This historical, the second in the Fortune’s Bride Series, Book 2, entertained me and kept me guessing! Regina has a knack for inventing characters we can all identify with—some we like and some, not so much! Thankfully, I really like the main characters. Fortune, the cat, plays a larger role in this book and I smiled through those scenes!
Everyone from Gussie to Beau Villers to the main characters—Patience Ramsey and Sir Harry Orwell as well as those secondary characters sprinkled between the lines, made this a fun and interesting novel. I like the setting and time period—Essex, England, March 1812. There is just something about slipping into the past and watching characters duck in and out of the social expectations and bondage to make choices that can loosen those restraints for them to become a bit more free and courageous!
This story was precious, complete with the family crest “To risk is to live.” I loved the special interest that Miss Augusta Orwell, Henry’s Aunt Gussie, drew the women into assisting her with. This is a sweet romance, clean and winsome and I highly recommend this book and series so far! I did receive this novel for free to offer me the opportunity to review this. I only post reviews on the books that I can recommend highly. Every book and author has a reader. I tend to be a bit picky in my reviews for I want others to have a reading experience that they can’t put down.
Questions for Regina:
I loved the theme in this novel about concern for reputations. What inspired that focus for this novel?
In the Regency period, sometimes a lady’s reputation was all she had. If her family was poor or somehow lost their income, if she wasn’t particularly beautiful or talented, knowing she was a lady of virtue might still be enough to attract a gentleman’s attentions. While Patience Ramsey, my heroine, is quite pretty, she doesn’t think of herself that way. She holds her reputation dear, so when a false engagement to Harry comes up, she has to consider the price very, very carefully.
This novel and Never Doubt a Duke have lovely covers. Did you design those?
I did not. My talent seems to be with words, not design. The wonderful Kim Killion at the Killion Group designs all my covers. The pictures of the ladies themselves are from Period Images.
I love the character Lydia Villers. Will she be in a future novel? (My mind is inventing her future. 😉
I’m so glad you enjoyed Lydia! She is near to my heart too. Lydia plays a small role in the next book, Never Envy an Earl, and she gets her own book this fall in Never Vie for a Viscount.
Was a host or hostess really so accommodating to visitors in this time period? (We authors would hate that—we like our writing time and reflection time don’t we!)
Yes, we do! I don’t think I could have been as accommodating as Gussie. I’m sure there were some in the Regency period who simply let it be known they did not entertain, but it wasn’t uncommon among the upper class to be invited toward the end of the summer and into the hunting season to stay at anywhere from two weeks to a month with your host at his/her country estate. Sometimes dozens of guests would be invited. It sounds like a lot, but consider the fact that Chatsworth, the home of the Dukes of Devonshire, has 250 rooms!
I’d just watched A&E’s C. S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower movie. This provided time for me to reflect on a side of Napoleon that I’d not known. Was the tension between England and France a deciding point for why you wrote in this time period?
Yes. Napoleon makes for such a wonderful villain. 😊 And it was a tense time in England. Slightly before the Regency, about 1805, there was terrible fear of invasion. Even though the French never found a way to bring troops across the Channel, many in England couldn’t forget the threat. Napoleon, Old Boney to some, was the monster under the bed. Children were told to behave, or he would come for them. He was burned in effigy every Guy Fawkes Day. Bringing him down was the goal of many an Englishman.
Is there anything else you would like to share about this novel?
It was a lot of fun planning for “the worst house party in the history of England,” as one of my characters calls it. I love a swashbuckling hero, and Sir Harry with his spying and climbing in windows and proposing marriage on a whim and utter devotion to his beloved aunt Gussie, certainly qualified.
How do you wish for your readers to contact you?
www.reginascott.com * newsletter signup www.eepurl.com/baqwVT
Thank you so much, Sue! I appreciate how you share books with readers!
Never Doubt a Duke, Book 1 in the new Fortune’s Brides series, 5/18/18
Never Borrow a Baronet, Book 2 in the Fortune’s Brides series, 6/13/18
Surrey, England, late January 1812
Never Doubt A Duke by Regina Scott
I found this first of the Fortune’s Brides series to be a fun and clean Regency romance novel. Regina Scott delivered an entertaining story, which held my attention and caused me to smile throughout!
The main character, Jane Kimball, is not the model governess, which makes for a lot of conflict, surprise, and interest! This offers the reader an interesting point of view about this character’s position in a wealthy household during the early 1800s. Jane is an interesting character with strengths that were not valued in her time. Tell me everyone, can’t we all relate on some level? I enjoyed how Jane got herself into and out of predicaments!
Alaric, Duke of Way, is father to three young girls, Lady Larissa, Lady Calantha, and Lady Abelona. Their mother had passed away and they have challenged their governesses ever since. Of course, none of the governesses have stayed, which causes the reader to hold the attitude--how long will Jane last? I like Alaric and I think his opinions and challenges are worthy of every conflict and success that he shares with Jane and his family.
Miss Thorn’s cat, Fortune, is a pleasing addition to this story. I could identify with Fortune’s importance because my sister and brother have a cat named Millie. Yes, Millie did choose me as one of her people she likes. Millie will hide from guests generally but will be friendly and desire attention from a chosen few!
Regina Scott sent me this novel to critique, and I trust her to write entertaining feel-good stories. Her historical settings and fun characters are a joy to read. This is a highly recommended book and I’m eagerly awaiting the next story in this series!
QUESTIONS FOR REGINA:
Your characters are always interesting. Were you motivated to write any character in this novel because of someone you know? Not in this book. Jane popped up, strong-willed, durable, and determined to make a difference. She was so much fun to write.
How did you come up with Fortune the cat?
My critique partner loves cats. She’s always encouraging me to put one in my stories. I have shied away from this, as I am more of a dog person. But she recently adopted an adorable grey kitten who is such a joy to watch romp around. I thought it would be fun to have a cat be part of bringing couples together.
What idea triggered the name, Fortune? (I think this is the perfect name for this feline character!)
Originally, I wanted Miss Thorn, Fortune’s owner, to have a last name of Fortune. The Miss Fortune Employment Agency sounded so funny! But there is a long-running mystery series in which the sleuth is Miss Fortune, and I didn’t want to look as if I had taken someone else’s idea. But I loved the ideas of Fortune’s Brides, and so the name was loaned to Fortune the cat. Miss Thorn found her as she was waiting to hear whether she’d inherited enough money to live one. You might say the cat is her Fortune.
Have you traveled to Surrey? If so what was your favorite memory of that visit?
Alas, I have not had the pleasure. I have driven along the edges of Surrey, heading to London, but I haven’t been directly into the county. But the internet is such a treasure, and there are so many period paintings of the area, that I feel as if I’ve been there! One of my dreams is to take one of the canal boats along the Thames through Surrey. Perhaps one day!
Is there theme or encouragement within this story that you would like to elaborate upon?
A theme I’m told comes through often in my stories is “be your true self.” God created us to be unique individuals, with skills, abilities, and dreams. Jane embodies this. She doesn’t compromise who she is, even when doing so might have made things easier for her. I admire people who can do that.
What new novels do you have available in the future?
The sequel to Never Doubt a Duke, Never Borrow a Baronet, will be available June 13. I wanted to put the first couple books in the series close together so readers would have an idea of what to expect. The third, Never Envy an Earl, is slated for an August release. I hope to have the fourth, Never Vie for a Viscount, out in late November. It’s been a busy year for me, but I’m having a blast, and I hope readers will too.
How do you want your readers to find you?
Thank you so much for this opportunity to share with readers, Susan! Blessings!
Never Doubt a Duke, Book 1 in the new Fortune’s Brides series, 5/18/18
Never Borrow a Baronet, Book 2 in the Fortune’s Brides series, 6/13/18
www.reginascott.com * newsletter signup www.eepurl.com/baqwVT
This Ballantyne Legacy, starting with “Love’s Reckoning” by Laura Frantz, is a spellbinding tale that will tether you to the pages. Eden and Elspeth Lee’s secrets and strivings will put you in a quandary of: “Will I have the strength to put this book down? If I do, will I be able to think about anything else?”
This is a beautifully written story, one that captured my heart and pulled me willingly along the whole way through. I had to know what would happen next. What choices would be made? The twists this story took kept me engrossed in the business of watching their secrets unfold and rooting for the hero and heroine. The first time I read this captivating tale I was in perfect angst when I had to put the book down to take care of the mundane duties awaiting my attention. Unimportant tasks such as going to work or making dinner!
The second time I flipped these pages was during my summer vacation. I found “Loves Reckoning” to be just as intriguing and satisfying. This novel is on my reread and reread again and again and again list. If you are looking for a well written novel that deals with imperfect people, harsh realities life can toss your way, and strength to overcome, then this will be the novel for you. The characters are well rounded, unique, and interesting. The historical information is carefully woven in to move the story along and yet put the reader there. My advice is that you purchase “Love’s Reckoning” right away!
QUESTIONS FOR LAURA:
This is an older review and I will check back with Laura to see if she has anything more to add to this post concerning information updates!
Oh Italy! What a historic wonderland of art and culture! I love Cara’s descriptions of the masterpieces that were sought after for protection by Lieutenant Scott Lindstrom—the Monument Man in this story. Cara Putman shared the landscape of war and desperation with language in hues that were well placed, as though a skillful paintbrush of description brought her story to life. Italy, during World War II, was not just a fascinating place to visit (in a novel) but also the perfect time and place for Captain Rachel Justice’s journey and exploration. Well done Cara Putman!
The Third Reich moved around Italy devastating ancient art and architecture and killing those who remained in their way. There is tension throughout this novel and I kept turning those pages because of my concern for my new imaginary friends—the heroine and hero! I appreciated the support characters also. This story flowed and was easy to read and enjoy!
I’ve read other World War II novels, though this isn’t the usual time period for me. But never have I explored a novel set in Italy—especially with Nazis attacking and creating havoc on land and in the sky. It only took me a matter of days to enjoy Cara’s novel to the end and I highly recommend this read. I liked her heroine and the hero, and some of the support characters and their reactions to life on the pages. I also appropriately didn’t like the trouble-making bad guy!
This story made me smile and remember that I’d tried to take Latin in high school, so that I could travel with my class to Italy many moons ago—but my mom was wise to my motivation! Who could blame me for trying!
If you want to enjoy, be entertained, and experience the past with excellent characters and a clean story – I advise you pick this book up and enjoy!
QUESTIONS FOR CARA:
She had long given up the desire to be loved. Now she only needed to be heard.
Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women who are in harm’s way drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jamie, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her young life apart.
Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. But as Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child.
This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of words given voice and the resolution of wrongs. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.
5) How do you wish for your readers to connect with you?
I love to interact with my readers in many ways. They can find me in the following places:
Thank you for an excellent review Cara! I know I'll be shopping soon! I really enjoyed your book!
Jocelyn Green is an author to follow! Her depth of character and plot spins the reader into a tightly woven web that does not let go until you finish the last delicious page!
Julianne Chevalier’s story begins in Paris, France in 1719—such a different time and place, especially for those caught in untoward circumstances. Jocelyn takes the reader back to the unfairness and severity of eighteenth century law. Those judgments made were much different than those of our court system today.
I immensely liked and cared about the main character’s journey. The oppositional characters earned my distrust and dislike!
As the story begins I was able to sink myself into the time period and consider for the first time the true-life struggles and conflicts that 1719 French women experienced. Mindsets and social expectations conditioned judgmental attitude toward others when they were accused of a crime.
The pacing and content of this historical provided excellent involvement for this reader. My imagination flew boundless as I followed Julianne’s experiences in France and as she acclimated herself to the heat and humidity of New Orleans, Louisiana. One circumstance lead to another, which evolved into a tale that is unforgettable and gripping.
This is a well written story which caught my emotions in a vice grip. The characters from Adelaide to Benjamin Chevalier as well as everyone in-between were noteworthy and interesting. I highly recommend this novel and this author for your reading pleasure! If you take my advice grab your tissues, block out some uninterrupted time—for you will not want to put this novel down! Well done, Jocelyn Green. I look forward with expectation to your future reads!
Questions for Jocelyn:
Once Upon a Prince is a fun, entertaining, and clean Hallmark movie that I highly advise for anyone who enjoys a sweet romance! Rachel Hauck, a New York Times bestselling author, wrote the ROYAL WEDDING SERIES. Once Upon a Prince is the first novel of the four. Rachel is an exceptional novelist with a voice I love to follow, making her one of my favorite authors ever!
My advice is to also read the book that inspired the Hallmark movie!
Thank you Rachel Hauck for the time and excellence that you bring to story!
You are appreciated!
You can find Rachel at http://www.rachelhauck.com/.
Beth Wallin is matchmaking again! But will her heart become entangled in her plans to find a wife for the handsome Deputy Hart McCormick? That might not be such a good idea, because this deputy has an excellent secret reason for not becoming involved with a woman again. After all, he is the very man who’d rejected Beth’s interest only a year ago! Talk about challenging.
The variety of ages and personalities for FRONTIER MATCHMAKER BRIDE’S victims, criminals, and main characters complemented nicely. Oh, those villains and their plotting! Some of my favorite characters—besides Beth and Hart—were: Scout, Ganzel, Bobby, Mrs. Jenkins, and the Denny ladies to name some. Even if their part was small I liked them still!
I really enjoyed this book for the storyline, characters and humor that Regina writes seamlessly into her historical tale. The 1875-time period is like sampling expensive chocolate for me! I love the culture Regina takes me to, the dresses, fabric, and horses. The simple life made complicated by character interaction. Regina ties the situations and personalities into such a perfectly satisfying culmination of the FRONTIER BACHELOR series that I must suggest that you enjoy the rest of the series too! At least I hope that you will! I highly recommend this historical. Yes, I did receive his novel from Regina to peruse. My statements about FRONTIER MATCHMAKER BRIDE come from my honest appreciation for Regina Scott’s ability to entertain me with wholesome, delightful stories that I’m eager to recommend!
The FRONTIER BACHELORS stories:
THE BRIDE SHIP
WOULD-BE WILDERNESS WIFE
INSTANT FRONTIER FAMILY
A CONVENIENT CHRISTMAS WEDDING
MAIL-ORDER MARRIAGE PROMISE
HIS FRONTIER CHRISTMAS FAMILY
Questions for Regina Scott:
I would love to have told more about Beth’s involvement with various charities
and causes in Seattle. That girl has energy
6. Who is your favorite or some of your favorite mystery writer(s)?
I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Peters, who wrote the Amelia Peabody mysteries that
span from the Victorian era to after World War I. I’d love to have Amelia’s kind of
7. Can you tell us about the next novel you will be releasing?
In May, I’ll be returning to my beloved Regency period with the first of the
Fortune’s Brides series, Never Doubt a Duke. When the mysterious owner of the
Fortune Employment Agency and her matchmaking cat arrange for the irrepressible
Jane Kimball to take the governess’ position with the Duke of Wey, everyone has
doubts. But when the duke must take a wife, thoughts turn to an unlikely governess
who might make the perfect bride.
8. How do you wish for your readers to contact you? Readers can reach me:
Thank you so much for the opportunity to join you on your blog again, Sue.
The adventurer begins in May 1911 at the O’Leary mansion situated on Long Island, New York. The horse farm, Irish Meadows, is close to failing, while two distinctly different sisters, Brianna and Colleen, will be confronted with the high-pressured matchmaking designs of their father. These two sisters, one shy and the other spirited, dare to dream despite their family’s expectations. Two unlikely heroes add romance and reason for these young women to reach higher. This is an excellent tale of an Irish family struggling to survive and hold onto their most precious possessions, their sense of family and way of life, without losing themselves in the process.
I was immediately a fan of this story that encompassed characters with courage and imagination who are seasoned with hopefulness that will not settle. But at what price? I’ll not tell, for how would you enjoy the discovery of unfolding the tale that this fine Irish fiction delivers!
Irish Meadows is the first in the COURAGE TO DREAM series. Susan Anne Mason’s story held my interest till the very last page and I’m eager to order the other two novels. If you’re a dreamer and lover of historical fiction than I advise you to place your order posthaste! 😊
Thank you Susan for your excellence in story-telling, your weaving of difficulty and history and personalities that created a gripping tale I’m so glad I’d not missed!
Questions for Susan:
Here is our next read for our Pens of Praise Readers! Several of us are interested in writing cozy murder mysteries. Here is the scoop about this book from Amazon! Whoops, I'd not read the description of this book till now...I'd just peeked at the first pages on Amazon which seem very good. I've enjoyed every Aurora Teagarden Hallmark I've seen. Well, here it is...
Aurora Teagarden should be used to surprises by now. Yet when a local handyman begins dancing naked in her yard, she’s thrown for a loop and suspects it could be a bad omen of unwelcome events to come. When her husband’s niece, Regina, appears in Lawrenceton with a baby in tow and evading questions, tensions escalate. It’s not much longer before Regina’s husband is found murdered and Regina herself has disappeared, leaving both her baby and a large amount of money behind.
Traveling north to Ohio seeking relatives to care for the abandoned child, and accompanied by a friend of Regina’s who seems to know more than he’s letting on, Roe and Martin search for clues that will point them to Regina’s location and why she abandoned her baby. There’s a killer at large and Roe, snowed in in rural Ohio, will have to peel back the layers of secrets to find the truth before more people die.
The charismatic Roe Teagarden is back in this unforgettable tale of mystery by the #1 New York Times bestselling author, Charlaine Harris. Real Murders, A Bone To Pick, Three Bedrooms, One Corpse, and the rest of the Aurora Teagarden series has been adapted into films by the Hallmark Movie Channel.
If you are a Pen's writer or not we invite you to read with us. We also gather together to discuss the novels we read. If you are interested in attending that meeting email me at email@example.com. Enjoy!
PENS OF PRAISE So lets try this again! :)
CHRISTIAN WRITERS GROUP
Monday, February 19, 2018
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
2201 42nd Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220
Faith Church is located next to Festival Foods
Not far from the Manitowoc exit off Interstate 43
“GOALS AND ORGANIZATION -TIME IN A BIND?” is our topic this month. Susan Fink & Susan Marlene are leading your amazing journey of discovery over two often avoided or ignored skills that can make or break a writing career. (Or at least beloved hobby.) Do you want to enjoy more time creating and playing with written communication and storytelling? Come to inspire and be inspired!
We are a safe place to share. We invite you to bring your WIP (Work in progress!) for a five minute read.
The prompt for this January is…
“If I could, I would, but I can’t so I shan’t_________”
Bring your favorite coffee or tea with you! Our precious Kathy Leist brings treats—we all appreciate her so! J
As always, if you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to contact Becky McLafferty @ firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan Marlene@ email@example.com
Susan Marlene Kinney is published in Splickety Love Magazine, The Novice and newspapers. She writes devotions, fiction, and nonfiction. She is a member and co-founder of Pens of Praise Christian Writers and is a member of Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW WISE, and Lighthouse Christian Writers. She speaks at writers groups and prepares devotions and teachings often for Pens of Praise Christian Writers. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and At-Risk Teacher’s Aide. She loves antiques and training her Leonberger, who in turn loves to train her. But don't tell the cat, she thinks she has everyone under control.