Cover Image: To Capture His Heart

To Capture His Heart

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A delightful story! I really enjoyed learning more about flash photography from that era. I also loved Nathan! He was such a delightful character and I loved him and Eva together!

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I enjoyed the first book in Nancy Campbell Allen’s Matchmaker series and was happy to dig into book two, To Capture His Heart. This book follows Eva, one of the cousins from book one. The story gave me some Murdock Mysteries vibes, with a bit more romance. I loved the trust Eva and Nathan have from the beginning of the story and how they work together. I also enjoyed learning a bit more about photography during the Victorian time period. Add in a cute kid, a dash of intrigue, and a house party, and you have a cozy mystery perfect for this time of year.

*Thank you to Nancy Campbell Allen, Shadow Mountain, and Netgalley for an e-arc of this book. All opinions are my own.

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I went in blind here and was surprised to see some familiar faces, because I didn't realize this was part of a series with her last novel, The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart. This is a true companion novel, though- we have a short appearance by our past couple, but for the most part this focuses on Evangeline and Nathaniel.

I loved the setting of this one- a house party on the shore with a dangerous criminal on the loose, not to mention four matchmaking sisters? Delightful. This wasn't really a slow burn, but it took some time to get to the point. Eva has some trust issues, but there was already an established attraction and friendship in book 1, so the romance doesn't suffer from the mystery plot points.

Overall, this was a fast and enjoyable read with more romance and humor than mystery. The end was wrapped up more quickly than I would have liked, but this book accomplished the goal of making me smile and keeping my attention.

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Eva has been betrayed before and has no intention of opening her heart again. Unfortunately, her heart may have other ideas! When Detective Nathan Winston accidentally gets her invited to his mother's house party as a potential love interest, she goes along with it, despite the danger to her heart. But more than her heart is at stake: a criminal mastermind who escaped from Nathan earlier is on the warpath following the death of his sister in prison. Can they escape Toole's plans and avoid a fatal conclusion to the house party? And which will win: Eva's head, or her heart?

An enjoyable sweet romance with a side (or backdrop?) of mystery. With an entertaining host, a mysterious villain, a detective who's desperate to keep those he cares about safe, an independent young photographer who's yet to work out what she wants, and an amusing cast of fellow house-guests, not to mention young Sammy, this is a delightful character-driven story, and the mystery that hovers in the background from the start adds a great touch. If you're looking for a mystery that focuses on the mystery, this isn't it, but if you like a hint of mystery in your romance, this definitely delivers. I enjoyed watching Nathan and Eva coming to terms with their supposedly fake relationship and working out what they want it to be, and the mystery made for a great background. A good story - 4.5 stars.

Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.

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I enjoyed the ideas of this book, but I felt like everything in it was too vague for me to be emotionally committed to the characters or storyline. I liked what the author was doing with this book and the style was very nice to read, but there were very little details included about anything — we don’t get specifics about Eva’s past relationship that went badly, there are no specifics given about the Toole case and how Nathan was involved in it, etc. — which was probably a decision made for brevity but it reduced the quality of the story. I am very much a character-driven reader, and because all that we learn is really general, I didn’t feel connected to Eva, Nathan, or even Sammy who felt like the most alive character in the book to me. All in all, this was a really cool idea that was poorly executed for me due to the excessive editing out of everything that makes characters and situations seem realistic and intriguing.

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I really liked To Capture His Heart, even more than the first in the Matchmakers series.
Eva Campbell is amazing as a photographer. I liked her in the first book and grew to love her in this book.
Nathan Winston is a good detective and the perfect match for Eva.
I love that a house party in the latter part of the 1800’s is the background for their love story.
The mystery of Bernard Toole and where he will pop up to get revenge brought a good sense of suspense to the story. I appreciate how the author wove that part of the story into place.
I knew from the start it was a bad idea to put the carriage containing Eva’s photography supplies next to house, and that’s all I’ll say about that.
The first book in the series definitely adds background to the whole story and propels this one forward, but I think a reader would be okay if they picked up To Capture His Heart as a stand-alone.
Thanks to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain for the early copy of this book.

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Be still my heart, I loved this book! A perfect blend of romance and mystery…this book kept me on my toes to the very end. Here are a few quotes that I loved:
“My mother is a consummate hostess and entertainer. I do not trust her one whit.”
“Slowly, he reached for her, and she melted into him with a single sob that broke his heart.”
If you like fake romances, mystery, and a healthy dose of romance, this book is for you!

Content warning: A few crime scenes are tastefully described. I would allow an elementary schooler to read them.

I received an Advance Readers Copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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This book should definitely be on your radar for non-spooky fall reads, it was such a great novel! Whereas the first book was heavy on the detective work and light of the romance, this book was heavy on the romance and light on the mystery.

The main characters were ADORABLE and I loved the lack of miscommunication in their relationship. The mystery was a great mystery for me, because I genuinely couldn’t guess the ending before it happened! I also really loved the elements involving photography and getting to learn more about the art during that era.

Read for a swoony romance along with a suspenseful storyline that will keep you up just to see how it ends! (Speaking from experience 😉)

Thank you to Netgalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for my complimentary copy, all thoughts are my own.

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Fun and sweet with a little mystery, To Capture His Heart is a light-hearted historical romance. The world of Victorian England is lovingly portrayed, and the quirky cast of characters create a nice backdrop for the story. Eva and Nathaniel are a charming couple that are perfectly suited, despite their differences. Combined with a gentle thread of mystery, you have a novel many readers of historical fiction will delight in.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Shadow Mountain through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Detective Nathan Winston and Eva Caldwell attend his mother’s ten-day house party and feign an interest in each other. In between picnics, games, and falling in love they will stop a murderer bent on revenge.

It is always a pleasure to escape into a world created by Nancy Campbell Allen. Whether it is a proper romance set in Victorian London or steampunk fairy tale retellings, I will keep coming back for more.

Recommended for: historical fiction readers & fans of smut free romance
Content warning: mild peril; murder

I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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It was very interesting to find this book was quite different to the first book in the series, although I enjoyed both! The first book was definitely an historical mystery with a romance on the side. To Capture His Heart on the other hand is mostly historical romance with just a little mystery.

It is a very enjoyable romance, carrying forward one which began in the first book. Eva and Nathan attend a house party where for various reasons they are playing the part of a couple in love. As the days progress they find that they are no longer acting their roles. It is all very sweet with very little angst and there is nothing wrong with that. Of course there is a mystery too and it does culminate in danger and excitement.

This is a well written and entertaining story with good characters (Nathan in particular is very appealing), an interesting story and a great ending. I wonder where the author will take the series next.

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Cozy mystery plus romance. This is book two in the series. Though there are a few references to things that happened in the first book and some of the characters are the same, it can be read alone.

I liked this book better than the first one because it has more romance and less violence. Nathan and Eva both like each other but think the other is only interested in friendship. He asks her if they can pretend to be interested in each other for his mother’s ten-day house party so he can avoid being set up with desperate single women. An extra bonus was learning a little about the old photography methods too.

Thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley for an advanced copy to use for my review.

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This was a really good follow up to The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart! You definitely don’t have to have read the previous book first, but it does give you a little more insight into the main characters of this book, Nathan and Eva. I really liked that Eva has photography as a profession and sometimes helps shoot crime scenes. Nathan is, of course, a detective. It was nice to see his family and how he interacts with them. I also loved Sammy, the orphan rescued from a circus who Eva basically adopts as her own and has help her with photography (she does pay him too which I thought was a nice thing to note!). This is similar to book one in that we know the “who done it” but we have to figure out the how. There is a fun twist that I appreciated.
I also really enjoyed watching Nathan and Eva’s relationship grow over the course of the story. I would definitely recommend this book to people who like historical mystery romances.

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To Capture His Heart is my new favorite Victorian mystery romance! I adore this series and couldn’t wait for Nathan and Eva’s story. With swoony romance, a great whodunit mystery, some dastardly suspects, an old Edgar Allan Poe lovin’ nemesis, a fake relationship, and an unforgettable house party, this mystery is one you don’t want to miss!

Though independently wealthy, Nathan Winston follows in the footsteps of his hero, Poe’s legendary detective. His mother though wants to find him a suitable match and begs him to attend her ten day house party. To please her, but escape her matchmaking, he tells her he already has a romantic attachment to Eva Caldwell, the photographer who occasionally takes crime photos for him. His mother promptly issues an invitation and asks if she will photograph the party.

Nathan secretly admires Eva and hopes convincing her to pretend to be his romantic interest might further his relationship with her. But, when an old nemesis leaves a creepy calling card with a black feather, Nathan worries how he will protect his loved ones from this new threat.

Eva is beautiful, talented, and always in control. She’s secretly been in love with Nathan since she met him, but a painful past relationship makes her extremely cautious. Posing as Nathan’s romantic interest allows her to admire him and be in his company for ten days. But, what happens when the party ends? Will she survive with her heart intact?

I loved this romantic mystery! Nathan & Eva have a fun relationship stemming from true friendship & admiration. Their slow burn romance is achingly lovely. I loved her tying his cravat, the maze scene, and hiding in the butler’s pantry.

The mystery definitely kept me guessing. There’re plenty of suspects, motivations, “mean girls” you love to hate, and an evil villain hiding in their midst. I have to admit I didn’t see the ending coming and was hurriedly turning the pages to find out what would happen next.

I also enjoyed getting to know Nathan’s sisters & mother. They are each so kind and supportive. I loved the way they befriend and rally around Eva. It was also fun to see Eva’s assistant Sammy again.

Highly recommend this amazing, romantic mystery! It can definitely be read as a standalone, but you’ll want to go back and read the amazing first book in the series! Can’t wait for Charlotte’s story. I received an advanced complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review.

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This fake relationship story was a little different than others as they both already liked each other, but struggled to admit it. I love Eva and Nathan. They were great together. Eva is so strong and spunky. I loved how she stood up to others and was so strong and sure, even though she may have been trembling on the inside. I loved how well she and Nathan knew each other and helped each other. They had so many wonderful sweet moments together and several swoony ones as well. I enjoyed the mystery woven through the story. It pulled you right in.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Netgalley and this is my honest review.

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This is the second book in the Matchmakers series, and it’s almost as good as the first. It was a bit of a slow start for me, but I still really enjoyed it. I love the cousins, and the dashing detectives aren’t bad either. And, of course, Sammy! This is great, clean read, and I cannot wait for Charlotte’s story!

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To Capture His Heart did not capture my heart. I didn’t feel the fire between Eva and Nathen. More than half the book is I love him, I just can’t, but I want to be with him, no my past there was someone who hurt me. While I understand that these are serious emotions that someone would feel when dealing with balancing emotions for someone, however in this type of story it really just kept taking me in and out of the romance that was supposed to be blooming. Also, the villain in this story was so non present throughout most of the novel that they didn’t help move the story along. While Nathen kept claiming that they were extremely dangerous a couple boxes of cigars a with a raven’s feather showing up sporadically throughout the story really doesn’t show the threat as being something more than just scare tactics. I did enjoy when there finally was some action in this book, but it was so short lived. Overall, I didn’t hate the book, but I wasn’t wrapped up in the romance and tension as I wanted to be.
Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advance copy of this title.

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Nancy Campbell Allen for providing me with a complimentary digital ARC for To Capture His Heart coming out October 12, 2022. The honest opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Set in 1886, To Capture His Heart follows Eva Caldwell. She is a renown photographer in Seaside, England. She works with the local constabulary to assist in documenting crime scenes, which means she also often works alongside the devastatingly good-looking and good-natured detective, Nathaniel Winston. She admires his intellect and feels like an equal to him. But she’s still on guard from getting hurt in a past relationship. She hides her feelings for Nathan.

Nathan asks Eva for a personal favor. Would Eva be able to photograph his mother's week-long dinner party and matchmaking event? He also asks her if she would pretend they are courting in order for Nathan to avoid the many available women seeking his attention. Though wary of it, Eva agrees. She gets to spend a week with her favorite detective and her camera.

Soon after the party events begin, a criminal from Nathan's past threatens revenge. Nathan must be extra vigilant to keep his family and the rest of the guests safe. He confides in Eva and the two work to solve the case and apprehend the criminal. Can they catch the criminal in time? Can Eva heal by letting Nathan into her heart?

First of all, I have many books and have read many books by Nancy Campbell Allen and I love her writing!

Overall, I loved this book! Historical romance is one of my favorite genres. I loved Nathaniel’s character. He was honorable and just but also honest. I loved that he was kind but would also say how he really felt. He was a fun character. The romancing started a little quicker than I was expecting, but I really enjoyed that they had many long talks with each other and were able to build up that friendship. I really liked that Eva worked as a photographer. I’m not sure about the mean girls plot. It seemed like it wasn’t as explored why Eva was made fun of when she was younger and then again as an adult. I wasn’t as into that storyline, but I loved everything else.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys clean Victorian romances with a side of murder mystery!

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To Capture His Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen is a Victorian Era romance with suspense, mystery, and forced proximity.

I absolutely loved this story! The romance was so swoony it had me hooked from the very beginning! I love that Eva and Nathan are already good friends. They’ve worked together and admired each other for a long time but have never had the opportunity to pursue anything more. I loved how Nathan’s mother quickly discovered his admiration and arranged for Eva to join their house party.

The plot was mainly dedicated to the romance between Eva and Nathan, but there was a good bit of suspense. I felt like the mystery was pretty slow until the last quarter of the book when it really picked up, but I still enjoyed it. It wasn’t predictable and the hints that were given were so subtle I didn’t realize they were hints until after the fact.

I loved all these characters! Nathan and Eva are so wonderful! I love how Nathan was always honest with Eva and was willing to be patient with her. I love that he was constant in his admiration and affection towards Eva, but he never pressured or smothered her.
I loved seeing Eva stand up for the people she cares about. She always told the truth and delivered it in a way that was irrefutable. She’s bold and confident and I love that about her.
I also loved the side characters. Nathan’s mother is hilarious and amazing. I loved seeing Nathan interact with his mother and sisters. I hope we get to see more of them.

Overall this was a fabulous read! The romance was perfectly swoony, the mystery was intriguing without being violent, the characters were lovable and inspiring. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a swoony Victorian romance with a mystery!

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I was really happy about this sequel story. I really enjoyed the first book in this series. This one was harder for me to get into and remembering details from the first book that were important was difficult. I recommend a re read of the first one before reading this book. The two main characters worked great together and I loved the romance and the mystery.

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