Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Blog Swap with Joy from Edgy Inspirational Romance

I'm over at Joy's Edgy Inspirational Romance blog today with a review of Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer while Joy is here with a review of Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and Mark Bertrand. Enjoy and I'll look for you at Joy's blog. :-)

Rylee Monroe walks dogs in the ritziest area of Charleston, South Carolina. She leads a solitary life which revolves around the animals she cares for and her senile grandmother in a nursing home.

Newspaper reporter Logan Woods is writing a book about local criminals that could make his career. When his investigation of the Robin Hood Burglaries in prominent Charleston estates leads him to Rylee Monroe, he finds he just may be barking up the wrong statue.

Beguiled is a romantic suspense that kept me flipping the pages right up to the very end. This collaboration between Gist and Mark Bertrand (her former crit partner) was a nice change of pace from her historical romances. It didn’t have the same edgy inspirational quality as her other stories, but it was a quick and enjoyable read which guarantees Gist will remain on my list of favorite authors.

About Joy:

I am a wife, a mother, a Jesus lover.  I have three rambunctious boys under the age of ten, and an awesome husband who entertains them when I need to hole myself up in a room and write. 

Check out Joy's Fab blog here: http://www.edgyinspirationalromance.com/

Monday, May 30, 2011

Giveaway and Author Interview: Wyoming Weddings

Welcome to Writing for Christ Susan Page Davis, it is great to have you here! Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know?
I was born on Memorial Day (back when it always used to be on May 30).
What surprised you the most about being a published author?
Editors wanted to change things in my books. Who would have thought it?
Do you have a favorite genre to read/write?
I love suspense and historical, so historical suspense is my favorite.
When you aren’t writing or interacting with fans, what do you enjoy doing?
Of course I love to read, but I also enjoy travel, genealogy, logic puzzles, and embroidery.

Do you have a nugget of writing advice that has completely changed how you view writing?

Find out what publishers really want, then give that to them.

What do you enjoy most about being a published author?

Meeting other people who love writing and books as much as I do.
What do you like readers to take away from your books?
A few hours of engaging reading and a reminder that God is in control.
Places for readers to learn more about you?
Thank you for being with us today!
About Wyoming Weddings
Three modern Wyoming women face mountains on the road to love. In Hearts on the Road, by Diana Brandmeyer, truck driving Randi finds romance at a pit stop just when her heart calls her home. In Trail to Justice, by Susan Page Davis, Ruby rides into romance, and exposes a criminal’s lair. And in Vickie McDonough’s A Wagonful of Trouble, Bethany welcomes romance to her family’s guest ranch just when she may have to close down.
            My book in this collection is Trail To Justice, which features one of my favorite sports, endurance riding. Ruby Dale enters the 100-mile horse race and looks forward to competing with local veterinarian Chuck Sullivan. The defending champion takes a shine to the pair and encourages Ruby and Chuck to join him in a push for the top three slots. When tragedy strikes, the three face some hard choices—and make a dangerous discovery.

Readers, here is your chance to enter to win Susan's latest collection!

Please leave an email adddress! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on June 10th.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cold Call Friday with Karen Witemeyer!

Karen Witemeyer’s “Cold Call” Interview
Welcome Karen, to your “Cold Call” interview!!  For those of you who don’t know what the “Cold Call” feature is, at the beginning of the month I have a poll, the winning author YOU then get to interview!! Karen Witemeyer won this month’s vote and I am thrilled to present her here with YOUR questions. Without any further ado, heeeerrrre’s Karen!

First off, we are all dying to know what awesome book you are working on next for all us diehard fans.
I'm currently working on my fourth historical romance for Bethany House. The working title is Short-Straw Bride. Four brothers draw straws to see who will marry the heroine in this twist on a marriage of convenience story. All Travis Archer has ever cared about is his brothers and his land. But when a good deed goes awry, he’s stuck with a bride who endangers both.
One fun tidbit about the brothers in this story – they are all named for heroes from the Alamo. Travis is the main character, the next oldest is Crockett, the kid brother is Neill (for the Alamo's commander who missed being at the fight because of a family illness that called him away), and the third brother's given name is Bowie, but he refuses to answer to anything except Jim. I don't blame him. Poor guy. What we authors do to torture our characters.
Do you have any say in your book covers—they are awesome!
Thank you! I love them, too. The Art Department at Bethany House has to be one of the best in the business. I do get a little bit of say in the covers on the front end. I submit character sketches with details about the hero and heroine's physical appearance, their clothing, the setting, etc. They also solicit my input for ideas. With my second book, Head in the Clouds, it was my idea to have Adelaide so absorbed in her book that she was about to take a tumble. They executed that beautifully. For To Win Her Heart, it was important to me to have a muscular hero on the cover since such a strong point is made in the story about Levi's physique. My dedicated project manager took it upon herself to wade through countless male model portfolios until she found the right man for the job. Such an act of selfless sacrifice, don't you think? J
Are any of the romantic scenes in your books inspired by real life experiences with your own real life hero? ;-)
My wonderful husband, Wes, is certainly the inspiration behind many of the romantic moments in my books. I try to create each hero with his own special way of relating to the heroine, but I'm sure there are certain movements and glances that carry over since they are the ones that stir me the most. Wes and I are celebrating 19 years of marriage next month, and I couldn't imagine living out my happily ever after with anyone else.
You don’t blog and aren’t on Twitter, I’m curious why not and what other ways of staying connected in today’s online world you have chosen.
Being an introvert, I am lousy at chit chat, whether it be in person or online, so the idea of finding something to say to the world on a regular basis stresses me out. I'd never get my next book written because I'd be fretting over what to write in my blog. So instead of hosting my own blog, I arrange blog tours with some lovely hostesses, like Casey, who allow me to make a guest appearance on their blog when I have a new release to promote. This scenario preserves my sanity and keeps my name in the blogosphere at release time.

I do have a Facebook page and love to interact with readers there, but I'm not one of those authors who comes up with fun gems to post every day. I post maybe twice a month. However, I still use it for relationship building because every time someone sends me a message or posts on my wall or tags me in a photo, I immediately respond with a personal comment.

Another reason I've chosen this path is for time management sake. I work full-time in a day job, write full-time, and have three young kids who need me to be Mom. Time is precious. Blogging and Twitter could easily suck me in and cause me to lose time that should be spent on my family or my writing. I definitely want to interact with readers, though. So I choose to do that in the most personal way possible. Instead of reaching out to hundreds at a time through FB or blogging, I spend time one-on-one answering e-mails and messages with personal responses.

My website is where I splurge. I pay to have my site professionally designed and maintained, and I update it regularly. I try to remember the golden rule of marketing—give stuff away for free. I give away free content like an epilogue for my debut novel and character vignettes that delve into the hobbies and backgrounds of the characters from my novels. I give away a free download of a biblical fiction piece and Bible study based on the life of Rahab for everyone who signs up for my newsletter. I also enter everyone on my newsletter list for the drawings I host each month for free books by other Christian historical fiction authors. I invite readers to dialog with me through e-mail and respond immediately to their messages. This is my favorite marketing venue. It has the comfort of welcoming someone into my home instead of the anxiety of mingling at a party where I can't seem to find a familiar face.

Is there a woman in the Bible whose life and testimony has encouraged you in your faith and walk with Christ?
I love studying the women of the Bible. In fact, the first manuscript I ever wrote (which is still sitting in my computer), was a collection of biblical fiction pieces based on the lives of lesser known biblical women. I think one of the most powerful testimonies is the story of Jephthah's daughter. When you get a chance, read Judges 11. This young girl had such a selfless, courageous spirit. Her father was an outcast who suddenly found himself in a position of leadership, and in a bid to gain success in battle he bargains with God to offer on the altar whatever first comes out of his house upon his return if the Lord would grant him victory. What comes to greet him? His beautiful, beloved daughter. He is distraught, but his daughter comforts him and never once lays blame at his feet. She encourages him to keep his vow to the Lord, and after a short time of mourning with her friends, she willingly climbs upon the altar. It is all too easy for me to lay blame and to look out for my own interests when perhaps I should be looking for ways to live more sacrificially. This story reminds me of the call of Romans 12, to offer our bodies as living sacrifices—our spiritual act of worship.
Do you lead any women’s studies at your church?
Yes, I am the ladies Bible class leader at my church. We are a small congregation and our ladies class only meets once a month, but I treasure those times. It is such a blessing to gather with sisters in Christ and delve into God's Word together. I always come away learning so much from those ladies.
What was your favorite book as a girl?
Two of my favorites were the Little House on the Prairie series and the Anne of Green Gables series. Although in junior high, I can remember devouring the Sweet Valley High series. Anyone remember those from the 80's? Two twins, one sweet, one mischievous. That was my first young adult romance series.
Why did you choose to write historical over contemporary?
I write historicals because that is all I ever read. Escaping into the past heightens the fairy tale aspect of the story for me. And there is something about those historical heroes that I love. From the highland warrior to the regency gentleman, to the rugged cowboy, they are all so appealing. Sigh.
And for all those “die-hard” fans out there…where can readers connect with you?
I love to hear from my readers. You can contact me through my website at: www.karenwitemeyer.com or on Facebook.
I'm so honored to have been voted your cold call interview this month. Feel free to "call" me anytime.

Friday's note:
The winner of Karen Witemeyer's To Win Her Heart is...
Thanks everyone for making the giveaway a success!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beyond the Borders with "People of the Book" by Kathi Macias (review)

In “People of the Book” the reader travels beyond the borders to a war torn country that hasn’t yet found their way in Christ. But all is never lost. I think that is what I took away from this book.

Saudi Arabia is not known for the kind understanding of Christianity and as I read, my heart went out to the people who want to know more about Christ, but are restricted because of their culture. There is a mix of Western (U.S.) culture and the characters that live here and the characters that live in Saudi. Their struggles reach across the miles to touch each other and the reader.

Through the entire book I got a sense of doom. There is a premonition hanging in the air above the characters that translates to the reader. But also a sense a hope, which removes the sting.

While I enjoyed those aspects of the book, I wasn’t as impacted as I have been by previous titles in the series, I felt it was lacking in areas where there could have been a higher emotional impact. I thought the start was slow and some moments of the book failed to capture my interest.

In the end, I can say I liked the book, it hasn’t been my favorite, but it has a good message. And the ending gives a tremendous sense of hope and peace.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Cheryl at Pump Up Your Book Media for my copy to review.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

God's Timetable

A child's wonder.

I’m an impatient person. Always have been. When I was little and bopping to the music of our stereo and the song ended I would crank up the music dial in the silence between songs.
Over the years it’s taken a lot of patience to curb this impatience. Just like growing up, I’ve wanted to get there quicker than the days it would take to get there on time. Because seriously, who wants to wait for the “right moment”??
But our timetable is not God’s timetable. And about two and half years ago I stumbled across site after site about this annual Christian conference called ACFW.
Well, my goodness I need to go! And I need to go next year, because seriously this is too good to wait for. Plans laid out like a golden ticket to the horizon and a restlessness in my spirit that cajoled that the sooner the better.
But I wasn’t relying on what God’s plans were. I wanted to do it in my time. In my way. Right now.
Can anyone say miserable?
Impatience doesn’t do anyone any favors except for the person that has to live with themselves. And let me tell you, those days were not fun.
But of course hindsight is always 20/20. In those two years I have grown so much. I’ve learned to trust in incredible ways. I’m still learning, but it’s a learning that is willing to wait on God’s perfect timing. Can’t…won’t say it’s easy.
But when you give your dreams to God, release those inner desires into His hands, He will do incredible things! He knows the perfect timetable and He knows what you need… needs you probably have no idea about. And when it’s time He will grant those wishes with a heaven-sent kiss of approval.
I believe I have been given such a gift. For you see…last week I registered to attend the ACFW conference in St. Louis, Missouri. And while so much within me wants to shout to the world, all I do is smile at the heavens and thank Him for putting His hand in my life. Because the only peace I want is found in the palm of His love.
Because His plans are perfect.

**photo courtesy of Flickr

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Tagline Ain't a Joke Folks! Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins ~ Review

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Over the Edge
B&H Books (May 1, 2011)
Brandilyn Collins

Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e..."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). She is now working on her 20th book.

In addition, Brandilyn’s other latest release is Final Touch, third in The Rayne Tour series—young adult suspense co-written with her daughter, Amberly. The Rayne Tour series features Shaley O’Connor, daughter of a rock star, who just may have it all—until murder crashes her world.

Torn from the front lines of medical debate and the author's own experience with Lyme Disease, Over the Edge is riveting fiction, full of twists and turns—and powerful truths about today's medical field.

Janessa McNeil’s husband, Dr. Brock McNeil, a researcher and professor at Stanford University's Department of Medicine, specializes in tick-borne diseases—especially Lyme. For years he has insisted that Chronic Lyme Disease doesn't exist. Even as patients across the country are getting sicker, the committee Brock chairs is about to announce its latest findings—which will further seal the door shut for Lyme treatment.

One embittered man sets out to prove Dr. McNeil wrong by giving him a close-up view of the very disease he denies. The man infects Janessa with Lyme, then states his demand: convince her husband to publicly reverse his stand on Lyme—or their young daughter will be next.

But Janessa's marriage is already rocky. She's so sick she can hardly move or think. And her husband denies she has Lyme at all.

Welcome to the Lyme wars, Janessa.

“A taut, heartbreaking thriller. Collins is a fine writer who knows how to both horrify readers and keep them turning pages.”
--Publishers Weekly

“Tense and dramatic. Holds its tension while following the protagonist in a withering battle.” –NY Journal of Books

“A frightening and all-too-real scenario. Very timely and meaningful book.” –RT Reviews

“If you know someone who suffers from Lyme, you need to read this compelling novel.” –Lydia Niederwerfer, founder of Lyme-Aware

If you would like to read the Prologue of Over the Edge, go HERE

Watch the book video:

My Review:

“Seatbelt Suspense- Don’t Forget to Breathe”—the tagline ain’t a joke folks! I think I lost air several times while reading this book.

I have never come into contact with Lyme disease, but I had heard of it prior to reading the novel. From the very beginning, this book gave me the strongest premonition I had contracted the disease. The author lived through this disease, she knows she is talking about—and it shows on the page. Not only was the writing vivid, it was paired with a mystery that left me short of breath on several occasions.

I always know when I’m reading a good book: not only can’t I put it down, it keeps me up late without a wink of sleep in sight. There isn’t an overflowing amount of bead bodies or red herrings, but the sense that something BIG is coming is a strong premonition through the entire story. When I got there…there was NO WAY I could have put that book down in any circumstance.

The writing grabs the attention, the story, the heart and mind. I loved how deep into the heroine the author dug, it made her pop from the page.

Cover to cover—great book, highly recommended to suspense fans and it won’t be my last Brandilyn book. (smile)

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thanks for Your Patience

Many thanks for waiting for Monday for me to annouce the winner of Lorna Seilstad's A Great Catch. That winner is...

Samantha Cheng!!!

She has been contacted.

And I have LOTS more giveaways going on at the moment including:

Lynette Eason's latest: A Killer Among Us

Ronie Kendig's Digitalis

Check them out and have a great Monday!! :-))

Giveaway and Author Interview: Digitalis

Welcome to Writing for Christ Ronie Kendig, it is great to have you here!

Thank you so much! I’m delighted to visit with y’all!

Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know?

While many people probably know (through my bio) that I grew up a military brat, most aren’t aware that by the time I’d hit 4th grade, I’d attended six schools. That does not make a very ground for a solid education, and because of that I really struggled in school.

Do you have a favorite genre to read/write?

There are three genres I tend to read a lot (suspense/thriller, speculative, historical (believe it or not)), but I think suspense/thriller outweighs the others, especially supernatural thrillers.

Do you have a nugget of writing advice that has completely changed how you view writing?

The biggest thing for me was to realize that the pure reason I am writing is to give God pleasure—He gave me a gift, and He finds immense pleasure in seeing me use that gift. Nothing else. Not me writing to bless someone else or hit a bestseller list. Not me writing and producing. Simply me putting to use a gift He gave me. That was so incredibly freeing and thrilling to come to terms with.

What do you enjoy most about being a published author?

Meeting people and hearing their stories. It’s amazing to me how hearts open and unfold, revealing painful and beautiful stories, when someone hears I am an author. I love this because it’s exactly what Jesus did—He told stories and reach past barriers and got under the ‘radars’ of people who were not interested in hearing biblical truths.

Places for readers to learn more about you?

Through my website (www.roniekendig.com ) or the Discarded Heroes site (www.discardedheroes.com ). I’m also on Facebook and Twitter!

Thank you for being with us today!
Readers, here is your chance to win Ronie's latest book! And trust me, this book is FANTASTIC! I don't read thrillers and I LOVED it. :-))

Please leave an email adddress! If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win.

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

And a NEW one:
~Follow me on Twitter (if you do NOT have a Twitter account, please make note of that in the comments)

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on June 4th.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Can You Say Goosebumps? A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason ~ Review

I got chills from the first couple of chapters and I didn’t want to put the book down. Which was pretty much true for the entire story.

What I love about the “Women of Justice” series that has really set them apart in my opinion, is the viewpoint of the villain included in the story. To get inside his head?—chilling and a unique spin on the normal mystery formula.

While “A Killer Among Us” can be read separate from its predecessors, I enjoyed the chance to catch up with the characters from the previous two books.

I would have liked to see Kit’s skills as a hostage investigator show-cased more. I saw how great she was in the first scene and I would have like it to play a stronger role in the plot. I think the romance thread could have been more developed, it seemed a bit abrupt in places, but did come to a well-rounded conclusion.

There is a lot of great dialogue, the ending was riveting and though I figured I knew who the villain was, to find out was as satisfying as if I never knew. Some of the cliff hanger moments kept me turning pages long after I should have quit.

A high-paced read with energy, I hope the author has other novels in the same vein.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for providing a copy to review.

**Available May 2011 at your local bookstore from Revell Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing.**

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Christian Music Review ~ Women of Faith Worship REJOICE

Praise and worship music is a favorite of mine to immerse myself in. I love to turn it up loud and roll down the windows (either house or car!) and let the love of the Lord blast. And the new Women of Faith “Rejoice” is just such a cd.

Many of the 10 songs have a great beat, the kind you want to sing along with at the top of your lungs. My favorite is Hosanna, a song that speaks to my heart every time I listen to it. The team of women behind the songs have a great melody and the songs are easy on the ear to listen to and wonderful to play in the background as I work on my writing.

With any cd I own, there is always one or two songs I’m not a huge fan of, and I don’t care much for one song here as well, I find the lyrics too repetitious, but the beat always takes me by surprise and I tap my toe along to the leading chords.

When I first listened to the music I was pleasantly surprised by some songs from popular artists (such as Chris Tomlin) the women were singing. It’s great to have some radio favorites in this collection.

All around, this is a very enjoyable cd and I can see me listening and enjoying it for many years.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Giveaway and Author Interview: A Killer Among Us

Welcome to Writing for Christ Lynette Eason, it is great to have you here! Do you have an interesting fact about yourself the average reader probably doesn’t know? 
I’m afraid I’m pretty uninteresting. LOL. I guess I would have to say that most people don’t know that I wear hearing aids. How’s that?

Do you have a favorite genre to read/write?
Well, of course I have to say Romantic Suspense, right? But I do love to read all kinds of things like Nicholas Sparks and John Grisham. I have discovered I’m not crazy about fantasy or sci-fi.

Do you have a nugget of writing advice that has completely changed how you view writing? 
Treat your writing as a business, not an art. And while I agree with this in part, I’m not a hundred percent. But treating it as a business helps me deal with the revisions and changes that have to be made per my editors. It doesn’t hurt so much if I’m not emotionally attached to the story.

What do you enjoy most about being a published author? 
The fame and glory and glamorous life I now get to lead. Yes, that was sarcasm. I suppose I enjoy being in the position of being able to help other aspiring writers. I love teaching at writing conferences and working with those who are in the position of where I was just a few years ago. It’s fun!

Places for readers to learn more about you?
I’m all over the place, but the main ones are:
Thank you for being with us today!
Thanks so much for having me!

Okay readers, here is your chance to enter to win Lynette's book!

Please leave an email address. If I draw your name and there is no email, you will not win!

For extra entries:
~Be a follower
~Be a subscriber

Contest is only open in the U.S. and void where prohibited. Chances of winning are based on the number of entries and winner is draw from a non-biased third party- Random.org. I am not responsible for any lost or damaged items for said prize.

Thanks for coming by to enter! Contest ends on June 3rd.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

For Regency Romance Fans ~ Secrets of the Heart by Jillian Kent ~ Review

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:
and the book:

Realms (May 3, 2011)
***Special thanks to Anna Coelho Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***

Jillian has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers for several years. She has also been a member of Romance Writers of America for 20 years and a member of The Beau Monde, Kiss of Death, and Faith, Hope, and Love specialty chapters of RWA. With a master’s degree in social work, Jillian is employed as a counselor for nursing students, which reflects within the pages of her first novel, Secrets of the Heart, which won the 2009 Inspiration for Writers contest, previously finaled in the Daphne du Maurier, the Noble Theme, and Faith, Hope, and Love’s Touched by Love contests.

Visit the author's website.


Madeline Whittington, daughter of the deceased Earl of Richfield, emerges from English society’s prescribed period of mourning in the winter of 1817. Madeline believes that she no longer belongs in a world of gossip and gowns after experiencing multiple losses. When she rescues a runaway from Ashcroft Insane Asylum, her life will be forever changed as she discovers the dark secrets within the asylum walls.
Because of his elder brother’s unexpected death, Devlin Greyson becomes Earl of Ravensmoore and struggles between two worlds: one of affluence and privilege and one of poverty and disease. Torn between his desire to become a doctor and the numerous responsibilities of his title, he wrestles with God’s calling for his future. Will he be able to honor this God-given gift and win the woman he falls in love with in a society that does not value gentlemen who work? And will Lady Madeline be able to honor her father’s memory when she is attracted to the man she holds responsible for her father’s death?

Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Realms (May 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161638185X
ISBN-13: 978-1616381851



Yorkshire, England, 1817
Who’s there?” Lady Madeline Whittington reined her horse in and listened. She looked into the dense, wooded edge of the forest of Richfield, her family home. “Did you hear something, Shakespeare?” She petted her gelding’s neck. The horse’s ears pricked forward. She studied the fading sun. Darkness would close in soon. It would be unwise to tarry over long. The forest edges, thick with bare brambles now, would become heavy with foliage in the next few months. If she was fortunate, the blackberries would return. Last year’s winter had been harsh, and she’d had to go without that succulent treat. A shadow flitted from within, causing a branch to tremble. “Come out.” Madeline hardened her voice. “Come out at once.”

Papa had taught her to be firm and bold when encountering the unknown, but also cautious. She reached for the revolver in her pocket wishing she hadn’t sent Donavan, their groomsman, on ahead. But she’d desperately wanted to ride alone for a few short minutes.

Two huge brown eyes in a tear-streaked and muddy face peered between parted branches held back by long slim fingers. Blood trickled from scratches on the girl’s arms and hands.
“Who are you? Why did you not answer me?”

The eyes grew wider.
Madeline’s heart softened along with her voice.

“It’s safe. I won’t hurt you.” She tore a hunk of bread from a leather pouch strapped across her shoulder. “Are you hungry?” She offered a large portion. Crumbs fell.

The girl took a step toward her and bit her lower lip. Bruises colored the young woman’s wrists and ankles, her only covering a torn chemise and ill-fitting shoes with no laces.

“What’s your name? Can you understand me?”

Brown Eyes held out a hand.
“You are hungry. Of course you are. Come closer. I’m going to toss the bread to you. Is that all right?”

The pitiful creature nodded and held out both hands.

She understands me. Madeline aimed and carefully threw the bread.

The silent stranger caught it and stuffed the bounty into her mouth so fast that Madeline feared the girl might choke.

“Will you come with me?” Madeline held out her hand. “You may ride with me.”
Brown Eyes stepped back.
“Don’t go. It’s dangerous. You cannot stay here. I won’t hurt you.”

The girl looked into the woods at the lowering sun and then at Madeline’s outstretched hand. Brown Eyes stepped backward. One step. Two steps.

“Wait.” Madeline unbuttoned her cape. “Take this. It’s far too cold with only a chemise to cover you. You’ll freeze to death.” She threw the long, fur-lined wrap to Brown Eyes.

The girl gathered the offering and backed into the forest, keeping her eyes locked on Madeline’s until she turned and ran.

“No! Wait. Please wait.” Madeline searched for a way through the thicket. Not finding any, she pushed her mount farther north until she found an entry. How could she help this girl without scaring her out of her wits? She found the girl’s path. Darkness chased them.

“Where are you?” Madeline shouted. “It’s too dangerous.”

Shakespeare’s ears pricked forward, and she caught the sound of scurrying ahead and then spotted Brown Eyes. Low-hanging branches attacked Madeline, clawing her with their long-reaching arms as she herded the girl toward a nearby hunting cabin. Minutes

later they broke through the trees and entered a clearing where the outline of a small cabin was silhouetted against the fast-approaching night sky.
Pulling her mount to a stop, Madeline kicked her booted foot out of the stirrup and narrowly avoided catching her skirt on the pommel as she slid to the ground.
“I won’t hurt you,” Madeline called. The girl hesitated and then ran again. Gathering up her skirt, Madeline chased after the girl, grabbing for the cape that trailed behind. She easily caught the girl, who fell to the ground in a heap and rolled into a ball with the cape wrapped around her.

Madeline knelt beside her and spoke gently. “Please don’t run. I’m not going to take the cape from you. It’s yours. A gift.”

Brown Eyes panted with fear.
“It’s all right. I’m not going to hurt you. I want to help.” Madeline patted the girl’s shoulder.

She flinched.
“I’m sorry you are afraid. I want you to stay here. See the cabin? You can stay here.”
The girl peeked out from behind the cape, her ragged breathing easing from the chase through the woods. She looked at the cabin and then at Madeline.

“I know you’ve suffered something horrid. Come. You’ll be safe here. Trust me.” Madeline stood and offered a hand up.

Brown Eyes took her hand and followed her into the cabin.

Each one sees what he carries in his heart.

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Have you ever made a mistake?” Madeline settled into her saddle, avoiding her friend’s probing gaze. Anxiety rippled through her as she stroked the neck of her large bay gelding while they waited for the hunting horn to sound.
“Not to my recollection.” Lady Gilling gathered her reins. “I’m quite good at avoiding them.”
“I shouldn’t have come.” Madeline’s gloved hands trembled. “I hate hunting.” She’d tried to avoid the ride today. She wanted to visit her brown-eyed fugitive, and she’d been unable to take food to the girl this morning because of the hunt. Mother had insisted she rejoin society this morning, and she’d enlisted her best friend Hally, Lady Gilling, to be certain that she rode today.

“You used to love the hunt.” Hally circled her dappled gray mare around Madeline’s horse, inspecting Madeline as though she were about to enter the ballroom instead of the final hunt of the season.

Madeline shook her head. “You’re wrong. I love riding, not hunting.”

“Perhaps. However, at one and twenty, you are far too young to give up on this world. And even though I’m only two years your elder, I’ve had my sorrows too, and I have found ways to battle the pain. You must do the same.”
“I’m sorry, Hally.” The heat of shame spiraled into her cheeks despite the sting of the cold, early spring air. She thought of her brother and sister who had died during the past two years and of Papa who had joined them last year. What could be worse—losing

siblings and a parent or a beloved husband, as Hally had only two years ago?
Madeline’s horse pranced in rhythm to her rising anxiety. “Easy, Shakespeare. Easy, boy.” She tried to focus on the gathering outside Lord Selby’s manor house where horses and riders crowded together in a flurry of anticipation. She took a deep breath to rein

in her frustration and hoped her mount would settle down along with her. “Hally, you pick the most difficult of times to discuss such personal issues.”
Hally edged her mount next to Madeline’s horse. “I do this because you have been in hiding ever since your father died. If you refuse to mix in polite society, they will refuse you.”

“Have I become a ghost?” Mist floated over the fetlocks on her horse, a dreamlike ground covering that made it seem like they waited in the clouds. “Do you not see me?” She wanted to slip away from this show of rejoining society. She wanted to check on the girl. She wanted to leave. “Does society not see me here today?”

“For the first time in a year at the hunt.” Hally reached over and pushed back the netted veil that covered Madeline’s face, tucking the material into her hat. “There, that’s much better. Now everyone can see you.”
“And that’s supposed to make me feel better?” She reached up to pull the veil back into place, but Hally stopped her.

“Your mother worries, Maddie. Since your father died, you have refused to mingle, you have refused to travel, and until today you have refused to ride with the hunt. Your father would have scolded you for such behavior.”
Madeline’s chin trembled. “That was cruel. I enjoyed the hunt because Papa loved it when I rode with him. He’s gone now. I don’t have to hunt to ride.”
Hally lowered her voice. “I’m sorry. I know you miss him, but society’s prescribed period of mourning is quite enough. I’ve always believed six months far too long, and here you are six months after that. You need not suffer further isolation.” She leaned closer and whispered. “For heaven’s sake, Maddie, your mother is out of mourning.”

“I’m afraid she thinks of allowing Lord Vale to court her.” There, she’d said it aloud. “May God forgive her. She dishonors Papa’s memory.”
“So that is what worries you. Your mother is interested in a man.”

“He’s not just a man, Hally. He’s Lord Vale, and there’s much speculation about his actions and investments. Yet here I am, pretending all is well.” Madeline lifted her chin and watched her breath dissipate like puffs of smoke on the wind.

“Pretending is a fine art.” Hally smiled. “Everyone must pretend to some extent, dear, or life would be far too complicated.”

“I wonder where life will lead now. Mother isn’t thinking clearly and allows Vale too much time with her at Richfield. I no longer know where I belong, but certainly not in this world of gossip and gowns.”

“We will discuss your fears later, my dear. But for now, your mention of gowns is a subject that warrants further consideration. I think it is time we turn our thoughts toward lighter matters, and talk of fashion will do nicely.”
“Fashion?” Madeline scrunched up her nose. “Please tell me you jest.”

“Fashion is always important.” Hally tilted her head in thoughtful study. “Your black wool riding habit does nothing to draw attention. Green would set your hazel eyes ablaze or, at the very least, a lush russet to show off the highlights in your hair.”

“Why does this matter so much to you?” For the first time that day, Madeline studied her friend in turn. A dark lavender velvet riding habit enhanced her figure. The fabric against the gray of her horse together with the soft early morning light provided Hally with an air of regal confidence, confidence Madeline envied. She was already looking forward to the end of this event.
“Because you are my friend, and melancholia does not become you.”

“Nonsense. I used that emotion up long ago.”

“So you say.” Hally scanned the area. “The chill has bestowed you with blushing cheeks, a most charming quality that will endear you to the male population. There are some very eligible and very handsome gentlemen here today. I shall be most pleased to make an introduction.”

Tentacles of panic snaked through her. “I don’t believe that is required today.” Nor any other day. The thought of an introduction to a gentleman terrified her. She’d witnessed Mother’s agony when she’d lost her children and then her beloved husband. Why allow the heart such vulnerability to begin with? “Really, Hally. Do you never grow weary of your matchmaking schemes? Do you not find such things awkward?”

“My James was a rare man. I’ll never stop missing him . . . and the children we might have enjoyed. I want you to experience that kind of love, Maddie.”
Sorrow shadowed Hally’s blue-green eyes. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be so selfish.” The last thing she had wanted to do was cause more heartache.
Hally waved a dismissive hand. “It’s all about love, dearest. Don’t forget that.”
“But love is—”
“Necessary. Not awkward. You must accept that. You missed your London season four years ago. I know many at this event. As a respectable widow I can be a great help.”
Madeline didn’t argue. “I appreciate your concern.” She hoped to get through the hunt and the social gathering unscathed by men and their unwanted advances. The gathering after the hunt could prove to be difficult. Many men would drink, and some would drink too much, making themselves perfectly obnoxious. “Perhaps we can just ride today and think on these matters another time.”
“Forgive me, dear. I’m overzealous when it comes to you. I will not speak of opportunities again this day. But I pray you’ll think about what you are doing, think about your future, think about your life. If you continue to hide yourself away, you will not be accepted by polite society. And since your mother is ready to begin living again, should you not as well?”
The budding tree branches swayed gently in the early morning breeze and, bending toward her, seemed to hesitate on the wind, awaiting her reply. “I am in no mood to meet anyone.”

“We’ll speak of your moods later.” Hally smiled. “Let’s enjoy the present.”
Bright streaks of sunlight burst through the cloudy, late March sky. Madeline contemplated her friend’s advice. “You’re right. It’s a beautiful morning. Time to imagine the future. As for now, I’m just not certain how to proceed.”
Hally reached across her mare and patted Madeline’s hand. “I’ll be happy to show you the way.”
Lord Selby’s raucous laughter roared through the crowd as he muscled his way through with his horse. Another rider crashed into her while trying to get out of Selby’s way, causing Madeline’s mount to lurch sideways into Hally, nearly unseating each of them.

Madeline’s breath caught, but she quickly tightened her reins and gained control.
“Easy, Shakespeare. It’s all right, boy.” She stroked the gelding’s neck to calm him and looked to see if the other rider had recovered his balance.
A pair of green eyes, wide with concern, locked on her. The beginning of a smile dimpled the man’s cheeks. A strong chin, straight nose, and clean-shaven face provided him with the good looks of a gentleman in a Van Dyck portrait. She felt the heat of a sudden blush and, not trusting her voice, held her tongue.
Apology etched his handsome face. “I beg your forgiveness.” He arched a single black brow. “Are either of you hurt?”

Madeline sucked in a deep breath to calm her nerves and brushed her skirt free of imaginary grime. “I am unscathed, sir,” she assured him, pulling her gaze away. “Lady Gilling?”

“No injuries here.” She pushed her purple plumed hat back into place.

Madeline turned back to him. The sudden urge to chuckle surprised her, but instead of laughing, she molded herself into a woman of politeness and poise. “It appears that we have survived the excitement.”

“I’m afraid Lord Selby is already in his cups this fine morning.” The charming stranger maneuvered his mount closer and lowered his voice. “Hippocrates here found Selby’s bellowing objectionable.” His smile radiated genuine warmth. “I must concur with his animal instinct.”

The blare of the hunting horn filled the air. The fine gentleman tipped his hat and disappeared into the crush of riders. A twinge of disappointment tugged at Madeline’s heart.

“Are you certain you are unharmed?” Hally asked as they trotted their horses out of the gate. “You look a bit pale.”

“I can’t help but think I’ve seen that man somewhere before.

Does he look familiar to you?” Madeline searched for him as they rode out.

“No. I don’t believe so. Could it be that you just met a gentleman of importance with no introduction from me at all?”

“Strange. I can’t recall where, but I’m almost certain.”

“The hounds are on the move,” Hally said. “We must discuss your newly made acquaintance later. We’re off!”

The baying hounds drowned out the possibility of further discussion. A glimmer of anticipation lightened Madeline’s heart. The challenge of the ride distracted her from other concerns and strengthened her spirit. Perhaps I have been a bit melancholy of late.

Her worries lessened with each stride of her horse and with each obstacle cleared, but flashes of the past whirred by her as swiftly as the hunting field. The horses in front of her threw clumps of dirt into the air as they pounded across the countryside in pursuit of a fox she hoped would evade them.
A pheasant burst from its nest. Startled, Shakespeare faltered as he launched toward the next stone wall. Madeline leaned far forward and gave him extra rein in an attempt to help him clear the barrier, but she knew immediately he was off stride.
The crack of rear hooves against the top of the wall thundered through her heart. Shakespeare stumbled and went down on his knees, tossing her over his head. Madeline landed with a jarring thud on her left side. She struggled to get up, but racking pain paralyzed any attempt at movement.

“Maddie!” Hally dismounted, ran to Madeline, and knelt at her side.

She rolled onto her back and groaned. A fine mess. “Shakespeare? Is he hurt?”
“Are you all right?” Hally clutched Madeline’s hand in her own. “Maddie?”
She lay still, trying to assess the damage. “I believe I may have broken my arm.” Tears stung her eyes. “Where’s Shakespeare?” She prayed he bore no serious injuries.
A shadow fell over Madeline. “I’ve already looked at him. He’s shaken, temporarily lame, but on his feet. He will be taken to Selby’s stables to begin the healing process. Unlike your horse, young lady, I suggest you not move.”
The gentleman had returned. And here she lay, flat on her back, her riding skirt disheveled, an indelicate position, indeed. She did not need a man now, especially this very interesting man.

She squeezed Hally’s hand. “I’m not presentable,” she whispered.

“This is hardly the time to be concerned about one’s appearance,” Hally whispered back, smoothing Madeline’s skirt down toward her ankles, a gesture that reminded Madeline of her maid making the bed. She’d have laughed if she weren’t completely mortified and on the verge of fainting. Her arm felt like glass under pressure, about to shatter.

“You took quite a tumble.” He dropped to his knees. “May I be of assistance?”
Madeline tried to sit up again, determined not to appear weak.She prided herself on her independence and strength, but her body rebelled and collapsed as if she were a marionette whose strings had suddenly been severed. “Who are you, sir?”
“I’m Devlin Grayson of Ravensmoore. Where does it hurt?”

“My arm.” Madeline gingerly cradled her left arm and tried to blink back the tears. “You’re Lord Ravensmoore?”

He nodded.
She felt suddenly vulnerable, looking into this stranger’s intense gaze. “I couldn’t prevent it.”

“Lie still, please.”
“Everything happened so fast. It’s been so long since I’ve been on the hunt field,” Madeline said, embarrassed. “Poor Shakespeare. I hope he’s not hurt. I’m such a fool.”

“You are no fool. This could happen to anyone. And your horse appears to be recovering from the shock. A fine horse. And you have given him a fine name.”
She gazed up into his caring green eyes. “Thank you.”

“May I ask your name before I examine you? That is, if I have your permission?”
She found it difficult to concentrate. “Lady Madeline Whittington.” Her head throbbed. “Examine me? Are you a doctor? No, that wouldn’t be right, would it? Not if you’re Ravensmoore.”

“I will be soon.”
Fleeting thoughts of Papa suffering in the hospital filled her mind with fear and anger. The doctors had not helped him. He had died under their care. The slightest of remembrances bubbled to the surface of her thoughts. She turned her face away from him and looked at Hally.

“Lady Madeline,” Hally pleaded, glancing across at Ravensmoore. “He is offering you his medical skills.”

Madeline turned back and looked him in the eye, trying to catch the elusive memory. Where had she seen him before? “Something is not right.” The memories, one after another, tumbled into her consciousness and revealed themselves as they broke through her defenses and exploded into the present. “I remember you.”
“Remember me?” He paused and studied her, searching her face for details, some recollection of the past.

“You were at the Guardian Gate when we took my father to the hospital.” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “You killed him.”

Ravensmoore paled. “What do you mean?”

“Lady Madeline! What an unkind thing to say.” Hally looked at Ravensmoore. “She must have hit her head. Maddie, have you lost all reason?”

“My father, Lord Richfield, bled to death because of your ineptness.” A ripple of pain burst up her arm.

“Lady Madeline—of Richfield?” he asked, turning a shade paler. “Your father? I . . . I do remember. I’m very sorry.”

Hally gently touched Madeline’s cheek and wiped away a tear. “He is only trying to help you.”
“I don’t want his help.”
“I assure you, madam, I am not a murderer. I am most sympathetic to your loss. I promise to be gentle.”

“A fine promise,” she scoffed. “But I have no confidence in your abilities, sir. It is regrettable, but it is the truth.”

He pressed on. “The bone might be broken.”

“I do not need your attention,” Madeline snapped. “It’s most unnecessary.”
A pulse throbbed at his temple. “You don’t understand.” He recovered his composure. “If you refuse to let me examine you, then I must insist on escorting you to Lord Selby’s home where you can rest.”

Madeline groaned in frustration. “I refuse to return to that man’s home. He’s drunk.” The two of them outnumbered her. “I want to go home.” She allowed them to assist her to a sitting position.

“She accepts your kind offer, sir,” Hally put in.

“Lean against me, Lady Madeline, until we see if you can stand,” Ravensmoore said.
“I appear to have little choice.”

Ravensmoore put his arm around her waist and gently guided her to her feet. The strength of his body proved to be an unexpected comfort.

“That’s it. Keep your left arm pressed against your side,” he instructed.
The last thing she wanted to do was lean against this man who dredged up bitter memories of Papa’s death. “I’m fine, really,” she lied, in hope of escaping him. Her body betrayed her in a sudden burst of pain that forced her to stiffen. She repressed a moan and

fought to keep her balance. Emotions from the past and present collided in a haze of confusion.
Madeline pushed away from him. “Lady Gilling will assist me.” She held her hand out and stumbled. Ravensmoore caught her.

“And you will pull your friend to the ground with you.”

How could she have considered this man attractive? The thought made no sense now that she had put the pieces together. Yet, he seemed kind, not at all how she remembered him, wearing that horrible blood-spattered apron. Her father’s blood. She squeezed her eyes shut trying to ward off the image. “I don’t want your help,” she said through clenched teeth. “I can ride by myself.”

“You’re not strong enough. I’ll take you home.” Ravensmoore skillfully lifted her in his arms, careful to keep her injured arm protected. “You’ll ride with me.”
Madeline sat in front of Ravensmoore for the ride home. She tried not to lean against his chest for support but found the effort impossible. She’d never been so close to a man, his breath kissing her cheek. She straightened and had to smother a moan of agony when pain radiated through her arm.
When the high stone walls of Richfield came into view Madeline sighed in relief, grateful to be close to home. The great manor house spread before them, the additional wings on either side providing a sense of comfort and safety. A maze of hedges to the left of them and the soon-to-be-blooming gardens magnified the opulence of Richfield. To the right of the edifice stood stables and paddocks for the horses and housing for those who tended them.
Madeline swallowed hard. She’d just returned home with the man who’d killed her father, the man she held responsible for her father’s death. Betrayal weighed heavy on her heart, for this is where Papa had loved and raised his family.
Madeline longed to be in her bed as they drew near the entrance. She vowed to escape from this horrid day and to her room as fast as she could manage.
“Are you ready?” Ravensmoore asked.

Startled from her pain-filled thoughts she said, “Yes.” But that was a lie. Madeline’s head throbbed simultaneously with the beating of her pulse. She fought for control and blinked back tears when the three of them reached the steps leading into the arched entrance. She nearly crumpled when Ravensmoore dismounted, and she clung desperately to the pommel of the saddle. He reached for her. “It’s all right. I’ll help you.”
“There is no need to coddle me, sir. I assure you, once again, that I am perfectly able.”
“Excellent! Then this should not be too difficult for you.”

Madeline fell into his arms, light-headed and shaky. She wobbled when her feet touched the ground. He held her, keeping her safe.

“Allow me to carry you, Lady Madeline.”

Pain sliced through her arm from the jolting ride. “There’s nothing wrong with my legs, sir. I can walk.” She took two steps and swayed precariously.
“I think not.” Ignoring her protests, Ravensmoore scooped her into his arms again. His warmth and scent—spice, leather, and sweat—mingled together in a balm for her pain.

Her mother, Grace, the Countess of Richfield, ran down the steps to meet them. “Madeline, you’re hurt!” Her mother placed a hand on Madeline’s cheek. “What happened?”
Madeline bit her lip, trying not to reveal the depth of her pain. “It’s nothing, Mother. I took a spill off Shakespeare.” She would not be the cause of further anguish. Mother’s grief over the past two years had been more than many tolerated during a lifetime.

“She’ll be fine, Countess,” Hally said. “We’ve brought a doctor with us.”
“A doctor? Thank God. Follow me, sir.”

Now, beyond caring, she laid her head on his shoulder. Once again his breath whispered past her cheek as he took the stairs and delivered her safely into the embrace of her home.

“Phineas, bring some willow bark tea,” Grace instructed the butler. “Bring her into the sitting room, sir.” The countess continued her directions while fussing over Madeline. “The settee will do nicely. That’s it, gently.”
Ravensmoore’s hand lingered a moment on hers as Madeline sank gratefully into the plush green velvet cushions. Surely the man would leave her in peace now.
Her mother pushed back the gold damask draperies, and muted light filled the room. A fire burned in the hearth, and Madeline shivered, perhaps from the lack of the body warmth she had shared with her rescuer on the ride home.
The butler returned with a pot of tea. He poured the hot liquid into a rose-patterned cup and cautiously handed it to her. “There you are, Lady Madeline.”
“Thank you, Phineas.” Steam rose from the cup. Madeline watched her mother. “Please don’t worry so. It’s not serious.”

Ravensmoore knelt beside her. “I recommend you take a swallow of that tea as soon as you can.”
“Sir, your services are no longer needed. And I will drink my tea when I am good and ready, thank you very much.” Madeline spoke more curtly than she’d intended, but she longed to be alone.

“Drink the tea, young lady,” Mother ordered. “The willow bark will help you relax and ease your pain. And you will permit the doctor to examine you. Do not argue with me on this matter.”

“But Mother, you don’t understand. He—”

She touched her daughter’s hand and their eyes met. “I understand enough.” She turned to Ravensmoore. “What can we do, sir?”

“Allow her to rest a few moments. Then remove her riding jacket so I may examine her arm. Is there a place where I might wash up?

I must have left my gloves on the field, and I don’t want to cause further distress by smudging a lady’s clothing.”

“Of course. Phineas will show you the way.”

As soon as he’d left the room, Madeline looked at her mother. “Let me explain. You must know that he”—she pointed in the direction he’d just gone with cup in hand—“was the physician-in training who allowed Papa to bleed to death in York.”

“I didn’t recognize him.” A veil of sadness shrouded her mother’s eyes. “I didn’t think to see any of them again.” Even the worry lines that creased her mother’s brow could not diminish the sculpted features of a woman who resembled a Greek goddess, though she seemed utterly unaware of her beauty. The name Grace suited her.

“He’s not a doctor . . . yet.”

Grace plucked a pair of shears from a nearby sewing basket. “You have made that perfectly clear. Now, allow Lady Gilling and me to cut away your jacket. You might have broken your arm, and there’s no point in causing you any more pain.”
“You still want him to examine me?”

“Of course. I must think of your welfare. The past is the past.”

“He may be able to help you. It will take a servant a long time to ride into town, locate a physician, and return with him. Let this doctor help you.”
Madeline looked from one to the other, then handed Hally the teacup. “Do be careful.”
“Of course we’ll be careful, dear.” Grace cut away the jacket in moments.

“Oh, Maddie. I’m so sorry this happened.” Hally handed her the teacup again. “It’s entirely my fault.”

“That is not true.” Madeline finished the tea. “Don’t be silly.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I am quite dizzy.”

My Review:

A regency romance, this book covers topics I wouldn’t have expected from the genre, but I think that is what will make it stand apart.

Through the story you have the romantic interaction between Devlin and Madeline and in that way, you have a great deal of the regency “flair” expected.  A chaste romance because of the culture, but defying the odds with characters that stand against the status quo. Devlin and Madeline didn’t immediately “hit it off” and I found some of their interactions amusing.

I found interesting the delving into the insane asylum and how people viewed them. Don’t get me wrong, there was no “preaching” on the topic, but merely letting the reader judge by the experiences and how those claimed “insane” were treated. I found it interesting and disturbing in how they were treated centuries ago.

As the last 50 or so pages wound to a close, the tension ramped notches higher and kept me turning pages. I thought the conclusion to the villain of the tale was well done.

Over all, I liked the book. I think it could have been better with a bit more “meat” to the story for about the first 150 pages or so. It was just a bit too easy to flip pages quickly. But I think for regency fans, this debut will delight many.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through FIRST for my copy to review.

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Country Wildflowers kit by Laurie Ann