Book Review: Otherwise Engaged by Joanna Barker

Title: Otherwise Engaged
Author: Joanna Barker
Published: 2020
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: eARC
Length: 266 pages
Source: NetGalley
Date Finished: September 23, 2020
Grade: A
Synopsis: She’s never been afraid of breaking the rules—until she risks breaking her heart. Constantly stifled by the rules of Society, spirited Rebecca Rowley enjoys finding ways to quietly—or not so quietly—rebel. But riding bareback and avoiding nosy neighbors are nothing compared to the thrilling secret she is keeping from her family.
When Rebecca’s quick thinking saves the life of a young girl, she unwittingly attracts the attention of the child’s dashing brother, Lieutenant Nicholas Avery. As that attention turns flirtatious, Rebecca is forced to tell him the truth: she is secretly engaged—to the one man her family would never approve of. Fortunately, Lieutenant Avery is a navy man with no wish to marry, or so they both assume as they enter into a friendship. Rebecca hopes to change her family’s mind about her betrothed, but the more she comes to know the handsome lieutenant, the more she wonders if she promised her hand too hastily.

After all her carefully laid plans are shattered during a family crisis, Rebecca must force her heart to decide. Should she stay true to the promise she made or fight for the future she’s only just begun to imagine? (from Goodreads)


The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My heart is full. That was my first thought after finishing this novel. The second was that I needed to pre-order the paperback immediately.

For about 65% of this, I thought it was a nice, sweet book. But then, all of a sudden, I couldn’t stop reading it. I had to get everything resolved and everyone in their proper place. It’s funny how you can be so scared about not getting your happy ending when you’re reading a romance novel. You know it’s coming, but you don’t know exactly how it’s coming. I was on the edge of my seat with my heart beating out of my chest from anxiety for about an hour until finally everything was okay.

I must say, I was prepared to hate Edward. I suspected him of the worst, and I have to hand it to Joanna Barker for tricking me. He was totally fine, and I ended up really liking him when everything came to light! Rebecca had a few lessons of her own to learn, and I see that I’m not exempt from that myself. I wanted to shake some sense into her, but I can understand completely how her feelings could get confusing. It’s easy to be objective when you’re not the one involved in the mess. Nicholas was absolutely wonderful. The best. A paragon even. And his journey with Olivia was precious and heartwarming.

Favorite Quote: “You challenge me. You understand me. You take me as I am and, yet, make me wish to be better.”

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Seagull Book | Goodreads

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