Thursday, June 1, 2023

Romancing the Artist


About the Book:

A budding artist, a gentleman-in-training, and a fake courtship that takes both of them by surprise.

Caroline Clapham isn’t a world renown artist—she’s simply a farmer’s daughter possessed of natural talent with a paintbrush. Talent that her mentor, the Countess of Inglewood, is happy to foster for a summer at her beautiful seaside estate. Caroline wants to see the world and commit its beauties to canvas, but she fears that the season will end and she will return home as insignificant as ever. The lure of an adventure and the enchanting Inglewood estate keep her dreams alive, but when she meets Edward Everly and agrees to fake a courtship with him, those dreams begin to change.

Mr. Edward Everly is preparing to take over the management of the estate from his father. His new responsibilities are many and varied, and include marrying the girl his parents have selected for him. Unfortunately, the chosen bride is in love with another, and Edward would rather help her cause than champion his own. When he stumbles upon Miss Clapham painting in the woods, he hasn’t any idea the upheaval she will cause to all his plans. The beautiful young artist agrees to enter into a pretend courtship with him, but before summer’s end, Edward’s emotions are far from feigned.

Though it starts as a ruse, Caroline and Edward’s relationship quickly deepens into something neither of them expected. Edward has a role to fill, and Caroline’s lifelong dream is almost within reach. Will their pretend courtship have the chance to blossom into more, or will Edward follow the wishes of his family and risk breaking more than his own heart?

My Review: 

Sally Britton’s stories always make me happy to have read them and this one is just as pleasurable as I had anticipated. I was taken away to the Inglewood estate with Caroline Clapham to enjoy the hospitality of Lady Inglewood and her husband. I couldn't wait to see old friends from a previous series and see who we would come to know in the story. 

Things really begin to happen when Caroline meets Edward Everly and they formulate a plan to help him and their friend Mariah avoid an unwanted marriage. Caroline and Edward are great together as they encourage each other to go after their dreams. I loved Edward’s solution to both of their aspirations. Things I enjoyed: loyal friendships


self sacrificing heroine sweet and clean romance seeing characters from another series the wood nymph imagery Edward and Caroline’s adventures, present and future If you enjoy Regency stories with a great characters, then you will love this book. It is the beginning of a new series and I look forward to reading more! I received a complimentary copy of the book, but a positive review was not required.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Keys to Gramercy Park

About the Book

Book: The Keys to Gramercy Park

Author: Candice Sue Patterson

Genre:Christian / Historical / Romance

Release date: April, 2023

Secrets Sealed Within a Wall Come to Light in Lower Manhattan

Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Investigative historical journalist Andrea Andrews is tired of waiting tables to make ends meet. If she could find and write the next breakout story, she could secure a promotion with Smithsonian Magazine as their writer-at-large. But not much happens in lower Manhattan out of the ordinary until she discovers post-Civil War counterfeit bills hidden in the wall of her historic district apartment.

Politics have always been Beau Davidson-Quincy’s passion, despite his family’s real estate empire. His clean image and single status make him a target in the media as he prepares to build his campaign for New York governor. He has nothing to hide until a cute waitress unravels a mystery that could destroy his family’s reputation.

Two centuries earlier, wounded Civil War veteran Franklin Davidson lost everything—his house, his wife, his standing in society. In his darkest moment, he’s awarded a position with the newly formed Secret Service to combat the spread of counterfeit U.S. currency. His life and new home in Gramercy Park are the envy of his peers, but nothing is as it seems. Secrets are meant to be kept, and Franklin will take his to his grave.

Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood, or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart was a 2012 ACFW First Impressions finalist and made INSPYs Longlist for 2016.


More from Candice

A locked secret garden in Manhattan with historical significance and the only ones privileged to step inside are the wealthy residents who purchase a key—count me in! The plot for The Keys to Gramercy Park was born at our dining room table when my husband looked up from the book he was reading and asked if I knew about Gramercy Park. I hadn’t, so we started Googling and discovered it was a real garden in Manhattan built in 1841 for the cream of society. The fact that it’s been off-limits to the public for one hundred and eight-two years instantly brought all kinds of story ideas to my mind.

Not long after, I discovered that Barbour Publishing Inc. was looking for dual-time stories to fill their Doors to the Past series. I love reading dual-time novels but I’d never written one. I love a good challenge, so I began plotting and before I knew it, I had another first—creating a villain.

I’ve only ever seen the New York City skyline from the New Jersey ferry that travels to and from the Statue of Liberty, so after the story was contracted, I spent several weeks researching Manhattan and Gramercy Park. New York is full of rich history and it was so fun to stumble across the historical details of The Player’s, Edwin Booth, and the stories behind each home along Gramercy Square.

One of my favorite things about writing this story was the juxtaposition of the timelines. We don’t have the present without the past, and what happens in the past affects the future, but the future can also determine how we view, feel, and learn about the past. That’s essentially what The Keys to Gramercy Park is about—the butterfly effect of past events reaching ahead two centuries with dire consequences. I love how in one scene the characters are sending telegraphs and in the next scene, they’re sending text messages.

What’s your favorite thing about dual-time novels? Make sure to check out the other books in the Doors to the Past series!

My Review: 

Wow! I loved this latest book in the Doors to the Past Series. Ms. Patterson masterfully wove the past with the present as Andrea Andrews finds Reconstruction Era counterfeit bills in the walls of her home. With her job of writing articles for the Smithsonian Institute, she has a passion to find the story behind the money. But what she uncovers brings a dilemma that she will have to decide whether an advancement in her career is worth what she discovers. 

The plots for both of these stories was so intriguing. I couldn’t believe the evil and treachery of the Davidson twins’ lives, but it was perfect for the present story. I loved Andrea’s inquisitive and investigative mind. I really wasn’t sure how the story was going to end. Kudos to Ms. Patterson, this is one of my favorites in this amazing series. I highly recommend reading this book for young adults through mature readers. 

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. I was not expected to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 26

lakesidelivingsite, May 26

Melissa’s Bookshelf, May 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 28

Blogging With Carol, May 28

Book Looks by Lisa, May 29

Connie’s History Classroom, May 29

Texas Book-aholic, May 30

For Him and My Family, May 30

Cover Lover Book Review, May 31

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 2

Blossoms and Blessings, June 2

Remembrancy, June 3

Holly’s Book Corner, June 3

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 4

Pause for Tales, June 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 5 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 6

Inklings and Notions, June 6

Simple Harvest Reads, June 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Labor Not in Vain, June 7

She Lives To Read, June 8

Books I’ve Read, June 8


To celebrate her tour, Candice is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Full of Wonder


About the Book:

Everything changed because of one crazy girl…

Roofer Marco Mendez always thought there was only one woman for him: his high school crush, Lillian Harrison. But when he receives her wedding announcement in the mail, he must accept his loss and move on. Following his best friend’s advice, he meets Jose’s cousin and asks her to pretend a temporary relationship and attend the wedding as his plus-one. With a charade so simple, nothing could ever go wrong…yet little does he know what a mess he is getting himself into.

Rosalina Torres has zero interest in a relationship at present. She has enough on her plate keeping her growing dog-grooming business running, without the added distraction of a man in her life. Despite that, when her cousin asks her to go on a dinner date with his best friend, she agrees, with the peace of mind nothing will come of it. But when a conversation gets out of control, she finds herself stuck in a most incredulous ruse.

With each fake date, the lie starts to feel a little more like truth. But when the agreement comes to an end, what will it take for Marco and Rosalina to admit their true feelings? How can they overcome the obstacles created by their deception? And in the end, can God take their mess and turn it into something good, eventually filling their hearts with wonder?

My Review: 

This is a really cute fake dating story with Marco Mendez and Rosalina Torres. At first you think they are never going to make it to the three week “dating” period in order to attend the wedding of Marco’s longtime friend and secret crush Lillian. But, something wonderful happens as they get to know each and realize that letting down your guard and trusting can lead to love.

My favorite part of the story was when Marco helped Rosalina with her dreams of owning her own business. Marco was such a sweetheart and showed her how much he cared.

I received a complimentary copy of the book. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Man of Shadow and Mist

 About the Book: 

“The world seems full of good men--even if there are monsters in it.”

-Bram Stoker, Dracula

England, 1890


Vampires are alive and well in North Yorkshire, leastwise in the minds of the uneducated. Librarian Rosa Edwards intends to drive a stake through the heart of such superstitions. But gossip flies when the mysterious Sir James Morgan returns to his shadowy manor. The townsfolk say he is cursed.


James hates everything about England. The weather. The rumours. The scorn. Yet he must stay. His mother is dying of a disease for which he’s desperately trying to find a cure--an illness that will eventually take his own life.


When Rosa sets out to prove the dark gossip about James is wrong, she discovers more questions than answers. How can she accept what she can’t explain--especially the strong allure of the enigmatic man? James must battle a town steeped in fear as well as the unsettling attraction he feels for the no-nonsense librarian.


Can love prevail in a town filled with fear and doubt?

My Review: 

I love this series of books that Michelle Griep has written that are based upon classic Gothic tales. This particular story is based upon Bram Stoker’s Dracula in which superstitious villagers are so easily swayed to believe the worst about Sir James Morgan due to the power of suggestion and unexplained events. 

Rosa Edwards is a fearless heroine and a loyal and fierce defender of Sir James. She had me cheering for her throughout the story as she refused to give into fear or rumors about him and his family. Seeing her love for the people of the town and the need for everyone to enjoy reading hit a soft spot in my heart. She went well beyond just being a librarian when she chose to find patrons for those who couldn’t afford a subscription.

While I at first did not like Albin Mallow and the tactics he employed to try and turn circumstances to fit his needs, I was happy to see he redeemed himself and chose to share the truth. I actually felt sorry for him and felt better things would be in the future for him. 

I highly recommend this to readers who enjoy Gothic romance stories with a thread of faith throughout the story. While it is the second on the series, it can be read as a standalone if you so choose. 

I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive comment. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Counterfeit Faith


About the Book: 

She's losing her faith in mankind. He's lost his faith in God. Can working together restore them both?

As matron of Final Chance House of Refuge, Gwendolyn Ellison has dedicated her life to serving the children deemed delinquents by society. She'll protect them with everything she has. So when she suspects someone is using Final Chance for criminal deeds, she's determined to investigate and put a stop to it. But villains don't like to be crossed--and they're willing to kill to get their way.

Gwendolyn knows she can't quit fighting. More than her own life is on the line if counterfeiters go free. She must find someone she can trust to help her expose the criminals and protect the children under her care.

Charming and chivalrous Secret Service operative Josiah Isaacs has never been able to turn his back on a woman in trouble--and capturing counterfeiters is his job, after all. The danger he's truly worried about is his growing attraction to Gwendolyn when his heart wants to remain faithful to his deceased wife.

As both peril and interest grow, he begins to consider whether a second love may be possible--if they can live through this case. At the same time, he's put off by her faith in a God he no longer trusts. How can a future together even be possible when their beliefs are at odds?

My Review: 

I love a strong heroine who champions the cause of those who are less fortunate, and Gwendolyn Ellison is the epitome of one when she investigates what is happening at the Final Chance House of Refuge. She is determined, fearless, courageous, compassionate, and she trusts God to help her when the opposition threatens her and the children in the home. 

With the fast paced storyline and the threat of the unknown, I found myself hurriedly reading and turning the pages to see what else Gwendolyn and Josiah Isaacs, the Secret Service agent, would uncover. The danger was palpable as it was all around them and I wondered who was friend or foe.

As far as the romance between Gwendolyn and Josiah was concerned, I felt like she did in the timetable of their relationship. I thought it was a good idea that they decided to lengthen their courtship. It was so sweet when Gwendolyn told Josiah, “I am yours for as long as God allows. "

I highly recommend reading this book, and the others in the series. If you like romantic suspense with a strong faith element throughout it, you will love this book. 

I was given a complimentary copy from the publisher, and a positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Counter Attack


About the Book: 

No sooner has Alexis Stone been sworn in as the interim sheriff for Russell County, Tennessee, when a serial killer dubbed the Queen's Gambit Killer strikes again--this time in her hometown. Pearl Springs is just supposed to be a temporary stop along the way to Alex's real dream: becoming the first female police chief of Chattanooga. But the killer's calling card--a white pawn and a note with a chess move printed on it--cannot be ignored.

Pearl Springs chief of police Nathan Landry can't believe that his high school sweetheart Alexis (he refuses to call her Alex) is back in town, and he can't help wanting to protect the woman he never stopped loving. But as the danger mounts and the killer closes in, can Nathan come through on the promises he makes to himself to bring a killer to justice before it's too late.

My Review: 

Video games on the dark web, a chess game, and a past fatality all come together to create a suspenseful story that will keep you turning the pages. While I was able to figure out who the killer was, I didn’t see the twists that the story took to provide some great surprises. Alex stone was great in her new role as police chief and it will be interesting to read more books in the series.

You will enjoy reading this if you have read books by similar authors such as Elizabeth Goddard or Lynette Eason. I was given a copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All options are my own.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

A Heart Worth Stealing

About the Book:

Sowerby, England, 1802

Miss Genevieve Wilde—a magistrate’s daughter and independent heiress—is determined to meet life’s challenges all on her own, just as her late-father had taught her. So when her father’s pocket watch is stolen, she will do anything to get it back, especially when the local authorities prove incompetent.

Upon reading an advertisement in the paper, she takes a chance and contacts a thief-taker to find the watch. It’s a choice Ginny regrets when former Bow Street officer Jack Travers arrives on her doorstep. He is frustratingly flirtatious, irritatingly handsome, and entirely unpredictable, and Ginny wonders if she’ll be able to resist such a man.

But after Ginny discovers that the missing watch is just a small part of a larger, more frightening plot against her, she needs Jack’s help more than ever. To protect her home and her reputation, the two enter into a risky charade—pretending Jack is her cousin so he can begin his investigation, starting with the household staff. As they work together to unravel the mystery, Ginny finds herself falling fast for her charismatic thief-taker, leaving her heart in just as much danger as her life.

 My Review: 

A beloved stolen watch of her late father causes Ginny Wilde to hire Jack Travers to help her track down the thief. As Jack learns more details about the estate, he realizes that Ginny is in danger of much more than a robber. Are the incidents connected, or does Ginny have more enemies than she realized? 


Ginny is a young lady who I was rooting for the entire time!  She is so incredibly determined to prove herself capable of keeping the estate going. She has a strong need to continue her father’s legacy and prove she is capable, even using unconventional means such as hiring a thief taker. She has little time for herself and seems like she had to grow up quickly

Jack was a great lead man. He is caring, compassionate, and a fierce protector. He’d be a man that I’d definitely want on my side if I had trouble. “I’ll always be there for you.” is the quote that perfectly describes Jack.

I loved Jack’s family and his shady assistant, Wily. Seeing their relationship to him gave me a more complete picture of what kind of man he was like. I really hope we get to see more of them in future books. It would be so fun to see the Wily and Jack unusual crime solving team in more cases.  

Romance, plot twists, danger, suspense, and mystery make this a book that I am certain I will read again. I highly recommend reading this book. A bonus is there are discussion questions for book clubs, which I really appreciate. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the publisher and NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Romancing the Artist

  About the Book: A budding artist, a gentleman-in-training, and a fake courtship that takes both of them by surprise. Caroline Clapham isn’...