Sunday, December 20, 2020

To Steal A Heart

To Steal a Heart

by Jen Turano

The criminals better watch out, there's a new detective agency in town and these women aren't playing around!

Jen Turano has started a new series called the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, and this is her best yet. Set in New York City in the late 1880's, Turano pulls together high society and the every day working class to create mystery, tension, and romance in a way that has the reader on the edge of her seat. I love Jen's books for a lot of reasons -- her research into the time period is amazing, her characters are multi-faceted and realistic, the dialogue she creates leaves you breathless, and she brings a unique sense of comedy to every scene.

Each time I read her books I have a hard time putting them down. She has a brilliant way of drawing the reader in and ending each chapter in such a way that you have to read 'just one more'. I love cheering the characters on as they, with the best of intentions, get themselves into hysterical situations that only make them more endearing. 

There are so many intriguing women living in the boarding house on Bleecker Street that I can't wait for the remaining books in the series. I really want to learn more about each one!

ABOUT THE BOOK (from the back cover)
After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she'd put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boarding house is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend's innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend -- until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named his as his heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he'd be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO. Readers may find her at or or on Twitter @JenTurano.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Storing Up Trouble

Storing up Trouble
by Jen Turano

Storing Up Trouble is the third book in the awesome American Heiresses series. Jen Turano brings the challenging life of debutants in the late 19th century to life. But these aren't just any debutants, these are complex women who are not at all enamored with all the expectations their parents' wealth brings. And the results are always hilarious.

Miss Beatrix Waterbury has always had a soft spot in her heart for the women's suffrage movement, but when she is sent for an extended stay at her aunt's home in Chicago she gets a whole new understanding for the challenges of the working class. It starts when she is a victim in a train robbery where she 'saves' the life of a scientist who doesn't understand women at all and who is unaware of her heritage. Needless to say they become easily offended by each other, but nevertheless sparks will fly.

I am always joyful when Jen Turano publishes a new book. No matter what my mood or what is going on in the world, the situations her characters find themselves in never fail to make me laugh out loud. I'm fascinated with this period in history and somewhat horrified by the expectations placed on wealthy young women of the day, and Jen brings heart and soul to those we might think of as unrealistically proper and poised. I highly recommend all of her books!

After Miss Beatrix Waterbury suffers multiple mishaps due to her involvement with the suffrage movement, her mother decides a change of scenery is in order for her incorrigible daughter. Banished from New York, Beatrix is sent off for an extended stay with her Aunt Gladys in Chicago.

Mr. Norman Nesbit, a gentleman and brilliant man of science devoted to his work, doesn't have time to be distracted with members of the feminine set. When robbers descend on the train, intent on divesting him from his important research papers, Norman is thrust into Beatrix's company when she has the audacity to interfere -- leaving him no choice but to try to save her from herself.

When Beatrix's life is put at stake after she takes employment as a salesgirl, she and Norman find themselves propelled into each other's company again and again. With danger and intrigue dogging their every step, they become surprisingly drawn to each other -- until information comes to light that threatens this relationship that's barely had a chance to blossom.

Jen Turano, A USA Today bestselling author, has written four historical romance series. She ios a member of ACFW and RWA and live sin a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Veiled in Smoke

Veiled in Smoke
Jocelyn Green

I am so excited about this new series, The Windy City Saga, that Jocelyn Green has started. Veiled in Smoke is set in Chicago at the time of the Great Fire in 1871. This is a fabulous story of the event, the destruction, and the amazing resilience of the people as they rebuilt their city, but it is also SO much more!

Veiled in Smoke is a story of destruction, despair, hope, and redemption wrapped around an intriguing mystery and a bit of romance!

I am absolutely amazed at the amount of research that went into this book and the way Green has intricately woven together so many aspects of life at that time. The heartbreakingly realistic story of the fire and its aftermath had my heart racing as characters ran for their lives and had me in tears as they returned to find their wonderful homes and city desolate. The pain of lost businesses, friends, and even abilities was raw and palpable, and as a reader I was praying for them and cheering them on as they rose above their situations and found new ways to support themselves and each other. This was especially timely for me as I have watched my daughter and her town of Panama City work to recover from the deadly hurricane that hit last year and I've watched from afar as the California and Colorado wildfires have devastated those areas.

The book also includes fascinating secondary stories that provide the reader with a sense of witnessing the inside operations of an insane asylum, the heart-rendering realities of prisoner of war camps and the resulting PTSD (called Soldier's Heart at the time), the operations of an 1800's newspaper, and the changing face of the art world! And it is done in such a way that it seems very logical and in no way overwhelming or confusing. As a history buff, I was in awe!

I highly recommend this book if you like intrigue, historical fiction, and romance that doesn't feel forced. I am in awe of authors who are able to make me feel like I am standing in the midst of history, and Jocelyn Green is a master.

Meg Townsend and her sister, Sylvie, seek a quiet existence managing the family bookshop. Meg feels responsible for caring for their father, Stephen, whose spirit and health are both damaged from his time as a prisoner during the Civil War. Her one escape is the paintings she creates and sells in the bookshop.

Then the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago's business district. The fiery explosions and chaos stir up memories of war for Stephen as he runs from the blaze and becomes separated from his daughters. Days later, when the smoke has cleared, Meg and Sylvie manage to reunite with him. Their home and shop are lost, and what's left among the ashes may be even more threatening than the flames, for they learn that a close friend was murdered the night of the fire--and Stephen has been charged with the crime. After he is committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum, where they cannot visit him, Stephen feels as lost to them as the shop that now lies in the rubble.

Though homeless and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life but prove the truth of what happened that night, before the asylum truly drives her father mad.

Jocelyn Green is the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King, A Refuge Assured, and Between Two Shores. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly and have been honored with the Christy Award and the Golden Scroll. Jocelyn lives with her family in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy. All opinions are my own.