Joanna Lowell, "A Shore Thing" (Berkley Books, 2024)


Joanna Lowell is known for her witty historical romances set in late Victorian England, a period both undergoing and resisting dramatic social change. Her previous novels in this series pair a young artist from the East End with her tortured muse, a duke; a runaway duchess with an admirably calm young man convinced she is a plant lover like himself; and a reluctant, poverty-stricken art forger with an art critic who is alienated from his aristocratic family. A Shore Thing (Berkley Books, 2024) follows the romantic fortunes of Kit Griffith, a former painter who now makes his living selling bicycles, and Muriel Pendrake—the intrepid, intelligent, world-traveling botanist impersonated in book 2.

Muriel has traveled to St. Ives, Cornwall, to collect seaweed—not because that is her own preference, beautiful as some of it is, but because the stodgy male chauvinist in charge of a forthcoming talk that Muriel has agreed to present in New York has declared that no other topic is acceptable for a woman. She travels in the company of her old friend James, a doctor with a secret, and they are returning to their hotel when a near-accident involving a bicycle leads to Muriel’s dramatic encounter with a semi-conscious Kit.

It’s 1888, and most of the bicycles in town are the old-fashioned penny farthings, with a huge front wheel and a tiny back one. One thing leads to another, and soon Muriel—who has never mounted a bicycle in her life, not even the kind that Kit rides, which we would now consider standard—agrees to accompany this devastatingly handsome young rake (or so she thinks) on a cycling trip around the Cornwellian coast.

Joanna Lowell lives among the fig trees in North Carolina, where she teaches in the English department at Wake Forest University. She is the author of four interconnected historical romances set in late Victorian England—most recently, A Shore Thing. She writes in other genres as Joanna Ruocco.

C. P. Lesley is the author of two historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible and four other novels—including The Merchant’s Tale, co-written with P.K. Adams. Her next novel, Song of the Steadfast, will appear early in 2025.

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C. P. Lesley

C. P. Lesley is the author of two historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible and four other novels. Her latest book, The Merchant's Tale, co-written with P.K. Adams, appeared in November 2023.

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