I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.
I love historical inspirational books, especially those set in Regency England or New York’s Gilded Age. Check out these two new releases from my favorite authors in this genre!
New York’s Gilded Age and Regency England Form Lush Settings for Historical Romances
I love all things Jane Austen, and a good gothic inspirational romance set in Regency England always grabs my attention. If you’ve never read anything by Abigail Wilson, you’ve been missing out. Another favorite era involves New York’s Gilded Age. The unimaginable wealth and excess always make me ponder what I would do if I had that much money.
Both authors bring awareness to issues prevalent during the time periods (Regency England and New York’s Gilded Age) which still haunt us today—how people treat those with mental illnesses (or with disorders they don’t understand). For me, a good inspirational romance doesn’t just entertain, it makes me think about how much (or how little) attitudes have changed over the years and whether or not I need to seek growth, too.
By Abigail Wilson, Thomas Nelson, January 2022, 320 pages.
Amelia Pembrook has spent her entire life at the mercy of others. Orphaned at a young age, Amelia finds herself passed between relatives and guardians. No one wants to keep her once they discover her strange condition. As her condition worsens, others restrict her life. When her late husband commits her to Cluett’s Mesmeric Hospital shortly after their marriage, Amelia finds a father figure for the first time.
After spending two peaceful years at the hospital, Mr. Cluett names Amelia in his will—much to her shock. For a Regency-era widow, such a potential windfall shocks everyone. Amelia doesn’t understand Mr. Cluett’s stipulation that she marry within weeks of his death. And she finds his stipulation that she marry one of two men even more perplexing. Neither man seems remotely interested in Amelia.
Within hours of Mr. Cluett’s announcement of his new will, one of the patients finds him dead in his bed-chamber. Amelia and the handsome Mr. Hawkins both suspect Mr. Cluett’s death came about from unnatural causes.
They race to find the killer’s identity while Amelia resigns herself to Mr. Cluett’s strange requirement. Both would-be suitors have ample motive for murder—and little motive for marrying her. Except for marriage to her includes her inheritance. If she chooses neither man, the money will go to charity. Amelia finds little to admire in either suitor while admiring much about Mr. Hawkins. Will others always determine her fate?
What I Loved About this Book
Wilson has mastered the Regency gothic genre and readers will find themselves drawn into the moody atmosphere, chilling suspense, and quirky characters. Don’t start reading the book on your way to work! You’ll want to drop everything and keep reading to discover the identity of the murderer.Another gripping Regency gothic from @acwilsonbooks to keep you up late at night! #regency #gothicromance #amreading @ThomasNelson Click To Tweet
To Disguise the Truth (The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency)
By Jen Turano, Bethany House, January 2022, 352 pages.
For years, the mysterious Eunice Holbrooke has run a boarding house and inquiry agency in New York City. The agency specializes in taking on cases the Pinkerton Agency won’t touch. Cases brought to them by women from working women to society matrons. Some involve the mundane, others involve ferreting out nefarious activities.
But when Mr. Arthur Livingstone shows up in her office, Eunice knows without a doubt she’ll turn down his request for her agency’s services. Even if he promises to triple the agency fees. No matter if he wants to solve the mystery of who murdered her grandfather. It will take the ingenuity of her fellow agents to help her turn away the most persistent potential client ever.
For seven years, Arthur Livingstone has wondered where his employer’s granddaughter, Eugenia Howland, has gone. When her conniving relatives want to declare her dead and divide her inheritance among themselves, Arthur decides to try one last time. Over the years, both private investigators and the Pinkertons have failed to find Eugenia. He rests his last hope in the Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency.
Only to find his case summarily dismissed by the lead agent, Mrs. Eunice Holbrooke. Determined to fulfill his promise to Mr. James Mason, Arthur doggedly reappears at the agency, even after the agents turn down his lucrative proposal. Will his entreaties to the interesting agents result in finding Miss Howland? And if he does find her, can he get her back to Montana before her relatives declare her dead?
Why I Loved This Book
Turano finally tells the story of Eunice Holbrooke, the mysterious woman draped in widow’s weeds and owner of the Bleeker Street Boarding House. Although part of a series, readers could still enjoy this book as a standalone novel (but why, when the others are so delightful?).
Readers will enjoy the secondary characters (Arthur’s grandfather and younger brother) and gain a new perspective into how Victorian men used insane asylums to control women. (If this topic interests you, check out The Woman They Could Not Silence).
Told with witty dialogue and sparkling characters, readers won’t want to put this one down, especially if they love New York’s Gilded Age. Fans of Grace Hitchcock and Regina Jennings will enjoy this book.I love the ladies of the Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency! Find out the mystery behind widow's weeds in this delightful book from @JenTurano #netgalley @bethany_house #amreading Click To Tweet