A Castaway in Cornwall, by @Julie_Klassen, #BookReview, #BlogTour, #HistoricalRomance, #RegencyRomance, #InspirationalFiction #ChristianFiction, @Bethany_House   

A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen 2020From the desk of Katie Patchell:  

In this holiday season, acclaimed novelist, Julie Klassen, returns to the Regency world with her latest historical romance, A Castaway in Cornwall. Featuring dangerous wreckers, shifty smugglers, and mysterious strangers, readers may well detect a similar refrain to the haunting melody that is Daphne du Maurier’s classic, Jamaica Inn. Readers brace yourselves: prepare to be transported outside of the lights and glare of the 21st century to an old-world bathed in mists and deafened by the roaring of the sea. Prepare to meet a heroine who, against all odds, bravely fights to reclaim what the ocean has stolen.

“Sometimes I wonder how I ended up here in Cornwall, so far from my childhood home. I feel like a castaway, set adrift on the tide…” 

Laura Callaway has lived along Cornwall’s unpredictably beautiful shores since the reported death of her parents while en route to the Isle of Jersey years ago. With no closure from her own loss, Laura combs the shores for items to save from greedy locals in order to return them to the families of loved ones who have perished in shipwrecks. When a man washes up on the shore one fateful night, half-alive, by instinct Laura spares him from a wrecker’s death blow. Little does she know that this man isn’t the only survivor of the wreck, and this final survivor will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

“In a haze of confusion, Alex had seen the blurred image of a red-haired woman bending over him, her windblown hair falling around her lovely face, her eyes as dark as the depths. He’d thought the legend of the mermaid had invaded his dreams. Now he knew the woman was real…” 

On waking in a strange bed on foreign shores, Alexander knows instinctively that he must keep his surname and mission a secret. If someone were to find out who or what he was, the consequences could cost his family their lives. When an enemy from his past hunts him down, Alex has no choice but to trust the woman who has saved his life so recently: the brave Miss Callaway. Thrown together by the sea yet bound together through layers of an unsolved mystery, Laura and Alex must work together to find out the truth–whatever the cost–before it’s too late.

“All around me is the sound of the sea. Not a roar but a rhythm–a watery hum, strumming like a vibrating chord, a quickened heartbeat.” 

I had the amazing fortune to road-trip around the United Kingdom twice. Each country–with its people and places, mountains, and moors–was an unforgettable experience. Yet, for me, Cornwall will always stand out in memory as a bright blue gem does against a black velvet stand. Close your eyes for a moment and remember with me the winding cliff paths around Lizard Point. Listen to the sound of the waves far below and the long grass rustling against ancient stone boulders. On gray days it was as if Daphne du Maurier’s broodingly atmospheric novel, Jamaica Inn, had come to life around me. By sunlight, the ghosts of wreckers and smugglers vanished, and all was aquamarine waters and the golden sun glinting off seaside quays. A Castaway in Cornwall’s setting was a breath of fresh, salty air. It effortlessly transports readers to a unique place and will likely put Cornwall on many post-COVID travel lists.

I found the romance to be a blend of Daphne du Maurier and Anne Bronte; there is passion mixed with restraint, and life-threatening secrets bound up with a grey-shaded world where nothing is exactly black or white. The thrilling premise of a woman, lost even to herself, making the choice to save and return what was lost, was one that held strong from the first page to last. Never once did I grow tired of Laura or Alex, especially when his backstory became as important to the main plot as hers.

My only mixed response to A Castaway in Cornwall was that I wanted more. I enjoyed the tantalizing glimpse of the war between England and France and of what their proximity did to the citizens living on the coastlines nearest, but I was still left with many questions. For example, why was Alex so accepted to the people in England, even after finding out his French nationality and wartime past? Sometimes the best course really is a massive tome to while away the chill Winter evenings, and ‘more pages’ is what I would have wished for this novel.

With its captivating romance, hauntingly beautiful setting, and heart-pounding adventure, A Castaway in Cornwall is sure to appeal to fans of Regency and Gothic reads. Yet there is something else that causes it to shine even brighter; its compelling narrative of love, loss, and love again will remain in readers’ hearts long after the final page closes.

5 out of 5 Regency Stars

A Castaway in Cornwall Blog Tour Graphic

Austenprose is delighted to be participating

in the blog tour of A Castaway in Cornwall.

Learn more about the tour and follow along with us.  

Join the virtual blog tour of A CASTAWAY IN CORNWALL, bestselling author Julie Klassen’s highly acclaimed new historical romance novel, November 30 – December 6, 2020. Thirteen popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with reviews of this new Regency-era novel set in Cornwall, England.

A Castaway in Cornwall, by Julie Klassen

Bethany House Publishers (December 1, 2020)

Hardcover, trade paperback, & eBook (400) pages

ISBN: 978-0764234224

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP INDIEBOUND | BAKER BOOK HOUSE BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

Disclosure of Material Connection: We received one review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. We only review or recommend products we have read or used and believe will be a good match for our readers. Austenprose.com is an Amazon.com affiliate. We receive a modest remuneration when readers use our links and make a purchase. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cover image courtesy of Bethany House Publishers © 2020; text Katie Patchell © 2020, Austenprose.com

Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection, by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch—A Review

Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection 2020Season’s greetings, gentle readers! It is once again time to immerse ourselves in the traditional comforts of the holiday season. And how better to do so than by getting cozy and settling in to read a lovely book about this special time of year. Joy to the World is an inspirational Christian anthology comprised of three very different Christmas stories with a golden thread of joy, hope, and faith woven through and binding them together.

“Heaven and Nature Sing” by Carolyn Miller invites readers to an elegant house party where young people have gathered to make merry during the snowy days leading up to Christmas. In attendance—as guests of their shared godmother—are Edith and George, former sweethearts torn apart by circumstances and misunderstandings. The traditions of the season remind them “of grace and forgiveness and the second chances God gives.” (1275) As they navigate the uncomfortable tension between them, will their faith in God and their love for each other be enough to help them overcome foolish pride?

“Far as the Curse is Found” by Amanda Barratt transports readers to dreary London in winter, following Dwight Inglewood, the Earl of Amberly, as he trudges through the remnants of his once-promising life. He bears the unsightly scars of severe wounds sustained at Waterloo and internally suffers from the loss of all those he’s ever loved. “The world was harsh, and in it he felt fragile. Life and the people he’d trusted had pierced him deeply. Isolation seemed the only remedy.” (3095) A twist of fate, or perhaps divine intervention, crosses his lonely path with that of a desperate unwed mother and her young child. Jenny Grey “knew the wounds the gazes of others could inflict.” (2234) Can two kindred souls with disparate backgrounds provide solace for each other in an often cruel world? Continue reading

The Virgin Who Ruined Lord Gray (The Swooning Virgins Society), by Anna Bradley—A Review

The Virgin Who Ruined Lord Gray by Anna Bradley 2020From the desk of Pam Mingle:

If you like your historical romance full of excitement, mystery, and intrigue, you’ve come to the right place. The Virgin Who Ruined Lord Gray, the first entry in Anna Bradley’s new series, The Swooning Virgins Society, features all three.

Tristan Stratford, Lord Gray, is bored with his new life as an earl. Formerly a Bow Street Runner, he never wished to live the aristocratic life. The death of his elder brother forced him into the role, and now his mother has plans for him. She wants him to take up the mantle of a peer and marry Lady Esther, a near neighbor in Oxfordshire.

One night in London, Tristan is gazing out the window of his study and sees the slight figure of a boy lying on the roof of Lord Everly’s pediment. So still is he, Tristan begins to believe the boy is dead. Finally, someone exits the front door, and the lad shimmies down a column and follows. Overcome with curiosity, Tristan does likewise.

Tristan isn’t following a boy, however, but a young woman named Sophia Monmouth. She’s trailing her quarry, one Peter Sharpe, who she suspects is guilty of a crime. There is a quick confrontation between Tristan and the “lad.” She bites and kicks him, but he doesn’t let go. Eventually Tristan knocks her hat off. He’s shocked to discover the woman beneath it. Quite a lovely one, with olive skin and enchanting green eyes. She’s “resoundingly feminine.” Continue reading