Book Review: Otherwise Engaged by Joanna Barker

Otherwise Engaged
by Joanna Barker
Rating: 4.5/5
Release date: October 12, 2020

After reading the synopsis for this story, I knew I had to read it and I was right. It was perfect for me and I enjoyed every word! I do not remember if I’ve ever read anything by Joanna Barker before but now she is definitely on my radar. Her writing felt so effortless and organic. The characters were so refreshing and relatable that I couldn’t put the book down.

While secretly practicing her bareback riding, Rebecca Rowley hears a scream and when she investigates, she must save a young girl from drowning in the water. Upon meeting the girl’s older brother and guardian, Lieutenant Nicholas Avery, she is immediately intrigued but also weary since she already has a secret fiancé. Antics ensue and this lovely friendship develops between Rebecca and Nicholas especially after she shares with him of her secret beaux and her fears about her father’s past. Can Rebecca discover what’s really in her heart before the Lieutenant finds himself back out at sea?

This story was like a Rom-Com but set in regency times. I do love this time period – obviously, I love Jane Austen. The exhilaration and freedom that Rebecca craves is so relatable. That adrenaline rush is addicting, and I can definitely see how all the rules of society would feel so oppressive to her. I loved Nicholas Avery’s character because as a Navy man, he also had that wanderlust. He encouraged it in Rebecca instead of stifling her spirit. I like to think the Nicholas knew Rebecca before she even knew herself.

Though the genre is Christian, I did not feel that it was trying to preach at all. I would almost not even classify it as Christian. It is clean, wholesome romance. The characters attend church but Rebecca actually doesn’t find it very interesting. The message is somewhat inspirational though and I enjoyed the story.

All in all, I highly recommend this book for fall reading if you enjoy regency romance with lots of humor and a hint of mystery.

My thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

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