The Debutante’s Code by Erica Vetsch

The Debutante’s Code by Erica Vetsch

The Debutante’s Code

by Erica Vetsch

With my book release, it’s been a while since I’ve done a book review, but y’all, this book. I haven’t been THIS excited about a series in quite a while. The Debutante’s Code is the first book in the Thorndike Mysteries series, and it has SPIES. I LOVE a good spy story and this one is not only a series but it is also intricately tied to my other favorite book from Erica Vetsch, The Gentleman Spy.  EEP!!! I CANNOT say enough about this book. It is going to be a yearly re-read for me. There is an amazing cast of characters, twists and turns that were fun and unexpected, and it’s all set in the sweeping setting of the Regency world. I love the mix of underworld connections with the glamor and beauty of a debutante’s life. I absolutely cannot wait to see how some of the characters are involved further down the road, and I seriously could devour this whole series without ever reading the back blurbs to see if they will intrigue me. The romance is light in this book, but there is definite attraction and the hope that something more will develop. SERIOUSLY, I CANNOT WAIT for the next book.

The Debutante’s Code will be adored by readers who enjoy spy novels, the Regency Era, and mysteries with excitement, drama, and of course LOTS of secrets.


Genre: Historial Romance, 1816 England

Plot Overview:

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series

Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn’t spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They’ve been living double lives as government spies–and they’re only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family’s legacy.

Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spy craft. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors–not to mention nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner Daniel Swann, who suspects her of a daring theft.

Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents’ last mission? Or will it lead her to a terrible end?

Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance.

What I loved: Can I say the entire adventure? I loved learning to be a spy with Juliette and watching Detective Swann interfere with her investigation. Also, I ADORED the connection to The Gentleman Spy. Having read it before this book, I was able to squeal over every little connection. It made it that much more enjoyable than if I’d just picked it up without any reference to The Gentleman Spy.

Favorite Character and Why: I loved the combination of Juliette and Daniel Swann. They were a perfect play-off of each other, and I very much enjoyed them. I cannot wait to watch them grow throughout the rest of the series. It’s seriously one I think I could follow for longer than three books which is something I’ve NEVER said before.

Who would like this?The Debutante’s Code will be adored by readers who enjoy spy novels, the Regency Era, and mysteries with excitement, drama, and of course LOTS of secrets.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Books-A-Million  |  Bookshop  |  Book Depository  | Christianbook Distributors  |  IndieBound


Do you enjoy spy books? What other Historical fiction spy, mystery, or undercover book can you recommend?

Endorser Spotlight: Erica Vetsch

Endorser Spotlight: Erica Vetsch

One of the most nerve-racking parts of being an author is sending your book out into the world for the first time, knowing you can no longer change a single word of your book. Thankfully, the first people to read my novel outside of my critique partners and the Kregel team are endorsers. I am so honored and encouraged by the ladies who read my book and then wrote up beautiful endorsements. For the next few months, I’m going to feature one endorser every couple of weeks. So settle in, hear what they have to say about Counterfeit Love, and then learn about who they are, the books they’ve written, and how you can connect with them. Maybe you will be blessed to discover a new author.

At the end, I’d be blessed if you would leave an encouraging note for this author who has encouraged me so much!


I am pleased to introduce you to . . .

Erica Vetsch

Author & Avid History Museum Patron

 

Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/EricaVetschAuthor/ where she spends way too much time!

Connect with Erica:

 

What she had to say about Counterfeit Love:

“Caudill’s debut is a fast-paced tale full of brave and brilliant characters, much skull-duggery, and conflict that will have you unable to tear yourself away.”

—Erica Vetsch, author of The Debutante’s Code

Don’t you just LOVE the word skull-duggery? Eep! I am so excited for this story to be so well received by Erica. Her books are wonderful, as you’ll see below. Thank you so much, Erica! (And I’m shamelessly putting the link to Counterfeit Love here if you would like to learn more or preorder it.)

Erica’s Books

Erica has written tons of novels and novellas, and I can’t possibly list them all here. Where there are series, I’ve only listed the first book, and then a few of my favorites from her. You can purchase them from any major retailer, but here is the link to her Amazon Author Profile where you can grab any of the titles you like.

The Debutante’s Code

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series

Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn’t spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They’ve been living double lives as government spies–and they’re only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family’s legacy.

Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spy craft. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors–not to mention nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner Daniel Swann, who suspects her of a daring theft.

Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents’ last mission? Or will it lead her to a terrible end?

Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance.

The Lost Lieutenant (Serendipity & Secrets, Book 1)

He’s doing what he can to save the Prince Regent’s life . . . but can he save his new marriage as well?

Evan Eldridge never meant to be a war hero–he just wanted to fight Napoleon for the future of his country. And he certainly didn’t think that saving the life of a peer would mean being made the Earl of Whitelock. But when the life you save is dear to the Prince Regent, things can change in a hurry.

Now Evan has a new title, a manor house in shambles, and a stranger for a bride, all thrust upon him by a grateful ruler. What he doesn’t have are all his memories. Traumatized as a result of his wounds and bravery on the battlefield, Evan knows there’s something he can’t quite remember. It’s important, dangerous–and if he doesn’t recall it in time, will jeopardize not only his marriage but someone’s very life.

Readers who enjoy Julie Klassen, Carolyn Miller, and Kristi Ann Hunter will love diving into this brand-new Regency series filled with suspense, aristocratic struggles, and a firm foundation of faith.

 

Seven Brides for Seven Texans

Seven brothers must marry within 1874 or lose their inheritance.

Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas. Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children—until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will. How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum? Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance?

Love at Last by Erica Vetsch
When her former patient, Confederate officer Bowie Hart, shows up on her doorstep, Elise Rivers agrees to his marriage-of-convenience proposal. But as she gets to know her scarred and taciturn new husband, she realizes she has a chance to turn a marriage-of-convenience into the love of a lifetime, if only she can convince Bowie that he is worthy to be loved.

 

Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers

No One Is Too Tough to be Loved
Join seven Texas Rangers on the hunt for a menacing gang, who run straight into romances with women who foil their plans for both the job and their futures.

Guard Your Heart by Erica Vetsch
When Constance Spanner witnesses a murder, Branch Kilborn is tasked with protecting her until she can testify against Cass Markham. This is the Ranger squad’s chance to abolish the Markham gang once and for all, but Branch soon finds that protecting Constance has become about more than just the job.

 

 

The Cactus Creek Challenge by [Erica Vetsch]

The Cactus Creek Challenge

Anything he can do, I can do better. At least that was what Cassie Bucknell thought before she pinned on Ben Wilder’s badge and took to patrolling the streets of Cactus Creek, Texas. Cassie has been in love with Ben since primer school, but Ben treats her like a little sister. When they are picked to swap jobs for a month as part of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge in their Texas hometown, the schoolhouse is thrown into an uproar, the jail becomes a temporary bank vault, and Cassie and Ben square off in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts.

 

 

 


Leave an encouraging note for Erica Vetsch in the comments. This writing journey is rough, and I’d love to bless her as much as she has blessed me.

Seven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection

Seven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection

Seven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection

Stories by: Erica Vetsch, Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Keli Gwyn, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, and Lorna Seilstad

5star

This is the first novella collection that I absolutely fell in love with. The stories are all so connected that it feels like one book. This and the Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers have become two of my favorite rereads. In fact, it’s a series I constantly thrust upon all who come to my house in search of books to borrow. I confess to keeping an extensive library for lending so that I have an excuse to buy more books.

Collections always take me longer to read than just a normal book, just because it is broken up into separate stories, but this one took me way less time than normal. Why? Because I thoroughly enjoyed how connected the stories were. This is a collection you don’t want to miss.


Genre: Historical Romance, Texas, 1874

Plot Overview:

Seven brothers must marry within 1874 or lose their inheritance.

Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas. Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children—until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will. How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum? Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance?

First Comes Love by Gabrielle Meyer
As the youngest Hart, Hays has never been first at anything—so he’s determined to be the first to marry. He sets his sights on the new teacher, Miss Emma Longley, but he soon discovers Emma wants nothing to do with marriage, ranching, or Texas and plans to leave Hartville in two short months. Will Hays’ charm be enough to convince her to stay?

The Heart of Texas by Lorna Seilstad
With Texas awash in outlaws, Ranger Chisholm Hart takes his oath to protect the citizens and their property seriously. When he meets feisty, independent Caro Cardova who can face a band of vigilantes, ride as well as a man, and shoot from the hip, he must decide if he can make room in his heart for both the state he loves and the woman who’s stolen his heart.

The Truest Heart by Amanda Barratt
Despite his father’s edict, Travis Hart is determined never to marry. The one woman he cares for is a distant memory, and he won’t settle for a loveless union with anyone else. Yet when Annie Lawrence re-enters his life, the spark of romance he thought extinguished, bursts into flame anew. But guilt binds Annie to her past, and Travis fears that once again, he will have to watch the woman he loves walk out of his life—this time forever.

A Love Returned by Keli Gwyn
When Coralee Culpepper declined his proposal, Houston Hart left Texas for the gold fields of California. But when his father’s edict brings him home, will Coralee—the only woman to ever claim his heart—accept him for the man he is, or will she cling to the stubborn notion that she must marry a rancher in order to be happy?

For Love or Money by Susan Page Davis
Burned out of their house, Jane and her family move into a cave, where she discovers some hidden money. Crockett Hart comes to help them rebuild, and she asks for his help. When he learns where the money came from, he hopes it won’t keep their two families apart, because he’s falling for Jane.

Mail-Order Mayhem by Vickie McDonough
Austin’s best hope to marry quickly is a mail-order bride. But the bride who arrived seems more interested in one of the ranch hands. Her sister Rebekah, who is chaperoning, keeps apologizing. Austin is ready to send his bride packing. Could God have other ideas for a wife for him?

Love at Last by Erica Vetsch
When her former patient, Confederate officer Bowie Hart, shows up on her doorstep, Elise Rivers agrees to his marriage-of-convenience proposal. But as she gets to know her scarred and taciturn new husband, she realizes she has a chance to turn a marriage-of-convenience into the love of a lifetime, if only she can convince Bowie that he is worthy to be loved.

What I loved: My favorite part of this type of collection is the deep connection between each story. Instead of seven completely different stories, it feels like one overarching story when you get a peek at each swoon-worthy hero. And who doesn’t swoon over men whose duty in life is to protect and serve? Each hero is depicted with his own quirks and individual personality, but they all have the common thread of a commitment that goes beyond the standard citizen.

I also LOVED how this book was set in the same place as Seven Brides for Seven Texans. Characters from past books reappeared and you got to see bits and pieces of the Hart brothers all over again. Books that connect and series that connect in this way are my absolute favorite.

Who would like this: Anyone who loves historical stories with strong heroes, ranchers, stories of family ties, heroines who range from stubborn to docile, and dangerous situations that bring couples together. Those who especially like connected storylines will love this.

Rating and Why: I give this story 5 stars. If you haven’t figured it out, the connectedness of all the stories really bumps the rating up. However, the action, dialogue, and characters are all excellent. Some stories are better than others, but I can’t think of one that I did not enjoy, and usually, in a collection, there is one that I am meh on.

Purchase Links

Amazon     Baker Bookhouse     Barnes and Noble     Books-A-Million     Book Depository    Christianbook.com     Indiebound


Have you read this collection? Which story sounds the most intriguing to you?

The Indebted Earl by Erica Vetsch

The Indebted Earl by Erica Vetsch

The Indebted Earl

by Erica Vestch

I may or may not have ended up in the doghouse with my husband when reading this story. I made the mistake of starting it at 9 pm and then stayed awake in bed with my booklight on until 4 am…on a weeknight. In my defense, it was spring break and my hubby didn’t have to work the next day.

Ever since I read The Lost Lieutenant and The Gentleman Spy, I have been eager to read the third and final installment of Serendipity & Secrets. My eagerness was not disappointed. The story followed the typical marriage of convenience storyline with plenty of twists, turns, wit, and danger. The slow-grow of Sophie’s love for Captain Charles Wyvern was a joy to watch, and the Captain’s quick fall for Sophie was so sweet. The characterization of each person in this story was delightful and entertaining–especially the trio of orphans they must raise together. I look forward to one day reading their individual romances.

One of my favorite things is the story leaves you with the desire to read an already in-print final story of the Haverly family–Cilla’s. You can find that story in The Joy to the World: Regency Christmas Collection. (All of the above links are to my reviews of those stories.)


Genre: Historical Romance, 1814, England (Regency)

Plot Overview:

Can Captain Wyvern keep his new marriage of convenience all business–or will it turn into something more?

Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life–especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero’s dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man’s grieving fiancée and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.

When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.

Sophie is surprised to find she isn’t opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed’s elderly mother, and she’s already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she’ll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.

It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he’s come to mean to her. Now she’ll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.

What I loved: The character development of Captain Wyvern. That man has such a soft, responsible heart, but he also knows what he wants out of life. When things don’t go the way he expects, he steps up and does whatever is necessary to make things right.

Favorite Character and Why: I loved Captain Wyvern and Sophie, but my heart really latched on to Thea. Bless her soul, she is a lot like my son, and a lot like me. And Besty! Oh my, that girl was a dear! He puppy-dog following of Captain Wyvern was adorable. 

Who would like this? Readers who love regency, marriage of convenience stories, stories with a touch of mystery and excitement, and readers who love a series so well connected and planned.

Rating and Why: Five stars. The story was engaging, believable, exciting, and totally had my heart wrapped around the whole plot and characters. It is a book I will enjoy revisiting several times over. And we get to see Marcus from The Gentleman Spy again. He’s still one of my favorites.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Books-a-Million     Book Depository     Bookshop.org     Christianbook.com     Indiebound.org


QUESTION FOR YOU:

Have you read this series? What do you love or dislike about marriage of convenience stories?

Wonders of His Love by Erica Vetsch

Wonders of His Love by Erica Vetsch

Wonders of His Love

by Erica Vetsch

This month I am reviewing each novella from the Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection. First up was Carolyn Miller’s “Heaven and Nature Sing,” followed by “Far as the Curse is Found” by Amanda Barratt.

The final novella is “Wonders of His Love” by Erica Vetsch. This novella would be considered a part of her Serendipity and Secrets series and will be best enjoyed if you have read the first two books in the series: The Lost Lieutenant and The Gentleman Spy. Even if you have not read the previous stories, you will enjoy the story of a widow finding herself anew while under the thumb of her deceased husband’s mother with the help of a Scottish painter. I really enjoyed the sweetness of the story. The dialect of Hamish was well done and so enjoyable, and the struggle between the strength and timidity of Cilla was something you cheered her on through. I truly loved the sweetness of this story as Cilla and Hamish privately deal with their growing feelings for one another. There are so many tender moments in this story, it brings a smile to my face just thinking of them. This definitely falls under the light-hearted and sweet while still dealing with the true-to-life struggles of finding your worth aside from the opinions of others. I highly recommend this story for those looking for something with sweetness mixed with a little bit of meat. The lessons learned by these characters are ones that you will chew on even after you finish reading.


Genre: Historical Romance, England, 1816

Plot Overview:

A Scots portrait painter finds work at a noble manor house over the holidays. He never imagined he’d fall in love with the emotionally frozen widow there. Now he wants nothing more than to thaw her heart.

What I loved: I loved Cilla’s dance between pleasing others and finding one’s self and desires. Perhaps it is because I’ve long struggled with being a people pleaser and determining when to step up for my needs, even when it disappoints those I love. Cilla’s struggle felt real and personal to me.

Favorite Character and Why: Oh, sweet Hamish! I love his artistic touch, sweet heart, and struggle to find his self-worth. And his dialect was something that made me smile every time it was used. It was masterfully done without being burdensome to the reader. Absolutely delightful.

Rating and Why: Five Stars. I truly enjoy the Serendipity and Secrets series. It was such a joy to return to those characters and find that the true-to-life struggles of each character were not diminished by the shortness of the story.

Amazon.com       Baker Bookhouse        Barnes and Noble        Book Depository      Christianbook.com

The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

The Gentleman Spy is the second book in the Serendipity and Secrets series from Erica Vetsch, and this book was just as enjoyable as the first. I can’t wait to preorder and read the third book. This story definitely had more of a flair of danger, espionage, and suspense. Y’all, Marcus was one of those swoony heroes for me, and maybe it’s just that I have a thing for lawmen type characters, but I really think it is just because he is such versatile and confident character. The poor guy is a bit delusional, too, with flaws that make him real but still admirable. I love watching him grow beyond the great spy he already was into a more rounded man and husband. Charlotte was strong and someone I could look up to. I spent a good portion of the book cheering when she did something that showed her heart or showed her growing confidence. I won’t reveal any spoilers, but the complexity of the story was something I just drool over. Can I say I want to write like her when I grow up? LOL It was definitely a book I will read over and over again.

I highly recommend this book to readers of the Regency era, marriages of convenience, and complex plots mixed with danger and intrigue.


Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, 1814

Plot Overview:

He only wanted a duchess for a day–but she’s determined to make it a marriage for life

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she’s meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life–as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She’s determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society–the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she’d remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

What I loved: The spy theme just really satisfied my need for action and intrigue. And I love how the poor Duke’s expectation that everything could stay in its box was brought to reality.

Favorite Character and Why: I loved both Marcus and Charlotte, for different reasons than Evan and Diana, but Aunt Dolly really tickled me. I loved her heart and the way she inserted herself into both Marcus’s and Charlotte’s lives.

Rating and Why: Five Stars. This is a series I will reread over and over. First The Lost Lieutenant and now The Gentleman Spy. Both books scratched my itch for romance AND danger.

Amazon.com       Baker Bookhouse        Barnes and Noble        Book Depository      Christianbook.com

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