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Belinda Kroll

A Spirited Engagement

A Spirited Engagement

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Format

The second book in the Hesitant Mediums series

For fans of Stephanie Burgis, Tilly Wallace, and Olivia Atwater

It is a truth universally acknowledged that
ghost brides are annoying romantic rivals.

Making her reluctant return to London after a ten-year absence, Tessa Preston cannot hide her dismay at her employer's friendliness with Jasper Steele, the man who chased her away. To make matters more annoying, he's haunted by a most insistent ghost bride.

Determined to prove her indifference to the charming Jasper, Tessa realizes the entitled ghost demanding his attention may not be all she seems. Meanwhile, unaware of Tessa's enmity, Jasper is delighted to have a second chance at her affections, and will let nothing, not even her cold stares, dampen his enthusiasm.

A Spirited Engagement is a cozy Victorian fantasy featuring sweet romance, annoying ghosts, found family, and a plucky BIPOC heroine kicking butt in all her finery surrounded by whimsical fun.

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Excerpt

Mary looked at Tessa, eyes wide in a silent appeal.

“Please join us inside, Mr. Steele. We might get acquainted with your situation that caused you to seek Miss Trentwood.” Tessa couldn’t help but smile, then. “Perhaps it’s this Miss Carterprice who stands, I mean, hovers beside you?”

Jasper swiveled from Eloise to Mary and back again to Tessa. “My God, you can see her too, can’t you?” he said before keeling forward, unconscious, into Tessa’s alarmed arms.

Tessa staggered under his weight with an awkward grunt, eyes wide.

Mary cleared her throat. “Jasper and ghosts don’t entirely mix.” She turned to Pomeroy, who remained coolly observant. “Ah, Pomeroy, as convenient as ever. Would you be so kind as to relieve Miss Preston of her charge? I think the library, perhaps, would be suitable for his convalescence.”

As Tessa sank under Jasper’s weight, she gasped. “Are you certain you’ve not had much experience with ghosts, Miss Trentwood? You’re handling this all remarkably well.”

Mary grinned. “I said nothing of the sort.”

“But Dame Hartwell—”

“Well, really, Miss Preston. And who am I to correct my future mother-in-law, and a member of the peerage, besides? Now Pomeroy, if you please.”

Pomeroy lifted Jasper from Tessa as if he were nothing more than an overweight cloak draped in her arms. Tessa coughed her surprise, thinking a man with that white of hair should not be nearly so strong. She followed Mary and Pomeroy into the house, mystified.

Keep reading at the Cozy Coterie.

Content

Romantic rating: Low heat content with a focus on emotion and kissing.

Warning: The villain exerts compulsion on a character and a non-consensual kiss.

Tropes: Annoyances to lovers, second chances, ghost girlfriend, possession, found family, BIPOC heroine, kicking butt in all her finery, hero falls (in love) first, forced proximity, love wins all battle, they save each other.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
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L
Leuschner Silke
Ein Buch wie eine Achterbahnfahrt

Hier herrscht das Gegenteil von Langeweile, und es geht deutlich ernster und auch gefährlicher zu als im ersten Band. Phantasievoll, spannend und nichts für Kleingeister …

L
L.J
Very engaging

This was a bit different for me to read and the characters had a lot going on. It was a period piece centering on Tessa, a very powerful medium. Being a medium, and a young woman of color made things challenging at this time in history, but she handled it. I liked Tessa. She was smart, competent and strong. No wilting or the vapors for her. Her line of work didn't afford that. Especially with ghosts running all over the place all the time.

Called in to train a new charge (Mary), an old love reappears in her life (Jasper), with a big bad coming for her, Tessa steps all the way up with the help of her newfound squad.

The story was entertaining. The pacing was good and the plot points were relevant to each other, had enough scary to it and didn't stuck in one place for too long.

Overall, we get a sweet, tidy ending with a classic battle of good versus evil with a human soul hanging in the balance! Quite the ride!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review

E
Eloise Prime
Victorian Spirts and Unconventional Romance

A Spirited Engagement is book two of The Hesitant Mediums series by Belinda Kroll. This can be read as a standalone story and there is more than enough context given if needed, however, this book does carry over some details from the first book to some extent.

I absolutely adore the concept of this book (and series). Drawing on VIctorian England's fascination for Spirits, Seances and Mediums, it has the feels of something worthy of Charles Dickens (or at least an episode of Doctor Who minus the time travelling alien). Add into this a mixed race, resilient leading lady - Miss Tessa Preston - who has experience enough racism to make her wary of many.

Tessa Preston is also a medium who has the ability to see and speak to ghosts, a gift that she gained after a tragic carriage accident brought her close to death and she lost her parents. Now she has her uncle, Sir Hubert Preston, who escorts her as she takes on jobs helping people with her medium skills. That job has brought her back to London for the first time in nearly a decade, to help an old friend and his fiancé. However, things get complicated when another man from her past, who incidentally broke her heart, turns up also needing help.

Jasper Steele's biggest problem was once his mother's continual nagging for him to find a wife. But at one of those attempts to match him, he attended a seance and now has the ghost of a Society Belle attached to him and adamant that he is now her fiancé. Finding Tessa again, Jasper wants to make things right and make it clear that his intentions for her are completely honourable. Yet, in between all that there is a wild ride of ghosts, shadows, ghouls and they pose a danger to both Jasper and Tessa.

I am looking forward to the next book, which appears to follow the story of the living twin sister to the young lady ghost that had attached herself onto Jasper. Incidentally, that lady's ghost, Eloise, made me laugh with her continual antics - but being an Eloise myself, I am always charmed to see my name come up in books since it so rarely happens.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

C
Claire Kohler
Great book! More action than the first, less humor.

I really enjoyed this book! Loved the characters. Tessa was excellent, and I was really rooting for Jasper. The story is more intense than book 1 and a little darker. Because of this, it wasn't as funny as the first one, but it was still very engaging. A sweet love story, and the interracial element was very well done.

E
Elaine
An absolutely brilliant instalment for the Hesitant Mediums Series!

Belinda Kroll's humor shines through as brightly - and perhaps a bit more - as it did in Haunting Miss Trentwood, and her characters are as enchanting as ever!

Jasper returns in this story to find his match in Tessa, a sassy medium hoping to prove herself. She finds her worth as she helps Mary learn to control her new medium abilities, and rid Jasper of the ghost determined to marry him. While Tessa believes they are in an enemies-to-lovers story, Jasper thinks this is his second chance romance. Let the hilarity ensue!

When I read Haunting Miss Trentwood, I desperately wanted Jasper to grow a backbone for his story, and I can assure you he does just that. The man redeems himself fully for everything he got caught up in with Mary and Alex. I honestly didn't think I'd love him as much as I love Alex, but I do! He's exactly the right man for Tessa.

By the end of the book, I was biting my fingernails for how action packed and exciting the climax was. If you thought Haunting Miss Trentwood ended with a punch, hold on to your bonnets because Tessa does NOT mess around! She's the kick butt hero I want in my corner if ghosts ever come calling.

I read this book in one sitting because I could not put it down! It was everything I loved from Haunting Miss Trentwood and so much more! I can't wait for Book 3!

Illustrated portrait of Belinda, created from an app

Books by Belinda Kroll feature sweet romance, comedy-of-manners dialogue and action, gaslamp genre settings, and mundane, magical, or paranormal elements. Short stories may or may not include romantic elements.

Thanks for reading my escapist Victorian stories.

  • Grab your ARC for A Spirited Engagement! - Belinda Kroll

    Grab your ARC for A Spirited Engagement!

    My darlings, A Spirited Engagement launches February 20th! It's beyond exciting to see the positive response so far. If you'd like to grab an Advance Reader Copy, jump over to...

    Grab your ARC for A Spirited Engagement!

    My darlings, A Spirited Engagement launches February 20th! It's beyond exciting to see the positive response so far. If you'd like to grab an Advance Reader Copy, jump over to...

  • Coming soon! Book boxes and illustrated hardcovers - Belinda Kroll

    Coming soon! Book boxes and illustrated hardcovers

    We're ramping up for the release of the special edition book boxes celebrating the hardcover edition of Haunting Miss Trentwood, complete with a dust jacket, custom cover, and interior illustrations!...

    Coming soon! Book boxes and illustrated hardcovers

    We're ramping up for the release of the special edition book boxes celebrating the hardcover edition of Haunting Miss Trentwood, complete with a dust jacket, custom cover, and interior illustrations!...

  • Chapters releasing at the Cozy Coterie - Belinda Kroll

    Chapters releasing at the Cozy Coterie

    Chapters are now releasing for my latest novel, A Spirited Engagement, in my patron community: https://bit.ly/CozyCoterie A Spirited Engagement has Just Like Heaven vibes meets a Black Buffy in 1880s...

    Chapters releasing at the Cozy Coterie

    Chapters are now releasing for my latest novel, A Spirited Engagement, in my patron community: https://bit.ly/CozyCoterie A Spirited Engagement has Just Like Heaven vibes meets a Black Buffy in 1880s...

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