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Blue Jeans & TeacupsCaliforniaAge: 45-54Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5*** REGENCY MYSTERY***November 14, 2019Blue Jeans & TeacupsCaliforniaAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 41819, London - Thirty-one-year-old Benjamin Booker is an attorney who has risked everything for a female client he fully believes is innocent. But, when he loses her case, his whole world comes to a crashing halt.
Distraught and frustrated he meets up with his boss at a local pub to discuss the case and his future. As they head out, they discover a scene at the home of Percival Norris, their retired colleague. Further investigation leads to a dead body that will eventually take Benjamin on a journey to Belle Island, across the Thames and the village of Riverton where his boss has asked him to investigate. Benjamin will do his best to remain objective and make his boss proud of him again.
Thirty-year-old Isabelle Wilder is trapped by fear on the island but has learned to navigate enough to be mistress of the house, despite much of her funds being tied up in a trust. She is respected by her employees and does her best to create jobs that will help provide for them. Everything is fairly routine, except for a beloved niece whose upcoming nuptials pull at Isabelle's heartstrings since the wedding will be off-island. When a stranger shows up to share the news of the death, everything changes.
Benjamin and Isabelle will have to work together, but neither fully trusts and both have debilitating issues to deal with. There is a murderer at large and threats move ever closer to the island as the story twists and turns.
Favorite Quote: Psalms leapt out at her. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Though the waters roar and be troubled.
Lovely Tea Moment: Isabelle and Carlota sat side by side on chaise lounges in the boathouse, the double doors thrown wide to reveal the morning sunshine shimmering on the gently rippling water of the Thames. A tray of tea things sat on the small table between them, along with a plate of muffins. Isabelle had tasted them herself and filled the kettle. ...A leisurely morning was a rare luxury on Belle Island ... and Isabelle and Lotty were determined to enjoy it.
I enjoyed 98% of this book. I felt the ending suddenly stretched out in an odd way, but that is perhaps my own preference. Overall, this is a very enjoyable book I would be happy to recommend.
Bethany House Publishing
This is a stand-alone novel. I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion with no further compensation or expectation.
SusanClover, SCAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Quite Intriguing!November 13, 2019SusanClover, SCAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4'Did she believe God was loving? She wanted to trust, but fear and worry all too often won out.'
I have been a Julie Klassen fan since her very first book, which I have read several times. Her Regencies are perfect and the mystery she throws in completes them. I was drawn in immediately here and continually kept trying to find the culprit. Her characters are great and the plot was also the same and the build up to the ending was superb! Recommended.
*My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a preview copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
CoffeeBreakBooksAge: 45-54Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Suspense/RomanceOctober 21, 2019CoffeeBreakBooksAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5From gifted writer Julie Klassen comes a captivating novel of historical suspense set in England, intensively researched, with a sweeping plot that involves romance, betrayal, and murder. Belle Island is rich in texture and full of color and authenticity, as the author paints a picture with words. The premise for this book is interesting, somewhat unusual in certain aspects, and the characters are mostly proper, sometimes charming, sometimes rogues, and generally determined individuals.
Heroine Isabelle Wilder is a very sympathetic character. We identify with her desire to pursue what she wants (Belle Island) without having to answer to her stuffy trustee. The author also alludes to other restrictions of the time, showing that even men were hemmed in by the social contract of the period. Isabelle's relationships with the various members of the family and island community play a large role in what makes visiting her world so compelling. The atmosphere of the island is the perfect setting for a story where long buried family secrets come to light, and isolation fosters schemes for theft and revenge. The story is a page-turner, flowing smoothly from one mysterious event to the next. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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