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The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay



MY REVIEW:

I found “The Austen Escape” to be just that – an entertaining escape. The story was both humorous and fiercely serious at the same time. Written from Mary’s point of view, it allows the reader to experience her emotions as she deals with the challenges in her life.

A strong woman who works in a high tech industry, Mary seems somewhat out of her element at the English manor house where she has reluctantly agreed to spend a two-week holiday with her best friend Isabel. Mary is definitely not the type of gal who enjoys dressing up in Victorian era costumes and pretending to be a character from one of Jane Austen’s novels. But she is in need of an escape and Isabel needs her – more than either of them could have imagined.

Best friend of not, Isabel has not been the best friend to Mary over the years, or so it seemed to Mary. Often self-centered, Isabel has hurt Mary frequently but Mary has remained loyal to a fault. Over the course of the story Mary has proven that loyalty over and over. I liked how Mary began to understand things about their past through a different perspective and the healing that took place as a result. There was also be a bit of romance in store for Mary.

I enjoyed “The Austen Escape” enough to want to go back and read this author’s previous novels. I can only hope I will find the time to do so.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Amazon Vine. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Falling into the past will change their futures forever.

Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues—particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.

But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.

Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings arise, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries — who provide constant inspiration both for writing and for life. Katherine’s first novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist and winner of the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut as well as Carol Awards for both Best Debut and Best Contemporary. She is also the writer behind Lizzy & Jane and the The Bronte Plot – all contemporary stories with a bit of “classics” flair. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University and is a wife, mother, runner, former marketer, avid chocolate consumer and, randomly, a tae kwon do black belt. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine and her family recently moved back to Chicago.

 

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky



MY REVIEW:

“Across the Blue” captured my imagination from the very first page. I loved reading about early aviation in England and the rest of Europe during the Edwardian era and the fierce competition to be the first across the English Channel. It was also fun reading about Isabella Grayson and her desire to be a reporter for her father’s newspaper despite it not being considered something any proper woman should do. She was expected to find a suitable husband and marry as soon as possible but Isabella had other ideas about her future.

Of course there is always a man in the mix and James Drake was a fine one. Only thing was, he was not exactly considered suitable for someone like Isabella and their strong attraction could only spell trouble for them both. That is not the end of the story though and some major plot twists keep it all quite interesting.

This well researched story has plenty of drama, danger, mystery, and of course romance for Turansky’s readers. I thought it was wonderful and recommend it to anyone who loves a good historical romance.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Blogging for Books. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Set in Edwardian England, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year.

When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret.

James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

Releases 2/20/18

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bestselling Inspirational Romance Author Carrie Turansky writes historical and contemporary novels and novellas set in England and the US. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award. Readers say her stories are: “Heartwarming and inspiring! I couldn’t put it down! . . . Touching love story. It captured me from the first page! Rich characters, beautifully written . . . My new favorite author!” Visit her website and sign up for her email newsletter at Carrie Turansky.com. Follow Carrie on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey by Carolyn Miller



MY REVIEW:

Although Clara DeLancey was portrayed as the woman who tried to break up a marriage in the previous novel of the series, I always thought that she was not as brazen as she seemed. Her mother had a major role in that debacle and her scheming led to Clara’s disgrace. I was delighted to find Clara the actual heroine of this installment and loved getting to know the real person hiding inside.

Another book perfect for those who love Regency romance, “The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey” may have been even better than the prior two books in this series. Perhaps the scandal surrounding her made the story more interesting as she had much more to overcome or other factors such as the perfect hero could have played into it. No matter the reason, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and could not have wished for more.

A bit of action and even some danger plus a romance rife with misunderstandings kept the story interesting. With realistic characters who are everything but perfect, the narrative highlights their personal growth in maturity and faith. I liked the way the story illustrates the power of forgiveness to change lives.

I am quite happy that I have had the opportunity to read all the books in this series and I look forward to the author’s next novel.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Kregel Publications. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Will a damaged reputation and desire for society’s approval thwart the legacy of grace?

Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She’s lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara’s society mama is appalled at the new company she’s keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won’t let him ignore the penniless viscount’s daughter–not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?

When they’re pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent’s Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together–without finances, family support, or royal favor?

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey is full of the captivating, flawed characters, fascinating historical details, and masterful writing that Carolyn Miller’s fans have come to know in The Elusive Miss Ellison and The Captivating Lady Charlotte. If you love Lori Wick, Georgette Heyer, and other clean, wholesome Regency romance, you’ll love this third book in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.Find out more about Carolyn at https://www.carolynmiller.org.

An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristy Ann Hunter



MY REVIEW:

I have enjoyed the previous novels in Hunter’s Hawthorne House series and have been looking forward to Griffith’s story. I cannot say that the entire story was everything I anticipated but as the hero Griffith did not fail. It was amusing to me that after seeing his brother and sisters (as well as good friends) happily married, Griffith decided it was time to choose a bride and went about it in his usual logical fashion. Determined to choose the most suitable bride, rather than the expected one, Griffith somehow believed that once chosen, he could make himself fall in love with her. That’s where everything went so wrong.

I’ll admit that Isabella was not my favorite heroine. I realize that she was so desperate to help her family out of their financial problems that she fell for her uncle’s manipulations and even blackmail. At times I just wanted to shake her and tell her to just confess the truth and break out of that man’s clutches instead of going along with his plans. I liked Frederica’s character very much and was so happy that things turned out well for her also. She was a fun character who was comfortable in her own skin while Isabella fretted way too much about her own beauty and the problems it caused. I did come to like Isabella more as she finally grew a backbone and stood up for herself.

For the most part, the plot moved along at a good pace. It had several quite humorous moments as well as the expected romance. A thread of faith ran throughout the story but was unobtrusive. I hate to see this series end but am certain that Ms. Hunter will provide her readers with a new series that is equally enjoyable.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by the author and her publisher. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she’ll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.

Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?

Read an excerpt from “An Inconvenient Beauty” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kristi is the RITA® award winning author of Regency romance novels from a Christian worldview. Her titles include A Noble Masquerade, An Elegant Façade, and An Uncommon Courtship. Beyond writing, she is also speaker, teaching classes in writing as well as Biblical and spiritual topics. She has spoken to writers’ groups, schools, and young women’s groups at churches.

When she is not writing or interacting with her readers, Kristi spends time with her family and her church. A graduate of Georgia Tech with a computer science degree, she can also be found fiddling with her computer in her free time. A born lover of stories she is also an avid reader. From very young she dreamed of sharing her own stories with others and praises God daily that she gets to live that dream today.

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