A Perfect Weakness by Jennifer A. Davids


A Perfect Weakness

By Jennifer A. Davids


Sometimes while in the throes of a terrible family crisis, you just have to escape into the pages of a good book to survive. A Perfect Weakness was the escape I needed during such a time and so much more. It was not only a pleasure to read, but helped me to process what my own family was enduring. I highly recommend this book, especially for those who are scarred by the consequences of their past failures or mistakes. (And if you’re breathing, then that is more likely than not, you.)


Genre: Historical Romance, Victorian England, 1868

Overview of Plot: Penelope Howard has been caring for the tenants of her uncle’s estate for years, but after his passing a new Lord must take his place and could remove her from her position, especially if he, or anyone else, discovers her secret. When she learns the heir is an American doctor, she hopes and prays he will care for the people as much as she and help tend the country hospital.Dr. John Turner served in the War Between the States as a surgeon, but the horrifying memories drove him to the bottle. Continuing to practice medicine while drunk had dire consequences, so when the chance to flee to England arrives, he takes it, vowing to never practice medicine again. But everyone knows he is a doctor and the beautiful and heart-filled sister of his estate agent seems to keep pushing him to help the community with his skills and not just his monetary support. When he is needed most, can he once again take up healing the sick and broken Or will their secrets and weaknesses destroy them and all those around them?


Favorite Character and Why: Penelope is such a strong woman, who had risen above her past mistake and clung to God through it all. I could really connect with her passion for the tenants and helping women who faced similar mistakes and consequences. I also loved how she pushed John Turner to become a better man. What I liked: History… always the history. I love all the details that connected the American Civil War to Victorian England. I also loved the story-line itself. The characters were rich and deep, the problems relatable and real.

Who would like this: Those who love historical fiction, Victorian romance, and stories of redemption, overcoming past mistakes, and love that goes beyond the pain of the past.

*Warning: Penelope’s backstory deals with the difficult loss of a child. It is integral to the development of the story, but I don’t feel it is enough to keep one from reading it. But if you are especially sensitive, you may want to skim through the book first.*


Amazon blurb:

The Civil War left its mark on Dr. John Turner. He turns his back on medicine and sees his unexpected inheritance in England as an opportunity to start over. But he never imagines how God intends to use his new role as lord of Ashford Hall — or the beautiful woman he finds there — to ease his troubled soul.

A tragic loss led Penelope Howard to bury her heart and dreams in her work for the Hall and the village of Woodley. But the arrival of the new heir stirs not only her discarded longings but her compassion as well. What burden does he carry that he can’t accept that grace covers the darkest of sins?

A deadly epidemic sweeps through Woodley revealing secrets which threaten everything. The doctor faces a choice: leave or dare to believe what the Lord whispers through the woman John has come to love.

No one is beyond redemption.


Links for Purchase:

Amazon.com        Barnes & Noble

You’re Invited to Join the Journey


Are you interested in an author’s writing journey? Do you want to interact and be a part of that journey on a regular basis?

I have created a Facebook group called Crystal’s Creative Cohorts so that I can be more interactive with you on a regular basis. While blogging and my newsletters are great, they are often one-sided and I really want to interact and get to know you.

So what will Crystal’s Creative Cohorts do? Give input on current works in progress–like character names, descriptions, quirks, story ideas–, be the first ones offered a chance to be beta readers and members of my eventual street team, get a glimpse into the real life of an author and sneak peeks at my writing, and have access to exclusive contests. Because who doesn’t like a good contest?

In fact, my first giveaway will happen when the group reaches 50 members. Want a sneak peek at the prize? I thought so…


So what are you waiting for? Come join the party and become a Creative Cohort.

The Innkeeper’s Daughter by Michelle Griep

Innkeper's Daughter

The Innkeepers Daughter by Michelle Griep



Squee!!! Michelle has managed to sweep me away again.

I have been waiting for another Bow Street Runner Book since I first read Brentwood’s Ward (review here). As soon as The Innkeepers Daughter was up for preorder, I preordered it… and then I preordered again a few months later when I forgot I’d already bought it. Oops… luckily I did catch it before Amazon shipped them both, so now I have money set aside for the THIRD one she’s working on now.  Squee!!


This book is so well written that I struggled to separate my reader-self from my writing-self. As gripped as I was by reading the story, I kept stopping to examine how she did it. Seriously, if you are a writer and want a good author to study deep POV and story world creation, Michelle is it. As a reader, you will absolutely forget you live in the 21st century and live in Regency England.


Alright enough swooning and rambling:

Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England

Plot Overview: Joanna struggles to keep her family’s inn afloat and if they don’t pay their debts by the end of the month, she, her mother, and her younger brother will be sent to the workhouse. Alexander Moore is a Bow Street Runner sent to conduct a mission off the books, one that if he is discovered could end his life with none of his friends or the magistrate who sent him to step in to help. Staying at Joanna’s rundown inn puts him in constant contact with the woman determined to ignore his unrelenting charm, but finding the traitor to the crown must come first or they could all end up dead.

What I loved: The number of historical fiction novels that fully encompass a detective story and romance well are rare in my opinion. My desire for a good, suspenseful mystery and a swoony romance are simultaneously met in this book. I kept trying to figure out who the traitor really was and wondering how Joanna and Alex would get together. The struggles were real and intense and completely fulfilled every desire this chica craves in a book.

As a writer, OH MY GOODNESS! I want to write like her. I am literally copying pages of her work and analyzing how she draws readers so completely into her world. I have examined pacing and story structure of other authors but never to the degree I am now. To master deep POV and story world is a goal of mine, and studying Michelle will definitely help me grow closer to that goal.

Favorite Character: Alexander Moore, no contest. I thought Brentwood was swoony, but Brentwood has nothing on Alex. Whew, doggie! *fans self* Strong, smart, compassionate, and yet a man of God. Oh, yes, it is a good thing he is a fictional character because I am already married.

Who would like this:  Anyone who loves a good detective story, swoony romance, danger, interesting characters, down-right awful villains, and a strong story that submerses you so deep into its waters, you are in danger of drowning.

Rating and Why: This is a five-star story for me. Her mastery of deep POV and story world is a large part of that. Being so completely swept away and surprised at the end is very hard to do and she has done it again. And who wouldn’t give Alex a five-star score? *swoon*


Join the Discussion: What makes a book so good you can’t put it down? 


Purchase Links:

Amazon          Barnes and Noble        Christianbook.com

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