To Capture His Heart

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Pub Date Oct 12 2022 | Archive Date Oct 25 2022

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Seaside, England, 1886

Eva Caldwell is an accomplished and well-known photographer who often works with the local constabulary to assist in documenting crime scenes, which means she also often works alongside the handsome and charming detective, Nathan Winston. She appreciates his intellect and how he treats her like an equal, but Eva’s heart is still healing from a past relationship, so, for now, she decides to keep her feelings for Nathan a secret.

One evening, Nathan arrives on her doorstep asking for a personal favor. Would Eva be available to photograph his mother’s legendary, week-long dinner party and matchmaking event? The catch is that Eva would also have to pretend they are courting in order for Nathan to avoid the many single women seeking his attention.

Though wary of the charade, Eva agrees. Spending a week with the two things she loves most—her detective and her camera—sounds simple enough. And if she wants to imagine that Nathan’s pretend courtship of her is real, well, what’s the harm in that?

But when a criminal from Nathan’s past threatens revenge on the detective, Nathan must be extra vigilant to keep his mother and the rest of the partygoers safe. He confides in Eva, and as the two work together to solve the mystery and apprehend the criminal, they find that they might capture more than they expected—each other’s heart.
Seaside, England, 1886

Eva Caldwell is an accomplished and well-known photographer who often works with the local constabulary to assist in documenting crime scenes, which means she also often works...

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ISBN 9781639930517
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Average rating from 242 members

Featured Reviews

I love the way Allen writes a story! You get a little action and adventure, some good history and a sweet amazing romance! Their story starts in The Matchmakers Lonely Heart. You can read this independent of that, but why would you! That one was so good too:} Nathaniel is awesome! I loved his little smile and his honesty! Eva is an independent female who has been hurt before and is not going to fall for any man:} These two have such a lovely story. I always like Allen's mystery and action she writes into her books. She really does it so well. Just loved everything about this story.
Proper romance with no religion.

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I loved everything about this! The plot seemed unique and original with the photography business. There was mystery and intrigue, a house party, fake dating and swoon!
I really loved Allen’s first book in the series, The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart, and I was so happy to see there would be another book in the series! This can be read as a stand alone, if you were to read it out of order you wouldn’t be lost as it recaps things from the first book.
I loved Eva and how she was a strong independent women. She didn’t back down from the other ladies present and she is a loyal friend but willing to be vulnerable. Nathan is as dashing as any hero can be and he loves his family. Which is even sweeter! He went to such lengths to keep them safe but there’s always something or someone to undo carefully laid plans.
Pretty much the moment I saw the arc available on Net Galley, I downloaded it ASAP. This book doesn’t release until October 2022. And now that I want the next book in the series which means I’ll have to wait even longer 😅
I love Allen’s work and she continues to show she’s an auto buy author for me. These are my own thoughts and opinions.

Content: death, mild depictions of blood and injuries, brief fighting

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TY Netgalley and Shadow Mountain for the ARC!

I haven’t read the first book in this series, which is all good! It follows the regency/historical romance series format where you jump to new protagonists in each installment. Now I’ll definitely check out the first one :)

Overall, very cute - found family, friends to lovers, fake dating… all under the umbrella of a murdery mystery (?) house party. (fyi - this series is not spicy)

This book checks the boxes - the only reason I gave this 4 instead of 5 stars was because I felt like once there is finally a moment of, “hey, I love you,” it was not totally clear. One MC was still in doubt, which was out of character even considering her past. So just a bit sticky.

BUT IT WAS CUTE. we love cute

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To Capture His Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen is a great historical fiction/romance that I truly enjoyed.

I enjoyed Ms. Allen’s previous book, The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart, so I was excited to read this one. I enjoyed it just as much.

This takes place in England 1886. I just love that timeframe, and the author does a wonderful job transporting us back to the Victorian era. The descriptions of the culture, society, and background were spot on.

This book has a lot of wonderful elements: mystery, suspense, romance, history…it all wraps up nicely into a charming and relaxing narrative.

I love the Author’s take on the relationship based on “business” and agreement that then turns to romance. Eva and Nathan work well together professionally and also romantically. Their chemistry is obvious to us readers, it just takes a bit for the characters themselves to figure it all out as well. They both bring something different to the table and it complements one another well.

I loved the pacing, storyline, and I enjoyed the satisfying ending.

5/5 stars

Thank you NG and Shadow Mountain Publishing for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 10/12/22.

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I didn’t want this book to end. I love the house party trope, especially when there is intrigue and family dynamics along with the romance. This combination makes for a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience.

The books in the Proper Romance series are the perfect blend of romance and mystery. To Capture His Heart has great characters. I fell in love with Detective Nathan and adored Sammy, the former street urchin turned Eva’s photography assistant. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this engaging series.

Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I absolutely loved "The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart," so I was especially excited to read Nancy Campbell Allen's new addition. This was just as spectacular! The plot was well-paced and captivating from start to finish. The characters were well-developed; complex, and intriguing. I highly recommend this thrilling read! Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.

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I really enjoyed this story and, as always, Nancy Campbell Allen did not disappoint! Her writing style is fun, fast paced, and enjoyable, all of which this book is! I love her characters, they are relatable.

Eva is a strong, independent women. She is a photographer, running her own business, something still frowned upon by society, but she does not care. She loves her work, especially since is means, as times, she can be in the presence of Detective Nathan Winston. With little hope or designs to even catch his eye beyond her professional abilities, simply being able to work with him is enough.

Nathan has been in love with Eva since the day he met her and her independent personality. But that is just it, she is independent, there is no way she would be interested in him. However, when forced by his mother to attend another house party where available young ladies will be in attendance, he fibs and tells his mother his intentions lie with Eva. Forced to invite her to the house party, to be a guest and a photographer, he admits his folly and she agrees to go along with the idea of being a smitten couple. However, mystery abounds when signs from a criminal from Nathan's past show up at the house party.

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I really enjoyed this book once it picked up a bit! It was witty, compelling, and romantic all in one and I liked it!

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This is a sweet romance with a little crime thrown in. I was attracted to the book by the hero & heroine's backgrounds - she is a photographer and he is a police detective with society connections. But I didn't think it fulfilled it's potential. The characters were rather bland and seemed very generic without much depth. They chose such unconventional professions, I would have expected more complex personalities. Even the crime solving was without much suspense. It just felt as if all possible spice or edges to both characters and plot, which would have been natural given the situation, were flattened out. I guess it was all much too sweet for me so maybe it's just a matter of taste..

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Nancy Campbell Allen makes me laugh. Eva has depth and she struggles with things but she doesn’t let it stop her from living her life. Nathan is a dream, he cares about her and is honest with his feelings.

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I loved this book even more than the first one!

To Capture His Heart features photographer Eva Caldwell and Detective Nathan Winston, both of whom readers will remember from the first book.

Following the happy nuptials of their friends, we meet Eva and Nathan again. Both of them are trying to ignore their affection for one another - and they’re both failing miserably.

When Nathan mistakenly tells his mother he’s interested in courting her when she resurrects her matchmaking schemes a fun take on the fake lover trope unfolds.

This was a quick paced read for me and equal parts intriguing and entertaining. I only wish the mystery elements and action had been longer!

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This book was provided by Netgally and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an honest review. All of the thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is a quintessential Victorian murder mystery romance book any fan of Veronica Speedwell and Sherlock Holmes will absolutely love.
There is a perfect balance of mistery plot line and the romance that follow it.
I loved this book so much I have a few questions :Where is the world has this books author been hiding from me? Are there more?
Eva and Nathaniel have cured my book slump in their persut for love and crime solving and I I'm hooked on it.
When is the next one coming out and can I get it now?
5 stars alllll around (would give it more)

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Nancy Campbell Allen's "To Capture His Heart" follows "The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart". Evangeline Caldwell, another Hampton cousin, mixes work with a "pretend" romance with Inspector Nathaniel Winston. A colleague of the first book's protagonist, Nathan unravels an interesting murder-mystery with the help of photographer Eva.

The action unfolds at a house party hosted by Nathan's mother, an "entertainer extraordinaire". By throwing together a couple of "mean girls", charming sisters and intriguing gentlemen, Christine Winston has the makings of a successful and memorable (read infamous) house party.

Characters, likable or not, are all well-drawn. The villain was thankfully not obvious to me. Banter is lively and witty, and the then-tedious process of early photography is described. This short novel is clean and there are few grammatical errors. As always, Nancy Campbell Allen's prose is lovely. Charlotte Duvall, the remaining Hampton cousin, hopefully gets her own story.

Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an ARC of this enjoyable novel.

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I read "Secrets of the India Orchid" a few years ago and, from then on, i was hooked on Nancy Campbell Allen's books. Oftentimes period romances feel like the same story over and over again, but Nancy Campbell Allen's always feel fresh, especially with her knack for creating interesting settings and quirky characters. I couldn't wait to read "To Capture his Heart" and it was everything I'd hoped for!

Nate and Eva have worked together for a year as a detective and photographer. They are interested in each other, but neither has spoken of it due to personal reservations and fear that it would ruin their friendship. Nate's mother announces that she is going to host a house party, and in an attempt to prevent other women from spending the entirety of the party trying to catch his eye, Eva agrees they will feign feelings for each other. A criminal from Nate's past comes back to haunt him, an angry young woman tries to pull Eva and Nate apart, and the pair realize they wish their pretend relationship was more real than either realized- definitely an eventful house party! The relationship between Nate and Eva felt so realistic and sweet. It was full of communication and maturity- something I feel often lacks in "clean romances" sometimes. The criminal who was back to get revenge did not feel like an afterthought, but rather an integral part of the story, which is often another complaint I have in romance driven books.

I loved "To Capture His Heart," and I cannot wait to read the next installment in this series! Highly recommend to anyone who loves clean romances or period pieces.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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The story is rather fast paced yet doesn't seem to feel rushed in any way. The tension and suspense the looms in the shape of Mr. Toole's haunting presence acts as the perfect catalyst to spur the reader into a sense of urgency upon reading. We're also provided with the cruelty and drama of the social setting which adds another layer of tension to the situation that equally drives the pace forward.

Our heroine is intelligent, caring, and daring, Evangeline (or Eva) who works as a portrait photographer in a time where women were relegated to just a handful of “appropriate” jobs outside of being a wife, mother, and running a home. She's fast on her feet and smart as a whip and uses her problem solving abilities often. She's content in her life without a marriage yet not devoid of want for a romantic love. And like Nathan she looks out for those around her and takes all under her wing if they should desire it.
Nathan is the the stereotypical elder son and head of his family, and bachelor who loves his job, Nathan doesn't love the idea of a marriage. Well at least now the idea of marriage unless it's to Eva it seems. He is a detective and friend to the photographer, their mutual respect laying the foundation for his affection to blossom. Nathan is a good son to his mother, going as far as to appreciate and understand her genius in it's entirety and crediting the success of the family to her, and a good brother to his sisters. Nathan looks out for everyone, especially those who are in a position where they cannot do so themselves or have had a difficult time in the past.
I absolutely adore that the story truly reads like an old romance novel. It adds such a romantic aura to the experience as well as creating an entirely enveloping atmosphere. Allen transports you to 1886; her time researching the time period showing beautifully as she paints the setting of Seaside, England. Just as charming as the author's writing style is the dialogue. It's engaging and each character has a clear personality that shines through. Even the minor characters such as Nathan's mother's dialogue encapsulates who she is and fleshes her out to make her feel just as real as everyone else. It truly shines through in regards to the main cast especially.
This is the first book I've read by Nancy Campbell Allen and at thirty four percent I know in my heart that she is an author with whom I share a kindred spirit. Her writing is compelling and heart felt and beautiful. Not only that but her writing feels familiar and easy to read. I feel as if I've picked up a letter from a friend sharing her story. I will most definitely be looking forward to reading the rest of Allen's works and recommending “To Capture His Heart” to anyone who will listen.

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This is a very quick read. The characters are very likable and their romance is easy to root for, plus fake dating is a top-tier trope. Fans of regency romance and mystery will enjoy it.

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Wonderful characters and story.
A captivating book showing another side to this era. Evangeline, Eva, is a single woman working as a photographer at time when women simply didn’t do that kind of work. In the past she had been called out to photograph a crime scene and while there had met Nathaniel, a police officer. Soon they were spending more time together as Nate’s partner and Eva’s friend married. So, when Nate is cornered by his socialite mother to attend a house party with the obvious goal of finding him a wife while also introducing his sisters to society, it was almost natural to claim an interest in a woman to protect himself from the unwanted plans. When pushed by his mother for more information about the woman, including a name, he names Eva. Quickly Eva is invited to the house party not only as a participant but to photograph the proceedings and Nate must explain to her why she was invited and why he needs her presence as a deterrent if not protection. Unfortunately, Nate not only has to be on his guard for one particular young woman trying to trap him into marriage but he must also watch his family since he has made an enemy among the criminal population and he is out for revenge. This book is fast paced and engaging with characters that will touch your heart. A great read. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the copy. This is my review and all thoughts are my own.

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After reading the first book in this series (multiple times) I was so excited to read this and let me tell you it did not disappoint t. It was an absolutely delightful read. I loved the mystery, adventure and most especially the romance. It was fun with catch up with Michael and Amelie again too. I can’t wait for Charlotte’s story. Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for the copy. This is my review and all thoughts are my own.

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I love Nancy Campbell Allen and her books! To Capture His Heart was just as great as I expected. Nancy’s very good at writing romantic suspense. I couldn’t put it down until I knew what happened and until Eva and Nathan had their happily ever after.
Eva and Nathan were so cute together. I love when things happen that I did not expect and one surprise was the great communication between Eva and Nathan. It was refreshing. They didn’t exactly keep things from each other and if either of them thought to keep a secret, those didn’t last long because they’re both are overly observant.

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Read it for the:
- friends to lovers
- fake relationship trope
- mystery subplot (and twist!)
- intriguing cast of characters
- house party setting

Final rating: 4/5
Content overview: clean. No swearing, no explicit scenes
Trigger warnings - murders
Heat level - sweet romance with kissing scenes

Evangeline Caldwell is a talented photographer with graceful collected demeanor. Because of her career and connection to Scotland Yard via her cousin, She has worked with Detective Nathan Winston often on crime screens, and an easy friendship and respect developed between the two. Also growing was an attraction that both were hesitant to address. An unexpected opportunity in the form of a house party allows for Nathan and Eva to explore a relationship beyond friendship. They only need to avoid the dangerous criminal bent on revenge against Nathan.

This was a lovely romance with a dash of mystery. The main plot focused on the relationship between Nathan and Eva. Eva had to overcome past hurts and decide what she wanted in life to allow herself to see Nathan in a light other than friendship. This played off well with Nathan’s character, who knew exactly what he wanted. The progression of the romance felt natural. Both had great chemistry with each other.

The back drop of a house party was entertaining as you are introduced to new characters like Nathan’s sisters and mother. They brought a humor and light hearted touch to the story.

This is the second book in the series but can be read as a stand alone without missing any details. However, I liked seeing characters returning from the first book to see how they were getting along.

The mystery was great, and the plot twist and reveal of the villain was a shock to me. I enjoyed not knowing what was going to happen to next.

Overall, I enjoyed the read and would recommend to anyone looking for a romance with a side of mystery.

Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read and review this wonderful book ahead of publication date. Although an ARC was provided to me, This review is my own, and will be shared on other platforms.

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Friends who actually do legit like each other from the previous book, Eva and Nathan, agree to fake an interest in each other to save him from matchmaking at his mother's house party. Meanwhile, a previous case from Nathan's past presents dangers. This fell slightly short for me, maybe it's the difference between listening to the audio version of the previous book and reading this one, but I feel it lost momentum in some parts. A few too many moments of the house party and not enough of the mystery plot. The characters are likeable and the writing is solid, it just dragged a bit for me. I also prefer when I have at least a chance of pinpointing the villain in a mystery, and because of how it unfolded, I didn't see how I could have predicted the villain. I still look forward to the next book, Charlotte and I assume Ellis(?). Just under four stars for me, entertaining enough for a quick read, but I'm not sure I'll remember it in a couple of months. I received an ARC from the publisher and netgalley for review.

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