Book Review

Book Review: Where the Stars Meet the Sea by Heidi Kimball

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 256 pages
Author: Heidi Kimball
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: March 2nd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A broken man. A fiery young woman. Neither one’s heart will come away unscathed.

Juliet Graham fervently counts the days until her twenty-first birthday, when she can claim the inheritance that will grant her the freedom she has always craved and the guardianship of her younger brother. Until then, she is trapped under her aunt Agnes’s domineering will. When forced to accompany the family to a house party at Shaldorn Castle, Juliet’s only objective is to keep to herself. That is, until a chance encounter with a boorish stranger stirs up an unexpected whirlwind of emotions in her. Thrown off-balance, Juliet does the unthinkable: loses her temper and insults the man—who turns out to be her unwilling host, the Duke of Halstead. Fully expecting to be sent away, Juliet is surprised when the brusque and callous duke instead takes an interest in her.

Drawn to the duke in unguarded moments, Juliet finds herself more and more intrigued by the man who shuns Society’s rules as completely as she does, and over the next few weeks, their unlikely friendship deepens into a connection neither expected.

But even as Juliet comes to recognize her true feelings, her scheming aunt issues an ultimatum that threatens the future she was just beginning to hope for. Juliet must choose: either break the promise she made to herself years ago, or lose the man who has captured her heart and soul.

OFFICIAL REGENCY FAV.

Oh my goodness, I LOVED THIS. I kept this on my TBR for far too long. It’s an absolute favorite and if you don’t feel like reading this review, don’t worry, my answer for you would be READ IT. Thank me later.

From chapter one I was hooked. The initial banter and chemistry between Halstead and Juliet gave me all the feels and setup for an amazing read. I love the way the passion between them and the incredibly tender moments that had me swooning over and over. If you’re worried about a miscommunication issue, that isn’t a problem here! The conflict has been led to the entire time and it works out the way it should. Not to mention, that ending was PRECIOUS. I am still in a gush over the romance. There’s no steam here, but the wait Kimball builds heat and dynamic won’t leave you missing it at all.

I really liked the overall plot. It’s set at a castle (!!) and the writing sweeps you away to another time. There’s some general characteristics of regency romances but this holds its own with a unique story that had me finishing this in a day. I am an official fan now of Kimball’s and can’t wait to read her other books.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: emotional/psychologically/physically abusive family member, a runaway child, loss of parents

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Book Review

Book Review: Manor for Sale, Baron Included (A Romance of Rank #1) by Esther Hatch

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 247 pages
Author: Esther Hatch
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: February 25th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

She has everything Lord Farnsworth wants, including his manor.

Lord Farnsworth would rather rot in debtor’s prison than sell the one place that feels like home to him—his mother’s manor. That is, until he meets the woman who wants to buy it. Sally Duncan is beautiful, intelligent, and as rich as a baron—a rich baron, not a cash-strapped one like Lord Farnsworth. She’s the solution to every one of his financial problems and is bewitching to boot. All he needs to do is sell her his beloved manor and then charm her to the altar, and the manor will be his again. Simple, right?

But nothing is simple when Sally starts tearing apart his ancestral home and renovating it in a way no one would consider tasteful. She is wreaking havoc on everything, but he cannot give up on owning his mother’s estate again, nor can he imagine anyone but Sally as his wife.

And so he sticks with his plan.

What a horrible mistake. 

ADORABLE & FUN

I had a good time with this one! It was a quick regency read that put me in a good mood and had me smiling throughout. The love interest, John, was ridiculously goofy, but also very endearing. I loved Sally and I thought it was amazing that she was a business owner and extremely independent. They were a great mix of opposites attract.

This was a new story in the regency world for me too. It was great having Sally purchase a house and a gentleman who had to work hard to prove himself to her. I feel like usually it’s the other way around, or at least the whole idea of everyone wants to be with a baron. This really turned it on its side and I looooved that. Not to mention, I really liked all of the boxing aspects!

Not very long, but just the right length. I thought some communication would have solved some of the problems. Yet, I do think the resolutions at the end came together. I understood why John and Sally both had to work through some things before being able to be together. Charming and sweet, I can’t wait for the next story!

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercation
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent, a neglected sibling

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Book Review

Book Review: The Last Eligible Bachelor (Seasons of Change #3) by Ashtyn Newbold

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 234 pages
Author: Ashtyn Newbold
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: June 25th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A ruse can only last so long…
Tillie Sherbrooke was born a lady, but lost her place in society by her father’s folly. Quiet, resourceful, and loyal, she now makes the perfect lady’s maid for her mistress Sophia. When Sophia’s parents give her no choice but to travel across England to be matched with a mysterious young bachelor, Mr. Hill, she has no interest, especially since there are several other ladies vying for him. Who better to send in her place than Tillie? What gentleman would notice a maid, even one disguised as a lady? So when Sophia asks this favor of Tillie, or rather—threatens her into it, Tillie must rely on her past, the life of a proper lady, if she hopes to keep her position at Sedgwick Manor.

Disguised as her mistress, Tillie takes a coach across the country to a new place, one both unfamiliar and frightening. With so much at stake, she does all she can to stay quiet and invisible. But when she inadvertently catches Mr. Hill’s attention, she realizes she may have more to lose than her livelihood. She may very well lose her heart.

CHARMINGLY CUTE.

I love a feel good regency romance. They make me smile. It’s clearly going to be a happy ever after and I’m not upset one bit about that guarantee.

This was my second book by Ashtyn Newbold and she’s quickly becoming one of my favorite regency romance authors. I love the way she writes her stories. The witty banter between the couples, the flirtations and side glances, and that long sought after kissing scene. It’s a great combination that fuels my love for these stories.

I adored this set-up and liked how everything played out. Some of the other women at the manor were absolutely ridiculous (though I expected nothing less). I liked Tillie and her compassion and care for those she loved. She continued to do what was right even if that was a tough decision to make. I loved Mr.Hill too! I do wish there was more background information on him. Honestly, I’m not even sure he had a first name because I can’t remember it being used once.

A sweet read that does NOT have to be read in order! I picked this one out of the series purely for the author. If you’re looking for more simple regency favs, look no further.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Content Warnings: a family member imprisoned

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Book Review

Book Review: The Nabob’s Daughter by Jess Heileman

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 444 pages
Author: Jess Heileman
Publisher: Vagabond Publishing
Release Date: June 30th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

She’ll do anything to escape an arranged marriage. He’ll do anything to help her.

Honora Crauford relishes her life in India. So when her father informs her of his latest business transaction—marrying her off to a bankrupt nobleman in England—her only hope for returning home is to convince her betrothed, by whatever antics necessary, that a marriage to her comes at a cost that not even the greatest fortune can justify.

Graham Whitworth can hardly believe his wretched luck. It seems the only way to save his family’s insolvent estate is to comply with his father’s demands and marry the extremely wealthy, but utterly ridiculous, nabob’s daughter. But when Honora missteps, Graham discerns her farce and begins to see who she truly is—a most impressive lady. A lady likely capable of fixing his family’s financial troubles.

Realizing they both desire freedom, Graham and Honora join forces to restore the Whitworth estate and return Honora to her beloved India. But sometimes love has its own agenda, and the revoking of a once undesirable arrangement may just prove to be the greatest sacrifice of all.

DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

The hype in the regency community about this book is real, and I’m so glad it lived up to what I was hoping for.

Honora is the definition of the head-strong woman who stubbornness occasionally gets in her own way. I liked her character arc and her ability to recognize and acknowledge her faults and when she needed to apologize. Honora stood for her choices too and was a character I wanted to see get her HEA.

Graham was adorable. I loved how tender he was and how open to Honora he spoke. With a slight misstep in their first meeting to a friendship that became more, I was enraptured. He was incredibly sweet and all of Graham’s quiet moments with Honora had me swooning.

The plot was more fresh than most regencies and felt like a new rush of air as I read. My only lower point was that it felt a bit long too me. It might have been so much of the accounting commentary and scenes that took away from the main focus of the romance.

This was a wonderful read though and I look forward to Heileman’s future books. Based off of this one I think there’s more swoony romances ahead.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a mother

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