Blake and Kat meet at camp as 12-year-olds and quickly bond, promising to be best friends forever. But then Kat’s dad arrives to pick her up and Blake quickly realizes that this is her Dad too, and she was part of her dad’s secret family up until her mother died. Finding out they were sisters does not make Kat happy. Instead, she becomes angry and never talks to Blake again–until their father dies 15 years later and leaves them both a beach house.
This is both a heartwarming and heartbreaking read, as Blake deals with decades of rejection and Kat confronts misplaced anger. Of the two romances, the one with Blake and Noah is more in-depth and interesting. The sisters are well portrayed, with social media influencer Kat a perfect contrast to her down-to-earth, dogsitting half-sister. Another theme is introduced, as Blake is wading into the uncertain and expensive waters of finding care for her grandfather, who is experiencing dementia. The beach setting is perfectly cozy, and home renovation is a popular topic that many readers will enjoy. Full of family, secrets, and the pain of rejection, this is a great summer read.
I received a free copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ali Brady is the pen name of writing BFFs Alison Hammer and Bradeigh Godfrey. THE BEACH TRAP is their first book together. Alison lives in Chicago where she works as a creative director for an advertising agency. She has published two solo books, YOU AND ME AND US and LITTLE PIECES OF ME. Bradeigh lives in Utah with her husband and four children. She works as a doctor, and her solo debut, IMPOSTER is forthcoming.
Theodora Morgan is a fashion icon, but has been mostly in seclusion since her billionaire husband, Matthieu, and their son Axel were kidnapped and murdered a year before. She is slowly beginning to attend events at some of her pop-up stores, but maintains a behind-the-scenes profile. Mike Andrews is a CIA operative investigating Pierre De Vaumont, a social networker with Russian contacts. When Mike and Theo meet, they have a connection, but she has no idea of the danger she is in or the real reason Mike came into her life.
This is a riveting story that is all at once sad, thrilling, and hopeful. The romance between Theo and Mike is well done, and the CIA thriller aspect of this novel is compelling. The main characters instantly draw the reader in and the book is filled with intrigue.
I noticed something when reading this book that made me smile. All of the writing manuals, classes, and guides always say “Show, don’t tell. Don’t just tell the story. Show it in dialogue. ” Well, I would say 75% of this story is telling, not showing, but it doesn’t matter. It’s captivating, compelling, and moving. The characters are believable and I connected with them immediately. It completely works. And it made me realize that most or all of the books that I’ve read by Ms. Steel have been written this way. That old adage that “rules are made to be broken” stands true here. This style works for Danielle Steel, as many millions of her readers will attest. It is a good lesson for writers to remember. If you want to write in a way that may break a few rules, and it works for you, go for it. Fans of romantic thrillers and of Danielle Steel will greatly enjoy this one.
I received a free copy of this book from Random House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with nearly a billion copies of her novels sold. Her recent many international bestsellers include Against All Odds, The Duchess and The Right Time. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; and the children’s books Pretty Minnie in Paris and Pretty Minnie in Hollywood. Danielle divides her time between Paris and her home in northern California.
Publication Date: May 27, 2022
Genre: Time Travel Romance/Regency
When you wake up in Bath, England two hundred years in the past, how far can a love of Jane Austen get you?
Janet Roberts dreams of an academic career in literature, so she can hardly believe her good fortune when she’s accepted into a Jane Austen graduate seminar in Bath, England. Settled in Georgian splendor among her seminar colleagues, Janet and her classmates live, eat and breathe Jane Austen.
An accident interrupts this idyll when Janet regains consciousness in her own room—back in Regency England. For a scholar of nineteenth-century literature, this should be a dream come true.
But Janet quickly learns there’s a world of difference between scholarly knowledge of the written page and maneuvering real life as a reluctant time traveler.
Her burgeoning friendship with Emma Huntington eases her entrée into nineteenth-century society. However, Emma’s brother, the handsome, proud and frustratingly magnetic Sir Edward, is far less welcoming.
While desperately attempting to make sense of her dilemma, Janet treads a thin line between trying to blend into her new world and not being unmasked as the imposter she is. Can she find the way to return to her twenty-first century life before her secret is discovered? After working so hard to create a rewarding nineteenth-century life for herself, does she even want to?
“Sullivan has crafted a detailed and immersive time-traveling romance populated with colorful characters and plot twists that would make Jane Austen proud.” -IndieReader Review
“A transporting drama of love, desire, and hope. Sullivan’s deft, assured narrative is interwoven with wry humor and shrewd observations as she delves into love, passion, courage, integrity, honor, duty, and sacrifice. The assured prose, visceral images, and sharp dialogue create a suitably period feel, and the swift plot advances unpredictably. Janet is an endearing heroine, and her inner turmoil at the core of the story is beautifully conveyed. Steeped in period feeling and written with intelligence and authenticity, this time-travel tale makes for a winner.” -The Prairies Book Review
“A captivating story about finding love and discovering where you belong. Sullivan’s novel is absolutely enchanting, and it’s a joy to see Janet reassess her contemporary prejudices, offering a compelling take on both the time period and on period literature. Dark Blue Waves is an effortlessly charming novel about following your heart, which is recommended for all fans of Austen and historical romance.” -Self-Publishing Review
About the Author
Kimberly grew up in the suburbs of Boston and in Saratoga Springs, New York, although she now calls the Harlem neighborhood of New York City home when she’s back in the US. She studied political science and history at Cornell University and earned her MBA, with a concentration in strategy and marketing, from Bocconi University in Milan.
Afflicted with a severe case of Wanderlust, she worked in journalism and government in the US, Czech Republic and Austria, before settling down in Rome, where she works in international development, and writes fiction any chance she gets.
She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) and The Historical Novel Society and has published several short stories and two novels: Three Coins and Dark Blue Waves.
After years spent living in Italy with her Italian husband and sons, she’s fluent in speaking with her hands, and she loves setting her stories in her beautiful, adoptive country.
This is a very interesting combination of a Jane Austen inspired romance combined with time travel! I will address the time travel first, as my expectations for time travel fiction are very high. The method of time travel in this book is extremely unique. It is a combination of an object and another event working together. I certainly haven’t seen it before. It may fall somewhere between unique and over the top, but it is intriguing. As far as rules of time travel, It is up to the author to set the rules of time travel and I don’t see too many here. I would say this book is definitely Jane Austen forward with just a bit of time travel.
The Jane Austen aspect of this book is superb and Austen fans will be delighted by all the references to her work. The location of both timelines was Bath, England, and I felt completely transported to the 19th century there. The romance is very well done. I loved the references to Austen’s books and the comparisons between the 19th and 21st centuries. Fans of Jane Austen will surely enjoy this romance with a bit of time travel and lots and lots of Jane.
I received a free copy of this book via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
To Kiss a Wallflower is the nineteenth book in the Timeless Regency Collection, a bestselling anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from acclaimed historical romance authors whose stories reveal that eventually, all wallflowers will have their chance at love . . . This is where it begins. “The Wallflower’s Dance,” by Jen Geigle Johnson
Lottie Hughes likes people, as long as they aren’t too close. Does it bother her that no one asks her to dance? Yes, but she’s not sure how to drum up dance partners when she has almost no dowry, no title, and freezes up when anyone tries to talk to her. When she suddenly inherits a huge amount and is the new center of attention all over London, her secret dreams might come true but also her worst nightmares. Suddenly everyone wants to talk to her. Men ask her to dance. And she is inundated with interested suitors. She fights to stay close to the few friends she knows are true. One man saw her before her life changed forever. But does she want to accept his help when he, too, might be insincere? “Letters to a Wallflower,” by Heather B. Moore
Ellen might be beautiful and considered a diamond of the first water by Society, but she is so very tired of the pressure to marry a titled gentleman so that her beauty won’t go to waste. When her cousin Dinah dares Ellen to attend a ball with no frills and to stand with the wallflowers, Ellen takes on the dare. What’s in the wager for her? The prize cuttings of her aunt’s extraordinary roses. But what Ellen isn’t expecting is Lord Ravenshire to engage her in the most interesting conversation. When she confesses to him of her opposition in marrying for a title, he confesses his distaste of the London scene. They strike a bargain together, one which will either push them apart or lead to a future sweeter than either of them could have imagined. “To Marry a Wallflower,” by Anneka R. Walker
Charlotte Winters is destined to spinsterhood until she turns down an unwanted proposal and everything changes. With gossip rampant, her father attempts to salvage her reputation by betrothing her to another. Soon she is sent off to her aunt’s to meet Lord Templeton, her intended. Anxiety-ridden, Charlotte begs her aunt to let her observe Lord Templeton from afar before their introduction. She never planned to pretend to be her fictional cousin to learn more about him, or to fall in love with Lord Templeton’s friend in the process. Lord Templeton dreads returning to the empty halls of Newcliff Manor. When his father’s old friend, Mr. Winters reaches out for assistance, Lord Templeton finds himself returning home engaged to a woman he has never met. Desperate to learn more about Miss Winters, he befriends her cousin. He wouldn’t have spoken to her, or lied about his identity, if he’d known the quiet woman would sneak into his heart.
ABOUT THE SERIES
Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Regency Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.
“5 STARS – I loved the unique twists that each author used in their stories and how they tied them into the theme.”— Julie Carpenter, Goodreads
“What a great set of stories! If you have read any of these three authors you know you are in for a treat. If you aren’t familiar with them, prepare to add their names to your list of favorites.”— Shauna Jones, Goodreads
“I thoroughly enjoyed all three of these novellas. They were lighthearted, fun, and took me away from my worries for a while.”— A Bookish Romantic, Goodreads
This is a collection of three Regency romances that revolve around the concept of a “wallflower,” and they all take a different and intriguing approach to the theme. I enjoyed all three stories. My favorite was “The Wallflower’s Dance,” with a light, “friends-to-romance” theme that kept me smiling and entertained. However, I enjoyed all three of these stories, which together provide another strong anthology in the Timeless Regency collection. “Letters to a Wallflower” is a funny and clever tale about a beautiful woman who would rather tend her garden than get betrothed to a titled gentleman, and “To Marry a Wallflower” is a delightful case of mistaken identity.
I listened to the audiobook, and I felt the narrators did a great job. I don’t always enjoy a book with two different narrators, but Shane East and Shakira Shute complemented each other perfectly.
This is a wonderful way to while away a summer day with three delightful novellas that will make you smile. I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publishers via Austenprose PR. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
An award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy’s top award for Romance, Jen Geigle Johnson has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. History is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well.
She loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.
Heather B. Mooreis a USA Today bestseller and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She’s lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about anything in history and, as an author, is passionate about historical research.
Anneka Walker is an award-winning author raised by a librarian and an English teacher turned judge. After being fed a steady diet of books, she decided to learn about writing. The result was a bachelor’s degree in English and history. When she isn’t dreaming up a happy ending for a story, she is busy living her own with her husband and adorable children.
Jeff Connor is a former Master Corporal who has retreated from life, living with his daughter in a remote cabin in the wilds of Canada. Quinn Dukes is a wilderness guide who is taking a group of people on a survival trip. Former coworkers who did not get along, neither of them realize that danger and an evil person will cause their worlds to collide once again.
This is a captivating inspirational romantic thriller that will keep you guessing. The plot is full of twists and turns and includes kidnapping, hostage-taking, murder, and intrigue. The storyline is very clever and well put together. I thought I had it all figured out, but I didn’t. This really impresses me, because I can usually figure out who the “bad guy” is way before the end of the book.. There is a Christian message of faith and relying on God in both good times and bad. The topic of PTSD is also part of the story. Fans of romantic thrillers and wilderness adventures will enjoy this novel.
I received a free copy of this book from Harlequin via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maggie K. Black is an award-winning journalist, self-defense instructor and romantic suspense author. Her writing career has taken her around the globe, and into the lives of countless grass-roots heroes and heroines, who are changing lives in their own communities.
She’s lived in the United States, the Middle East and the United Kingdom, before making her home in Canada.
She is thankful to her readers for allowing her to turn the adventures and people that have inspired her, into fresh stories that make her pulse race and her heart soar.
Lolly Blanchard’s life only seems to give her lemons. Ten years ago, after her mother’s tragic death, she broke up with her first love and abandoned her dream of opening a restaurant in order to keep her family’s struggling Seattle diner afloat and care for her younger sister and grieving father. Now, a decade later, she dutifully whips up the diner’s famous lemon meringue pies each morning while still pining for all she’s lost.
As Lolly’s thirty-third birthday approaches, her quirky great-aunt gives her a mysterious gift—three lemon drops, each of which allows her to live a single day in a life that might have been hers. What if her mom hadn’t passed away? What if she had opened her own restaurant in England? What if she hadn’t broken up with the only man she’s ever loved? Surprising and empowering, each experience helps Lolly let go of her regrets and realize the key to transforming her life lies not in redoing her past but in having the courage to embrace her present.
The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie is a delightful story of lost love and second chances. It asks the question, “What if I go could back and make a different decision?” The characters are endearing and the “road not taken” plot is one of my favorites. In this book, Lolly gets to explore some roads not taken. Will she choose one of them? Can she? The book transitions well between the past, the present, and possible futures. It is a fun dream–magic lemon drops that can change your life. Mix together a sweet romance with a few “what ifs” and some fairy dust in the form of lemon drops, and you have an entertaining read. I really enjoyed all of it, from the captivating cover to the lemon meringue pie.
I received a free copy of this book from Berkley via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures in over fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her writing. She is the author of Ascension of Larks, Becoming the Talbot Sisters, and The Enlightenment of Bees. Currently Rachel lives with her family in Seattle, WA where she enjoys creating stories about hope, courage and connection with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.
Will Rutledge needs a fresh start. After aging out of the foster care system, he and his brother, Kane, have nothing but each other. Maybe that is why he agreed to his brother’s insane plan. With his brains and his brother’s muscle, what could go wrong? Enter Hannah Cole. After a devastating loss, her faith in God is shaken. No amount of money could fill the hole in her life… not even if her dad has plenty of it. Suddenly, Hannah finds herself in the middle of the brothers’ reckless scheme.
Plans start to unravel when Will and Hannah develop feelings for one another despite their seemingly insurmountable differences. With Kane determined to finish the plan, the star-crossed lovers question God’s purpose and ask:
Are some stars just too far apart to collide?
Genre: NA/Adult Christian Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 9th, 2022. Preorder for 99 cents!
When Matthew leaves Freya the day before their wedding, she is devastated but tries to hide it all behind a calm front. Not only has she been left at the altar, but she has seven weddings to go to amongst her group of friends that summer. Her fabulous friends see right through her calm demeanor and, after determining that she still wants to go to all these weddings, give her a set of tasks to complete during each event. By the end of the “wedding season,” she has learned a lot about herself and her relationships.
I feel bad being so entertained by a “left at the altar” situation, but this was uproariously funny at times. The audiobook narrator Daphne Kourna portrayed the characters’ changing emotions perfectly, whether it was humor, pain, embarrassment, betrayal, sadness, or anger.. She did a fantastic job.
The relationship between Freya and her mother is so heartwrenching, as this is not the first time she’s been abandoned. Freya’s journey through her heartbreak, both past and present, is compelling. Her supporting cast of friends are the type of people I’d like to have in my life when others let me down. It’s a rollicking recovery journey that you will not want to miss.
There are a few F-bombs for those who try to avoid that.
Overall, the rating for this entertaining book is 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 on sites without a half-star option.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from Macmillan Audio via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katy Birchall is the author of several young adult novels including The It Girl series, the Hotel Royale series and Morgan Charmley: Teen Witch. She is the co-author of the middle grade Lightning Girl series and Star Switch with Alesha Dixon, and the Find the Girl teen series with YouTube stars Lucy and Lydia Connell. Katy was proud to be the author of a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma for the Awesomely Austen series, a collection of Austen’s novels retold for younger readers. She has also written a non-fiction book, How to be a Princess: Real-Life Fairy Tales for Modern Heroines. The Secret Bridesmaid was her adult fiction debut.
Katy lives in London with her partner, Ben, and her rescue dog, Bono.
Her Country Gentleman is the first book in the Timeless Georgian Collection, a new anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from bestselling historical romance authors whose stories reveal that 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.
ABOUT THE SERIES
The Timeless Georgian Collection is a new series featuring novellas set in England during the Georgian era (1714 – 1830). It is part of A Timeless Romance Anthology series published by Mirror Press — a curated collection of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.
Born in Cambridge, England, but grew up on the island of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales, Sian 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 bestselling author, a Foreward Reviews Book of the Year finalist, and a Whitney Award finalist.
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.
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.
I really enjoyed this trio of novellas set in the Georgian era. I appreciated that this anthology is full of historical details of a period with which I am not as familiar. The romances are clean, realistic, and engaging. Each novella has a strong cast of characters, and there are three charming plots provided from different, well-known authors. There is a theme throughout each novella of ladies who travel from the city to find unexpected romance in the country. There are delightful touches of humor, and because this is set in the country, there are lots of sheep! This anthology is full of delightful “city to country” stories and has inspired me to learn more about the Georgian era.
I received a free copy of this book from Mirror Press via Austenprose PR. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
Savannah knew that money and magic didn’t mix, but the Inn needed Katrina’s money and Katrina needed the love potion. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the love potion for starters, and now Savannah’s in a race against time to find the antidote. Meanwhile, she’s falling for Rylan but will he still feel the same once the love potion is reversed?
On Kindle Vella, the first three episodes are free, and then you purchase additional episodes (chapters) with tokens. It costs $1.99 for 200 tokens. 200 tokens is enough for 8 chapters. Amazon may give you free tokens to start.