Five Stars, Jen Geigle Johnson, Low Language, Low Religion, Moderate Romance, Moderate Violence

It’s Official

We are officially in our new place, school has officially started and I’m officially behind on my reviews. But those first two things should help with the later.
I’m also officially a history nerd. I love learning about the details of the past; what made them great and what made them hard. Jen Geigle Johnson has a way of not only making history come to life, but making it relevant to the reader.
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“Molly O’Malley, lady’s maid to the progressive Lady Amanda Halloway, is determined to continue the life’s work of her lost love, killed in the Peterloo Massacre. But when her efforts and a trip to Lady Halloway’s charitable orphanage culminate in her own abduction, Molly’s eyes are opened to the horrifying crimes transpiring in the city’s slums. Despite the risks, she broadens her mission and is drawn ever closer to the peril all around them. 

Thomas Flaherty, a footman in the Halloway household, has been with Molly from the beginning, but he fears she will never trust him with her heart. Even though her cause and happiness are of foremost importance to him, his loyal patience is tested by the fears that keep her at a distance. But with their safety on the line, Thomas is resolved to sacrifice everything for the woman he loves. 

Risking their lives and their love, Molly and Thomas and a team of nobles on their side will stop at nothing to empower the powerless, no matter the personal cost.”

I loved the juxtaposition this book created against it’s predecessor, A Nobleman’s DaughterWhere the heroine and hero in that story were bold and fearless these were quite and somewhat reluctant heroes who grew into their roles and purpose. Both kinds of people have a place in this world and I loved that representation.
There was not one, but two relationships developing in this book and both added dimension to the story. It was beautiful to see Molly’s struggle with guilt, and the realization that it is possible to love again after loss.
Overall the story kept and held my attention, I felt invested in the characters success and a desire to learn more about this time in history. I officially love Jen Johnson’s historical romances and can’t wait for more!
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3 1/2 Stars, Heather B. Moore, Jen Geigle Johnson, Sarah M. Eden, Timeless Romance Anthologies

Tradition!

I love the holiday season, the music, the decorations, the traditions. I love creating new traditions in my littles and watching the season come alive in their eyes. Books have always been a part of our traditions and I love a good holiday story to get me in the Christmas spirit.

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ALWAYS KISS AT CHRISTMAS by Regina Scott
Mary Rose has one goal for her mother’s annual Christmas Eve party: convince her childhood friend Julian Mayes to marry her. She has always admired Julian. Surely one moment under the kissing bough will convince him they were meant to be together. Newly hired by a prestigious London law firm, Julian is ready to shake the dust of the countryside off his polished boots. But he’s always had a soft spot for Mary. As the danger to her future becomes clear, will one kiss be enough to prove to him how far he will go to protect her?

The Plot was cute and the characters were endearing but there was something lacking in the natural flow of the story.

A YULETIDE MATCH by Sarah M. Eden
Famed matchmaker to the ton, Adelaide Northrup cannot imagine a more perfect way to spend Christmas than answering the desperate call of Mr. Porter Bartrum: widower, young father, dunderhead. The young gentleman’s first marriage was an arranged one and he hasn’t the first idea how to find a wife on his own. His dear friend, Chloe Munson, has watched his attempts with amusement and finds this latest approach, the clandestine hiring of a matchmaker, his most entertaining yet. If Adelaide plays her cards right, and she always does, she might very well manage to secure two happy endings.

I mentioned on Social Media how excited I was to hear more from Mrs. Northrop and she did not disappoint. Using Mrs. Northrop to guide the two characters to a realization of their feelings worked so well and made the story nothing short of adorable.

THE FORBIDDEN DUKE by Jen Geigle Johnson
They weren’t supposed to meet, but now that they have, nothing will ever be the same. The Duke of Salsbury blames her family. Lady Catherine blames his. Will an age-old dispute between the Salsburys and Asters rip apart any hope they have to be together? In this game of secrets and lies, can their love for each other conquer even the most tightly held family prejudices?

This nod to Romeo and Julie, but with a sweet ending had my favorite meet cute of the anthology. The author did a beautiful job with the romance balancing their attraction with the struggles in their background they needed to over come.

MISTLETOE AT WILLOWSMEADE by Annette Lyon
On Christmas Eve, Eleanor Hadfield, who works as governess at her childhood home of Willowsmeade, is stunned to learn that the love of her youth, Julian Phillips, is coming back after a decade’s absence. Once the gardener’s son, he has elevated his station to navy captain. Making a match with a mere governess would lower his position, if he were to still love her as he did as a young man, which is unlikely. Unable to bear the idea of noble Julian keeping an old promise out of obligation or pity, Eleanor decides to leave the only place that has ever been a home.

In this second chance love story it was easy to connect with the emotions of the two characters and the author’s slow build from both points of view until they finally were brave enough to express their feelings created a good tension and satisfying ending.

FOLLOW THE RIVER HOME by Krista Lynne Jensen
With her beloved home entailed away to a wealthy cousin, spirited Arabelle Hyatt has resigned herself to marry the arrogant man, if only to save her family from destitution. But before an understanding is reached, a childhood friend returns from war, wounded in more ways than one. With Christmas coming—what may be their last at Hybrigge—holiday traditions are celebrated, memories are revisited, and Arabelle learns what lies in a man’s words is not always what lies in his heart.

I liked the way the author set up the characters for this story, but they seemed to get a little lost in the plot. There was a little too much going on. It would’ve worked great in a flushed out novel but made the short story feel disconcerting.

THE NEW EARL by Heather B. Moore
Celia Thompson knows she can’t live with the new earl who’s come to take her brother’s place. Before she can pack her belongings and reconcile herself to a fate of living as a spinster in her aunt’s home, the new earl arrives. Yet, Aaron, now Lord Banfield, is not the pompous, arrogant man she’d imagined. In fact, he’s quite . . . interesting and handsome. Celia decides to help the man acclimate to his new role. But the longer she stays on at Banfield, the more she realizes the new earl might be the answer she’s been looking for.

I really like the set up of Heather Moore’s  story and the banter back and forth between the two characters. The clandestine meetings and the way they came to respect each other made for a good romance, but for some reason the ending left me feeling a little underwhelmed.

One of my favorite things about reading Holiday themed books from the Regency era is the traditions. I loved learning how they celebrated and the little things they did to make the holiday special. It was obvious all these authors did their research bringing something new and interesting to my holiday tradition repertoire.

 

Four Stars, Jen Geigle Johnson, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Violence, Moderate Romance

Villains and Heroes

I’ve mentioned before on social media about the website Regency House Party. Five author’s who wrote five different stories which all wove together, occurring at the same House Party. The stories were originally released in a serial type style on the blog, but are now released as individual books.  “Tabitha’s Folly” is the last of the five stories. Each is a standalone story and can be read in any order, but I loved seeing the characters interact and the different stories blend. You can find a link to the other stories below the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Lady Tabitha Easton recklessly dodges four over-protective brothers while trying to gain attention from the man who holds her heart. She has many choices of suitors, and with Henry as disinterested as ever, she turns to what is wholly forbidden, an irresistibly handsome footman. While their friendship grows, her trust in him increases while her hurt and doubt in her childhood love and friend pushes her away from all she’s ever known as family.

When Lord Henry Courtenay discovers a new attraction to his childhood friend, his role as one of her chaperones at the house party becomes near impossible. Irrationally defensive about any potential suitors and seeking time alone with the enticing Tabby, maintaining friendship with her brothers proves more difficult than he ever imagined. His task becomes all the more difficult when she refuses to understand his growing attraction and often finds herself in almost compromising situations.

When Tabitha’s choices might lead her to danger, and doubt and distrust are high, Henry must prove himself or lose her forever.

–I loved the innocence and hope of Tabitha’s character mingled with her desire for freedom made for a sweet, but refreshing blend. The tender way her relationship with Henry grew was written beautifully. The brother’s brought a light heartedness to the over all story and I wouldn’t complain if we heard more about them in a later installment. Damien added mystery and intrigue and I would highly recommend you read “Damien’s Secret” right after “Tabitha’s Folly”.

Though I could sympathize with his plight I didn’t necessarily connect with Damien the villain, but I love backstories, especially of villains. I loved the twists Jen Geigle Johnson added through his side of the story. Jen Geigle Johnson didn’t write a redemption story, she wrote a romance for a villain which was new and different. And she gave him a great match in Giorgia. And I’m a firm believer that there’s some one out there for everyone, and maybe even villains can find happily ever after. Just as long as they don’t intrude on mine. –N.C.

“What happens when a villain falls in love? Will his newfound true feelings be strong enough to divert him from his nefarious plans?

Damen Laconi is of noble blood from both of his parents. Unfortunately neither will claim him. Legitimacy is hard won as a footman in England. He values his position as the handsomest footman on the countess’ estate but hungers for more, a title of his own.

Giorgia comes from Italy, sent by Damen’s mother, to woo him and bring him home. Can she accomplish such a thing before her own secrets are revealed, and before he carries out his own reckless plans?”

 

 

Author Jen Geigle Johnson

Jen Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. 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. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.

Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.

 

 

Giveaway Details

Ends 10/28/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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The Unwanted Suitor by Michelle Pennington

Mistaken Identity by Mindy Burbridge Strunk

The Stable Master’s Daughter by Sara Cardon

And Unlikely Courtship by Heidi Kimball

Giveaway, Jen Geigle Johnson

BLAST – Scarlet by Jen Geigle Johnson

If you’ve read our review of Scarlet previously, you’ll know how much we loved it! Below is a quick exerpt from the author and a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash. Just follow the links!


 

 

Excerpt

“I think you look handsome.”
“Well, that is something, but coming from a woman in your current attire, I hesitate to lay much weight to your approval.” His eyebrow quirked as his gaze searched her from toe to headdress. A chuckle escaped. “What can you mean by dressing us in such a manner?”

His incredulity gave her pause to question. She had pushed the ridiculous to its upper limits, hoping their decoy would further dispel any possible suspicion of her involvement in serious rescue attempts from France. And by involving Matteo, perhaps convince a few suspicious minds of his new allegiance to wealth, pleasure, and fashion. “I have a reputation to uphold, my dear.”

“Am I to now share in your love of fashion extremes?” He gestured to the embroidery on his sleeves.

“For France, darling. If we appear thus, we set ourselves as the supreme leaders in fashion. And besides the prince himself, everyone will turn to us.” All true, naturally, but an equally important great disguise and sleight of hand were at play as well.

“And you feel that men of substance, men I would care to influence, will have any respect for me at all? I am wearing purple breeches. Could I not simply wear my usual tan or black?”

Author Jen Geigle Johnson

Jen Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. 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. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.

Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

 

Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Details (Ends 5/21/18)
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

Five Stars, Jen Geigle Johnson, Low Language, Low Romance, Moderate Violence

You Are My Home

From every book, movie and play I’ve seen this is quite possibly my favorite pimpernel moment. It’s got the tender love, the action, the over the top ridiculousness, and that voice *sigh*.

As much as I love it, I feel like the musical, the movies, many of the adaptations of The Scarlet Pimpernel don’t do justice to Marguerite. If you’ve read the book you know that Marguerite is more than she appears. She’s powerful, intelligent and socially at the top of her game. She is in every way a perfect match for Percy. I have always wished the adaptations would convey her strength of character.

Jen Geigle Johnson has given us something even better. Scarlet comes out on May 1st and is an adaptation with the pimpernel being a woman.

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“The roads in and out of Paris are heavily guarded, but the dead have easy passage out of the city. A ragged old woman transports the coffins of the most recent victims of the guillotine and is waved on unimpeded. Later, the same crone watches five French aristocrats step out of their coffins unscathed. Not beheaded but spirited away to safety by that most elusive of spies: the Pimpernel. Or, as she’s known in polite society, Lady Scarlet Cavendish.

When not assuming her secret identity as a hero of the French Revolution, Scarlet presents herself as a fashionable, featherbrained young widow flitting about London. In truth, this façade is merely a diversion designed to conceal her clandestine work in France. Among members of the doomed French aristocracy, the Pimpernel is renowned for her bravery and cunning. But when tasked with rescuing handsome Comte Matteo Durand, she faces an unprecedented challenge: she is falling in love with the man. If ever there were a time to keep her head, it is now because in a world brimming with intrigue, she is not the only one harboring secrets. And if Scarlet doesn’t take care, Madame la Guillotine may finally catch up with the Pimpernel.”

Jen handled her adaptation beautifully, she makes the history of this tumultuous era come alive. Those familiar with The fictional world of The Pimpernel will appreciate her salute to the original and lovers of history will applaud how she makes the French Revolution personal, and intimate.

She has a beautiful grasp on our innate desire for freedom and infuses that into her story. The plot is heart rending and suspenseful. The romance is toe tingling and the characters are so realistic, for the first time in my life, I felt emotionally connected to Marie Antoinette. With a strong female character you can root for this is one of my new favorite Pimpernel adaptations.

 

**the violence is moderate due to the nature of the French Revolution and while Jen’s description was accurate and poignantly, it was neither too graphic or distorted. She handled a rather violent setting admirably.

 

Four Stars, Giveaway, Jen Geigle Johnson, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Moderate Violence

Madam Guillotine *updated*

I’ve always been a fan of the Scarlet Pimpernel, the book, the musical. Love it all. When I heard that Jen Geigle Johnson was part of the Valentines giveaway and her debut novel is in the time period of the French Revolution but following the struggle for equality from the English Commoners point of view. I was excited to not only find a new author, but also to read more about a time period that has fascinated me since 8th grade French class. I just started the book and have not had a chance to finish it yet, but once I do a full review will be up. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post.

“While British high society primps and plays, the impoverished citizens of London languish. But there are those fighting for the freedom of common citizens—including two members of the aristocracy who secretly champion revolution. In the drawing rooms of the upper class, Lady Amanda and Lord Nathaniel flirt and tease with the best of them as she pretends to win every heart in London for sport, and he, to conquer them. But in truth, their flirtation is merely a façade designed to keep their clandestine actions hidden from the ton— and from each other. When Nathaniel presents himself as a potential suitor, the attraction between the two is undeniable—but the faces they portray to the world are not enough to win each other’s hearts.

When their crusade for London’s poor unites them more deeply than they could imagine, Amanda and Nathaniel struggle to trust one another with their true ideals and identities. But when the call to action leads Amanda into the path of danger, she can only hope that Nathaniel will see through her frivolous pretense. Because now, only the aid of the suitor she loves most—but trusts least—can save her.”

UPDATED REVIEW: (finished the book 😉 )

Jen has certainly done her research and flawlessly streams together a fictional story led by historical circumstance of the time. The novel is written in third person and necessarily so as she impressively gives you sympathy and understanding for all classes involved in the situations of the time.

It would be hard to find one specific genre for this book as it balances’ the sweet romance, the historically driven plot, the strong women and the message of freedom so beautifully.  Her next book Scarlet comes out May 1st and is a twist on the Scarlet Pimpernel as a women, so excited about this next book!

 

 

Author Jen Geigle Johnson

Jen Geigle Johnson once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. Other vital things to know: the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. No mountain is too steep for her to climb, yet. 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. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.

Now an award-winning author and mother of six, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar.Ink writing conference.

 

 

Giveaway Details
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/10/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway