Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

“The Artful Match” by Jennifer Delamere ~ Book Review

The Artful Match (London Beginnings, #3)

The Artful Match by Jennifer Delamere

Book Three in the Long Beginnings Series

Review copy from the author/publisher

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

Cara Bernay has never fit in. At loose ends in 1881 London after a near tragedy costs her a job, she befriends a rising young artist. With his help, she begins planning a new life and developing her own artistic talent. But soon Cara finds herself at odds with the artist’s brother—a handsome but serious-minded earl who wants to force his brother back to a “respectable” life.

Henry Burke, the Earl of Morestowe, feels the weight of growing financial burdens. His profligate and emotionally unstable brother is making matters worse, and Henry needs him back home. Despite misgivings about Cara’s mysterious background, Henry sees she’s a positive influence on his brother and on Henry’s unruly young ward, and he strikes a deal with her to return with them to their estate.

But the family has their own secrets, and when Cara, drawn ever closer to Henry, stumbles onto the truth, she must choose between following her heart and pursuing a bold plan that could bring disaster.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series, but ended up missing the second when it came out. I wanted to know what was happening to these sisters, so I gladly accepted the opportunity to read this third one. In the beginning few chapters, I felt like I was missing something from the second book, but I don’t think it made it too hard to understand on its own, and I think this book can be read as a stand-alone if need be. Of course, as with many series, it is best read in order, but they are not so intricately woven together that you are lost when missing one. :)
“The Artful Match” is a sweet story of Cara finding her own way in life. Having the misfortune of losing her job, she moves to London, nearly destitute. But then she meets a man who shares her love of art. As she gets to know him, he helps her get on her feet. She is feeling confident in her new adventure until she meets the man’s brother, and eventually, his ward. Life seems to be changing once again, but in good ways that she learns to grow along with.
At times I found this book to be rather slow going, and so it took me a while to get through it. The story was good, and I enjoyed it, but the pace was slow and sometimes typical. I did get frustrated toward the end when the usual misunderstanding/drama happened that occurs in every book, but I’ve come to expect that in most novels.
The characters were well-written, and I especially loved Amelia – she was a spirited little girl who, yes, needed instruction and guidance, but had a sweet heart and loving attitude once given room to bloom.
Overall, it was an enjoyable story, and a good conclusion to the series!
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Once it’s all done, the setbacks you’ve had along the way won’t seem so bad. Sometimes what we make of bad situations leaves us better off than we ever expected.”

 

 

 

 

*I received a review copy of this book from the author/publisher; all opinions in my review are my own.

Posted in 1940's, Bethany House, blog tour, Books, Give-aways

“An Hour Unspent” Release Day and Giveaway!

Happy Release day to “An Hour Unspent”! I am currently reading this beauty and thoroughly enjoying it!! I hope you will enjoy this post from the author as well as the giveaway!

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When Big Ben Joined the Skyline

When the design for A Name Unknown, book 1 in the Shadows Over England Series, was shown to me and I saw the spine for the first time, I was so excited to see the series logo they’d come up with. Big Ben’s clock tower.

shaouraav-shreshtha-428492-unsplashBig Ben says London. Which is what the designers were no doubt trying to invoke, as my family of thieves are firmly Londoners. But for me, it was more than that. Because in the third book of the series, An Hour Unspent, that iconic clock actually plays a role in the story.

For starters, a bit of naming. Most of us think of “Big Ben” as the clock, but it’s technically not. Big Ben is actually the bell. The clock is the Great Westminster Clock, though over the years the name Big Ben has come to be associated with the entire structure. So now that we’ve got that straight… 😉

The clock tower was designed by Augustus Pugin and completed in 1859. Pugin was an architect, one who is most remembered for redesigning the interior of Westminster Palace and the tower in question, which has become one of the most iconic symbols of England. Though he also designed the face of the clock, the mechanics of the thing he wisely handed over to someone else.

palace-of-westminster-1659289_1920But interestingly, the movement–the gears and weights that make a clock work, and in this case, work with amazing reliability–was actually designed by two amateurs to the field. Edmund Denison, a lawyer, and mathematician George Airy. The construction was the only part undertaken by an actual clockmaker, Edward Dent.

The Great Clock’s inner workings are so precise that a penny sitting on the pendulum is all it takes to make slight alterations to the time. That one little coin will make an adjustment of nearly half a second a day. That doesn’t sound like much, but it allows for small incremental adjustments to keep the clock accurate year after year. The pendulum still has a stack of old coins on it, and the clock is still hand-wound three times a week.

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In my story, I gave the job of upkeep of the Great Clock to my heroine’s father, a clock maker. This part is purely fictional, of course, but it would have been considered a great honor to be tasked with such a responsibility, and in my story that’s the proof of Cecil Manning’s proficiency in his trade, even though he’s by no means made himself rich.

That honor goes to another historical figure that my fictional Manning claims as a friend, who revolutionized the timekeeping world. But you’ll have to check out An Hour Unspent: Companion Guide to learn more about that…

An Hour UnspentAbout the Book

With Danger Creeping Ever Closer,
Do Their Dreams Still Matter?

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

Series: Shadows Over England (Book 3)
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 4, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0764219283

About the Author

Roseanna 2018

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

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Giveaways & Contest

Roseanna has several giveaways and a special CONTEST for her readers! Click on the images below to learn more about each Giveaway. Or visit Roseanna’s blog.

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Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

“The Captain’s Daughter” by Jennifer Delamere ~ Book review

(Click on image to go to its amazon page)

 

“The Captain’s Daughter” by Jennifer Delamere

Book one in London Beginnings

Review copy from Bethany House Publishers

My Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

 

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.

A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.

 

My Thoughts:

 

“We can not keep dwelling on the past. We must look ahead. Remember Mr. Muller’s admonition that God will always meet our needs.” -TCD
When I requested this book for review, I didn’t actually know it would have mention of George Muller’s orphanage, but finding that was a nice surprise. Rosalyn and her sisters were orphaned and spent their growing up years in the GM orphanage. When I found that out, I expected this story to have more of that included, with relying on God really being Rosalyn’s foundation. However, it seemed that the main focus of this story was on Rosalyn’s life in London; to be more specific, in the theater. It was a very interesting read, and also very easy to get into and continue reading without getting bored or hung up on things. It flowed smoothly, and was entertaining. I would’ve just liked to have seen more emphasis on trusting God – that the faith aspect would’ve been the central theme. It was included of course, but more as an undertone to the story. The plot and Rosalyn & Nate were the driving force of this novel.
Rosalyn and Nate were good characters. Rosalyn could be quite…naiive, but she was still a likeable character. I just got frustrated with her relationship with Tony – I did not like Tony at all.
Nate was a solid character, and I enjoyed his and Rosalyn’s relationship. Though it would’ve been nice to have them finally get together and work out things sooner rather than it all just happening in the end chapter. The ending seemed a bit rushed, but I do hope we will get to see glimpses of their story in the next book about Rosalyn’s sister, Julia. I’m looking forward to reading that one – Julia seems like quite an interesting character.
The theater aspect was indeed interesting. I did like following that story.
And the cover is lovely, though I should note that, while she is technically a daughter of a captain, I suppose, the title is slightly misleading, as her father isn’t in this story, nor much about the sea.
Overall, I liked “The Captain’s Daughter”, and will continue with the series. There were just a few things that frustrated me, but I still enjoyed the book.

 

“God is the supplier of need,” Mrs. Moran said. “We are simply blessed to be His agents sometimes.” – Page 166
“Perhaps not. But then, absolution doesn’t come through what we can do, does it? It comes from another source. One greter than ourselves.” – Page 325