Hertfordshire, England, 1812. Margaret “Meg” Hall has missed her first London season due to serious illness, but now that she has recovered, she is back on the “marriage market.” Her mother decides to have a house party and invite three eligible men, one of whom is a viscount. Meg knows she is expected to marry well, and she intends to do so. However, her best friend, Nathan, has also been invited. Nathan has no desire to see Meg married off to someone else, but he is not the best prospect and has never declared his love for her. Will Meg choose love or duty?
This is a charming novella that transports us to a Regency-era house party with all its customs and propriety. The point of view shifts between Meg and Nathan as they struggle to deal with their feelings. In the midst of picnics, dances, and garden strolls, Nathan’s angst and Meg’s confusion are well portrayed. The plot is timeless, as two friends struggle between what they want to do and what society tells them they ought to do. This is a pleasant and endearing love story that Regency romance fans will enjoy.
I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Historical Novels Review Magazine, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Thornell grew up reading when she should have been sleeping, but it wasn’t until 2019 that she started writing. Tired of ending books and saying ‘goodbye’ to beloved characters, she wondered what it would be like to have her own characters that lived in her head always. It was probably a mark of sleep deprivation that she wanted people living in her head, but the idea was planted regardless.
Karen lives in Utah with her husband and kids. When not writing contemporary or regency romance, she spends her free time doing endless loads of laundry, playing board games, and, yes, talking to those characters in her head.
Publication Date: August 23, 2021 Senara Press Ltd
Series: A Lady to Suit, Book 2 Genre: Regency Romance
When the heart is afire… By his own admission, Lord Ernest Brook is a rake. With sapphire gaze, sinfully handsome looks and a duke for a brother, the pleasures of London have come with ease…apart from one. Ever since the gauntlet of her first wintry dismissal was thrown, the widowed Hebe Lock has stirred his deepest desires, but just what would it take to woo such a woman?
Sparks will fly. Hebe Locke has vowed to never again fall for a scoundrel after her brief marriage to one left her broken and haunted. Now she finds comfort with paintbrush and canvas, but as a female artist in a male world, commissions are as rare as a ballroom without rakes.
A castle of enchantment. As the heat of late summer warms the land, an ancient, moated castle plays host to a widow and a rake, both concealing passions contrary to their reputations. But as Lord Ernest awakens Hebe’s desire and thaws her frozen emotions, can she hold true to her vow? Or can this rake win the one heart he yearns for?
Sensual Regency romance with warmth and wit, this tale also includes a disreputable aunt with a secondary love story, Cotswold country fairs, sinful masquerades and…a goat.
Tansy Calhoun loves her job as a Kentucky packhorse librarian during the Great Depression. At the same time, she longs for the kind of romance she finds in the books she reads. When a handsome writer comes to town, she dreams she may have found it at last. But is love actually closer than she thinks? Perdita Sweet has lived in the Kentucky mountains a long time and has become as hardened as the rocky soil. As someone who has loved and lost, she thinks she can see the best choice for Tansy. But will Tansy listen?
This is enjoyable Christian fiction about a pack horse librarian, one of the many during the Depression who brought books to those who were living in poor and hard-to-reach mountain areas. I appreciated the fact that Tansy not only brought books to people in need, but she also spent time reading to those who couldn’t read. The trials of living in isolated mountain communities are shown, but also evident is the closeness of the people in those communities. Through the life-hardened Perdita, we learn how God can open your heart by giving you the opportunity to help others. Along a Storied Trail is a heartwarming romance with strong Christian themes of reaching out to others in need and trusting God’s plan. Fans of Christian historical romance will enjoy this captivating tale.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Revell, for Historical Novels Review, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. An award winning author, she’s published many books for both adults and young adults. Her books cover several genres from historical to small town family stories to cozy mysteries (mysteries published with author name A.H. Gabhart). Her ideas are sparked by events in Kentucky history and by experiences in her own family. Her first Shaker novel, The Outsider, was a finalist for the ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year. Love Comes Home won the Selah Book of the Year award, and These Healing Hills was the Faith, Hope & Love Readers’ Choice Women’s Fiction Book of the Year.
Ann lives on a Kentucky farm not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann enjoys hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. See more about her books at her website or join the conversation on her Facebook page.
As the newspaper clipping falls from the cardboard box Tegan takes in the woman in the picture: her chestnut hair, her eyes full of laughter, the way she nestles against the man beside her. And as she reads the words in the article, Tegan almost stops breathing. Was coming here a terrible mistake?
When Tegan’s family is torn apart by a terrible tragedy, she runs away in search of somewhere to keep safe from the past that haunts her, and the painful secrets she’s never told anyone. Arriving in Copper Canyon, Colorado, where wooden storefronts line the quiet streets and no-one knows her name, Tegan breathes easy for the first time in years. And when she grows close with Jack, another lost soul who won’t talk about his home, it seems she’s found the perfect companion to explore the mountain landscapes with.
But just as Tegan starts to think maybe safety isn’t a place, it’s a person, she notices the box of photos and newspaper clippings that Jack takes everywhere in the trunk of his car. Who is the woman in every frame? And why does she look so familiar…?
Tegan knows the only way to protect herself, and keep her dark family history locked away, is to discover more about the woman in Jack’s photos. But when she does, will the truth help her build a new life, or will it send her running once more?
An absolutely unforgettable and breathtaking novel about love, loss, and the secrets we’re all hiding. Perfect for fans of Kerry Fisher, Diane Chamberlain, and Kerry Lonsdale.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa Wiesner is a night-owl who began writing novels about five years ago when her early-to-bed family retired for the evening. In 2019, she won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Award in the Mainstream Fiction Category for her first novel. Melissa holds two Master’s Degrees in Public Health and Community Agency Counseling. Her day job is in Social Work where she often encounters people knocked down by hard times but who pick themselves up and keep going, just like the characters of her novels. Melissa lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her charming husband and two adorable children.
If there is ever a book that is going to speak to me, it will be one about a road trip. I’ve been the queen of road trips many times in my past, so this book was like another trip into memories of my own as I read it. The best books remind you of scenes from your own life, and this one does that for me. The main theme of this book is home. Tegan is searching for a home for herself and her brother. Jack is desperately trying to get back to his family home as he flees horrific memories from his past. Thrown together unexpectedly, they are an unlikely pair. Tegan, abandoned as a child, grew up wanting to be a writer. Jack is a wealthy attorney who is somewhat over-protected by his family. On the road, they grow from annoyance to acceptance to friendship and more. They also find there are lessons they can learn from each other and adventures they can take together.
I loved the fact that we are immediately thrown into Tegan’s life in a dramatic way at the start of the book, and by the time she meets Jack, you will find your heart already racing. The meeting with Jack is a collision of coincidences that starts an unforgettable journey. The road itself becomes almost a character in the story, as some of the situations they encounter can only occur on a long-distance highway adventure. The differences in their lives and personalities help build strength, as Tegan encourages Jack to sway from his well-planned path, and Jack convinces Tegan to use a little more caution. The Girl In The Picture is an emotional and inspirational story of heartbreak, adventure, letting go, and the search for home. It was a beautiful read.
I received a free copy of this novel via the publisher, Bookouture. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
Publication Date: July 21, 2021
Soul Mate Publishing, LLC
Series: Scandal Series, Book 4
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Jane Stafford, raised in America, is shocked to learn she is a wealthy heiress, her late father was an earl, and her English mother is alive. Anxious to meet the woman she long-thought dead, she travels to London, only to be whisked away by her sinfully handsome guardian to a remote estate to be “schooled” in the ways of the ton.
Gilbert Carmichael, Lord Ralston, chafes at having to make a rebellious young heiress acceptable to society, especially one who is impetuous and blatantly democratic. Because the instruction she needs is more than deportment and dancing. It’s also about how to spot a rake who might woo her for her fortune.
When Ralston learns his ward is to be used as a pawn in an elaborate scheme involving a secret impersonation, he will move heaven and earth to keep her safe. Because proximity has brought the uncomfortable knowledge that his interest may be more than duty—it just might be love.
About the Author
Author of eight books on California history and sixteen romance novels, Pamela Gibson is a former City Manager who now lives in the Nevada desert. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in public administration, but her passion is and always has been writing.
Having spent three years messing about in boats, a hobby that included a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot Nordic Tug, she now spends most of her time indoors happily reading, writing, cooking and keeping up with the antics of Ralph, her Siamese rescue cat.
If you want to learn more about her activities go to https://www.pamelagibsonwrites.com and sign up for her blog and quarterly newsletter. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, and Goodreads.
Upon the death of her beloved father, Jane, an American, learns she is an heiress, her father was an earl, and her mother is still alive and living in England. Her home in America is sold and Jane is sent to England to her mother. However, upon arrival, she is told she will be under the tutelage of her guardian, Lord Ralston, learning the ways of “The ton,” so she can fit into society. Then she finds out she has a twin sister.
This is a compelling Regency romance with plenty of action. There are mild sex scenes and language. Jane’s anguish upon losing her father and her home and being forced to go to another country is well portrayed. The villain is a definitely a “rakish rogue,” who gets away with some shocking behavior, but since he is highly placed in society, I feel this is believable. Jane’s mother is haughty, remote, and manipulative, and I would have liked to have seen more of her in the book. I don’t think the twin sister’s character is as well developed, but we will learn more about her in an upcoming book in the series, Scandal’s Redemption. Jane is delightful, as she is a skilled and intelligent young woman, and no fainting Regency flower. She is described by Lord Ralston as “having the education of a young male,” which would have been quite unusual at the time.
Scandal’s Deception is filled with adventure and intrigue, and fans of Regency romances will enjoy this story of a misfit thrust into an unfamiliar world. As a warning, there is an attempted rape in this novel.
I received a free copy of this book via HistFic Virtual Book Tours. My review is voluntary.
*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read this book for free, or you can buy it outright for only $3.99
Q&A WITH AUTHOR PAMELA GIBSON
I’m excited to provide a Q&A I did with the author of Scandal’s Deception, Pamela Gibson. She gave us some GREAT answers, and I want to thank her again for participating in this interview.
Hi Pamela. To start off, tell us a little bit more about yourself. Where are you from, what do you like to do in your spare time, and what inspired you to start writing?
Hi Bonnie. Thanks for having me today.
I was born and raised in San Juan Capistrano, a small town on the California coast. At its heart was a famous Franciscan Mission. I was allowed to roam freely inside the mission grounds as a child. The town was small and everybody knew everyone. I made up a lot of stories while hanging around that Mission, especially after my little brother died of leukemia. I think my love of story-telling began as an escape, but expanded into an avocation. I can certainly trace my interest in history to that time and it is still with me today.
In college I majored in history, but I didn’t go into teaching. Instead, I became a newspaper reporter, writing about “current history” every day. In my spare time I researched the past and eventually published eight history books covering localized subjects. When I married a man who liked to “mess about in boats” my spare time was spent on a sailboat racing crew, and over time we transitioned to power boats. My greatest boating adventure was a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot trawler which took eight months. We actually circumnavigated the eastern third of the United States and parts of Canada via oceans, lakes, rivers, and canals.
Needless to say there was lots of time to read and I’d always wanted to write a novel, so I began writing fiction on the boat. Now that our boating adventures are over and my husband and I are retired, I write at home.
What was the inspiration behind Scandal’s Deception?
I’d always wanted to write a “fish out of water” story and while I write contemporary and historical novels, I decided putting this type of character in my Regency series would be a good challenge. I remembered the old film, The Parent Trap, about twins who were separated by their divorced parents at birth, who meet at a camp, and decide to trade places. This book doesn’t go quite that far, but my American twin’s father dies and she discovers he had many secrets, including a wife still living. When she’s sent to her mother in England, her guardian takes it upon himself to prepare her for life as the daughter of an earl, a life full of rules.
This was the perfect scenario for my “fish out of water” trope because the two countries had been at war and life for my heroine in Maryland had been completely different from the life of her twin sister. It created unusual conflicts and allowed for a good learning curve for my heroine.
What message or information would you like us to take away after reading the book?
Books should have themes and this one’s is about believing in yourself. My heroine goes through a great deal of upheaval, has to learn a whole set of rules she finds silly, becomes attached to the sister she never knew she had, and resents the woman who doesn’t act like a mother should. Later in the book, when she undergoes a difficult situation and has to use her wits and her strength of will to outwit a villain, she constantly has to trust her instincts to get her through it all. In an early chapter she remembers her best friend’s advice: Everything comes right if you believe in yourself. She recalls this at the end of the book when indeed, everything has, and she is about to get her happily ever after.
Who are your favorite authors? Which books do you constantly re-read?
My list is endless when it comes to favorite authors, but I adore Mary Balogh because of the feelings she can evoke in her readers. I also admire Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Beverly Jenkins, and Sarah MacLean. I admit to not re-reading books because there are too many books I haven’t read, and I also have a list of authors that are auto-buys who do not necessarily write historical romance. These are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Susanna Kearsley, Karen White, Nora Roberts both as herself and J.D. Robb, and Jayne Ann Krentz.
I also like John Lescroat (cop and courtroom thrillers), and Randy Wayne White (sailing thrillers). I could go on and on but I won’t.
We have a lot of new authors who follow my blog. What would be your advice to new authors who need motivation to finish their book?
Before I began writing fiction, I joined a writer’s group (Romance Writers of America), took online classes, and read craft books. All this was good preparation. My best advice though, is keep writing, even if you only have time for one paragraph or one page a day. If you can afford it, once you have a perfect first five pages and at least three or four chapters, enter a contest for unpublished writers. Choose one that give feedback. If the comments are consistent, pay attention. If not, shrug them off unless you tend to agree. I found my current publisher through one of these contests. Also, it’s best to have the book finished. The field is pretty crowded these days and a publisher may not want to wait.
If you decide to self-publish, you must hire a professional editor to review your manuscript. I cannot stress this enough. You’d be surprised at what you miss, even after reading through a book several times.
Finally, be like my heroine in Scandal’s Deception. Believe in yourself.
Could you tell us a little about your other work?
I mentioned I spent several years as a newspaper reporter, then I went back to college, got a master’s degree and worked in city governments that had the council-manager form of government, retiring as a City Manager. That’s when I began to write full time. I have a contemporary series called Love in the Wine Country, based on characters in my own family as well as people I met while living in Sonoma, California. There are six books in this family saga covering the lives of the Reynoso cousins—three girls, three boys—who work in the wine industry. There are also five novellas set in a Sonoma coastal town with some overlapping characters.
My other historical series is Mission Belles, going back to my first love, California history. Two books are in this series, set in California just before the gold rush, when it was still part of Mexico and about to go to war with the U.S.
Scandal’s Deception is the fourth book in the Regency series, with lots of familiar characters in each book. I’ve tried to create a world so there can be more books in this series. Scandal’s Redemption, the other twin’s book, will be released next spring.
Thanks so much, Pamela, for taking the time to answer our questions, and we look forward to reading more of your work.
Lady Rachel Denby is in need of a husband and a chance encounter with the reserved Lord Arleigh inspires her to offer him an outlandish deal.
He will save her from impending financial doom and she will help him gain his inheritance. All they have to do is marry. It sounds delightfully pragmatic. Yet as they embark upon their matrimonial bliss, they find that being husband and wife is anything but simple. Pleasing the stiff family relations, keeping a nosy sister in check, and dealing with unhelpful solicitors complicates their deal. To make matters worse, there are unplanned feelings growing between them. But the unorthodox Rachel can’t help engaging the aloof Viscount, and his Lordship is certainly not the cold fish he at first appears. Suddenly, the deal they made is far more than just a practical solution to their problems, it’s fast becoming downright dangerous!
This is the second book in The Ladies of Worth series of Georgian romances. It centres on the sister of Lady Rebecca Fairing from Fool Me Twice, and you’ll get to see Caro and Felton again, and let’s not forget the shrewd Lady Etheridge and her wicked wit!
A Dangerous Deal is an appealing Georgian romance that will keep you turning the page. Although it is the second book in a series, it can be read as a standalone. Lady Rachel Denby needs money, and Lord Arleigh has to marry to gain an inheritance. A marriage seems like a good business deal for both. But things aren’t always as they seem. The plot is engaging and true to the period, and the cast of characters is superb. The point of view changes between the characters, but it is not off-putting or confusing. The character development of our two protagonists is a wonderful revelation, as they start out in a cold business deal and grow from that point. Fans of Georgian romances will enjoy this second book in the Ladies of Worth series.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Philippa Jane Keyworth, also known as P. J. Keyworth, writes historical romance and fantasy novels you’ll want to escape into.
She loves strong heroines, challenging heroes and backdrops that read like you’re watching a movie. She creates complex, believable characters you want to get to know and worlds that are as dramatic as they are beautiful.
Keyworth’s historical romance novels include Regency and Georgian romances that trace the steps of indomitable heroes and heroines through historic British streets. From London’s glittering ballrooms to its dark gaming hells, characters experience the hopes and joys of love while avoiding a coil or too! Travel with them through London, Bath, Cornwall and beyond and you’ll find yourself falling in love.
Keyworth’s fantasy series The She Trilogy unveils a world of nomadic warrior tribes and peaceful forest-dwelling folk. Explore the hills, deserts and cities of Emrilion and the history that is woven through them. With so many different races in the same kingdom it’s become a melting pot of drama and intrigue where the ultimate struggle between good and evil will bring it all to the brink of destruction.
Welcome to another edition of Self-published Saturday, where I highlight another great self-published book and author. This week’s feature is Fire Blossom, written by the talented Gail Meath. Before you check out my review below, please remember that if you decide to read the book, please leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, and other book sites you may frequent. This is so important for self-published authors.
The second thing I’d like to ask is that after you read the review, go to the Twitter and Facebook buttons below and share it on your social media, if you have social media accounts. This will help spread the word about self-published and indie authors even further.
In Texas, 1843, Comanche princess Fire Blossom returns to her village after a secret and passionate liaison with her betrothed, Lone Wolf. She is met with a horrific scene, as almost everyone in her village has been slaughtered by a hateful and violent group of white men. While attempting to flee, she is captured and forced to leave with these men, only because of her blonde hair and blue eyes. After her torture at the hands of one of them, she is left for dead and meets Colton, whose wife was murdered by a Comanche warrior. As she grows closer to Colton, who tries to get her to remember her former life, will she overcome blocked memories and look into her past? Meanwhile, Lone Wolf is on her trail, angry and desperate to find her.
This is a compelling and action-packed romance about a woman who belongs to two different worlds during a time of great turmoil. I learned a lot about the conflict between the white settlers in Texas and the Comanche during the mid 1800s, as they continued to inflict hatred and slaughter upon each other. The upheaval, anger, and injustice of the time is well portrayed by Gail Meath. Fire Blossom is such a likable and interesting character, as she is not just a princess, but an expert horsewoman and skilled fighter with deep love and respect for the Comanche. Caught between two worlds and two men, she struggles to find her true self and her true love. Her resilience and passion are written into every page, and her journey into her past is fascinating and compelling. Fans of historical romance will love this one, and will be thrilled that a sequel is coming in Fall 2021.
I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free. It can also be purchased outright for only $2.99
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning author Gail Meath writes historical romance novels that will whisk you away to another time and place in history where you will meet fascinating characters, both fictional and real, who will capture your heart and soul. Meath loves writing about little or unknown people, places and events in history, rather than relying on the typical stories and settings.
The subgenres of her books vary from action-packed westerns, plot twisting murder mysteries and biographies of powerful women who defied the strict rules of society fighting for the freedom of their countries. Her romances may exclude steamy sexual scenes, yet the intensity between heroine and hero will satisfy your deepest fantasies.
Outside of writing, she spends loads of time with her two grandchildren.
After a work party gone disastrously wrong, Samantha suddenly finds herself jobless and jilted. So when her sister invites Sam to stay at her little whitewashed farmhouse on a Greek island, Sam leaps at the chance to escape. Before long, she’s trundling up the cobbled driveway, almost colliding with sexy neighbour Spyros.
It isn’t all sunshine and smiles though. For every afternoon spent lounging by the pool, cocktail in hand, there is a morning spent adjusting to life with boisterous six-year-old nieces. When Spyros invites Sam to explore the island with him she’s tempted, but with his carefree, live-for-the-moment attitude, he couldn’t be more different to Sam with her five-year plans and high-maintenance hair. One drink, as friends, couldn’t hurt though? Over glasses of fruity Greek wine and honey-sweet baklava, can he – and the other charming locals – help city girl Sam to appreciate the simple pleasures the Greek life has to offer?
Just as Sam is considering ditching her designer gear for good though, she runs in to an old flame from home, and suddenly her London life comes hurtling back. Can her smooth-talking ex convince Sam to return to the concrete jungle, or will the lessons she’s learned from her Greek escape persuade her to stay?
A fun, fabulous and completely laugh-out-loud summer read perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Jenny Colgan and Sophie Kinsella.
#BOOK REVIEW – BONNIE READS AND WRITES
TV personality Sam suddenly finds herself in the media spotlight, and not in a good way. With her career on the skids and her love life in a shambles, Sam decides to take a break and visit her sister in Greece.
This is a pleasant romance that would make a nice beach read. Some of Sam’s adventures will make you grimace in sympathy, and some will make you smile. This a fun read for a summer day. It’s a reminder that the people who are there for you when everything seems the worst are your true family and friends.
3.5 stars, rounded up to four on sites with no half star option.
I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sue Roberts lives in Lancashire with her long term partner Derek and has had a lifelong love of writing, encouraged by winning a school writing competition at the age of 11.
She always assumed that ‘one day’ she would write a book, always having a busy household and a job, the idea remained firmly on the back burner but never forgotten.
The inspiration for her first novel came to her on a holiday to a Greek village. Her daughters had left home and suddenly the time had come to write that book!
1776. Addie’s world has changed beyond recognition. From her privileged position amongst Boston’s elite, she has embraced a dangerous new life with the American Revolutionary Army. While childhood sweetheart Silas risks all on the front lines, Addie waits anxiously for news. And when Silas does not return from the Battle of Monmouth, her worst fears come true.
Without thinking, Addie takes a horse and scours the now-calm battlefield for Silas, until word arrives that he has been captured by the British. And worse, by the troop of Scottish Highlanders led by the brooding general John Traverne. Addie hasn’t seen the powerfully built Loyalist soldier since she chose the Revolutionary cause over her own heart, and hearing his name sends butterflies to her stomach, even as she is filled with worry for Silas.
Disregarding her own safety, Addie leaves Washington’s camp and travels deep into enemy territory, determined to bring Silas home. But when she comes face to face with John Traverne once more, the feelings she has tried so hard to bury resurface and she must choose between the man she has pledged her life to, and the man whose dark eyes haunt her dreams. When Addie finally returns to her own camp, she carries a secret that could cost her everything she has fought for…
The second part of the spellbinding, emotional trilogy about enduring love and heartbreaking secrets amidst the birth of America. Readers who adored My Dear Hamilton and Flight of the Sparrow will love America’s Wife.
BOOK REVIEW: Bonnie Reads and Writes
This is a gripping, spellbinding and endearing historical romance that transports you to George Washington’s headquarters and then into enemy territory during the American Revolution. The people, the conflict, and the landscapes are so well described. The romances in this book are complex and heartbreaking. This story will grab your attention and it won’t let go. This is the second book in the America’s Daughter trilogy and the second one I’ve read by De Blasis, who was taken from us too soon in 2001.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Bio: Millions of readers have fallen under the spell of the lush, enthralling and bestselling novels by Celeste De Blasis. Tales of adventure and romance set against the sweep of history—all are storytelling at its finest. After graduating from Pomona College, Celeste devoted her life to impeccable research and spellbinding writing. A native Californian, Celeste grew up on the historic Kemper Campbell Ranch in the Mojave Desert, where she lived until her death in 2001.
The father you never knew, has left behind a heartbreaking secret…
June Westwood is devastated by the news the father she never met has died. Now the truth about why Jasper abandoned her as a child will be buried forever. Escaping to the secluded beach house she’s inherited, June hopes to spend time bonding with her two little daughters, away from her hectic job and failing marriage.
On the wild shores of the Pacific Northwest, her father’s hideaway leaves June breathless. But it’s his oil paintings decorating every wall that surprise her most. How could someone paint other people so beautifully, but reject those closest to him? And why is every drawer in her father’s workshop locked? June hopes her new neighbor—her father’s apprentice Caleb—will provide the answers. But Caleb won’t talk about the past.
Then, hidden in her father’s workshop, June discovers a box of newspaper clippings that reveal the shocking reason why her father left years ago—and uncovers Caleb’s own devastating secret…
When her old life comes calling, June has an impossible decision to make. Unsure what’s best for her girls, and if she can trust Caleb, will digging deeper into her father’s dark past heal or destroy her precious family?
An absolutely heartbreaking and emotional page-turner about the incredible strength of family bonds, how we can hurt those closest to us, and the healing power of love. Fans of Diane Chamberlain, Kerry Lonsdale and Kerry Fisher will devour this powerful read from award-winning author Melissa Wiesner.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Bio: Melissa Wiesner is a night-owl who began writing novels about five years ago when her early-to-bed family retired for the evening. In 2019, she won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Award in the Mainstream Fiction Category for her first novel. Melissa holds two Master’s Degrees in Public Health and Community Agency Counseling. Her day job is in Social Work where she often encounters people knocked down by hard times but who pick themselves up and keep going, just like the characters of her novels. Melissa lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her charming husband and two adorable children.
June is living the storybook life–fabulous career, two children, and a rich and handsome husband–when she is summoned out of the blue to the beautiful beach house of a father who abandoned her and has recently died. June and her two sisters find out that their long-lost father is a famous artist, and they are heirs to his fortune. They eventually meet up at the beach house to take care of his affairs. When June arrives first, she meets Caleb, her father’s protege, and things do not go well. Will she ever get answers as to why her father abandoned them?
This is well-written women’s fiction with a bit of romance, but it is much more than a romance. June’s anger at her father for his abandonment is the true focus of the story, and she begins to go through his belongings, looking for answers. We are drawn into the art world and introduced to June’s father through his paintings. The biggest theme in this story is sacrifice. June and her father have both made sacrifices and life-changing choices. Were they right to do so? Mental health issues are also discussed. This is a beautifully written story of a family, with all its bumps and bruises, and of a busy woman who pauses at a crossroads long enough to look at her future. Fans of women’s fiction and romance will enjoy this book.
I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.
BUY HER FAMILY SECRET
*The ebook is only 99 cents right now! A terrific buy!