Cover Image: An Engagement of Sorts

An Engagement of Sorts

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Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley, author Alene Wecker, and Covenant Communications publishing for giving me a free arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
4.5 stars
This book was such a delightful read! I could really feel the regency era throughout the story. The author did a wonderful job developing the characters, the setting, and the plot. I found Anna a little bit immature. at times due to her impulsivity. I did not like the way her family set out to mold her into the ideal debutant. Also they seemed to lack compassion and awareness for Anna's opinions and desires for her life. The pacing and the writing kept the story moving as well as interesting that I was able to fly right through this book. The wit and banter between Thomas and Anna were some of the best scenes. I felt both characters were well suited and had amazing chemistry. While the ending wrapped up everything nicely, it had a lot of echoes of Austen's book endings. Overall, this was a great debut novel and would recommend this book to those who are fans of Regency  Romances. I can't wait to read more books by this author in the future.
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I had a really hard time with this one. Unfortunately, the main character drove me nuts. She is very immature and so dramatic it makes me roll my eyes. The plot left me wanting as well. I did not find this romance book very romantic, which is a bummer.

My biggest Hangul on this book though, was that there is an attempted sexual assault scene. And while not graphic in nature, the book did not come with any type of trigger or content warning. The book also had quite a few innuendos and I am literally FLOORED that Covenant (the publisher) has these things in this book. I have never seen anything like it in a book from them. Not that it bothers me, I am just so surprised to see it from a Christian publisher when I’ve never seen them publish anything else with the same content. 

The only things that ended up redeeming this book a bit for me, is that her writing style is pretty good (Easy to read, and good paced), and I actually really enjoyed the main male character Thomas. I really wish that we would have gotten alternating POV’s between him and Anne. I believe that it would have elevated the book a bit more for me.
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3.5 stars rounded up for this is debut book.

My heart felt so much for Anne. To say her mother is unloving would be an understatement. Her mother does nothing but find fault with her and wants Anne married off as soon as possible. To that end, her father has agreed to let Will Skinner, the local Vicar, court Anne although she has no romantic feelings towards Will at all. In fact, she tells Will that she thinks of him as a brother--lets just say Will didn't understand how that could be possible since he loves her. Anne is able to talk her mother into letting her go to London as a last attempt to find a suitor and this will also get her away from the creepy, Mr. Smith. Before going to London Anne meets Thomas Paling, who comes across initially as a dandy in his brightly colored waistcoats, but we soon find out there's more to Thomas than meets the eye.

Can I say how much I loved Thomas? He's the best!! He and Anne have the best banter and I loved how he didn't mind Anne's fiesty spirit. He didn't want to tamp it down and tame her like Will and her family did. Thomas was also the only person who believed Anne when she told him about the evil doings of Mr. Smith. Will, the man that supposedly "loved" her, and her own family laid the blame for Mr. Smith's actions towards Anne at her feet!! But not Thomas, who helped her in her attempt to find proof of Mr. Smith's misdeeds. I love when characters turn out to be more than they are at first glance.

Anne is young and hasn't yet learned to control her impulses and this tends to make matters worse. She didn't grow much in the course of the book but then the book probably takes place in just a few months time. I'd like to think that she learns a lot from her time in London and gains some impulse control.

This book shows a promising future for the author. I liked that the author put in an epilogue some author notes concerning the families in the book. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher Covenant Communications via NetGalley. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own.

*Note: there is a short scene of an attempted sexual assault (nothing graphic), and talk of male nobility taking advantage of female servants and impregnating them.
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This was a great debut by Alene Wecker! I loved Anne and Thomas! I loved how they interacted with each other and how they found love even though they didn’t want to. I loved how Thomas loved Anne for being the outspoken young woman that she is. I loved how the romance developed. I thought Alene did a great job at making us care about the characters and making us want to know what would happen next. I hope that she continues to write because I think she did a great job!

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.
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Yes - read it. I received an ARC and then forgot to write my review. I remembered I enjoyed it but not the entire plot so I read it again. Enjoyed it as much the second time as well!

Lovely story line. A few unexpected things, good characters you could get into and a HEA. Kind of think there's second book coming out of this - at least I hope so!

I received an advanced reader copy from Netgalley and Convenant Communication to prepare for my honest review.
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I had a hard time with how harsh some of the characters were to Anne. By the end of the story many had apologized for their harsh behavior but their excuses were kind of weak. I liked this story more by the end than I did at the beginning and I am glad I stuck with it. I felt like the story wasn’t really true to the time period it was set in. It would have worked better in a more modern time period. I think the writer had some good ideas and I looked forward to see what else she writes.
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What a delightful Regency tale! This engagement of convenience story had such heart. Full of witty dialogue between Anne and Thomas, I loved reading about their interactions.

There were some characters that were simply frustrating in the way they attempted to control Anne’s future and a truly reprehensible man who made me nervous any time he was around Anne.

I enjoyed the way the teasing grew into the engagement of convenience, which then seemed to grow into more, even as both Thomas and Anne struggled to understand what the other felt. There were some very swoon worthy moments between them and the second half of this book was such a page turner for me!

(4.5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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An Engagement of Sorts is not one of those stories where the characters just sit around waiting for things to happen.

There was laughter and tears, a villain to defeat, and a hoyden who found her knight disguised as a flirtatious dandy.

I always love when a story has a combination of funny moments and sweet moments. For a good laugh, the horse race wins hands down! There is also the sweetest love letter.

I loved Alene Wecker's complex characters, interesting plot, and perfect pace to her story. Wecker is a debut author who I greatly look forward to hearing more from.
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In the author bio it states that the author takes inspiration from Austen, and I can really see it, and I like it. It is very different from a lot of other historical romance in terms of class of its hero and heroine. And it did feel refreshing to read. I felt like it really dared to try out new stuff and diverge from the current norms and tropes of the modern historical romance. I liked the wittiness of the heroine and all the intrigues of the story. I thought the language was a bit week, especially in the first half of the book. But when you do have in mind that this book is a debut, I do not doubt that language will just get better in future books from this author. I really enjoyed myself reading this book and I had a hard time putting it down, so I am really happy I read this. 

I do think that that language could be improved, but I liked the story. I liked the idea and I do look forward to reading more form this author in the future. If you are a fan of Austen and want a bit of the same feeling I really do think you should pick it up.
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An Engagement of Sorts is a delightfully witty, heartstring-tugging debut novel by Alene Wecker. I thoroughly enjoyed the banter between main characters Anne and Thomas. Ms. Wecker has a talent for creating flawlessly flawed characters with a lot at stake. Anne's plight was believable and relatable in a modern way. 

I did feel that some of the dialogue and mindsets were not, perhaps, true to the time period, but in no way did that detract from the story for me. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Covenant for the complimentary copy. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. A positive review was not required, just well-earned!
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I finished this one last week and very much enjoyed it! If you enjoy historical romance, fake dating (courtship) storylines, strong female leads, mysterious and charming male leads, and a bit of intrigue, this one is for you! There are plenty of swoony moments and fun characters. I truly enjoyed it! Thank you to the publisher for the copy in exchange for an honest review!
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I loved Anne's character! Yes there were times when I wanted to stop her or ask her what she was thinking, but I just loved her. I loved her wit. She and Thomas were so fun together. I loved their banter. This book sucked me right in. There were so many levels of villains in this story, but also some wonderful rescuers. I laughed, cried, ached and cheered during this story and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Netgalley, but this is my honest review.
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Wow!! I really enjoyed this book. I could only imagine how it would feel to have to marry someone that you parents have arranged for you! I also enjoyed how Anne was determined to prove herself! I really enjoyed this debut novel by Alene! 
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the copy!
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On to the notes!
- hooks you pretty quickly
- I feel bad for Will. 
- trying to mount the horse 🤣
- Mr Smith is blech
- her mom is a toad
- good dialogue- Anne is quick and spicy
- I really like Atkins
- Mr Paling is a great character, a very quick flirt
- this book is wordy. It's modern English but not entirely? I like it but I've had to look up a lot of the words
-Miss Smith is adorable 
- I kind of love Mr Paling. He's a flirt and a tease but he's one of the very few that treat Anne as more than a nuisance 
- I like Miss Loveland
- invokes a lot of feelings!
- the love letter 😍😭

And then I stopped taking notes because I was too invested to switch screens.
This book was truly adorable and so fun and exciting that it is her debut novel! 👏👏👏 I look forward to reading more of her work!

Thanks for the copy, @covenant_com and @authoralene 
The opinions and rating are all me.
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From the first page, it is obvious that Anne Fletcher is determined. Determined not to marry who her mother wants her to, determined to hunt, ride astride, wear breeches and say what she likes. But when her parents force her to marry, she is again determined that she will marry on her own terms even if it means finding a man willing to masquerade as her fiancé. 
Anne’s determine to avoid marriage to the local vicar finds herself working with Mr Thomas Paling, a man she meets at the first ball in her small town. Their chemistry is evident from the start, yet this is a clean romance, so I thought that this was cleverly done, that is to capture intensity with only intense looks and one or two kisses. Overall, an entertaining read with two quite witty and enjoyable characters.
I am so pleased to find another author to follow. Highly recommended. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Engrossing Regency Madcap

Allow me to begin by setting a scene: A relatively obscure country lady is introduced at an assembly to the season’s eminently eligible gentleman. The gentleman rudely evades the introduction.
If you exclaimed:
'Hey, I've seen this one before!'
You wouldn’t be alone; many a historical romances begin in such a manner and this yarn is no exception. For a second I was satisfied in my assessment that this was one of a plethora of 'Pride & Prejudice' derivative dynamics.
However, I was just as soon thwarted by foolhardy assumption, as to my great surprise, our heroine Miss Anne Fletcher, indignant at the reticence of Colonel Forester, turns away and slams straight into a much, much friendlier, handsomer, and eccentrically attired gentlemen: Mr Thomas Paling.

The absolute embodiment of a 'Dandy,' or to exercise the contemporary sobriquet, 'Metrosexual.'
I highlight this early scene as it is a brilliant microcosm of what you may expect from the story, in that you can’t be sure where it will go. Ms Wecker flips, stretches, and skirts the tenets of your typical regency romance, in a way that is both creative, entertaining, and a dash farcical, while never outright smashing them beyond recognition.

Alright, so back to the this gentleman Anne stumbles into, she can't quite place him, but she is sure they have met before.

When her brothers distressingly forward house guest Mr Smith- who has been harassing & propositioning her- requests her first set, Anne seemingly has two options:
A.) Acquiesce & endure it, so as to be open to dance with others.
B.) Feign indisposition & avoid the trial of his company, but thus lame the rest of her evening.

And now I whooped for she chose the seldom employed 'C' option that I have often wondered why no one attempted in these regency novels: BS your way out of it! That is my modus operandi.

Claiming the dance is taken and quickly scurrying away to secure the alibi- before the odious Mr Smith has a chance to ferret out if another set is available- Anne cleverly resorts to that familiar stranger Mr Paling for assistance and thus begins a most amusing dynamic.

Anne is considered fairly unconventional, for she doesn't have much impulse control and is a fountain of clever quips- both of which often land her in dire straights. Another thing you ought to know about Anne is that she unwittingly garners a lot of interest from the less fair sex.
A Mary Sue-ish quality to be sure, but I'll allow it for all the mayhem it invited.
It proves troublesome when her local rector and childhood friend, Mr Skinner, gets permission from Anne’s parents- without first consulting her- to court her. Seeing him as a brother, not to mention he often exhibits fairly backwards views towards women, she cannot fathom marrying him.

Up that point, Anne had been avoiding a London season like the plague, as she had no desire to finally escape the reins of her domineering mother- who really just has it out for Anne- Only to offer them foolishly to a husband who may abuse them just as well. But now grasping at any life raft to avoid marriage to Will Skinner, she enters a risky gamble with him: If he convinces her mother to grant her a season, and if she doesn't manage to secure an alternative engagement in that time, she must return without any scruples to wed him.

There are many surprises in store, notable stumbling blocks, and antagonists for our protagonists as she navigates the London season.

What Worked:

♡Hilarious witty dialogue & narrative voice; undisputedly MVP of this work.

♡Fast paced & creative plot. The ball just kept rolling, I could not put it down from start to finish.

♡Anne is an active protagonist who endears you.

♡Mr Paling. He is a master of backhanded compliments and an excellent foil for Anne. They have this incredible comedic- oft daring- repartee.

What Irked:
✗The story is most definitely of a more lighthearted, farcical persuasion, so you can expect less emotional highs and lows, and some unlikely characterizations and scenarios.
However, I for one found the tradeoff well worth it as it is very entertaining and never over the top.

The Brass Tacks:
It is so fast paced and amusing once I started I could not tear my eyes away, the dialogue was just hilarious and I thrilled to every line. It is not heavy on setting the stage which affords the action packed plot. I would not call it emotionally complex, but there is growth in evidence for all the characters. Overall a fun ride that I found seamlessly enthralled me and very much recommend.

This is the first novel from Ms Wecker and I will definitely be on alert for her next project.

I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I believe I found the blurb slightly misleading, but not in a bad way. You will see what I mean as the plot unfolds. Anne and Thomas were delightful characters and the way they interact injects a lot of humor into the story. It makes me happy that some of these characters were based on real people as indicated by the author. It adds a bit of genuineness to the story. 

I will admit that I got lost a time or two, but was able to find myself. I will chalk that up to my own exhaustion. Anne is a heroine that knows her heart and is determined not to marry the person her parents chose, in spite of their being "friends" I put that in parentheses because of the way she is treated by him and by her parents. They don't understand her eccentricities and the fact that she does not mold well in society. Her parents had basically written her off and Will talked down to her. I hate it when people treat someone that way. 

I did like the way that Thomas saw her. He was delighted with all the traits that made her who she was and drove everyone else nuts. He saw her for who she was. To me that was the most important and organic thing in their relationships. 

This was a good story and I found the highlight to be the interactions between the main characters. I did not rate this as high as I do many of the things I read. It just didn't fit me as well as I would have liked. It is still a good book and a  worthy read and on that I will recommend it. 

I received a copy of this book through the publisher on NetGalley and this is my honest review.
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Strong debut novel for Alene Wecker!  This is not the typical lighthearted regency. It gave me a Georgette Heyer feel. The main character is unconventional which makes her fun, but she’s also besieged with an uncaring mother and an evil rake.  While Anne’s behavior is more hoydenish than debutant, it’s easy to see why she is the way she is. 

When faced with the prospect of marriage to friend/local vicar Will whom she doesn’t love and who doesn’t appreciate her feisty spirit, she asks to go to London for one last attempt to find a suitor and escape the evil clutches of Mr. Smith.  Before she leaves, she meets the dandyish Thomas Paling. He really sees her and enjoys her banter and spirit. Unfortunately, Anne is immature and fails to recognize her own foibles.  

While I enjoyed the quick dialogue, I was often surprised with Anne’s continual sharp tongue and her focus so much on her lustful feelings. She is young though and the author captured her naïveté perfectly. 

Thomas was the character whom I enjoyed most. Though he appears a dandy, it’s more of a ruse. His teasing was lighthearted and flattering, yet there was true depth to his character that was endearing. Rather than repeat his father’s mistakes, he has sworn not to marry or love anyone. Meeting Anne changes this and he fights against his feelings for her. He offers Anne a fake engagement to save her reputation and rescue her from the dastardly Mr. Smith who shows up in London to torment her again.  

There were several twists and turns that kept me turning the pages. Though Anne doesn’t grow much as a character, I did like the ending and the way she stands up for herself. One of the saddest  aspects of the story is that Anne had no real allies except Thomas. Her parents and sister are abominable. They are condescending and belittling. While I loved Thomas, I would have liked to see even more growth in his relationship with Anne. My favorite part though was the letter that Anne was supposed to write to her friend Will but instead doesn’t address it to anyone and means it for Thomas.  

Ms. Wecker’s writing is quick witted, intelligent and promising. I look forward to seeing more from her. I gave it a solid 3.5 stars. While I would consider this a clean romance, there are some disturbing situations that might upset some readers.  There is an attempted sexual assault scene though not graphic. There are brief but not graphic mentions of infidelity, mistresses common at the time, and mild sexual innuendo. Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and Covenant Communications for providing a copy of this e-book.  All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.
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A good debut novel from Alene Wecker. I thought it was a creative story, that held my interest throughout. Thomas is a wonderful character, but I thought Anna was quite childish. I would have loved to see her character grow. The other characters were either childish or boorish. Some stronger character development would improve this book. That being said I still enjoyed this story. It was interesting to read about the fact or fiction of the book. There are some sensitive subjects that might effect some readers. I’m excited to read a new author and to see the growth in her future projects. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of An Engagement of Sorts.
This book was definitely more plot driven than character driven. There were some clever twists and turns in the plot and from 60% until the end my curiosity did not abate. Also, the banter between the two main characters was very entertaining and the kisses were swoony. I liked how the author broke away from the typical Regency ingenues with her main character. Additionally, I am always happy to have the male love interest be a dandy with a heart of gold and depth beneath his shiny veneer. Alene Wecker promises to be an author to watch with this debut! I am interested in follow-up stories about many of the side characters!

I am a reader who appreciates content warnings, so I will include one here.
Content Warning: this book has an attempted rape scene.

Some things that I struggled with in this book:
*lack of character development/growth: main character is silly the whole book through and while I loved the message of not changing for others, people should still grow up a bit.
*distracting word choices: lofty words that felt abrupt and didn't quite fit (I don't have an amazing vocabulary myself so you don't have to take my word (no pun intended) for it!)
*too many unlikeable characters (Every story needs a couple of characters to hate, but in this book everyone was so mean to the MC.)
*focus on lust and ogling 
*modern feel (didn't feel like a Regency novel)
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