Hello Readers! I’m pleased to be part of the blog tour for Georgana’s Secret a new Regency romance in the Proper Romance series by bestselling author Arlem Hawks. Many thanks to Laurel @ Austenprose for tour invite and author and publisher for providing review copy via NetGalley. Please check out the book details and my review in this post.
Georgana’s Secret (Proper Romance Regency) by Arlem Hawks
Publication Date : January 12th 2021
Publisher : Shadow Mountain Publishing
Genre : Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
Pages : 320
Trade Paperback ISBN : 978-1629727929
eBook ASIN : B08Q5MW1SG
Audiobook ASIN : B08RLRZ65Q
A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.
As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”
Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.
Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.
“Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton’s charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances.”— Publishers Weekly
“This tale felt sweepingly cinematic at times and was both action-packed and heart-wrenching with an immersive narrative.”— Katie Jackson, RegencyProofreading.com
Arlem Hawks wove a magnificent tale of adventure and deception and delivered a happy ever after that was as unconventional as the rest of the story. With so many stories of romance out there, it is refreshing when one comes along that is very different than the stories that I am used to. A little adventure always livens things up fabulously.”— Emily Flynn, Reading with Emily
“Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love.”— Booklist, starred review
Georgana’s Secret was lovely and interesting regency romance that revolved around Georgana Woodall and Lieutenant Dominic Peyton’s love story taking place at high seas aboard HMS Deborah. It was about Navy life, struggle and dangers of living on ship, standing up for yourself, letting go of past, finding self-confidence, compassion, caring for loved ones, friendship and love.
Writing was vivid, immersive, engaging, and steady paced. It was written in third person narrative from Dominic and Georgana’s alternative perspective. Plot was interesting filled with lots of emotion, adventure with well written secret identity and girl disguised as boy arc.
Prologue was sad that took me back to Georgana’s childhood in 1799. It described how difficult, Georgana and her mother’s situation was with controlling and abusing grandmother, how they cherished moments with her father whenever he returned for break and how difficult it was to say goodbye when he was called back for duty as Navy captain.
Eleven year later, Georgana was now living with her father on HMS Deborah disguised as a captain’s cabin boy named George Taylor for past three years, ever since her mother death, when captain Woodall discovered about his mother’s abusive treatment towards his only daughter. Life on ship was nothing like she dreamed as child. Being a ship boy in favour of Captain, able to dine with captain while captain invited officers to dine only occasionally, and had to do less work than others didn’t bode well with crew of ship and specially among rest of third-class boys who harassed her regularly. It was miserable for her to live alone with a burden of secret.
But things changed when Dominic Peyton arrived on ship as first lieutenant. When he witnessed George’s harassment, he immediately put a stop to it, offered him help, and took him under his wing. It made thing even worst for George but for the first time she felt she wasn’t alone, she found a friend in Dominic who taught her to defend herself, life on a ship became bearable and could feel hope and happiness in friendship of Dominic. But as she spent more time with him, it was becoming hard for her to disguise the girl she really was and hide her real feelings. She was convinced nothing would come out of all she felt for Dominic as Dominic’s first love was sea and she didn’t want another navy man in her life.
It was interesting to read Georgana and Dominic’s adventure on sea, to find out when Dominic would figure out George was a young lady, what would happen after that, what second lieutenant was planning and how crew of the ship would react on discovering George and captain’s secret.
Georgana was great character. I felt for her when I read her thoughts about her grandmother. Even after escaping clutches of her grandmother she couldn’t escape her stinging words that gave her nightmare. I agreed with her feeling about not her situation and thought on what was more terrifying, life with grandmother or lonely life on high sea with bullies. But I loved how care and compassion of Dominic brought change in her. Her dilemma on whether to tell Dominic her true identity or not and how he would react to it was genuine. I admire her love for her father and how she didn’t wish to burden her father or make him feel sad by complaining what she was going through on ship. I enjoyed reading her development from timid, meek and low self-esteemed girl to lady who proved to be strong, brave, and how she started believing in herself and her ability to do anything.
Dominic was lively, caring and compassionate man. His spirit and love for sea was infectious. I enjoyed reading his relationship with his mother. It was lovely he refused to accept promotion so he could provide more for her and collected little things from all his voyages. I loved how he noticed George wasn’t happy on ship, kept offering help and even tried to talk about it to Captain. I admired him for understanding and respecting Georgana and captain’s secret and Georgana’s wish about their relationship.
What I loved most was detailed description of HMS Deborah. It was interesting to read life at sea and challenge of convoy mission in era of Napoleonic war. Storm, disease, battle, insubordination, crew’s displeasure and even mutiny made story atmospheric. Romance gave light touch to it. It was slow and steady. I enjoyed reading Gergana and Dominic’s friendship, their growing relationship, strong bond, and conversations between them. They understood each other well and I loved how they cared for each other.
Twist and turns were good. Dominic discovering George’s identity and second lieutenant’s ill intentions were easy to guess but I couldn’t predict the battle before climax and how it affected characters and situation on ship. All scenes from climax to end were interesting to read. I loved how Georgana saved everyone’s life. I’m still confused about her father and Dominic’s last minute action but I’m glad things were wrapped up nicely with happy ending.
Overall, Georgana’s Secret was unique, engaging, and well written historical fiction and regency romance with high sea adventure and interesting characters.
Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn’t writing, Arlem is baking her characters’ favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.
Blog Tour Schedule:
Jan 11 My Jane Austen Book Club Excerpt
Jan 11 Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog Review
Jan 12 Wishful Endings Review
Jan 12 Lu Reviews Books Review
Jan 13 Lady with a Quill Review
Jan 13 Timeless Novels Review
Jan 14 Reading is My Superpower Review
Jan 14 The Bibliophile Files Review
Jan 15 Randi Loves 2 Read Review
Jan 16 The Christian Fiction Girl Excerpt
Jan 17 Nurse Bookie Review
Jan 18 The Silver Petticoat Review Review
Jan 18 Heidi Reads Review
Jan 19 Bookfoolery Review
Jan 20 Captivated Reading Review
Jan 21 Greenish Bookshelf Review
Jan 21 Bookworm Lisa Review
Jan 22 Among the Reads Review
Jan 23 Gwedalyn’s Books Review
Jan 24 My Bookish Bliss Review
Jan 25 Wishful Endings Excerpt
Jan 25 Christian Chick’s Thoughts Review
Jan 26 Relz Reviewz Review
Jan 27 The Lit Bitch Review
Jan 28 Reading with Emily Review
Jan 29 Books, Teacups & Reviews Review
Jan 30 A Darn Good Read Review
Jan 31 From Pemberley to Milton Spotlight
Jan 31 Impressions in Ink Review
Feb 01 Austenesque Reviews Review
Feb 02 Laura’s Reviews Review
Feb 03 Literary Time Out Review
Feb 04 Chicks, Rogues & Scandals Excerpt
Feb 05 The Bluestocking Review
Feb 05 Library of Clean Reads Review
Feb 06 The Caffeinated Bibliophile Spotlight
Feb 07 So Little Time… Spotlight
Feb 08 The Readathon Review
Feb 09 The Book Diva Reads Excerpt
Feb 09 Books and Socks Rock Review
Feb 10 Our Book Confessions Review
Feb 10 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Spotlight
Feb 11 Rosanne E. Lortz Review
Feb 11 Jorie Loves a Story Review
Feb 12 Fire & Ice Excerpt
Feb 13 Cup of Tea with that Book, Please Review
Feb 14 Book Confessions of an Ex-ballerina Review
What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book or going to add to TBR? What is your favorite book set on High Seas?
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