A Tale of Two Hearts

Book 2 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas

    • 4.5 • 2 Ratings
    • $9.99
    • $9.99

Publisher Description

Book 2 in Reader Favorite Michelle Griep’s Charming Once Upon a Dickens Christmas Series

London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life, for there’s nothing more mundane than serving customers day after day. Every minute she can, she reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming but penniless rogue. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t. So does William. Deceiving the old man breaks both their hearts. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.

Can two hearts survive such deception?

Fiction & Literature
September 1
Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Debora Wilder ,

This is a delightful Historical Christmas Romance!

I love both of the main characters. Their hearts are in the right place, but their plans to go about achieving the desired results are very twisted. They needed to learn to trust that God was in control and would take care of things without their schemes. They each dealt with a lot of angst over the deception that they were undertaking. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that they each had a friend who was speaking encouragement and guidance to them along the way.

The quotes from different books by Charles Dickens at the start of each chapter were great. Most of the books quoted I have never read. I did find myself adding many of them to my to-be-read list.

It was fun to learn about some of the traditions of 1800s Christmas time. I’m very glad that the author included some notes at the end of the book about them.

I received a complimentary eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Kris Anderson, The Avid Reader ,

Second book in series!

A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep is the second installment in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. Mina Scott works at The Golden Egg Inn owned by her father, Jasper Scott in 1853 London. Mina is engrossed in David Copperfield when her father finds her and sends her back to work. He fails to understand her love of literature. She enters the taproom and finds her crush William Barlow along with his friend Thomas Fitzroy. William is a law clerk with a gentleman’s upbringing and an ailing mother with crippling medical bills. His uncle, Charles Barlow is ready to name his heir. It is between William and his conniving cousin, Percy. When William learned his uncle would prefer to leave his estate to a married man, William may have given him the impression he had a bride. Now Charles is hosting a tea for his heirs and their wives and William needs to find a woman willing to play the part. When Mina appears, Williams asks if she will do him the favor of playing his wife for the tea. Unfortunately, things do not go as planned and the deception will need to continue until Christmas. Uncle Barlow is kind, gracious and a lover of literature just like Mina. While she dislikes Percy and his equally odious wife, Mina does like deceiving the sweet man. What happens when the truth is revealed?

I enjoyed reading the book to see how the tale would play out. A Tale of Two Hearts is the second book in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series, but it is a standalone. Michelle Griep brought London in 1853 to life with her descriptions of the clothing, language, literature as well the architecture, cobbled streets, the inn and the insides of the buildings as well as the class stations of the characters. I especially loved the imagery of Purcell’s where they had tea with Uncle Barlow. A Tale of Two Hearts has delightful characters. I especially liked Uncle Barlow and Miss Whymsy. They are two charming people who have a touch of whimsy. There are some good life lessons included in the story. Second chances, forgiveness and Christian charity being the main themes. Every one of us has needed a second chance at one time or another. I thought A Tale of Two Hearts was well-written and had steady pacing which made for an engaging story. The book is told from William and Mina’s point-of-views giving us different perspectives. It is always fascinating to see how different men think from woman. There are references to Charles Dickens work scattered throughout the story. Uncle Barrow loves discussing literature with Mina and challenging her to guess the book title from a quote. My rating for A Tale of Two Hearts is 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I highly recommend reading the first book in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series which is 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. It has an intriguing mystery and a mysterious atmosphere. A Tale of Two Hearts is the type of story that will leave you smiling and have you longing for Christmas.

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