#INSPYSundays | Book Review tour feat. “The Duke’s Second Chance” (Lords for the Sisters of Sussex, Book One) by Jen Geigle Johnson

Posted Sunday, 10 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#INSPYSundays banner made my Jorie in Canva.

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.

This is my first review tour with Singling Librarian Book Tours – as previously, I’ve been able to host these lovelies with Prism Book Tours. I was a bit delayed participating on the Launch Team activities this October due to two migraines and a serious bout of unwellness which struck me down for most of the month. I’m simply thankful my original plans to run this during my #INSPYSundays feature were able to be kept and I started promoting the book and this review via the twitterverse after it went live on Jorie Loves A Story. The lovely bit of news to share though is this one of the authors I previously crossed paths whilst hosting a series of interviews for the Regency House Party collaborative serial in which Ms Johnson had an installment featured.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Duke’s Second Chance” direct from the author Jen geigle Johnson in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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IF this is your first time seeing my #INSPYSundays showcases – let me explain why I am putting these together! I shared my first one in June & had intended for these to run weekly. I am thankful to resume them this August and will be continuing to have an inspiring story running on Sundays through the rest of the 2019. Thank you as always for following my bookish journey.

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You might be aware of my 7o Authors Challenge – wherein I am attempting to get to know more Inspirational Fiction authors and their series? I have been wanting to find a way to bring this reading focus into the life of my blog but also, highlight some of the stories I am receiving for review purposes as well – not all of them can be featured on the weekends, but those which can I’ll be highlighting through this new series of posts as I love the idea of showcasing them on a day meant for renewal of spirit & rest.

The short version of “Inspirational Fiction” is INSPY and I have enjoyed using the tag #INSPY on Twitter to talk about the stories which fall under this umbrella of literature. It is far more encompassing than strictly reading Christian based fiction as INSPY is inclusive of all religions and faith backgrounds of interest – which is why eventually I’ll be expounding outwards from my initial wanderings of my reading challenge and seeking out more authors who write stories of INSPY that are from new and differing perspectives. A lot of what I currently have marked to read are traditional Christian Fiction selections as they were found via a fellow book blogger’s blog.

Although I had intended to introduce this featured focus in January, 2019 – I decided the timing wasn’t right for me to do so until June. I look forward to seeing where my readerly wanderings will take me as this will be just as wicked interesting of a feature to follow as my #HistoricalMondays or #SaturdaysAreBookish!

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#INSPYSundays | Book Review tour feat. “The Duke’s Second Chance” (Lords for the Sisters of Sussex, Book One) by Jen Geigle JohnsonThe Duke's Second Chance
Subtitle: Lords for the Sisters of Sussex
by Jen Geigle Johnson
Source: Author via Singing Librarian Book Tours

Second chances often come from surprising places. Will the Duke find another chance at love when everything seems to be combining against him?

Gerald feels as though he’s lost everything when his wife takes her last breath. 

Amelia’s world turns upside down when the Duke of Granbury steps into her tea shop and leaves with her heart. 

But when a secret from Amelia’s past unveils possibilities, will the duke get a second chance at love from an unexpected source?

Buy this first book in a Regency romance series for a taste of deep loyal friendship, beautiful second chances, and the path to heal a heart.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1734128802

Also by this author: Author Interview Jen Geigle Johnson (Regency House Party)

Genres: Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Sweet Romance


Published by Self Published Author

on 7th October, 2019

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 158

This is a Self-Published Novel.

Formats Available: Trade paperback and ebook

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The Lords for the Sisters of Sussex series:

The Duke’s Second Chance (book one)

The Earl’s Winning Wager (book two)
← a Digital First Release Spring 2020!

Her Lady’s Whims and Fancies (book three)

Suitors for the Proper Miss (book four)

Pining for Lord Lockhart (book five)

The Foibles and Follies of Miss Grace (book six)

Converse via: #LordsForSistersOfSussex as well as #INSPYRomance
#INSPY or #CleanRomance + #HistRom & #Regency or #RegencyRomance

About Jen Geigle Johnson

Jen Geigle Johnson

An award winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, Jen Geigle Johnson discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.

She once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. She knows all about the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. 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.

​Now, 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.

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my review of the duke’s second chance:

It isn’t oft a story begins as the pains of labour have stricken the lady of the house – yet, this is where The Duke’s Second Chance alights us into the height of Camilla’s delivery whilst her husband Gerald is beside himself with the anguish of worry after her as her pains are keeling straight through his heart. His friend Morley is attempting to distract him from the labour itself and to get him to take leave of his wife despite his conscience telling him differently. In these instances, when your instincts and intuition tell you to do something, I almost think it is better to go against convention and what is expected of husbands to follow those instinctive reactions because how are you to know the outcome? Too many women find complications in child-birth and sometime tells me by how Johnson was portraying this early entrance into the story itself, a certain foreboding of ill-wrought circumstances was permeating through the pages,…

It isn’t easy to find a writer who can tap into that emotionally wrecking moment of personal loss – to find a way to entreat inside the gutting realisation that you’ve just lost the love of your life and to write it so eloquently within that static moment of disbelief – I found the way in which Johnson handled Gerald’s intense grief and the shocking blow it took on his soul to be beyond realistic because it is the moment he was in a heightened state of euphoria – the expectations of joyful celebration on the cusp of his spirit; his heart was not prepared for the news the doctor had to reveal to him and thus, his reactions to this newbourne child was one I felt keenly realistic to how Johnson presented his reaction. You cannot even begin to judge his words nor his responses because how can anyone fully understand the moment of that kind of loss? It would take time to heal and further time to resolve what is unthinkable to have happened. I felt Johnson excelled in this moment of hypersensitive awareness of a husband’s reaction and of a father’s unwillingness to see the positive out of the shock of despair.

As gentle as a cloud Johnson moved us from the point of loss into a teahouse – a place where you expect the serenity of time to drift against tea leaves and conversations but for Gerald this would mark the moment he would accept his heart needed to heal. I was thankful the route Johnson took to show how Gerald was making progress – the slowness of his healing and the purposeful intention he still had to honour his wife but with the unfortunate leaning towards denouncing his child. It was here in an unexpected place such as a teahouse where you first see how someone can interact with a grieving widower in such a way to break through that tide of anguished grief. His family and even Morley were just tip-toeing round him to the point of allowing him to wallow without letting him face what he needed to face head-on. This woman named Amelia was touching the cornerstones of his soul, allowing his mind to catch-up with his grief and for his spirit to allow someone else to linger over the words he needed to say even if he wasn’t the best at accepting the responses they would receive. It was a marked moment for Gerald and one I felt was written with the same earnest honesty as the death scene of his wife.

The confidence Morley shares with Amelia was one of my favourite scenes because it shows the interesting way a commoner can have a slight influence on the ton but also how the ton are not entirely shunning of the commoners! Johnson intermixed the social standings of her characters in such a way as to allow for a meet-cute situation to occur but in a unique fashion of interference. She built off that first meeting with an impromptu reaction on Amelia’s part and when it came time to respond to that obstacle, it was Morley who interfered next on the Duke’s behalf. I gathered Morley was the character who held the Duke’s conscience in his heart and as his best mate, attempted to steer Gerald on a course the Duke would lateron not regret. In that, Johnson held firm to the Regency – the traditions and the social classes notwithstanding but also the little ways in which even in the Regency, rules can become broken if will was fiercely strong as fire!

Such confounding ire to have in a dust-up just when you are attempting to give your best of impressions – at least, this is how I found Lady Rochester to be in front of Gerald! She was such a wretched woman who had her own issues to wrought out in front of him that I am uncertain if even Morley could’ve protected him from this disgrace if he had known first-hand of her nature! I admit, Johnson played the scene so dearly well – it was like I had mentioned previously, a play before your eyes as if the characters were on stage, taking their queues and entertaining you with a dramatic romance set in the Regency! This woman much to her ails was the fitting fool to besiege an audience with her lunacy but more to the point, half the time you’re observing her you’d think she was the one with the goose up her sleeve in an ill-attempt to pool the wool over the Duke’s eyes and to justify herself in sitting herself on a newly devised throne!

There is such a quick pacing of this story – before you even realise it you’ve reached the ending and part of the ending involves the curiously inherited sisters which I felt still have a place in the series! Finding out Lord Morley’s story is the sequel to The Duke’s Second Chance is rather fittingly brilliant because his story is the one I was most curious about seeing expanded! Anyone who would go to such lengths as himself to not just protect but aide a friend like Gerald deserves to have more of his own story told! Not to mention perhaps a bit of dashing happiness cast his way?

Johnson has written a wonderfully dramatic romantic comedy set in the Regency as at first I thought it was mostly a drama but in the end, it had such beautiful strokes of comedy which turnt it quickly into a dramedy! Laughs. You get swept into the lives of Amelia and Gerald; their slow-burning romance, the friendship which sparks something more between them and the world outside their rendezvous is equally fetching when you factor in his Mum and sister, her father and the extended relations of her grandparents. Everyone rounds out this feast of relationships and follies to be a wicked good reading for the romance reader who is seeking a lightly spun Sweet Romance with a touch of INSPY to guide them through the deeper context of the scenes!

on the inspy historical (regency) romantic styling of ms johnson:

Ms Johnson has a very interesting style of narrative – as even the way this story is laid out on the pages is uniquely different than how most stories I’ve read are formatted – either Indie or Major Trade. The paragraphs are more in a block formation than the standard format and it reads a bit more like a play than a novella or novel; meaning, the way you get caught up in the action sequences and the dialogue you could almost imagine players presenting this across a live stage vs having this only to live in a fictional world of print.

There is a gentle spirit of spirituality threading throughout the story-line as well – at first, I wasn’t sure if this story would classify itself under the INSPY umbrella until I saw it was listed under Christian Fiction. It remains a bit hidden from that cogitation and descriptive attachment but I’m uncertain as to why as it truly reads like a Sweet (Historical) Romance with nudges of a faith-lived life ebbing throughout the structure of how the characters are presenting themselves to the reader. The faith in the story isn’t outing itself as strictly Christian even though there are mentions of the Great Carpenter (which for me as a Protestant would reflect we’re speaking about Christ) and there is the sub-text of how Gerald himself is lingering between being agnostic and an atheist as on one hand he isn’t certain he understands the concept of where his wife goes past death and on the other hand, there is a portion of himself which is convinced there is ‘something’ past this one life he’s shared with her in marriage. There is a contextual question about his walk of faith – how in grief he is striving ‘towards’ understanding but he’s on a personal journey towards the reckoning of accepting what faith means to him and how he wants faith to work inside his life.

I felt the way in which Johnson handled this component of the story was well-placed and well-executed as any story which is dealing with the sheer unexpected loss of a spouse is going to have a hard shift back into a life which isn’t tied to that loss – as not everyone can take a season to recover themselves nor a certain block of time in which to heal from what triggers the pain of their loss. Johnson takes it slow and lets you see how the loss permeates through Gerald and how this in effect has a countering influence on other aspects of his life.

The only curious thing I found about her writing style is that she slipped a bit from Historical Regency to Contemporary phrases and turning of words – small slips here or there, which you knew were more modern than they would be of the Regency but somehow that didn’t take me out of the folds of the story as it might have as other stories which did this switch-round have spoilt the story for me in the past. I believe the difference lies in how Johnson used her choice in words rather than the writers of the past who went too Contemporary and wrecked the allure of the Regency for me. This Regency felt like the Regency if that makes sense, so a few right turns here or there didn’t offset the pacing or continuity of what was set at the beginning of the story’s foundation.

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This review tour is courtesy of: Singing Librarian Book Tours

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

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Whilst I was happy to be a part of one of my first Launch Teams!

The Duke's Second Chance Promo Badge provided by Singing Librarian Book Tours and is used with permission.

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Reading this novel counted towards some of my 2019 reading challenges:

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 cover for “The Duke’s Second Chance”, book synopsis, author photograph of Jen Geigle Johnson, author biography, the Singing Librarian Book Tours badge and the promo badge for “The Duke’s Second Chance” were provided by Singing Librarian Books  and are used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. 2019 New Release Challenge created by mylimabeandesigns.com for unconventionalbookworms.com and is used with permission. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #INSPYSundays banner 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 Sunday, 10 November, 2019 by jorielov in #INSPYSundays, #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, A Father's Heart, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Family Drama, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Midwives & Childbirth, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Singing Librarian Book Tours, Single Fathers, Sweet Romance, the Regency era, Widows & Widowers, Women's Fiction, Women's Health




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