Monday, October 31, 2022

Sundown (Sky King Ranch #3) by Susan May Warren

 


Former Delta Operative Colt Kingston knows when someone is lying. He may not know the truth, but he sure doesn't trust Tae, the woman who is caring for his ailing father at Sky King Ranch. Behind those beautiful blue eyes, he can tell there is a troubled--and smart--woman.

A few of her stories prove true--he's found the crashed plane and the dead body inside. Still, her story of survival seems too incredible to believe . . . until the thugs she claims to be hunting her show up and threaten Sky King Ranch. Now Tae must disappear, along with her secrets.

But Colt's not about to let her go it alone. And when they discover that her secrets include the antidote to a plague that threatens the world, it'll take all three Kingston brothers to save the country they've vowed to protect.

Susan May Warren brings her Sky King Ranch series to a climactic close with this high-stakes race against the clock.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Wow, this Kingston family.  They are really something else.  What I love about this series is we get all the family in each book.  While each one may focus on one individual more than the others, they are all still there, part of the story and part of the family.  I feel like I know them and am connected to them.  I think it's pretty important to read this series in order.  There are individual stories within a growing, overarching story.

I was excited to get to Colt.  I knew there would be a lot to unpack there.  Between him and Tae, there is SO MUCH.  Colt is a jump right in kind of guy.  He goes with his instincts and is quick to defend and protect.  Tae really needs someone like him to depend on.  I loved how their story unfolds through the series and how it really gains momentum in this book.  It was so satisfying.

The story brings mystery, action, suspense, romance and danger on every page.  It is fast paced and exciting which is exactly how this author writes and I love it.  I've loved hanging with the Kingston family.  They aren't perfect, they are all fighting physical, mental and emotional demons but they are solid.  They are strong and they keep trying.  They stand up for right and they fight hard when they need to.  It's pretty awesome.

Content:  peril, violence, death.  Kissing.  Christian elements.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Friday, October 28, 2022

Come, Gentle Night (Natalie Marsh #5) by Stephanie Black

 


After her entanglement in several homicide investigations, psychologist Natalie Marsh is determined to avoid further trouble. But when her intern needs help monitoring and calming family drama for the duration of a party, Natalie steps up. After all, acting as a peacemaker at a fundraising gala seems relatively risk-free in comparison to her past escapades—what could happen at a dance? When an argument between feuding guests becomes assault, Natalie realizes the situation is more complicated than she anticipated, with one man at the center of it all: Rowan Montrose.

Four years ago, Rowan’s brother was convicted of murdering his wife. But Rowan believes there’s more to the story, suspecting that the real murderer is walking free. His romantic interest in the younger sister of a police detective renders him more determined than ever to clear the family name. Familiar with Natalie’s reputation, he seeks out her assistance. Natalie tries to decline—she’s no private detective—but as frightening incidents unfold, it’s clear she’s in the middle of this whether she wants to be or not, and breaking through the layers of deception that hide the truth may have lethal consequences.


I've been reading these Natalie Marsh mystery books since the very beginning and I'm always so excited to get a new one.  Natalie is a character with smarts and a gift for patience but she is also a trouble magnet.  And when I say trouble, I mean death and destruction kind of trouble.  It's frightening.  Just ask her husband.  Poor guy.  He is always put through the ringer.  I don't know how they both don't have PTSD.

This mystery was so well crafted.  I love suspecting everyone and finding the truth right along with the characters.  This one had me so invested from beginning to end.  The danger had a growing momentum that had me reading so fast, I had to purposely slow myself down.  I was in such a hurry to find out the "who done it" that I was missing the good stuff.  I'm impatient like that.  

The ending was awesome.  I loved how everything came together.  I'm a fan of this author and her mysteries.  So, so good.

This book releases on Nov. 2nd!  It is part of a series and I think you will be happier if you read it in order because Natalie will feel like a friend and you will know her history.  But, I think you could read it as a stand alone.

Content:  violence, death, peril.  Kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

The Danger with Diamonds (Falcon Point Suspense #1) by Traci Hunter Abramson, Sian Ann Bessey + Giveaway

 


Some secrets are worth keeping. Others are not.

When Lars Hendriks arranges to meet Marit Jansen in Vienna, he is hoping their friendship will blossom into romance. What he doesn’t expect is a surprise visit from his cousin Cole or the loose diamonds he brings with him.

As a CIA operative, Cole Bridger is used to uncertainty, but when his work takes him back to Vienna, he looks forward to reconnecting with Isabelle Roberts, the fellow agent he dated briefly before duty took him away from Austria. Unfortunately, his silence over the last few months has created a chasm he can’t cross without help. He barely takes a step toward repairing the damaged relationship when a brazen jewel heist seemingly links Cole, Lars, Marit, and Isabelle to the crime. The group is drawn into a deadly mystery, and once again, the treasures of Falcon Point are threatened. It doesn’t take long for them to realize they have stumbled upon something far bigger and more dangerous than a simple robbery. And someone on the inside knows it.

 * Goodreads * Amazon * Deseret Book *

I've been looking forward to this book for so long!  We first get to know these characters in The Heirs of Falcon Point and what a happy day it was when the authors announced that there was more to come for this family.  I love romantic suspense and I love these authors!  It's a great combination for me!

I would sure love a TV series or a movie based on this book and this family!  I could picture it all that way as I read it.  That's how you know something great is happening.  This book had a great forward momentum that also allowed for character connection and emotion.  There was danger around every corner and some lovely romantic moments.  I read through the whole book quickly and didn't want it to end.  I hope the next book comes soon!!  Love, love, love.

Content:  peril, mild violence, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.


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Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Brilliance of Stars (Jack and Ivy #1) by J'nell Ciesielski

 


Washington DC, 1914. Ivy Olwen knows how to survive on the streets without two coins to rub together. But when she finds herself whisked into a secret society that seeks to maintain the balance of good and evil in the world, she can’t believe there’s more to life than just surviving. In the hallowed and historied halls of Talon, she learns European languages and ballroom dancing, as well as demolitions and sharpshooting—in short, everything a spy and assassin will need to survive in the field.

The first day Jack Vale meets Ivy, he knows she is not to be underestimated. The second day, he knows his heart will belong to no one else. Between sparring bouts and constellation gazing, Jack takes Ivy under his wing, and the two form a bond that soon turns to love.

While the rest of the world tumbles into war, the two embark on an official mission to take down a madman who has left a trail of blood and murder across Russia. Little do they know the unfathomable peril waiting in the wings of a chaotic Europe.

When Jack and Ivy are thrust into encounters each more terrifying than the last, Ivy must determine how far she will go to save the man she loves. Equal parts historical fiction and adventure novel, Ciesielski’s epic tale of espionage and romance will leave readers both enchanted and thrilled.


When I come across a book I want to review I usually scan the synopsis briefly to see if I am interested.  It's usually not something I commit to memory, especially if I am familiar with the author in some way.  Sometimes in the interim between agreeing to read the book and actually sitting down to read it, (which can be a couple months) I forget what the book is about.  This book really surprised me.  Caught me off guard.  I have read other books by this author and this book wasn't really like those.  It had a different feel to it that I wasn't expecting.  

There is a constant, pressing forward momentum in this story.  It's got a LOT packed into it's pages.  History, danger, intrigue and evil.  I loved the first half of the book as we learned about Ivy and Phillip, their backstories, how they came to be with the spy organization.  The growing friendship between the two and Jack was a good one.  How can you not sympathize with the plight of orphans?  Scrappy, brilliant orphans who finally find a place to belong.  Yeah, there was some tugging of the heartstrings.

I didn't fully get the romance between Jack and Ivy because it was certainly unconventional and a bit out of the scope of what I understand.  Fighting each other to blood one minute and kissing the next.  Yeah, I don't really get that but I surely did love Jack's complete devotion to Ivy, especially once he took the leap to tell her.  Once he was all in, he was ALL IN.  I love that kind of loyalty and devotion.

The second half of the book definitely grew in intensity.  It was a crazy whirlwind of places, people, intrigue and violence that just got crazier and crazier.  By the time I reached the end, I felt quite over done.  Overwhelmed.  The other aspect I was caught off guard about was the ending.  I didn't realize I would have a cliff hanger ending with some heavy foreshadowing of things to come.  I don't love cliffhangers.  I'm going with a 3.5/5 stars for this one.

This book releases November 1st.

Content:  violence, death, peril, kissing.  Fade to black intimate scene between a married couple.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Range (The Metcalfes #3) by Ronie Kendig + Giveaway

 


He's back and he's out for blood

Fed up with living in the shadow of his brothers, Range Metcalfe struck out to carve a name for himself—one written in the blood of many a terrorist. Now, he’s targeting the notorious Madam of Kandahar, who has trafficked children and women. Finally given the green light, he captures her and quickly finds himself entrenched up in a deadly encounter that forces him into the Afghan wilderness—with the madam.

Ten years as a trafficking victim Kasra Jazani has little left of her soul. No longer able to live with herself, she takes matters into her own hands and coordinates an escape, a massive coup against the man who has kept her and so many others captive. They flee into the night—right into the fierce and capable hands of American operators, who ruin everything and put lives at risk. Livid, she knows death is coming for them, because she also holds a very dangerous, very powerful secret: the name of the man at the top of the trafficking ring. Now that monster wants her—and her American protector—dead.

 * Goodreads * Amazon * B&N *

You know when the author gives you permission up front to take breaks from this story and it's heavy topics, that it's going to be an intense ride.  And it really, really was.  So intense.  The constant forward momentum, the scary, horrifying reality of sex trafficking and Range's giant attitude problem made this story at some points, overwhelming.  I did take breaks but always during those breaks, I was thinking about the story and the characters.

Your heart is guaranteed to break when it comes to Kasra.  What a horrifying life, what sacrifice, what desperate conditions.  Despite all this, Kasra is probably one of the purest individuals, filled with intentions to make life better for everyone around her, even at great personal cost.  How can you not love and be emotionally connected to a character like that?

Range is a completely different story.  He is angry.  He is tough.  He is stubborn.  He is laser focused.  He is ready to take on the world.  He has a slow shift from this to a likeable character for me.  He was harsh with his words and even knowing it came from a place of hurt and misunderstanding, it was hard to swallow.  Especially when directed toward Kasra.  I struggled a bit with Range but definitely appreciated his transformation.

This is a story you need to buckle up for.  It's a crazy, action packed, intense ride.  It stole my breath and my heart.

Content:  violence, death, peril, sex trafficking with some details of sexual and physical abuse.  Some mild faith elements.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Ronie Kendig is a bestselling, award-winning author of over thirty books. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband have returned to their beloved Texas after a nearly ten-year stint in the Northeast. They survive on Sonic runs, barbecue, and peach cobbler that they share--sometimes--with Benning the Stealth Golden. Ronie's degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.

Connect with Ronie by visiting roniekendig.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Giveaway:

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Range and an Operation Underground t-shirt.


Full tour schedule linked below.

The giveaway begins at midnight October 18, 2022 and will last

through 11:59 PM EST on October 25, 2022.

Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway

and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Welcome to the Blog + Review Blitz for Range by Ronie Kendig, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Friday, October 14, 2022

Word of Honor (Love and Honor #2) by Hallee Bridgeman

 


FBI Special Agent Lynda Cutler is investigating an ecoterrorist organization in the Alaskan wilderness when her partner is taken captive and murdered before her very eyes. The only person who can identify the key players, Lynda gets assigned to take part in a joint operation in Istanbul to take the organization down.

As a woman in a Muslim country, she'll find it much easier to move around undetected with a fake husband. Unfortunately for her, the man assigned to play the role is none other than US Army weapons specialist Bill Sanders--the man who crushed her heart into a million pieces back in college.

With a cargo bay's worth of hurt and baggage between them, these two consummate professionals must play their parts perfectly if they hope to stop those responsible for bombing oil pipelines, killing innocent civilians, and threatening to destabilize the oil markets. But love long buried has a way of resurfacing at the most inopportune times--and protecting Lynda has become Bill's primary focus.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

This is the first book I have read by this author!  Military/suspense/romance is a genre I really love reading and I'm always on the lookout for these kind of books with the romance on the sweeter side.  This one happens to be Christian Fiction as well.  Just as a note in case you care about that.

This is the second book in this series but I didn't ever feel like I was missing anything.  The characters and the story were easy to follow and understand.  I liked Lynda a lot.  She had moxy and courage and held her chin up even when she wanted to shrink away.  She was smart and stood up for herself.  I liked it.  Bill?  I didn't really like him much at first.  I thought he treated Lynda poorly for the first half of the book, expecting her to get over the hurts because he wanted her to.  He was dismissive.  I didn't like that at all.  The second half of the book went better with him and I ended in a better place but it was slow getting there.

This is a bit tamer than a lot of other action/suspense novels I've read in this same genre.  The action was spread further apart and had a bit of a slower build to it.  I liked it though.  The story was interesting and well thought out.  I will definitely be coming back to this author for another book to read!

This book (and this series!) is on Kindle Unlimited if you have that.

Content:  violence, peril, kissing, talk of God and praying.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The Belle of Belgrave Square (Belles of London #2) by Mimi Matthews + Giveaway!

 

A London heiress rides out to the wilds of the English countryside to honor a marriage of convenience with a mysterious and reclusive stranger.

Tall, dark, and dour, the notorious Captain Jasper Blunt was once hailed a military hero, but tales abound of his bastard children and his haunted estate in Yorkshire. What he requires now is a rich wife to ornament his isolated ruin, and he has his sights set on the enchanting Julia Wychwood.

For Julia, an incurable romantic cursed with a crippling social anxiety, navigating a London ballroom is absolute torture. The only time Julia feels any degree of confidence is when she’s on her horse. Unfortunately, a young lady can’t spend the whole of her life in the saddle, so Julia makes an impetuous decision to take her future by the reins—she proposes to Captain Blunt.

In exchange for her dowry and her hand, Jasper must promise to grant her freedom to do as she pleases. To ride—and to read—as much as she likes without masculine interference. He readily agrees to her conditions, with one provision of his own: Julia is forbidden from going into the tower rooms of his estate and snooping around his affairs. But the more she learns of the beastly former hero, the more intrigued she becomes…

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Barnes & Noble *

Honestly?  I'm a Mimi Matthews fan.  I have yet to meet a book by her that I haven't liked.  But there are just some books that you would give more than five stars to if you could and this book is one of them for me.  I LOVED it.  With all capital letters and heart eyes.

Julia is an easy person to like.  I mean, she's a book lover so yeah, I connected with her.  She uses books as an escape from a horrible home life and social anxiety.  Others view Julia as weak and fragile but not me, and definitely not Jasper Blunt who saw her and immediately wanted her.  He saw past her insecurities into her sweet and gentle soul and never looked back.  Because this book gives us views from both characters, it was easy to see Jasper's struggles and how much he desired Julia to accept him.  He played the part of hero so well.

I loved how the whole story unfolded.  I was surprised as it went along and completely immersed in the story.  This is one of those stories that you think about when you aren't reading it and feel so anxious to get back to.  I had a couple hours in the car the day I was reading it and I could have listened to it in the car but I just had to wait until I could read with my own eyes and feel the book in my hand.  It just had to be read that way for me.

All the emotions.  All the love.  One of my most favorite books by this author and one I will want to read again.

Content:  mild swearing.  Innuendo, kissing.  Intimate relations between a married couple with no details, fade to black.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.


USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper Victorian romances. Her novels have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

 

VICTORIAN READING ROOM

Join Mimi at her Victorian Reading Room Facebook Group for exclusive access as she shares her love of writing, historical romance, Victorian fashion, brooding heroes, independent heroines, and of course, her beloved pets!


Terms & Conditions:

Giveaway hosted by Mimi Matthews. No Purchase Necessary. Entrants must be 18 years or older. Open to US residents only. All information will remain confidential and will not be sold or otherwise used, except to notify the winner and to facilitate postage of the book to the winner. Void where prohibited.

Giveaway Details:

1 winner (selected at random by Rafflecopter) receives a paperback copy of The Belle of Belgrave Square, signed and annotated by the author with personal comments, underlining of her favorite lines, and other highlights by Mimi Matthews.

 Giveaway is open from 12:01 am Pacific time 10/03/22 until 11:59pm Pacific time on 10/30/22.

 The winner will be announced on Mimi's blog on 10/31/22.

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Saturday, October 8, 2022

The Holly and the Ivy by Sarah M. Eden, Esther Hatch, Dana LeCheminant, Anneka R. Walker

 


“The Holly and the Ivy” by Sarah M. Eden
As nursemaid to the eight-year-old Duke of Kielder, Robbie will spend her holidays with her young charge as a guest of Lord and Lady Jonquil. While the couple makes the child’s holiday magical, the handsome gardener works his own magic on Nurse Robbie’s heart.

“Hiding Christmas” by Esther Hatch
Celebrating Christmas in Scotland will only invite persecution. But that never stopped Kirstine’s English grandmother. When they are almost caught, Kirstine is forced to beg for the help of the one man she cannot abide.

“A Twist of Christmas” by Dana LeCheminant
A Christmas house party offers two members of the ton an irresistible opportunity: a weekend of anonymity. But their charade comes with unexpected romantic consequences.

“A Season to Love” by Anneka R. Walker
Alice Hunt is searching for a Christmas miracle: a husband of her choosing. With the threat of an arranged marriage looming, she looks to an unlikely matchmaker for help.

 * Goodreads * Amazon * Deseret Book *

Oh the sweetness of this regency novella collection!  Each book was so different but ever so sweet.  Honestly, if you are looking for a feel good Christmas themed read, this should be the one you snuggle in with.  It's a rock star line up of authors and each story is fantastic.  I loved each of them for different reasons.  There will be no calling out a favorite here.

There is the love of family, Christmas traditions, matchmaking, sneaking, faking, bumbling, dancing, and yes, some sweet kissing.  Each story will make you smile and warm your heart.

Oh, and I love the cover.  💚

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Friday, October 7, 2022

Christmas at Valentine Inn by Jennifer Peel

 


With a name like Isabelle Valentine, one would think I was destined to find true love and believe in the ridiculous notion of soul mates. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all about love. I even own an inn with my sister where each room is named after our favorite romantic couples. But soul mates? It seems highly implausible there is that one person, your person, meant only for you. My sister, of course, would tell me I’m dead wrong and that the very inn we own calls to such lovers. So, what if she did find her own unlikely happily ever after here with one of the most famous men alive? That doesn’t mean I’m meant for such a destiny.

But what happens when the implausible happens? When a man I thought I would never see again walks into my inn. The man who twenty years ago administered the kiss of all kisses. The kind of kiss that whispered to my soul and told me things I wasn’t ready to hear. But this time Dr. Patrick Abbott isn’t alone—he comes with two beautiful kids and the memory of his dead wife, who seems to haunt all their lives. So much so, Patrick would just as soon skip Christmas. At least that’s his plan until he finds himself playing hero trying to help me save my sister’s secret Christmas Eve wedding. By hero, I mean pretending it’s our wedding. Yep, you heard that right. Now we find ourselves having to act as if we are the jolliest couple around, making the season bright. But somehow the pretend feels all too real. Perhaps in all the chaos, there is room for my own Christmas dreams to come true. Maybe, just maybe, I was wrong about soul mates? Either way, I’m hanging up more mistletoe. Because hello, the man can kiss.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

It's here, it's here, it's here!  I've been waiting to read this book, desperate to get Izzy's story.  And it was amazing!!  If ever two hearts deserve a second chance at first love, it's Patrick and Izzy's. Family oriented, mature and SEXY. My heart was ALL IN for the magic of these two.  And it was.  Magic.

I loved the backstory that was weaved into the current story so all the pieces came together seamlessly.  It was so satisfying to see Izzy step into a mothering role, reaching out to Patrick's traumatized children with love and patience.  She was such a good balance of fun, emotionally intelligent and sexy.  I loved all her sides.

Patrick.  Once he loosened up, boy was it full steam ahead!  I loved all the swoony moments between him and Izzy.  Yeah, the kissing, but the words too.  It was a more mature love between Izzy and Patrick and I was all in for it.  And don't even get me started on the ending.  Oh my stars.  It was beautiful.  My heart expanded at least ten times normal.  Sigh.  I adore happy, happy, happily ever after endings.  

Fake engagements, second chance at first love, and Christmas magic.  It's the perfect book to pick up right now.  One of my favorite Christmas love stories ever.

The first book, The Valentine Inn, is available on KU if you have that.  You don't HAVE to read it first but you will definitely be happier if you do.

Content:  some innuendo, kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

A Seaside Wonder (Muir Harbor #2) by Melissa Tagg

 


In one evening, Indi's world falls apart. Enter the shy professor her family mistakes for her fiancé...make that ex-fiancé.

Professor Philip West never wanted to return to Maine . . . or his grandfather’s miserable old house. But after his mother’s death, he’s now the guardian of a teenage half sister he barely knows—one who doesn’t want anything to do with him. He longs to help her heal, but he’s exhausted and numb, desperate for relief of his own. Maybe that’s why he’s so easily distracted when he happens upon the little shop with a name on its storefront window that sounds familiar, a hint of a mystery nudging him inside.

More than a decade has passed since Indi Muir made the heartbreaking decision she’s never recovered from—though she’s certainly tried. She has a full life running her shop and creating the artsy pieces that fill its shelves. If she can just stay busy, she’ll keep her hurt and regret at bay. But when her ex-fiancĂ© returns to Muir Harbor, he brings news that shatters her carefully built walls. Things only get worse when lurking danger comes calling at her childhood home.

The one bright spot amid Indi’s turmoil is the shy stranger who wandered into her shop months ago and his moody but lovable sister. As she confronts her past and the mysterious threat facing her family, she’s intent on helping Philip win over his sister. He just might win over Indi, too, if they can overcome old secrets and wounds, outrun rising peril . . . and take a chance on love.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

I've been so eager to return to this family in Muir Harbor, Maine.  The setting is idyllic and I so enjoyed the first story that I couldn't wait to have more.

Indy is in the spotlight for this story.  She's a character that you know has a LOT going on in her mind but she just doesn't let it out.  It's like a pressure cooker in there.  I loved the first meeting for Philip and Indy.  It was humiliating for both them for different reasons but was a bit amusing from a reader's standpoint.  I loved how Philip and Indy's relationship progressed and how steady and kind Philip was for Indy.  He said the sweetest things.  Both characters were easy to invest in emotionally.  I felt connected to their struggles and their successes.  

There is a bit of mystery swirling around that started in the first book (which I highly recommend you read first, but I don't think you HAVE to) and progresses in this book.  It was a good added element that really leveled up the plot.  The ending really left me longing for the next book because man, things are really ramping up.  I loved family, this series and this book!

Content:  possible triggers: adoption, abandonment.  Kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

In the Shadow of a Queen by Heather B. Moore

 


Based on the true story of the free-spirited daughter of Queen Victoria.


Princess Louise’s life is upended after her father’s untimely death. Captive to the queen’s overwhelming mourning, Louise is forbidden to leave her mother’s tight circle of control and is eventually relegated to the position of personal secretary to her mother—the same position each of her sisters held until they were married.

Already an accomplished painter, Louise risks the queen’s wrath by exploring the art of sculpting, an activity viewed as unbefitting a woman. When Louise involves herself in the day’s political matters, including championing the career of a female doctor and communicating with suffragettes, the queen lays down the law to stop her and devotes her full energy to finding an acceptable match for her defiant daughter.

Louise is considered the most beautiful and talented daughter of Queen Victoria, but finding a match for the princess is no easy feat. Protocols are broken, and Louise exerts her own will as she tries to find an open-minded husband who will support her free spirit.

In the Shadow of a Queen is the story of a battle of wills between two women: a daughter determined to forge her own life beyond the shadow of her mother, and a queen resolved to keep the Crown’s reputation unsullied no matter the cost.

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

You know the saying, "timing is everything?"  I feel like that applies to the release of this book.  Here we have a book about the British Royals and the beloved queen of England has just passed away.  Of course this sparks all kinds of curiosity about royals and this book is perfect for royal fans and those just curious about Queen Victoria and her family.

I, myself, have British roots.  My grandparents immigrated from England and they loved their queen.  They followed the British royalty from the US and were devoted to them.  

This story follows Princess Louise from childhood to adulthood.  Her personality really shines through as we get to know her and the whole royal family through her.  This is a long book with a long list of secondary characters.  I was, of course, more emotionally invested in Princess Louise than anyone else.  Actually, she was probably the only one I felt that with.  I enjoyed learning about her and her passions.  Her journey to love and a life outside of the confines of the royal palace was satisfying.  I loved how much she wanted to make a difference in the world and most especially in the world of women.

 Did I mention that this book is long?  It is.  It also moves at a very sedate pace without many big pushes in forward momentum.  The whole world of royals is so different from mine, and therefore, so interesting.  I really enjoyed learning about Princess Louise.

Content:  death, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.