An Engagement of Sorts by Alene Wecker

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

About the Book

Title: An Engagement of Sorts
Author: Alene Wecker
Genre: Regency Romance
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: August 9, 2021

Much to her mother’s dismay, spirited Anne Fletcher spent her youth seeking her father’s approval by hunting and riding. More comfortable in breeches than ball gowns, Anne sees the freedoms she once enjoyed slowly taken from her in the name of fashioning her into an eligible young lady. When her parents try to force her into marriage, Anne makes a desperate attempt to salvage her last vestige of independence. If she is to marry, she will do so on her own terms. 

Anne strikes a deal: if she cannot secure a man for herself, she will agree to marry the husband her parents approved. She soon finds herself in the last place she would ever choose—that stifling parade of etiquette, the London Season. Anne’s plan is in motion. Now all she needs is a man willing to masquerade as her fiancé.

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About the Author

Alene Wecker (Author of An Engagement of Sorts)

Debut novelist Alene Wecker stumbled into the profession while trying to entertain herself during a banal bout of bedrest. But the characters in her head wouldn’t leave her alone until she gave them space on the page. She hopes you will be as entertained by her character’s antics as she was.

As a mother, voice teacher, and opera singer, she must have a penchant for fun but poorly-paid professions. She likes to pretend that her experience and master’s degree in vocal performance come in handy as she describes debutantes who, like herself, speak several languages and are frequently forced to display their mediocre skills at the pianoforte.

Alene lives in a century-old, Craftsman-style home in Lehi, Utah, with her husband, six children, and a prankster of a ghost whom she has affectionately named Casper.

Connect with Alene: Newsletter | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub | Youtube


My Review

An Engagement of Sorts
by Alene Wecker
Rating: 4.5/5

I love finding new authors who write beautiful and witty stories about love and its many mishaps. Alene Wecker does it all with hilarious aplomb and I can’t wait to read more from her. I enjoyed the story so much that I purchased the ebook for myself! 😉

As someone who enjoys reading about strong female leads, especially in times where women were regarded as the “weaker sex”, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the main character, Anne Fletcher, was so relatable and passionate and never felt like she fit in the way her mother wanted her to. She preferred to ride and hunt with her father and brother. When Anne is sent to London for her first “season” she must do her best to find a fiancé to prevent herself from marrying her best friend (who she loves as a brother), Will Skinner, the local country vicar. When the flirtatious Mr. Thomas Paling continues to call on her and frustrate her, she must learn to hide her feelings about him. When faced with past trauma, Anne must find a way to rescue her friends from an evil man and Mr. Paling offers to help her. Can she and Mr. Paling work together to obtain the evidence to put an evil man behind bars? Can Anne continue to deny what’s in her heart?

The author weaves a clever and hilarious story about two people who are flashy and passionate and don’t fit the mold that society dictates. I feel like everyone has felt like they didn’t fit the mold at one time in their lives. The characters are so relatable and adorable and I just loved this romantic comedy. Though predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the story and would love to read more. Anne’s vibrant personality was so lively and endearing. I found Mr. Paling to be so endearing and passionate. The way that he believed in Anne was so inspiring and beautiful.

“Do not change who you are because of me. You are a rushing waterfall so loud it deafens all else. Your beauty is in your raw power. Stop trying to tame yourself into a tinkling fountain.”

Highly recommend if you enjoy Jen Turano and Esther Hatch’s writing with feisty heroines and hilarious banter and happenings.

Content: Clean read but some instances of predatory behavior toward women.

My thanks to the author and publisher 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.


Book Trailer


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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Secrets of Stonebridge by Anita Stansfield

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

About the Book

Title: Secrets of Stonebridge
Author: Anita Stansfield
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: July 1, 2021

Since the untimely death of her young husband, Regina Everleigh has been consumed by her grief. After more than a year spent sequestered in her rooms at Stonebridge Manor, the once lively young woman is encouraged to venture into town—her first small step toward healing. But Regina is shaken out of her stupor when she makes a most unexpected discovery: a foundling baby girl. Regina is instantly enthralled with the infant and determines that she will claim the child as her own—a deception that seems, in the moment, to be harmless. But when her husband’s cousin Radcliffe comes back into her life, Regina quickly becomes entangled in a tenuous charade. 

Radcliffe is immediately taken with both the charming baby girl and the woman he believes to be her mother. As Regina and Radcliffe are drawn together, first as friends and then as something much deeper, the future is bright with unspoken promise. But when the truth of the baby’s parentage is revealed, Regina stands to lose all that she has come to cherish.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!


About the Author

Anita Stansfield has been the reigning queen of LDS romantic fiction for more than two decades, although her general market releases have been among her readers favorites. Her work has shattered the stereotypes of romance novels with her trademark ability to combine great storytelling with intense psychological depth as she focuses on the emotional struggles of the human experience. Her novels cover a huge spectrum, from the eighteenth century to the present, from heart warming to heart stopping. Hundreds of thousands of readers agree: Anita Stansfield’s characters and the lives they lead are not easy to forget.

Connect with Anita: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


My Review

Secrets of Stonebridge
by Anita Stansfield
Rating: 4/5

With such an interesting premise, I knew I had to read this book right away. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like this story before. The miscommunication and hidden secrets were not new but the Moses arc was new for a regency story. I have never read anything from the author before and was surprised at how quickly I became invested in Gina’s life and her secrets. For this book, I kept wanting to read Sir Radcliffe’s perspective but the book was only written from Gina’s point of view. I always think the most frustrating part of these stories is when there’s a secret that needs to be revealed but the main character keeps putting it off. The romance between the leads was very sweet and gradual which I liked. The characters were full of their own backstories and baggage which gave them depth and motivation. The story gives me the feeling of Jane Eyre due to some darker themes but it still stands on its own.

PG content.

Highly recommend if you enjoy clean, regency romance with endearing characters and lots of heart.

My thanks to the author and publisher 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.


Read An Excerpt

“Gina knew that some form of a lecture was coming. In most situations, a maid would never speak so comfortably and casually to the person for whom they worked. But Emerald and Ruby had grown up with Gina, and they mutually shared an attitude of responsibility for Gina’s best interests, every bit as much as they worked together to care for her daily needs. Occasionally they both shared tea or a meal with her since she’d not eaten any meals outside her rooms for months now. But she couldn’t recall both being in her room together at this time of day. She sensed some kind of conspiracy and discreetly slithered deeper beneath the covers until they flew abruptly from over her face and she found herself looking up at Emerald, with the much shorter Ruby at her side. Both were scowling with determination, and Gina wished she could feign ignorance regarding what this might be about, but she knew exactly why they might feel the need to unite in confronting her. Nevertheless, that didn’t mean she wanted to discuss the matter—even with these women she trusted completely. She only wanted to continue on as she had been doing since Dwight’s passing. Life beyond her bedroom, sitting room, and personal parlor held no interest for her whatsoever. She had devoted herself to Dwight in every way, perhaps believing that her efforts could eventually create positive changes between them; but now she would never know. She’d worked hard to convince herself that there was a happy and hopeful future with him. And then he’d abandoned her. Of course, she knew he’d not intentionally met with a riding accident that rainy spring morning, but he had gone out riding when she had requested that he stay in due to the weather being so dreadful. He’d promised he wouldn’t be gone long, insisting that he only felt the need for a brief jaunt to get some fresh air. But the drizzle had turned to a downpour, and the meadows and woods through which he frequently rode had become muddy—or at least that’s what she’d been told by those who had found his body. When he’d not returned after many hours, his cousin and some of the servants had gone searching for him. It had been the unanimous opinion of all who had seen the location of the accident that the horse had apparently lost its footing on a muddy incline and Dwight had fallen from the saddle. The horse had loyally remained with its owner of many years, unharmed but very dirty. Apparently, Dwight had died instantly, according to what the local doctor had said about the way he had hit the ground. Gina found some comfort in knowing he hadn’t suffered, but in the depths of her grieving she had never been able to shake the feeling that he’d abandoned her, even if he’d never meant to do so. And with his death, all hope of creating a better marriage—and becoming a mother—had shattered into far too many pieces to ever be mended.”


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Giveaway

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Book Review: Come Back to Me by Jody Hedlund

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

About the Book

Title: Come Back to Me
Series: Waters of Time #1
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Time Crossing Romance
Publisher: Revell Books
Release Date: June 1, 2021

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to? 

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

No 15

Jody Hedlund is the author of over thirty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

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My Review

Come Back to Me
by Jody Hedlund
Book 1 in the Waters of Time series
Genre: Christian Romance, Science Fiction
Rating: 5/5

“She’d never expected to fall in love with the man of her dreams in 1381.”

Wow. Just wow. This book completely took me by surprise and I was up till 4am desperate to know what happened next. It is full of passion and romance with action and adventure plus time-travel. I definitely understand the comparison to Outlander but there’s something so endearing about the swoon-worthy Sir William Durham and his devotion to Marian. With hints of Outlander and Somewhere in Time, the author weaves an exciting and super romantic story about a woman trying to save her sister and her father.

Research scientist, Marian Creighton, is determined to find a cure for her sister. Working for Mercer Pharmaceuticals puts her in a great position, but she knows her sister is running out of time. When her father calls her with cryptic instructions, she doesn’t really put much weight into it because of his crazy theories and obsession with find the cure of all cures. When tragedy forces her to travel to Canterbury, she is determined to discover what happened to him and why someone seems to be after his research. As she follows the clues her father left her, she opens up a whole new world of time travel and decides to risk it all to save her sister and hopefully, her father.

What she experiences and finds in 1381 is not what she was expecting. When Sir William Durham comes to her rescue, she is grateful until she is forced into a marriage with him for her protection. The attraction between the two of them is immediate, but Marian must guard her heart and focus on her task to find the vials of holy water from the Tree of Life that will heal her sister. As she gets to know William, she finds that he may be feared as a knight but on the inside, he is a kind but tortured gentleman. He has his own demons to fight, but he realizes that there’s something about Marian that calms him and gives him peace. What will William do to protect the woman he loves? What will Marian sacrifice for love?

“Each moment with him had been more real than if she’d been living in the present. Every sound of his breath, every touch, every beat of his pulse—everything about him was more vibrant than anything she’d known before.”

The romance is strong with this one. My romantic heart could not take it. LOL. Obviously, in the beginning, all the attraction is mostly lust but as they talk and get to know each other, they fall in love. William marvels at how deeply he could fall in love with someone after his experience with his first marriage.

“He may be stubborn, milady. But he will love you to his dying breath.”

As for the science fiction and time traveling part, the theories about the Tree of Life are interesting and definitely come from history and the search for the “Fountain of Youth” and the author does a decent job of trying to explain the science and background. It’s still not crystal clear the way it all works but I hope to gain more understanding when I continue reading this series (because I will definitely be reading the next books). I was definitely impressed with the author’s world-building and cannot wait to read more.

Though I’ve said there’s lot of romance and passion, this book is still a CLEAN and CHRISTIAN romance novel with aspects of science fiction and time travel in it. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy Christian romance with lots of action and time-travel theories.

My thanks to the author and publisher 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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Book Review: Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason

Collateral Damage
by Lynette Eason
Book 1 in Danger Never Sleeps series
Release date: January 7, 2020
Rating: 4.5/5

Wow. That was so good. Lynette Eason always has thrilling stories but this one was extra special. Action, mystery, romance and medicine – what else could a girl need? (I’m not biased as a medical student at all lol.)

Having almost finished serving her time in the military as a psychiatrist, Captain Brooke Adams is injured overseas and sent home. She loves her job being able to help people but has never felt that she really helped any of the service men and women she saw in Afghanistan. She is determined to try to forget what happened and move on by not seeing any veterans in her new practice. That all changes when retiree Sergeant First Class Asher James walks back into her life just as bullets are flying. Unsure of why she’s being pursued, she and Asher must figure out what the bad guys are after and how to keep each other safe along the way. Will the sparks flying between these two souls help them deal with their PTSD and bring them closer together?

The military details are very authentic sounding and well explained for a non-military person like myself. It was a bit confusing in the first chapter with all the military lingo, but after re-reading it a second time, it made more sense. I guess I needed a warmup. 😉

I also love the way that Eason incorporates her faith into these stories. She has a way of weaving it all into the story without any cringe.

Her characters are flawed and need time to grow and develop. Mental health is such a huge topic in this day and age, especially with veterans. The story could be taken from the headlines – I love that she writes about what’s current and relevant for today.

Highly recommend to anyone who loves Christian military action, romance, mystery, and suspense.

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