Cover Image: Secret of the Sonnets

Secret of the Sonnets

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Member Reviews

This was such a fun read! I loved the banter and humor in this story first and foremost. The mystery element was also something I really enjoyed. Miranda was an awesome character and Robert was pretty great too. Basically there wasn't anything about this book I didn't like, and it will be going straight to my keeper shelf.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley but purchased my own copy as well. I was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
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This book was such a delightful surprise! I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t such witty dialogue from the very first page. Miranda knows how to use her words and makes for such an entertaining story. She is a scholar looking to find Shakespear’s lost works. What she finds is an adventure that will change her life. Robert has an unexpected encounter with Miranda and their story begins. 

Through the pages of sonnets and Shakespeare quotes unfolds a beautiful regency tale about searching for love. It’s also just so fun. Miranda has the best kind of relationship with her parents and their interactions made me smile every time. Robert’s family is.. well.. different.  His mom in a sound…ugh.  I loved the dialogue (especially with the  unscholarly ) and Robert is swoony,  a bit of intrigue, supporting characters who contribute wonderfully to the story, and the female character is perfectly balanced

This was a new to me author and I’m grateful for the ARC through Netgalley and @samanthahastingsauthor This review is voluntarily left because I am a new fan! And can we get a sigh for the beautiful cover? There is a teaser for her next book and I’m on a bit of a cliffhanger with excitement for it.
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A beautiful unlikely love story. The plot is interesting from start to finish, the characters quirky and fun, and the mystery intriguing. A very enjoyable read I would recommend!
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As per anything written by Samantha, this was adorable and very easy to read. If I had to say one negative thing, it was the usage of Shakespeare's sonnets throughout the story (at the beginning of each chapter as well as the female main character quotes the Bard in all her conversations) and this is just a personal thing, no error on the author's part I am just not a huge Shakespeare fan. But that being said, it did not hinder my love of this book or the author's writing.

This was a cute, very proper historical romance with two likeable characters that just could not help to love each other against all the odds. There was a mystery running in the background that kept the plot moving forward and the pacing was perfect. I highly recommend this for anyone who likes clean romances that have capable and charming main characters. I will gladly read anything by this author in the future, be it her adult or YA historical novels (and keep in mind I am not a historical fiction fan in general). 
I will say I would never thought to call someone an insufferable mushroom, but now it just might be my go-to insult.
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If I could give this book more than five stars I would. I am nowhere near a Shakespeare expert, all my friends in school loved his works, I did not. But Samantha Hastings has a way with putting classic writings of the past, research and storytelling together in a way that pulled me in, and I suddenly cared and wanted to understand the language better.

Hastings did an exceptional job on this story. Not only is the weaving in of quotes from different writings seamless and cleaver, but the research also to pull that off it-impeccable. Hastings knows her stuff, she did the work, and pulled it off beautifully.

What really rounds it all out is her storytelling. I instantly fell in love with scholarly Miranda's character. Everything about this character was inspiring, charming and entertaining. Hastings had me laughing multiple times over character interactions-the words that are shared. And Robert, you slowly fall for him and his courage to stand up for not only Miranda, but also himself. His personal growth in this story is so satisfying. Add to that their journey to falling in love with all the twists, turns, villains-such an enjoyable read that has you hooked from the start and begging for all your responsibilities to disappear so you can finish the book. Fantastic release to start off the year, everyone go grab a copy and get reading this witty, delightful, charming and inspiring read.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. A review was not required, and all opinions are my own.
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If you haven’t picked up this book, at least mark it on your #goodreads as a Want to Read because you don’t want to miss the first 5 ⭐️ read or 2023! 

I’d love to chat more about it, but I’ve got to get back to Robert and Miranda’s story to find out what’s around the corner… literally! 

I’d you like: 
🖋️regency
🖋️romance 
🖋️differences in class 
🖋️mystery 
🖋️Shakespeare 
🖋️witticisms

Then this is your next read! 

Thank you Samantha for allowing me to be on your ARC/Street Team. I’ve been so blessed by this book, your amazing swag (only some is pictured here) and you! Review coming as soon as I finish!
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The premise of this book drew me to it. I love the Regency era and will look for any excuse to immerse myself in that period. And the idea of two people searching Shakespeare’s sonnets for secrets was intriguing. Miranda was a lovely heroine. She was smart and curious and just the sort of heroine I love to read about. There were times when I felt that the book lagged a bit, but the plot was so endearing, and the surprises made it fun.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Covenant Communications through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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This was a fun, unique read. Picture a British Regency National Treasure and you get Secret of The Sonnets!
✍️
Robert is a Marquess but what good is the title if he’s homeless and thrown in debtor’s prison from debts of his family? He is searching for every last coin when he receives a letter asking about an obscure connection to William Shakespeare. If he can find a document, maybe his money troubles will alleviate.
✍️
What he finds instead is a beautiful, smart and quick witted young woman, a sense of adventure in a treasure hunt with clue hunting and some action and danger.
✍️
Miranda is much like her namesake from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. She’s sweet and kind, smart but not street smart. She learns the hard way about trusting others but is determined to make a name for herself as a scholar first, being female second.
✍️
I don’t know much about the sonnets and it was hard not to look it up but I loved Samantha’s recap at the back of what is real and fictional. I’m excited there will be another book by Hastings following a Shakespeare plot.
✍️
This book had some insta love that I didn’t love, I was more invested in the adventure but by the end, I enjoyed the sweet romance. I still wonder about Antony.
✍️
I received an e-arc copy from Net Galley and the publisher. These are my own thoughts and opinions.
✍️
Content: some violence and action
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This is a unique historical romance about a young woman named Miranda, who is a scholar in a time when it’s very unpopular for a woman to be a scholar. I have a love of Shakespeare’s sonnets and loved how the author used them throughout the book. Miranda finds a connection between Shakespeare’s lost manuscripts and a young marquess. As they work together to solve the mystery of the lost manuscripts they build a good friendship that turns to love. There is action, romance and mystery all in this book that make it hard to put down.
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This is a pretty new author to me, as I'd only read one other book by her for a book club sometime last year. I haven't read Shakespeare since high school so I didn't remember much about his sonnets but that didn't hinder my enjoyment of this beautiful romance.

I loved Miranda's family as they were unusual for that period in time--her father was a scholar with Miranda, ever the bluestocking, following in his footsteps, and her mother supporting them both in their pursuits. I find It's one of the things I loved about this story. Miranda and her father have a deep love of Shakespeare's works and quoted from his plays and sonnets quite often.

Robert on the other hand is trying to dig his family out of debt left by his father's mismanagement, and his clueless mother is far from helpful in the matter. She's one of the few characters in the book that I didn't like--her obliviousness about the family's financial situation irritated me every time she appeared. I wondered how Robert would finally put an end to her frivolous spending and was thrilled when he finally put his foot down and did what needed to be done!

These two, although not very similar in interests, fit well together. I really liked how well Robert got along with Miranda's family--I felt he fit right in. I really liked how Robert and Miranda's working together progressed into them having feelings for each other. I thought it came across as very believable and something a lot of people can relate to. I love mysteries so I really enjoyed the mystery Miranda and Robert were trying to solve.

I think fans of slow-burn romance and mysteries will like this book. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher Covenant Communications via NetGalley. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own.
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Such a delight. I loved the Shakespeare woven through the book. The romance was magical. It was such a fun book to get lost into. The characters were real and believable and the story line clear and intriguing! Loved every second of it!
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I wasn’t sure if I would like this book since I’m not a huge Shakespeare fan but I was wrong- it was really good!
I loved the main character. She was smart and self confident and had an awesome family. I loved that her parents supported her and encouraged her in her academic pursuits. 
I wasn’t sure if it would end happily, but I was happy with the ending.
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Secret of the sonnets was a nice surprise. This is the first book I have read by Samantha Hastings so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I found I really enjoyed this book. It has a unique story line with the perfect blend of mystery and romance. 

The main characters are Robert and Miranda. Miranda is smart, kind, and a little sassy. She is very educated and has been spending her time researching Shakespeare. Robert is a perfect gentleman. He is protective, sweet, and considerate. Not only did he inherit his fathers title of marquess but also his mountain of debt. His time is spent trying to save his family’ home. I loved these two as a couple. They have a lot of chemistry and shared some fun, witty banter  

Robert and Miranda end up on an adventure together to find the lost manuscripts of Shakespeare., Miranda for the scholarly pursuit and Robert in the hopes of paying off his father’s debts. This adventure proves more dangerous than they realized. 

This is a fun read with a lot of great quotes from Shakespeare!
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Set mostly in Winkfield, England in 1812. Miranda Hatch and her father are trying to find the lost manuscripts of Shakespear, their research leads them to Lord Robert Hamilton who is the 12th Marquess of Marsworth.
Lord Hamilton has no interest in literature or Shakespear but is desperately in need of finding a way to repay his father’s debts so that he can keep his family home.
A historical mystery with a fun romance. I loved the way Miranda’s family interacted and their use of Shakespear quotes. The pace was fast and there was lots of action.
Miranda has no interest in finding a husband, she only wants to find a document that with Shakespear’s signature.
Lord Hamilton has no interest in finding a wife to help pay his debts so when Miranda tells him he may have a valuable document with William Shakespear’s signature he happily gets involved with Miranda and her parents as they search through his family documents.
This was a regency romance about families, inheritance and the lost Shakespear Manuscripts. I loved it.
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Samantha's books are always fun. She has found the perfect recipe for historical romance with tone, setting, and comedic relief. I enjoyed listening to Miranda and Robert's adventure on their search for William Shakespeare's sonnets. 

Miranda is an educated woman, far more than the other women in society at the time. I loved the banter between her and her parents, especially her father, and thought it was a beautiful portrayal of a supportive upbringing. She was not limited by her gender and time and I thought Samantha did a wonderful job of writing her. I wish I could meet Miranda in real life and have her tell me all about Shakespeare! Sonnet quotes and all! 

Robert was so sweet. I felt for him and his situation after his father passed. His mother was very typical of a spoiled brat and I struggled with her so much! I'm glad Samantha gave him some sisters that understood his position and supported them in the best way they could. I liked that Samantha portrayed his struggle between needing to marry due to his position but that he also found himself so enamored by Miranda that as he got to know her more, the more he fell for her. 

This book has adventure, sweet romance, and the perfect setting. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for their next regency romance because this is top notch!
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*Thank you to Netgalley, Covenant Communications, and the author for the opportunity to review an e-arc. All thoughts are my own*

Secret of the Sonnets was an absolute delight! This was the second Samantha Hastings book I’ve read, and I would love to read more from her. Her books are lighthearted and fun, and this one often brought a smile to my face and had me trying to solve the mystery!

Miranda Hatch is a scholar and as she is 26, she is considered to be a spinster. She intends to find the lost works of William Shakespeare, rather than a husband. She discovers a connection between the Bard and the local dashing marquess, and so she sends a letter requesting access to papers that might secure her academic success. She is quite a charming character, and she and her father often work together. He encourages her to pursue her academic dreams.

Lord Robert Hamilton finds himself in dire straits as he risks losing his ancestral home which he has come to inherit after his father’s passing. His father unfortunately made some very poor decisions, and his mother has frivolous spending habits, and Robert must wade through it all. With the weight of everything laying upon him, he could care less when he receives a letter from an M Hatch requesting access to ancestral papers. After thinking things through though, he realizes that there may be some financial benefit to the request. To his surprise, M Hatch turns out to be the lovely Miss Miranda. The pair soon find themselves drawn into a centuries-old mystery. They are not only drawn together by their common goal, but also by a growing attraction. Unfortunately, there is someone else seeking the papers and they will stop at nothing to get what they want.

I love Miranda! She is so smart and funny, and I love the relationship she has with her parents, especially her father. He is so encouraging, and I love how he and Miranda would quote Shakespeare to each other. I love how she put the pursuit of academics and her love of learning above societies expectations. I also loved watching the friendship with Robert blossom.

Robert was also a very likeable character. I loved that he was so honorable and trying to make everything right after his father’s misdeeds. I enjoyed his partnership with Miranda, and watching their relationship develop. There was great banter between them and it was so fun watching him join her on her quest.

I loved the combination of a mystery and a sweet historical romance. I definitely recommend!
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This is a new-to-me author. I loved this book! Regency romance with a mystery thrown in. I love Miranda and how witty, clever, and confident she is. Robert is honorable, humble, and kind. Their chemistry was believable and enjoyable. I'm not very knowledgeable about much of Shakespeare's works, but I loved reading the sonnets at the beginning of each chapter. I look forward to reading more from Samantha Hastings!
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I loved the unique plot in this book! Miranda and her father have a great love (bordering on obsession) for literature and especially all things Shakespeare. Her self-confidence is admirable, and she is comfortable with herself and finds joy and laughter in life, reminding me a bit of Elizabeth Bennett. She has a lovely family dynamic with her mother and father. They are impressed with Robert as a gentleman and although he doesn’t share their literary interests, there is a connection of congeniality and sense of humor that makes him fit right in. I enjoyed how naturally their relationship progressed. There is a sense of tension as Robert has limited time to pay the debts left by his father, and the presence of a saboteur lingers in the background, leaving the reader in suspense as to when he will meddle with our characters. I was intrigued by the details I learned about Shakespeare and couldn’t wait to see if they would actually make a discovery.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.
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This is more than a Regency romance. It also explores the controversy over who wrote the sonnets published by William Shakespeare.

Miranda Hatch is a strong, intelligent, independent woman. She is sarcastic, loves books and scholarly writing, and doesn’t feel the need for a husband even though she is almost 26 years old. Her goal in life is to find the missing manuscripts of William Shakespeare and become a well-known scholar as a result. 

Robert Hamilton’s dad recently died but all he inherited was debt. If he doesn’t quickly find a way to earn a lot of money his family is likely to lose their estate, leaving his mom and youngest sister Eugenia homeless. He is under a lot of stress and his family is a mess. Younger brother Frank is a soldier and of no help since he gambles all his money away. His married sisters Cassandra and Anne are bossy and tiresome with 6 kids between them. Robert’s mom is the most aggravating because she acts oblivious to their money situation. She is manipulative and spends like crazy even though her home might be taken away in a few months. He needs a large dowry to save his estate and is matched with Adelaide Gunther, his best friend’s sister, but he doesn’t love her in that way. He’s torn between marrying the woman he loves or saving his family's estate. Without it he would have an empty title and no skills to provide income. 

Sir Antony Foakes wants Shakespeare’s documents also. He wrote a book with Miranda and published it with only his name listed, even though most of the ideas were hers.

I loved the way Miranda made her own choices regardless of what society thought she should do. I was impressed she didn’t back down when snubbed by Robert’s friends and family because they are from unequal classes in society. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Robert and the difficult situation he was in. I was only expecting this to be a historical romance, so the danger and mystery surprised me. I don’t think you need to be a fan of Shakespeare to find the question intriguing of who actually wrote his sonnets. This is a new author to me and one I would read again. Thanks to Covenant Communications and NetGalley for a temporary digital copy to use for my review.
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If you love historical mysteries, you will want to make time to read Secret of the Sonnets by Samantha Hastings. It’s a great way to start your new year! Ms. Hastings is a new-to-me author and I really enjoyed her writing style, witty conversation, and balance of mystery and romance.

In Secret of the Sonnets, readers are introduced to Miranda Hatch a twenty-six-year-old spinster scholar with a particular interest in William Shakespeare’s sonnets. Her research leads her to a possible piece of correspondence between Shakespeare and the ancestor of a nearby marquess, Lord Robert Hamilton. Miranda writes to Robert and asks if he has any family papers that could be from Shakespeare’s time. Her letter comes at a good time, since Robert is trying to sell anything of worth to save his estate from the debts his father incurred before his death. Gathering what papers he can, Robert visits the Hatch family, hoping he has something of worth that could save his heavily mortgaged home. During his visit, they uncover a clue that might lead them to Shakespeare’s lost manuscripts. It doesn’t take long before Robert and the Hatch family are drawn into a web of intrigue. The closer Miranda and Robert get to finding the manuscripts, the closer they become as a couple who may have a future together—but an enemy is waiting to come between them and are ready to do whatever it takes to keep the secret for themselves.

I have always loved Shakespeare’s plays and this book has a surprising twist on some of the controversy that surrounds him as an author even today. Readers will be riveted to the page as Miranda and Robert try to untangle a centuries old mystery regarding the Bard. Not only is the author skilled at weaving the clues to the mystery into the story, she also expertly entwines a tender romance with Shakespearean discussions and references that are delightful and charming. Our hero and heroine were intelligent and believable, and the supporting cast felt real with their quirks and nuances, adding an extra layer of depth to this imaginative and clever story.

But this treasure hunt is about so much more than Shakespeare’s secrets as Miranda and Robert begin to see that perhaps the treasure is each other. However, with danger surrounding them and Society’s expectations a heavy weight to bear, can they really find a way to be together? Readers will definitely want to set aside enough time for this book because they won’t want to set it down.
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