12 Oct 2020

The London Restoration by Rachel McMillan Review

August 18th 2020, 336 Pages

Print, Ebook and Audio

Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: London, 1942, 1945

 In post-World War II London, determined to save their marriage and the city they love, two people divided by World War II's secrets rebuild their lives, their love, and their world.

London, Fall 1945. Architectural historian Diana Somerville's experience as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park and her knowledge of London's churches intersect in MI6's pursuit of a Russian agent named Eternity. Diana wants nothing more than to begin again with her husband Brent after their separation during the war, but her signing of the Official Secrets Act keeps him at a distance.

Brent Somerville, professor of theology at King's College, hopes aiding his wife with her church consultations will help him better understand why she disappeared when he needed her most. But he must find a way to reconcile his traumatic experiences as a stretcher bearer on the European front with her obvious lies about her wartime activities and whereabouts.


 My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 A London Restoration is rightly described as the author's "love letter" to London. You can feel the author's love and appreciation for the city, and especially it's ancient churches and buildings throughout this novel.. What I also loved about it is that although the author *could* have fallen into the trap of writing a traditional romance, she's didn't.

The protagonists are already married, as a result of whirlwind wartime romance. Diana is an architectural historian with a passion for 17th century churches studying at King's College, where Brent teaches theology.
The 'restoration' in the title is essentially the restoration of their relationship after several years being separated by the war, and by the secrets and barriers which have risen up between them.

One gets the "feel" for London and Britain in the months following the end of of WW2 in this novel, especially the struggles of a population still having to deal with rationing and loss in a city that was still marred by bomb damage. Yet the overall tone is hopeful, not gloomy, which some humourous passages and scenes: especially Diana's lack of cooking skills.

As the two seek to reestablish their trust with the possibility that Brent may have PTSD, a potential plot comes to light in the form of a Soviet Agent. This reveals what Diana was really up to, and put all the more strain on their relationship. Will it break, or will they have to learn to trust one another and anew?

The characterization in this story was excellent, and the historical and geographical details woven in seamlessly. Of course, I appreciated the details about religious relics, and the purpose of building churches. The faith message is there, but it doesn't overwhelm the story, and its realistic. in the sense that many people did struggle to reconcile their beliefs with their wartime experiences.

Thoroughly recommended for all lovers of Historical Fiction.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read a PDF of this story via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

8 Oct 2020

Miss Tavistock's Mistake: Celebrate Lit Blog Tour & Review


About the Book

Miss Tavistock’s Mistake

Author: Linore Rose Burkard

Genre:  Clean and Wholesome Regency Romance/Romantic Comedy

Release Date: June 4, 2020

Can Miss Tavistock’s mistake ever be undone?

Young Miss Tavistock is promised in marriage to Captain Rempeare by the wish of her dearly departed papa. But the captain’s been at sea for a decade. When she finally meets him, tempestuous sparks fly, and she impulsively adopts a daring false identity. Going by “Lady X,” she vows never to marry such an infuriating man.

Captain Gabriel Rempeare is prepared to fulfill his duty and marry Miss Tavistock—if only he can clap eyes on her. One circumstance or another keeps them apart, though he cannot seem to avoid the maddeningly lovely Lady X. When fate throws them together in London, Miss Tavistock discovers the real nature of the captain, and regrets her subterfuge. But can such a noble man forgive deceit? Or has her mistake already cost her everything?


Click here to get your copy!

My Review and Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Miss Tavistock's Mistake is the first book in a new Regency Series from Linore Rose Burkard, an author who was considered one of the pioneers of the Christian Regency Genre when her first novel 'Before the Season Ends' released back in 2008.

Miss Tavistock as a charming and witty read, which takes the arranged marriage trope and adds a few interesting twists. The main one is pretense and assumed identities, when Margaret Tavistock, upon meeting the man her deceased father wished for her to marry for the first time in over a decade, takes a dislike to him. To avoid marriage, she creates a new identity for herself, hiding behind the persona of Mrs X.

Misunderstandings, gossip, family dramas and mistaken identity keep the hero and heroine apart both physically and romantically until they can be honest with themselves and each other. Overall, its a very entertaining and enjoyable read.

Although counted as an 'inspirational' Regency, there isn't much religious content in this, and its not heavy-handed. It is there, but its woven well into the story without being preachy.

Thanks to Celebratelit for a review copy of this title. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.



About the Author

Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, her first book opened the genre for the CBA. Besides historical romance, Linore writes contemporary suspense (The Pulse Effex Series, as L.R. Burkard), contemporary romance (Falling In), and romantic short stories. Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.


More from Linore

Miss Tavistock experiences a frightening crush at the Prince Regent’s palace (Carlton House) toward the end of the book which leads to a romantically pivotal scene. But many readers don’t know that what happened that day at the palace really happened.

Here’s the scoop:


The fete in June of 1811 was the Prince of Wales’ first real chance to celebrate his becoming Regent in February of that year in the lavish style he loved.

Like Miss Tavistock, many in the haut ton anxiously coveted invitations. At first reserved only for the peerage and their offspring, by the time of the event, more than 2,000 invitations had been issued to all classes. The details in the story regarding the enormous preparations really happened, and much, much, more.

Since our heroine was not able to garnish an invitation to the actual grand banquet, the extraordinary magnificence of the d├ęcor, food, and costume of that night had to be excluded from the book. But it was an unprecedented display, and both amazed and perplexed the guests.

The prince was so happy with his lavish spectacle that he wished to share it with the public. The unruly crowd described in the book happened on the third day following the banquet. It was reported that more than 30,000 people tried to crowd their way in that day. Men and women lost hats, bonnets, coats, shawls, shoes, and even their under clothing. London papers afterwards claimed there were great tubs at Carlton House filled with all the lost items.  Our beleaguered heroine escapes with only her shoes and bonnet missing, but her stockings and gown are torn. Perfect situation to be rescued from!

Contemporaries both praised and harshly criticized the affair. It was described as “an assemblage of beauty, splendor and profuse magnificence,” by admirers, but as  one of the princes’ “greatest follies and extravagances,” by detractors.3

If you’re not previously familiar with the Prince Regent (later George IV), this might give you an idea as to why I sometimes find him too irresistible a figure to leave out of a Regency novel. His extravagance, flamboyance and tempestuous lifestyle are just too ripe  fodder to ignore. Though he doesn’t appear in Miss Tavistock, I have numerous scenes in my first Regency series where he interacts with Phillip Mornay, ‘the Paragon,’ and hero of the books.

NOTE: This post is an abbreviated account of the event, which is included in more detail at the back of the book.

Question: Have you ever been trapped in a crowd? What was it like?


Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 26

Rebecca Tews, September 26

Just Your Average reviews, September 26

Inklings and notions, September 27

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, September 27

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 28

Genesis 5020, September 28

Worthy2Read, September 29

Connie’s History Classroom, September 29

For Him and My Family, September 30

Betti Mace, September 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 1

Remembrancy, October 1

Artistic Nobody, October 2 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Blogging With Carol, October 2

Labor Not in Vain, October 2

Blossoms and Blessings, October 3

The Book Chic Blog, October 3

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 4

deb’s Book Review, October 4

Simple Harvest Reads, October 5 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

CarpeDiem, October 5

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 6

HookMeInABook, October 6

Splashes of Joy, October 7

Reading Is My SuperPower, October 7

Godly Book Reviews, October 8

Romances of the Cross, October 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

As He Leads is Joy, October 9

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 9



To celebrate her tour, Linore is giving away the grand prize of a $30 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


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