BLOG TOUR: The Witch of Willow Hall – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Witch of Willow Hall! Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

37007910Title: The Witch of Willow Hall
Author: Hester Fox
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: Graydon House Books
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-A-Million | Indie Bound


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

This was another perfect read for the season. If I’m being completely honest, I ended up enjoying this tremendously more than I had anticipated I would. The Witch of Willow Hall is a gothic, historical novel that enchanted me from the beginning. 

There was a lot to enjoy about this book, but my favorite thing was its atmospheric setting. The Witch of Willow Hall reads like a Jane Austen book with some witchcraft and eerie paranormal activity mixed in. The period drama aspects were so charming! The romance that develops between two characters was really cute and I couldn’t get enough of it. The scandal that haunts the Montrose family is juicy enough to belong in a Game of Thrones book. Along with some endearing characters, such as Lydia and Mr. Barrett, we also have some very unlikeable characters, like Catherine and Cyrus. All the characters are well-written and form interesting dynamics important to the story.

Hester Fox does a fantastic job of blending the drama with suspense. Although the story is more of a gothic romance, there are still some spooky encounters and mysterious elements that make this a wonderful read for October. The Witch of Willow Hall is a suspenseful historical novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. I stayed up later than I expected to finish this because I couldn’t put it down!

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hester FoxHester comes to writing from a background in museum work and historical archaeology. She loves the Gothic, the lurid, the dark…so long as the ending is a happy one. She has never seen a ghost, though she remains hopeful.

Hester lives outside of Boston with her husband. The Witch of Willow Hall is her first novel.

 

Follow Hester:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


FOLLOW THE TOUR

October 22 | The Reading Corner for All
October 22 | The Cover Contessa
October 22 | Devouring Books
October 22 | Nemesis Blog
October 22 | Paws and Paperbacks

October 23 | A New Look On Books’ Blog
October 23 | BeachBoundBooks
October 23 | Declarations of a Fangirl
October 23 | Twirling Book Princess
October 23 | Pacific Northwest Bookworm

October 24 | Haunted by Books
October 24 | Character Madness and Musings
October 24 | Brooke Blogs
October 24 | Finding Magic in Books
October 24 | Introvert Booklover

October 25 | Willow’s Thoughts And Book Obsessions
October 25 | Becky on Books
October 25 | Under the Book Cover
October 25 | Bookish Bibliophile
October 25 | Angel Leya

October 26 | Dizneeee’s World of Books
October 26 | YA/NA Book Divas
October 26 | Paradise Found
October 26 | The Poetry Hub
October 26 | The Avid Reader 


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Top Ten Tuesday: Author’s I’d Love to Meet

Happy October! 🎃 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The theme for this week was authors we’d like to meet, and as soon as I saw it I couldn’t wait to start writing out my post!

1. GEORGE R. R. MARTIN
Although this list is not in any particular order, I have him on top because this man seems to be near impossible to meet. The only appearance he’ll be doing for his upcoming book, Fire and Blood, is a signing in New Jersey. I’m really hoping that once he finishes and publishes The Winds of Winter, there will be more opportunities to see him.

2. LAINI TAYLOR
Laini was at this past BookCon, and while I had intended to go to her signing, I had another event at the same time, so I gave the ticket to my mom to get my books signed. My mom said she was so friendly and took the time to talk with each person, and I think of all the signings I ended up missing, that was the one I regretted the most. Thankfully, Laini has an appearance at a bookstore not too far from me next week, and I’ve already reserved my spot to meet her!

3. LEIGH BARDUGO
I would love for the chance to meet this Queen of Young Adult Fantasy. She’s one of the most popular authors, and so tickets for her signings/meet and greets always sell out super quickly. I really hope she goes to BookCon again next year so I can finally meet her!

4. ROSHANI CHOKSHI
She has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I was so glad to see her name listed under the authors list for YALLFest! Meeting her is already top of my list for things to do while I’m there, and probably one of the events I’m most excited about. 

5. TESSA DARE
I always talk about how much I love her books and how she’s the author I always recommend to Historical Romance newbies. She’s truly one of the reasons I really became to enjoy reading books in that genre, and I would love nothing more than to meet her. 

6. KATE QUINN
Another author whose books are one of my absolute favorites. Her books are always so well written and researched, and after her most recent release, The Alice Network, I’m itching for more by her! I hope one day there is an opportunity for me to see her in person

7. J. K. ROWLING
As the author of the Harry Potter series, there’s no way I wouldn’t include her on this list. She’s another author who’s rarely seen out in the wild (at least for signings) and I would do anything for the chance to meet her.  

8. ADRIENNE YOUNG
Sky in the Deep was one of the best books I’ve read this year, and it quickly became one of my favorites. I was equally excited when I saw that she would also be appearing at YALLFest and that I would have the chance to meet her!

9. JENNIFER ARMENTROUT
She seriously impresses me in the way she can write books of all genres and age groups. I think have everything from her YA contemporaries to her YA paranormals, from her NA contemporaries to her adult romances. I’ve been wanting to meet her for such a long time now and I hope it happens one day soon. 

10. SARAH MACLEAN
Another HR author whose books really got me hooked on regency romance. Her books are some of my favorite in that genre. She’s going to be at KissCon – what appears to be a romance novel convention – next spring right near me, and after looking at the list of authors appearing, I think I may try to attend!


Are any of your favorite authors on my list? If you could meet anyone, who would it be? Let me know in the comments below!

REVIEW: The Governess Game – Tessa Dare

36111620Title: The Governess Game (Girl Meets Duke #2)
Author: Tessa Dare
Rating: ★★★★

“You are the worst example of false advertising. I was led to believe I was hiring a prim scold. Then I learn you’re remarkable and bold and interesting.”

I’m glad this met all the expectations I had going into it. Like all her books, The Governess Game was witty and funny and totally swoon-worthy. First of all, Tessa Dare is out here writing my dream life: meeting a handsome wealthy man at a bookstore and eventually falling in love? Where do I sign up, please?

Neither of the moved. Alex bit her lip. “We’re going to kiss instead, aren’t we?”
He caught her in his arms. “You’re damned right, we are.”

Tessa Dare always writes characters that I can relate to, and this was no exception. Alex is the perfect heroine, and I’m convinced we are the same person:

  • Has an obsession with astronomy.
  • Frequents bookstores.
  • Runs into a hot guy once and spends months fantasizing about him.

In all seriousness, I really adored Alex. The chemistry between her and Chase was smoldering and they were such an excellent match for one another. I also really loved her interactions with Rosamund and Daisy, and the tight-knit bonds they created with one another. Speaking of which, the girls were a delight to read about! Their antics and behaviors definitely had me laughing, even has I imagined the frustration both Alex and Chase must have been feeling at times.

As I anticipated, I was not disappointed by The Governess Game. Tessa Dare continues to be one of my favorite writers, and my go-to author when I want to pick up or recommend a historical romance. Her stories are always charming, laugh-out-loud funny, and most of all, heartwarming. There is so much to love about this book, and if you’re a fan of light-hearted historical romances like me, I would definitely recommend this!

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Romance Novels

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. If you want to join or find out more information about the weekly themes check out the Goodreads page! In honor of Valentine’s day, the topics for February have been centered on romance. I was particularly exited when I saw today’s theme because I am shamelessly addicted to romance novels. I think there’s a lot of negative stigma surrounding romance novels and therefore the genre is severely under appreciated. This is unfortunate because there are a lot of great books out there! I tend to stick to to the sub-genre of historical/regency romance, but I’m really excited to share my favorites with you all! If anyone is hesitant about trying a romance book, or not sure where to start, I would highly recommend trying any of the following on this list!

P.S. After putting together my list, I realized most of these books all have a common theme: hate-to-love. I guess I have a type when it comes to romance books 😆

861326THE VISCOUNT WHO LOVED ME – This is the book that got me hooked on romance novels. The banter and competitiveness between Anthony and Kate is amazing and so is their obvious chemistry and underlying tension. I’ve read this multiple times and I think I love it a little more each time. This is probably my favorite romance book and if there’s just one book you want to try, make it this one; you will not me disappointed, I promise.


23617709THE ROGUE NOT TAKEN
– This takes all of my favorite tropes and combines them into one glorious book. Enemies to lovers? Check. Witty banter? Check. Forced road trip together? Check. Fake relationship? Check. In addition to all those marvelous tropes, we have smoldering chemistry, slow-burn feelings, and steamy scenes. Sophie is one of my favorite romance heroines and I think you’ll love her story as much as I do. [review]


6561363IT HAPPENED ONE AUTUMN
– Another wonderful book featuring hate-to-love romance, an uptight British lord, and a rambunctious (American!) heroine. Westcliff and Lillian cannot stand each other, and a majority of the book is Lillian finding ways to get under Westcliff’s skin, and Westcliff struggling to avoid the American hellion. This leads to a tempestuous relationship between the two, marked by heated arguments, wonderful banter, and lots of sexual tension.  

 

31307650THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS – If you enjoy having your heart ripped to shreds, then this book is perfect for you. Unlike the previous books of this series, which are fun and lighthearted, this is full of angst and heartbreak between Serafina and Haven. Sarah McLean did something in this book that no author has ever been able to accomplish with me before: she took the “villain” of the first book and turned him into a swoon-worthy, redeemable hero in this one, without excusing the infamous mistake. Haven’s transgression would have been a deal-breaker for me in any other book/movie/real life situation, but I forgave him and that says something about this book and the author’s ability as a writer. Be prepared for a heart-wrenching, emotional read. 


27067876DO YOU WANT TO START A SCANDAL
– Tessa Dare is the queen of historical romance, and I will fight you on this. I have more of her books on my shelf than any other author (with the exception of J.K. Rowling, of course) and there have only been a couple times when I’ve been disappointed by one of her books. You really can’t go wrong with any of her series. This book follows the same pattern of all of her books: vastly entertaining, supremely funny, and definitely sexy.