A Winter by the Sea

Bethany House. (On Devonshire Shores, Bk. 2). Dec. 2023. 448p. ISBN 9780764234286. pap. $18.99. CF
When the death of the Summers sisters’ father leaves them impoverished, and the actions of the eldest sister leave them vulnerable to scandal, the women are forced to adapt to a working-class life, operating a boarding house near the sea in Sidmouth, England. Emily finds that winter at the boarding house is nothing like her beloved romance novels, but real life may actually prove to be better, as she improves at both friendship and sisterhood. When a royal guest moves in next door, the whole of the countryside seeks the duke’s patronage. The charming seaside town isn’t all tourists and quaint shops, though: it’s a perfect location for smuggling—and the royal family is a tempting target.
VERDICT This Regency coming-of-age novel is chock-full of fun, everyday history, and witty repartee. Klassen delivers another sweet story (following The Sisters of Sea View) in a romance series best read in order. Anglophiles and fans of Sarah E. Ladd and Kristi Ann Hunter will want to catch up with the Summers family.
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