A Viscount’s Second Chance By Joyce Alec


(Hearts and Ever Afters)

A Viscount's Second Chance
A Viscount’s Second Chance










Lady Eleanor Dawson, now Lady Brooke, is a widow ready to go to town.  A short arranged marriage to a man she did not love, left her sure she would not marry again.  However, the thought of the dancing, parties, and seeing old friends is very desirable.   Henry Armitage watched Eleanor from afar for months.  Shy and hesitant, he’d lost his chance to meet Eleanor when her father arranged her marriage.  Now, she’s back in town, and Henry has another opportunity to win her hand.  Or does he?  For evil stalks the wealthy Eleanor.  Meanwhile, old scandals follow Henry, and new scandals threaten Eleanor.  My Regency romance book reviews of A Viscount’s Second Chance follows.


Although a short Regency novella, Joyce Alec filled this book with suspense, threats, and romanceAlec could not develop the storyline or characters to the extent of a novel.  However, she created a short, intense read which will hold your attention.  Henry’s cast as the knight in shining armor and Eleanor as the lady in distress.  Watching Henry development as he came out of his shell is terrific.  Alec created a dastardly villain for her tale who is mean, cruel, greedy, and determined to get his way.  I found him the perfect foil for Henry.

The scenes in A Viscount’s Second Chance transitioned smoothly, and Alec‘s writing flowed well.  Her characters were full-bodied and realistic to this period.  Joyce Alec provided secondary characters which added depth to the storyline. A Viscount’s Second Chance is a clean Regency romance which included suspense and mystery providing the reader with an entertaining read.


Two Tocks before Midnight By Clay Boutwell


A 19th Century Historical Murder Mystery

(The Agora Mystery Series)

Two Tocks before Midnight
Two Tocks Before Midnight










Forgery, mystery, and murder are found in Two Tocks Before Midnight.  Beginning on the night of October 24, 1889, Clay Boutwell crafts a mystery of suspense and murder.  When forgeries appear, the Agora society is on the case.  This society’s dedicated to the betterment of man, and as such, see this case as part of their creed.  However, the society finds a member’s involved in these crimes.  Who is the one helping the criminals and who is the mastermind behind the scene?  As the murders mount, Carl Brooke, a member of Agora, ferrets out the secrets and reasons.  My book reviews of Two Tocks Before Midnight follows.


Although a short tale of 51 pages, Clay Boutwell, created a story filled with forgery and murder.  Similar to Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Carl Brookes is methodical, as well as, intuitive in his reasoning and investigative techniques.  Boutwell slowly revealed Carl’s investigative genius as he developed the storyline.

Authors can not develop characters or plot lines in a short story to the extent they can a novel.  However, Boutwell did a skillful job of developing the characters and plot lines in this short book.  Boutwell held the who, what, and why close;  revealing them at the last moment in the storyline.  Using observation and deduction, will Carl Brookes solve the crimes and reveals the culprits?  Sorry, you will have to read the book to decide if the night of October 24th, 1859, remains a mystery in the annals of time?  In addition, Boutwell added a surprise ending which I did not expect.


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