A Winter by the Sea

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Author: Julie Klassen
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: On Devonshire Shores #2
Pages: 448
Release Date: December 5, 2023
Publisher: Bethany House

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Royalty comes to Sidmouth, bringing unexpected danger and the sweet possibility of romance. . . .

When the Duke and Duchess of Kent and their daughter–the future Queen Victoria–rent neighboring Woolbrook Cottage for the winter, the Summers sisters are called upon to host three of the royal family’s male staff in their seaside house. But they soon realize they’ve invited secrets and intrigue into their home.

Meanwhile, Emily Summers longs to become an author. A local publisher offers to consider her novel if she will first write a Sidmouth guidebook for him. Emily agrees and begins researching the area with help from the Duke of Kent’s handsome private secretary. But a surprise visitor from her past shows up at Sea View, leaving Emily torn between the desires she’s long held dear and her budding dreams for the future.

Return to the Devonshire coast with the Summers sisters, where loyalties are tested, secrets come to light, and new love emerges.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Winter by the Sea by Julie Klassen is the second book in the On Devonshire Shores series. It is a wonderful fictional romance blended with actual historical events that kept me engaged from the first page to the last.

The beautiful cover transports the reader once again to the seaside village of Sidmouth, where the Summers family is preparing their home to receive three male members of the royal family’s staff. The Duke and Duchess of Kent and their baby (the future Queen Victoria) are staying nearby in Woolbrook Cottage for the winter. As the sisters, Sarah, Emily, and Georgiana, prepare their home to receive their guests, they soon begin to realize that hosting royal staff members comes with intrigue and lots of secrets.

As Emily pursues her writing career, she develops a relationship with the Duke of Kent’s private secretary. Unfortunately, as feelings begin to grow, someone from her past comes knocking on the door, hoping to re-establish their past acquaintance.

While the last book in this series, The Sisters of Seaview, introduced us to the Summer sisters, there was one sister, Claire, who was mentioned but not really explored. In this book, we learn a little more about what happened to Claire and why she was exiled to Scotland. I hope we get to meet Claire in a future book, as she definitely has a story to tell.

I really enjoyed this book and the close relationships these sisters had with one another. The author does a delightful job of exploring not just the main characters but the secondary ones as well. Each character adds something that makes this book hard to put down. And of course, let’s not forget the romance! That was very well done, and I was seriously wondering if Emily would forgive Charles Parker, who jilted her because of Claire or pursue her relationship with James Thomson (the Duke’s secretary). You’ll have to read it to find out!

If you love historical romances, you will enjoy A Winter by the Sea. It can be read as a standalone, although it would be better to read the first book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley for my honest review.

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