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Constantly stifled by the rules of Society, spirited Rebecca Rowley enjoys finding ways to quietly—or not so quietly—rebel. But riding bareback and avoiding nosy neighbors are nothing compared to the thrilling secret she is keeping from her family.
When Rebecca’s quick thinking saves the life of a young girl, she unwittingly attracts the attention of the child’s dashing brother, Lieutenant Nicholas Avery. As that attention turns flirtatious, Rebecca is forced to tell him the truth: she is secretly engaged—to the one man her family would never approve of. Fortunately, Lieutenant Avery is a navy man with no wish to marry, or so they both assume as they enter into a friendship. Rebecca hopes to change her family’s mind about her betrothed, but the more she comes to know the handsome lieutenant, the more she wonders if she promised her hand too hastily.
After all her carefully laid plans are shattered during a family crisis, Rebecca must force her heart to decide. Should she stay true to the promise she made or fight for the future she’s only just begun to imagine?

Praise for “Otherwise Engaged”

About the Author

Joanna Barker was born and raised in northern California. She discovered her love for historical fiction after visiting England as an eleven-year-old, and subsequently read every Jane Austen book she could get her hands on. After graduating with a degree in English, she worked as an acquisitions editor before devoting herself full-time to writing. She enjoys music, chocolate, and reading everything from romance to science fiction. She lives near the mountains and is just a little crazy about her husband and two wild-but-loveable boys.

“Otherwise Engaged” is published by Covenant Communications. Released October 12, 2020. You can find in at Amazon, Deseret Book, Seagull Book, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Enter the giveaway here:

My review

I love Joanna Barker’s books! And this one, Otherwise Engaged, is thoroughly enchanting!
Rebecca comes home from Brighton secretly engaged to Edward Bainbridge. Her plan is to uncover the reason why their families are enemies and what caused the rift. One day while riding her horse, she hears a scream. Following the sound she sees a child in the water trying to get out. Rebecca jumps into the lake to rescue the poor child. The girl isn’t grateful and neither is her older brother who was seconds behind Rebecca.
Determined to never see these rude people again, she finds they’re the new neighbors. The lieutenant is handsome but it doesn’t matter-she’s engaged.
Rebecca is spirited and sometimes it made it hard to like her and root for her but she always caught herself and reminded herself to do better. She never gives up. Edward is a faithful suitor and secretly writes to her- he tries to uncover the truth from his mother while Rebecca tries to find out from her mother and brother. (Her brother and Juliana’s book is “The Truth About Miss Ashbourne” and can be read as a stand-alone).
And Lieutenant Nicholas? He’s trying to figure out life and his preteen sister. I really felt for him 😂 as I was a dramatic teenager 😅
Secrets, letters, swoon-worthy kisses and romance, improper activities for a lady and more! This book comes out October 12th! Gorgeous cover and title! The model adequately describes Rebecca as she marches outside with or without a hat. (It’s a thing in the book 😁).
Thanks to Net Galley and Covenant for letting read the ebook and paperback early! These are my own thoughts and opinions.

This is a sweet novella. I love books by Laura Beers and this is a perfect Christmas read.
Jane, the widow, is tired of being alone and miserable. She decides to throw a house party at Christmas time and plays a little matchmaker but finds her heart is beating faster around a certain gentleman. She swore she’d never marry after her horrible husband died.
Alden has always liked Jane but he was wary being around her. Having heard accounts of his late cousin’s mistreatmeant of her. Jane asks for his help with playing matchmaker, coincidentally throwing himself with Jane but he doesn’t mind at all. Maybe if he is given enough time, he can try to change her mind of never marrying again.
Fun Christmas activities and charity and warming of hearts. This book can be read as a stand alone. This book releases this week and I received an arc copy from the author for review but these are my own thoughts and opinions.
@author_laura_beers #theladiesofmissbellsfinishingschool #historicalfiction #sweetregencyromance #widow #matchmaker #christmasnovella #thewidow

This is not my normal read but it sounded interesting from the blurb.
It starts off with a man in prison getting beaten. You find out it’s one of the main characters Nate and he’s with Catherine (Nate’s little brother’s girlfriend) and she’s trying to bring Nate home. But bad weather, trying to escape guards and roaming uninhabited territory they seek shelter in an old lab and get infected with a mutant disease. Touching others burns them but Nate and Catherine can heal each other.
Catherine wants to go to the drs in town because that’s what a normal person does but Nate fears going back to prison. They flee and have been on the run since. Not knowing who they can trust and they’re stuck together because only they can heal and touch each other. Catherine hates Nate by the way. I loved Nate and his personality and how strong he was, even with the disease slowly killing him.
It took me a while to get an understanding of the world, there was some kind of plague and wars. Humans lived below ground for hundreds of years. They have hover cars and other tech.
I have to read the next one to see what happens! I received the book from the author for a review. Rebecca is so kind and knowing it isn’t my typical read even said it was okay if I didn’t finish reading but I don’t see that happening as it’s action-packed right from the very beginning! If you like dystopian fantasy you’ll really like it. I did and I read 95% historical fiction. 😉

There’s a subplot of romance. In the kingdom, you are matched, and they call it ‘Complement’, (which I thought was sweet). Catherine’s complemented to Nate’s brother but he dies trying to help them. Subtle enemies to lovers and unrequited love which I definitely have to see what happens in the other books especially how this book ended! I didn’t expect that and let’s be honest I don’t read a lot of fantasy and I knew anything could happen. I was pleasantly surprised that I got the rest of it wrong ☺️

Mention – there is language, strong use of smoking and alcohol.

I loved this book! Perfect read for fall!!

Enemies to lovers + flying chickens + great clean romance!

Amy has a problem – she’s too forward that she’s run off two gentlemen and each time her embarrassment is ten fold. This time causing her to want to flee Bath and the rumors that follow her. She doesn’t know what she’s doing wrong and looks to her brother for dating advice.

Her family travels to the Lake District (first time reading a book set there!) and upon arrival the rented home is in abysmal shape. Frustration and confusion overtakes Amy as she tries to find the owner only to have a chicken fly into her face – not quite the welcome wagon she expected. Not the handsome man at the end of the chicken but she’s determined to dislike him.

William thought he finally had time to repair the manor and to work on his never ending to-do since taking control but surprise tenets show up and a young lady quick to complain doesn’t endear him to her. He can’t wait for Charity to return.

Hathaway has such a way with words. I loved the imagery, I felt like I was there and I loved the similes she used too. I don’t know why but those really stuck out at me. And the sweet romance was so good!! Definitely needed the epilogue to tie up loose ends. This had a bit of everything to it! Enemies to lovers, love triangle, wit and humor and tempting almost kisses in the rain.

I definitely need to read more of her books! This is part of a multi author series but each book can be read out of order – no connecting stories or characters.

This was an interesting take on P&P. It was fun to see beloved characters again and to really get to know Mary Bennet who is mostly invisible to her family. She visits her sisters and Kitty is also single but has her sight sent on a gentleman. (I was surprised it wasn’t Denny).
The book starts with drama caused by Lydia. That plot line seemed plausible. Lydia is with child but Wickham has left her and has a mistress. Lydia returns to Longbourn to give birth but Mr. Bennet won’t get a nursemaid for the baby believing Wickham should take responsibility…so Mary becomes nursemaid.
Mary learns how to care for Lydia’s baby while Lydia whines about her unfortunate life. (Nothing new there! 😅). And Mary and Kitty vie for attention of the same man.
There were a few plot points that I didn’t like and didn’t sit well with me but overall I liked it. Mary grew from being insufferable to a normal person – looking for love and affection where it’s sadly lacking from her family. I was surprised at some of her anger issues 😂😂😅😅
This was our August book club pick that I finally finished towards the end of September 😅
I think anyone who loves Jane Austen and her inspired works would like this book to continue being in the JA world. There’s even a glimpse of Mr. Collins 😁

Here’s the blurb:

This was a fun idea for a book- like a Regency Bachelor show plus secret identity/goose girl and forbidden love.

Great romance and characters. Tillie was once a lady but with her father in prison, she goes down the society ladder and is a lady’s maid. This drop of station could be worse. She gets to work by her mother and she is kind of friends with the family she works for.

The lady she serves, Miss Sophia detests the idea of attending a matchmaking house party and sends Tillie in her place. Tillie is opposed to the idea from the start but is told to blend in and be invisible. Although when she first enters the drawing room as “Miss Sedgwick” she runs into the maid with the tea tray and creates the opposite of invisibility. 😅

Mr. Hill agreed to the matchmaking scheme with the end goal of marrying none of them. But there’s something different about Miss Sedgwick – never mind she can be found covered in tea or mud. Poor Tillie for the messes she found herself in.

Perfect HEA. The Sweet Regency Authors on Facebook choose this as the book club book this month and interviewed the author. Watching the video reminded me of this book and how I posted it to IG but not my blog! I totally recommend the Seasons of Change series. Each has been fantastic! Sorry I’m posting them all out of order 😬

Here’s the blurb:

I have loved all the books in the Seasons of Change series by different authors. This is Jess’s second novel and I had read the first one but I can’t remember it enough to know if this is Jess’s writing style.
It’s a well rounded story and characters but long winded too. I’m a little confused at how it’s 350 pages when not many events happened…?
Arabella meets up with old childhood friends, Ruth and her cousin Augustus, at a ball during the season. She’s set to depart with her mother to a house party where Lord Thornton hopefully will come as she’s expecting an offer of marriage from him. But her father hastily comes up with a half planned diversion as she stays at Fairhaven with Augustus and Ruth. It’s a little awkward with Augustus, she loved them but hasn’t heard from him in 8 years. Same with Ruth and Ruth is charming and exuberant but to Arabella – sadly lacking in lady-like qualities. So Arabella starts training Ruth and Augustus’s younger sister Sarah. Somehow all of that is like 200 pages worth.
There’s a love triangle, second chance romance and a sinister plot to keep Arabella and Ruth separate. I did enjoy Augustus as a hero and it was great to see the change in Arabella.
She stood up to her mother and stopped being a puppet. This book brought up suicide and how it was treated then which was interesting. Could be a trigger.

This is the fourth book in a multi-author series. I have loved all of these books! They are stand alones, not even same characters but each one had so much depth to it. Some have a new and fresher take on Regency romance too.

The fifth one is out and the next one comes out in 2 weeks! I need to get to reading!!

This was a quick easy read. It starts with the Duke of Granbury losing his wife during childbirth. His emotions are relatable and he’s in mourning. Feeling too much, he leaves his London townhouse and finds himself at a tea shop. It’s late and closed but the door is still open and he finds it easy to share all his grief with the pretty shop keeper.

He’s pressured to marry by family and they bring a suitable Lady Rochester. He doesn’t want to love again because he feels he can’t love another. He just needs someone to run the household.

Amelia’s father owns a tea shop but his declining health prohibits him from running it and Amelia helps out. She can’t forgot that troubled man or forget his grief as she stretches it. Then to find out he’s a Duke and that he’s to marry!

Their differences in station should be enough to stop Amelia’s heart from being effected. The Duke’s hasty engagement should stop it. Is there such a thing as second and third chances if it’s your soul’s match ?

I received this from the author. For the short length, it hits most things. Their romance feels complete. I wish it were longer, for his mother and her grandparents to have a larger role. The passage of time was off because at one point it says it’s been a month since Amelia saw the Duke and I thought it was the next day. Another time she’s with her grandparents and then magically transported back home talking to her father. It’s underdeveloped but has promise!

The duke inherits a dilapidated castle and a bunch of single sisters in need of care. This is the beginning of the “Sisters of Sussex” series. I think the next book in the series will be fun!

I had recently visited the local tea shop the same day that I finished this book. 🙂

On IG, a fellow bookstagrammers started the “Austenatious Book Club” which features work by Jane Austen as well as Austen-inspired! For January’s read was the debut by Jennieke Cohen.


The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!

Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.

But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.

Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.

Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

My review:

I love Austen and Austen-inspired fiction so this was a no-brainer. It had action right from the beginning and Vicky isn’t a typical female. She’s willing to work and get her hands dirty as well as reading novels and speaking her mind.

At the beginning, I thought all the novel references to beloved characters in Austen’s work was a little much. Its fine to somewhat copy Austen’s plots or characters but I don’t want to read about someone just wanting to be like a character without them doing anything because then I’d rather read Austen’s book. This did get better about a third of the way through.

Vicky has to marry to help save her family and she has to choose between two suitors-one who can give her everything and is parent approved, the other ghosted her five years ago and hasn’t tried to court her at all but the hope! And throw in danger in the course of a few weeks leads to a fun climax and its woven perfectly!

Can’t wait to read more work by Cohen! Perfect debut novel!

This was a 5 Star read for me. It perfectly set the tone of our book club as well as reading for the year.

2012 2020 reads ARC Austen-Inspired Azure Springs Book Quiz Book Review Butter beer Christian Fiction Clean and Wholesome Romance Coming Soon Contemporary Romance Covenant Edenbrooke Enemies to Lovers Fairytale Fantasy Georgian England Harry Potter HisFic Historical Fiction Indie Pub Joanna Barker Jonquil Family Julianne Donaldson Love Triangle Multi-author series New Release party Peg dolls Proper Romance Pub 2019 Pub 2020 Rachel Fordham Regency Retellings Revell Samantha Hastings Second Chance Love Secret Identity Shadow Mountain Publishing Sweet Romance Swoon Reads Victorian Fiction Wizards
“The Doctor and the Midwife” by Sarah Alva, Published September 2020 by Covenant Communications

Happy Release to this book! It came out yesterday, September 1st, 2020.

I read Alva’s first book and while these are loosely connected, it can be read as a stand alone.

Audrey is a midwife that practices with home births. She meets the hot but arrogant young doctor, Ammon, and it’s instant loathing.

Ammon is in the middle of his residency for being an OB and he gets women that flirt with him or throw him out of the room. So he can’t understand Audrey’s dislike of his charm being a doctor.

They work together with a few patients but also anonymously through an app for avid rock climbers. Very “You’ve Got Mail” but sweet Christian fiction. I wish there was an epilogue.

I love watching medicinal tv shows (Call the Midwife, Grey‘s Anatomy, Scrubs, etc) so this was perfect. I love the cover and Covenant is stepping up their game with paperbacks, having fun graphics in the pages. It’s the little things ☺️

I received an ebook from net galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.