#HistRom series book review | The Spinster Chronicles by Rebecca Connolly feat. “My Fair Spinster” (Book Four) of a #Regency series I find delishly #unputdownable and wickedly addictive to be #amreading!

Posted Saturday, 5 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I have been hosting blog tours with Cedar Fort Publishing and Media for several years now, wherein their new blog tour publicist (Ms Sydney Anderson) also runs her own publicity touring company: Singing Librarian Book Tours (or SLB Tours for short!). I happily joined her team of book bloggers as a hostess in late Spring, 2018 wherein my first tours with her as a hostess began Summer, 2018. I appreciate reading INSPY literature and was happy to find these are most of the stories she is showcasing through SLB Tours! Most of her authors are published through Cedar Fort, though she does work with authors who are either Self-Published or Indie published through different publishers as well.

There is a bit of a long gap between when I first received these novels for review consideration and when I am actually reading them for review. I cannot remember exactly what took me away from reading them – however, I have a suspicion it was due to migraines and health afflictions as throughout [2018] I had ten months of health issues and severe bouts of high frequency of migraines to battle through – whilst [2019] has gone better in that regard, I have still had issues dealing with migraines despite the fact this year has had a more limited frequency of them compared to last year. When I learnt this author was going on a blog tour for the fourth novel in the series – I knew this was a second chance to redeem myself and properly bring the series to Jorie Loves A Story. Therefore, I am reading all four novels and reviewing them within the week of the blog tour.

I received a complimentary copy of “My Fair Spinster” direct from the author Rebecca Connolly in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I am enjoying about the Spinster Chronicles:

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My Fair Spinster quote badge provided by SLB Book Tours and is used with permission.

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There is a wicked sense of ease of alighting inside the Spinsters novels by Ms Connolly – in fact, she charms you outright with her sense of pacing, direction of insight she gives her characters and the fact, that as a whole she uses the turns of phrase you’d expect to find in a Regency Romance. I love the fact that this is an atypical Regency Romance in that traditional regard, as there is much more to the plot than a trajectory of interest which would lead into a settled relationship. No, there are layers here to pull apart and appreciate – as Ms Connolly has written a very modernly apt series re-positioned into the Regency where we find lovely young women who are as independently minded as we are today (and I am quite sure, there must have been a few back then as well!) who are determined to right their own fates against what they deem is right for themselves. What isn’t to love about a Historical Romance series like this one? Feminist driven story-lines, wholly curious characters and the entire backdrop of the series is an era you feel most at home re-visiting as it has become a favourite mainstay of your readerly life – or at least, it has been for me!

I loved at the start of each of the chapters are portions of the Spinsters column – you can denote what is most fetching on their minds by what they are disclosing to their readers; those observations also serve as a foreshadow of what the chapter will next reveal within their lives – a bit of a clever way of nudging you along their thought-process and to better understand their motivations overall. They were a bit more complicated and complex than you first imagine them to be as there are hidden layers which are earnestly drawn out as you read further into the context of the novel.

You have to give credit where its due and that lies in the cheek and frankness of Lady Hetty! She has this clever way of speaking truth when you aren’t suspecting she’s still observing enough of the singletons to know of their ‘secrets’ or at least, what they are attempting to hide from others; for her eyes, she sees them as they are and of whom they are rather than what they wish to mask. She’s one of the supporting cast members who truly strikes your fancy because she is as affirmative as Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey but with a bit less abrasive moxie! She’s also the type of person you would like to strike a conversation with yourself – if only to preen the observations she can grant you and give you something to chew over whilst you contemplate how the tea in your cup was brewed.

Connolly takes us into the balls, the places where the dances, the conversations and the choices in fashion are only part of the story being played out – the other half, the slight murmurs of a match, the potential suitors striking out to find their winsome partners and the girls’ themselves either ready to embrace that next stage of their life or not, find themselves in the march towards courtship. It is here where Connolly develops the keenest of insight into her characters’ – to put on display what is instinctively motivating Sterling to advocate for the Spinsters and where Georgie most feels like the Queen Protector for all the girls’ who may or may not know of her existence.

Watching them as you do – being swept into the intrigue of the scene ‘behind’ the ball itself and having Lady Hetty ready on the sidelines to pull back the veils of what is hidden from the surface, you have a ready made drama to soak inside. It isn’t just the fact the Spinsters consider themselves necessary to be present at these kinds of events for the sake of future knowledge to impart lateron in their articles but it is earnestly their desire to be more visible to those girls’ they are trying to impress upon the better sensibility they wish they had had someone give to them at their younger ages. And, that dear hearts is the beauty of the novel itself – how women who have lived their lives caught up in the motions of tradition, duty and expectation wish to give back to the generation behind them. In that, you become one of their cheerleaders, second only to Sterling.

There are little nudges of insight threading through the narrative – something you start to notice as you dive deeper into the heart of the first installment The Merry Lives of Spinsters – Connolly has left behind a lovely little world for you to entreat inside. You get to enjoy the aspects of Pride and Prejudice which whisk you into new variants of the novel whilst giving you a wholly refreshed view of the Regency with characters who were penned with an honesty of purpose and position. I loved how Connolly re-visits an era I readily read but re-illuminates it through a door not oft opened.

-quoted from my review of The Merry Lives of Spinsters

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#HistRom series book review | The Spinster Chronicles by Rebecca Connolly feat. “My Fair Spinster” (Book Four) of a #Regency series I find delishly #unputdownable and wickedly addictive to be #amreading!My Fair Spinster
Subtitle: Oh, what a beautiful spinster... | A Spinster Chronicles Romance
by Rebecca Connolly
Source: Direct from Author

The spinster next door…

Grace Morledge is a failure. Or so her father believes, as she is unmarried despite her advantages. In his mind, Grace must have significant flaws to be a spinster and something must be done about them. To her mortification, he demands she be fully examined and all flaws recorded. And the man he chooses is the worst possible candidate of all.

Aubrey Flint, Lord Ingram, has known Grace since childhood, but he never anticipated Lord Trenwick demanding he examine her for flaws. How can perfection have faults? Reluctantly, he accepts the assignment, and finds far more than he bargained for, and perfection becomes more and more tempting.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction, Historical Romance, Sweet Romance

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781943048885

Also by this author: Author Interview Rebecca Connolly (Spinster Chronicles), The Merry Lives of Spinsters

Series: Spinster Chronicles

Also in this series: The Merry Lives of Spinsters

Published by Phase Publishing

on 1st October, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 298

The Spinster Chronicles:

The Merry Lives of Spinsters by Rebercca ConnollyThe Spinster and I by Rebecca ConnollySpinster and Spice by Rebecca ConnollyMy Fair Spinster by Rebecca Connolly

The Merry Lives of Spinsters (book one)

The Spinster & I  (book two)

Spinster & Spice (book three)

My Fair Spinster (book four)

Published By: Phase Publishing (@PhasePubLLC)

Published on: 1st November, 2018 | ISBN: 9781943048700

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #SpinsterChronicles, #Regency and #HistRom

About Rebecca Connolly

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.

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my review of my fair spinster:

I had a curiosity about how the Spinsters found each other, as they are a closed group of only a few young ladies who found themselves in need of each others’ friendship at a point in their lives where only they could absorb the distresses of their generation in such a way as to re-fuell their angst into a popular newspaper showcasing of articles meant to inspire other young girls’ to take haste and caution when pursuing their courtships. It did not surprise me then, to find that Izzy and Georgie singled Grace out quite straight-off and knew rather instinctively she was a good match for their circle – especially as your reading their stories throughout the #SpinsterChronicles series, you start to denote certain attributes of reference each of the Spinsters share in common.

Yet, what is harder to process and understand is the unnecessary bluntness of Grace’s father – how he chooses to only focus on the traits within his daughter he calculates is indifferent to a potential bloke’s attention rather than celebrate the young woman she’s become and how she has her own contributions to make in society just as she is so to speak. She has the backing of her Mum, but with her father, you can feel the tension between them and thus far, they only exchange letters yet the strength of his words and of his judgements are dearly felt all the same! It would be very mind-numbing I would believe to have a father who never appreciates you and would rather spend time with your siblings than to even acknowledge your own presence in his life. The weight of that kind of judgement is quite severe as it would weigh down the best of girls’ as the soul can only weather so much when it comes to fatherly influences.

When it comes to making the introduction for Aubrey – the potential beau in this installment of the Spinster Chronicles, we happily find ourselves greeting one of the schoolmates of Sterling, which felt fittingly real as Captain Sterling leaves the kind of impression on your heart as being implied here in My Fair Spinster. It is part of his nature and how he came across through The Merry Lives of Spinsters as well – a caregiver of sorts, a kind of bloke who looks out for others and sometimes, even without the request ahead of time to do so! He simply wants to do right by himself and by others, even if that means making himself known to them and placing himself into situations where he can befriend someone before he can sort out a proper way of aiding their cause. In this regard, it seemed more to the point whilst they were in school, it was Sterling who felt Aubrey needed the best gift he could have given him most: friendship.

At the heart of the Spinster Chronicles, there is an undercurrent theme which runs through all the stories – friendship alongside the love and concern for your fellow peers of whom you might not have realised would become your best mates through serendipitous first meetings. I love how Connolly evokes us to take a close look at her characters – through their associations, their personal friendships and how they understand their own duties within their given families. She also has the knack for showing the ‘other side’ of the Regency – the roguish rakes and the men of whom think they’re every woman’s gift to be unwrapped. She does this quite cleverly against the main backdrop of showing honourable gentleman who may or may not realise how ready they are to tackle marriage and a life with a wife who has taken them by charm, wit and a sophisticated level of independence.

Interlinking this novel with the first was a good turn of surprises, as throughout the series you get so dearly attached to previous characters, you want to seem them continue to ‘step forward’ into future installments. Anchouring Aubrey to Sterling (ie. Georgie’s husband) also gave a unique perspective on why Sterling and Georgie make such a winsome match themselves; as they truly always shared much more in common with each other than they first realised, though the evidence was there it is more present to be observed when you see how Sterling himself fathered his mates as much as Georgie attempted to mother hers. They were each the unexpected hero who looked out for others and tried to look out for themselves in the process and that is one of the most admirable traits within the Spinster Chronicles – don’t just own your individual truths and the path your life is taking but do something with your hours outside of your own endeavours, too.

It is difficult not to find yourself laughing and giggling over how Aubrey recriminates himself over his own thoughts on bachelorhood, the expectations of an entitled adulthood and the loneliness of being at a heightened layer of society wherein you might have a lot of advantages outside the lines of the commoners, but what you didn’t readily have was the kind of life you could be proud to live. Aubrey had an itch about him to do something but due to his innate nature and personality, how that something could materialise into his life was a bit of a quandary as he had no self-motivation outside of what he knew was dutiful and expected.

Interestingly here is to note that Grace and Aubrey were childhood friends – neighbours if you will in the same district and of whom lived so close together their lands interlocked and the boundaries were never stilted between them. They were each part of a family who lived neighbourly close together and the bonds of their youth were not yet revisited as mature adults who found themselves singletons still at the upper graces of their twenties about to embark into their third decade. It is funny in that regard because this is another aspect I like about stories set in the Regency & the Victorian eras – how a sister can be ‘overlooked’ by one of her siblings friends (here it would be Aubrey, who felt closer to her sister Anne) and then, suddenly taken stock of as an adult. Almost as if their own blossoming had gone unchecked and noticed until a day arrived where the fellow had nothing else to do but to see what he had long since missed noticing! I had a feeling Grace was going to take Aubrey by continuous surprise and perhaps, he in return to her as that is what makes the marks of a great relationship; never fully knowing what to expect from your partner but trusting in the journey where you unite both your paths.

Hearing how woeful a bloke has grown into the bored and tiresome monotony of this kind of life echoes the thoughts Georgie once shared herself. How you can you be at the height of a social standing but feel as lost and alone as if you were at the bottom rung of it all. Flipping the script to reflect his out of Aubrey was a wonderful surprise as it felt similar to Georgie moreso than the journey Sterling took himself.

Of all the fathers of the Regency, Grace’s father takes the cake! He made me so infuriatingly angry it was quite hard to resolve that before I read the conversation Grace had with her mother shortly after that ridiculous plotting of his to find a reason behind why Grace was overlooked, unwanted and never sought out by suitors! Imagine the embarrassment of having a father who was so concerned by vanity and superficial impressions that he would be willing to subject his daughter to someone outside of family to critically look at her as if she were under a microscope? The man is half mad – that has to be it, because outside of Mrs Bennett’s obsessive compulsion to wed off her daughters, it is a rare day in the Regency where a father has such an obsession about his daughter’s future! At least, in the regards of how Grace’s father is approaching her situation – most fathers, of course want their daughters to marry well but this goes above and beyond!

Grace and her Mum have such a strong bond themselves – it is more the pity their husband and father cannot separate himself permanently from their affairs. I even liked how encouraging Grace’s Mum was about the Spinsters but goodness – for all her strengths and positives, she still didn’t have the courage nor the voice to stand her ground against a husband who was single-minded and narrow in regards to how to deal with having an unwed daughter in the family.

What was further curious is how the Spinsters devised of the only plan which could potentially set Grace free of her father – such a witless tart of a man, whose only focus in life is deepening his own wealth and ‘keeping up appearances’ amongst Society. And, there lies the rub I felt for Grace. She had failed him in every instance he felt a father should have a daughter – he wanted her to put his name forward whenever people thought of her and the family name. It wasn’t the fact she was unwed, it was the fact she was useless as an unwed spinster because she could not produce capital in his eyes of increasing his presence in Society itself. This stems from how women were still viewed as property and how the fathers were the ones to dictate their lives; good, bad or indifferent, the fathers would shrewdly make plans against the better wishes of daughters who were most vexed by their narrow view of the world.

I, for one, was cheering for the Spinsters to rally their case and to present it in such a way as to encourage conviction and understanding from Aubrey rather than discontent. He, of course, had a more immediate reaction to Grace’s father and that was well served as it is good to know where a bloke stands when situations arise and disappointments consume you about your in-laws or the potential for whom could become your in-laws. Depending on how you looked at it, of course! Aubrey to me struck me as the kind of bloke with forward-thinking skills – meaning, he could knit out the advantages of what was being presented to him in the short-term but it was the long-term consequences I was unsure he was prepared for in earnest. That particular complication was happening due to his own parental issues.

I completely concurred with Aubrey – what was truly behind this scheme of Grace’s father? Why was he inflicting such pain onto Grace and honestly, what was his motivation? It was surely more in the gray area rather than being pointedly black and white in his disclosures.

Connolly has a champion way of enticing us into her plots – just when we think we understand the pattern or direction a particular installment is going to take, she re-knits us close to her heroine and hero, giving us a measured joy in carting off after them to see what shall unite them further together. In this story, what is truly wickedly engaging is how indifferent Aubrey is to the scheme he is employed to undertake and how willingly Grace is attempting to thwart her father’s plans. They were quite literally thrown back together again and that in of itself was the brilliant stroke of luck Connolly could have given them!

on the historical romantic styling of Rebecca Connolly:

There is something to be said for an author who not only knows how to entertain you as a novelist but who writes the most charmingly brilliant Author Notes & Acknowledgements! I love how candid Ms Connolly becomes in this area of the book – where there is something wonderful personable about how she writes her dedications and gives you this small insight into her personal life behind her ‘pen’ so to speak. This time round she is applauding Julie Andrews and I could just hug her evermore for that statement!

I would also infer, the opening passages on the Chapter headers would make excellent affirmations for a young girls’ room! You could rotate them in and out; selecting whichever phrase or quotation of mirthful suggestions on behalf of individual perspective, behaviour or attitude which would apply to the moment it was to become shared with a daughter. I love these quotations and they would even do well bound together in a quote journal all on their ownsome; gathered directly from each of the installments of the series. They are like having a journalled thread of conscience threading through the series as each selection is a measure of what is yet to come and what can become learnt in the chapter itself. Sometimes they even serve as a forbearance on future events!

Connolly writes the kind of stories, I personally, love to be writing myself! They are full of heart and soul; closely giving you insight into the Regency from a uniquely original perspective during the London Season and beyond; carving out her own special niche of #HistRom within this branch of Historical Fiction. Best of all!? For Janeites and Austenites alike, this is the kind of author you simply want to curl up with a book against a comfy chair, a warm fireplace and an unlimited amount of fresh bakes and warm cuppa lattes! She writes in a traditional of style of story-crafting which harkens back a few centuries where writers would linger and languish over words, phrases and of setting the ‘scene’ just right in order to see all angles round it. She has definitely honed in on the kind of Historical Romances I get giddy over discovering and it is with a thankful heart of mine to be included on this lovely blog tour whilst I redeem my lost hours by reading the #SpinsterChronicles a twelvemonth after I first discovered them!

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An open letter of gratitude to Ms Connolly for giving me a chance to receive all four of her delightful novels which have hugged me dearly with their plots, their characters & the beautifully lovely vision of the Regency. For a girl who first read Romances at the age of nine because she was smitten by the Victorian & Regency Christmas novellas of the ’80s – she has truly given her something to cherish with the Spinster Chronicles!

I attest anyone who loves reading the Regency & especially Jane Austen’s signature style and wit, will find themselves truly enchanted by this gentle fiction – you get to tuck close to characters who are wholly original in their own right and of whom charm you with their capacity to see past their own lives in order to em-better those round them. Each of the girls’ in the series is also not entirely convinced true spinsterhood is for them but the reasons *behind!* their spinsterhood as disclosed throughout the series is something to take stock & pause about even now in the 21st Century because it is about not settling, remaining true to yourself and not conceding hope is lost until you can find the one person who not just sees you but acknowledges you without prejudice because he’s become intrigued by who you are – these are the kind of stories you long to discover and the blessing for me is having received them on two separate blog tours.

I truly cannot wait to continue to seek out the rest of the author’s collective works and peer into other series she has composed – as this is one of those moments where a #bookhug + a wickedly loud s/o of #bookjoy cannot even compare to the happiness I feel in having met her Spinsters!

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My Fair Spinster quote badge provided by SLB Book Tours and is used with permission.

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This most definitely was my latest #unputdownable #mustreads!

What a beautiful way to begin my #AutumnReads!

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I love finding playlists and/or stations of musical interest via Spotify which befit the readings I am undertaking as a book blogger. For this particular series, as it is transporting me back into the Regency, one of my favourite eras to travel back inside – I must admit, it was quite charming to discover there was a Regency Era playlist awaiting me! I had to smirk a bit at finding that most of the opening selections were from the more recent Pride and Prejudice adaptation as that just felt fittingly perfect! It made entering into the Spinsters world evermore enjoyable having this Classically bent musical score in my ears! I also ducked over into listening to the Regency Time (Jane Austen music) playlist which was equally delightful!

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This review is courtesy of SLB Tours:

Singing Librarian Book Tours blog tour hostess badge is provided by SLB Tours and is used with permission.

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i’ve been reading & reviewing all four installments of the spinster chronicles during this fourth installment blog tour. be sure to visit each of my reviews to see what has resonated with me in the series.

Follow the Virtual Road Map

by visiting the blog tour route:

especially as this is a tour offering a special giveaway

My Fair Spinster blog tour via Singing Librarian Book ToursFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Reading this novel counted towards some of my readerly goals for 2019:

2019 HistFic Reading Challenge banner created by Jorie in Canva.

2019 New Release Challenge created by mylimabeandesigns.com for unconventionalbookworms.com and is used with permission.

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{SOURCES: Book covers of “The Merry Lives of Spinsters”, “The Spinster and I”, “Spinster and Spice” and “My Fair Spinster”; as well as the synopsis, author photograph of Rebecca Connolly, author biography, the quotation badge for “My Fair Spinster”, the blog tour banner and SLB Tours badge were all provided by SLB Tours and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. 2019 New Release Challenge created by mylimabeandesigns.com for unconventionalbookworms.com and is used with permission. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna, Historical Fiction Reading Challenge banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 5 October, 2019 by jorielov in 19th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Romance Fiction, Singing Librarian Book Tours, Sweet Romance, The London Season, the Regency era

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