Five Stars, Four Stars, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Rebecca Connolly, Three Stars

A Little Bit of Romance

My husband took me on a quick date this afternoon. We needed to a run an errand and we used it as an excuse to also grab a treat and go for a walk while our kids were at my sisters. I made the comment that I think the last time we were out of the house, together, without our children, was pre-pandemic. It was so nice! As much as I love to read about fictional romances, everyone needs some real life romance every once and a while… even during a pandemic.

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Weekly Reading Round Up

What a Spinster Wants by Rebecca Connolly51R-AenKs5L


We seriously love Rebecca’s book so much! Two of us read this book this week and it may have been one of our top favorite, and that’s saying something because they’re all so good. I had actually been anticipating a romance with Henshaw from moments in the other Spinster Books, so that surprised me a little, in a good way. I love being surprised. The romance she created instead was just right for the Lady Edith we have had glimpses of and came to love in this book. Wonderfully vulnerable characters who are given opportunities to become strong backed by a compelling plot made it hard to put the book down!

***** Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence, Low Religion


The Nerd and the Quarter Back/ The Good Girl and The Bad Boy (Jackson High Series) by IMG_2839M.L. Collins

This was the first book I (Mel) have read from this author and unfortunately I cringed through most of it. However, I thought I’d give the second one a try and it was…better. A cute young adult book centered around breaking out of cliques. It was a clean High School romance and I appreciated that, but I don’t think I’ll read any more of the series.

*** Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence, Low Religion


How to Not Fall for the Guy Next Door by Meg Easton 51t31eCEFEL

This was a really cute romance. I felt like both Addison and Ian were given a history and back stories that deepened the story line. There were a few inconsistencies which pulled me out of the story, but overall It was sweet and clean, which we love.

**** Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence, Low Religion




Anneka Walker, Five Stars, Four Stars, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Moderate Language, Moderate Violence, Rebecca Connolly, Three Stars

Trying something new…

Weekly Reading Round-up



The Masked Baron by Anneka Walker  

Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favorite fairy tales so I’m super skeptical of re-tellings. At first I wasn’t sure if I loved where this one was going. The more I got into the story, the more I loved what she did with it. The story is a little more fantastical, a lot of high drama, so keep that in mind going in. I especially loved how she ended it. (releases March 2nd!)

**** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

Fall From Trace by Rebecca Connolly

This book has been built up since the beginning of The London League. All the intrigue has been building for four books, and it did not disappoint!  Rebecca Connolly is an expert at romance and her attention to detail in that category makes every scene swoon worthy. She has excellent character development and I came away loving the story and it’s characters. I feel like her actions scenes are sometimes missing that attention to detail, a little rushed maybe, but it doesn’t make me love her stories any less.

***** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion


Most of my reading this week was taken up with my local book club’s book

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

I loved this book! I loved how it reminded me of my grandfather’s. Both of whom seemed a little prickly on the outside, but had hearts of gold. I loved the humor, the emotions, and the metaphors. The metaphors! Huge fan of his writing style and am now adding “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” and “Britt-Marie was Here” to my tbr list.

***** Moderate Language, Moderate Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion 

I also fit in two novellas:

Lady Mary Contrary by Anneka Walker

I really liked the plot idea. I have a soft spot for friends to lovers books. I however had a hard time ever feeling completely invested in the story.  Their banter was well written, I just never connect personally to the characters.

*** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

and, A Highlander’s Hidden Heart by Julie Coulter Bellon

This story had such a great cute meet. I loved the resolution the author provided between the heroine and her parents, but the overall story felt a little rushed, even for a Novella. I would love to see this story flushed out a little more. The characters had such great potential of both the heroic and villainous kind.

*** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion


My little one has been sick for what seems like days on end so my days have been filled with reading Little Blue Truck Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, and Dear Zoo which are fantastic, if you’re a one year old 😉



Five Stars, Joanna Barker, Josi S. Kilpack, Nancy Campbell Allen, Rebecca Connolly, Sarah M. Eden

Know what you Like

It’s common knowledge that one of us is a sucker for a good historical fiction romance. Therefore it comes as no surprise that my favorite reads of 2019 that were released in 2019 looks like this….


**This doesn’t include books I read in 2018 that we’re released this year or books I read this year that we’re released previously.

In no particular order…

The Lady in the Coppergate Tower:

A Tip of the Cap: I read this book right at the height of my house saleing month and I didn’t realize until now, thought I grammed about it, I never blogged about! So here you go: Rebecca Connolly is one of my favorite authors not just for her stories and characters, but the whit and charm that suffuses each of them. The London League is possibly my favorite series by her and it was a huge toss up between this one and By Hook or By Rook, but may I remind you, this one made me cry… in public. So take that for what it’s worth.

A Song for the Stars:

Daisies and Devotion:

The Heart of a Vicar:

Secrets and Suitors:

Here’s to another year of amazing reads!!





Five Stars, Giveaway, Rebecca Connolly

A Five Star Author

“Prudence Westfall, spinster, has unexpectedly had the greatest misfortune of all: she has inherited a fortune, and is now an heiress. But as a Spinster, and a stammering shy one, nothing could be worse than having a bevy of suitors pay her attention. Opportunity strikes at a house party when the most unlikely person offers the perfect solution.

Camden Vale is no gentleman, and he’s not prone to saving anyone, but something about Prue changes all that. When his offer to befriend her extends beyond the house party, and his feelings extend beyond expectation, no one is more surprised than he. Except, perhaps, for the other Spinsters, and they have much to say on the subject.”

You can find our five star review of this book that we loved here.

“Didn’t you hear how they flattered me? You said yourself, men lie through their teeth.”

He hissed, and she looked over at him only to see him shaking his head. “Prue, I didn’t mean… Sometimes we are sincere. Sometimes we do mean everything we say. And you should like it and take it as a compliment.”

Prue smiled a very tight, thin smile. “They never have before, so I have no taste for it.” She exhaled and looked back into the ballroom, clasping her hands before her. “I just wish to be left alone.”

“Well,” he sighed, “then we have another problem.”

She looked up at him wryly. “And that is?”
He shrugged, something new in his dark eyes. “I don’t think I can leave you alone.” He stared at her for a long moment, his hand stilled on her back, and added, “I know I can’t.”

Her head tilted in a question. “Why not?”

“Because I see you,” he admitted with a rawness she did not anticipate. “And I like what I see.”





Author Rebecca Connolly

Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.





Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash. Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends 1/6/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, 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 & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



Five Stars, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Rebecca Connolly

Just Stop It

I am so lucky to be the mother of two beautiful girls and I am terrified for them. I send them out into the world each day hoping and praying that they will be kind to those around them and those around them will be kind as well. Unfortunately there are unkind people in the world. Why? Shouldn’t we be defending and building each other up?

You know how sometimes you pick up a book to read and escape for a little bit, and then it ends up being just perfect with what you are going through in life right then? That happened to me this week. I bought the latest “Spinster” book from the lovely Rebecca Connolly. I love her novels and can always count on being taken away to a new time and place.


“Prudence Westfall, spinster, has unexpectedly had the greatest misfortune of all: she has inherited a fortune, and is now an heiress. But as a Spinster, and a stammering shy one, nothing could be worse than having a bevy of suitors pay her attention. Opportunity strikes at a house party when the most unlikely person offers the perfect solution.

Camden Vale is no gentleman, and he’s not prone to saving anyone, but something about Prue changes all that. When his offer to befriend her extends beyond the house party, and his feelings extend beyond expectation, no one is more surprised than he. Except, perhaps, for the other Spinsters, and they have much to say on the subject.”

The last few weeks a youth group I am in charge of us been dealing with bullying. When I picked up, The Spinster and I, I was not expecting to have the struggles I am watching young girls deal with be such a prevalent part of the book. Bullying is not just a middle school problem though. Even Adults, people who should know better, and be the examples, can be bullies.

I love how effortlessly Rebecca can write about life challenges and issues and put her words in such a way that her of handling tough situations without making the book feel to heavy or dark. Rebecca also touches on anxiety, stammering, running away instead of facing problems. She really addressed so many things without it weighing the book down.

There was one part near the end where I was sure I knew where she was heading and I was cheering. I mean she kind of set it up in the beginning even. She talks about how when Prue is angry her stutter is less pronounced. So I had this vision of her in this scene confronting her mean cousin and doing it all victoriously and without stammering. Not being cruel of course, but just standing up for herself and Cam. This did not happen, and at first I was let down, but when I saw where she took it and how it ended, I thought to myself, and this is why she is the writer and I am the reader. –M.V.

4 1/2 stars, Low Language, Moderate Romance, Moderate Violence, Rebecca Connolly

Rogues and Spinsters

I love Rebecca Connolly’s books. The second review we ever posted when we started this venture was of her book Secrets of a Spinster (review here). One of my favorite scenes in that book was the masquerade ball. I adored how it was written and the layer it gave to Geoff and Mary’s relationship. I must admit that I was a little surprised when I got into A Rogue about Town and came across another masquerade ball where the heroine, Amelia, also goes as a mysterious goddess. Either Rebecca Connolly has gone to a masquerade as a goddess and wants us to relive the amazingness of that night vicariously through her characters, or she secretly wants to. I’m probably being a little nonsensical, but whatever the reason, both scenes totally worked and I’ll tell you why.


A disgruntled operative…

Gabriel Statler, Lord Wharton, has a problem. His duties as an operative for the Crown are being compromised for the sake of his cover, where he is known only as the Rogue. His days are now filled with trivial investigations, and none of the problems are ones he wants to solve. Then he meets a mysterious young woman who holds more secrets than he likes, and, against his better judgment, he takes her case. 

A determined client…

Amelia Berger needs the Rogue, and she needs everything he can offer without revealing everything she knows. Her secrets are her own, and she has far too many to risk revealing even one. But when working with Rogue turns into something entirely unexpected, she finds that the secrets she began with are not the ones she most needs to protect.

Rebecca Connolly does two things (well probably more than that…) that make her stories stand out. The first is every scene and moment in her books have purpose whether to develop the character or to drive the plot. I loved how climatic the masquerade was in “Secrets of a Spinster” and was equally as impressed with how the masquerade in “A Rogue about Town” not only shifted things for Amelia and Gabe’s relationship, but what it did for Gabe as a person. His realizations of himself and others was probably my favorite thing about his book, second only to Amelia’s journey of letting go of revenge.

Rebecca Connolly has a gift for writing diverse and entertaining characters. This was evident in both Rogue and Amelia, not only did their quirks draw you in and endear you to them. But, the journey their characters went on through the course of the book made for a riveting plot.

You can see the same things in her story that’s included in The Queen’s Ball Timeless Victorian Collection; unique and endearing characters that carry you along on an intriguing journey.

The Queen's Ball (Timeless Victorian Collection Book 4) by [Lawson, Anthea, Connolly, Rebecca, Moore, Jennifer]

PS – Her next book in the Spinster Chronicles comes out Nov. 1st

The Spinster and I (The Spinster Chronicles, Book 2) by [Connolly, Rebecca]

“Prudence Westfall, spinster, has unexpectedly had the greatest misfortune of all: she has inherited a fortune, and is now an heiress. But as a Spinster, and a stammering shy one, nothing could be worse than having a bevy of suitors pay her attention. Opportunity strikes at a house party when the most unlikely person offers the perfect solution.

Camden Vale is no gentleman, and he’s not prone to saving anyone, but something about Prue changes all that. When his offer to befriend her extends beyond the house party, and his feelings extend beyond expectation, no one is more surprised than he. Except, perhaps, for the other Spinsters, and they have much to say on the subject.”



Four Stars, Low Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Rebecca Connolly

True Romance

I used to feel like I was a relatively intelligent individual. Not that I had an above average IQ or anything extreme like that. I could however, carry on conversations with adults and feel like I was contributing to some degree without feeling like an idiot. These days most of my conversation are carried on between imaginary characters in an imaginary world my children create. Probably why I appreciate witty conversations carried on in the pages of a book, it’s the most adult conversation I get to experience all day. Rebecca Connolly‘s latest novel, The Merry Lives of Spinsters‘  has that in spades.

The Merry Lives of Spinsters (The Spinster Chronicles, Book 1) by [Connolly, Rebecca]

“Georgiana Allen is a spinster and everybody knows it. She also happens to be one of the writers for the Spinster Chronicles, and everybody knows that as well. She’s accepted her lot in life, and, along with the other spinsters in her circle, takes great pride in the articles she writes and the influence she has. Then Captain Anthony Sterling infiltrates their group, and her life, and Georgie impossibly begins to hope once more.

Tony Sterling had no idea what to expect when he agreed to break up the Spinsters for his cousin, but he certainly did not expect Georgie Allen. From the very first meeting, she upends everything he thought a spinster would be, and her beauty and wit keeps him on edge in thrilling ways. The more he gets to know the Spinsters, the less he wants to break them up. And the more he wants Georgie in his life. Permanently.”

Rebecca Connolly has a gift for writing true romance stories. They aren’t fairy tales, they don’t expect happily ever after, and yet they’re magical. Seeing real people who find love, and fight to hang on to it, like we all must do; that is why I love her stories. True Romance, real romance, beautifully written. There is a comment made in the book that is possibly the truest statement of marriage I’ve ever read, “Marriage is not a union of two perfect people who will never offend and upset each other. It is made up of two very imperfect people who have chosen to live their lives together.”

Georgie and Tony are not your average Regency heroes. In addition to their very witty and intelligent conversations, they are flawed, like we all are, like true heroes are. For heroes they are, both of them were defenders of the innocent. I loved that Georgie took a stand. She is evidence that speaking up is hard and the backlash can be huge, but taking a stand will always be worth the protection of the innocent.

There was a spot in the book where they argue and it blows out of proportion. I know a bit of tension and conflict makes for good story telling, but at first I thought their argument, should not have been that big. Georgie is an intelligent independent woman and she should have at least listened to reason. After all his intentions were never nefarious to begin with. I felt the conflict unnecessary. …

However, when I thought about the character that Rebecca had built, I realized how true to that character her reactions were. Even women who are intelligent and independent suffer from insecurities. I have seen women be brushed aside or belittled due to their station, their marital status, their education or lack their of, and they often pull a cloak of pride and indifference around themselves. When in reality they’re dying inside.

I loved that Rebecca gave Georgie insecurities, because we all have them. This story was a beautiful reminder that you really don’t know what battles the person beside you is facing, and all of us deserve to be respected and loved.


Four Stars, Low Language, Moderate Romance, Rebecca Connolly

Extraordinary Love

Have you heard of Kindle Scout? It’s this awesome publishing process where an author can submit a new, never-before-published book to amazon. Then readers help decide if a book gets published by nominating books they would like to read. Selected books are then published by Kindle Press. The best part for the reader, if the book you nominate is published, you get a free ARC of the book. Win-win I say.

Two of my favorite author’s have recently branched out from their customary writing time period’s and had more contemporary books published through the Kindle Scout process. You can see our review of Annette K. Larsen’s book “If I Could Stay” here.  The other one I was really excited about was Rebecca Connolly‘s Love Out of Focus  which will be released on the 27th of this month.

Love Out of Focus by [Connolly, Rebecca]

“Mallory Hudson loves her simple life as a photographer, even if it isn’t as exciting as she’d hoped. When her cousin Jenna comes with a proposition to hire Mal for her very exclusive wedding at a resort, Mal reluctantly accepts, and her world goes into freefall.

Hunter McIntyre isn’t sure what it is about Mal that fascinates him, but he can’t deny that she has caught his eye. The more time he spends with her, the more time he wants, and soon the wedding at hand isn’t the one he cares about.”

This book felt a little more predictable than her regency books, but still filled with sweet and sassy conversations and relatable characters you love to get to know. Rebecca writes such multi-dimensional characters that her novels are as much about human nature as they are about a beautiful story.

She also writes the complexities of romance to a tee. There is a point where Hunter describes Mallory’s laugh and says, “It was absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.” Which shocked me for a moment, usually author’s have the male protagonist describe a woman’s laugh as magical or bewitching. Then Rebecca his next words, “Except it was. It was absolutely extraordinary.” That’s when she gave me yet another reason to adore her writing. Love is so multifaceted that it happens different for everyone, and yet it somehow makes even the most ordinary things extraordinary. A true romance writer understands that and can express it.


Rebecca Connolly also had another book come out in February! The Lady and The Gent has been a much anticipated book for fans of her Arrangements Series. The really fun part, is it’s not the end of the Arrangments Series, but the beginning of a brand new series: London League.

The Lady and the Gent (London League, Book 1) by [Connolly, Rebecca]

“Margaret Easton needs a husband, and she needs one now. Her parents are convinced that only a European will do, but Margaret wants nothing more than to stay in England. The trouble is that there is only one man Margaret can think of, or rather, one she cannot forget, and he wouldn’t do as a husband at all. Then she finds herself in his care unexpectedly, and her hunt becomes even more complicated than she could have ever imagined.

Rafe Thornton has never said more than ten words to Margaret Easton, but she is rapidly becoming the sole occupant of his thoughts. She is distracting him from his operative work as the Gent, and keeps him from his usual focused nature, which he doesn’t mind at all. When she stumbles into his world, his work and his emotions collide, forcing him to choose between saving the Crown, and protecting his love.”

This book was so completely improper and unabashedly forward for the time period, making it refreshing and delightful. Normally I wouldn’t say those two things couldn’t really work in a regency romance, but having Margaret’s parents be European travelers and Rafe and operative made it work, and work well. The adventure and mystery add to the romance and make it a book you wont be able to put down.

Rebecca somehow created the perfect woman for a man who has been to us readers a shroud for so long. Rebecca does a phenomenal job of flushing out The Gent so he becomes so much more than the operative shadow we’ve craved to know more about. He’s written with such heart and soul leaving the reader more than compensated for the wait.

Five Stars, Low Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Rebecca Connolly

For Better, For Worse

I have a confession, 10 years later and I’m still blissfully in love with my husband. That does not mean however that every day is sunshine and roses. Marriage is hard, but has given me feelings of security and completeness that I’ve never found before.

A Wager Worth Making by Rebecca Connolly is book 7 in the Arrangements series. I love series’ that are written like this. You can read them as stand alones and love them. But if you’ve been lucky enough to read the previous books in the series you have an added dimension to the side characters and an already established connection to the main characters due to their brief appearances in previous books.

A Wager Worth Making (Arrangements, Book 7) by [Connolly, Rebecca]

“Everyone knows that Gemma Templeton is a wonderful, cheerful, friendly young woman who is well worth one’s acquaintance. She is vibrant and warm, and plays the violin with exquisite talent. The only thing she lacks is a husband, and time is growing short for her in that regard. What everyone does not know is that a certain man of a less warm reputation is very much interested in changing Gemma’s unmarried state, and he doesn’t care what anybody says. Lucas Sinclair, Lord Blackmoor, is a dark mark upon the face of Society, and his unexpected interest in Gemma leaves many to wonder if his motives don’t hide some sinister purpose.”

This book is a little higher on the romance meter than some of her others because the main couple are married only a quarter of the way into the novel, don’t worry I’m not spoiling anything for you ;).

The author writes their on again off again love life in a beautifully sweet and clean way. Though there is passion and attraction, as there should be in a marriage. Those feeling are the side show to the main stage act of love and devotion.

There are too many venues today that paint marriage in a less than flattering light, and while I’ve already agreed that marriage is hard, it’s also beautiful and joyful. Marriage should be teasing smiles and throw your head back laughter. Marriage should be selfless, but more. An aching desire to see that the other person’s needs are met before your own. Marriage should be about leaning on each other, sharing the load and depending on each other, even when hard times come. Marriage should be a partnership of sharing and trusting; even with our darkest moments and loving each other regardless. Marriage should be never giving up on a person, even when you’re hurting. This is what marriage is, and this is how Rebecca Connolly artfully portrays it. I loved this book for that reason, a masterful example of what true love is after The Happily Ever After. –N.C.

Four Stars, Low Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Rebecca Connolly

Secrets of a Spinster – A Memoir ( but not really;) )

I have a hard confession. I grew up desperately, painfully, shy. I didn’t talk to anyone that wasn’t close friends or family, I didn’t look people in the eye, especially not boys. So you could say that I felt a kind of kinship with Mary Hamilton. I think all of us, introvert, extrovert, loud, quiet; want to be loved for who we are not who we appear to be. That is the beauty of the book “Secrets of a Spinster” by Rebecca Connolly.


“Mary Hamilton has had enough of being passed over by all of the eligible men in London, though she’s had years and years of practice, and she’s ready to give it up. But before she hangs up her dancing shoes for good, she wants one season of everything she’s never had.

Geoffrey Harris is more than happy to spend his time being permanent escort to Mary during her final season in London. After all, she’s been his best friend for years, and what better way to send her off than in grand style? But when her plan actually starts to work, he isn’t so sure he wants any part of it.”

I love the relationship between Mary and Geoffrey, and appreciated that the writer wrote in multiple third person point of view so we could get in both of their heads.

Geoff loves Mary “just as [she] is, just as [she] always has been”, and has always seen the goodness and beauty in her, even if no one else could. The author did a beautiful job of portraying that especially at the Masquerade Ball, a well written turning point in the book.

I have another confession, I love Halloween! (50 days and counting.) One of the reason is because you can be whatever or whoever you want to be, sometimes that can be extremely liberating. But one of the interesting plots points in this book, is pretending can also be dangerous. Especially if we start to blur the lines between who we are, and who we are pretending to be. I think all of us have a little Mary in us and a little Cassie in us. Often it’s the ones who love us as we are that can pull the best parts of us out, making us feel comfortable and loved as we are. I was lucky enough to meet people who did that for me, and found I’m not necessarily an introvert, I just wasn’t comfortable in my own skin.

Because I connected with the main character and found the relationships in the book compelling (Mary & Geoff’s, and Mary & Cassie’s). I’d give it Four Stars. –N.C.

PS- Secrets of a Spinster is 3rd in a 6 book series, I don’t feel like you need to read them in order, but there are minor plot points you may miss. The first in the series is “An Arrangement of Sorts”


*No religious content or themes