About the Book:
Book Title: A Tale of Two Hearts
Author: Michelle Griep
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: September 1, 2018
Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life. She saves every penny to attend a finishing school, dreaming of the day she’ll become a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.
William is a gentleman’s son, a charming rogue but penniless. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his puritanical cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.
William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t as she comes to love the old man. And when the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.
Can two hearts survive such a deception?
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In 1853 London, Mina Scott, daughter of a lowly innkeeper, dreams of life among the wealthy and elite. Her love of reading, especially authors like Charles Dickens, takes her places she could never go. Unfortunately, her parent’s voice pulls her out of her book(boy, do I remember that feeling) and back to the humble task at hand. Through a strange twist of fate, William Barlow, the young law clerk who has caught Mina’s eye, needs to present himself as married to his rich uncle. And so the debacle begins…
“You lied to your uncle?”
…”No, not outright. I merely led him on a merry word chase and he arrived at a particular conclusion.” It seems Will has a talent for deception. He is a likable chap, but will he be able to convince his uncle that he has mended his ways?
Mina is a fun character, too. Looking at a lifestyle she can never hope to attain, she believes she cannot effect worthwhile change unless she is wealthy. Many people feel this way. Perhaps they don’t realize that they can sometimes change their world, one person at a time. Mina does not realize the way she prods Will to be a better man, nor the joy she brings to Uncle Barlow with her discussions of Dickens quotes.
Michelle Griep is a name I now associate with great expectations. Her writing flows so smoothly, effortlessly, in any genre. In this book, Griep has included an appropriate quote from a Dickens tome to head every chapter. And Griep’s action causes her story to progress at a very comfortable, yet compelling tempo. I couldn’t help getting caught in the current and pulled into the novel. Traces of humor and amusement are tucked into her writing. I feel like I am discovering gold nuggets in a stream as I happen upon Griep’s unique and clever verbiage.
Some of my favorites:
“He wore his wrinkles like a garment, the deep creases on his face in sore need of a good ironing.”
“Effie pinched the bridge of her nose, and Mina desperately hoped the action would coax out some golden wisdom for her to follow.”
“Caught between the fangs of the tiger and the three man-beasts roaring in a fury, Mina edged back a step.”
Superior story, superior writing, superior read. Period.
I gratefully received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. This in no way influenced my opinions, for which I am solely responsible. I was not required to leave a positive review.
About the Author
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan.
Guest Post from Michelle
VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS FOODS
So, it’s September, and you know what that means? It’s back to school. Pumpkin spiced everything is just around the corner. And it’s nearly time for cardigans and colored leaves. But besides all these autumn staples, it’s also time to start thinking about Christmas, because it will be here before you know it. How about this year you plan ahead to serve some traditional Victorian food?
In my newest release, A Tale of Two Hearts, the heroine’s father is known for his annual oyster stew that he serves on Christmas Eve. Here’s a bit of the background on that tasty soup.
Victorian Oyster Stew
Oysters have been savored in Britain since the days of the Romans. By Victorian times, industrialization cheapened oysters to the point of them becoming a staple of the poor man’s diet and were a frequent fare served in public houses. This, however, depleted their abundance, and by the mid 1800’s, the natural oyster beds became exhausted, making it harder to find good oysters. While other foods were served as well on Christmas Eve, oyster stew was as common as goose or turkey.
Another Victorian favorite that goes great on a crisp evening is good ol’ hot chocolate, though in Dickens’ England, it would’ve been called something else.
What we now call cocoa or hot chocolate was called drinking chocolate in the mid 1800s. This beverage was a favorite among Victorian ladies. You can find recipes for it even from the Regency era (early 1800s) and here is one for you to make at home.
And last, but not least, who hasn’t heard of Christmas pudding? To our American ears, that sounds like a tasty dish that you’d eat with a spoon and slap a little whipped cream on top. Actually, it’s more like a fruitcake.
Christmas pudding is quite a production, one that begins well before Christmas Day. In fact, it begins on Stir-Up Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent (which is five weeks before Christmas). This is why when Mina, the heroine in A Tale of Two Hearts, returns home from dinner at Uncle Barlow’s, and though it’s not yet Christmas, she sees the pudding moulds on the kitchen table.
If these tastes and the accompanying smells still aren’t quite enough to get you in the Christmas spirit, then snatch yourself up a copy of the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series. A Tale of Two Hearts is sure to get you in the mood.
Kat’s Corner Books, October 2
Creating Romance, October 2
Just the Write Escape, October 2
The Avid Reader, October 2
Genesis 5020, October 3
The Power of Words, October 3
Just Commonly, October 3
Baker Kella, October 3
Among the Reads, October 4
Fiction Aficionado, October 4
Godly Book Reviews, October 4
Inklings and Notions , October 4
Captive Dreams Window, October 5
Christian Author, J.E. Grace, October 5
Proud to Be an Autism Mom, October 5
Multifarious, October 6
Reading Is My SuperPower, October 6
The Christian Fiction Girl, October 6
Texas Book-aholic, October 6
Remembrancy, October 7
Splashes of Joy , October 7
Blossoms and Blessings, October 7
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 7
Back Porch Reads, October 8
A Reader’s Brain, October 8
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, October 8
Janice’s Book Reviews, October 8
Simple Harvest Reads, October 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Mary Hake, October 9
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 9
Carpe Diem, October 9
Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, October 10
Britt Reads Fiction, October 10
Luv’N Lambert Life, October 10
A Baker’s Perspective, October 10
By The Book, October 11
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 11
Book by Book, October 11
Bigreadersite, October 11
More Of Him, October 12
Pause for Tales, October 12
With a Joyful Noise, October 12
Have A Wonderful Day , October 12
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 13
Bibliophile Reviews, October 13
Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 13
Vicky Sluiter, October 14
Daysong Reflections , October 14
To Everything A Season, October 14
Henry Happens, October 15
All-of-a-kind Mom, October 15
Reader’s Cozy Corner, October 15
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 15
To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4ef/a-tale-of-two-hearts-celebration-tour-giveaway