Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Aloha to Amanda Forester and A WINTER WEDDING - Book Review


I spent Labor Day Weekend with Amanda Forester:

Amanda Forester holds a PhD in clinical psychology and a Masters degree in theology. As a psychologist, she has worked as a clinical researcher and a university instructor (what they call you when they don’t want to give you tenure). None of which has anything to do with writing romance novels. After trying for many years to stop the internal storylines floating around her head, she finally gave up and wrote one down. Now when she is caught daydreaming and talking to herself she can just say, “I’m plotting a scene for my next novel,” which sounds so much better than, “I’m hallucinating and responding to internal stimuli.”

Amanda lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family, three lazy house pets and one destructive puppy who is part yellow lab part tornado.

Or should I say, Amanda Forester's A WINTER WEDDING, Book 3 in the Marriage Mart series:

Miss Penelope Rose, exclusive matchmaker to London’s elite, successfully creates love for everyone but herself. Her toughest client yet, the sexy Duke of Marchford, has commissioned her to find him a bride. But he’s more interested in tracking down a spy, and she’s in no hurry to speed up the process…

When the fate of England falls in the Duke’s hands, he enlists Penelope for a new plan—they announce a sham engagement in order to flush out the traitor. But as the stakes get more deadly, and their feelings more real, will they discover that love is the most dangerous plot of them all?

Weddings are important because they celebrate life and possibility. -Anne Hathaway

Penelope Rose sees possibilities as the anonymous matchmaker Madame X.   She collaborates with the Dowager Duchess of Marchford while serving as her companion.   They engaged in such business to keep them in comfort - the Duchess' grandson, James, cut off her pin money to encourage her to retire to the country.   He anticipates that his grandmother would make life difficult for his future Duchess.  Yet he sees the value of Miss Rose's ability to see possibilities that is applicable to both matchmaking and spycatching.   Despite being a duke, James continues to work for the Foreign Office - a job he held when he was only the spare.  

James' easy access to his grandmother's companion is compromised when the Dowager Duchess accepts a marriage proposal from her first love.   Likewise, the duke is hounded by managing mamas seeking a ducal match.   James enlists Penelope to find him a suitable bride even as she continues to assist him with the Foreign Office.  Needless to say, James and Penelope expectantly fall in love while dodging society's scorn and Napoleon's operatives. 

A WINTER WEDDING is a lighthearted romp through Regency England with humorous banter between the characters, an amusing ode to Christmas traditions, a Peruvian jungle cat who ultimately solves the ongoing mystery, and sweet sexual tension between James and Penelope   I commend Forester for walking that fine line of creating passion yet respecting the characters' morals.   In fact, the wedding itself is a  surprising treat.  No spoiler here since the title infers a wedding.   

A WINTER WEDDING kept my attention - I read this novel in three days.  Although characters from Book 1 appear in A WINTER WEDDING, they stay in the background to allow the romance to develop between James and Penelope.  A WINTER WEDDING can be read as a stand alone novel.

Recommended read for fans of Regency England and holiday romances.   I received an ARC from Sourcebooks for an honest review.

I am giving away a print copy of A WINTER WEDDING to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about your favorite Winter Holiday tradition.

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 6, 10 pm in Baltimore.  

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 7.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Amanda and her books at amandaforester.com.

A Wedding in Springtime (Marriage Mart, #1)17382253


  1. I think it would have to be all the books that come out for the winter holidays.

  2. I don't have a winter tradition!!!

  3. I love all the Christmas traditions - foods, tress, decorations and family.

  4. I have a granddaughter and grandson and we always bake Cookies for Christmas on the 23rd of December. We bake cookies all day..

  5. I love the Holiday romances and buy them every year. My daughters and I every year for the Holiday traditions we baked Gingerbread men cookies and bread and a fruitcake. My older sister gives us all kinds of baking goodies, cookies candy and bread too. I love it this time of year.

  6. I love the traditions of the Christmas and News Years holidays. Its a time for family and friends and of giving to one another.

  7. Curling up with a book and hot chocolate and chai! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I embrace winter here in southern Florida, as we finally get a break from the extremely hot, and humid weather. I look forward to decorating the house for Christmas.

  9. Reading in front of a wood fire with some hot chocolate!

  10. My favorite winter holiday tradition is our family Christmas Eve gathering. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

  11. My favorite tradition is going to Christmas Eve service.

  12. The cookies... I am afraid to admit it... Always have a sweet tooth.

  13. decorating the tree together

  14. I started a tradition of having a tree trimming party. I collect ornaments and they are oh so special and this way everyone enjoys it with me and lots of food, drink, and laughter ensues!

  15. My favorite winter holiday tradition is to hop in the car and drive around town looking at all the lights and decorations.

  16. I love the Christmas and New Year's traditions. I like to bake cookies at Christmas time and drive around to see the Christmas lights.

  17. One of my favorite winter traditions is to place a small branch of a fruit tree in water on December 4th, St Barbara's day. The branch will acording to the legend, blossom on Christmas day. My family has always done this & I still find it magical to have blossoming branches at Xmas :D

  18. We don't have any holiday traditions.