My Review – The Innkeeper’s Daughter

My Review - The Innkeeper's Daughter

about-the-book-2

A London officer goes undercover to expose a plot against the Crown

Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue . . . until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

Why This Book:

I have heard a lot of great things about Michelle Griep’s books, but I hadn’t yet had the chance to read one (despite putting her novel, The Captive Heart, on my list of Top Ten Must Read Historical Romance Novels for 2017). When I saw the opportunity to join her Celebrate Lit tour, I hopped over to Amazon to check out the first few lines in the book’s preview and decided this was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.

Opening Line (from Chapter 1):

Dover, England, 1808

Numbers would be the death of Johanna Langley.

First Impressions:

The first line, even the first paragraph, intrigued me, but I have to admit the rest of the first scene, though well-written and filled with interesting characters, just didn’t engage me. Perhaps I was just tired or distracted, but for whatever reason, I didn’t really feel engaged until the second scene where the hero was introduced, and I wouldn’t say I was truly “hooked” until the first scene of the second chapter. I can’t honestly put my finger on why this was. It may be that I needed time to adjust to Griep’s writing style or to the slightly different genre/setting of the book from my typical reads (I tend to read more American history than English), or it could just be that I was having an off day. Whatever the case, even in looking back at the first few scenes, I can’t find any fault within the writing or storytelling, so this less than enthusiastic first impression is probably on me and not the author.

Book Quote Image - The Innkeeper's Daughter - Fire Gaze

Characters:

Johanna Langley – To say Johanna is a hard worker, sacrificing all to keep her family from losing their home and livelihood – the Blue Hedge Inn – would be an understatement. The weight of this responsibility combined with the bitterness left behind by her deceased father’s betrayal of trust has shaped her into a woman who freely admits she has no desire for fun and mistrusts each man she meets. Yet, she strives to be a godly woman and readily recognizes the truth of her errors when revealed to her.

Alexander Moore aka Alexander Morton – A Bow Street runner (sort of like an early policeman) who has been assigned a mysterious undercover assignment – the details of which he is less than pleased about. He is essentially a good-hearted man trying to walk the line of serving justice and remaining as truthful as possible with those he cares about.

Lucious Nutbrown – Eccentric moocher who’s lack of social sophistication gets him into no end of trouble.

Mr. Ford – Magistrate and Alexander’s superior with an air of mystery to his personal life. He is also Alexander’s guardian, having taken Alexander in when he was orphaned as a young boy.

Thomas Langley – Mischief-making little brother to Johanna Langley with responsibilities typical of a child his age in that era.

Mrs. Eliza Langley – Widowed mother of Johanna and Thomas Langley, she’s had a difficult life, but she’s a tough, clever woman and a loving “mam.”

Mr. Quail – The leader of an itinerate band of musicians.

Mr. Spurge – The lien holder on the Blue Hedge Inn.

Tanny Needler – A man no one wants to work for.

Viscount Coburn – Alexander’s initial suspect and Father of Louisa.

Louisa Coburn – Rebellious daughter of the the viscount.

Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:

It may have taken me a few scenes to become truly engaged in this story but not too long after that I had to force myself to very reluctantly put it down when life responsibilities demanded my attention. I lost no small amount of sleep to this delightful novel. Consider yourself warned.

This book made me chuckle several times and I even caught myself truly choking up a couple times, so I think it’s safe to say I was emotionally engaged with these characters.
Book Quote Image - The Innkeeper's Daughter - Broken Things

Elements I especially liked/disliked:

I liked the way the author handled the unique dialects in the dialogue of the different characters. I could clearly hear distinct voices in my mind as I read. (No comments from the peanut gallery, thank you.) From their physical appearance to the way they spoke, to the actions they took,  each character was distinct enough from any other that at no time was I ever confused as to whom I was reading about. Furthermore, there were no throw-away characters, as each had an important and unique part in the story. With a somewhat large cast of players, this is an accomplishment to be applauded.

I loved the climax because it tricked me – in a good way. I cannot say exactly how without giving it away but suffice to say what I thought was the situation for about three or so scenes, wound up not being the case and when I realized the truth, I was delighted with the twist – and I’m not even referring to the “whodunit” portion of the mystery (but yes, I was happily somewhat fooled there as well – I only guessed part of it).

I also want to add that the descriptions in this novel were so rich and well done that not only did I feel I was there, but the descriptions themselves enhanced the story.

Book Quote Image - The Innkeeper's Daughter - Dirty Corners

Themes:

When is it okay to lie?

Is gambling itself a sin?

Who is the source of our hope and strength?

Ending:

I loved the ending because just when I thought things were winding down, there was one more twist to be had. Yet in the end, all the strings that needed tying were done so with a satisfying finesse that had me grinning like a fool and even giggling a little with delight.

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

Available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

(none of the links in this review are affiliate links)

About the Author

MichelleGriep
Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit www.michellegriep.com.

Let’s chat!

Have you read a book by Michelle Griep? What most intrigues you about this novel?

TWEETABLES:

I loved the ending because just when I thought things were winding down, there was one more twist to be had. #BookReview @KathleenDenly @MichelleGriep

You won’t want to miss out on this 5 star English Regency Intrigue Romance! #BookReview @KathleenDenly @MichelleGriep 

Psst! Feel free to borrow any of the book quote images above for sharing on social media and remember to tag me @KathleenDenly !

The image below means I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Click here for more details.

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The Innkeeper's Daughter Celebrate Lit Tour Banner

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Celebrating Oak Apple Day

Spring is just around the corner, or maybe it’s in full bloom in your neck of the woods. Regardless, by this time of year, everyone is ready to celebrate. . .and nothing new is under the sun. For centuries people have been eager to welcome budding greenery and warmth.

In my recent release, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, I incorporated a spring holiday that’s been around for over 500 years in England, one you may never heard of.

Oak Apple Day.

This ancient celebration dates back to the year 1651. At the time, Charles II escaped the Roundhead army by taking cover in an oak tree. Everyone loved ol’ Charlie and was glad he lived, so in his honor, a new national holiday was born—one that in some parts of England is still celebrated today.

Another name for this annual event is Royal Oak Day and the festivities occur every May 29th. Celebration traditions vary from parades to the ringing of bells, but one thing that is standard is that it’s a day to pin an oak leaf on your lapel. If you fail to wear one, you could end up getting pinched.

The hero in my latest release is kind enough to remind the heroine that she forgot to pin on her leaf, thus saving her from untoward pinches. Interested in hearing more about this gallant fellow and the forgetful miss? Here’s a blurb about The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Tension is high with the threat of a Napoleonic attack in Regency England, but risk from abroad means nothing when there’s danger at home.

Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the crown—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue . . . until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

It’s a race against time for them both.

Blog Stops

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Connie’s History Classroom, March 17

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Giveaway

barnes and noble

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of The Innkeeper’s Daughter and a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Enter Here Button

Let’s chat!

Have you read a book by Michelle Griep? What most intrigues you about this novel?

 

 

16 thoughts on “My Review – The Innkeeper’s Daughter

  1. Thank you for your review. I’ve read this book as well. It’s a great story but I had trouble following some parts of the story. I didn’t think it was as well written as the authors other books. But I will keep reading her books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting. It’s interesting how different readers experience books. That’s why it’s great to have multiple reviewers. While I didn’t have any trouble following any part of the story, there were a few scenes (as I mentioned) where I thought one thing was happening and only later realized, it was something else. However, I felt that was a deliberate choice by the author and added to the mystery in a way that I enjoyed. I haven’t read any of her other books yet, but The Captured Bride is coming up soon in my TBR and I’m very much looking forward to it.

      Like

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