25 Jan 2022

A Conspiracy of Prophets by Suzannah M. Rowntree Review

 Watchers of Outremer #4
January 6th 2022, Bocfodder Press, 520 Pages
Print and Ebook

Genre: Historical (Low) Fantasy
Setting: Antioch, Modern Day Turkey



The last thing Lukas Bessarion wants is to warn the crusaders…yet if he refuses, a bloodthirsty demon will seize power.

Syria, 1098: After a gruelling siege, the crusaders finally capture Antioch—but within days, the besiegers become the besieged. Clawing for survival in a doomed city, the Franks turn to a new power for help: the mad prophet, Peter Bartholomew.

Plagued by his own unwanted visions, Lukas Bessarion knows the vicious Bartholomew is controlled by the demon Lilith, now growing in power. But none of the Franks—from naïve ladies to murderous counts and princes obsessed with political rivalry—seem worth saving.

Worse, if Lukas accepts his destiny as a prophet, he’ll need to renounce earthly power—like his father’s enchanted lance, hidden beneath Antioch. With the Lance, he hopes to avenge his beloved Ayla and lead his own people to victory.

But Lukas isn’t the only one who wants the Lance.

Lilith’s thirst for blood is insatiable. And to satisfy it, she will stop at nothing to gain control of Lukas, the Lance, and the entire crusade…

The Watchers of Outremer historical fantasy series continues with this dark and thrilling sequel to SPFBO finalist A Wind from the Wilderness!

 

                                               My Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 A Conspiracy of Prophets is the Fourth novel in the Watchers of Outremer series, and continues the story of Lukas Bessarion, the eldest son of a Syrian Byzantine family who was catapulted forward in time when the magic ritual of an Arab sorcerer Khalil went wrong. He ended up 400 years in the future, in the midst of the First Crusade, with his home city facing invasion by hordes of "pilgrims" from France and across Europe.

Now, nearly a year later, Lukas is a lost soul. Following the murder of his beloved Aayla at the hands of the Frankish knight and his nemesis Everard le Puiset Lukas is bent on revenge. That and recovering the priceless artefact which his father recovered shortly before the catastrophic event which separated them.

The Bessarion Lance, which the Crusaders believed to be the famous Spear of Destiny, is closely guarded and in the hands of his enemies.

I would say that the two stories involving Lukas have been somewhat darker than the other novels in the Watchers of Outremer series, involving Marta and John Bessarion (Lukas’s sister and father) respectively, but it was nonetheless a wild rollercoaster of a ride through history and the complex web of shifting alliances and political intrigue. Did I say that before? Pretty sure I did.

Necessity, as the old saying goes, produces strange bedfellows, and so Lukas ends up helping his sworn enemy and befriending his sister, Emoleta, a young woman who is not a watcher, but appears to be a Prophetess, and has as much pain and darkness in her past as him. Just to add, I love Emoleta. 

No this is not Emoleta she's a fictional character, but I love this picture, OK?


She's incredible, and I want to see more of her. I sincerely hope she returns in the Lukas next novel, but I am not sure I can wait three years to see her again!

As historical events and personal allegiances collide, the mythological and fantasy elements of this series come to the fore. One of the leading figures of the Crusade is under the influence of the ancient demon Lilith, who thrives on chaos, violence and evil and the character's battles begin to transcend the physical.

All the time, through the novel, one hopes that Lukas will make the right choices and conquer his own inner demons, but the path he chooses makes his ending uncertain.

What I do love is how the author managed to develop some of the secondary characters in the story, to the point that they actually emerged as more sympathetic if not likeable and more important to the narrative than Lukas, including the Le Puiset siblings.

I do personally wonder if that is one of the emerging themes of this story, that the characters choices can determine not only their destiny, but the fate of entire nations and peoples. As someone who has read history, I have a fair idea of what's going to happen when the Crusaders reach Jerusalem, but I wonder how the author will incorporate that into the story.

A Lukas seems to be morphing into something more like an anti-hero one wonders what the ending of his story will bring. It seems like there's no coming back from a shocking decision he makes towards the end of this novel (which I won't give away because it would be a major spoiler) but who knows how it will pan out?

Thanks to Suzannah Rowntree for sending me an ARC of her amazing novel. This didn't influence my review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Content warning: These novels cover territory that readers of traditional religious and Inspirational novels might find very dark. An ancient demon, Lilith appears in physical form and likes to tease and torment characters with her evil, their own actions, and her wicked, sardonic sense of humour (what else would one really expect from a demon?).

There’s a couple of references to her possessing people, and demigods from the ancient past also make an appearance. There are references to human sacrifice and other rituals, which whilst not graphic may prove disturbing to some readers, as well as some rather more graphic violence.

I don’t think the books in this series are suitable for preteens, and discretion is advised even fore some teenage readers.

 

24 Jan 2022

The King's Mercy by Lori Benton Review: Again, better late than never

June 4th 2019, Waterbrook, 400 Pages
Print and Ebook

Genre: Historical Fiction
Period: Mid 18th Century USA (pre Revolution)


When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king's mercy--exile to the Colony of North Carolina--he's indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey's slaves--and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant's heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father's overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. 

As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees.
Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he's faced with the choice that's long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex's very life.

 

 My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

The King's Mercy was originally concieved of as the retelling of an account of a man who was touched by the story of an escaped slave from one of the Letters (or epistles) in the Bible. However, like many stories it took on a life of its own and went in directions the author didn't plan for.

What emerged was a rich story set in mid-18th century America. Alex McKinnon was a man with nothing to lose deprived of family and friends and sent alone to a strange land. Joanna was a woman who appeared to have everything, but with a family facing ruin and unable to help the people she cared about.

The story follows Alex's journey towards faith and redemption. "The King's Mercy" was an apt name, as his tortured and wounded soul sough purpose and freedom before discovering mercy, faith and love where he did not expect them. Joanna has a similar arc, realizing that some friends can't be trusted and that adversity can impact people in very different ways. It did a good job of describing the lives of enslaved people in 18th century America, and didn't shy away from some of the more unpleasant realities.

The only downer for me was that I felt the story was a little too complicated, and there were too many "side characters" with their own stories. This, by turn, made the narrative a little confusing and choppy in some places.

I would certainly consider reading more novels by this author in future as this was a great introduction to her work.

I requested an Arc of this title in 2019 and subsequently purchased the ebook of my own volition. All opinions are entirely my own and this did not influence my review.

23 Jan 2022

Books I read Last Year: The Barrister and the Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson

August 23rd 2021, Bethany House, 407 Pages
Print, Ebook and Audio

Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: 19th Century London and surrounding counties


As a barrister in 1818 London, William Snopes has witnessed firsthand the danger of only the wealthy having their voices heard, and he's a strong advocate who defends the poorer classes against the powerful. That changes the day a struggling heiress, Lady Madeleine Jameson, arrives at his door.

In a last-ditch effort to save her faltering estate, Lady Jameson invested in a merchant brig, the Padget. The ship was granted a rare privilege by the king's regent: a Letter of Marque authorizing the captain to seize the cargo of French traders operating illegally in the Indian Sea. Yet when the Padget returns to London, her crew is met by soldiers ready to take possession of their goods and arrest the captain for piracy. And the Letter--the sole proof his actions were legal--has mysteriously vanished.

Moved by the lady's distress, intrigued by the Letter, and goaded by an opposing solicitor, Snopes takes the case. But as he delves deeper into the mystery, he learns that the forces arrayed against Lady Jameson, and now himself, are even more perilous than he'd imagined.

 

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book looked to provide a welcome break from my usual Regency romances, so I snapped it up (on Netgalley) quite quickly, and I am glad I did.
The Barrister and the Letter of Marque was something akin to a Sherlock Holmes Mystery crossed with a legal thriller. William Snopes, A London barrister (a type of lawyer specializing in courtroom advocacy and litigation) has to represent a noble client. As he looks into her case, he discovers dangerous secrets in high places.

The case involves a ship which engaged in privateering in the Indian Ocean. A Letter of Marque was essentially licensed piracy, allowing a vessel to sieze enemy ships and thier goods. Without it, such vessels and their crews could be arrested as pirates.
As the story, and the cast develops It turns out to be about a lot more than just a lost Letter of Marque. There are twists and turns aplenty, loyalties and relationships are tested, and there is a smattering of romance.

Although I did appreciate the "use" of place in this novel, and how it incorportated so many places, both inside and outside London, there were a couple of things which annoyed me. The tendency to include the noun "County" after the name of every other county.

Sussex County, Essex County, etc. That's not how place names work in Britain. Sussex and Essex are counties, but counties are ancient regional designations. Ergo, when someone talks about what county they come from, or are living in, they just say the name of the county.
They will simply say "I am from Lancashire", not "I am from Lancashire county" because everyone knows Lancashire is a county.

I'd certainly recommend this as an introduction to Todd M Johnson's work, and I think the author has gone through a lot of effort to familiarize himself with the workings of the English legal system.

Thanks to Netgalley for approving my request for this title. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

________________________________________________________________________________

The Kindle Edition of this novel is on Sale for only $1.99  until the end of January.

Pick up your copy today from Amazon,

Kobo or your favourite Ebook Retailer.

Get it from Google Books
 


Between Two Shores By Jocelyn Green Review: Better Late than Never

February 5th 2019, Bethany House, 409 Pages
Print and Ebook

Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: 18th century Canada, Montreal

 

The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval would rather remain neutral in a world tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the Seven Years' War against her wishes when her British ex-fiancé, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel claims he has information that could help end the war, and he asks Catherine to help him escape.


Peace appeals to Catherine, even if helping the man who broke her heart does not. But New France is starving, and she and her loved ones may not survive another winter of conflict-induced famine. When the dangers of war arrive on her doorstep, Cathering and Samuel flee by river toward the epicenter of the battle between England and France. She and Samuel may impact history, but she fears the ultimate cost will be higher than she can bear

 

My Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐


I finally read this, after like two years. Between Two Shores was a really good book, and I think the standout aspect was that it turned out not to be a romance at all, at least not in the traditional sense or with the traditional conclusion.
Kind of like Great Expectations, it showed that you can love someone, without necessarily being together or acting on those feelings.

I have read two other books by this author, and I think BTS was the most complex in terms of storyline, characters, and the historical backdrop, but also the one I enjoyed the most. Katherine's character arc was incredible. Even Samuel's was, but to a lesser extent, and its really good how the conclusion was presented without vilifying him for his choices.

The only thing I found a little confusing was how the timeline kept jumping back and forth. Other that that though, it was a wonderful evocation of the lives of a family caught between two worlds and cultures, and later of a community torn apart by a conflict which was not of thier own making.

Thanks to Bethany House for approving my request for this title on Netgalley. I purchased the ebook of my own volition as well

21 Dec 2021

Review: The King's Hand by Anna Thayer

 The Knight of Eldaran #2
May 2014, Kregel Publications,
Print and Ebook 


Like many from his village, young Eamon Goodhand dreamed of joining the Gauntlet, the army of the overlord Eldered. Now he is about to complete his training and swear his loyalty to Eldered and his commanders, the Hands, who uphold Eldered's tight control of the land. Entering into the service of the Gauntlet, Eamon's gifts, particularly his potent Sight, quickly become valuable to his superiors and he advances to the command rank at a speed that arouses the suspicions of fellow officers.

However, Eldered's bloody rule, and Eamon's personal friendships, start to challenge the young soldier's assumptions about what might be true, and worthy of service. And soon Eamon must conceal a fatal secret: he is sworn to both Eldered and to Hughan, the rightful king of the land. Yet he may not forswear the vows he has uttered in all good faith so however he serves, his name will be traitor.

As tensions and military skirmishes increase, Eamon finds himself trusted by both his masters. How can he possibly maintain his integrity, act justly to his fellow officers of the Gauntlet, and act on behalf of all the warring people of the land?

 

 My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 I bought this novel four years ago, and only got around to reading it now. It is the second in a trilogy of fantasy novels set a world that resembles Medieval or Early Modern Europe. The King, the rightful ruler of the River Realm is pitted against The Master, a malevolent individual who holds terrifying powers, and rules as a tyrant through his Hands.

Behind the Master is an even more sinister entity, The Throned who often manifests as a voice in the head of any who bear the mark, a sign of allegience to him. Controlling their thoughts and planting seeds of fear and doubt.
In this second volume, we follow Eamon still reeling from terrible mistakes he made in the first novel, and a personal betrayal. He struggles to reconcile his allegience to the King with his service to the Master as a quarter hand, or a local ruler.

I would call the Knight of Alderaan "allegorical", but I am not sure that is the correct term. Its not an allegory per se, although its very clear The King, Hughan Brennuin is the Christlike figure. The author is, by background, a Tolkien scholar, and her books are high fantasy after the order of Tolkien without trying to ape or copy him.

What is satisfying about this novel is that the protaganist actually undergoes developement in the course of the novel. He developed in the first one too, but even more here. Eamonn is truly a man torn, but makes a conccious choice to try to maintin morals in integrity in a world rife with corruption and evil. However, this isn't shown to be easy or without cost. His struggles and flaws are real.

I look forward to reading the 3rd and final novel soon.

Content warning: There is the occasional use of what I would call "British" swear words in this novel, including the word b****rd. This is used as an insult to refer to Eamon's supposedly illegitimate birth, and so I would consider it contextual, but I just mentioned it in case its an issue for some people.

I would not avoid the book on this basis, but some might wish to.

5 Dec 2021

The Debutante's Code by Erica Vetsch: An Audra Jennings Blog Tour Post

 Thorndyke & Swann Regency Mysteries # 1
7th December 2021, 320 Pages
Kregel Publications 


Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series
 
Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn't spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love.But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They've been living double lives as government spies--and they're only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family's legacy.
 
Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spies. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors--not to mention the nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner, who suspects her of a daring theft.
 
Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents' last mission?
 

My Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I signed up to Audra Jennings blog tours and read an E-pub of this title.

Regency and Mystery aren't always two genres that work well together, but I think Erica Vetsch did a grand job with this title, which is supposed to be the first in a new series. There were plenty of twists, turns and excitement in the mystery storyline.

 Juliet began by believing that she was engaged in a relatively harmless treasure hunt, following various clues given to her by her father, but becomes embroiled in the middle of a dangerous mystery. Identity is a major theme in this story, Juliet is shocked be revelations about her parents, whilst Daniel Swann is an outsider who is judged for the circumstances of his birth and held in disregard because of his occupation.

 I think this was explored more with Daniel's character than Juliette's. Although since this was the first book in a series, there may be more character development in the next story. The only detail which didn't ring entirely true was the spying subplot. I'm not sure why spies would be interested in a glorified art theft. Not exactly a threat to national security. 

Still maybe I have been watching too many spy thrillers.

Overall though this was an enjoyable novel and I look foward to later installments in the series. I would recommend this to everyone who enjoys Regencies and Historical Mysteries. 


 

Enter the Giveaway Today 






7 Nov 2021

Review: A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund

 Bride Ships #3 

June 30th 2020, Bethany House 

Print, Ebook and Audio 

 

Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime.

Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. While there, he's devastated by the news from his fiancee in England that she's marrying another man.

With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Zoe accepts a proposal from a miner of questionable character after he promises to help her locate her brother. Intent on protecting Zoe and frustrated by his failed engagement, Abe offers his own hand as groom. After a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.

 

                                                   My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

 

  I did enjoy this book as the last one in the trilogy (Mrs Hedlund actually wrote another one and published it seperately), and I liked Abraham's character in particular. Zoe. Meh. She was likeable, but I fear she was also a borderline Mary Sue. You know the type. A person who has no flaws, and is perfect. Kind, loving, generous, the ideal woman who everyone adores.

I think what I liked most about this series was the setting, late 19th century Canada. The little known historical detail of "Bride Ships", ships of women sent to the early Candadian settlements to provide wives for the local trappers and miners provides the basis of this series, which is interesting.

What I didn't like:

- Abraham being referred to as "Pastor Abe". This sounded far too American. 19th century Brits did not generally refer to clergymen as "Pastor". We don't even now, except in like Baptist or Evangelical churches. Anglican Clergymen- which Abraham is supposed to be, are generally referred to as Ministers or were called Parsons historically.

- "okay". 1860s Boston slang does not belong in 1860s Vancouver. This just came across as jarring.

I would certainly recommend this series, its just this novel wasn't my favourite title in it.

 I requested this title from Bethany House via Netgalley of my own volition was wasn't required to write a positive review. I recieved no compensation and all opinions experssed are my own.

 

 

 

Review: The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund

 The Runaway Bride: Bride Ships #2 

March 3rd 2020, Bethany House

Print, Ebook and Audio 

 

Haunted by mistakes in her past, will she ever again trust her heart to another?

Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship, still bearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately attracts suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by making a poor choice.

Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy, held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town's baker who has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella's affections, but also clash over their views of how the natives should be treated in the midst of a smallpox outbreak.

As Arabella begins to overcome her fears, she discovers someone in dire need—a starving girl left behind by her tribe. Intent on helping the child, Arabella leans on Peter's advice and guidance. Will she have the wisdom to make the right decision, or will seeking what's right cost both her and Peter everything?


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐


I finally got around to reading this book after more than a year. I liked it a lot, and it was quite strong for the second novel in a series.

Arabella and Peter were both great characters and the story did a good job of exloring some of the social issues and condiitions facing the characters. Arabella was meant to represent a woman of the middle classes instead of a working class poor woman. For the most part, her character seemed realistic, although I think her secondary love interest was a bit of a charicature.

I didn't think the faith messages were heavy handed either. The characters had doubts but they did not seem contrived, nor were they condemned for having them.

I was not sure about all the langauge. The term "bakehouse" seemed to be an Americanism, but I did not notice very many of these.

Thanks to Bethany House for allowing me to read this title. I was not required to write a posiitve review and all opinions expressed are my own.


Review: The White Rose Resists by Amanda Barratt

 May 26th 2020, Kregel Publications 

Print, Ebook and Audio 

Inspired by the incredible true story of a group of ordinary men and women who dared to stand against evil.

The ideal of a new Germany swept up Sophie Scholl in a maelstrom of patriotic fervor--that is, until she realized the truth behind Hitler's machinations for the fatherland. Now she and other students in Munich, the cradle of the Nazi government, have banded together to form a group to fight for the truth: the White Rose. Risking everything to print and distribute leaflets calling for Germans to rise up against the evil permeating their country, the White Rose treads a knife's edge of discovery by the gestapo.

Annalise Brandt came to the University of Munich to study art, not get involved with conspiracy. The daughter of an SS officer, she's been brought up to believe in the f�hrer's divinely appointed leadership. But the more she comes to know Sophie and her friends, the more she questions the Nazi propaganda.

Soon Annalise joins their double life--students by day, resisters by night. And as the stakes increase, they're all forced to confront the deadly consequences meted out to any who dare to oppose the Reich.

A gripping testament to courage, The White Rose Resists illuminates the sacrifice and conviction of an unlikely group of revolutionaries who refused to remain silent-no matter the cost.


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Beautiful story. I've seen the movie about Sophie Scholl but this really bought her story and that of her companions to life. The courage and heroism of the young students who opted for passive resistance when each faced with the horrors of the Nazi regime and the immorality of the Fuhrer's vison. The girls obviously weren't soldiers on the front, but each came to terms with what was happening in their country in various ways.

Although I knew how the story would end (at least for the Scholls) I found myself rooting for them all the way through and listening through gritted teeth at their increasing reacklessnes. These were students barely out of their teens after all, whose passion got the better of them in the end.

Like her last novel about Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Amanda Barratt has given us another story about shining lights and the power of love in the midst of evil, and the people who were willing to stand up to it in their own way.

Thanks to Negalley for approving my request for this title. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions experssed are my own.


25 Aug 2021

Winning the Gentleman by Kristi Ann Hunter Review

 Hearts on the Heath # 2
Bethany House, Ebook, Print and Audio
April 20th 2021, 351 Pages

 

Aaron Whitworth hasn't had control over most aspects of his life, but he's always taken pride in being an honorable businessman and better-than-average horseman. When both of those claims are threatened, he makes the desperate decision to hire the horse trainer of a traveling circus as a temporary jockey for his racehorses.

Sophia Fitzroy knows that most horsemen don't take her seriously because she's a woman, but she can't pass up the opportunity to get away from the tumultuous world of travel and performing. As she fights for the right to do the work she was hired for, she learns the fight for Aaron's guarded heart might be an even more worthwhile challenge.

As secrets come to light and past vulnerabilities are confronted, will Aaron and Sophia sacrifice their former dreams and forge a new one together--against all odds?


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

I enjoyed this second installment in Kristi Ann Hunter's new series. There were a few of the normal issues with American terms and mannerisms imported into 19th century Britain. The one which stood out the most her was the way the characters ate: with only a fork in the American manner, instead of using a knife and fork, as would have been the norm in polite British society at this time.

However, that was my only real niggle with the story. Otherwise, it was a great story with an unsual setting. I liked the Irish heroine, and the walk on roles by the protaganists of previous stories by this author.

Thanks to Bethany House for allowing me to read a galley of this title. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions expressed herein are my own.


29 Jun 2021

Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2021

 


Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesdays! It has been so long since I've participated in this meme, hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl blog

Today the theme is Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2021. These are books I am anticipating personally and want to read or will be reading at some time soon. They may or may not be on other people's lists. 







A Midnight Dance by Joanna Davidson Politano: Victorian Romance, Releasing September, Revell Publishing. 

The Ice Swan by J'Nell Cieselski: WW1 Historical Romance, Releasing July, Thomas Nelson. 

J'nell Cieselski's latest novel, featuring a Russian Princess who fled from the Revolution. 

Crossed Lines, by Jennifer Delamere: Georgian Historical Romance, Releasing August, Bethany House. 

The second novel in Jennifer Delamere's Love Along the Wires series, featuring women working in the Telegraph Network in the early 20th century.

The Barrister and the Letter of Marque by Todd Johnson: Historical Mystery , Releasing August, Bethany House 

This is a mystery/Gothic novel set in Regency London, and looks to be right up my street. One of only two books on this list written by a man. 

 As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin: WW1 Historical Romance, Releasing November, Bethany House.

Master Wycliffe's Summons by Mel Starr: Medieval Mystery Releasing September, Lion Fiction. 

The upcoming 14th novel in Melvin Starr's ongoing mystery series, featuring a surgeon in 14th century England. This series is a favourite and I snap up the latest installment each year.

Lost in Darkness by Michelle Griep, Regency Romance, Releasing November,  Barbour Fiction 

Michelle Griep's upcoming novel promises a Gothic Romance with shades of Frankenstein and a female travel writer. 

John Eyre by Mimi Matthews, Victorian Historical Romance, Releasing July, Perfectly Proper Press. 

A gender-swapped Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre. 

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen, Regency Romance, Releasing December, Bethany House

Julie Klassen is another go-to author for me, and I try to read her latest novel each year. Her Regencies usually feature adventure, mystery and authentic historical and geographical details. 

The 10th and final book is Dauntless,  The final novel in the 11th Century Age of Conquest Series by Tamara Leigh, due out later this year also makes it onto the list.

We don't know what the cover looks like or have an exact release date yet. 

 Well, these are are my picks. What are yours? Do you like the looks  of any of these. 

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