Tuesday, December 31, 2019

My Top Ten Books of 2019

Happy New Year friends!  I have to say that I am looking forward to 2020--what a great sounding year!  The year of 2019 has been a difficult one for my family, so the fresh start of a new day and new year is a lovely thought (Rev. 21:5). 

How has your year been?  I hope it has been filled with wonderful moments and lots of reading time.  As I do every year, here is a list of my top ten books of 2019--let me know some of your favorites in the comments below.  Thank you so much for your continued support and encouragement this year.  I love chatting with each of you, and I pray you have a marvelous 2020!  Happy reading! 

Rescuing Lord Inglewood
by Sally Britton

Silas Riley, Earl of Inglewood, is known among his peers in Parliament as the man made of stone. As a wealthy peer, there are few he trusts with his friendship. He guards his heart and his honor with vigilance, and when an accident nearly takes his life, he’s faced with a situation which threatens his standing in society.
Growing up in the shadow of her older brother, Esther Fox’s acceptance in his circle has been indifferent at best. So when she ends up in a compromising situation as she saves the life of her brother’s dearest friend, the Earl of Inglewood, she is forced to marry him to save her own reputation. Once again, she finds herself accepted only because of the situation, and not because she is truly wanted.
Neither are prepared for a loss which further complicates their new relationship. With such a difficult beginning, can they ever hope to understand one another, let alone find love?

A Convenient Engagement 
by Ashtyn Newbold 

A false engagement. A mysterious coast. Two reluctant hearts.

Much to her father’s dismay, Miss Amelia Buxton aspires to become a spinster, just like her eccentric aunt. Growing up with parents who married for every reason but love, she has never seen a joyful marriage. When Amelia requests a summer trip to the legendary waters of Brighton, her father allows her the excursion, but with one requirement: she must return engaged, or agree to the proposal of the man of his choosing.

Crawling with tourists, Brighton is not the town Adam Claridge once loved. When his sister Eleanor disappears without warning, Adam is desperate to bring her home. In his search, he happens upon Miss Amelia Buxton, a young tourist that proves vital in his search for Eleanor. But Amelia is conducting a search of her own—a search for a husband—and Adam has little choice but to offer a fair trade: he will play the role of Amelia’s betrothed in exchange for her assistance in finding Eleanor.

Convenient at first, Amelia and Adam’s arrangement quickly plummets into disarray. Falling in love had not been part of their bargain.

The Lady and the Lionheart 
by Joanne Bischof 

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

Ladies of Intrigue: 3 Tales of 19th-Century Romance with a Dash of Mystery 
by Michelle Griep

Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?
The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?
The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)
Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.
A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

Give Me Thine Heart 
by Andrea Boeshaar 

Moira Kingsley loathes the man her uncle, the Baron Tyrus Kingsley, wishes her to marry. But when she meets Mr. Samuel Stryker, she soon guesses he’s from the American Colonies. After she stumbles onto a deep secret, Sam must make an impossible decision. Kill her or kidnap her?

Ultimately, he whisks Moira from England and she actually considers herself saved from a fate worse than death, , especially after she learns bits of truth of her fiancĂ©’s darker side. However, it’s the on the voyage to the U.S. that Moira learns she possesses attributes she’d never imagined existed within herself.

She also becomes increasingly aware of the man who is both her abductor and rescuer.

Daughters of Northern Shores 
by Joanne Bischof 

Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.

Having fled the farm after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s which is already at stake through a grave illness brought to him as the first prick of warfare.

Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis  
by Patti Callahan

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

Beauty and the Baron  
by Joanna Barker 

Rose Sinclair has run out of options. With her father in prison and their bookshop sold to pay his debts, she has no choice but to turn to Henry Covington, the Baron Norcliffe. But the baron has more than earned his harsh reputation, and Rose must face his wrath in order to save her father—and herself.

Since the deaths of his parents, Henry Covington has isolated himself from society, ensuring the solitude of his estate with his deliberate callousness. However, when the beautiful Miss Sinclair appears on his doorstep, begging for a chance to repay her father’s debt to him, a moment of weakness finds him offering her a position—as a maid in his own house.

They both soon learn that first impressions are not to be believed. Henry is surprised—and intrigued—by Rose’s optimistic charm, while Rose slowly uncovers Henry’s true self, his compassion concealed behind the pain of loss and betrayal. But when a shadow from Henry’s past returns, their newfound hope is tested. They must decide for themselves who to trust—and what they will risk for their happily ever after. 

Beauty and the Baron is a Regency retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It is a sweet/clean romance novella, and is Book 1 in a series of Regency retellings. The stories can be read in any order.

Christmas at the Red Door Inn 
by Liz Johnson 

One blizzard. Two friends. Three days to fall in love.

Lifelong islander Brooke Kane doesn’t know what to do with her college degree, her dreams, or her future, but she knows better than to venture far from home when there’s a storm brewing. But a promise to check on Rose’s Red Door Inn prompts Brooke to venture out. By the time she arrives at the inn, the snow is knee-deep and visibility almost non-existent. She settles in to spend a few days alone at the inn until a familiar figure appears at the door.

Father Chuck O’Flannigan has never felt like a bigger fool. So focused on his recent decision to leave Prince Edward Island, he’s caught unaware by the blizzard while on a walk. He can only see the inn’s red door, a promise of safety. But when he discovers that Brooke—the only woman who could tempt him to stay on the island—is also taking refuge there, he knows he’s in trouble.

With Christmas only three days away, Brooke is determined that they’ll celebrate—even if it’s just the two of them. Happy to play Scrooge to her Tiny Tim, Chuck wiles away his hours dreaming of a return to Ireland—praying that God may have plans for him there. After all, God seems to have forgotten him in North Rustico. But as Brooke brings Christmas to life, her joy makes him wonder if God may not have forgotten him. In fact, God may have big plans for both of them—if they can only survive Christmas at the Red Door Inn.

Pride and Prejudice 
by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice is : One of the best books on the Amazon platform, a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman living near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London. 

It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature and receives considerable attention from literary scholars. Modern interest in the book has resulted in a number of dramatic adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories imitating Austen's memorable characters or themes. 

Here are the links to my previous Top Ten List of Books:  

                                                            My Top Ten Books of 2016
                                                 My Top Ten Books of 2017
                                                 My Top Ten Books of 2018

                                                                     Happy reading!  

Friday, December 13, 2019

First Line Fridays

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Today I am going to post a line from: 

  A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, 
and The Cricket on the Hearth 
by Charles Dickens

And the first line is...

"Marley was dead, to begin with.  There is no doubt whatever about that."  

Happy reading and happy Friday!   

        Let me know your first line in the comments & then head over to Hoarding Books to see                                                                  who else is participating!  

Friday, November 29, 2019

In Sight of the Mountain - Spotlight Book Tour

In Sight of the Mountain 

by Jamie McGillen

Publication Date: September 4, 2019
The Evergreen Bookshelf
eBook & Paperback; 356 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

 Inspired by the trailblazing women of the 19th Century who dared to summit Mount Rainier  

In the devastating aftermath of the 1889 Great Seattle Fire, nineteen-year-old Anna Gallagher faces considerable pressure to marry well and soon. She has two serious suitors: a well-meaning but condescending doctor, and an evasive fisherman who challenges her mind. But Anna has no intention of giving up her freedom to keep house; she has a dream to reach the summit of Mount Rainier. Despite her family’s disapproval and her own self-doubt, she secretly trains, raises money for supplies, and buys a train ticket to the base of the mountain. If she succeeds in reaching its icy peak, she could pioneer the way for women mountaineers; but it’s a tall task and there’s much at risk—including the heart of a man who just might love her as an equal. On the journey, Anna will face glaciers, avalanches, and frozen temperatures, all without knowing if she even has a family or a future to return to. In Sight of the Mountain is a charming coming-of-age story, but it also casts the reader’s gaze upon issues of colonialism, class, and women’s far-too-narrow options.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound


"Focusing on themes of the liberation of women, the American class system and effects of colonialism, this intelligent and heart-warming novel introduces us to Anna Gallagher at the tender age of nineteen... In an epic and gripping work of historical fiction with modern sensibilities, author Jamie McGillen gives you everything you could possibly hope for in this inspiring and dramatic tale... Overall, In Sight of the Mountain is the perfect historical read for fans of pioneering heroes and tales of triumph over discrimination." --K.C. Finn, Reader's Favorite (5 Star Review)

"As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, I found it entertaining to try to picture Seattle as a frontier town and see Mount Rainier without its modern trappings. The story begins with the 1889 Seattle fire (a true event) and I was immediately hooked... In all, In Sight of the Mountain is a really great read--compelling, educational, containing complex characters and a well-crafted plot. Recommended for all readers YA and up who enjoy historical fiction. I'd give it more than 5 stars if I could." --Donna Gielow McFarland, Reader's Favorite (5 Star Review)

Jamie McGillen lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier, and no matter how many times she moves away, it draws her home. Everything about large evergreen trees delights her, except how poky they are, and the sap. Her poems and essays have been published in numerous literary journals, and she teaches English Composition at Highline College. When she's not teaching or cutting strawberries for her starving children, she enjoys writing rhyming poetry, but it's simply not as popular as it used to be. You can find out more about her at www.jamiemcgillen.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Chapter 1: The Great Fire

Seattle, Washington Territory
6 June 1889

Anna Gallagher tucked a wrapped package under her arm and escaped out the front door as a light wind rustled her favorite summer dress. It was possible Greta hadn’t spotted her, so she tiptoed across the porch, but just as she reached the top of the wooden steps, she heard the familiar voice.
“Your grandfather’s waiting for you,” Greta called from the kitchen. “At the hardware store by the Opera House.”
Anna strolled back to the front door and popped her head in. “Just need to make a quick stop at June’s first.”
Greta shook her head as she pulled strawberry muffins out of the oven.
“Be careful. If anyone recognizes you there, they’ll think you’re one of those girls.” She eyed Anna’s hair with a grimace. “Your hat, dear.”
Anna sighed and grabbed her hat with a small lace veil before racing out the door again. Finally free, she didn’t mind Greta’s tone or her warning as much as she usually would.
To save time, she took the new electric streetcar. Usually, her grandfather accompanied her to town, but it was still daytime, so she could take liberties. She leaned out the opening to cool herself, holding the frame with one hand as they rattled past maple trees lining the street. In her memories of Ireland, it was never this hot. But that was so long ago—before her parents had died, before her grandfather had taken her and her brother to America, and before he’d married Greta.
She hopped off the streetcar at Front Street before it came to a full stop. With the scent of hydrangeas in the air, she strode south, past wooden buildings with connected, yet uneven awnings. The shared walls looked as if they’d been pushed together—smashed, even. The bustling, wood-planked sidewalk creaked below her with every step, and her low heels clicked a steady rhythm beneath her rustling skirts.
With a deep breath, she paused across the street from the brothel—June’s current home. A carriage passed in front of her on Third Avenue, the horses holding their heads high as they clopped along, kicking up a cloud of dust. She hurried across the street, her face angled away from the crowds as she pulled her hat lower to obscure her features. The thrill of secrecy sent an electric jolt down her spine as the minor chords of a string quartet drifted from the second-floor windows. Still catching her breath, she hesitated, motionless before the ornately engraved front door.
The lace veil on her hat covered her eyes. Her reputation hung in the balance. She looked up at Mount Rainier, the great snow-capped mountain to the south. The rocky peak was nearly covered in snow, with dark blue ridges bearing themselves in the summer heat. It was hard to imagine snow falling so near when the warm air blew around her, making her neck sticky with sweat.
It was a sight she’d been in awe of since childhood—it grounded her. She exhaled a shaky breath, gathering the courage to enter the building. Now was not the time to lose her nerve and abandon her dearest friend.
But before she could knock, a muffled boom shook the air. A black-purple cloud of smoke rose from a building back the way she’d come. On the tips of her toes, she strained to see which buildings were near the explosion—if that’s what it was. The blood drained from her face. Firemen flew past her, and her feet sprang into action before she could decide—she dropped the package and ran in the direction of the hardware store.
Crowds on the street drifted toward the commotion as others ventured out of stores, squinting in the bright sunlight. Anna raced past them toward her grandfather. As she grew closer, her lungs began to burn. Gray smoke swirled around her legs, caressing her arms, prickling the hairs on her neck.
She jerked to a stop before Frye’s Opera House, stunned to see flames licking up the brick. Spray from a firehose rained down, misting her face and arms, before she jumped out of the way of a flaming piece of lumber as it crashed to her feet. Heat from the sun and fire gave the street an unearthly aura with sunbeams slicing through thick air.
A man with his face covered in black soot darted by. He cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, “The tide’s out, and there’s no water pressure! Run to the docks and fetch buckets of water!”
Anna struggled to peel her gaze away from his grimace—the panic in his wrinkled eyes surely matched her own.
A rush of bodies raced past her, but she pushed her way to the entrance of the hardware store. She swallowed her fear and flung the heavy wooden door open. Thick smoke rolled out to meet her like trapped water. She tried to call out to her grandfather, but choked on the smoke, succumbing almost immediately to a painful coughing fit. The floor was hot, and it was only a matter of time before the flames burst through the basement or the walls from next door.
Covering her face with the hem of her dress, she searched, passing by wooden buckets lining walls and filled with nails, tools, and hinges. Five empty aisles. Shelves of mirrors reflected the hazy, empty rows. There was no trace of him. An image of her grandfather—dusting a bookshelf, smiling warmly at her—filled her mind, and her chest tightened.
Confusion settled in. Could he be in the back room? Dread seeped down her arms as a muffled shout escaped the dense air.
She dropped to her hands and knees, crawling toward the sound with shallow breath, her eyes burning. There was no oxygen left, but her mouth opened wide to gasp for it as she reached her hand toward the doorknob of the back room to pull herself back up. It scorched her palm.
The ground below her seemed to sway as she struggled to stand, and her legs gave way beneath her. The last thing she remembered before losing consciousness was a pair of strong, familiar arms catching her.

* * *

Half awake, Anna felt herself being passed into someone else’s arms. The sudden force of a second explosion caused the person holding her to stumble, and the jolt snapped her back to reality, sharpening her surroundings.
Where was her grandfather?
She opened her eyes in confusion. The man’s carefully trimmed mustache stood out from his smooth-shaven jaw, and his light brown hair was swept to the side. One of his arms wrapped around the back of her shoulders, the other under her knees. Surprised to be in the arms of a stranger, she wasn’t sure if she should be grateful or struggle to free herself.
He cleared his throat. “I’m glad to see you awake, miss. What’s your name?”
He set her down carefully into a seated position on the sidewalk.
“I’m—” She coughed painfully before gathering herself. “I’m Anna Gallagher.”
She glanced down at her dress with its high collar and pearl buttons and frowned as it was now covered in soot.
“I was looking for my grandfather. Did you see a tall man with a white beard?” The words burned in her throat.
“Sounds like the gentleman who carried you out.” He rubbed the back of his neck and squinted at the fire. “He said to look after you—then ran. You’ve breathed a lot of smoke, Miss Gallagher. I’m Doctor Evans, and I’d be happy to escort you home.”
Relief flooded her, and her eyes stung with tears. Her grandfather was alive.
“Thank you, but no.” She paused to cough again, then cleared her throat. “I should help get buckets of water.”
She took a closer look at the man’s face. Although it hardly mattered in the moment, he was handsome. She felt for her hair ribbon that tickled her neck, dangling haphazardly, and she reached up to tuck loose waves of her long brown hair into what was left of a bun.
The doctor furrowed his brow. “I don’t think so. I promised to keep you safe.”
Anna crossed her arms and stared down the street at the fire. It was just like her grandfather to bar her from participating in something dangerous. The good doctor should move along, save someone else. Now that she knew her grandfather was safe, there was something almost enticing about the fire; a strange exhilaration flowed through her at the thought of running wildly through the streets. It would be the most independence she’d experienced in months.
“Miss Gallagher, this fire is growing fast. It’s no place for a lady. It’ll put your grandfather’s mind at ease, as well as my own, knowing you’re safe at home.” He smiled encouragingly, offering his hand.
She rested her hand on his arm—no harm in letting him feel useful. But staying home with the city in flames was out of the question.
“Thank you, Doctor Evans.” She raised her voice over the wailing fire alarms. “Our house is down East Madison Street, almost to Lake Washington.”
“Let’s go.” He placed his other hand on hers and pulled her close as they hurried away.
A group of men ran by with buckets and strained faces while others darted away with their arms full of goods.
“Do you suppose those men are store owners or looters?” she asked.
Doctor Evans surveyed the scene with a wary eye. “Probably both.”
“Does anyone know yet where the fire started—or how?”
With a shrug, he offered a half-smile. “I’m sorry. I’m afraid I know very little.”
Ash fell like snow, landing on Anna’s arms, coating her dress with grayish-white. She struggled to match the doctor’s long strides.
As they passed a group of on-lookers, she recognized June’s face, and they locked eyes. June pushed past the crowd and ran to her, curls wild. Anna released the doctor’s arm to squeeze her in an embrace. After the hug, June set her hands on her hips and leaned forward to catch her breath.
“I’ve been lookin’ out the window and waitin’. You’re late, by the way.” Her low-cut dress, supplied by the brothel, exposed her cleavage. “Goodness, you’re covered in soot! What happened?”
She glanced at Anna’s companion, then straightened and smiled suggestively. “Who’s this fine-lookin’ fella?”
 “I’m fine. This is Doctor Evans. Doctor Evans, meet June. Come with us. I don’t want to be worried about you along with my grandfather.” Anna lifted her eyebrows and glanced pointedly at the fire, desperately signaling to her friend that she had every intention of returning.
June’s hazel eyes betrayed her confusion as she glanced down at their interlocked arms. “You go ahead. I’m headin’…home.”
She sauntered away, her pink satin dress reflecting the sunlight as her hips swayed.
Anna frowned. No matter—she could just find her later. “I’ll see you soon.”
June turned and blew a kiss.
Home meant the brothel. Now, she needed a polite way to say goodbye to the doctor. Her lungs felt clearer already, and she wondered how difficult it would be to slip back to town without notice.
“Let’s take the trolley.” Doctor Evans held out his hand to help her up.
He paid their fare, and the smoke thinned as they rattled away. By the time they made it the twenty-five blocks to the long dirt road in front of her house, the doctor had barely spoken another word—all business, this man. Anna peered over her shoulder, dull panic settling inside her now that she was distanced from the action.
A shy smile danced on his lips. “Perhaps I’ll see you again—under different circumstances.”
She smiled sweetly and squeezed his arm. “You’ve been so helpful—thank you. I can walk up the road from here.”
“Are you sure? I’m happy to walk you all the way.”
“I insist. I’m sure you’re needed with the fire. Please.”
Was he buying it? It was hard to tell from the way his jaw clenched.
He nodded solemnly, then tipped his hat. “As you wish.”
She watched him leave. He was exactly the type of man her grandfather wanted for her, and quite the opposite of what she needed. Although he was attractive and the press of his arm still lingered on her skin, she couldn’t bear the thought of simply clinging to a gentleman.
As soon as he turned the first corner, she lifted her hem and started back toward the brothel.

Monday, November 18 Review at The Green Mockingbird Tuesday, November 19 Review at Bookish Rantings Thursday, November 21 Interview at Let Them Read Books Friday, November 22 Feature at What Is That Book About Monday, November 25 Review at 100 Pages a Day Tuesday, November 26 Feature at The Book Junkie Reads Wednesday, November 27 Review at Gwendalyn's Books Friday, November 29 Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Monday, December 2 Interview at Passages to the Past Thursday, December 5 Feature at View from the Birdhouse Friday, December 6 Review at Passages to the Past

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback back copy of In Sight of the Mountain! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Paperback giveaway is open to the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

In Sight of the Mountain

Friday, November 22, 2019

First Line Fridays

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Today I am going to post a line from: 

  The Earl's Mistletoe Match
by Ashtyn Newbold

And the first line is...

"Andrew Dawson, the Earl of Whitfield, stood on the outskirts of the ballroom, surveying the crowd of unrecognizable people." 

Happy reading and happy Friday!   

        Let me know your first line in the comments & then head over to Hoarding Books to see                                                                  who else is participating!  

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Duke's Second Chance - My Review

This book, The Duke’s Second Chance, is the first book in Johnson’s Lords for the Sisters series.  Jen Geigle Johnson has written several books, that are mostly set in the Regency period, which is one of my favorite eras to read about.  Her newest book is no exception, because it starts with focusing on a Duke and a Duchess.  Each character in this story has a connection with one another—even if they are not immediately aware of how close their relationship might be.  It is also fun to note that the next book in this series will tell the story of the Duke’s closest friend. 

This story was a fun, quick read, and I enjoyed getting to learn about the lives of these characters.  The first few pages are quite sad, but that is why the story looks at the Duke’s choices and actions.  How will he respond to great strife?  And will he be able to make proper decisions regarding his son?  At first, the Duke is quite hasty in his movements, yet his swift boldness will lead him to where he needs to be.  

The pace of the book is quite quick, and there were times I had to read a paragraph over, in order to make sure I knew who was speaking to who.  The view of each character changes quite rapidly, and for the reader, this can be a bit confusing at times.  If the formatting of the book was a bit different, I think the story would have been a bit easier to follow.  However, this does not change the main purpose, and that is this was an interesting story to tell.  

There are few surprises and twists within the book, which makes for a great read.  It is also nice to see the upper and lower classes communicating with each other—reminds me of Downton Abbey.  If you enjoy period pieces, you will love this story.  Also, make sure you check out other books written by Jen Geigle Johnson—I recommend Tabitha’sFolly.  Happy reading friends! 

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Singing Librarian Books for my copy.

Second chances often come from surprising places. Will the Duke find another chance at love when everything seems to be combining against him?

Gerald feels as though he’s lost everything when his wife takes her last breath.

Amelia’s world turns upside down when the Duke of Granbury steps into her tea shop and leaves with her heart.

But when a secret from Amelia’s past unveils possibilities, will the duke get a second chance at love from an unexpected source?

Buy this first book in a Regency romance series for a taste of deep loyal friendship, beautiful second chances, and the path to heal a heart.

Jen Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep's roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.

Now an award-winning author and mother of six, 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. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.

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