Historical Fiction Book Review: A Tale of Two Hearts

Publisher's Description

"Book 2 in Reader Favorite Michelle Griep’s Charming Once Upon a Dickens Christmas Series

London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life, for there’s nothing more mundane than serving customers day after day. Every minute she can, she reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming but penniless rogue. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t. So does William. Deceiving the old man breaks both their hearts. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.

Can two hearts survive such deception?"

My Review

A Tale of Two Hearts, by Michelle Griep, is truly a delightful story that is thoroughly engaging and wholly entertaining. Though it is the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series, it certainly reads very well as a stand-alone novel. 

In each of her books, Ms. Griep always displays a remarkable talent for writing beautifully descriptive sentences that never fail to evoke emotional responses in the reader. The words she sows thoughtfully on the page are like seeds from which feelings, thoughts, and moods grow. Like deep, green vines, her descriptions take root and wind around the reader’s heart and imagination. A Tale of Two Hearts is lush with writing that makes the characters, setting, plot, and themes vibrant with life and authenticity.

The characters in this book are exceptionally engaging and endearing. Within the span of just a few pages, the characters feel like old friends, and their concerns, hopes, and dreams become a shared experience with the reader. Furthermore, the intrigue, suspense, and romance within the pages, combined with the Victorian Christmas setting, ensure that this novel is utterly compelling and extremely enjoyable.

 A Tale of Two Hearts is a story of second glances and second chances. With new possibilities and new perspectives, it is a story of perseverance and forgiveness. This novel is an uplifting story of two hearts in search of the truth that is necessary for reconciliation and renewed hope. It is a book that beautifully depicts the gift of God’s grace that is freely offered to all.

Like a timeless Christmas tradition, A Tale of Two Hearts is a book that should be revisited again and again. It is charming, inspiring, and immensely satisfying. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

My Reflection 

A Tale of Two Hearts is a novel that artfully illustrates the destructive nature of deception. When lies supersede the truth, trust falters and relationships are jeopardized. Even when intentions are good and motives are pure, falsehoods only create space for doubt and discord. Actions and words that are rooted in truth are always worth pursuing with the knowledge and faith that God is at work in all situations for the good of those who love him. While choosing truth is not always easy, it produces results that are honest and trustworthy. Deception divides, but truth fosters healing and ultimately brings hearts together.  

About the Author

"I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write--except for that graffiti phase I went through as teenager." -- Biography from Michelle Griep's author page on Amazon.com.

Click here to purchase a copy of this novel for yourself.

*I was given a copy of this novel by the author. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.



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