Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blog Tour: Summerset Abbey by T.J. Brown Review & Giveaway

Today I have my stop on the Summerset Abbey Book Tour brought to you by Rockstar Book Tours. I have my review, (the book was fabulous!) a giveaway for a signed copy of the book. There is also another giveaway that the author has for a kindle, nook, or kobo that you can enter if you pre-order the book.

  • Publisher: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster)
  • Pages: 320
  • Formats: Paperback, eBook
  • Publication Date: January 15, 2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for tour
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

1913: In a sprawling manor on the outskirts of London, three young women seek to fulfill their destinies and desires amidst the unspoken rules of society and the distant rumblings of war. . . .  

Rowena Buxton

Sir Philip Buxton raised three girls into beautiful and capable young women in a bohemian household that defied Edwardian tradition. Eldest sister Rowena was taught to value people, not wealth or status. But everything she believes will be tested when Sir Philip dies, and the girls must live under their uncle’s guardianship at the vast family estate, Summerset Abbey. Standing up for a beloved family member sequestered to the “underclass” in this privileged new world, and drawn into the Cunning Coterie, an exclusive social circle of aristocratic “rebels,” Rowena must decide where her true passions—and loyalties—lie.

Victoria Buxton

Frail in body but filled with an audacious spirit, Victoria secretly dreams of attending university to become a botanist like her father. But this most unladylike wish is not her only secret—Victoria has stumbled upon a family scandal that, if revealed, has the potential to change lives forever. . . .

Prudence Tate

Prudence was lovingly brought up alongside Victoria and Rowena, and their bond is as strong as blood. But by birth she is a governess’s daughter, and to the lord of Summerset Abbey, that makes her a commoner who must take her true place in society—as lady’s maid to her beloved “sisters.” But Pru doesn’t belong in the downstairs world of the household staff any more than she belongs upstairs with the Buxton girls. And when a young lord catches her eye, she begins to wonder if she’ll ever truly carve out a place for herself at Summerset Abbey.

My Thoughts

While I don't read many historical novels, books like this make me wonder why. I was so wrapped up in the characters and the story. I loved being in this time period and experiencing how different that life is with them. This book is full of mystery, scandal, romance, and intrigue! We get to experience this all through different POV's and I loved how we get to see the story from all angles. It really made it a very pleasurable reading experience. And the mystery was truly a mystery. I thought I had it all figured out and I was actually wrong! *gasp* That almost never happens to me. I guess I should have seen the signs, but being the fantastic book it was, it had me so wrapped up in things that I went off in the wrong directions and didn't see that ending coming at all!

I usually go into the main character at this point in a review, but I will just tell you about how different each of the girls were. They start off so close, like sisters, but then as time goes on they start to grow apart, keep secrets, and to a point resent each other. Victoria was my favorite. She is naive, but I loved her for it. She really believes that she can do good and doesn't think about the bigger outcome of everything. I loved her spunk and determination. She is much stronger than she seems. She won't let her medical troubles be a setback for her. Then there's Rowena, who wants to be more outspoken like Victoria. She really has a hard time with it, but she does the best she can inside her shut down mind. She is in a dark place through this and even though you want to dislike her at times, you really do feel for her. Without getting her perspective she would have easily been a character you despise. Prudence is a great character and this really was centered around her. The secrets and scandal all come back to her and her family. I liked being in her head. It seems like she just accepts being a servant, but in reality she does anything but. As the story progresses she really comes into her own and I was cheering her on the whole way.

This is a time period where women don't really have rights. In a family like the Buxton's the women are expected to be well bred, proper, and marry into another wealthy family. Classes don't mix and it's unacceptable. The only way that Prudence was able to go to Summerset with Rowena and Victoria was as their Ladies Maid. She has always been treated as their equal so it is quite a shock for her. I loved getting to experience the lifestyle of the different classes and get to know so many different characters. I thought the writing was beautiful and the story was engaging. I think I am definitely a fan of historical fiction if they can all be like this. I am looking forward to continuing this series!!

About the author

TJ Brown is passionate about books, writing, history, dachshunds and mojitos. If she could go back in time, she would have traveled back to England, 1910, Paris, 1927 or Haight-Ashbury, 1967. She resides in the burbs of Portlandia, where she appreciates the weirdness, the microbreweries, hoodies, Voodoo Donuts and the rain.

Links: Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook

- Other books in the series on Goodreads -

A Bloom In Winter (Summerset Abbey #2) March 5, 2013
Spring Awakening (Summerset Abbey #3) August 6, 2013

In celebration of the launch of Summerset Abbey, the first in a trilogy, Teri is holding a book lovers contest. All you have to do to enter is preorder Summerset Abbey through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, or through your local independent bookstore and  then forward Teri the e-receipt to Teri (at) Contest runs from 1/3- 1/14. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on 1/15, the day Summerset Abbey comes out! Is that an awesome way to celebrate or what?

Winner (Sorry, US addresses only) can pick from:
--Kindle Fire HD, 16GB (
--Nook HD, 8GB (
--Kobo Vox, 8GB (


1 signed finished copy of Summerset Abbey by T.J. Brown (provided by the author)
US Only (Sorry)
Winner has 48 hours to respond or a new one will be chosen
I am not responsible for lost or damaged items 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out the other tour stops for other great posts and more chances to win!! 

Kicks Off

January 3rd - Fiktshun - Interview/Q&A

Week One

January 7th - Katie's Book Blog - Review and Interview/Q&A
January 8th - Letters Inside Out - Guest Post
January 9th - Stuck in YA Books - Guest Post
January 10th - Book Loving Mom - Review
January 11th - Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf - Guest Post

Week Two

January 21st - Chapter by Chapter - Guest Post
January 22nd - To Read or Not To Read - Review
January 23rd - In the Next Room - Interview/Q&A
January 24th - The Reading Date - Review
January 25th - Snowdrop Dreams of Books - Guest Post

Brought to you by Rockstar Book Tours


  1. I hadn't heard of this, but I love the setting and time period! It sounds like one I would really enjoy!

    1. I haven't really read a lot of historical fiction, but I loved this and I can't wait for more!

  2. This book sounds so good! I LOVE stuff like this!

    1. I don't typically read a lot of books like this, but I am so glad that I read this one. It's awesome!

  3. Lovely review. So glad that you enjoyed this read! Like you, I wish that all historical novels were as engaging and beautifully-written as this one!

    And thank you for being a part of the tour!

    1. Thank you so much for letting me take part in this tour! This was a fantastic book.

  4. Interesting!! I really like how the girls started as sisters, but then started drifting apart!! yummy.. secrets! hahah! Im not a fan of historical fic either, but i might enjoy this too! Lovely review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

    1. I loved how the story unfolded and OMG I was so wrong about the big reveal! I am almost never wrong about things and I loved that I was!

  5. You know, I don't read many HR either, but occasionally one will grab me. This one sounds good. I'm glad you liked it. The cover is pretty.

    1. This was beautifully written and I loved getting to know the characters from their own perspectives too. They are so different that you would really misinterpret them if you didn't get to know them personally I think.

  6. I don't really read many historical books either but this one sounds great! When there is romance, scandal, and mystery that is hard to figure out. I love when it isn't predictable. It would be so hard to have been a woman back then. I would have so been the shame of my proper family. lol

    1. The mystery and scandal were fabulous!! And the mystery threw me for a loop. I totally thought I had it all figured out way early on so I didn't notice the subtle signs telling me I was wrong.

  7. I'm not a big historical fan either, but I am happy to see that you still managed to get really into this one. The girls sound great and the story sounds pretty engrossing. So cool that you thought you had it figured out and were wrong, such a rare occurrence, score one for the author!

    1. Yes!! I was so happy that I was wrong. It's not often that it happens so it made me have major love for the author. Looking back now, if I hadn't been so convinced that I knew I would have picked up on the little things and perhaps figured out the real outcome. Maybe not though. It was hidden in there well.

  8. Like a lot of other commenters, I don't read a ton of historical fiction. And my least favorite is early-1900s. I don't know why!

    This does sound like a love book, though. I'm happy you enjoyed it!

  9. I don't read much historical fiction either but this sounds really good.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  10. I have yet to find that perfect Downton Abbey book, but if I win, I look forward to reading this!

  11. Cool! Thanks for the giveaway! I'm a big fan of historical books.

  12. This sounds like a good, solid read. :) I think Jenny reviewed this one this week too and she liked it like you did for the most part. :) Definitely will have to check it out!

  13. OOOH this one sounds awesome! I'm also not a very big historical fiction fan, but this one has definitely piqued my interest, especially with what you said about how awesome the characters sound! :D

    Awesome review!

  14. I have to be in the right mood to read this kind of book. Glad you enjoyed it.



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