About the Book
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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Handsome, debonair William isn’t as high-rise as people might think. He’s got some skeletons in the closest that he’d rather forget…except they remind him of the goodness his uncle bestowed upon him during that time in his life. With his uncle soon to announce his heir – William or his cousin, who is the absolute worst – William feels he ought to prove himself even more as a new man. And what better way to prove himself than by pretending to have just gotten himself a new bride?
Mina, a sweet gal who is the daughter of a local innkeeper, is ready for anything that will give her some excitement beyond the day-to-day activities of keeping an inn running. So when Will, whom she has an absolute crush on, requests Mina’s help, she jumps at the chance. Besides, who was ever hurt by pretending to be someone’s bride? But as Mina grows closer to both Will and his uncle, she begins to feel guilty for ever attempting to dupe his family. Just how long can they both pretend to be what they aren’t?
Michelle Griep never fails to give her readers an entertaining, fun-filled, dramatic read, and A Tale of Two Hearts is no exception. Her re-telling of Charles Dicken’s famous story is adorable. I’m really enjoying this series and can’t wait to see what she comes out with next. Grap a copy of A Tale of Two Hearts and enjoy all that 1850’s has to offer.
About the Author
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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. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
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 fruit cake.
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.
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Genesis 5020, October 3
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Baker Kella, October 3
Among the Reads, October 4
Fiction Aficionado, October 4
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Captive Dreams Window, October 5
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Remembrancy, October 7
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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 7
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A Reader’s Brain, October 8
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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
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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
I was graciously provided a free copy of this novel from Celebrate Lit and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.