Monday, October 8, 2018

Review: "A Tale of Two Hearts" by Michelle Griep

After recently reading 12 Days at Blakely Manor, I couldn't wait to continue the Once upon a Dickens Christmas series with A Tale of Two Hearts!

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?

Genre: Christian Historical Romance (Christmas)

Release date: September 1, 2018

A Tale of Two Hearts features one of my favorite tropes: fake relationship turned real. In this case, William asks Mina to attend a family dinner as his "wife," as he told his elderly uncle Barlow he was married in an effort to get the man to name him the heir. It backfires when Uncle Barlow refuses to name an heir immediately and invites William and Mina, along with William's cousin and his wife, to his country estate for Christmas. Mina hates the deception but goes along with it because she believes it's in Uncle Barlow's best interest ... and along the way, she and William realize their relationship may be more real than they'd planned.

This is an engaging story with interesting characters and just a touch of intrigue. But my favorite part? Uncle Barlow. The man is simply delightful, and I loved the rapport between him and Mina. I also appreciated that there was a secondary romance for Uncle Barlow—that man deserved every happiness.

While I probably enjoyed the plot of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor with its Agatha Christie-esque mystery more, I think A Tale of Two Hearts is the better-written book. All loose ends are tied up, and I'm eager to see where the "second chance" coin goes next! 4 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Griep's 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (3-1/2 stars), The Captive Heart (4-1/2 stars), The Innkeeper's Daughter (4 stars), and The Captured Bride (4 stars).

Follow the blog tour:
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 to enter.

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.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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