The Captain’s Daughter, by Jennifer Delamere

book cover The Captain's DaughterPublisher’s Overview:

London, 1879

Forced to Leave All She Loves Behind, She Seeks a New Life in a City Bursting with Opportunity, But Fraught with Danger

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don’t catch up with her.

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided–until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.

First Thoughts:

This is the first in a new London-based series by an author I don’t recall reading before.

My Take:

Let me first say that, although I don’t usually judge books by their covers, I love the back cover of The Captain’s Daughter. It’s of a rural English station made of brick and there’s a steam train pulling in. Growing up in Britain, I did a lot of traveling by train and that illustration took me right back to some of the stations on my journeys.

The cover isn’t the only aspect of this novel that grabbed me. It was delightful to find light opera composers Gilbert and Sullivan within its pages. The plot features HMS Pinafore and includes the debut performance of The Pirates of Penzance. Members of Pinafore’s cast become Rosalyn’s friends. As far as I can tell, the story stays close to known historical facts about Gilbert and Sullivan’s productions, including a copyright performance of Pirates with which Rosalyn gets involved.

I found The Captain’s Daughter difficult to put down. Yes, I was frustrated by the love triangle in it because I wanted Rosalyn to wake up but that just made me want to continue reading. It’s a great start to a new series and I’m looking forward to reading the next book when it comes out.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Bethany House for my complimentary copy of The Captain’s Daughter, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

This review is part of a Litfuse Publicity Book Tour

Have you read The Captain’s Daughter? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)

Publication Date: 28 February 2017

Page Count: 352

Read more on:   Jennifer Delamere’s Website   Bethany House’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

A Secret Courage, by Tricia Goyer

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

American Emma Hanson came to England to study at Oxford, but joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force at the height of World War II. She is stationed at beautiful and historic Danesfield House west of London as part of the highly secretive Photographic Reconnaissance Unit.

Englishman Will Fleming is a handsome young artist who has been commissioned by the British government to record the changing landscape in paintings. His path intersects with Emma’s when his real mission—tracking Nazi spies—leads him to Danesfield House, the target of a sinister plot.

Emma and Will become friends, but neither can reveal the true nature of their assignment. Can their relationship grow amid such secrecy? And can Will save Danesfield House—and Emma and her coworkers—before it’s too late?

First Thoughts:

I’ve enjoyed Tricia Goyer’s previous World War 2 novels, and this is about a war location in the UK that I’d not heard of previously.

My Take:

I’m often drawn to historical novels set in my home country, and World War 2 novels often give me a glimpse of what my grandparents might’ve experienced during that dark time. I occasionally learn something new from them as well; I’d not heard of Danesfield House before reading A Secret Courage, although I knew that aerial reconnaissance was a vital part of the war effort.

The opening scene was set in 1940 and showed Will being chased by the London police through the city. Although it was a tense passage, I admit that I didn’t quite understand how it was important to the plot. Readers were next introduced to Emma at her job in 1943, and then Berndt Eldwin who was obviously the bad guy. I couldn’t see where the plot was going, however, until some way into the book. As the tension slowly built, I felt at times like Emma. I didn’t know who to trust. I knew that Berndt couldn’t have been acting alone, but I didn’t guess the identity of his co-conspirator until that person was introduced at the climax.

Although Emma is American, there are several mentions of her mother being British. One description of Mrs. Hanson really stood out to me: that she was someone who “buttered her bread one bite at a time.” I wanted to shout out, “Yes!” It might not seem as anything other than a passing comment but it rang true for me, because this is something I do.

I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. It isn’t what I would call a perfectly happy ending, but it is one of hope. I thought there were some floating loose ends concerning supporting characters and, since, this is the first book of a new series set during the war, I’d hoped the story of these characters might’ve been continued. It appears, however, that the second book in the series will be about new characters.

Thank you to Harvest House for my complimentary electronic copy of A Secret Courage, which I downloaded via NetGalley.

Have you read A Secret Courage? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Harvest House

Publication Date: 01 April 2017

Page Count: 304

Read more on:   Tricia Goyer’s Website   Harvest House’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million   Christianbook.com

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race, by Michael H. Mizrahi

book coverPublisher’s Overview:

Chattanooga society goes on tilt as a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle—in bloomers!

It’s 1895 and Anna Gaines struggles to get past her insecurities and discover her calling in life. When she’s drawn to the new sport of bicycling, a scandalous activity for a proper southern young woman, she faces opposition, misunderstanding, and scorn. Southern women just did not engage in activities meant for men.

To determine if women will share the same rights as men, Anna must race the president of the cycle club. But more is at stake than the outcome of a race.

  • Will Anna make the right decisions about her life?
  • Will true love find a way?
  • Will Anna choose to live a quiet, traditional life as a housewife and mother? Or will she pursue college and become one of the “new women” emerging into the 20th century? 

Faith, patience, and courage in adversity help a young woman become the person she was meant to be. 

First Thoughts:

Something about this book’s description appealed to me. Perhaps it’s because I’m often to be found watching my husband compete in bike races.

My Take:

Did you know the first dedicated bicycle path in the United States opened in Brooklyn, New York, in 1895? This was new information to me as I read the opening pages of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race. This is the location where Anna develops her love of cycling, which she then takes home with her to Chattanooga, Tennessee. She decides to continue her love affair and is aided by various family members and friends, but there is opposition from both men and other women. Not everyone is as they seem, however, and some people oppose for reasons which have nothing to do with her personally.

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race Mike MizrahiThe actual bike race of the title doesn’t take place until the final 30 pages of the novel. It wasn’t quite what I expected when I first picked up the book, but that might have been due to my personal experiences of bicycle racing. The majority of the novel focuses on Anna’s experiences in her home town, the opposition she faces, the way her life changes, and the town meetings leading up to the race. We also see inside the lives of people who support and oppose her, including one woman you want to immensely dislike but instead find yourself feeling sorry for her.

Although the bicycle is the main focus of the book, I preferred a secondary story involving a former slave woman and her family. It’s 30 years since the end of the Civil War, but Reconstruction has come and gone. Anna befriends Hattie Washington and learns that her husband had disappeared while looking for work in a neighboring state. Peter Sawyer, local businessman and president of the Cycling Club, gets involved and the resulting storyline is an eye-opening one about how former slaves were often treated in the south after the policies of Reconstruction ended. This is definitely an historical novel about how the south had to face change, in more ways than one.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Redemption Press for my complimentary copy of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race, which I received in exchange for my honest review.

This review is part of a Litfuse Publicity Book Tour  

Have you read The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Excerpt

Publisher: Redemption Press

Publication Date: 10 April 2017

Page Count: 344

Read more on:   Mike H. Mizrahi’s Website   Redemption Press’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-a-million