Monday, May 16, 2022

An Unfamiliar Duke - Review

An Unfamiliar Duke (Georgian Gentlemen, # 4)

By: Sian Ann Bessey

Publication: May 16th 2022 by Covenant Communications

290 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--At eleven years of age, Rosalind Ainsworth was convinced that Sebastian Lumley, the future Duke of Kelbrook, was the most odious young man she’d ever met. And ten years later, after having had no contact with the nobleman in the intervening time, her opinion of him has not changed. Unfortunately, neither has the marriage contract their fathers signed soon after her birth.

As Rosalind’s twenty-first birthday and the appointed wedding day approaches, Sebastian makes a rare appearance in London. His first meeting with Rosalind since childhood goes less than perfectly, but Sebastian has a compelling reason for honoring their marriage contract—a reason outlined in a document kept behind his workshop’s locked door.

After a quick wedding, the new couple relocates to Finley Park, where their acquaintanceship slowly blossoms into affection. But when Sebastian’s secretive work threatens their fledgling relationship and Rosalind’s life is placed in jeopardy, Sebastian finds himself forced to choose between the man he has pledged to help and the woman he has come to love.

I can't think of a single book where I've disliked the story that focused on a marriage of convenience where the couple ultimately fell in love. I mean I guess I'm just a sucker for this trope. An Unfamiliar Duke was no different. 

Rosalind and Sebastian have been betrothed since infancy. Their fathers were friends and hoped to spare their children the difficulties of finding a good match. Sebastian and Rosalind seemed to have only really met once in their past when they were children. Sebastian was fifteen I believe, and Rosalind was eleven. They didn't have the best initial reaction to the other. Rosalind talked a lot for a boy that was used to being mostly alone. And Sebastian cut her out in a way that made Rosalind feel unwanted. The two grow up knowing from this point that they're betrothed, but both are hoping to find a loophole to escape the contract. 

Unfortunately, the contract their fathers created is pretty airtight legally speaking. When the upcoming marriage can no longer be ignored, the two meet, and Sebastian at least asks Rosalind what she wants to do.  Luckily, these two ended up having some common areas of interest that laid the work for a friendship to form. From there things built rather slowly. Through shared experiences and teamwork, these two begin to develop a relationship that is not quickly broken. 

The relationship drove the story for me in An Unfamiliar Duke which is always my preference. Although there was a mystery or an added layer to the story that created some suspense and action mostly at the end. None of that was unpredictable. Yet I didn't mind because, again, it wasn't the driving force of the story. 

Favorite quotes:

-"You possess all the qualities necessary to be a marvelous wife."

-And if she truly wished to keep her list balanced, she must include the good no matter her current feelings.

-"...do not wish to compete with anything higher than this level of passable."

An Unfamiliar Duke was just what I was hoping it would be. Rosalind and Sebastian essentially have a marriage that they didn't pick yet can't get out of. They find a way to build a friendship that develops into more. All the while there are forces trying to work against them. I enjoyed every part of this book. An Unfamiliar Duke gets 4 Stars. Have you read An Unfamiliar Duke? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday Post - 05/15/22

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Monday night Little Boy ended up having a makeup game which was his last of the season. Little Girl also had a game. Tuesday, I took Little Boy to get his haircut, and then we met some friends at a spash pad in town. We'd never been before so both of my little guys took nearly two hours to warm up to going out and playing in the water. Thankfully, I'd packed us a picnic lunch so we had something to do in the meantime. After Little Girl got home from school I rushed her to a hair cut appointment. And then we rushed back home and to her school for her kindergarden program. I am so proud of her, and I cannot believe kindergarden is ending already. We have one week of school left. Wednesday I ran some errands before picking Little Boy up from school and then had another one after getting Little Girl from school. Thursday my mom came to spend the day with us. And then Friday, Little Girl had her last game of the season. They finally won. It ended up being a rough afternoon and night though. You know how one person in the family will be in a bad mood and it just radiates out to everyone. And pretty soon there's a storm cloud hanging over everyone? Saturday I woke up with an upset stomach. So Baby Boy and I hung at the house while Husband took the two big kids to a party at the lake that we'd been invited to. They had a blast.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Rescuing Lord Inglewood (Inglewood, # 1) by Sally Britton (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of An Unfamiliar Duke (Georgian Gentlemen, # 4) by Sian Ann Bessey
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to link up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2022 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

NEW BOOKS:

Sunkissed

By: Kasie West

Publication: May 4th 2021 by Delacorte Press

320 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (on sale for $1.99)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A lighthearted and swoony contemporary YA romance by fan-favorite author Kasie West about a girl who finds that a summer spent at a family resort isn’t as bad as she imagined…and that falling in love is filled with heartache, laughter, and surprises!

After being betrayed by her best friend, Avery is hoping for a picture-perfect summer. Too bad her parents have dragged her and her sister to a remote family camp for the entire summer. And that’s not even the worst part. Avery also has to deal with no internet, a cute but off-limits staff member, and an always-in-her-face sister.

But what starts as a disaster turns into a whirlwind summer romance as Avery embarks on an unexpected journey to figure out what she truly wants and who she wants to be.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Monday, May 9, 2022

Rescuing Lord Inglewood - Review

Rescuing Lord Inglewood (Inglewood, # 1)

By: Sally Britton

Publication: May 21st 2019 by Blue Water Books

232 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Regency

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--All he wants is someone he can trust. All she wants is to belong. But when compromising circumstances force them together, do they have a chance at finding love? Silas Riley, Earl of Inglewood, is known among his peers in Parliament as the man made of stone. As a wealthy peer, there are few he trusts with his friendship. He guards his heart and his honor with vigilance, and when an accident nearly takes his life, he’s faced with a situation which threatens his standing in society.

Growing up in the shadow of her older brother, Esther Fox’s acceptance in his circle has been indifferent at best. So when she ends up in a compromising situation as she saves the life of her brother’s dearest friend, the Earl of Inglewood, she is forced to marry him to save her own reputation. Once again, she finds herself accepted only because of the situation, and not because she is truly wanted.

Neither are prepared for a loss which further complicates their new relationship. With such a difficult beginning, can they ever hope to understand one another, let alone find love?

Rescuing Lord Inglewood starts off exactly there...where Esther rescues Silas by pushing him out of the way of a falling statue. The gossip that flies around concerning this incident was a stretch for me. In some ways, I could see it happening. And in other ways, it was beyond comprehension that this particular situation could be turned into something scandalous. Regardless, Sally Britton did choose to include a second situation that truly forced the marriage.

Esther is used to being left behind. Her brother was five years older than her, and even though she constantly followed him around, he was also constantly telling her she couldn't come and play with him and his friends because she was either too small or too young. Her mother dies after remarrying. Esther's brother eventually enlists in the military and goes off to war leaving her to live with her stepbrother and his wife. More than anything, Esther feels like she's constantly being left behind by those she cares about while they go off to their own whims and adventures and left out of the planning and say over her own life. And her marriage to save her reputation isn't much different.

Silas is best friends with Esther's brother, Isaac. And he was one of the friends always running off and leaving Esther behind. Silas is used to taking charge. His parents died when he was young leaving him an earl. His grandmother came to take care of him, but he was often on his own and had to learn to take control. He has spent a lot of time keeping others away and guarding himself and his emotions.

Silas wouldn't exactly have chosen the way his and Esther's marriage happened, but he was the first one to be open to the idea. Esther and Silas had a slow build to their relationship starting with trust and moving brick by brick into creating something special. I liked how they had complicated issues to work through and not just being unsure about the other's feelings.

The side characters made for a fun extended family of sorts, and I can't wait to carry on the series and read about each one of them.

Favorite quotes:

-"For the moment," she said, her fingertips brushing the polished surface of the desk, "my sorrow is at rest. That is the way with mourning. It is like a thunderstorm, drenching you one moment and the next turning into a misty fog."

-"What matters is living without regrets, and loving without fear. I wish to make every moment we have together count."

Rescuing Lord Inglewood was my first book by Sally Britton. And now I want to read them all. I enjoyed the complexity of the story and the character's backgrounds and conflicts. I loved the slow-building romance between Esther and Silas. I even enjoyed the existing friendships as well as the newly formed ones. I can't wait to continue the series. Rescuing Lord Inglewood gets 4 Stars. Have you read Rescuing Lord Inglewood? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Sunday Post - 05/08/22

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Another busy week. Honestly the beginning of this past week feels months away. Monday night the kids had ballgames. Little Girl had a double header in another city. Grandma & Grandpa and Grammy came to Little Boy's game. My dad got all of the new window casings done between Monday and Tuesday. He left our house Tuesday not feeling well and went to the doctor Wednesday with a sinus infection. I finally started feeling better towards the end of the week. And I think we're pretty much all healthy right now. Tuesday, I took the boys to Walmart for a few things we wouldn't make it until Saturday without. And to get them out of my dad's way. Friday I dropped the kids off at school and ran to UPS to drop off a package. Then I dropped off some donations and got Chickfila for lunch after getting Little Boy from school. Both kids had games Friday night. Little Girl's team hasn't won a single game this season but we scored several runs in a row after a stretch of games with zero points. The league is offering a free softball camp this summer that we'll probably attend. There was an ice cream truck at the field Friday night so we grabbed treats for the way home. Saturday I got a good bit of painting done on various things. And then I started vacuuming the pool. It has over a year's worth of neglect since we were away all year last year and it just hasn't been our priority. But we do want it clean and functional for this summer so I got started on that. Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there. Momming is such a hard yet rewarding job. Take in your day Mamas! Also, today happens to my anniversary. Husband and I have been married 13 years. The last several have been challenging, but I wouldn't trade my partner for any other.

THE PAST WEEK:

Monday: April 2022 EOM Wrap Up
Thursday: Review of Games in a Ballroom by Jentry Flint (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Rescuing Lord Inglewood (Inglewood, # 1) by Sally Britton
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday

Don’t forget to link up for the 2022 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2022 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

NEW BOOKS:

The Dreaming Beauty

By: Anneka R Walker

Expected Publication: July 11th 2022 by Covenant Communications

256 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Once upon a dream, two cursed people fell in love...

Tansy White doesn't want to end up alone like her three aunts who raised her, but when she is betrayed by her would-be betrothed, she fears she might never change her fate. At her aunts' suggestion, she seizes the chance to visit Rose Cottage, the country home of her late mother. For years, dreams of the cottage have haunted Tansy, and she is convinced it holds the answer to her hidden past. But after getting caught in a terrible storm, she meets a man who is just as determined as she is to learn all her secrets.

Marcus Taylor, brother to the Duke of Westmorland, is also troubled by vivid dreams. On a sleepless night, as a tempest rages outside his brother's estate, he makes a discovery far more mysterious than any dream: a young woman, cold as ice, lies unconscious in the library, and he is sure she is the key to solving his problems. When she makes, what begins as a shared quest for information turns into an unexpected friendship. As they piece together the fragments of their past, they discover a tangled web of lies, and their feelings for each other become just as entwined. But is their love as strong as their dreams. . . or their fate?

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Games in a Ballroom - Review

Games in a Ballroom

By: Jentry Flint

Publication: May 3rd 2022 by Shadow Mountain

272 pages

Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--London, 1815

Olivia Wilde has resigned herself to never finding a love match. Her father has insisted she marry a man with a title, if only to increase his own standing and reputation in society. But the men her father deems acceptable are, at best, boring and uninspiring, and at worse, are as brutish as her father, and are only looking to increase their own diminishing coffers. With her future looking dismal, Olivia decides to enjoy the last few months of freedom with her childhood friends, including the handsome Emerson Latham. His devilish smile and flirtatious teasing stirs up feelings she knows she cannot entertain.

Emerson is struggling to rise to his responsibilities after the death of his father. Though he might still be learning what he needs to do as the head of his household, one thing he knows for sure is that he wants Olivia Wilde to be his wife. Having grown up as childhood friends with Olivia, Emerson long ago had fallen in love with her quick wit, beauty, and passionate heart. However, without a title, he will never be permitted to court Olivia openly. But he has a plan that may give him a chance to court her in secret.

As the season kicks off, Emerson proposes a bit of fun with a playful game of tag. Olivia’s friends are delighted by the idea, though Olivia is more wary. After all, the game must be played in secret and they must be discreet when tagging each other at dinners and balls and the theater. As the romance builds between Olivia and Emerson, so does the risk of being discovered. Not only are their reputations at stake, so is their safety if they are caught by Olivia’s father, who has an explosive, and at times violent, temper.

Can their love find a happily ever after before the game ends?

Games in a Ballroom has such a unique concept. Playing a secret game of tag at various balls definitely sounds like a new way to flirt with the object of one's affection. Jentry Flint did a good job showing that games are important to this group of characters. Emerson, Arabella, and Olivia seem to have grown up constantly playing games with each other that exceeded the typical child. When Emerson went off to school, he met two other gentlemen that made up a trio. She showed that even as adults these games were important to each character to maintain a feeling of who they are deep down.

Olivia's father has built his financial empire from scratch. And it seems that all he cares about is advancing. He married Olivia's mom as an advancement. And all he lacks is a title. Now Olivia marrying someone with a title still doesn't actually get him a title, but that's as close to one as he'll get. He truly seems to care nothing about anyone but himself. He's volatile, angry, and abusive. And Olivia and her mother have done everything they can to fly under his radar and not upset him.

Emerson is struggling to find himself now that his father has passed away. He has new responsibilities. Finding a wife for himself, a husband for his sister, and taking care of his widowed mother is just a few of those weighty responsibilities. He doesn't have any problems setting his eyes on who he wants to marry. But he has to convince her that he's not just interested in playing games with her. And he has to convince her that defying her father will be worth it to her.

The side characters were all lively. I would love to read stories about each of them. And I absolutely hope Jentry Flint turns this into a series. I'm intrigued about Arabella and Northcott. But it will be interesting to explore Bradbury as well. He's strictly against marrying, and his vices and games draw him further away from the idea. I hope she explores the idea of writing their stories.

Favorite quotes:

-"The true making of a man is not measured by what he can physically obtain, but by his love for the woman he would give up all else for."

-"Blazes, Emerson, why did you have to go and make it uncomfortable?"

Games in a Ballroom is the first book to hold my interest in about a month. Even though I read it in October 2021 and it doesn't publish until May 2022, I didn't hesitate to pick it up. The description completely pulled me in, and Jentry Flint didn't disappoint with her debut. Games in a Ballroom gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Games in a Ballroom? What did you think? Let me know!