My First 100 Reads of 2021.

If I tagged all 100 titles and their authors, I don’t know how Google’s search algorithm would handle them all. In fact, even this post is acting super slow just trying to type it all out. Then again, there’s always a bit of a delay when it comes to doing anything with WordPress’ block builder. Anywho…

Listed below are the one hundred ebooks I’ve read so far in 2021. These are all the titles I’ve either loved or hated, read at home or on my lunch break at work. Read on a plane or in the car on the way to Johnstown, PA. And some were even read on a train. Some were romance – some REALLY romantical – and some were sweetly romantical. Many books have lords, ladies and ruggedly handsome Highlanders.

If you reach the end and wonder why only one non-fiction book is represented, that’s because I prefer physical copies of non-fiction. Some of these titles are steamy: you have been warmed – I mean, warned.

So here’s the 100 ebooks I read this year. Not counting all the physical books over on my shelf! I may/may not have book problems…

100. ON THE SHORES OF TREGALWEN by Deborah M. Hathaway

When her estranged mother beckons her to London, Hannah Summerfield has no choice but to answer her call. Forced to leave behind her peaceful life in Cornwall, she bids farewell to the seaside, her grandparents—and her childhood sweetheart, Thomas. She becomes subdued at once by Society’s rigid rules and her mother’s censure, and when Thomas’s letters unexplainedly stop, she is left to wonder if she ought to embrace her new life in Town after all. But when her mother pressures her to accept an unwanted proposal, Hannah cannot help but flee to the one place she has ever called home—to the only boy she has ever loved…. read more.

99. A DUKE FOR LADY EVE by Kasey Stockton

After escaping to the garden for a reprieve from the stuffy ballroom, Miss Evelyn Trainor bumps into a handsome stranger through a hedge. When he boldly requests an introduction, she lies and tells him a fake name, Lady Eve, positive she’ll never see him again. But when she returns to the country for Christmas and finds her handsome stranger…read more.

98. A SECRET FIRE by Deborah M. Hathaway

In the small, western town of Thundercreek, Emma Marchant leads a simple life, her days spent by picking wildflowers, dodging the unwanted advances of the town drunk, and running her family-owned inn with her brother and his wife. Though ever-cheerful on the outside, Emma can’t help but long for something more. Finally, a promise of change comes when cowboy Thatcher Deakon rides into town in…read more.

97. WHEN TWO RIVERS MEET by Deborah M. Hathaway

When a handsome stranger arrives in Bath, Miss Lilyanna Crosgrove is charmed at once by his kind manner, for Mr. Elijah Bainbridge is a true gentleman. Even Lilyanna’s overbearing mother, who dictates where Lilyanna may go and with whom she may speak, approves of the attachment. That is, until an unsightly and unrelenting…read more.

96. REDEEMING THE LADY by Lana Williams

Only half of Gabriel Sloane’s blood is blue. The other half is black from the coal dust his mother removed daily as a housemaid. Despite his poor upbringing, Gabriel is now a partner in a successful gentlemen’s club, no thanks to his father, the Duke of Rushford, who’s never bothered to acknowledge him. When a fire destroys a warehouse in his old neighborhood, Gabriel is the first to offer aid. But his pockets aren’t…read more.

95. LOVING THE HAWKE by Lana Williams

After five seasons as a wallflower, Lettie Fairchild is resigned to spinsterhood. Mostly. Determined to claim more meaning for her life than seeing her younger sisters married, she seeks a purpose. She finds what she’s looking for when she happens upon a book describing seven curses that plague London. Nathaniel Hawke is attempting to adjust to civilian life after retiring from the military, but his injured leg and…read more.

94. CHARMING THE SCHOLAR by Lana Williams

Oliver, Viscount Frost, must end his reclusive ways to uncover the mysteries of an ancient text used by a ringleader of professional thieves. He emerges from his books only to find Lady Julia Hopwood blocking his path. Julia’s friendly nature and charming smile hide her desperate efforts to keep her father from succumbing to melancholy and illness. The purchase of an old book…read more.

93. NEAR THE RUINS OF PENHARROW by Deborah M. Hathaway

Bal maiden Gwynna Merrick is more than prepared to resume her work at the copper mine, if only to keep her family safe from destitution. But when her upper-class friend convinces Gwynna to have one final night of enjoyment, a borrowed gown and a false identity give her a small taste of the freedom she has always craved. That is, until the mine owner’s handsome son arrives and threatens to reveal her identity. Heir to his father’s mine, Jack Trevethan has returned to Cornwall to…read more.

92. RESCUING THE EARL by Lana Williams

After several suspicious accidents nearly kill her young son, Grace Stannus, a widowed viscountess, and her son, Matthew, flee their home in the dark of night, their identities concealed. Her predicament goes from bad to worse when she’s left ill and penniless alongside a deserted road in the pouring rain, not realizing the danger she faces…read more.


Ruairi Calbraith has been living in shame and guilt. Years ago, his twin sister married a man from an enemy clan to end a feud that Ruairi had accidentally started. Instead of protecting his people, Ruairi put them in danger and now he feels unworthy of becoming a Laird. No longer able to look them in the eyes, he leaves the Highlands to become a captain and spent his days in the sea. A decade after, when Ruairi’s father…read more.

90. A COMPANION FOR THE COUNT by Sally Britton

Emma Arlen has spent a decade as a member of the duke’s family, in the position of companion to his daughter and ward to the duke himself. She would do anything to show her support to the ducal family for their love and kindness. When Lady Josephine begs Emma to distract a most determined Sicilian suitor, she agrees at once. How hard can it be…read more.

89. FOR THE LADY OF LOWENA by Deborah M. Hathaway

Tired of the smoke, the smog, and the spoiled females of London, Frederick Hawkins leaves the city behind and purchases an estate in Cornwall, longing to escape his mother’s meddling—and to find a wife worthy of his devotion. When he happens upon a barefooted lady asleep on the beach and rescues her from the incoming tide, he believes he has found such a woman. But first impressions can’t be trusted. Born into wealth, Sophia Rosewall is…read more.


Lord Jonathon Beckett’s mission is simple: retrieve Lady Hannah and place her under the protection of the Crown. But he isn’t prepared for the havoc she inflicts on his world, making him question whether his duty as an agent of the Crown should always come before his heart. Lady Hannah’s father has uncovered evidence…read more.

87. BEHIND THE LIGHT OF GOLOWDUYN by Deborah M. Hathaway

Abigail Moore will do anything to keep Golowduyn Lighthouse shining brightly, even if she must do so alone. When a shipwreck occurs near her home one stormy evening—bringing with it a dashing captain keen to offer his aid at every turn—her days of isolation vanish. Captain Gavin Kendricks didn’t expect to end…read more.


Miss Emma Pearson lives the most remarkable life for the daughter of a constable. Because of her brother’s heroics in Scotland, she has astonishingly become the ward of the Marquess of Downshire. Now, she wears only the finest clothes and mingles with members of high Society. Unfortunately, not everything goes as planned when a series of accidents causes her Season to be ruined before it has even begun. Simeon Martin, the Viscount of Wentworth, despises…read more.

85. THE BARON’S DAUGHTER by Laura Beers

Lord Morgan Easton is, first and foremost, an agent of the Crown. To achieve his purposes, he has become Society’s golden boy, and a renowned rake. When it’s discovered that notorious French spy, Genet, is attending a house party in a small seaside village, he is tasked to infiltrate the gathering and arrest the spy. But first, he must convince a certain woman to become his partner and pose as his wife. The challenge is that she would rather see him dead. Miss Josette Northcott guards her secrets fiercely, trusts few…read more.

84. A DECEPTIVE BARGAIN by Laura Beers

Hiding from the horrors of her past, Miss Martha Haskett is content living her days serving as a lady’s maid to her friend Eliza, the Marchioness of Lansdowne. But then her father, the new Earl of Waterford, shows up, with the shocking news that she is now a titled lady. Further turning her life upside down…read more.

83. A TANGLED RUSE by Laura Beers

After a failed abduction attempt, Lady Rachel is sent into hiding on her uncle’s estate near the sleepy village of Rockcliffe on the shores of Scotland. As she struggles to cope with the nightmares of her past, she unwittingly stumbles into even greater danger than she left behind. And this time, Shadow isn’t around to save her. Luke Beckett, the Marquess of Downshire, was content running his stud farm in solitude…read more.

82. TO LOVE A SPY by Laura Beers

Freed from the clutches of her cruel, traitorous mother and impostor husband, Lady Camden wants to rebuild her fractured life. But the years of terror and pain she endured at their hands continue to grip her heart in an iron vice. Refusing to stray from the refuge of her country estate, Kate tentatively agrees to an unusual alliance with the new Lord Camden, being mindful to keep her trust, and her heart, firmly safeguarded. Adrien, the Earl of Camden, had lost everything…read more.

81. MY SISTER’S INTENDED by Rachael Anderson

For as long as Prudence can remember, it has been understood that her sister will one day wed the eldest son of their nearest neighbor. Such an alliance will benefit both families and bring a great deal of joy to all parents involved. Unfortunately, Prudence has never been able to…read more.

80. SAVING SHADOW by Laura Beers

Born with a perfect memory, Lady Elizabeth Beckett has become one of the world’s most notorious spies, despite being the daughter of a duke. She is shielded only by her code name: Shadow. When young ladies of High Society begin disappearing from London, Eliza has no doubt…read more.


Grieving from the death of his wife, Lord Colin Campbell listens to the cries of his newborn son whilst penning a missive to the king. With no marriage prospects, Colin petitions his majesty for help in finding a stepmother. Never again will he fall in love—the death of a woman brings…read more.

78. HEIRESS FOR HIRE by Madeline Hunter

Minerva Hepplewhite has learned the hard way how to take care of herself. When an intruder breaks into her home, she doesn’t swoon or simper. Instead she wallops the rogue over the head and ties him up—only to realize he is Chase Radnor, the man who nearly…read more.

77. THE SOLICITOR’S SON by Rachael Anderson

At the end of her third season, Miss Sophia Gifford is firmly on the shelf, and she’s determined to accept her current suitor—a man she likes but cannot love When her sister decides to throw an impromptu summer house party, Sophia reluctantly agrees to help. What she doesn’t realize…read more.

76. A LADY TO REVEAL by Wendy May Andrews

Lady Felicity has no interest in Society’s expectations, and positively dreads being married off to a life without purpose. Desperate for a change of scenery, she hides her noble heritage and takes on the role of companion for the young daughter of a Duke. Gilbert Barrington, the Duke of Rathnelly, feels constant pressure to…read more.

75. A DUKE TO ELUDE by Wendy May Andrews

Lady Rosabel, eldest daughter of the Earl of Sherton, has no interest in being a Duchess, despite countless proposals from eligible nobility. Secretly, she is waiting for a love match—preferably with someone who carries no title. Bel’s third Season is predictably disappointing until…read more.

74. SHINING KNIGHT by Elizabeth Johns

Lady Eugenia Knight was the youngest of five, and the only daughter of a duke, so was it any wonder she was a hoyden? When she made her London debut, naturally Society—and the gossip columns—were fascinated with her. When her best friend and her brothers married, she was left to her own…read more.

73. DALTON’S CHALLENGE by Penny Fairbanks

Having spent half her life in her younger brother’s shadow, Miss Winifred Thirley has tried so hard to be perfect in order to win back her parents’ love. Unfortunately for Winnie, her attempts at perfection have practically turned her to stone. Is it so wrong for Winnie to value responsibility, decorum, and a serious approach to life? According to the foolish…read more.

72. ANNA’S DECISION by Penny Fairbanks

Miss Anna Harcourt is unlucky in love. She hasn’t been able to catch any man’s eye, dooming her to a future as the lonely maiden aunt. Why keep putting herself through the misery of being invisible among all the many beautiful, interesting ladies that flock to London every Season? Just when Anna is…read more.

71. CAROLINE’S DISCOVERY by Penny Fairbanks

It’s no secret that Miss Caroline Harcourt wants to marry a wealthy gentleman with an impressive title. In fact, she talks about it all the time. So why has she gone through two Seasons, dozens of suitors, and even a few proposals without marrying? Caroline is convinced that it’s because of her…read more.

70. SUITORS FOR THE PROPER MISS by Jen Geigle Johnson

Miss Lucy Standish has wanted to marry a future duke for as long as she could remember. Days in the cold, with little coal for their small cottage and little to eat, she would dream of the days she saved all her sisters with a marriage to a man of such elevated title that they would never be poor again, that her children and their children forever would be cared for. Mr. Conor Sullivan has never…read more.

69. PINING FOR LORD LOCKHART by Jen Geigle Johnson

Charity watches each of her sisters make plans to marry, one by one, and she is overjoyed for their happiness, but she doubts she will ever feel much of the same. She is busy in her causes, in her book groups, in her thinking bluestocking ways, but she has a secret. And no one knows, not even the man himself. But through all of her forward thinking ways, she is pining for Lord Lockhart. Lord Lockhart is the…read more.


Mairi Cameron has been haunted by a moment that changed her life forever. A dark secret that she reveals to no one made her abandon the world at fifteen and become a nun. Years afterwards, a letter from her father, Laird Cameron, comes to shake her life once more…read more.


When her parents sent her to an Abbey to punish her for her misbehaviors, Lady Rowena Morgan thought she’d seen the last of them. A notion that proved false when years later, they come with a new demand: she must take her sister’s place and marry a brutish Scotsman. Honoring a deal made by…read more.

66. HIGHLANDER’S PRIDE by Adamina Young

Nothing scares Margaret MacGill more than the prospect of marriage. Growing up as a wallflower, the very thought of men brings her discomfort, as Margaret does not see herself as a beautiful woman. Thus, when her brother Laird MacGill announces to her that he has arranged a series of Highland games, she panics at the hearing of the prize; a kiss from her! Now, people from all over Scotland…read more.

65. THE FIRST PROPOSAL by Chasity Bowlin

It was a blow to Persephone “Percy” Blake’s vanity to discover that she’d somehow become a spinster aunt. It’s certainly not what she set out to be. She had just been working away in her father’s library, cataloging historical documents. Then one day she looked up to find that ten years had passed and she was firmly on the shelf. Now, with the recent…read more.

64. SILVER DOLLAR DUKE by Sally Britton

Evan Rounsevell, second son to the Marquess of Rothwell, is running as far from his family and responsibilities as he can. His fascination with cowboys takes him from English shores to the Arizona desert, but the days of showdowns are over, and Tombstone, Arizona, is a respectable town. With no…read more.


Mary Douglas Mallach is a widow, and no man is willing to marry her after he meets her four wild boys! Nevertheless, her brother Laird Bhaltair Douglas insists that she marries again and finally manages to arrange a wedding with a merchant who resides in Scotland’s far north in the Orkney Islands. However, the northern waters around the Pentland Firth are dangerous and difficult to sail, and they are full of pirates… Seeking a way to…read more.

62. THE PEASANT QUEEN by Ashton E. Dorow

Torn from her home and all that is familiar, Arabella of Caelrith finds herself as the unwilling bride of King Rowan of Acuniel–the man whose vengeful war stole her family. Bitter and confused, Arabella struggles to find her place in this new life. That is, until someone tries to kill the king. Despite repeated warnings…read more.


Devoted to the children at her orphanage, Miss Caroline Hawkins hides her beauty behind thick spectacles and drab clothing in order to remain unwed…and free to do as she pleases. While her parents would love nothing more than to see her well married, Caroline is determined…read more.

59. LOVE IN THE WAGER by Kasey Stockton

When Lydia’s father tells her he’s obtained a husband for her, Mr. Thornton, she doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She’d only met the man once before, and he’d immediately left her stranded in a ballroom after asking her to dance. How could she marry a man who already deemed her forgettable? Edward Thornton has succumbed to the allure…read more.


Nothing but a pawn in her uncle’s game for title and station, Miss Rebecca Hawkins is forced to spend her days in the company of the most boring lord to ever cross her path, dreading the day he will finally work up the courage to ask for her hand. Her dreams of adventure are crushed by the…read more.


Unmarried and with child, Lady Eugenie enters into a marriage of convenience to save herself and her unborn child from society’s censure. However, her new husband turns out to be the rumored Beast of Ravengrove, a hideously scarred man who roams his ancestral home at night, sending fear into the hearts of those unfortunate enough to encounter him. Battle-scarred and weary…read more.


After her older sister’s marriage five years ago, Breta’s father grew lax, giving her the chance to develop into a wild child. But as sure as the sunris e, the moment of Breta’s marriage arrives as well, and her dreams of avoiding it are shuttered. However, hope arises when Breta hears of the Highland games that will be held by the Mcdougals, the clan her sister has married into. Breta plans to attend the games…read more.


After being swept out to sea, Nessa Barrett, Countess of Wentford, is nursed back to health at an abbey. While her body heals quickly, her mind remains lost to her. Without even the knowledge of her own name, she has nothing and no one to return to. Three years pass and…read more.

54. LOVE FOR THE SPINSTER by Kasey Stockton

Years after discovering her parents’ marriage was invalid, and she illegitimate, Freya continued to struggle with the scandal hanging over her head. When her father reappears with his real wife and daughter, Freya flees London entirely. With an inherited country house, Freya at least has somewhere to run. She looks forward to…read more.


After losing her entire family to a horrible sickness, Miss Charlaine Palmer leaves Jamaica and crosses an ocean, hoping for a new beginning in England. Unfortunately, she has been marked as an outsider, eyed suspiciously by the English ton. Her old friend, Lord Markham, as well as his family, however, welcome her with open arms and soon…read more.

52. VEILED IN SMOKE by Jocelyn Green

Meg and Sylvie Townsend manage the family bookshop and care for their father, Stephen, a veteran still suffering in mind and spirit from his time as a POW during the Civil War. But when the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago’s business district, they lose much more than just their store. The sisters become separated from their father and make a harrowing escape from the flames…read more.


Miss Emma Glass wants nothing to do with noblemen. From experience, she knows that deceitful minds hide behind their most charming smiles, and thus, she keeps to herself, her sole focus her precious little girl as well as the means necessary to ensure her future. Dedicated to fulfilling her role as governess to Lord Markham’s young daughter, Emma…read more.

50. PHILIPPA HOLDS COURT by Jennie Goutet

At the start of their London Season, Philippa Clavering discovers her friend Susan is being pursued by the wrong gentleman and decides to turn Susan’s head to a worthier suitor. Not one to shrink from what she views as her duty and gift, Philippa sets plans in motion to bring about the happy ending her friend deserves. What she does not expect is to have Susan’s older brother watching—and criticizing—her every move. After a respectable number…read more.

49. AGE OF AURORAS by Shari L. Tapscott

Temporary peace has settled across Draegan as a new era begins for the cursed kingdom, but the royals know that tranquility is fleeting. In order to fulfill the magic and save the continent from its imminent destruction, Rhys and Amalia must once again return to Renove and see the rightful king ascend his throne. The sorrows of yesterday…read more.


Christina MacKinnon is secretly relieved to be a widow. She is equally desperate to distance herself from the clan of her dead husband, but as the heir to his estate—one she needs in order to support her siblings—she must first stave off both the advances and threats of the man next in line to inherit. It seems the only person she can turn to is a nearby stranger who seems inclined to help her. But he has a request….read more.

47. THE ROSE AND THE WAND by EJ Kitchens

When prim and proper enchantress Lady Alexandria attempts to bewitch a magic mirror, she ends up cursed—powerless, penniless, dumped in a strange land, and stuck in the body of an old hag. As if that weren’t bad enough, the mirror gives her two tasks: curse the prince…read more.

46. THE EARL’S WINNING WAGER by Jen Geigle Johnson

Lord Morley’s life will change forever when he wins a game of cards and a family of sisters to go along with it. Miss Standish in none too pleased to have become the responsibility of yet another Lord, even if he is full of charm and goodness. Her responsibilities are…read more.

45. THE DUKE’S SECOND CHANCE by Jen Geigle Johnson

Gerald feels as though he’s lost everything when his wife takes her last breath. Amelia’s world turns upside down when the Duke of Granbury steps into her tea shop and leaves with her heart. But when a secret…read more.

44. ENCHANTING THE ELVEN MAGE by Alisha Klapheke

Today, Aury learned three things: One, she is a princess. Two, she might be a powerful mage. And three, a brutal mountain elf is on his way to the kingdom for their marriage. Aury can’t escape her newly revealed royal parents quickly enough. If they think she is going to marry some vicious elven warrior mage, they have another thing coming. They claim she’s a mage too…read more.

43. A FORGIVING HEART by Kasey Stockton

Kate Kingston wants nothing more than to instill her love of art into the hearts of her pupils, but when a solicitor arrives to inform her that her uncle died and she inherited his estate, she is hesitant to leave the comfortable life she has developed. Encouraged by her friends to embrace the new adventure, Kate uproots her life and travels to Larkfield where she must face the demons from her past…read more.

42. A REFUGE ASSURED by Jocelyn Green

Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a…read more.

41. NOT FORGOTTEN by Elizabeth Johns

Shipwrecked and believed dead by his friends, Captain Philip Elliot has been in hiding whilst spying on one of Napoleon’s most trusted lieutenants. Despite being in exile, Bonaparte still has grandiose plans of escape and conquering Europe…with the help of his ex-mistress, La Glacier, the most beautiful and complicit woman in France. Now the Duke of Wellington wants Philip to come out of hiding in order…read more.

40. THE IRON EARL by KJ Jackson

Miss Evalyn Swanson is desperate to escape her stepfather and his nefarious plan to hawk her off to his vicious business partner. With time running out, she spies salvation at a house party in Lincolnshire. Salvation in the form of one hulking, brooding Scotsman that is conveniently traveling north. North, where she can disappear for good…read more.

39. TIMELESS TREASURE by MaryLu Tyndall

The only thing Lexie’s mother left her after her death was a folder full of ancient letters and an old coin. Determined to remove the curse of poverty and crime from her family’s past, Lexie sets off to Charleston, S.C. to find the mythical treasure of Stede Bonnet. Professor Barret Johnson represents everything…read more.

38. BREATHE by Lisa T. Bergren

It’s Colorado, 1883. A publishing heiress is on the brink of life and death. Her beautiful younger sister is called to the forbidden stage. Her brother and troubled guardian is…read more.

37. THE SCARRED PRINCE by Erika Everest

His face scarred from a witch’s curse, Prince Sebastian retreats inside his castle, resentful and angry. He shuns contact with everyone except the Red Hoods, the elite soldiers he trains and leads. Four years ago, Sienna was…read more.

36. THE SECRETS OF A SCOUNDREL by Mindy Burbidge Strunk

Lady Isabel Palmer is crushed when her best friend and fellow adventurer, Marcus, leaves without even a good-bye. As years pass, tales of his rakish lifestyle reach her, and she buries any feelings she ever had for him. But when Marcus shows up years later in the middle of her father’s hunting party, old feelings and bitterness surface, placing the once close friends constantly at odds. Marcus Tierney left Essex years ago, hoping to…read more.

35. THE SECRETS OF A SCOUNDREL by Mindy Burbidge Strunk


34. KETURAH by Lisa T. Bergren

In 1773 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage. Although it flies against all the conventions for women of the time, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in…read more.

33. HIS DISINCLINED BRIDE by Jennie Goutet

Kitty Stokes never imagined she’d be so weak as to sacrifice herself on the altar of family obligations, but when the only alternative to marriage with Lord Hayworth is to play nursemaid to her brother’s children, Kitty reluctantly agrees. On her wedding day, she’s certain she has made a grave error, but it’s too late to back out. Phineas Hayworth refrained from…read more.


Lessons in propriety did little to prepare Marah Kinsley for life on board a creaky old boat. Now widowed, the boat is her livelihood, if she can only keep the navy from learning that she has shouldered the work of maintaining it. When a handsome lieutenant is granted command, Marah has to curb her growing attraction to keep him from uncovering the truth and taking away her means of supporting her family…read more.

31. A WELL-TRAINED LADY by Jess Heileman

Arabella Godwin is an Incomparable in London Society—elegant, wealthy, and meticulously trained. Yet, she has nothing to show for her efforts aside from her pretentious reputation and a collection of disappointed suitors. When her plan to secure a promising offer of marriage is temporarily delayed, she must bide her time in the company of…read more.

30. IF HE’S WILD by Hannah Howell

Lady Alethea Vaughn Channing is haunted by a vision of a man in danger—the same man who she has seen in her dreams time and time again. She doesn’t even know his name, and yet she feels an intense connection between them. And she knows with an inexplicable certainty that she is the only one standing between him and disaster…read more.


Tillie Sherbrooke was born a lady, but lost her place in society by her father’s folly. Quiet, resourceful, and loyal, she now makes the perfect lady’s maid for her mistress Sophia. When Sophia’s parents give her no choice but to travel across England to be matched with a mysterious young bachelor…read more.


Amelia Fawn is cursed—or so she believes. How else can she explain each of her husbands’ deaths within the first year of marriage? So after the ton names her the Black Widow and warns eligible men to stay clear, Amelia vows never to marry again. Not even if she falls in love…read more.


Eleanor Daventry has come into money, but she cannot access her inheritance without a husband. Steadfast and independent, she would rather become a schoolmistress than take a husband she does not love. Stratford Tunstall has just discovered…read more.

26. AN OFFICER, NOT A GENTLEMAN by Elizabeth Johns

Despite Tobin O’Neill’s humble origins, he finds himself a lieutenant in His Majesty’s army, serving on Wellington’s staff. When the roguish Irishman strikes up an unlikely friendship with a general’s daughter, they somehow become enmeshed in navigating the perils of the greatest battle of their age. Bridget Murphy had grown up following…read more.


After the sudden and unexpected death of her parents, Susanna, a beautiful English girl, finds herself under the protection of her uncle, who seeks to betroth her to the man that best serves his own interests. That man happens to be William Baxter, a devilish handsome Highlander, whose colossal…read more.

24. THE ORIENT EXPRESS by Elizabeth Johns, Annette Lyon & Nancy Campbell Allen

From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series, comes our new Victorian Romance collection: THE ORIENT EXPRESS. With three brand new Victorian Romance novellas by Elizabeth Johns, Annette Lyon, and Nancy Campbell Allen…read more.

23. DUKE OF KNIGHT by Elizabeth Johns

Rowley Knight, Duke of Knighton, is too busy being a duke to bother with such nonsense as love. With three heirs, he is in no hurry whatsoever to succumb to the lures of the leg-shackles. He is content managing his siblings and estates, and avoiding Society whenever possible. If he can only…read more.


As the fifth daughter in a family of nine, Noelle Grant spent her life striving to be unique. Her love of telling stories helps define her goal—to be known around the country as one of the top news correspondents of her time. And what better way to uncover sensational tales than to travel through the mountain wilderness to visit her brother? The trip comes together perfectly as she journeys…read more.

21. THIS HOMEWARD JOURNEY by Misty M. Beller

After her husband’s death, Rachel Gray is finally free from the turmoil his addictions caused. She wants nothing more than a new life with her twelve-year-old son. If she can reach her brother in the wilderness of the Canadian territories, they’ll have help to start over in peace. She knows better than to put her life in the hands of another man, but she never expected the …read more.

20. THIS FREEDOM JOURNEY by Misty M. Beller

Adrien Lockman is through with the political unrest and bloodshed in his home country of France, so he sets off to the Canadian territory’s mountain frontier, in search of a place where a man can live his own life in peace. The last thing he expects to find is a woman, half-starved and half-frozen in a shack nestled among the towering peaks of the great Rocky Mountains…read more.


Lilly Arendale has fought the anger of prejudice all her life. Her Guatemalan mother and wealthy English father were very much in love and gave her the best of upbringings, but their family was never accepted in either country. Now, orphaned and alone in the mining town of Butte in the Montana Territory, the effects of racism have left Lilly with a one-year-old daughter and…read more.


Claire Sullivan has a soft spot for helping those in need. So when her widowed grandmother becomes blind, Claire is determined to travel to the Montana Territory to care for her. But she never imagined the country would be so wild compared to her North Carolina home. Even the local…read more.


Miriam Bryant has always dreamed of leaving the never-ending work of her family’s remote mountain ranch to travel abroad as a genteel lady. She’s thrilled when the opportunity finally arises, but a gruesome hunting accident crushes her plans, leaving her stranded for weeks in a Montana Territory mining town. The single bright spot…read more.


Leah Townsend, a recently orphaned heiress, flees Richmond after discovering her fiancé’s plot to kill her after their wedding. She needs a safe place to hide, and finds herself accepting a newspaper marriage proposal from a God-fearing young rancher in the Montana Territory. But when Leah arrives at the mountain ranch, she learns her…read more.

15. BEHIND THE SCENES by Jen Turano

Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn’t guaranteed to “take.” After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she’s finally putting her status on…read more.

14. TRUE OF HEART by Martha Keyes

Miss Ruth Hawthorn helps support her fatherless family the only way she can: doling out love advice in a local newspaper column under an assumed name, The Swan. When she receives a lucrative request for an in-person consultation from someone signed “O,” her brother persuades her to…read more.

13. THE LADY OF LARKSPUR VALE by Kasey Stockton

Mabel Sheffield is too tall, or so she believes. It’s one of the reasons she has given up on finding a husband and instead embraces her role as a spinster, dedicating her days to managing her grandmother’s estate and her seven-year-old sister. But when…read more.


A funeral takes place under London’s rainy skies. Lavinia Bronson’s heart mourns for the loss of her beloved father and the bleak future that her mother is planning for her. But a mysterious man comes to…read more.


Percy Easton should by all means be one of the most content men in London, being the Earl of Berkshire and quite easy on the eyes. But due to the scandal that ensued after his aunt’s crimes, he barely has the will to walk out his front door. There is only one thing that lights his world of darkness: Lady Emilia Hornsby, the daughter…read more.

10. THE WIFE OF WALRAVEN by Amanda Panhorst

Resigned and dreading an arranged marriage that’s as ill-suited as it is unwanted, Lord Walraven accepts the invitation of a ramshackle acquaintance to journey to a house party in the far north of England as a last hurrah before accepting his fate. But in this helter-skelter party, schemes to ensnare Lord Walraven and his wealth are afoot…read more.


As the new governess to the duke’s family, Alice Sharpe must learn to control her impulsiveness. Employment in the duke’s household is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and could mean living in comfort the rest of her days. Unfortunately, her first encounter with the duke’s house guest…read more.

8. THE COTTAGE BY CONISTON by Deborah M. Hathaway

After a misguided kiss and subsequent rejection by yet another gentleman, Miss Amy Paxton convinces her brother to make all of her future decisions, especially in finding her a husband. His strategy? She must seek his advice before doing anything. Desperate for a happier future and…read more.

7. COURTING TROUBLE by Deeanne Gist

Whether it’s riding bikes, catching snakes, or sliding down banisters, Essie Spreckelmeyer just can’t quite make herself into the ideal woman her hometown–and her mother–expect her to be. It’s going to take…read more.

6. A LILY IN DISGUISE by Jessica Scarlett

To escape the scandals tied to her name, Lillian Markley has gone by an alias for eight years. It was the only way for her to get a reputable job and save enough money to reunite with her sister in America. But when Lily is suddenly…read more.

5. A LORD OF MANY MASKS by Jessica Scarlett

Eliza Wycliffe has always dreamed of falling in love. But when her mother reveals a secret that threatens her inheritance, Eliza realizes she must secure her future and marry before her Season ends—with or without love. Recruiting the help of longtime friend and shameless flirt, William Bentley, Eliza sets about trying to…read more.


Diana Douglass, daughter of the Earl of Winthrop, is desperate to escape the grim future others planned for her. After she is forced to marry her father’s loathsome partner she is left with no other choice but to flee, unaware of the shadows that haunt her every step…read more.


After her parents’ separation, Lady Vivien Exter is left at the mercy of the two people she hates the most: her stone-hearted father and the lecherous betrothed he has forced on her. Until she finds herself in the strong arms of a tempting knight. Francis Farbridge, the Earl of Landon, lost everything overnight. Known as…read more.


Lady Grace Birks, daughter of the Duke of Leosted, would like nothing better than to spend the holidays with her nose stuck in one of her novels. However, her plans are quickly ruined when her father forces her to spend Christmas with a man she despises: her very own betrothed. With their last encounter a complete disaster…read more.


Thea Caulfield, daughter of an ambitious merchant, has no choice but to accept the deal made between her father and the Duke of Sandon. Away from her home and family, she finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage with a man she barely knows, and holding a title she never wished for. How will she ever survive this foreign…read more.


“I love stories about adventure and trains!” I once said. “I love mysteries and finding something I normally wouldn’t read,” I said. Well, normally I wouldn’t read such steamy romance: but I did. Normally I wouldn’t read romance at all: but I did. Some of the above titles I loved, and some I didn’t like all that much. But, as fate would have it, this is my list. The first 100 books I read this year – give or take some. I tried sticking true to this list, but as I went back through my Kindle’s list on my phone, I noticed many discrepencies. Book covers didn’t match the titles. Some were oddly repeated and others didn’t even show up.

I think we all know by now that the internet isn’t a perfect place, but I do love it for all the books. What are some of your reads from 2021 (so far)? I hope you’ll share them below; happy reading!

Introducing a New Blog Series

As I’ve mentioned before, things are changing here on anotherhartmanauthor. Blog series have finished, so it’s time to begin a few new ones and see how they go. Today’s short little ditty is all about the next idea: My Last Five Books.

I’m still figuring out how I’m going to do my book reviews, so I thought why not do dedicated-to-one-book posts, as well as highlight the last five books I read in a “speed review” type post? That way, yinz can see just how many books I’ve been reading, as well as all the genres I’m reading in one place, once a month.

My Last Five Books will, of course, be different from the On My Bookshelf pages. Those are just running lists of what I’ve read throughout the year. While it’s certainly been fun maintaining that section, I have to reevaluate that as well. Though it has helped me to not buy the same books over and over again…hm…

Moving on:

So I hope yinz like this new idea. Current problem: I started building the first post and I’ve read at least six more books since opening that draft. Heck, it’s only June and I’ve already read 90/100 books (and then some). Keep your eyes peeled for the first My Last Five Books coming within the next few weeks!

Five (but really six) Books I Bought Today.

Money is super tight these days, so nobody, not even you. Not myself. Should feel bad about where we buy our books. At one point in time, the only two places I could afford new reading materials was at Goodwill, and scrounging through the “used” book sellers on Amazon. I still check out the used books sections for much of my nonfiction (let’s face it – those biographies can get EXPENsive. Especially if you want a well written one).

For the past two weeks I’ve been working overnights. I can’t fully complain, though, because I signed up to help with inventory prep. Not only that, but I’ve been trying (keyword: trying) to save my money for my vacation that’s coming up in two weeks. But I needed an evening out on my day off, so I took a trip to that place we all love to hate (or hate to love), Half-Price Books.

Disclaimer: Not all prices listed may be the same for you, or even me. Some were taken from the back of the book and don’t match the prices listed via the Amazon link. Also a disclaimer: I’m just sharing the links in case you’d like to purchase them for yourselves. I do not make any money if you decide to do so.

So, all that aside, here are the five books I bought today (6.12.2021) from Half-Price Books.

Price: 9.99
I paid: 8.48

Why I Picked This Up

Not only have I recently gotten into Scottish history, but I’ve been rewatching a television show from The CW called Reign. Now I know many MANY writers dislike this particular series for a multitude of reasons, but I enjoyed it because it was different from other shows that were airing at the same time.

And, I mean, Reign had Megan Follows (um, the original and BEST Anne Shirley. Fight me) and many characters you loved to hate. It was all political intrigue, crazy situations and mysticism with Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth of England and those affected by them.

All the weirdness aside, I gotta commend The CW for at least trying to bring history to a younger audience. I’ll admit that I totally had a thing for Bash (aka Sebastian). Give me Francis as my brother, Bash as my lover. Erm…moving on! Because one of my historical interests now lies with Scotland, its past and current history (for a potential WIP), I knew I had to add this to my nonfiction collection.

Price: 6.31
I paid: 3.00

Why I Picked This Up

I went for this book like a moth goes to a flame. There was my company’s logo, front and center on the bottom shelf of the clearance section. There’s a story behind this particular purchase. Two of my managers were up near my register at work looking for these books. I hadn’t seen them since I was a child, nor in the three years I’ve worked for THD.

As soon as I saw this I knew right then I needed to purchase this. Not just for myself (as I’ve recently gotten into a little bit of gardening), but it was definitely a “this is so funny” moment for me right there in the bookstore. It’s already on his desk with a note; I hope he gets a kick out of it. I just hope he doesn’t decide to keep it for himself!

Price: 6.96 (via Amazon)
I paid: 3.00

Why I Picked This Up

Early on in my writing journey I handwrote all my historical research. People thought I was crazy. In my defense, I didn’t have a good working computer at my disposal back in 2016. Those particular notebooks are now living in my hope chest.

I really like the idea of having all my research close to my fingertips. I can still see what I’ve scratched out, written in the margins, and easily question my thought process for looking up particular pieces of information.

This book really was an impulse buy. I’m not certain if it’s written for the casual writer or someone more involved in academia. What better way to find out than to buy it and crack it open some night I cannot sleep? I’ll gladly digest any nonfiction book that’s touts itself as guide for research and resources.

Price: 16.99
I paid: 3.00

Why I Picked This Up

The only people who need not buy this cookbook are those who are unfortunate enough to suffer from lactose intolerance, and I truly feel bad for them. Because who doesn’t love a really good grilled cheese sandwich?

Price: 24.98
I paid: 3.00

Why I Picked This Up

In an effort to, well, eat better, the title of this cookbook drew me in right away. I didn’t even have to think twice about it. Quite honestly, that’s really all the explanation this particular entry needs. Healthy body, healthy life – or so they say!

Price: 19.99
I paid: 3.00

Why I Picked This Up

Who doesn’t have a weird obsession with cookbooks? They’re one of my fastest rotating nonfiction sections, as my, well, my taste in food changes quite frequently. Every few years I also fancy myself a baker.

Not much comes, successfully, from my baking efforts. I’m still drawn to cookbooks, and this one was no exception! In fact, I may not have a fondue pot, but I’ve got at least four fondue cookbooks. I may not cook a lot of meat (meat is expensive), but I’ve got at least three meat related cookbooks. Need I go on?

I also picked up this particular cookbook in preparation for some changes coming soon to this site!

Trust me. I get it. Many of us online are networking and writing and blogging and really want to support each other directly rather than through third party sellers. Honestly? I’d be tickled pink to find any book I may write sold, well, anywhere. Ending up in a bookstore is still a big deal. The savings today ended up being a big deal as well. My grand total: $25.12. If I’d purchased all these books at their full retail value, I would’ve spent that amount for just THE ULTIMATE HEALTHY EATING COOKBOOK by itself.

Thoughts On Accepting Change

Do you easily accept change, or are you one of those folks who resist it until you absolutely have to accept it? Personally, I fall somewhere in between. When it comes to my work life, I’m not always fond of policy or procedural changes. When it comes to my writing or personal life, I can go either way. So, naturally, when I decided to put writing on hold, my brain wanted to give me all the new ideas. Isn’t that how it always happens? Just when I thought I’d accepted this change, and began implementing them here on this website, I began second guessing it all. That is something I’ve done my entire life: second guess. I have some inkling as to why I am the way I am, but that’s a blog post for another day.

For years I’ve tried to write. Any time a new idea came up, I’d throw myself into research, learning more about the process, and would follow more of those in the publishing industry. Then, as soon as I’d sit down to actually do work on the project itself, procrastination would take over. The thing is, I want to change. I’m just not certain if I’m disciplined enough to do so. I know exactly how I earned the reputation of “Leigh never finishes anything” in my family. I just want to break the cycle. I’m going on 36 years old. Why haven’t I broken my cycle yet?

It boils down to one word: fear. Fear of failing again. Fear of not living up to my own self-set expectations. Fear that no one would read what I write. Fear of failing before I even start. Fear of the knowledge that I’m not the only one who’s also trying to make it in the publishing industry. Fear.

I think that’s the biggest reason of all that I decided to put my pens and notebooks in a drawer. Not only that, but I’ve always had trouble getting past my initial story ideas. For me, the struggle is real. I absolutely adore the nitty gritty parts of the writing process. So much so that I often wonder if there’s a job like that out there somewhere. A writer’s assistant? Not in terms of answering phones or putting out press releases. But someone who loves the practical side of writing. Okay, so I know I’m not making much sense here. Or am I? I dunno.

In any case, I’m slowly coming to terms with the changes I’ve decided to make in my own life. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” they say. What about a 35 year old looking to reset her involvement in the great big writing and publishing communities? Have you any thoughts on fear, publishing, and resetting life goals? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

Change is Coming

There are many types of bloggers out here on the interwebs, and I’m still finding my footing. Even after all these years of blogging, writing, and blogging about writing. I used to think I wanted to, one day, become a published writer, but I’ve come to understand something about myself: I’m really not all that disciplined to do so.

As I’ve got multiple failed attempts under my belt – from Project Firedamp in 2016 to Project Star and Sea most recently in 2020 – publication is no longer a viable path for me. I’ve failed at so many short story attempts it’s not even funny. I’ve failed at consistently posting web story series. I’ve failed at completing any manuscript on my hard drive.

Because of this decision, my website will undergo a transformation. Let me go ahead and answer a few questions you may already have: yes, I’ll still be reading. Yes, I’ll still blog about life, books, history, and writing stuff. No, I’m not disappearing for good. Things are just…changing. And never before would I have personally accepted or attempted this change if I didn’t feel it was a good direction to go in.

Now, mind you, I’m no expert in reviewing books. I’ve tried doing them on my site in the past, but I realized, very quickly, that I was only reviewing books that disappointed me. How biased is that? So I’ll be taking another look at how I’ll do so moving forward. I’m also going to try expanding my reading habits, though I know I’ll always revert back to my favorite genres.

Look for changes in the coming days, weeks, months, years. Because change is coming to Including this site’s link. Authorship may no longer be my goal in life, but if I can help others achieve their dreams, then why not use this visibility to do so?

Burnout // It’s Real, Y’all

Online content moves at a pace akin to Star Trek’s “warp speed,” and probably even faster than that. That’s what content posting was like on this website for several months. Until it stopped cold. Today’s post is all about why that happened.

Just as with any creative outlet, blogging is its own beast. Any content creator can experience burnout (or insert-here-whatever-adjective-you’d-like-to-use to describe such a thing here), and that’s precisely what hit me a few weeks ago.

I was utterly, completely, equivalently burnt out. I saw the return – you guys really liked my voice! – and that encouraged me to compose several posts a week. Not only that, but I could barely keep up with all the random topic ideas which would crop up in the middle of the night.

My heart, however, just wasn’t in it this month. Every time I sat down to write something, anything, for this site, I’d move it to the trash bin a day later. Was I done blogging for good? Don’t get me wrong – I still love creating content!

We humans love to see things happen in real time. And it’s super satisfying watching stats, seeing the clicks and knowing I’ve somehow contributed something of value to our writing and reading communities.

However, at what point does that become selfish motivation? That, my friends, is the biggest reason I took some time for reflection. There’s no way I’ll ever win accolades with the writing presented on this forum.

Sure, it would be exciting to be featured in a NYT post, or a magazine, or on someone else’s blog. Let’s face the facts: I’m not even published yet. And that’s the second reason I took time off. I’m never going to finish any novel if all I’m doing is pumping out three blog posts a week every week.

And finally, here’s the third reason I haven’t blogged this month: I’ve found myself changing on the inside. I’m not the same person I was six months ago. I no longer love Star Trek (so, while I’m proud of the ones I’ve written, I’ll not be adding any more to that topic), I’m no longer enamored with k-pop, and I’m exploring who I am as an adult.

What do I want? Is this really how I want to live the rest of my life? How do I live more like Jesus taught us? (and I’ve never, ever said something like that in a blog post before). How do I show that love to others? How can I live it both online and at my full time job?

I suppose it wasn’t exactly burn out with JUST the blog. I burned out with life. And how I’ve been living up to this point. What does this mean for the future of this site?

It means things will slow down.
It means things will be done in a (hopefully) more thoughtful manner.
It means I’m reassessing my own writing and what I want to accomplish.

As in actually accomplish.

Not just wishfully accomplishing in my mind.

YES – blogging will still happen! YES – writing will still happen! YES – author interviews will still happen! However different it may be, I hope you’ll stick around.

Have a fantastic upcoming weekend, everyone. Please don’t be afraid to leave a comment. I could really use the encouragement.

Ten New Releases I’m Looking Forward To in 2021

You are not alone. By that statement I mean you are not alone in your ever-growing “TBR” pile. #amiright? Please excuse that lame use of a hashtag in a blog post. It seemed like an opportune moment!

Also opportune: new releases! I feel like I’ve read nothing but older titles for the past few years, so I’ve found the addition of a New Releases 2021 list over on Amazon to be quite a refreshing change.

This list is, so far, has encouraged me to seek out new authors and new types of stories I wouldn’t have otherwise found. Feeling stuck with your own reading habits? Try compiling such a list! Not only may you find something new to love, but it’ll give you something to look forward to as well.

Already Released

Author: Martha Keyes
Pub Date: 27 February ’21
Genre: Scottish Historical Romance
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

Christina MacKinnon is secretly relieved to be a widow. She is equally desperate to distance herself from the clan of her dead husband, but as the heir to his estate—one she needs in order to support her siblings—she must first stave off both the advances and threats of the man next in line to inherit. It seems the only person she can turn to is a nearby stranger who seems inclined to help her. But he has a request….read more.

My initial thoughts: As I’m on a bit of a Scottish/Highlander story kick right now, I really wanted to read this as soon as I saw it. While it seems like every Highlander tale tries to be the next “Outlander,” I hope this one stands on its own two feet. The use of a widow character in stories has been a popular trait as of late, so I hope this tale doesn’t turn cliche with its use as well. Fingers crossed! I could really use an adventure right now.

Author: Shari L. Tapscott
Pub Date: 29 January ’21
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

Temporary peace has settled across Draegan as a new era begins for the cursed kingdom, but the royals know that tranquility is fleeting. In order to fulfill the magic and save the continent from its imminent destruction, Rhys and Amalia must once again return to Renove and see the rightful king ascend his throne.

The sorrows of yesterday forgotten, Amalia looks forward to crossing the rift one last time to see her family, filled with hope that the impossible task she and Rhys were charged with will soon be complete.
read more

My initial thoughts: I’ve followed this series almost since the first novel was published a few years ago. Let me tell you something: I don’t normally gravitate towards fantasy reads, but this one I’m thoroughly enjoying. That should tell you something. I really like Tapscott’s writing style, as well as the characters in this series. You want to root for almost all of them, and that’s rare.

Author: Jennie Goutet
Pub Date: 1 March ’21
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

At the start of their London Season, Philippa Clavering discovers her friend, Susan, is being pursued by the wrong gentleman and decides to turn Susan’s head to a worthier suitor. Not one to shrink from what she views as her duty and gift, Philippa sets plans in motion to bring about the happy ending her friend deserves. What she does not expect is to have Susan’s older brother watching—and criticizing—her every move.

After a respectable number of years on the town, Jack Blythefield is at last contemplating the idea of settling down. What he seeks is a compliant wife to provide him an heir or two and make his home comfortable while he spends his evenings at the club, where a man can get some peace. What he does not need is a termagant who sets his life on end with madcap schemes, which invariably involve his unwilling assistance. read more

My initial thoughts: Right off the bat I can tell this isn’t going to be your typical Regency story. Regencies usually go one of two ways: the hero’s part of the King’s ranks and is undercover; or the wallflower needs attending, much to everyone’s chagrin. This one looks quite promising. We shall see, won’t we?

Not Yet Released

Author: Michele Ashman Bell
Pub Date: 1 April ’21
Genre: Historical Adventure
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

Anduron, 1498. The king and queen are dead, murdered by one who will stop at nothing to rule. But the young princess—Rosemund—has survived, spirited deep into the forest by her parents’ most trusted advisor. There, she finds refuge in a small cottage and a new life, one in which she must play a role that will ensure her survival. Soldiers are combing the countryside, searching for the lost princess, and they will not rest until she is found—and executed. read more

My initial thoughts: adventure, adventure, adventure! Please, give me all the adventure! I’ve read so much romance as of late that I really need more swordplay n’at. This has Sleeping Beauty vibes as well, and I hope there’s at least a little nod in there to the fairy tale. I’m a sucker for retellings, okay? The heroine might be a bit young for my tastes, but we shall see.

Author: Heather B. Moore
Pub Date: 1 April ’21
Genre: Historical
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

Georgina Ballard has been disappointed in love more than a few times, a fact that she is uncomfortably aware of amid her sister’s wedding preparations. When her elderly aunt Rowena bids Gigi to accompany her on an art tour across Europe, Gigi hesitates but eventually resigns herself to the train journey alongside a group of aged art connoisseurs, if only to mollify her aunt. read more

My initial thoughts: Yet another new book for April 1st! I had to check my sources several times while building this post just to make sure I hadn’t read the dates wrong. I normally don’t read books set in this time but c’mon. Trains? How could I pass that up? Just have a train in your tale and I’ll gravitate to it like moths to a flame! Not only that, but it’s received rave reviews over on Goodreads. Yes, histfic! Give me all the adventure, please!

Author: Sally Britton
Pub Date: 30 April ’21
Genre: Historical Regency Romance
Formats: Kindle

Emma Arlen has spent a decade as a member of the duke’s family, in the position of companion to his daughter and ward to the duke himself. She would do anything to show her support to the ducal family for their love and kindness. When Lady Elinor begs Emma to distract a most determined Sicilian suitor, she agrees at once. How hard can it be to keep one man entertained for a few weeks? read more

My initial thoughts: After thoroughly enjoying the first book in this series, I knew I had to pick this one up. I discovered MR GARDINER AND THE GOVERNESS at a time when I wasn’t keen on romance novels. Let’s just say Sally Britton changed my mind. I know it’s impossible to love every story by a single author, so let’s read to find out!

Author: Jen Geigle Johnson
Pub Date: 3 May ’21
Genre: Historical
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

Peace is tenuous in the small kingdom of Oldenburg, and the looming threat of invasion from Napoleon weighs heavily on the royal family. Their country’s best chance for safety lies in strengthening their alliance with the English. So it is that Prince Hayes Wilhelm finds himself returning to England, where he hopes a prominent duke can help him protect his country. read more

My initial thoughts: The cover. Look at that cover! I know they say to not judge a book by its cover, but I’m a very visual individual. the cover first, has to draw me in. Followed closely by the synopsis. Speaking of the synopsis, this one certainly gives us a glimpse of high stakes, and not just with matters of the heart. I hope it excels in both.

Author: Esther Hatch
Pub Date: 3 May ’21
Genre: Historical Romance
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

His scandals were right on track until she derailed everything.

As the successful owner of multiple railroad lines, Diana Barton is all too accustomed to fending off suitors seeking to stake their claim on her wealth. In order to keep the wolves at bay, Diana has contrived the perfect plan: appeal to the most notorious rake in London, the Baron Lord Bryant, to ruin her reputation and scare off the worst of the time wasters. The ruse will be no hardship—she’s secretly been fascinated by the man for years. read more

My initial thoughts: it’s the classic “damned if they do, damned if they don’t. While I’ve no idea if this will be a clean romance or not, I’m once again drawn in by yet another element of this story: trains. Yup. I’m a train fiend, okay? Perhaps one day I’ll compile a blog post explaining why, but not today! I’m also a sucker for rake-turned-faithful stories. Looking forward to this one!

Author: Melanie Dickerson
Pub Date: 1 June ’21
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Formats: Kindle, Audiobook

Ever since she was a child, Audrey wanted her life to be extraordinary. But as the daughter of a viscount born in late fourteenth-century England, the only thing expected of her was to marry—until an act of malice by her sister, Maris, four years ago damaged her prospects even further. Though Maris was sent away, twenty-year-old Audrey is still suffering the scars of her sister’s cruelty. So when her father announces his plans to marry off his damaged daughter and bring Maris back home, Audrey decides to flee in search of her true destiny. read more

My initial thoughts: She was already a seasoned author by the time I discovered Melanie Dickerson’s books. I own nearly all of them – though some I like more than others. To this day I’m still not sure how I feel about THE ORPHAN’S WISH or THE PIPER’S PURSUIT. But I’m ready for a another medieval tale, one not connected with the prior series, with the Dericott series.

Author: Lisa Kleypas
Pub Date: 27 July ’21
Genre: Historical Romance
Formats: Kindle, Paperback

“The devil never tries to make people do the wrong thing by scaring them. He does it by tempting them.”

Lady Merritt Sterling, a strong-willed young widow who’s running her late husband’s shipping company, knows London society is dying to catch her in a scandal. So far, she’s been too smart to provide them with one. But then she meets Keir MacRae, a rough-and-rugged Scottish whisky distiller, and all her sensible plans vanish like smoke. They couldn’t be more different, but their attraction is powerful, raw and irresistible. read more

My initial thoughts: Oh dear. This is book seven in a series of seven! I really hope that it can still be read as a stand-alone tale without much background info needed. This is also another romantic tale with a widow as the heroine. Does this speak to today’s times? I can’t help but wonder… I don’t wonder, however, about the inclusion of more Scottish characters. Yes! Give me all the kilts. Um…that doesn’t sound good, does it?

Well, there you have it. Ten titles I’m looking forward to reading in 2021. As always, this list is subject to change, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Have you made a New Releases list yet? No? What are you waiting for? Go and show your fellow authors some love.

Three New-To-Me Authors

What do all these authors have in common? They each have newly published releases within the past few years, and it was only by reading more in 2020 did I stumble across their collective works.

Let me begin by sharing a quick gripe I have with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. Their suggestions love sticking to one very specific genre or sub-genre, and I’ve yet to figure out how to get it to stop. If I hadn’t read down what I had in my Library, I’m sure I never would’ve found these three ladies. Does anyone know if there’s a work-around to that?

I don’t always want to read the same few authors within any given genre. So I’ve made a conscious effort this month to branch out. And, by jove, I’m so glad that I did! Below are three new-to-me favorite authors I highly suggest you try reading from yourself. In alphabeditcal order:

Joanna Barker

I honestly never thought I’d fall in love with Romance novels, but it looks like I most certainly have. After indulging in several sub-genres within this newfound love, I’ve come to realize that Romance really has been given a bad rap for years. Not all Romance is “steamy.” Not all Romance is quickly thrown together so an author can earn a quick buck. Joanna’s novels taught me all that.

Romance can also have adventure, and that’s what drew me to OTHERWISE ENGAGED. I just had to find more like it. Not all Regencies have to be about courting, London’s ton or gossiping spinsters. While those elements are certainly within her books, they’re not the focus of her plots. And that I greatly appreciate.

I just need to read down my current TBR pile before I can allow myself the luxury of purchasing more of her books!

Connect with Joanna

Sally Britton

The first book of Ms. Britton’s I read was SAVING MISS EVERLY. Since I wasn’t sure what to think of her writing style just yet, I decided to follow up with its sister book, DISCOVERING GRACE. In all honesty, I found DISCOVERING GRACE a little disappointing. It didn’t have the adventure Book 1 had, and I didn’t pick anything of hers up again MR GARDINER AND THE GOVERNESS.

MR GARDINER AND THE GOVERNESS is my favorite read of Ms. Britton’s thus far. While it doesn’t have the adventure I crave so much in a book, I found the main characters and its secondary characters better developed than in the aforementioned titles. MR GARDINER AND THE GOVERNESS was published a year after, and Ms. Britton’s growth as an author is evident.

To read one of the above titles, click their Amazon links below!

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Deeanne Gist

Deeanne Gist is the newest addition to this list, as I found LOVE ON THE LINE just a few weeks ago. I adore a strong male character, one who’s sure of himself but is also able to change. The same goes for female leads; if they compliment one another, then that’s all the better!

Character development is a strength of Deeanne Gist’s. So is plotting and scene creating. Oh heck – I want to write like Deeanne Gist!

Gist’s books are also on my to-be-purchased list for 2021, right up there with Joanna Barker. While I’ve only read one title, I’m most definitely looking forward to reading more. Sometimes it takes just one book to know, you know?

Connect with Deeanne

I Read 24 eBooks in Nine Weeks.

Books books books books books books books. Or, to quote that one famous line from the film Hocus Pocus, “BooooooooOOOOOooooook!” My love affair with the written word has taken many twists and turns throughout my life.

It began ever so slowly, as does most things when you’re a child. My very first memories include books. I loved the Frank Peretti Cooper Kids series, the Star Trek: Voyager novels, and the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery adventures. And I adored the made-for-tv adaptation of Anne of Green Gables with Megan Follows (and swoon-worthy Jonathan Crombie).

Not only have my reading habits changed over the years, but my taste in books has as well. They will be clearly evident in the twenty-four books listed below that I read these last nine weeks. I read on my lunches and fifteen minute breaks at work. For a few years I didn’t read a thing, so I suppose 2020’s been my year to catch up. Here are the last twenty four books that I read in nine weeks.

See a book you want to read? Simply click on the image and you’ll be taken to that book’s Amazon page. (there are no affiliate links; sharing just to share)

Knights, dukes and lairds, my oh my oh my! As you can see, I fell down that rabbit hole known as the Romance genre. Between Christian, historical and, well, steamy fiction (but only a few!)

I suppose it’s only the most natural progression of things. Fairy tale retellings have been a favorite genre of mine for years. In fact, my next project is one! With a genre bending twist.

Now that I’m a little more versed in one of my new genres, I think I’ll use the first few months of 2021 to explore another new genre. Perhaps mystery? Or science fiction? Or adventure? We shall see!

In the mean time, did any of the above titles catch your fancy? Are you in the mood for an honorable laird or scheming duke? Perhaps an island tale, or one set within the walls of a castle. I hope you’ve been able to thoroughly enjoy your reading lists this year, and that they brought you some joy.

What’s next on your reading list?

A Comparative Review of Two Snow White Retellings

Fairy tales and I go way back. How far back? Pretty dang far. When I picked up my first fairy tale retelling (PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL by Jessica Day George and THE BEAUTIFUL PRETENDER by Melanie Dickerson), I’d no idea just how much this genre would, well, get me. Not only that, but retellings can be written for any age group, not just Middle Grade or Young Adult.

Hi. My name’s Leigh. I’m a thirty-five year old woman who absolutely loves a good fairy tale.
They don’t need to be high fantasy. Always full of action. Or even have the “typical” heroine.
So long as they have great plots, writing, and an ending wrapped up in a neat little package, I’m happy.

Tall order, right?

So with all the fairy tale reimaginings I’ve read over the years, I think I can loosely call myself an expert on the subject matter. Heaven knows I don’t know all the fairy tales, nor all the versions of them that are out there. But I thought I’d try a different kind of book review, comparing SNOW WHITE by KM Shea with the newly released BEGUILED by Jody Hedlund.

I already read Shea’s version some time ago, but found myself reading her whole series again. Hence the idea for this post. I’ve also read other series by Hedlund. As such, I’m greatly familiar with both authors’ works and writing styles.

DISCLAIMER: This review will contain spoilers, so if you don’t want anything ruined before you read either, I hope you’ll check out my October Bookviews post instead.

The Cast ⟡


Snow White
The Seven Warriors
The “mother”


Princess Pearl
Prince Mikkel
Pearl’s band of Outcasts
The “mother”

Let’s start with a quick recap of each book’s core group of characters. First, there’s the portrayal of Snow White. Many elements are kept in terms of her description – milky skin white as snow, dark hair, red lips. That’s where the similarities end. Shea’s Snow White’s journey is very different from that of Pearl’s, but they both learn valuable lessons along the way.

Side note: Shea’s is Book 11 in the Timeless Fairy Tales Series, but it can be read as a standalone story. Hedlund’s version is Book 2 in a three part series which should really be read in order.

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER! I did warn you these would be everywhere, did I not? Let’s just cut to the chase – Fritz and Mikkel are each our protagonists’ eventual love interests. I really did enjoy both their unconventional approaches to these characters. Trust goes both ways, but who needs to learn it from whom? I’ll let you read to figure that part out.

Now for the dwarves. I was pleasantly relieved neither had them. No offense to dwarves, of course! I’m positive Gimli from THE LORD OF THE RINGS would have something to say about that! But each princess has her own band of misfits – some more so than others – to help her along her journey. I found Shea’s interpretation in the Seven Warriors more endearing than Hedlund’s band of outcasts. While Shea’s cast worked in harmony, Hedlund created a leader for Pearl’s band I just couldn’t come to like. Perhaps there’s a reason for that?

Both Angel and Ruby have integral roles to play, though at first it may not seem like they do. As I read Shea’s other books in the series, I had a theory early on as to who Angel actually was. If you haven’t read any of it, then you’re in for a big surprise. The twist from Hedlund’s version is that Pearl has a sister, Ruby. When was the last time you read a Snow White story where she had sibling(s)?

Finally we come upon the mothers. One has an actual mother. The other, the classic “stepmother.” No spoilers here as to which plot includes which version of a mother.

The Elements ⟡


Her clothing
An apple
Point of Views


Her clothing
No apple
Point of Views

In Shea’s version, Snow White is eventually dressed in an outfit similar to one in Disney’s remake. At least, that’s how I pictured it. The colors are all there. But Pearl from Hedlund’s BEGUILED doesn’t dress anything like Disney’s version. In fact, she looks the complete opposite for reasons. Is Pearl’s outfit representative of how she has to live to survive?

The classic apple. I remember as a child not wanting to eat apples after seeing Disney’s version. But then I couldn’t eat them for the next couple of years due to my braces. That’s a story for another day. Ah yes, the classic apple. An apple is used in Shea’s version; I wonder if the color of Pearl’s dress on Hedlund’s cover is merely symbolic of a red red apple.

Any time a book surpasses three character point of views I have difficulty finishing it. When a book has so many POVs that jump around seemingly willy-nilly, that’s when I put the book down. Thankfully, both of these stories fewer than four POVs, with one starting off in a very surprising way.

Finally for this section, we come upon Angel and Ruby yet again. Why do I include them twice? Because they’re that important. For Snow White, Angel (the mysterious yet sometimes annoying Angel) eventually becomes a dear friend. As Ruby is Pearl’s sister, one of Pearl’s main goals is to rescue her and never look back.

Overall Thoughts ⟡

Shea’s Version: published in 2018 with more magical creatures than one can count, seven “regular” sized men (all with vastly different personalities), a huntsman, sweet romance, and connection to the series’ previous ten books. I really appreciated the continuation of the overall fair tale arc

Hedlund’s Version: published in 2020 with a very different “Snow,” her actual mother isn’t dead, she has a sister, and our heroine is both calculating and thoughtful (rather than completely innocent and unaware of how the world works.

Every country – nay, every generation – has their own versions of these ancient tales. The “retelling scene” has exploded over the past ten years with many authors putting new spins on the classics. Snow White is no exception. If you’re looking for one a bit more lighthearted with a cacophony of magical creatures, then you’d like KM Shea’s SNOW WHITE. If you’re looking for a bit of a different tale with some darker themes, then you’re gonna want to read BEGUILED by Jody Hedlund.

Which do I like better? Shea’s for nostalgia (as I’ve read it at least thrice before), but Hedlund’s for her unexpected twists.

As of Sunday, November 1st, 2020, both are available on Kindle Unlimited

KM Shea’s Links

Jody Hedlund’s Links

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