Category Archives: Historical Romance

A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah Ladd

 

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Description:
Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley?

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question.

Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.

My Review:

The lovely cover will make you pick up this book, but the story will not let you put it down. This book does not come out until May, so I generally try to read them closer to the time of publishing. However, this one was irresistible  Once I started it, I could not put it down. The story where the heroine found herself facing forced marriage because of money was very common in those times, and escape was not always something that was possible. The hero and heroine both, faced abuse, and yet persevered.

The spiritual elements in this book were quite open and keen, where this is not a book you might pick up and wonder if it was a Christian book. If you are not looking for one, don’t pick this one up. I found the message to be heart warming and encouraging.

I completely enjoyed this book!

“A Stranger at Fellsworth” is available for preorder through Amazon and through other book sources. The release date is May 16, 2017. Generally the price is better before it is released and I highly recommend you order this one.

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An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Hunter

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Life for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier if she hid in her older sister’s shadow–which worked until her sister got married. Even with thepressure of her socially ambitious mother, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience to save her previously spotless reputation.

Lord Trent Hawthorne couldn’t be happier that he is not the duke in the family. He’s free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, which includes grand plans of wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice. When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he doesn’t know, his dream of a marriage like his parents’ seems lost forever.

Already starting their marriage on shaky ground, can Adelaide and Trent’s relationship survive the pressures of London society?

My Review:

The lovely cover draws you into the character before you even pick up the story. Marriage in a rush, based on rumors begins this tale.

I found myself pulled in as it was not your typical “marriage of convenience” story. The familiar characters were manipulated by those in charge and I found I related to that. In this case, the couple decided to work to court and have a relationship before actually acting on being married. I found that refreshing, although not totally realistic.  Men are generally not that honorable. Trent is the ideal gentleman and will keep you reading until the end, while you laugh over his “pineapple” dreams as well. The snappy wit of the the lady, kept me chuckling to myself as well.

You can purchase this book from Amazon or wherever books are sold near you. $8.27 paperback on Amazon. “An Uncommon Courtship”

 

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The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

 

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the book:

She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.

Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter bearing his seal, asking for her hand in marriage.

But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Disguised as a shepherd, Steffan hopes to gain entry to the castle and claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.

Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.

Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen are reunited in the shepherd’s field. Together they conspire to get back their rightful titles. But they must hurry . . . or else they risk losing it all to his uncle’s evil plan.

My Review:

I try to never go into Melanie Dickerson’s books with expectations. For some reason, even though I know that the ones based on fairy tales will be familiar, she never ceases to surpass my expectations I do have.
This story, light, fun, but with hints of deeper meaning, spoke to my heart. It reminded me of a story that I had mapped out years ago, but never wrote. I loved the sweet retelling of this fairy tale, with the depth and heart that she has. It is one that young adults and adults will enjoy alike.

When you are looking for a good book, that will brighten your life, look to buy this one.

The publishing date is May 9th and is available for preorder for 8.42 for hardcover “The Noble Servant” 

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A Viscount’s Proposal by Melanie Dickerson

 

 

 

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My Review:

My heart overflowed with joy at a Christmas gift from the author of allowing me to read this book ahead of the time of publishing.
Christmas and Melanie Dickerson go together like cinnamon, Christmas trees and wrapped gifts do for other people. I made my own special tradition of reading her novels, preferably her latest novel on Christmas every year. So far, I have gotten to start a new one every year for last several years, curled in my Pj’s, by the light of my sister’s tree. I have loved her fairy tale rewrites so much, I wondered if I could like her regency reads just as well. I shouldn’t have worried.

The heroine of this tale is spunky, but not over the top in an irritating way. She is strong, and has definite thoughts of why she does what she does. I loved her! Her hero took a bit to grow on me, but like all “Mr. Darcy” like characters, we realized who he was under the prickles.

If you love a good regency, with hints of romance, without any graphic details, kisses or the like, this is perfect! It was just right. It hit the spot in a wonderful way.

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A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description:

A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the new maestro at the Nashville Philharmonic. But women are “far too fragile and frail” for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah’s hopes are swiftly dashed when the conductor–determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music–bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah’s new employer, agrees with him.

Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville’s youngest orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head, he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city’s new symphony hall. Even more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music–his dying father. As Tate’s ailment worsens, he knows Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how can he win back her trust when he’s robbed her of her dream?

My Review:

It is hard to describe this book. I am not a instrument lover. In fact, many of my siblings would testify of my desire to destroy piano’s during many years of my life based on how annoying they were to me. But I do love beautiful music, when well played. This book is music, well played. The subject of music is artfully woven into the story of a pair of people struggling to find their proper place in life. The romance is here, but is not the focus of the story. It is a subtle part of the novel, but you could almost miss it, but yet you cannot. Instead, the music, life and the desire for freedom from abuse, standards placed on the characters by society, and a desire to belong is stronger throughout. I really enjoyed this closing novel of the Belmont series as well as the true, historical tidbits sprinkled throughout.

You can purchase your own copy here.

“A Note Yet Unsung”

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From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

 

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About the book:

Romulus White has tried for years to hire illustrator Stella West for his renowned scientific magazine. She is the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry.

But Stella abruptly quit the art world and moved to Boston with a single purpose: to solve the mysterious death of her beloved sister. Romulus, a man with connections to high society and every important power circle in the city, could be her most valuable ally.

Sparks fly the instant Stella and Romulus join forces, and Romulus soon realizes the strong-willed and charismatic Stella could disrupt his hard-won independence. Can they continue to help each other when their efforts draw the wrong kind of attention from the powers-that-be and put all they’ve worked for at risk?

My Review:

I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Camden’s books. However, this one, dragged a bit for me. The characters were not as vibrant as I generally feel her characters were.
But we all enjoy a lighter book, and this one felt light, despite some of the content that tried to go deeper.
I love the cover, and it kept pulling me in. When I finished, I was satisfied with the storyline. I loved the historical facts of crime investigation, the building of transportation in that time and magazine writing.
It fascinated me, but took me awhile to read it!

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For the Record by Regina Jennings

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Betsy Huckabee might be a small-town girl, but she has big-city dreams. Writing for her uncle’s newspaper will never lead to independence, and the bigger newspapers don’t seem interested in the Hart County news. Trying a new approach, Betsy pens a romanticized serial for the ladies’ pages, and the new deputy provides the perfect inspiration for her submissions. She’d be horrified if he read her breathless descriptions of him, but these articles are for a newspaper far away. No one in Pine Gap will ever know.
Deputy Joel Puckett didn’t want to leave Texas, but this job in tiny Pine Gap is his only shot at keeping his badge. With masked marauders riding every night, his skills and patience are tested, but even more challenging is the sassy journalist lady chasing him.

My Review:

I think I might have picked up this book no matter what, just because of the authors name. I have a sister named Regina, although, she goes by Gina, it is one of my favorite names.

Betsy was a bit all over the place in this story, and I had to feel for Joel. I enjoyed the story, but found it was a light, happy, read with hints of harder topics that never were delved into. There were a lot of places that I wished it would have gone, but instead, they kept it light and with slight humor. If you like to avoid books that have minor misunderstandings that could have been cleared up with a quick conversation, you will likely want to skip this one. But if you like a little humor, drama and fun reading, pick it up!

This book was provided for me for review by NetGalley and the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.

This book is available wherever books are sold and online.

For the Record 

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Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlund

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found
Now remembered as the author of the world s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father until the night he hears Polly Catlett s enchanting voice, caroling. He s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.
An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?
Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.”

My Review:

In the somewhat different style of Jody Hedlund, the famous story of John Newton and his conversion is told in a fascinating way.
I found the story uplifting and inspiring. even though it was familiar to me, it was told in such new way, it seemed like a new story. I found myself realizing the cultures and customs of the time, while different from ours, Polly’s father had many reasons to dislike John as a suitor, and Polly needed to have the wisdom to listen. Often we can see a story as “just a story”, but in this case, this book would be excellent for young women to read to see the “behind the scenes” of what we might think is “romantic”, but realize that in knowing the story of John Newton, why at times our parents may think otherwise.
If for nothing else, pick up this book and just stare at the cover. It is so pretty! I loved it!

 

This book was provided for review by “Blogging for Books”. The opinions contained herein are my own.

It is available for purchase wherever books are sold, but also on Amazon.

Polly and Newton 

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The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall (Giveaway!!!)

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About the book:

Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents’ New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks; but when Violet’s own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance;Vance Everstone. As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU. With danger stalking her and a new fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust; and who to leave behind.

My Review:

I was privileged to read “The Cautious Maiden” before publication and since I am a big fan of the previous three books, I was excited to see where this story went.

It is not often that an author can truly bring about the reformation of a villain in a believable way. I will say, if you have not read the previous three books, don’t read this one yet. Read the other three and then you will have to get this one.

This is Vance Everstone’s story. We have had all the other family member’s get their spotlights in the sun, and this one you will delve deep into his heart and mind.

 

Once again, Dawn Crandall has set aside the norms when it comes to romantic historical fiction, to wow us with this beautifully written novel. I find I am never disappointed to pick up a copy of one of her books. What appears on the cover as another romantic novel, the depth of the work is so much more.

What makes this title unique, as with her others, is the first person format, that doesn’t feel like first person. I thoroughly savored each page, hoping that it would not come to an end too soon.

 

I found myself stopping to reflect on the true beauty of repentance and how even those that are redeemed, struggle at times throughout. Ms. Crandall gives us, without being overdone, a beautiful lesson in the value of Christ’s love and forgiveness.

 

I was provided this book for review by the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.

You can purchase a copy here as well as the rest of the Everstone Series.

The Hesitant Heiress #1

Bound Heart #2

Captive Imposter #3

The Cautious Maiden #4

If you would like to enter for a giveaway of a copy of the Cautious Maiden, which I highly recommend you do, please comment here on the blog page with an answer to this question and an email address to reach you by.

“Do you like to see villains from previous books redeemed? Or would you rather they stay “bad”?”

If you skip answering the question, you will not be entered for the drawing!  Thank you!

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The Artisan’s Wife by Judith Miller

 

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the book:

Ainslee McKay’s world is shaken when she discovers her twin sister has not only eloped with a man she barely knows but now Ainslee must fulfill their obligation at a tile works in Weston, West Virginia. Ainslee must learn the ropes and, if she can keep the tile works profitable, her brother will help her sell the business.

When Levi Judson arrives and shows Ainslee his designs for new tiles, she’s impressed by his skill and passion for the business. But he’s hiding his true reason for coming to Weston. And Ainslee knows he’d be crushed to learn his plans for a long career at McKay Tile Works are in vain since she intends to sell. Can the growing feelings between them survive if the truth comes to light–or is a future together as untenable as the future of the tile works itself?

My Review:

I have been reading Judith Miller’s books for awhile and I will say that I think this was one of her better books. I really loved the history of the mental institution that she put in here. The fear from the local people against the inmates, as well as how many of them were women put there by abusive spouses, brothers etc. as well as those that suffered from depression.
The woman that read and wrote novels was one of my favorite secondary characters. The unique history of tile making was also fascinating. I loved how the history was throughout, but the story was not forced.
If you enjoy a sweet story with great history interwoven into this third book in the series, you will enjoy this one.

You can purchase it here

The Artisan’s Wife

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