Category: Book Review (non-blog tour)

#SaturdaysAreBookish Book Review | Celebrating my first read during #AustenInAugust with an ‘inspired by’ Jane Austen Regency Romance: “Josette” by Danielle Thorne!

Posted Saturday, 8 August, 2020 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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Acquired Book By: I receive quite a few lovely review requests throughout the different seasons of the year. Some of the more recent ones (from May-July) were a bit harder to respond to as various authors failed to leave me their contact details whilst at the same time, after searching for them online myself to seek a way to respond to their enquiries – only a few of them had a website. Blessedly – Ms Thorne had a website and I was able to connect with her via her Contact Page.

This is a gentle reminder that if you’re filling out a Review Request form on a book blogger’s blog – kindly include your email address and/or if you know the book blogger is active on Twitter (like I am) – offer your handle so they can DM you. It is the kind of courtesy we appreciate – plus, it goes from moving your request to denied to accepted and in this case, it led to me hosting her three times: two reviews and a guest spot on @SatBookChat.

I received a complimentary copy of “Josette” direct from the author Danielle Thorne in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: This is one of two novels I’ve received from this author. The other title was one of my choosing as this one [His Daughter’s Prayer] was the one she submitted for consideration via my Review Request Page. The other novel is “Josette” – a Jane Austen inspired Historical Romance which I happily marked as my first read for #JaneAustenJuly which became my first read for #AustenInAugust after I was afflicted with severe migraines.

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On why I wanted to read  “Josette”:

It began as a way back into reading Austen,.. during a month readathon called #AustenInAugust…

I have a soft spot in my bookish heart for retellings, sequels and inspired by stories on behalf of the canon of Jane Austen. The trilogy I read and happily had the chance to interview the author after I concluded the series was The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen. This was a recent series I’ve read and reviewed on Jorie Loves A Story – however, I’ve tipped my hat into after canon retellings for “Pride and Prejudice” & “Sense and Sensibility” to name a few. I like to see how the writers will pay homage to the original canon – how did they draw the influence and the inspiration into their own creative work and spin on a classically appealling tale?

When I was offered to make a second selection from Ms Thorne’s collective works – despite the fact I love reading about pirates, I leant more towards wanting to understand ‘Josette’ – from her motivations to her strength to live her life. I felt “Proper Attire” had a storyline which wasn’t going to work for me right now whereas I felt the storyline for ‘Josette’ was a better fit for the stories I had earmarked to read during the celebration of #JaneAustenJuly.

In truth, I’ve been sitting on some after canon stories featuring the style of Jane Austen for a few years now. I also haven’t had the chance to start reading “Mansfield Park” or “Northanger Abbey” – the two lovely stories my parents gifted me whilst I was thrown a 1st Year Blog Birthday party (ie. 6th August, 2014). I felt the timing was a good one for me as after reading ‘Josette’, I was going to be reading ‘Suddenly Mrs Darcy’ before moving into listening to ‘Yuletide’ by the Quill Collective. I love feeling re-inspired to read works of Classical Lit as it has been a long hard road back into the Classics.

As you can note, I was planning to read a select grouping of Jane Austen inspired stories, after canon sequels and/or the two original canon selections I had made to bring my total #JaneAusten reads to 3x – however, my plans were severely impacted by two severe migraines in mid to late July which rendered me offline, unable to read and unable to blog; ergo, I’ve decided to resume my original idea of hosting my own ode to #AustenInAugust as first inspired by Roof Beam Reader’s annual event.

‘Josette’ therefore is my first story to read during #AustenInAugust!

As technically with all my health afflictions, I was never quite able to finish it!

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#SaturdaysAreBookish Book Review | Celebrating my first read during #AustenInAugust with an ‘inspired by’ Jane Austen Regency Romance: “Josette” by Danielle Thorne!Josette
Subtitle: A Regency Romance
by Danielle Thorne
Source: Direct from Author

Can she forgive the man who ruined everything and allow herself to love?

Josette sees her future when she gazes across the lawn of Beddingfield Park. That is until brooding Captain Carter rides into her life. Grieving her brother and determined to despise his captain, Josette must decide between marrying a fickle cousin or helping her infatuated sister trap him instead. It's no easy task when Josette's stubborn heart yearns for the sea captain she must not love.

This book is a historical regency novel with family, friendship, sisterhood, and clean romance.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781936167319

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspired by Stories (Author/Book)


Published by Whimsical Publications Inc

on 30th April, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 248

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The Jane Austen inspired Regency Romances by Ms Thorne:

Josette
Proper Attire
A Pirate at Pembroke
The Privateer of San Madrid

Converse via: #SaturdaysAreBookish + #HistRom
and/or #HistoricalRomance and #Regency as well as #HarlequinHistorical

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 8 August, 2020 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 19th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Content Note, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Romance Fiction, the Regency era

An INSPY Book Review during #CFSRS20 | Diving into the Coastal Hearts series by Janet W. Ferguson whilst reading “Magnolia Storms”

Posted Friday, 7 August, 2020 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

#CFSRS20 readathon badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I have been participating in the Christian Fiction & Clean Reads Reading Safari readathon for the past three years now. I have found the readathon to be personally enriching as it is a wonderful month of respite for book bloggers who want to focus on reading outside their blog schedules and tuck into the gentler side of fiction which is Inspirational Fiction (ie. INSPY). A portion of INSPY is Christian Fiction however, INSPY overall encompasses all faiths and religious backgrounds as it is faith-inspired literature. As a participant of the readathon – each reader moves through the event at their own pacing – seeking stories to read, authors to get to know socially online and reading the stories which interest them throughout the readathon. As you participate there is a chance you can win a book or several throughout the month. This year I am reading a mixture of stories I’ve won during past CFSRS readathons, stories I’ve won through bookaways with Christian Fiction authors or bloggers as well as stories on my shelf from my personal library as well as borrowing INSPY stories in print and audio from my local libraries.

I won a bookaway during #CFSRS18 wherein I received a copy of “Magnolia Storms” direct from the author Janet W. Ferguson which she happily surprised me with inscribing! I was not obligated to post a review on behalf of this novel and have elected to do so for my own edification as well as continuing to share my bookish and readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: The Press Materials seen on this book review were courtesy of the author’s Media Kit and are used with permission of the author as stated on her page.

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Why I wanted to read this story:

I have been wanting to read this lovely ever since it first arrived – however, the past few years have been unique years wherein what I have wanted to read hasn’t always aligned with the ability to read the stories. I attempted to start reading the books I had won during the first year of the readathon last July – however, try as I had – something always pulled me away. I was just thankful I was able to read any INSPY last July as it seemed like the month was taking me up in its tides and not allowing me the grace to settle into the stories which give my heart such an uplift to read.

This year, about two months ahead of the readathon (or as I thought it would be – as I hadn’t known it was switched from July to August until the end of June) I started pulling the stories off my shelves I felt I might be inclined to read this year. I had more than enough to choose from as INSPY Lit is one of my favourite areas of literature to explore – as seen on my 70 Authors Challenge and through my Story Vault wherein I house my review archives. I knew I was going to read more Love Inspired this year – both Contemporary & Suspense whilst I had a few blog tours in August for Harlequin Heartwarming & Love Inspired respectively – however, I wasn’t going to count those in my readathon goals. I like to use the readathon to read the stories already in my personal library, won in bookaways and/or which can become borrowed through my local libraries in either audio or print; whilst seeking out INSPY Fiction on Scribd in audiobook as well.

What first drew my eye into the premise of ‘Magnolia Storms’ when I requested it as one of my book choices in [2018] was the fact this was rooted in the after effects of Hurricane Katrina and storm seasons in the Gulf. Being a traveller during Katrina and having had many conversations with the evacuating families who were fleeing out of its path who had found themselves where I had been at the time in Birmingham, Alabama was quite the experience. Most were on their way back to Louisiana, others were going west to either Colorado or Houston, Texas whilst others were staying in Birmingham as they were given a warm welcome. I couldn’t blame them – it was a friendly city.

Storms in any variety are a part of our everyday lives – they bring destruction and they bring a kind of wrath that is hard to understand. They have after effects that are felt long and wide after a storm has passed. Look at the cities decimated by tornadoes every year and you will see how powerful and how hard it is to find mercy in the dawn after those storms have passed. Hurricanes like their tornado cousins cause emotional trauma and personal loss.

I used to read and watch a lot of natural disaster stories – for reasons which are elusive to me, however several pushed me a bit over the edge of what I could handle – especially if it involved flash flooding, earthquakes, wildfires or a deluge of tornadoes. I had had my fill at the time and only recently re-watched one of my favourites which was about tornadoes affecting a power plant [Atomic Twister] which started Mark Paul Gosselaar and Sharon Lawrence – as it was available for free via Roku. It was hard to believe how terrifying it was all over again and how hard it was to watch one of the team sacrifice his own life to save everyone else when it come to going into the contaminated room to give the team more time to save the plant.

This first novel of the Coastal Hearts series felt like a beautiful segue into Realistic INSPY Fiction which combines the drama of living in today’s world as we each face the different (and complicated!) storms which set to unravel our internal and external worlds. It is how we choose to rise through those unforeseen adversities which seek to challenge our perspectives on life and how we want to be living – but with faith, hope and a bit of grit to get through those challenging hours – we can all seek solid ground on the other side of the ‘storms’. This is why I wanted to read “Magnolia Storms” and this year is the best year I believe for me to ‘meet’ the story as who hasn’t been shuffling their own sea of storms crashing ashore this 2020?

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Magnolia Storms novel Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.

Magnolia Storms
Subtitle: A Coastal Hearts novel
by Janet W. Ferguson
Source: Won a Bookaway

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780997658767

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Meteorology, Realistic Fiction, Southern Lit, Sweet Romance, Women's Fiction


on 20th August, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 280

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The Coastal Heart series:

Magnolia Storms(book one)

Falling for Grace(book two)

The Art of Rivers (book three)

Star Rising (book four)

Published by: Southern Sun Press

Formats Available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #INSPYRomance, #INSPYbooks,
as well as #SouthernLit and #CoastalHearts

About Janet W. Ferguson

Janet W. Ferguson

Janet W. Ferguson is a Grace Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #CFSRS20
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Posted Friday, 7 August, 2020 by jorielov in #CFSRS20, #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Christianity, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Medical Fiction, Mental Health, Mississippi, Modern Day, Motherhood | Parenthood, Post-911 (11th September 2001), PTSD, Reading Challenges, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Single Mothers, Singletons & Commitment, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Sweet Romance, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, Trauma | Recovery in Hospital, Traumatic Injury, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Women's Fiction

#RomanceTuesdays | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “Her Cowboy Sweetheart” (The Sweetheart Ranch) as Jorie has to ‘let go’ of a series which ends in a quartet!

Posted Tuesday, 21 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

My review for this blog tour unfortunately was delayed – I was ran a spotlight in lieu of a review during the blog tour and happily can now share my thoughts on the fourth installment of a series I have been delighted in re-visiting each time Ms McDavid releases a new chapter in the lives of these characters. It has become one of my favourite Harlequin Heartwarming Western Romance series – in company with the Rocky Mountain Cowboys (by Karen Rock), the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series (by multi-authors) and Heroes of Shelter Creek (by Claire McEwen).

I received a complimentary copy of “Her Cowboy Sweetheart” direct from the author Cathy McDavid in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I continue to love returning back into The Sweetheart Ranch series:

You immediately get attached to Jewel, Ava and Tanner’s situation because of how heart-wrenching it truly is once you learn all the facts about what caused the distance to erupt between Jewel and Tanner! Tanner is the kind of son and brother you’d hoped to have in your family – the kind where honour and loyalty are his best attributes but when it comes to balancing his family with his girlfriend, this is where his first fault is revealled. Tanner didn’t handle himself well with Jewel and this is also why little Ava despite her innocent acceptance of him didn’t know him from Adam. I also loved how in the opening pages Tanner is fuming at Jewel, when in theory you’d have thought Jewel would have been beyond angry at Tanner; at least, she was initially but I think its the shock of being reunited which overtook her moreso than the anger itself.

Just acknowledging what had transpired in their lives felt like a soap opera – you can hardly believe any of that could be true and yet, the ways in which McDavid writes the story – you cannot help but believe the situation because of how true it truly is to believe plausible! If anything you have sympathy for these two beyond the obvious reasons and your empathy for their plight is what leads you into the next pages… with an itch to see if they can either work through their differences and heal the past or if they need to temper their own reactions for the sake of Ava. Whichever way McBride had envisioned this story to go, all I knew is that I was ready to take the journey!

I felt it was fitting Emily was the one who met and took Jewel round Sweetheart Ranch – she has this kind-hearted grandmotherly persona which suits her well and she still had that distinctive glow of the recently married about her as well. The irony of course is how readily Jewel is finding that this ranch and the community which surrounds it is a small world. Meaning, there are a lot of interconnections between the towne, the ranch and the overall region therein. If she felt that trying to cut out a new life for herself and Ava would be seamless whilst finding out Tanner was living here as well – wells, let’s just say she short-changed herself for a bit of grief!

McBride definitely sorted out a way to bridge us into the difficulties of where a hidden pregnancy once revealled can become the unexpected nightmare for the parents. Tanner was unfortunately being a stubborn as a bull in July – not wavering his stance or even trying to understand the path Jewel had walked without him present. Whilst at the same time, Jewel was trying not to just confront her feelings for Tanner or the repercussions of knowing his whereabouts given he’s the father of her child but there was a finer point towards what is best for not just the child but the parents of the child. This is one of those slippery slopes where because they weren’t officially married nor separated, they are in that gray area where the law recognises both of them but that doesn’t meant they are mutually exclusive in their claim for the child.

I liked how McBride was presenting the case for Ava – she didn’t add judgement to the situation but carefully started to weave in the consequences of what happens when a baby comes into your life when your not planning to conceive. It takes both parties to realise their roles and to feel comfortable in the role they inherently want to occupy but its even more complicated than that when you don’t have a custody agreement penned between you. I felt the rest of the story might bring us towards that conclusion – how do you deal with an unplanned pregnancy, a reluctant Mum who is wary of her ex-boyfriend (as there are a layer of trust issues) and legal circumstances above and beyond this situation which could wreck even more heartache on their fragile state of family?

The complexities of this story keep building the harder McBride takes us into the conspiracy of what is surrounding the key case at the centre of the drama. A conspiracy in this case to subvert the truth even of a worthy case felt to me to be a bit too much to ask of those who were remaining quiet because it put themselves in jeopardy. Not just for the rumours but the situational stickiness of never being able to be open with responses to even simple questions which might route back round to the issues of why they are choosing to remain silent. I felt McBride wrote a dearly realistic story-line which has a lot of hidden layers – she pulls apart her character’s emotional states by placing you centre-fold into their lives – to understand what is compelling them to lie or to at least cover the truth with half-truths for an outcome which on the surface seems to be the right way to go for this particular set of circumstances but overall, you just feel the worst for how unrealistic the plan is to execute.

The author’s note inside The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby revealled how McDavid had considered owning a ranch similar to this one she’s created in the Sweetheart Ranch series. I had to agree with her that the concept behind the ranch and the ways in which it is run is very alluring because you are focusing on the happier moments in all of our lives. To rejoice in that kind of goodwill and thankfulness on a continuing basis would be beyond uplifting because you’re helping to seal the memories of life changing events which become the cornerstones of people’s lives!

Similar to the seamless transition I felt when I was reading The Cowboy’s Perfect Match – I also felt transitioning into this novel after reading one earlier in Spring was as easy as regularly Saturday family dinners! You get to re-visit with beloved characters, re-settle into the time-line of Sweetheart Ranch and find new characters you’re drawn into reading about due to their aspirations and the stories they have to share with us all.

-quoted from my book review for The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby

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#RomanceTuesdays | feat. #HarlequinHeartwarming author Cathy McDavid’s “Her Cowboy Sweetheart” (The Sweetheart Ranch) as Jorie has to ‘let go’ of a series which ends in a quartet!Her Cowboy Sweetheart
by Cathy McDavid
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

He’s been a good friend

But can he be her sweetheart?

At Sweetheart Ranch, single mom Carly Leighton finds a fresh start, and a friendly neighbor in former bull rider JD Moreno. Neither are looking for love—Carly must think first of her son, Rickie, while JD is recovering from a career-ending balance disorder. But when her former in-laws demand access to Rickie, Carly turns to JD for support and finds he is becoming more than a friend in need…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335889690

Also by this author: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal, The Cowboy's Perfect Match, The Cowboy's Christmas Baby, Her Cowboy Sweetheart (Spotlight w/ Notes)

Also in this series: A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal, The Cowboy's Perfect Match, The Cowboy's Christmas Baby, Her Cowboy Sweetheart (Spotlight w/ Notes)


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 384

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The Sweetheart Ranch series:

A Cowboy's Christmas Proposal by Cathy McDavidThe Cowboy's Perfect Match by Cathy McDavidThe Cowboy's Christmas Baby by Cathy McDavidHer Cowboy Sweetheart by Cathy McDavid

A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal (book one) | see also review

The Cowboy’s Perfect Match (book two) | see also review

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby (book three) | see also review

Her Cowboy Sweetheart (book four)

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Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming,
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin Heartwarming

About Cathy McDavid

Cathy McDavid

In the third grade, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Black Stallion book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin? With over 1.2 million books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll.

An “almost” Arizona native, she’s married to her own real-life sweetheart, whom she re-met a few years ago at a high school reunion. Her grown twins are out on their own and finding their happily-ever-afters. In 2014, Cathy retired from the corporate world to write full-time. She now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting a bronc, and sweeping gals off their feet. It a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #RomanceTuesdays
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Posted Tuesday, 21 July, 2020 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance

An #HistoricalMondays Book Review | “The Dark Horizon” (The Linford Saga, Book One) by Liz Harris – a beloved author begins a new intergenerational series set in the early 20th Century!

Posted Monday, 6 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I was previously a regular reviewer and blog tour hostess for ChocLitUK which is where my path originally crossed with Ms Harris. It was through reading and reviewing their novels I came across the Historical stories of Liz Harris and simply fell in love. Two of my favourites are “A Bargain Struck” (see also Review) and “The Road Back” (see also Review). In the years since I’ve been keeping in touch with the authors I enjoyed reading – whilst I was overjoyed finding out there was a new release by Ms Harris for 2020 – as the last time I read one of her novels was in 2017! I love her passion for Historical narratives and the ways in which she creates the rhythm of her stories set in the historic past. This is the start of a new series and I was thankful to be able to host her for #SatBookChat (@SatBookChat) as well as read the novel in order to share my reflections and ruminations with my readers.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Dark Horizon” from Liz Harris in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Why I wanted to read “The Dark Horizon” & host Ms Harris on #SatBookChat:

One of the authors I felt blessed to have discovered during my years of reading and reviewing ChocLit was Liz Harris. She has such a wonderful capacity for writing a Historical drama and it wasn’t a surprise to have learnt she is now writing a Historical Saga which intergenerationally explores the Linford family through the early 20th Century.

I knew quite immediately I wanted to read this story and to host her during @SatBookChat during its release window because of how strongly I feel attached within the scope her stories. She has a wonderful way of presenting different opinions, perspectives and in regards to internal strife within the scope of a family – she owns that niche well in Historical Fiction (especially in relation to how I felt throughout The Road Back.

She writes her heart out, and I will always appreciate that style, as it mirrors my own. I even appreciate the fact that she can move and shift through locations, time sequences, and elements of distinction between where her characters and story are set alive. She has the ability to become a chameleon as she writes one story to the next. This is a quality that is appreciated because she gives us such an intense view of her worlds and characters, with a pulse on who they are and how they lived that each story becomes an experience your willingly thankful to have had afterwards. -quoted from my review of The Road Back

I have been following the careers of all the ChocLit authors I originally read as a reviewer for the publisher – as whenever you find authors who are able to write a story you can settle inside and find joy about residing in throughout the journey of the story itself is an author you want to keep in your readerly life.

The #SatBookChat wherein I featured Ms Harris and my review for The Dark Horizon continues to be my personal path back into their stories – finding where they are currently being published and continuing my pursuit of the stories I am wicked happy to be championing either directly on Jorie Loves A Story and/or my social feeds in the twitterverse. It is an honour to continue to engage with them and to tuck closer to their stories when I have the proper chance to read them. I was truly grateful I could celebrate this new series with Ms Harris and bring the announcement of it to my readers – many of whom are Historical Fiction buffs like I am and who love a wicked good #nextread in a genre we’re mutually passionate about exploring! 

Having Ms Harris as a guest on @SatBookChat is a true treat for me as a hostess – as she’s been dedicated to writing these past several years and hasn’t had a lot of free time to chat or participate in #SatBookChat – I was overjoyed we could book her the last Saturday in May – as it is within hours of the closing celebrations for the Fantasy event I co-host annually (#WyrdAndWonder). As May folded into June, I had planned to celebrate re-starting my pursuit of reading stories befitting my own readerly challenge #MyYASummer as well as sorting out which stories I want to read for #PrideMonth and taking a keen step forward in erasing my backlogue of reviews for the second half of the year. A good chunk of my backlogue quite ironically (or is it?) are Historical Fiction narratives, too! Due to health afflictions with seasonal allergies and toxic air pollution which required the need to purchase indoor air purifiers – I had to re-direct my reading goals to where I was not able to participate in #PrideMonth or #AudiobookMonth this June.

This felt like the best way to close out Wyrd And Wonder (and by extension ‘May’) whilst opening the window into Summer (and by extension my #SummerReads and goals) – the conversation and the discussion which would flow into #SatBookChat was a wicked sweet moment of personal joy, too. As I love connecting readers with authors and if it is a #newtomeauthor for them, I’ve passed forward the joy of what I’ve discovered myself to encourage another reader to find what I did and hopefully walk away with the positive reactions to the story itself.

It might have taken me a bit of extra time to finish reading The Dark Horizon as I had two migraines in mid-June and a series of migraines clustered at the end of June leading into July – but I am wicked thankful the first review to be featured for #SatBookChat this July will be a saga writ by one of my favourite Historical Fiction authors who has such a clear voice in the niches she occupies to allow us the grace to follow in her stead to the historic past.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

On my Connection to Ms. Harris:

I have been hosting #SatBookChat chats on a regular basis for six years now. Eleven in the morning of a Saturday, has become a favourite hour for me to exchange conversation and joy with everyone who shows up to participate in a chat centered around Romance, Women’s Fiction and new for 2020 – Feminist Lit and strong female characters across genres of interest.

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms. Courtenay, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms. Harris, either through #SatBookChat chats or privately. She is most giving of her time and I have appreciated the opportunity to know the writer behind the stories I enjoy reading! She always shares her happy spirit in the chats too, and her insights into why she enjoys writing the books that speak to her the most.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Harris through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #SatBookChat (or as it was previously known #ChocLitSaturday) the chat as well as privately; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. Similarly this applies to spotlighting new books by an author I appreciate such as this one.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

An #HistoricalMondays Book Review | “The Dark Horizon” (The Linford Saga, Book One) by Liz Harris – a beloved author begins a new intergenerational series set in the early 20th Century!The Dark Horizon
Subtitle: Secrets, schemes and deceit simmer beneath the surface, but love, loyalty and passion are no strangers
by Liz Harris, Ms Liz Harris
Source: Direct from Author

From the award-winning author of The Road Back comes the first in a sweeping saga set between the wars, which introduces the Linfords, a family simmering with secrets, schemes and lies.

Oxfordshire, 1919

The instant that Lily Brown and Robert Linford set eyes on each other, they fall in love. The instant that Robert’s father, Joseph, chairman of the family’s successful building company, sets eyes on Lily, he feels a deep distrust of her.

Convinced that his new daughter-in-law is a gold-digger, and that Robert’s feelings are a youthful infatuation he’d come to regret, Joseph resolves to do whatever it takes to rid his family of Lily.

As the young couple are torn apart, the Linford family is told a lie that will have devastating consequences for years to come.

The Dark Horizon is perfect for readers of The Thorn Birds
and the Cazalet Chronicles, and the novels of Fiona Valpy and Santa Montefiore.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1913687007

Also by this author: A Bargain Struck, Guest Post (A Western Heart) by Liz Harris, Guest Post (The Road Back) by Liz Harris, The Road Back, Book Spotlight w/ Notes (The Lost Girl), Evie Undercover, Guest Post (The Lost Girl) by Liz Harris, The Art of Deception, The Lost Girl

Genres: Historical Fiction, Modern British Literature, Realistic Fiction


Published by Heywood Press

on 14th April, 2020

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 346

Published by: Heywood Press

Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Genre(s): Historical Fiction | Family Saga | World War era

Converse via: #LinfordSaga, #TheDarkHorizon and #LizHarris
as well as #HistRom, #HistFic, #HistoricalFiction

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 6 July, 2020 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Intergenerational Saga, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Realistic Fiction, Taboo Relationships & Romance, the Nineteen Hundreds, the Roaring Twenties, Women's Land Army (Land Girls) Britain

INSPY Blog Book Tour | “The Earl’s Winning Wager” (Lords for the Sisters of Sussex, Book Two) by Jen Geigle Johnson

Posted Tuesday, 9 June, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by 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.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Earl’s Winning Wager” 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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I had the lovely opportunity to read the first novel in this series which was “The Duke’s Second Chance” late last year wherein I found Ms Johnson’s writing style to be quite lovely for those of us who are seeking INSPY Romances set in the Regency. As a Romance reader – I regularly move between the Regency & Victorian eras – whether I am reading mainstream and/or INSPY.

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Let’s look back and find out what stood out to me as I first ‘met’ this series:

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!

-quoted from my review of The Duke’s Second Chance

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INSPY Blog Book Tour | “The Earl’s Winning Wager” (Lords for the Sisters of Sussex, Book Two) by Jen Geigle JohnsonThe Earl's Winning Wager
Subtitle: Lords for the Sisters of Sussex
by Jen Geigle Johnson
Source: Author via Singing Librarian Book Tours

Lord Morley's life will change forever when he wins a game of cards
and a family of sisters to go along with it.

Miss Standish in none too pleased to have become the responsibility of yet another Lord, even if he is full of charm and goodness. Her responsibilities are to her sisters first.

With the repairs on the castle moving forward nicely and concerted efforts in a season in Bath made to find suitors for them all, Miss Standish and Lord Morley must determine where duty stops and matters of the heart take over.

Read this warm tale of family, sisters, loyalty and love to get a huge dose of the best part of a regency romance fans of Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer would enjoy.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1734128826

Also by this author: Author Interview Jen Geigle Johnson (Regency House Party), The Duke's Second Chance

Also in this series: The Duke's Second Chance


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


Published by Self Published

on 22nd April, 2020

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 204

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 by Jen Geigle JohnsonThe Earl's Winning Wager by Jen Geigle Johnson

 

The Duke’s Second Chance (book one)

The Earl’s Winning Wager (book two)

Her Lady’s Whims and Fancies (book three)
← a Digital First Release August 2020!

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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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 9 June, 2020 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Family Drama, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction, Singing Librarian Book Tours, Sweet Romance, the Regency era