REVIEW of Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks (BLOG TOUR)

Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks

Publication Date: January 12, 2021

About the Author: 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.


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MY REVIEW

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton dreams of being a ship’s captain someday, but with no guarantee that he would get a ship to command, it’s safer to remain a lieutenant and still be in work and able to support his mother. When he gains a new post under Captain Woodall, Dominic makes the acquaintance of a shrinking cabin boy named George who seems favored by the captain and tormented by the other lads on ship. Ever one to pity an underdog, Dominic takes it upon himself to teach George the arts of self-defense and the finer points of being a sailor.

Georgana Woodall has been hiding on her father’s ship for years. Disguised as a cabin boy, she can barely stand the rough and rude sailors who despise her for her weakness and for the captain’s favoritism. Still, anything is better than being trapped on land in an untenable situation with abusive relatives. If she can manage to keep her secret from everyone aboard, she might have enough reputation left to make a come-out as a debutante some day and escape this nautical nightmare.

The new Lieutenant Peyton is an observant fellow, and Georgana can sense the danger in letting him befriend “cabin boy George.” But there is something irresistible in his kindness and his charisma. If only he were not so in love with his mistress the sea, there might be a chance for Georgana to love…and be loved in return.

When reading the premise of this story, I was unsure if I would like it, but the cover enticed me, the characters convinced me, and in the end I found it wholly captivating. The story was a perfect blend of history and romance. The horrors of a sea battle in the Napoleonic era were vividly drawn as cannonballs crashed into decks and splinters found their mark in sailors’ flesh. Georgana, although dressed as a cabin boy, was no he-woman who bests all the other lads and proves that girls can be the same as boys. Instead, she had to contend with being physically weaker than the others surrounding her, and it is only when she finds her courage that she finds her way. Dominic, a natural leader, but also a compassionate man, brings out the best in the terrified girl. Not knowing when he will finally guess Georgana’s secret is part of the grand tension of the plot, and finding out what he does when he finally knows it is part of the fun.

The publisher notes say that fans of Jane Austen and Patrick O’Brian will enjoy the novel, and for once, I think the notes might be right! As a fan of both Austen and O’Brian, I loved this novel and look forward to reading more from debut novelist Arlem Hawks.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“You are a passionate man, Peyton. You don’t attach yourself to something without giving your whole heart to doing the job right. You are also very compassionate, and I think after all she’s been through, my daughter needs some compassion in her life.”

– Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks

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

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP | INDIEBOUND | DESERET BOOK | GOODREADS

 

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