I don’t like to be without something to read when I’m traveling or running errands—I always like to have a book to keep me occupied. Although I prefer physical books, I have to admit my e-reader comes in handy. And although my preference is for big, meaty historical fiction, there are times when something short and light is just what I’m looking for to pick me up or to fill the gaps.
A Tangled Web. Allan’s Web Miscellany 1846 by Sandra Schwab is a lovely historical romance set in London in the mid-eighteen hundreds. Estimated at right around a hundred + pages, it is a quick, easy read without a lot of subplot or development of peripheral characters. But the main plot, the romance, is sweet and drew me right along. The two protagonists are well-rounded and sympathetic. It was enjoyable cheering for them. And the setting of the magazine adds unique and interesting historical context.
Sarah Browne is a poor relation, a youngest daughter who has grown up believing her fate is to serve her family members with little thought for herself. She’s always accepted that she is plain, without prospects, and she should be grateful for the crumbs from the family table. After the death of the elderly aunt for whom she was caretaker, she has no choice but to return to her older brother’s London home and take up the role of governess to his ungovernable children. It’s a bleak prospect.
Lawrence Pelham is an illustrator for the weekly magazine Allan’s Miscellany. He draws satirical cartoons, commentary on the events of the day. He's also charming.
They "meet cute" at an art supply store, a meeting that leads to a slow (delightfully unrushed- not dull) courtship. Slow--because Sarah feels compelled to hide her beau from her family and her true identity from her beau. But just as love blossoms between them, so does mistrust, which threatens to drive them apart.
Allan’s Miscellany is a series of short Romances that use the magazine setting as a base, but that stand alone as stories. Having thoroughly enjoyed A Tangled Web, I’ll be looking for more by Sandra Schwab.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free in return for an unbiased review from HFVBT.
Publication Date: July 14, 2014
Series: Allan's Miscellany
Genre: Historical Romance
Lawrence Pelham works as a comic artist for Allan’s Miscellany. A chance meeting with a young woman dressed in mourning changes Pel’s whole life, and without his even knowing, he is thrown into a world of mystery and intrigue, where nothing is as it seems to be—especially not the woman he has given his heart to.
Her whole life Sarah Browne has been told how plain she is, how nondescript, destined to become an old maid. For years she has been her family’s dutiful nursing maid and caretaker, but now a secret inheritance and an encounter with the charming Mr. Pelham seem to offer her a chance to break out of her life of duty and drudgery—if she dares to take it. Yet how could such an interesting, witty man like Mr. Pelham be possibly interested in her boring self?
And so, Sarah soon finds herself entangled in a web of lies and deceit, which might even cost her the love of her life.
Praise for A Tangled Web
"Once again [Schwab] weaves brilliantly researched historical details into a story that not only is irresistibly romantic, but also sparkles with wit. To top it off, she has come up with an enchanting couple that truly earns their happy ending." ~ Tina Dick, LoveLetter
Praise for The Bride Prize
"The Bride Prize is, in a word, delightful. [...] I smiled for a long time when it was over. I cannot wait until the next installment in this series." ~ Michelle Boule, www.wanderingeye.com
Allan's Miscellany Series Titles
Book One: The Bride Prize
Book Two: Falling For a Scoundrel
Book Three: A Tangled Web
Book Four: Devil's Return
Award-winning author Sandra Schwab started writing her first novel when she was seven years old. Thirty-odd years later, telling stories is still her greatest passion, even though by now she has exchanged her pink fountain pen of old for a black computer keyboard. Since the release of her debut novel in 2005, she has enchanted readers worldwide with her unusual historical romances.
She holds a PhD in English literature and lives in Frankfurt am Main / Germany with a sketchbook, a sewing machine, and an ever-expanding library. Her new series about the fictional magazine Allan's Miscellany combines her academic research on Victorian periodicals with her love for story-telling.
For more information please visit Sandra Schwab's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.
A Tangled Web: Allan's Miscellany 1846 Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, September 29
Review at Book Nerd
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, September 30
Interview at Curling Up With a Good Book
Spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews
Wednesday, October 1
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, October 2
Guest Post at Book Babe
Friday, October 3
Review at Unshelfish
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary
Monday, October 6
Review at Reading World
Tuesday, October 7
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews
Wednesday, October 8
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry
Thursday, October 9
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Friday, October 10
Review at Back Porchervations
Spotlight & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing