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Guest Review: A WINTER BY THE SEA by Julie Klassen


Royalty comes to Sidmouth, bringing unexpected danger and the sweet possibility of romance. . . .When the Duke and Duchess of Kent and their daughter--the future Queen Victoria--rent neighboring WoolbrookCottage for the winter, the Summers sisters are called upon to host three of the royal family's male staff in their seaside house. But they soon realize they've invited secrets and intrigue into their home.Meanwhile, Emily Summers longs to become an author. A local publisher offers to consider her novel if she will first write a Sidmouth guidebook for him. Emily agrees and begins researching the area with help from the Duke of Kent's handsome private secretary. But a surprise visitor from her past shows up at Sea View, leaving Emily torn between the desires she's long held dear and her budding dreams for the future.Return to the Devonshire coast with the Summers sisters, where loyalties are tested, secrets come to light, and new love emerges.


Opening Lines:

“If a quill pen was truly more power than a rapier, as Shakespeare suggested, then a pen must be more powerful than a needle.”


GUEST REVIEW by Sophia Rose

In the spirit of such endearing classics as Little Women or Sense & Sensibility featuring a family of warm-hearted sisters living life and finding love, Julie Klassen’s tales of the Summers sisters in their guest house by the sea bring a rich and deeply satisfying reading experience.


A Winter by the Sea is the second in the "On Devonshire Shores" series set in the late Regency era in the seaside resort town of Sidmouth, featuring a family of women who were forced to give up their genteel life on a country estate for the semi-genteel life as guesthouse keepers after their father passed on and their estate was entailed away.  

This is the vibrant and impulsive Emily’s turn to get the focus of the story. I’m not fond of love triangles, but Julie Klassen deftly handled Emily’s need to come to terms with her past and learn the difference between ‘Romance’ of the novels she loves and real abiding love. I loved seeing her blossom as she wrote the area guidebook and worked to get Mr. Gwilt’s stories published. I liked how she ended up showing steadiness and thoughtfulness regarding her feelings for the two men vying for her heart.


Emily Summers’ story is surrounded by her sisters, their growing circle of friends, a simmering plot, and of course, the inclusion of real life historical figures who feature prominently like the Duke of Kent, his family and household for this fateful visit to Sidmouth. Gently-paced, a well-painted backdrop and setting, infused with spiritual and character growth and a sweet slow-burn romance growing in the background, A Winter By the Sea engaged me on more than one level as I reluctantly closed the last page.  Don’t hesitate to slip this book/series onto your winter reading pile.



“Enlivened by historical details of the royal family’s 1819 visit to Devonshire, the narrative is propelled forward by an irrepressible protagonist whose spunk will easily win readers’ sympathy. This breezy and delightful installment is sure to satisfy Klassen’s fans.”— Publisher’s Weekly

A Winter by the Sea is a story about finding your purpose and realizing that the things we hope and pray for...might not always be the things we truly need…

The 'On Devonshire Shores' series is truly a delight.”— Lauren, The Books Script

“Julie Klassen has provided such a beautiful escape with this series…I can't wait to see what comes next in this series and will be highly anticipating book 3!!”— Tasha, Clean Read Book Club


• Title: A Winter by the Sea

• Series: On Devonshire Shores (Book 2)

• Author: Julie Klassen

• Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction

• Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (December 5, 2023)

• Length: (448) pages

• Format: Trade Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook 

• ISBN: 978-0764234286‎

• Tour Dates: December 4 – 18, 2023




Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold more than 1.5 million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's Best Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. She and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, baseball, cats, Scooby Doo, and chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. In 2012, she submitted her first book review and is currently an associate reviewer.

Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener which allows her to experience many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Sorry, no horror...or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.



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