Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Bridgerton: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Bridgerton fever has hit America.  I am a lover of Regency romance, but I somehow missed this series when it was first published.  I watched the new Netflix series and I loved it.  I was excited to be able to read and review the first book in the Bridgerton series, The Duke and I.  The first season of the new show is based on this book.

 Daphne Bridgerton is the fourth of eight children and has been unable to find a husband after nearly two seasons in London. Everyone considers her their friend rather than wife material.  After a run in with Simon Basset the Duke of Hastings, her eldest brother’s friend, the two decide to feign a relationship in order to gain suitors for Daphne and fend off ambitious mothers from Simon.  Will the two fall in love?  Why does Simon never want to marry and have children?

 I love the fake relationship turned real trope.  Quinn’s writing made this a fun escapism novel to read.  I loved the banter between Daphne and Simon. I really enjoyed Lady Whistledown’s statements at the start of each chapter.  She is my favorite and I enjoy the mystery of who she is.    

 Comparing the novel to the show, I thought the show did an excellent job bringing the story to screen. There were some slight differences with the book, particularly towards the end of the novel.  The series really developed many of the secondary characters that we don’t get to see to much of in the novel.  I look forward to both watching season 2 and reading more of this series.

 I also enjoyed the second epilogue in the book which is set twenty years in the future.  It may be spoiled future books for me, but I really enjoyed seeing how things were going down the road for our main characters.

 SPOILER ALERT:  I’ve read a lot of outrage over a particular scene in the novel.  I think it’s interesting that the outrage has focused on consent for Simon but leaves out of the conversation that Simon has been pulling the wool over Daphne’s eyes during their entire marriage as well.  They are both in the wrong and I thought that was part of what the story was about.  I thought it sparks a good conversation on consent. SPOILER END.

 Overall, Bridgerton:  The Duke and I is a fun escapism regency romance.

 Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow. Thank-you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson

 I kept seeing The Kindest Lie on Instagram and saw that it was about an African American female engineer.  Readers of this blog know that I am always looking for books about engineers.  It’s hard enough to find engineers as the protagonist, let alone a female African American engineer!

 Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down.  The story was very engaging.  Ruth Tuttle is at a high in life.  She has graduated from Yale and is a successful chemical engineer working in downtown Chicago.  She has married Xavier, a man that she loves and who is successful in his own right.  It is 2008 and Barack Obama has just won the presidency.  It seems that anything is possible for them.  Xavier wants to start a family, but all Ruth can think about is the secret she has been keeping from him.  She had a baby when she was 17 and gave it up for adoption.  She decides now is the time to finally return to the Indiana industrial town, Ganton, to confront her past.  What happened to the baby she gave up for adoption?  What will happen to Ruth and Xavier’s relationship?

 The story is told is alternating chapters.  The other main point of view is an eleven-year-old boy nick named “Midnight.”  Midnight is an eleven-year-old boy that is growing up in Ganton.  His mother died giving birth to his sister and his father is struggling after the main factory that employed most of the town has closed down.  Midnight is shuffled between his grandma and father and feels wanted nowhere.  He hangs out with kids of color and gets his nickname from those saying he wants to be black – and because he is pasty white.  Will Midnight be sent away by his Grandma?  Will he find his place in the world?

 This story was riveting.  I really liked how both Ruth and Midnight were searching for their own identities and their place in the world.  I enjoyed that Ruth was a professional woman engineer and the exploration of the pitfalls that come with it.  Ruth’s voyage and her struggle to make it out of Ganton and to a professional career were heart rending.  The setting, a midwestern town struggling with unemployment and racial identity was both familiar and intriguing.  I grew up in a small Michigan town that also struggled with unemployment but was more rather a whitewashed town. I know what’s it’s like to struggle and be the first person in your family to go to college.  I don’t know what it’s like to be an African American in America trying to make that same struggle.  There are many more hurdles in the way.    This novel was thought provoking and covered so many hard topics such as race, poverty and social class, losing your sense of self when you lose your job, motherhood, being a woman in a male dominated field, grandparents raising grandchildren, etc.  I greatly enjoyed it.

 Favorite Quotes:

“No one talked about what happened in the summer of 1997 in the house where Ruth Tuttle had grown up.”  - What a great first line!

 “If the titles of doctor and lawyer had signaled success back in the day, then engineer had to be the 2.0 symbol that you made it.”  - I might be biased as an engineer, but I like this.

 “Still, all that old school planning had served Ruth well in chemical engineering, where being a woman was almost as much an anomaly as her Blackness.”

 “No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t forgive her.  To him death was just another way people broke their promises.  A way for them to leave and have the last word.”

 “One thing I learned a long time ago is that you can’t live your life looking back.”

 “There was no fairness scale that could right the wrongs from childhood.”

 “Sometimes leaving is the best way.  The only way.”

 Overall, The Kindest Lie is one of the best books I’ve read for a while.  I look forward to continuing to read new works from debut author Nancy Johnson.  Johnson has the gift to put together a riveting story with real characters that cover a lot of truths of life.

 Book Source:  Borrowed from the Kewaunee Public Library. Thank-you!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage by Nancy Ohlin (Rebel Girls)

 Penelope and I have been enjoying the Rebel Girls series of chapter books about strong women who made a difference in the world.

 I had never heard of Alicia Alonso before reading this book and I enjoyed learning her story.  Alonso was a famous ballerina originally from Cuba.  As an adult she lost her sight, but she kept working towards her dream and became a world-famous ballerina.  Her story was very inspiring.  Penelope and I liked the illustrations and how the story started with Alicia as a child and followed her through adulthood.  We even found movies of her on YouTube to watch her dance.  We loved that she also taught others how to dance and kept on dancing into her old age at a professional level.

 Overall, Alicia Alonso Takes the Stage is a motivational story of a sight impaired woman who followed her dreams to become a famous ballerina.

 Book Source:  Purchased from

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Ida B. the Queen by Michelle Duster

 Title:  Ida B. the Queen:  The Extraordinary Life and Legacy of Ida B. Wells

Author: Michelle Duster

Read by:  Michelle Duster 

Publisher: Simon & Shuster Audio

Length: Approximately 3 hours and 43 minutes 

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Shuster Audio.  Thank-you!  

Do you have an icon in history that you admire?

I somehow had not heard of Ida B. Wells growing up, or if she was mentioned in history books, it was a fleeting reference.  I didn’t learn about her as an adult until I listened to a History Chicks podcast about her last year after she was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. I was amazed by her life story and was confused on why I didn’t know more about this amazing woman.  When I had the opportunity to review this audiobook about Ida B. Wells that was written by her great granddaughter, Michelle Duster, I snapped at the chance.

Ida B. the Queen is not a standard biography or memoir.  Michelle Duster tells snippets of Ida’s life and how it impacted her as well as how Ida’s story fits in with contemporary news and black history overall.

Halfway through the book Duster gives a great timeline of Ida’s life and Civil Rights.  It was wonderful to see how it fit together.  She also gave Ida’s early history in this section.  At age 16, Ida’s parents lost her parents to yellow fever and she was in charge of taking care of her siblings.  She took a teaching job mile outside of town to earn money to keep her family together.  What an amazing sister.  

Throughout her life, when Ida B. Wells saw an injustice, she said and did something about it.  Two moments that really struck me from the book was when Ida B. Wells saw that a family friend and successful store owner was unfairly lynched in Memphis, she was rightly outraged.  She made it her mission to research lynching in America and to write about it.  She gave talks around the world about it.  She didn’t sugar coat it.  Lynching was used as a tool to ensure that African Americans didn’t succeed and were kept “in their place.”  Ida was also kicked out of the first class car of a train and she sued the railroad to try to gain equality.

Ida B. Wells was a suffragette but found that the movement was distancing itself from women of color.  Instead of being pushed to the back of the parade, she inserted herself in her states group right up front where she belonged as a major member of the group.

One quote in the book really struck me - history is never far away.  Even though Ida B. Wells was doing her work a century ago, sadly many of the things she was working for continue to happen today.  Her quotes about the East St. Louis riots are just are relevant today.  Sadly, lynching is still not outlawed on the federal level.  This book gave me a lot to think about.

I loved that Ida B. Wells great granddaughter, Michelle Duster, not only wrote this book, but she was the narrator.  It gave it a personal touch.

Overall, Ida B. the Queen is a great introduction into the life of Ida B. Wells and how it fits into black history and contemporary times.  

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson


Title:  The Yellow Wife

Author: Sadeqa Johnson

Read by:  Robin Miles

Publisher: Simon & Shuster Audio

Length: Approximately 9 hours and 31 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Shuster Audio.  Thank-you! 

The Yellow Wife is a historical fiction novel that swept me away into the story.  The main character, Pheby Delores Brown is an admirable strong woman fictional heroine.

Pheby has grown up relatively sheltered on a plantation. Born in 1832 to a mulatto mother and the planation owner, she was taught to read and play the piano by Miss Sally, her father’s sister.  After his marriage and Miss Sally’s death, things take a turn for the worse for Pheby and her mother.  Her mistress hates her and tries to make her life difficult.  Things come to a head when her mistress sells her after her father is involved in a carriage accident.

Pheby finds herself at the notorious Devil’s Half Acre, a jail for African American slaves in Richmond, Virginia.  Slaves are brought to this jail to be punished and to be sold.  It’s an area of great suffering.  Pheby is selected by the cruel owner of the jail to become his “yellow wife.”  How will Pheby survive?

Pheby’s story was engrossing and terrifying.  I have been reading a lot of World War II fiction the last few years and her story reminded me of concentration camp survivors.  Terrible choices had to be made to survive.  People were treated as they never should be treated.  The immorality and cruelty of slavery was on full display in this novel.  I can’t imagine a world where a man lives with his wife but sleeps with his slaves and has children with them as well.  This man owns his own children.  A man that owns his “yellow wife” and loves her but can treat her with great cruelty.  It was a strange world that still has consequences today.

The story is told from Pheby’s point of view and she is a great character. I loved Pheby’s love for her children.  I loved that she was survivor and trying to figure out how to not only make it herself, but for her children to have the best life possible.

Pheby also had a tragic romance story.  She grew up with and loved Essex Henry.  She became pregnant with his child right before she was sold.  He had to run north for his own horrific reasons.  They are reunited in the future, and Pheby has to make a hard choice that is the best for all she holds dear.  It makes me sad just thinking about it and all of the people who were unable to stay together with their loved ones.

Sadeqa Johnson had a great note at the end which gave the details of the real history of the Devil’s Half Acre and of the real woman who Pheby is based upon.  It was riveting history that I had never heard about.

Robin Miles was a great narrator of this audiobook and was Pheby Delores Brown to me.

Overall, The Yellow Wife is an engrossing historical fiction novel that shows the hard choices that were made to survive the world of slavery.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Surrender by Brenda Joyce


Do you ever participate in a white elephant gift exchange? Our book club does a white elephant exchange of books at Christmas.  This year with not meeting in person, my friend Wendy sent us all a romance she had picked up in a garage sale.  Each of us is reading our romance novel for the February book club pick and are going to give a summary.  We also have to read the most outrageous quote or love scene.

 I know I was supposed to be laughing at my book . . . but I found that I was enthralled with mine and loved the plot.  Evelyn D’Orsay is a young widow.  Her much older husband, herself, and daughter had to flee France during the French Revolution.  They were helped by Jack Greystone, a notorious smugger.  Evelyn and her family settle in Cornwall.  Four years later, her husband has passed, and she discovers their finances are in awry.  Right before his death, he told Evelyn of gold he had buried on their estate that could set Evelyn and their daughter Aimee up for the rest of their lives.  Evelyn is not sure how to retrieve the gold in war torn France.  She remembers the smuggler who helped her to escape France in the first place and she sets out to find him.  Will Evelyn find Jack and the treasure?

 Surrender is another case of don’t judge the book by the cover.  The cover makes you believe that you are going to read a very steamy romance.  The book actually is much more of a clean romance.  The hero and heroine did have sex, but it is behind closed doors and not described in the book.  To be honest, that is the type of romance that I prefer.  My only problem is that I now don’t have any outrageous quotes or love scenes to share with my book club!

 I enjoy historical romances and I in particular love this time period (1790’s) during the French Revolution.  The book was also mostly set in Cornwall and also included a great deal of smuggling.  I love the books Poldark by Winston Graham and Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier which also cover this topic. This book was in the same vein.  Evelyn is a strong heroine and Jack is a dashing hero.  They are both beautiful people and described as such, but also are smart and caring.  They have great chemistry.  The novel had a great plot that really engaged me.  I liked the intrigue with spies between France and England. 

I learned this is the third book in The Spymaster’s Men series.  I read this as a stand alone and it was good. I didn’t feel like I was missing any pieces.

 My only negative on this novel is that I thought the ending was rushed.

 Overall, Surrender is an engaging historical romance with a great plot. 

 Book Source:  Gift from a White Elephant Exchange



Saturday, February 13, 2021

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Title:  A Promised Land

Author: Barack Obama

Read by:  Barack Obama

Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio

Length: Approximately 29 hours and 10 minutes

Source: Overdrive through the Kewaunee Public Library.  Also, a hard cover copy of the book from my Mom for Christmas.  Thank-you! 

 I have loved reading biographies about First Ladies and Presidents since I was a kid.  Even better are being able to read autobiographies from the First Ladies and Presidents themselves.  I have found the autobiographies vary in quality, but A Promised Land was a top-notch presidential autobiography.  Barack Obama is a great writer and while this book had a lot of facts, he made it very interesting and personal.

 It was fascinating to listen to Obama’s perspective on modern history that I lived through. His presidency started during the worst financial crisis the nation had faced since the Great Depression.  It was interesting to learn how he entered the presidency and learned what was going on and how he worked to turn things around.  I liked to ponder what I was doing at the time and how it impacted my work.  I am an engineer and was working on “shovel ready” projects that received funding from the federal government.  It was interesting to find out how the process worked from the top down for this funding.  I’m in the environmental field and loved his discussion on the environment and especially the Deep-Water Horizon incident. The most thought-provoking section in this book was his description of the mission to take down Osama Bin Laden.  The book ended at this time period.  I’m looking forward to reading his next book about his second term in office.

 I was also intrigued that Obama discussed frankly how he couldn’t live up to the idea of himself.  People had very high expectations for him and thought that all racism would be solved with him in office.  After a couple of years in office, the shine was off, and people were not as enthused about him as they used to be.  This makes it difficult as he starts his reelection campaign.

 I also enjoyed that Obama included personal information.  He was very relatable.  I loved the moments of humor in the book as well as the other moments where he questions whether his work is getting in the way of spending time with his family.  I have had those moments myself. I loved his love for Michelle and their girls.  I also loved his love for his Grandma Toot and talk about how his Grandma and Mother inspired him in what he set out to do in life. 

 I both listened to the audiobook version of A Promised Land and followed along in my hard back copy of the book.  I loved that Barack Obama read A Promised Land himself on audio.  I found his voice to be very soothing and enjoyed listening to it.  I love the pictures that are included in the hardcover copy of the book.

 Favorite Quotes:

“Enthusiasm makes up for a host of deficiencies.”

 “There are people in the world who think only about themselves. They don’t care what happens to other people so long as they get what they want. They put other people down to make themselves feel important. “Then there are people who do the opposite, who are able to imagine how others must feel, and make sure that they don’t do things that hurt people. “So,” she said, looking me squarely in the eye. “Which kind of person do you want to be?”

 “But you don’t choose the time. The time chooses you. Either you seize what may turn out to be the only chance you have, or you decide you’re willing to live with the knowledge that the chance has passed you by.”

Overall, A Promised Land was a fascinating personal look into the presidency of Barack Obama.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Death Stalks Door County by Patricia Skalka

Death Stalks Door County was the February pick for the Page Turner’s Book Club at the Kewaunee Public Library.  We had our meeting today at lunch to discuss this book.  We live in Kewaunee County, which is the county south of Door County Wisconsin, where this book takes place.  This is the first book in a series of mysteries featuring detective Dave Cubiak.

Dave Cubiak’s life has fallen apart.  After the death of his wife and daughter, he needs change and a new direction.  He takes a job as an assistant director at Peninsula State Park in Door County.  After a series of murders takes place, Dave is racing against time to find the murderer.  Who has murdered six seemingly random people in and around Peninsula State Park and why?

 I enjoyed reading about the places I’m familiar with in this story.  Cubiak himself was not a very likeable character, but after a while, he started to thaw, and I started to enjoy reading about him more.  I was engaged with the story and wanted to know who the murderer was, but I found the plot to be rather convoluted and unrealistic.  There were a lot of characters in this novel and most were not well developed.  I also was annoyed as the implication in this novel is that you need to have some big city experience to really know what’s going on.  The local sheriff is bumbling and has to be saved by Dave Cubiak the former Chicago detective. The local coroner goes out of his way to make sure Cubiak knows he once lived in the big city but came back to Door County.   Living in an area where we do get a lot of tourists from the big city, I know this is how some people from the city feel, that we are all bumbling hicks, but it was annoying to have that bias so prominent in the book.  Also having grown up in Michigan, the fact that author tries to say Wisconsin is a mitten shape at the start of the book bothered me.  It’s not!

 Favorite Quotes:

“Dutch showed me pictures of them as kids.  Two beautiful little girls on an old tire swing.  Then to end up like that.  How sad the underpinnings of people’s lives.”

 “Cubiak was beginning to realize that beneath the peninsula’s picturesque veneer, streams of animosity rippled fast and deep.”

 Overall, Death Stalks Door County had an interesting setting, but the story fell flat with too many one-dimensional characters and a convoluted plot.

 Book Source:  The Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Dork Diaries 14: Tales from a Not So Best Friend Forever by Rachel Renee Russell


Title: Dork Diaries 14: Tales from a Not So Best Friend Forever

Author: Rachel Renee Russell

Read by:  Jenni Barber

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Length: Approximately 3 hours and 53 minutes

Source: Review Copy from Simon & Schuster.  Thank-you!

 My ten-year-old daughter Penelope is a fan of the Dork Diaries series.  We enjoy reading the novels and listening to the audiobooks together.  We need to catch up with the books in the middle of this series!

 Dork Diaries 14:  Tales from a Not So Best Friend Forever finds our heroine Nikki and her friends spending the summer as the opening act for the world famous Bad Boyz boy band.  Things look perfect for Nikki and her friends until her enemy Mackenzie manipulates her way into an intern position working with social media for the tour.  Even worse, Mackenzie is her roommate and keeps trying to blackmail Nikki to get herself on stage.  Will Nikki survive the summer, and get to know the Bad Boyz?

 Jenni Barber was a great narrator and really seemed to inhabit Nikki’s character.  Penelope was very engaged in the plot and especially thought the quizzes that were sprinkled throughout the book on “which bad boy is for you” were funny.  I remember liking those types of quizzes as a kid.  We both were very amused by the humor in the book.  Penelope especially loved the Bad Boyz and Nikki’s interactions with them.

 Overall, Dork Diaries 14 was a funny audiobook and kept me and my ten-year old daughter entertained on our car trips.  It prompted fun discussions.  Penelope really wants this to become a Netflix series!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

News of the World by Paulette Giles

Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd undertakes a 400-mile journey to deliver Johanna, a child kidnapped by Kiowa raiders, back to her relatives near San Antonio.  Reconstruction Texas is a dangerous place after the Civil War.  Settlers are constantly at war with the Kiowa and Comanche as they take over the native territory.  Settlers are also at war with themselves over politics.  Captain Kidd must take Johanna through this dangerous territory on an epic journey.  Johanna only speaks the Kiowa language and does not understand why she has been separated from her Kiowa family.  Captain Kidd must build a relationship with her and help her to learn English.  He also must earn money along the way.  He lost his printing press and money with Confederate bonds at the end of the war and now earns his living reading the newspapers from the East to audiences in each town that he stops by.  He doesn’t read local news as it can become too heated.  Will Captain Kidd and Johanna make it safely back to San Antonio?

 It took me a bit to get into this book with the almost stream of consciousness narrative and lack of punctuation.  Once I got into the story, I couldn’t put it down.  Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is a wonderful character, a compassionate honorable man with an interesting history of his own.  I felt for Johanna as well and loved her progression as a character.  Contrasting Captain Kidd and Johanna with the world that they inhabited made me very nervous for the both of them.  This book ended perfectly.  It was a great story.

 Have you watched the movie yet?  I’m still waiting to watch it.  I would like to buy it rather than rent it.  We did just watch the Searchers with John Wayne this past weekend.  It is a beautiful movie but has a lot of troubling racism in it.  It did make me wonder though about children that were kidnapped by Native American tribes and what happened to them overall.  Would they be accepted and be able to adapt back to their old lives?  How would they be treated?  The note at the end of News of the World makes me believe it was not a happy ever after for them.  It also made me wonder about the reverse scenario, Native American children that were taken from their families and assimilated into pioneer culture.  How did they fair in the long run?

 I had read Simon the Fiddler last spring and I was happy to see him and Doris as minor characters in this novel.  It even concluded with what would happen with them in the future.  It was like getting to visit with old friends again.

 Favorite Quotes:

“This was how the Captain knew that the things of the imagination were often as real as those you laid your hand upon.”

 “If people had true knowledge of the world perhaps, they would not take up arms and so perhaps he could be an aggregator of information from distant places and then the world would be a more peaceful place.”

 “Men had lost the ability to discuss any political event in Texas in a reasonable manner.  There is no debate, only force.”

 “Some people were born unsupplied with a human conscience and those people needed killing.”

 Overall, News of the World is an excellent novel.  I highly recommend it.  I loved the characters and the story.  I loved the story of an honorable man in a not so honorable world.

 Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow. Thank-you!

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks (Blog Tour)

Join the virtual blog tour of GEORGANA’S SECRET (Proper Romance Regency), Arlem Hawks’ highly acclaimed debut historical romance novel January 11 – February 14, 2021. Over forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard a Royal Naval ship. 

Today I finished a journey on the high seas during the Napoleonic Wars.  There was love, mutiny, and battles with the French.  I greatly enjoyed it.

 Georgana Woodall is the daughter of a navy captain. While her father is away at sea, her and her mother suffer abuse from her grandmother.  After her mother’s death, Captain Woodall discovers the abuse and takes Georgana away with him on his ship.  The rules state that no women are allowed onboard, so he has Georgana disguise herself as a cabin boy named George.  George has a rough time on the ship and is constantly bullied by the other boys.  Lieutenant Dominic Peyton is new to the ship and doesn’t like seeing George bullied.  He teaches him to stand up for himself.  Georgana realizes that she likes spending time with Lt. Peyton, but he doesn’t know her as her true self.  How will this secret be resolved especially when the ship finds itself embroiled in turmoil?

 I greatly enjoyed this novel.  I loved that it was a Regency Romance, but with a unique spin compared to other Regency Romance novels I have read.  I love that it was set on a ship and involved high sea adventures.  My family has been watching and enjoying Horatio Hornblower during COVID and this novel greatly reminded me of Horatio Hornblower.  I sometimes get annoyed at the girl in the disguise story in books as it sometimes seems strange that they were in love the entire time.  This story worked out perfectly in this case with their growing love making sense within the storyline.  I enjoyed the intrigue with what was going on in the ship over the journey to Antigua.  I would love to read more of this story, or another Regency story set on the high sea.

 This story was a clean read and I enjoyed that.  I also like how overall Georgana learned how to stand up for herself and to make sure that her life would be what she wanted it to be.  It was an inspirational story.

 Overall, Georgana’s Secret was a beautifully written story with great adventure, intrigue, and romance.  I highly recommend it!

 Book Source:  Review Copy from Shadow Mountain for being a part of the Book Tour. Thank-you!


Title: Georgana's Secret (Proper Romance Regency)

Author: Arlem Hawks

Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction

Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (January 12, 2021)

Length: (320) pages

Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1629727929

eBook ASIN: B08Q5MW1SG

Audiobook ASIN: B08RLRZ65Q 

Tour Dates: January 11 – February 14, 2021


A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.

As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, "George."

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty's Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain's cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the "boy" under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy's secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.

Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic's compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.


"Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton's charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances."— Publishers Weekly

“This tale felt sweepingly cinematic at times and was both action-packed and heart-wrenching with an immersive narrative.”— Katie Jackson,

Arlem Hawks wove a magnificent tale of adventure and deception and delivered a happy ever after that was as unconventional as the rest of the story. With so many stories of romance out there, it is refreshing when one comes along that is very different than the stories that I am used to. A little adventure always livens things up fabulously.”— Emily Flynn, Reading with Emily

"Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love."— Booklist, starred review


Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn't writing, Arlem is baking her characters' favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.





Jan 11          My Jane Austen Book Club                           Excerpt

Jan 11          Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog             Review

Jan 12          Wishful Endings                                            Review

Jan 12          Lu Reviews Books                                         Review

Jan 13          Lady with a Quill                                           Review

Jan 13          Timeless Novels                                            Review

Jan 14          Reading is My Superpower                            Review

Jan 14          The Bibliophile Files                                      Review

Jan 15          Randi Loves 2 Read                                      Review

Jan 16          The Christian Fiction Girl                               Excerpt

Jan 17          Nurse Bookie                                                 Review

Jan 18          The Silver Petticoat Review                           Review

Jan 18          Heidi Reads                                                   Review

Jan 19          Bookfoolery                                                   Review

Jan 20          Captivated Reading                                       Review

Jan 21          Greenish Bookshelf                                       Review

Jan 21          Bookworm Lisa                                             Review

Jan 22          Among the Reads                                         Review

Jan 23          Gwedalyn's Books                                         Review

Jan 24          My Bookish Bliss                                          Review

Jan 25          Wishful Endings                                            Excerpt

Jan 25          Christian Chick's Thoughts                           Review

Jan 26          Relz Reviewz                                                 Review

Jan 27          The Lit Bitch                                                  Review

Jan 28          Reading with Emily                                       Review

Jan 29          Books, Teacups & Reviews                           Review

Jan 30          A Darn Good Read                                         Review

Jan 31          From Pemberley to Milton                             Spotlight

Jan 31          Impressions in Ink                                         Review

Feb 01          Austenesque Reviews                                   Review

Feb 02          Laura's Reviews                                            Review

Feb 03          Literary Time Out                                          Review

Feb 04          Chicks, Rogues & Scandals                          Excerpt

Feb 05          The Bluestocking                                         Review

Feb 05          Library of Clean Reads                                  Review

Feb 06          The Caffeinated Bibliophile                           Spotlight

Feb 07          So Little Time…                                             Spotlight

Feb 08          The Readathon                                              Review

Feb 09          The Book Diva Reads                                    Excerpt

Feb 09          Books and Socks Rock                                 Review

Feb 10          Our Book Confessions                                  Review

Feb 10          Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen      Spotlight

Feb 11          Rosanne E. Lortz                                           Review

Feb 11          Jorie Loves a Story                                       Review

Feb 12          Fire & Ice                                                       Excerpt

Feb 13          Cup of Tea with that Book, Please                Review

Feb 14          Book Confessions of an Ex-ballerina            Review