Some homes aren't found in places but in people... Coming Home to Bellingham by Katie Stewart Stone (Review & #Giveaway) #regencyromance @Covenant_Comm

Welcome to my tour stop! Check out my review of this debut and enter the giveaway below...

Coming Home to Bellingham
By Katie Stewart Stone
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 224 Pages
July 6, 2020 by Covenant Communications


What begins as a pleasant holiday with a new friend in Brighton quickly turns to devastation for Anabelle Milton when she receives the tragic news: her parents are dead. Turned out of the only home she’s ever known, Anabelle is sent to live with an aunt and uncle who are strangers to her. Heartbroken, she arrives at Bellingham Cottage, a cozy home on the sprawling grounds of the Bellingham estate, to find an unexpectedly warm welcome—not only from her own family but also from the family of their aristocratic neighbors, Lord and Lady Bellingham.

Anabelle soon attracts the attention of the heirs of Bellingham—brothers who, though connected by blood, could not be more different. As she slowly begins to distance herself from the polite and obedient young woman her mother trained her to be, Anabelle is free for the first time to choose her own path. She knows she must be true to herself, even if it means risking unrequited love—but can she trust that the gentleman who has stolen her heart will not break it?

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My Review

COMING HOME TO BELLINGHAM is a story about a girl whose world completely shifts when her parents unexpectedly die while she is away from home. While she tries to piece her heart back together she finds some unexpected friends who may become more of a home than she's ever known. Likable characters and a sweet romance make for a lovely read.

I'm really big on needing to like the characters of the books I read in order to like the book. Anabelle took me a bit to really get invested in. She comes across a bit shallow at first—just going through the motions of being out in society and being courted, but not having a sincere interest in it all. Then her parents die and she goes through a gamut of emotions and sometimes in a short space of time. She also was quick to comment and judge, or sometimes would have random thoughts and comments. I didn't always see the reasoning behind what she said (it almost felt like some information was possibly in previous drafts or just the author's knowledge that influenced some of those, but as a reader I didn't see any background for). However, once the story proceeds and Anabelle calms down and figures out her new normal, I liked her quite a bit. She was genuine and didn't mind helping her aunt or playing with her nephew. She came across as sweet and humble regardless that she was born to privilege. I really, really loved her interactions with Andrew and Robert. They were probably my favorite parts of the book.

The plot was steady, and this was a fairly quick read. It was also predictable, which I expected, and had a nice happily-ever-after ending. There was a lot of back and forth with the romance, but I really loved Anabelle's love interest. There was a subplot with one of the Bellingham's that was a bit dark and I didn't love how that was handled. I also wanted Anabelle to be a bit stronger in that part. There was quite a bit that felt historically inaccurate in regards to some of the relationships—not that I didn't want things to turn out, but more that I wanted things to be a bit more difficult instead of being solved so quickly. I think it would have felt more natural if things would have let run a bit more of a course. I also didn't feel the epilogue was needed as it didn't really add, explain, or resolve anything, nor further the story.

All in all, I did end up liking Anabelle, her family, and most of the Bellinghams. I liked a lot of the relationships in this story. I also really liked the message of home not always being a place and that home for someone can change. I really enjoyed seeing Anabelle's character develop and her coming into her own a bit. And, of course, she falls for the right man. I really liked how Anabelle summed it up herself:
"...I learned that nothing is ever that certain and sometimes change leads us to where we are meant to be."

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an overall enjoyable story. I feel like this author has a lot of potential and I'm interested to see what she writes next!

Content: Some innuendo, but clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Katie Stewart Stone is an Austen enthusiast, a blogger, a journal-writer, and a wife and mother. With her debut work, Coming Home to Bellingham, Katie achieved a life-long goal of finishing and publishing a novel. She writes what she wants to read and rarely reads anything without a good romance. Katie graduated from Brigham Young University in 2012 with a bachelors in Therapuetic Recreation and spent six years working in the non-profit world, while writing on the side. When her beautiful boy was born in 2018, she quit her day-job and committed to finishing her first Regency novel. Now she spends her days dreaming up new ways to bring young lovers together in the most Regency-appropriate scenarios possible, along with carrying out her duties as a stay-at-home mother to two wonderful children who were named after Austen characters.

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