Saturday, December 16, 2023

Codes of Courage by A.L. Sowards - Perfect for all Historical Fiction Readers


Codes of CourageCodes of Courage by A.L. Sowards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source:  I received a review copy and I purchased my own.
Genre:  Historical Fiction

Book Description:  In a battle of torpedoes, depth charges, and secret codes, nothing is as vulnerable as the human heart.

1940: Austrian refugee Karl Lang has lost everything―his country, his home, and his family. All that is left to him is a burning ambition to see the Nazis defeated. Desperate for work and a way to help the war effort, he finds the one place that will take a refugee like him: a supply steamer traversing a deadly path past enemy U-boats.

Since their first meeting, Millie Stevens has felt an undeniable connection to Karl. As the war rages, she shares his determination to oppose the Nazis and finds work at the British codebreaking center at Bletchley Park. There she uses all her intellect and determination to break German codes and read U-boat transmissions―or risk losing the man she loves.

Rolf Denhart will do anything to defend the Fatherland, including long patrols in a cramped U-boat. But rumors from Germany leave him uneasy, forcing a choice between loyalty to his homeland, the safety of his family, and his peace of conscience.

In the midst of war, three lives are woven together to create an epic tapestry of love and loss, joy and pain, sacrifice and courage.

My thoughts: I'm writing this with tears in my eyes. I don't usually get emotional while reading a book. Codes of Courage is well written and I felt as if I were there with Karl and Millie. In my mind, I was with Millie when she eagerly read Karls's letters and telegrams. I was with him when his ship was torpedoed and he was on a lifeboat.

I now have a better understanding of what life was like during WWII.

I loved the book. I love reading about the period. I felt that the characters were real people and I was peeping in on their love story. I wish that it would have ended a little differently (a lot differently), but feel that it shows resilience and the domino effect and how a good person and good deeds can make a big impact.

I highly recommend this book and all of the Heirs to Falcon Point books.

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About the Author: I love books, so that makes Goodreads my favorite social media site. As a reader, I enjoy a variety of books. As a writer, I create historical novels with a wholesome mix of action, adventure, and romance. My stories include a Whitney Award winner, several Whitney finalists, and a Gold Medal winner in the Readers' Favorite International Book Awards.

I'm a wife and a mother of three, and I've called Washington State, Utah, and Alaska home. I'm usually reading a couple books at once and working on multiple writing projects too. Other than that, my life is pretty ordinary. I'm grateful for that. I'll let the characters in my books have all the adventures.

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Monday, November 27, 2023

Book Review: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally


Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord (Lady Petra Inquires #1)Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Regency Mystery

Book Description:  Bridgerton meets Agatha Christie in Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lorda dazzling first entry in a terrific new Regency-era mystery series with a feminist spin.

When Lady Petra Forsyth’s fiancĂ© and soulmate dies just weeks ahead of their wedding, she makes the shocking proclamation—in front of London’s loosest lips—that she will never remarry. A woman of independent means, Petra sees no reason to cede her wealth and freedom to any man now that the love of her life has passed, nor does she intend to become confined to her country home. Instead, she uses her title to gain access to elite spaces and enjoy the best of society without expectations.

But when ballroom gossip suggests that a longtime friend has died of “melancholia” while in the care of a questionable physician, Petra vows to use her status to dig deeper—uncovering a private asylum where men pay to have their wives and daughters locked away, or worse. Just as Lady Petra has reason to believe her friend is not dead, but a prisoner, her own headstrong actions and thirst for independence are used to put her own freedom in jeopardy.

My thoughtsAct Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord is an interesting book. There are several twists and turns that can keep the reader engaged and eager to find out how they all fit together.

Petra is an intriguing young woman. She grew up in a home where she was given leeway and didn't act like a lady should in some circumstances. I would say that she is a free spirit, something that was frowned upon during the Regency Era. She is also intelligent and curious. When the women of the ton start disappearing, including her best friend who died unexpectedly, she is determined to find answers.

The plot is intriguing. While the book didn't conform to the time period. I read the story ignoring the time period errors, this helped me to enjoy the book and appreciate the plot and characters.

The book contains sexual innuendo, crass views of women, and closed-door intimacy.

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

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About the Author: CELESTE CONNALLY is an Agatha Award nominee, and a former freelance writer and editor. A lifelong devotee of historical novels and adaptations fueled by her passion for history—plus weekly doses of PBS Masterpiece—Celeste loves reading and writing about women from the past who didn’t always do as they were told.

Friday, September 29, 2023

An Unsuitable Heiress by Jane Dunn

  • Title: An Unsuitable Heiress

  • Author: Jane Dunn

  • Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance

  • Publisher: ‎ Boldwood Books (May 22, 2023)

  • Length: (350) pages

  • Format: Trade Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook 

ISBN: ‎978-1804835364

Book Description: Following the death of her mother, Corinna Ormesby has lived a quiet life in the countryside with her cantankerous Cousin Agnes. Her father's identity has been a tantalising mystery, but now at nineteen Corinna knows that finding him may be her only way to avoid marriage to the odious Mr Beech.

Deciding to head to London, Corinna dons a male disguise. Travelling alone as a young woman risks scandal and danger, but when, masquerading as a youth, she is befriended by three dashing blades, handsome and capable Alick Wolfe, dandy Ferdinand Shilton and the incorrigible Lord Purfoy, Corinna now has access to the male-only world of Regency England.

And when she meets Alick's turbulent brother Darius, a betrayal of trust leads to deadly combat which only one of the brothers may survive. From gambling in gentleman’s clubs to meeting the courtesans of Covent Garden, Corinna’s country naivety soon falls away.

But when she finds her father at last, learns the truth about her parentage and discovers her fortunes transformed, she must quickly decide how to reveal her true identity, while hoping that one young man in particular can see her for the beauty and Lady she really is.

Sunday Times-bestselling author Jane Dunn brings the Regency period irresistibly to life in a page-turning novel packed with romance, scandal, friendship and colour.  Perfect for fans of Jane Austen. Janice Hadlow, Gill Hornby, and anyone with a Bridgerton-shaped hole in their lives.

My thoughts: I was intrigued when I read the book description. I like Regency stories where the heroine takes drastic steps to change her future. This book fits in that category 100%.

Corinna meets her new friends when she is about to be beaten and Alick steps in and saves her, I mean him. They take the weak, but amiable, young man under their wings and Corinna is introduced into the world of men of leisure. For a naive young lady, it is eye-opening. Particularly when they take her to a brothel. Oh, my stars! Don't worry, there is nothing graphic happening to her. A nice game of cards is in order.

The book explores Corinna's journey. The author pays attention to detail and takes the reader on a process. Corinna's desire to find her father to his death. She finds her place in the world with the encouragement of good friends.

Romance is not at the forefront of the story. It happens toward the end, but there are sparks between the two from the time they find out she is really a girl.

All in all, I would say that the book is entertaining. I am glad that I picked it up and started reading. It is a little different than your typical Regency romance. You might find yourself falling a little in love with Alick too.

Source: Recieved to Review
Rating: 4 of 5 stars.

About the Author: 

Jane Dunn is an historian and biographer and the author of seven acclaimed biographies, including Daphne du Maurier and her Sisters, and the Sunday Times and NYT bestseller, Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens. She comes to Boldwood with her first fiction outing – a trilogy of novels set in the Regency period, the first of which, The Marriage Season, is to be published in January 2023. She lives in Berkshire with her husband, the linguist Nicholas Ostler.

INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | X (formerly known as Twitter) | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS


  • 5 STARS “…a compelling and enthralling story of a determined young woman’s journey to find her father and her own place in the world.”— Jo Shaw, 

  • 5 STARS “…you should allow yourself to be carried away by it as if by a tall dark stranger in a carriage and four. I enjoyed it even more than The Marriage Season, and that's quite a lot.”— Paul Feldwick, Goodreads 

  • 5 STARS “…a fun-filled romp through Regency England, with a smattering of romance, a sense of adventure and a wonderful heroine at its core. What's not to like?!”— Jo, Jaffa Reads Too

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

What Would Jane Austen Do? by Linda Corbett


What Would Jane Austen Do?What Would Jane Austen Do? by Linda Corbett
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received to Review

Book Description:  It's a truth often acknowledged that when a journalist and Jane Austen fan girl ends up living next door to a cynical but handsome crime writer, romantic sparks will fly! When Maddy Shaw is told her Dear Jane column has been cancelled she has no choice but to look outside of London’s rental market. That is until she’s left an idyllic country home by the black sheep of the family, long-not-so-lost Cousin Nigel. But of course there’s a stipulation… and not only is Maddy made chair of the committee for the annual village literary festival, she also has to put up with bestselling crime author –and romance sceptic – Cameron Massey as her new neighbour. When Maddy challenges Cameron to write romantic fiction, which he claims is so easy to do, sparks fly both on and off the page…

My thoughts:  Maddie enjoyed her time writing a "Dear Jane" advice column. She enjoyed it until she got fired. (Some people are just a little too sensitive.)

She is offered the chance of a lifetime. She lives in her father's cousin's home for one year and inherits the mansion. What would a girl who was just fired from her job do? Take the deal. Unfortunately, the home comes with a neighbor who Jane has crossed paths with before, Cameron Massey, the crime author. Their ideas of worthwhile writing do not match. Maddie challenges him to write a romance, but it is too easy so he says. Hmmm.. time will tell who is right.

I enjoyed this book. It falls into the trope of "enemies to lovers". From the moment they meet, you can see the potential for sparks. The story is fast-paced and has fantastic characters. I love the small-town vibe of the book. The neighbors are friends and the spirit of cooperation makes this a "feel-good" book. I enjoyed the plot and the characters.

I have not read a Linda Corbett before, but I am very interested in picking one up in the future. The book contains fade-to-black intimacy and one instance of the "f" word.

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

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  • “Witty, sharp and beautifully observed – I feel sure Jane would approve.”— Julie Caplin, author of The French Chateau

  • “Sparkling romance, secrets from the past…Witty and romantic, I couldn’t stop myself from turning the pages.”— Alison Sherlock, bestselling author of The Village of Lost and Found

  • “…sheer fun from beginning to end, beautifully written, and with a real touch of originality.”— Anne Williams, Being Anne

  • “What a lovely book! It also fills my need to see British colloquialisms on occasion. Yes! I highly recommend this book!”— Michelle, Tales Untangled 

About the Author:  Linda Corbett lives in Surrey with her husband Andrew and three permanently hungry guinea pigs. As well as being an author, Linda is treasurer and fundraiser for Shine Surrey – a volunteer-led charity that supports individuals and families living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. For many years she also wrote a regular column for Link, a disability magazine, illustrating the humorous aspects of life with a complex disability and she is a passionate advocate of disability representation in fiction. Love You From A-Z is her first published novel.


Thursday, August 31, 2023

A Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion by Sharayah Maurice


A Bounty of Secrets and RebellionA Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion by Sharayah Maurice
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Fantasy

Book Description: An historical alliance between two gifted races is threatened when Princess Alana Bell Sundry is attacked and a bounty is placed on her head. With powerful enemies on two borders, the kingdom of Latera is relying on her arranged marriage to the Gaellen Prince to strengthen their position in Tanithor.

Enlisting the help of a mysterious bodyguard to keep her alive until her prince arrives to claim her, Alana soon learns there’s more to the undercover guard than meets the eye. As she spends time with her new bodyguard, she realizes that the attacks on her life aren’t the only threats to the alliance. Her heart may prove just as effective at dismantling a union that has been years in the making.

Meanwhile, across the Great River, Griff Shoshone is unaware of the political events happening around him. The girl he’s loved for years has recently been promised to his little brother, the future Chief of Hoken, and Griff must find a way to reconcile his heart to the Oracle’s prophetic declaration. However, after a fateful decision with deadly consequences leaves him and his brother’s betrothed captured in enemy territory, Griff must now come to terms with his new fated destiny.

A Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion is the first in the Chronicles of Tanithor YA fantasy romance series told from multiple POVs. If you like clean romance, characters with elemental powers, and action packed chapters with cliff hanger endings, then you’ll love the enchanting world of Tanithor.

My thoughts:  I have to admit that I am a sucker for fantasy books. I was excited to start A Bounty of Secrets and Rebellion. I had no idea what was in store for me though.

Sharayah Maurice is a new author and she did a great job in her debut novel. The plot moved along quickly, and I enjoyed the characters and how the different stories fit together. There is a ton of political intrigue and surprises throughout the book. I really am excited to read the next book.

I also loved how some of the characters had elemental gifts. It's interesting to note that the"gifts" from the "All Gods" run in noble families. It's fascinating how the "gifts" can be used for good or bad.

If you love a good epic fantasy, check this book out.

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

Online Purchase Link:  

You can borrow the book on Kindle Unlimited!

About the Author:  Sharayah Maurice has been a lover of books since she first learned to read and has dreamed of being an author for just as long. She is the author of The Chronicles of Tanithor: Age of the Oracle series. Her stories are filled with adventure, political intrigue and swoony romance that will leave you desperate for more. She lives in north Texas with her husband and five children. 

Social links 


Instagram: @thesharayahmaurice



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Thursday, August 24, 2023

Crown & Serpent: A Fate of Eyrinthia Novella by Heather Frost ~ Excerpt and Giveaway!


Crown and Serpent: A Fate of Eyrinthia NovellaCrown and Serpent: A Fate of Eyrinthia Novella by Heather Frost
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Fantasy

Book Description:  All she wanted . . .

Seventeen-year-old Iris Winn loves her quiet life with her father, studying the poisons that fascinate them both. But after his sudden death, Iris is now the ward of her estranged aunt and uncle. In order to claim her inheritance, she must live in the capital city of Lenzen for one year. While there, she must attend parties, balls, and participate in every other vapid thing the elite of Ryden value. Iris doesn’t care about learning their rules or joining their ranks–her only goal is to endure the next year. Then she meets Prince Henri Kaelin.

Everything they demanded . . .

Every young woman in Lenzen wants Henri–except for Iris. Unfortunately, the prince only has eyes for her. The king has decreed that Henri must choose a bride before his birthday, and Iris is determined it won’t be her. Dodging a prince’s focused attention while placating her relatives and the rest of Ryden’s high society is exhausting–and more dangerous than Iris could have ever imagined. She is about to learn that not all games are innocent, and some smiles are more lethal than poison. Luckily, Iris is a quick study, and this is a game she is determined to win.

She would take it all.

*Crown & Serpent is a Fate of Eyrinthia prequel novella that’s actually the length of a novel. This villain origin story was released after Royal Rebel, but it can be read at any point in the series.*

My thoughts:  Iris and Henri, the couple that is easy to hate. In the "Fate of Eyrinthia" series I have wondered how two despicable people get together and raise their sons.

All my questions were answered and more. The problem was that I didn't hate them in the novella. I came to understand who they were and why they made the decisions they did. I actually sympathized with Iris in most of the novella. I actually felt sorry for her. It was actually easy to see her path to the amazingly evil person she would become. But, she didn't start out that way. She started as a young woman who loved her father and spent time with him studying poisons.

Henri was just a prince who hated his father and wanted the throne. Together, they bounced ideas around that would define their rule during the series.

If you love the series, you want, no need, to read this one. It explains so much!

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  (I've also pre-ordered a copy!)

Pre-order a copy for your Kindle.

Read an Excerpt!

Iris was tracking the movements of the soldiers who surrounded the king. After his speech, he’d ducked his head and spoken to his son in low, quick tones. Iris had a hard time looking away from Prince Henri. She was still reeling with the knowledge that he was the boy from the stable.

Henri’s expression was inscrutable as his father spoke to him, and Iris noted that he said little to the king. Was it a lecture, then? Iris had become quite familiar with them since meeting her relatives.

Finally, the king finished. He stepped back, and his guards were quick to surround him as he moved off the stage, clearly headed for the nearest vendor’s cart.

Henri stood there a moment, his guards at his back. Iris saw the way his fists clenched at his sides, but then his tension slowly released. He faced the crowd, his eyes sweeping the square—until he found her.

Iris’s skin tingled in a peculiar way as their gazes locked.

Slowly, his lips curved. It was a secretive smile, speaking to what they’d shared earlier. Her knees trembled slightly, though she had no idea why.

“Fates,” Anora breathed. “He’s looking right at you, Iris.”

Her aunt’s words snapped her back to reality. She looked away from Prince Henri, settling her attention on her relatives. Even Kell was gawking at her.

“Why is he looking at you?” Lillin asked, her eyes wide.

“I don’t know,” Iris said. And she honestly didn’t. She didn’t know why he looked so fascinated as he stared at her. She certainly didn’t understand why he was sharing a smile with her, or why he hadn’t told her the truth in the stable.

“Have you met before?” Anora asked, sounding a little strangled.

Before Iris could reply, her aunt’s eyes widened on a spot beyond her. “Fates, he’s coming this way.”

Iris’s belly knotted. She twisted to see that her aunt was right—Henri was already off the stage and moving right for them. 

“Stay calm,” Anora breathed to them all. “Kell, Lillin—not a word.”

Henri’s smile was full by the time he stopped in front of them, two guards flanking him. Everyone in the vicinity bowed, and Iris, Anora, and Lillin dipped into practiced curtsies.

Iris could feel many eyes on them, though Henri’s focus on her was especially tangible and unrelenting. “Lady Iris,” he greeted smoothly. “It’s lovely to see you again.”

She glanced up at him as she rose from her curtsy. “Indeed,” she said. It was all she could think to say. Her mind was utterly stalled.

The corner of his mouth twitched higher. “You seem a little less verbose than when we last spoke.”

The skin around Iris’s eyes tightened. “I probably said quite enough already, don’t you think?”

Anora paled. Lillin looked positively scandalized. Kell stiffened, and Sevlin shifted to stand just a little closer to Iris.

“Your Highness,” her uncle said. “I didn’t realize you knew my niece.”

Henri regarded Sevlin, and in the absence of his stare, Iris’s breathing evened out somewhat. “Our acquaintance is quite new, Lord Winn. We only met today.” Henri’s attention shifted back to Iris, and his smile widened. “To answer your question, Iris, no—I don’t think you said enough. I’m fascinated to learn more of your views on the world, though I’m afraid I have several obligations today that will keep me quite busy. Will you be at Lord Thatcher’s ball?”

Lillin’s mouth dropped open.

Anora’s eyes couldn’t possibly get any wider.

Iris knew she couldn’t count on them for help. She cleared her throat and focused back on the prince. “Yes, I will be in attendance.”

Henri grinned. “Excellent. I hope you’ll save your first dance for me.” He tipped his head, and without another word he strode away.

The Winn family watched him go, none of them saying a word.

It was Kell who finally broke the silence. “What by all the blasted fates was that?”

Though they all looked at her, Iris had no answers.


About the Author:  Heather Frost is a #1 Amazon bestselling author who writes magical stories with breath-stealing romance. She is the author of the Seers trilogy, the Fate of Eyrinthia series, and Esperance. Her books have been Whitney Award and Swoony Award Finalists. She has a BS in Creative Writing and a minor in Folklore, which means she got to read fairy tales and call it homework. When she’s not writing, Heather likes to read, travel, and re-watch Lord of the Rings. She lives in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains in northern Utah. To learn more about Heather and her books, visit her website:

Heather’s Social Media Links

Website * Instagram: Heather.Frost.Author * Facebook: @AuthorHeatherFrost * Goodreads * Book Bub * Join Heather’s Mailing List

Time for the Giveaway!

To celebrate Crown & Serpent coming out, Heather is giving away a signed paperback of Royal Decoy + collectible bookmarks and postcard!

Get all the details and enter here:

Follow all of the stops on the tour!