I loved the chemistry between Josette and Morgan!  It was really fun to read their banter as they worked this mission.  There seemed to always be something happening to keep my interest!  I loved how strong Josie was and that she was capable of handling herself!  There were several twists and turns in this book which I loved!  It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat!  I really enjoyed this book and already ordered the first book in this series so that I can start from the beginning!

If you would like to purchase a copy of  The Baron’s Daughter or learn more about Laura Beers, visit the links below!

Amazon: The Baron’s Daughter

Laura Beers: Goodreads

*I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

 

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

romanov

Book Summary:

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of saving herself and her family are either to release the spell and deal with the consequences, or to enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

 

My Thoughts:

I have been on a brave adventure this year, diving into some YA books that are…gasp…historical fantasy.  Its not my typical romantic suspense or regency read, however the few that I have dared to crack open, I have loved!  After dipping my toe in the fantasy pond with To Best the Boys by Mary Weber, I decided on a whim to request a digital copy of Romanov by Nadine Brandes.  I concluded that if it was meant to be then I would get approved and if not then maybe my short trip into the world of fantasy reading was a one and done! I got approved!  I read it!  I really liked it!  Now, full disclosure that I knew practically nothing about Russian history or the Romanov family prior to reading this story, so it was all surprising to me.  The first half of the book followed the family and their time in exile.  I enjoyed getting to know the characters and their personalities.  There were several heart wrenching situations that I was not expecting.  I was so caught up in this story that I  literally felt angry at times and heart broken at others.  This book really picked up in pace and excitement a little over half way through.  It was tense, it was nerve wracking, it was unpredictable and I loved it!  The conclusion of this book was what made this book amazing in my opinion.  Wow.  Just so good!  I had to process this book for a few days and sort through my thoughts and feelings.  I really had a greater appreciation for the book as a whole after finishing it and really kind of letting it settle for a few days.  Does that sound weird?  I don’t know!  Read it and I think you will see what I mean!  Definitely recommend picking this one up!  It will give you all the feels for sure! 

If you would like to purchase a copy of Romanov or learn more about Nadine Brandes, visit the links below!

Amazon: Romanov

https://nadinebrandes.com/

 

*I was given a Netgalley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.