Book Review

Book Review: Romancing Her Rival (Promise of Forever After #2) by Joanna Barker

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Regency Romance Novella
Length: 156 pages
Author: Joanna Barker
Publisher: Love Letter Press
Release Date: August 5th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


He stole her inheritance. She stole his heart.

Daphne Windham has depended upon one thing her entire life: inheriting her beloved great-aunt’s estate, Cheriton Hall. With her mother desperate to marry her off to the highest bidder, Daphne is relieved to escape to Cheriton for the summer—until she learns that her aunt has decided upon a different heir entirely. Cole Everard, the steward’s son and Daphne’s childhood friend. Former friend, that is.

Raised on the grounds of Cheriton, Cole Everard never imagined he would be named heir, but he is determined to prove himself worthy of the position. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done, especially when Daphne arrives claiming he is anything but worthy. Instead of their close friendship, Cole is met with cold indifference—which would sting much less if he wasn’t entirely in love with her…

Hurt and betrayed, Daphne believes her only choice is to undermine her new rival and reclaim what is rightfully hers. But that plan becomes increasingly difficult, what with Cole’s infuriating charm and kindness. When fate offers Daphne a second chance, will she take it or risk it all for the promise of love?

Romancing Her Rival is the second in a series of books about five friends. The other four novellas will be written by authors Sally Britton, Megan Walker, Heidi Kimball, and Arlem Hawks.


An absolutely charming regency novella. I was grinning for ear to ear by the closing scenes and I am falling more in love with Barker’s books as I go!

This is a super quick read (150 pages) and is excellently paced. I liked that there was enough background mentioned between Daphne and Cole to know that they had a history prior to the book. I feel like that’s always really critical for a novella. An established past helps fuel the connection we get to see on page.

And what a connection it was!! I immediately saw the chemistry between our main couple and I loved the progression of their romance. The critical conflict scenes weren’t out of bounds I I am here for a passionate confession of feelings accidentally in front of the other person.

Super smitten with this whole read. One of those moments wondering why it took so long for me to pick it up in the first place. Can’t wait to read more!

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency Romance Novella
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: emotionally manipulative parenting

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