Tuesday, August 30, 2022

The Lady's Guide to Death and Deception by Katherine Cowley #blogtour #regency #TheLadysGuidetoDeathandDeception #Austenesque

 What is a spy willing to do when her heart and her country are at risk?

For British spy Miss Mary Bennet, life changes once again when Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from the Isle of Elba. Mary quickly departs England for Brussels, the city where the Allied forces prepare for war against the French. But shortly after her arrival, one of the Duke of Wellington's best officers is murdered, an event that threatens to break the delicate alliance between the Allies.

Investigating the murder forces Mary into precarious levels of espionage, role-playing, and deception with her new partner, Mr. Withrow-the nephew and heir of her prominent sponsor, and the spy with whom she's often at odds. Together, they court danger and discovery as they play dual roles in gathering intelligence for the British. But soon Mary realizes that her growing feelings toward Mr. Withrow put her heart in as much danger as her life. And then there's another murder.

Mary will need to unmask the murderer before more people are killed, but can she do so and remain hidden in the background?

The Lady's Guide to Death and Deception by Katherine Cowley
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Regency Romance/Mystery
Source: Received to Review

My thoughts: Katherine Cowley is a new-to-me author. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to participate in this blog tour because she is now on my radar and I look forward to reading more of her work.

Mary Bennet is a naive spy. She has closely held morals, which I happen to admire, that are not always the best ways to gather information. There is a scene where she learns that kissing is an acceptable way to learn things. She doesn't believe it, but she puts it to the test. She picks the spy that a kiss would leave the least impact and kisses him. It backfires. Now she knows what desire feels like. Seriously, I don't think I could get the grin off of my face for a while. Later in the story, she has the opportunity to try it again with someone else and learns that not all kisses are created equal. Having the right partner makes a big difference. She also learns that jealousy is not a fun thing to live through.

The mystery that she and Mr. Withrow are trying to uncover is who killed one of Wellington's officers. The investigation puts the morals of Mary to the test when she puts on a pair of trousers and plays the part of a gentleman. Katherine Cowley definitely has a sense of humor.

The Lady's Guide to Death and Deception takes the reader on an adventure of romance, mystery, and the art of spying. I'm glad that I gave this book a try. It was well worth my time and invigorated my imagination.

Online Purchase Links:

About the AuthorKatherine Cowley read Pride and Prejudice for the first time when she was ten years old, which started a lifelong obsession with Jane Austen. Her debut novel, The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her Mary Bennet spy series continues with the novels The True Confessions of a London Spy and The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception. Katherine loves history, chocolate, traveling, and playing the piano, and she has taught writing classes at Western Michigan University. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband and three daughters.


Read an in-depth interview with author Katherine Cowley revealing insights into her new historical mystery novel, The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception.


“Cowley manages to turn a little-liked, ignored, and stilted girl into one of my favorites of Austen's characters...This third novel of the series is her best. I laughed and I cried and cheered for Mary to succeed in her endeavors and hopefully find love at last.”— Carol Pratt Bradley, author of The Light of the Candle

“5 STARS. Just a delight!”— Wren, The Zebra Reader

“I really enjoyed this book. It is a great addition to the series. I loved that Mary is finding love in a logical way that fits her character…Highly recommend.”— Mariana, Goodreads

“I absolutely love Katherine Cowley's Mary Bennet series, and I think [The Lady’s Guide to Death and Deception] may be the best book in the series.”— Madison, Goodreads

Saturday, August 27, 2022

A Tenuous Betrothal by Jen Geigle Johnson #blogtour #giveaway #regencyromance


A Tenuous BetrothalA Tenuous Betrothal by Jen Geigle Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source:  I received a review copy and purchased a copy. :)
Genre: Regency Romance

Book Description: Rhianna Davies is well-acquainted with heartache after the painful loss of her parents. At the arrival of her ghastly uncle, she is brought even lower: Rhi has been banished from her family’s estate home and must rely on the kindness of her tightly knit Welsh miners for help. Without the protective love of her parents, Rhi has no illusions that hers will be a happy ending—until an addendum to her father’s will arrives in the hands of a prince.

Marc Wilhelm, Prince of Oldenburg, is in Wales with one purpose: to claim his betrothed. A long-ago promise between their fathers forges an indelible link between Rhi and Marc, but there remains just one problem: neither wants to marry a stranger. With no remaining ties to Wales, Rhi agrees to accompany Marc to Oldenburg, where he will forfeit their betrothal so she may have her pick of husbands. But their journey takes them down unexpected paths, from the depths of a Welsh mine to the marriage mart of London to a warm reception in Oldenburg. Rhi and Marc discover that their connection and their challenges run deeper than either anticipated, but whether from their own hesitations or from danger that threatens without, the couple might be thwarted before they can even begin the happily ever after they so richly deserve.

My thoughtsA Tenuous Betrothal has been on my radar for a while now. When I read the synopsis I knew it was a book that I wanted to read.

The story begins in Wales, where Rhianna Davies is doing all she can to take care of the miners. Her father recently passed and the estate went to her Uncle. He is all about the bottom line and doesn't care what happens to the miners. My Great-Great Grandfather was a coal miner in Wales. That part of the story appealed to me. I greatly love the people who labored in horrible circumstances to provide for their families.

The second was the Princes of Oldenburg. I don't know if I need to say more. I could read about them all day!

I loved the pairing of Rhi and Marc. They stated under strained circumstances. Their fathers have determined that they are to marry. This was unwelcome news to both of them. Rhi would have been content to spend her days in a hunting cabin and fight for servants and miners. She is a very tough young woman. She has a sense of purpose and a very keen mind. She is also very loyal.

The story started off stormy, but man, there were sparks. The dynamic between the two was "swoon-worthy". When they were together I think I had a perma-grin.

Let's add in some political intrigue, a kidnapping, and banter! It was a wonderful book to read.

Source: I received a complimentary copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

P.S. - I also purchased a kindle copy. I may want to re-read it at some future point in time.

Online Purchase Links:

About the Author:  An award winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy's top award for Romance, Jen Geigle Johnson has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. HIstory is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well. Six children and an inspiring husband keep her going and make certain she doesn't stay glued to a keyboard or lost in obscure fascinating details of old castles. She once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. She waterskis like a boss and hits the powder, falling down steep moguls with grace. 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 with the man who would become her everything.

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