If you love Inspirational Regency romances, belly-laughing humor, and late-life romance, these three inspirational historical romances are for you!
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.
Jane Austen Started My Love for Regency Romances
I confess, it’s all Jane Austen’s fault. And Georgette Heyer’s. For some reason, ever since I first read Pride and Prejudice, I’ve loved the Regency period. Of course, Austen wrote about the period while living in the period. Georgette Heyer and other authors set their characters in the Regency period hundreds of years after it happened. Good Regency authors will include historical details and pay careful attention to the strictures of the time period.
Once I read my way through Austen and Heyer, I branched out to other authors and time periods. I love that nowadays I can find so many clean inspirational historical novels from a variety of time periods. If a book has a strong romantic comedy element, even better! These three books will delight, inspire, and entertain you from the first page.
Winning the Gentleman (Hearts of the Heath Book 2)
By Kristi Ann Hunter, Bethany House Publishers, April 2021, 352 pages.
Aaron Whitworth has little but his honor and pride to recommend him. From a young age, when his father acknowledged him and sent him off to gain a proper education, Aaron has endured the smirks, glares, and turned shoulders from London’s polite society. He doesn’t blame them.
But in Newmarket, he builds a life for himself as a stable manager. First for his school chum Oliver and then for the new Lord Stildon. When Oliver’s rash decision leaves Aaron scheduled for a challenge race with no jockey to ride the horse, Aaron makes a rash decision.
A decision he’ll come to regret when the horse trainer he thought he hired turns out to be nothing more than a wisp of a young lady. If he refuses to stand by his contract, he will have broken his word as a gentleman. If he allows her to ride, all his hard work to build a reputation for himself as a horse trainer will crumble at his feet.
Sophia Fitzroy wants nothing more than to escape the circus act she and her twin Jonas joined two years earlier. After a near-fatal fall, Jonas needs time to recover and Sophia hate performing in front of crowds. Despite her brother’s words of assurance that God will make a way, Sophia decides to take matters into her own hands.
When a gentleman requests the ‘horse trainer’ ride as his jockey for one month, Sophia knows the man thinks Jonas trains the horses in their circus act. With the help of a fellow performer, Sophia signs the contract instead.
The wages the gentleman offers will help her and Jonas get back on their feet again and make their dream of opening a riding school a reality. Sophia can only pray the man will honor his word. When she shows up on Newmarket Heath to ride in the challenge race, she never expects her life to change forever.
Why I Loved This Book
Kristi Ann Hunter created two of my favorite characters in her second installment in the Hearts on the Heath series. Readers who’ve read Vying for the Viscount will already know Aaron and parts of his tangled past. The talkative Sophia and her brother Jonas bring a new element to Hunter’s cast of characters.
Unlike heroines from many Regency-period romances, Sophia comes from the lower gentry class of Ireland. For five years she and her brother have struggled to make their own way in the world and stay together. And for five years things have gotten worse and worse. Only their faith in God has kept hope alive. And sometimes Sophia wonders how much hope she has remaining.
Although part of a series, readers can easily start with this book (but why not read the first one?). Characters from Hunter’s other series, Haven Manor and Hawthorne House. If you love clean, heartwarming Regency romances, Winning the Gentleman is a sure bet.Don't miss this delightful Regency from @KristiAnnHunter! If you love horses and Regency romance that inspires, you'll love the second book in the Hearts of the Heath series, #WinningtheGentleman @bethany_house #bookreview… Click To Tweet
My Dear Miss Dupré
By Grace Hitchcock, Bethany House Publishers, March 2021, 368 pages.
All her life, Willow Dupré has longed to help her father in his sugar refining business. And despite the naysayers, Willow has taken business classes at the university and worked alongside her father. Her mother has ensured Willow learned the social graces necessary to take part in New York Society.
When her parents surprise her with a crazy scheme to find a king to reign with her as the sugar queen, Willow balks at the idea. But when they explain the stockholders of the sugar company won’t let Willow take over for her ailing father without the support of a man, Willow realizes she must submit to their plan.
Her parents invite 30 eligible bachelors from society to spend time courting Willow—at the same time. She has just six months to fall in love and accept a proposal.
The list of bachelors includes a dear childhood friend, a hero from her youth, and a mysterious man who intrigues her. Will any of them turn out to be the perfect match—both in business and in love?
Why I Love This Book
Hitchcock marries The Bachelorette with America’s Gilded Age (1870s-1900s)—a time when many wealthy women married the man of their parents’ dreams for business purposes and few men considered women intelligent enough to make simple decisions, much less run a business.
With intrigue, suspense, action, romance, and historical detail, this book will tickle the romance fancy of lovers of inspirational historical fiction. Fans of Jen Turano and Sarah E. Ladd, and Jocelyn Green will enjoy My Dear Miss Dupré.Love The Bachelorette? You'll Love #MyDearMissDupre, a delightful, laugh-out-loud novel set in the Gilded Age of New York City. Author @grace_hitchcock knocks it out of the park. @bethany_house #amreading #inspy #bookreview Click To Tweet
Shadows of the White City
By Jocelyn Green, Bethany House Publishers, February 2021, 400 pages.
Life in Chicago after the great fire finally settles down for Sylvie Townsend. Taking care of her father and running the rebuilt family bookshop fulfills her need for companionship and control. But she longs to experience motherhood and sees no prospect of ever finding an honest man to woo her heart.
On impulse, she offers to raise the young daughter of a Polish immigrant who feels he must surrender his daughter Rose to an orphanage. Unable to care for her, but not wanting to subject her to the stark care of an institute, Mr. Dabrowski agrees to Sylvie’s proposal.
Years later, as Chicago bustle with the glamour and intrigue of the World Columbian Expedition, Rose starts to rail against the rules and strictures of her adopted mother. And then she mysteriously disappears.
Sylvie, distraught with regret and worry, enlists her boarder, Kristof Bartok, to help her search for her missing daughter. For years, she has considered Kristof as a close friend, but his sacrificial willingness to enter into her pain makes her wonder if he could have deeper feelings for her.
Why I Loved This Book
The second book in the Windy City Saga, Shadows of the White City follows the other Townsend sister’s life. Readers can enjoy this stand-alone novel, or start with older sister Meg’s story in Veiled in Smoke.
Green has a knack for building tension and intrigue layer by layer, taking time to flesh out her characters and create a stunning setting. While Sylvie struggles with her feelings of inadequacy as a mother, Kristof struggles with his feelings of inadequacy as a brother. Together they must learn the importance of letting go of the past and treating themselves with kindness before they can find the truth about their feelings for each other.Another beautiful book by @JocelynGreen77. Settle in for a cozy read and enjoy #ShadowsoftheWhiteCity, set in Chicago during the 1893 World's Fair. @bethany_house #amreading #bookreview Click To Tweet
Thanks for the great reviews. I look forward to reading these books.