Sunday, October 14, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

About the Book

Book Title: A Tale of two Cities
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?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

There was so much to love about this book!  I love books about book lovers, and this one had several!  The cover was delightfully decorated!  The chapters were short, and the book moved along quickly.  The characters were well-developed, and it took place at Christmas.  Each chapter began with a quote from a Dickens' novel.  What's not to love?

I recommend this book for fans of historical romance, for those who love a Dickensian setting, and readers of Christmas stories.

I received an ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

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. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at 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.

Drinking Chocolate

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

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.

Blog Stops

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.


  1. I do, too! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I loved 12 Days at Bleakly Manor and have added this book to my tbr list. Thanks for the review.

    1. I think I liked this one even better than 12 Days . . .

  3. My last comment for the giveaway. I have enjoyed visiting some of the new blogs including yours. My best wishes for the author and her book. Thanks for hosting.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Good luck in the giveaway!

  4. Wonderful review! I enjoy Michelle Griep's books. I'm excited to read this one.