The Secrets of Paper and Ink
Lindsay Harrel presents a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and finding the courage to write your own story.A year after the death of her abusive fiancé, domestic violence counselor Sophia Barrett finds returning to work too painful. She escapes to Cornwall, England--a place she's learned to love through the words of her favorite author--and finds a place to stay with the requirement that she help out in the bookstore underneath the room she's renting. Given her love of all things literary, it seems like the perfect place to find peace.Ginny Rose is an American living in Cornwall, sure that if she saves the bookstore she co-owns with her husband then she can save her marriage as well. Fighting to keep the first place she feels like she belongs, she brainstorms with her brother-in-law, William, and Sophia to try to keep the charming bookstore afloat.Two hundred years before, governess Emily Fairfax knew two things for certain: she wanted to be a published author, and she was in love with her childhood best friend. But he was a wealthy heir and well out of her league. Sophia discovers Emily's journals, and she and William embark on a mission to find out more about this mysterious and determined woman, all the while getting closer to each other as they get closer to the truth.The lives of the three women intertwine as each learns the power she has over the story of her life.

The Secrets of Paper and Ink Details

TitleThe Secrets of Paper and Ink
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 26th, 2019
PublisherThomas Nelson
ISBN-139780718075729
Rating
GenreFiction, Romance, Contemporary, Historical, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Christian, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Writing, Books About Books

The Secrets of Paper and Ink Review

  • Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
    January 1, 1970
    I felt such a connection to Sophia, She lost her husband and tried to lose herself in books. I just lost my only daughter and I try everyday to get lost in books. Sophia felt at home in a book store I to go to a book store on the weekends and feel at home. This book really was wrote for me. I loved all three ladies but Sophia was my hero. I gave this book 4.5 stars and I HIGHLY recommend it!Thanks to my best friend for giving me a copy of it, I will reread it again and again in hopes that I to w I felt such a connection to Sophia, She lost her husband and tried to lose herself in books. I just lost my only daughter and I try everyday to get lost in books. Sophia felt at home in a book store I to go to a book store on the weekends and feel at home. This book really was wrote for me. I loved all three ladies but Sophia was my hero. I gave this book 4.5 stars and I HIGHLY recommend it!Thanks to my best friend for giving me a copy of it, I will reread it again and again in hopes that I to will find myself again!
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  • Gemma
    January 1, 1970
    I'm all warm and fuzzy after reading this.What a lovely book. I found this well written and easy to follow. The different pov from different characters all flowed well together. The secret of Paper and Ink is a wonderful story of three women, total strangers, whos lives are deeply entwined. I loved the characters and didn't want to stop reading , desperate for the next piece of the puzzle to fall into place. The writing is so rich and deep in places i re read some chapters.I loved how It ended b I'm all warm and fuzzy after reading this.What a lovely book. I found this well written and easy to follow. The different pov from different characters all flowed well together. The secret of Paper and Ink is a wonderful story of three women, total strangers, whos lives are deeply entwined. I loved the characters and didn't want to stop reading , desperate for the next piece of the puzzle to fall into place. The writing is so rich and deep in places i re read some chapters.I loved how It ended but would love another book to follow on with their lives I will be looking out for more books from this author I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
    January 1, 1970
    Let me say first of all that, while Harrel’s books are more women’s fiction with a dash of romance, that dash is super well done. Romantic tension sparks off the page, and the tenderness of the romances on these pages made my heart ache at its beauty. If she ever wants to write a purely romantical novel just for fun, I will be first in line!However, I will also be first in line for any future women’s fiction novels Harrel delivers. I loved The Heart Between Us, but The Secrets of Paper and Ink s Let me say first of all that, while Harrel’s books are more women’s fiction with a dash of romance, that dash is super well done. Romantic tension sparks off the page, and the tenderness of the romances on these pages made my heart ache at its beauty. If she ever wants to write a purely romantical novel just for fun, I will be first in line!However, I will also be first in line for any future women’s fiction novels Harrel delivers. I loved The Heart Between Us, but The Secrets of Paper and Ink spoke to my heart and my soul. There’s something very special about this novel – a love letter to the healing power of books, a reminder that ‘happily ever after’ make look different than we expected it to, a peek at the messy-beautiful strength of women who have survived their own worst-case scenarios, and a beautiful picture of redemption, grace, and contentment. I am still sitting here, thinking about this story, and I don’t think it will leave me for quite some time.The ‘past timeline’ woven throughout the present is seamlessly done and absolutely captivating. I devoured every word of Emily’s story, as well as Sophia’s quest to separate its reality from fiction. The emotions grip your heart and hold it fast, both in Emily’s story and in Sophia’s & Ginny’s present-day narratives. All three women know what it feels like to suffer shattered dreams and to be uncertain if you’ll survive the aftermath. Their three-fold story in The Secrets of Paper and Ink gives hope to other weary souls in the same place in life … an acknowledgment that true restoration lies only in the One who writes our stories and that the dreams He dreams for us are so much greater than what we dare to dream for ourselves.The bookstore feels like a home away from home, even for the reader, a comforting setting that wraps us up in all the feels. The heroes are completely yummy – good guys who may not be perfect but their hearts are in the right place and their tender strength is a place of safety. (I wouldn’t complain AT ALL about a follow-up novel or novella with these characters. Just saying. In case Lindsay is reading this. Ahem.) The story itself has depth and dimension, not skirting over tough issues like abuse, infidelity, divorce, but also pouring out grace and mercy to fill in the broken places without becoming trite or preachy.Bottom Line: I realize we’re only at the end of February, but The Secrets of Paper and Ink will definitely be on my ‘best of 2019’ list in December. The characters have firmly taken up residence in my heart, and their story is still lingering there as well. The setting is everything-Jane-Austen-England-bookstore delightful, and it makes me want to book my own trip to live above a bookstore and work there during my stay. A creative, tender, and masterfully done story of life, love, letting go, and truly living.(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)first seen at Reading Is My SuperPower/a>
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  • R.J. Rodda
    January 1, 1970
    I would love to visit the bookshop in this book - it has a loft where you can read and delicious baked goods as well as the enticing bonuses - a free muffin if you buy a book - yum! The bookshop aside, what this book is actually about is the journeys of three very different women. I enjoyed the historical section the best - Emily and Edward’s story was romantic and sad and mostly lovely. There are a lot of messages Thank overtly stated in this text - don’t victim blame; pursue what makes you hap I would love to visit the bookshop in this book - it has a loft where you can read and delicious baked goods as well as the enticing bonuses - a free muffin if you buy a book - yum! The bookshop aside, what this book is actually about is the journeys of three very different women. I enjoyed the historical section the best - Emily and Edward’s story was romantic and sad and mostly lovely. There are a lot of messages Thank overtly stated in this text - don’t victim blame; pursue what makes you happy; make good choices; tell your own story - write it down; practice self-care; don’t believe lies about yourself; don’t believe the lies about yourself other people say; remember abusers are responsible for their abuse etc. The three women in this text embrace these ideas and watch their lives change. There are Christian references here also but they are more veiled. I’d be curious to know how much a reader without a Christian background understood them and if they found the references a bit jarring because even I did (except Emily’s section 🙂 that worked a bit better because she is a clergyman’s daughter). William in particular makes some somewhat oblique comments about his faith but doesn’t seem very concerned about what Sophie believes although by the end she sort of slips back into her childhood faith partly because of his influence and Emily’s. There is also this quote which bears discussion - “Moving forward and healing didn’t come from marching through life alone, determined to succeed with no help. And it didn’t come from wallowing in her shame. It didn’t even come from standing in her own strength. It meant taking the hand of a Savior and letting him lead her wherever that might be”. Note the preposition “A” Savior” not “THE” Savior and also note this the only overt mention of the idea of a Savior which as a Christian I presume is supposed to mean Christ but as a reader IDK 🤷🏼‍♀️ I literally do not know what this means based solely on my reading of the text unless the Savior referred to is William. In short I find this an interesting attempt by the author to appeal to both the secular women’s fiction market and the Christian. Overall this is the kind of novel that delivers the neat cheerful romantic ending that you expect. It’s an easy to read, clean, light romantic women’s fiction that meshes with modern sensibilities quite well.I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    The Secrets of Paper and Ink is a charming story, combing the stories of three very strong women as they face the challenges of love, family, heartbreak, and following their dreams.Sophia Barrett is still wrestling with conflicting feelings after the death of her abusive fiancé. After a return to work goes badly, she escapes to the setting of her favourite novels, Cornwall, England. There she meets fellow American, Ginny Rose who is trying to save her bookstore in the wake of her husband’s aband The Secrets of Paper and Ink is a charming story, combing the stories of three very strong women as they face the challenges of love, family, heartbreak, and following their dreams.Sophia Barrett is still wrestling with conflicting feelings after the death of her abusive fiancé. After a return to work goes badly, she escapes to the setting of her favourite novels, Cornwall, England. There she meets fellow American, Ginny Rose who is trying to save her bookstore in the wake of her husband’s abandonment. Together, Ginny and Sophia stumble upon the journal of Emily Fairfax, who dreams of becoming a published author and who loves her childhood friend, a man much above her station and someone she could never marry. As Ginny and Sophia try to track down the history of Emily and determine if hers was a true story, they must each determine what they want for their futures and heal from the traumas of the past. I greatly enjoyed The Secrets of Paper and Ink and loved being swept away to another time and place. The three stories captured in this novel are beautifully interwoven, their stories coming together seamlessly. Ginny and Sophia’s sections are written in third person, while Emily’s sections are included as her journal entries. While each of the three women is dealing with different challenges and has a different dream for the future, their strength, determination and resilience is universal. While the focus of The Secrets of Paper and Ink is the journeys of the three women and the mystery behind Emily’s identity, there is also time within the story for romance. While each relationship progresses very differently and at a different pace, there are three romantic storylines to enjoy within the book. The Secrets of Paper and Ink is one part romance, one part mystery and one part story of redemption and overcoming challenges, of faith, friendship and love. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library
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  • Carrie Turansky
    January 1, 1970
    I listened to the audio version and highly recommend it! Lovely setting, touching story, very well done.
  • Heidi Chiavaroli
    January 1, 1970
    From Endorsement:In a delightful weaving of past and present, Lindsay Harrel creates authentic characters around a moving story that both inspires and encourages. The Secrets of Paper and Ink is about broken people, second chances, hope, and—my personal favorite—the incredible power of story.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars. Pathetic female characters, too predictable, horrible audio performance. Next.
  • Abby Breuklander
    January 1, 1970
    I can't even put into words how much I love this story! Whether we realize it yet or not each one of us has a story to tell. Every single day that we've lived is full of experiences to share with others, both the good and the bad. Each one is a piece that only God could write, usually involving moments that can completely take us by surprise and steal our breath away. These moments may not be just for us alone either, we never know who God has waiting in the wings to bring into our lives and joi I can't even put into words how much I love this story! Whether we realize it yet or not each one of us has a story to tell. Every single day that we've lived is full of experiences to share with others, both the good and the bad. Each one is a piece that only God could write, usually involving moments that can completely take us by surprise and steal our breath away. These moments may not be just for us alone either, we never know who God has waiting in the wings to bring into our lives and join into our story, adding to each other's journeys. We can all learn from each other. We may not see the whole picture yet, but He sure does. And that's the best Happily Ever After imaginable.
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    “...I knew what I needed to do. ‘I surrender.’ The words returned to me on the wind. Opening my arms wide,I twirled in the radiant sunlight...a new sense of purpose burning in my soul.”I really enjoyed this read...and I found it fairly easy to follow the three main characters throughout their journey in life. The reader becomes the characters...rooting for their victories and empathizing in their failures. Life doesn’t go the way we expect or plan, but our Creator knows what is best. God is the “...I knew what I needed to do. ‘I surrender.’ The words returned to me on the wind. Opening my arms wide,I twirled in the radiant sunlight...a new sense of purpose burning in my soul.”I really enjoyed this read...and I found it fairly easy to follow the three main characters throughout their journey in life. The reader becomes the characters...rooting for their victories and empathizing in their failures. Life doesn’t go the way we expect or plan, but our Creator knows what is best. God is the master storyteller, and the author brings that through so well in the pages of this book.What we want...and what God wants for us don’t always line up...who knows best what we need?? That’s really the question posed in the stories of these three women as they are woven together in time and friendship. Go buy this book...and let the Master storyteller write yours! “Life is more than a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s about the countless moments woven in between the lines, the growth, the pruning.”“Others might call it fate or karma. But I think it’s God. He’s been directing our steps this whole time, Ginny. Even when we didn’t believe.”I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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  • Hallie Szott
    January 1, 1970
    4.5Lindsay Harrel’s The Secrets of Paper and Ink, with its bookstore setting and classic-novel references, is the perfect novel for a bookish reader.While still in the process of healing, Sophia Barrett travels to Cornwall, England and begins to work in a bookstore. Here, she meets bookstore owner Ginny Rose and discovers the journal of governess Emily Fairfax. The stories of these three women intertwine as they sort through dreams and loves, heartaches and hopes, both past and future. Though th 4.5Lindsay Harrel’s The Secrets of Paper and Ink, with its bookstore setting and classic-novel references, is the perfect novel for a bookish reader.While still in the process of healing, Sophia Barrett travels to Cornwall, England and begins to work in a bookstore. Here, she meets bookstore owner Ginny Rose and discovers the journal of governess Emily Fairfax. The stories of these three women intertwine as they sort through dreams and loves, heartaches and hopes, both past and future. Though they each have different circumstances in which to grow, they exhibit remarkable traits, like courage, strength, and determination, through it all.Harrel expertly blends mystery, romance, and personal growth in The Secrets of Paper and Ink, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a story that I have a feeling will stick with me for a while, and I highly recommend it.This review is also posted on Hallie Reads.Thanks to Celebrate Lit, I received a complimentary copy of The Secrets of Paper and Ink and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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  • Abbi
    January 1, 1970
    When I read this author’s previous book last year I was absolutely blown away! It was one of my absolute favorite reads from 2018 and the story stuck with me the way few books do. So to say that this book was one of my most anticipated reads for this year would be an understatement! And this book lived up to and exceeded my every expectation! It was beautiful and amazing and I was completely lost in this fictional world from beginning to end. I loved everything. The characters were wonderfully w When I read this author’s previous book last year I was absolutely blown away! It was one of my absolute favorite reads from 2018 and the story stuck with me the way few books do. So to say that this book was one of my most anticipated reads for this year would be an understatement! And this book lived up to and exceeded my every expectation! It was beautiful and amazing and I was completely lost in this fictional world from beginning to end. I loved everything. The characters were wonderfully written in such a way that I felt their emotions along with them. And I dare you to find a more utterly charming setting than a bookstore in England!There were so many things that in the hands of others could have gone horribly wrong, having essentially three stories in one, doing the time split, dealing with difficult subjects, but Lindsay Harrel wove it all seamlessly into this beautiful story!Each of the three heroine’s stories were unique but still connected and it never felt like anything was lacking. I was equally invested in the lives of all three of them, never rushing through one to get back to another. Also the travel between the present day to the 1800’s was never jarring, it just all flowed together. And she handled the hard topics of things like abuse and unfaithfulness with grace and respect.I loved watching each of these women grow, discovering more about themselves and God. And it was really cool to see the way God used them to help each other in ways only He could have orchestrated.I am a die-hard romance lover but with this author’s books I never feel like romance is the main purpose of the story, and to be honest I love the way she does it. The romance is there, and it’s happy sigh worthy material, it’s just that the actual story, the characters journey, is what drives the book forward. And the romance just quietly slips in, joining the flow of the story.In short this book was everything I wanted it to be and so much more! It’s definitely going to be one of my top books for this year and I can already tell it’s going to stick with me just like the previous novel.I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Andi
    January 1, 1970
    I'm beginning to think that time-slip novels are my favorites, which this one is. This is classified as Women's Fiction and it is, but it also has a mystery woven throughout.I adored the bookstore with it's cozy C.S. Lewis feel that just makes you want to pull up a chair and enjoy all the cozy bookish feels.I could identify with both Sophia and Ginny having personally experienced the pain that both of these women did in the book.Healing from domestic violence is different for each person and Ms. I'm beginning to think that time-slip novels are my favorites, which this one is. This is classified as Women's Fiction and it is, but it also has a mystery woven throughout.I adored the bookstore with it's cozy C.S. Lewis feel that just makes you want to pull up a chair and enjoy all the cozy bookish feels.I could identify with both Sophia and Ginny having personally experienced the pain that both of these women did in the book.Healing from domestic violence is different for each person and Ms. Harrell portray's both the pain and the process realistically. At the beginning of my healing process remarriage was the furthest thing from my mind. In fact I didn't want anything to do with men. But God had a different plan. He placed Godly men around me that made me feel safe, and I learned to trust again. He also gave me girlfriend's much like both Sophia and Ginny were to each other. Strong women friends experiencing the same pain are a balm to the broken heart when going through the healing process. I loved how real and raw this story was. It was so real that memories of my own healing flooded my mind. I appreciate Ms. Harrell tackling a story with the theme of domestic violence and authentically showing healing and forgiveness. I can't recommend this book enough!
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  • Jan
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. So here goes … first off, I loved the cover and to be honest it was what drew me to the book. Unfortunately the story did not stack up to the cover and it certainly did not wow me like most of the other reviewers. It was a pleasant enough read and I enjoyed the story line of Sophie and William trying to uncover the mystery of Emily. But overall I found it a tad too sentimental and predictable. And I felt I received a copy of this from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. So here goes … first off, I loved the cover and to be honest it was what drew me to the book. Unfortunately the story did not stack up to the cover and it certainly did not wow me like most of the other reviewers. It was a pleasant enough read and I enjoyed the story line of Sophie and William trying to uncover the mystery of Emily. But overall I found it a tad too sentimental and predictable. And I felt the Christian message at the end was out of the blue and awkward. 2.5 stars from me.
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  • Caitlyn Santi
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! What an amazing novel! Fair warning: though I will try my best there is no way this review will even come close to doing this book justice! I recently read this author's previous novel The Heart Between Us and loved it, so needless to say that made me even more excited to read this new one. This book sucked me in on page one and didn't let me go. I was delightfully surprised to discover that this is in fact a time-slip novel (which is one of my favorite things!) I instantly connected with ( Wow! What an amazing novel! Fair warning: though I will try my best there is no way this review will even come close to doing this book justice! I recently read this author's previous novel The Heart Between Us and loved it, so needless to say that made me even more excited to read this new one. This book sucked me in on page one and didn't let me go. I was delightfully surprised to discover that this is in fact a time-slip novel (which is one of my favorite things!) I instantly connected with (and rooted for!) present day characters Sophia and Ginny, as well the historical character Emily, and the pages flew because I just had to know what would happen next! As with her previous novel The Heart Between Us, Lindsay Harrel takes the reader on a journey through the pages of this book and once again I found myself inspired and moved by the lessons I learned from this story! The message of finding our identity in Whose we are was so profoundly touching that it flooded my heart with renewed peace and nearly brought tears of joy to my eyes! I loved this book SO much! The Secrets of Paper and Ink beautifully depicts the power of words and story to change people's perspectives and even their lives, something every reader can relate to! The Secrets of Paper and Ink gave me all the feels and I didn't want it to end, but the ending was so incredibly well done that I turned the final page with a huge grin on my face and a sigh of happiness on my lips! In short, I adored every moment of this book and will absolutely be reading it again in the future! The Secrets of Paper and Ink will definitely be on my list of favorite reads of 2019! And I can't wait to see what else this author has in store for us! I highly recommend that you do yourself a favor and buy a book by Lindsay Harrel, you won't be sorry! (5 Stars!)I received an ebook copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit team. Which did not influence my review in any way, all thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.
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  • Laura//lauralovestoread Gelinas
    January 1, 1970
    This was a sweet story of three women, brought together by paper and ink. 3.5 stars for Secrets of Paper and Ink!Sophia Barrett, still traumatized from her past, decides to take a break from life in America and put her counseling career on hold, while she travels to Cornwall, England. Seeking a way to bide her time there, she finds room an board at a charming bookstore, and meets the owner, Ginny Rose. Ginny has her own set of woes as she is struggling to pick up the pieces after her husband aba This was a sweet story of three women, brought together by paper and ink. 3.5 stars for Secrets of Paper and Ink!Sophia Barrett, still traumatized from her past, decides to take a break from life in America and put her counseling career on hold, while she travels to Cornwall, England. Seeking a way to bide her time there, she finds room an board at a charming bookstore, and meets the owner, Ginny Rose. Ginny has her own set of woes as she is struggling to pick up the pieces after her husband abandons their marriage, and leaves her to financial ruin along with the bookstore she never wanted a part of. It is here that the two women meet, and together they form a friendship that leads to the secrets in paper and ink. Through a journal that was discovered among the shelves of the bookstore, and they are drawn into the life and times of Emily Fairfax. A governess living in Cornwall more than 150 years ago. This story started out strong for me, and I did enjoy all three takes on the women, and what their struggles were. Each woman, trying to build a life for themselves and to be independent, yet the possibilities of romance abounds. Yet it fell flat in some areas so I’m settling on 3.5 stars. *thank you to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for this complimentary digital copy. Opinions are my own.
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  • Molly Jaber (Cover To Cover Cafe)
    January 1, 1970
    My first Lindsay Harrel novel and most definitely will not be my last! She has a beautiful talent for creating characters that will make you feel like family, and a plot line that is full of faith and hope.I wasn’t sure what I would gain from this book, at first. It’s got emotional triggers, as someone who has gone through the emotional domestic abuse in the past. But, the way Harrel weaved the pain and heartache, the hope and faith, together, she created a novel that completely engulfed me. I l My first Lindsay Harrel novel and most definitely will not be my last! She has a beautiful talent for creating characters that will make you feel like family, and a plot line that is full of faith and hope.I wasn’t sure what I would gain from this book, at first. It’s got emotional triggers, as someone who has gone through the emotional domestic abuse in the past. But, the way Harrel weaved the pain and heartache, the hope and faith, together, she created a novel that completely engulfed me. I loved that. I gained more than just a new author to read. I gained friends in the characters, I gained knowledge of letting go of the past and moving forward.Sophia and William were two characters that will forever be with me. As they work together to save Ginny’s bookstore, as Sophia reads the words of Emily Fairfax through her journal entries, I was pulled into the sweeping novel and wasn’t set free until the last page was reached. The plot line was unique and absolutely breathtaking!If you are looking for a tenderly written, powerfully moving novel, then grab this one up. It’s emotional, it’s hopeful, it’s definitely one to recommend to all. Five stars, two thumbs and hats off to an author whom will be on my auto buy list from now on! Well done, Lindsay Harrel. Well done!*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper Collins (Thomas Nelson) and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsThe Secrets of Paper and Ink is a delightful and heartwarming story. Ms. Harrel has given us three heroines to love. Sophia travels to Cornwall, on a journey of healing and self-discovery. She quickly makes friends with Ginny and her brother-in-law, William. Her discovery of an old journal leads them on a quest to uncover the secrets of its mysterious author, Emily Fairfax. Ms. Harrel masterfully entwines this quest with Sophia's own emotional journey. Serious topics of abuse and infide 4.5 starsThe Secrets of Paper and Ink is a delightful and heartwarming story. Ms. Harrel has given us three heroines to love. Sophia travels to Cornwall, on a journey of healing and self-discovery. She quickly makes friends with Ginny and her brother-in-law, William. Her discovery of an old journal leads them on a quest to uncover the secrets of its mysterious author, Emily Fairfax. Ms. Harrel masterfully entwines this quest with Sophia's own emotional journey. Serious topics of abuse and infidelity are handled with care as all three women find that their truth, self-worth and happiness are not defined by their romantic or familial relationships, but in their relationship with God.While there are many serious moments, there are also many light-hearted and swoon-worthy ones as well. Lindsay Harrel's beautiful descriptions of Cornwall appeal to the senses, fully immersing her readers into the story. The many book references will appeal to any book-nerd's heart. While I loved the fictional journey to Cornwall, it is the spiritual journey of Ms. Harrel's heroines that spoke most to my heart.A few of my favorite quotes: "if we give up hope, we'll never discover the ocean of possibility spread before us, or what it could hold."" We can have all the head knowledge in the world, but our hearts are often what lead us toward destruction-or healing.""Life is more than a beginning, a middle and an end. It's about the countless moments woven in between the lines, the growth, the pruning."I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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  • Toni Shiloh
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed The Secrets of Paper and Ink! Following the three ladies in their tales kept the pages turning and my mind engaged as I waited to see how the book would end. I would recommend others read this book.
  • Nora St Laurent
    January 1, 1970
    I’m thrilled and tickled when a novel is filled with things I love. This one combines passionate book people, books, bookstores, creativity, caring people and some scenes are at a lovely B & B. I instantly connected with these characters and their situations as each seeks healing and hope in unexpected places.This authors third novel brings together a heart-warming story filled women learning what love is, what being loved looks like, friendships is important, and there are different ways to I’m thrilled and tickled when a novel is filled with things I love. This one combines passionate book people, books, bookstores, creativity, caring people and some scenes are at a lovely B & B. I instantly connected with these characters and their situations as each seeks healing and hope in unexpected places.This authors third novel brings together a heart-warming story filled women learning what love is, what being loved looks like, friendships is important, and there are different ways to heal. In that they discover valuable truths like: “your past doesn’t define you.” Two gifted women combine their talents to help Ginny re-imagine her bookstore in hopes of increased sales. Each woman faces hard times with relationships issues, and pain as they seek forgiveness for others, themselves all the while trying to find a place to call home.This is an engaging time-slip story that had me glued to each page as the plot unfolds. In current time Sophia is dealing with the loss of her spouse and Ginny bookstore owner was struggling to make since of her wayward husband who left her to find himself; says he’ll be back.The historical side of the story takes place in Cornwell, England 1800’s with main characters Emily a teacher/governess and Edward her childhood friend. She’s the Pastor’s daughter and Edward is above her station in life destine to marry a woman in the same social circles or better. I loved the fact that Emily was a woman who dared to follow her dreams even if that dream involved working in a male dominated field and even when everyone around her thought she was crazy. A poor woman pursuing a man’s career. Unheard of. Emily can’t help but pour out her story on blank pages. She is destine to write. She describes, …” I walked to my room, picked up my pen and poured my heart into the only thing that would ever be my salvation.”Sophia reads Emily’s words, describes them to Ginny,” It’s one of love and loss, and heartache and bravery and all kinds of things that hit me right her.” She thumped her heart.”Sophia is dealing with her own issues. Her friend Joy explains, “Anyone of us can become a victim, Sophia. Abuse does not discriminate, and neither do abusers.”Sophia’s best friend and fellow therapist continues, “When you and David got together, he tried to mold you into the person he wanted you to be. He trapped the real Sophia. She’s been buried for so long, you don’t remember who she is. I think you get little glimpses of her….” But she is too ashamed to think about it all.Bravo to this new favorite author pf mine. I loved how she brilliantly combines a love story from the past (real or imagined – Sophia is on a mission to find out) combined with two women in current time seeking healing from their own personal relationship issues. These characters and the story are rich; it’s a great read for fun and/or would make a wonderful book club pick. I highly recommend it.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”Nora St. LaurentTBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.orgThe Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com Book Fun Magazine https://www.bookfun.org/page/past-iss...
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel is my first novel by this author--but I am looking forward to more of her books. This book is a beautiful weaving of the past and present as we read the story of three women's lives. Sophia Barrett is a trained counselor who realizes she needs to face her own pain and past before she can continue to help other women.Ginny Rose is a bookstore owner in England facing her own tough relationship challenges who also needs to help save her dying bookstore The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel is my first novel by this author--but I am looking forward to more of her books. This book is a beautiful weaving of the past and present as we read the story of three women's lives. Sophia Barrett is a trained counselor who realizes she needs to face her own pain and past before she can continue to help other women.Ginny Rose is a bookstore owner in England facing her own tough relationship challenges who also needs to help save her dying bookstore and rents a room to Sophia for the summer.Sophia goes to England and lives above the bookstore hoping to spend time writing out her story to find healing during a break from her job. As she helps Ginny sort through books one day, she discovers a notebook with journal entries from Emily Fairfax, which sets the ladies on a search to solve a mystery.I enjoyed reading The Secrets of Paper and Ink so much. Sophia's history does contain some abuse and honestly that abuse was similar to what I went through in a relationship. It has been long enough ago for me that it didn't create any ptsd triggers but it may for some women. However, in spite of that possibility, I think this book would be healing for many women.--to feel like there is someone out there who understands what it is like. I think her portrayal of Sophia's thought life and stresses was spot on. In the end, it is nice to see Sophia get the healing she needed. I like that Harrel also has a page in back on how to get help if you are someone in an abusive situation. The Secrets of Paper and Ink is more of a contemporary chick lit novel than romance but there is some romance within the story. I especially like the friendship that forms between Sophia and Ginny. There are some good discussion questions at the end of the book. I read a good fiction book with a counselor when I was healing from my own difficult situation. This book could be especially useful in that situation. At the same time, it is just a good read for any woman looking for one.I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.
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  • Carole Jarvis
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewed at The Power of Words: https://bit.ly/2Ed8zBLThe Secrets of Paper and Ink – a delightful novel with a clever title that leads to a most pleasurable reading experience! This story, by new-to-me author Lindsay Harrel, has three elements that I greatly love – the genre is women’s fiction (with a dual timeline), the setting is British (Cornwall, England), and bookish elements are woven throughout (cozy bookshop, references to classics, and a most appealing literature professor). This well-w Reviewed at The Power of Words: https://bit.ly/2Ed8zBLThe Secrets of Paper and Ink – a delightful novel with a clever title that leads to a most pleasurable reading experience! This story, by new-to-me author Lindsay Harrel, has three elements that I greatly love – the genre is women’s fiction (with a dual timeline), the setting is British (Cornwall, England), and bookish elements are woven throughout (cozy bookshop, references to classics, and a most appealing literature professor). This well-written story drew me in from the first page and I wish for more like it in the Christian fiction genre.The Secrets of Paper and Ink is a story of hope, grace, and healing, both emotional and spiritual. The characters are flawed and so easily relatable. Sophia and Ginny become friends almost instantly, soon discovering a shared past of broken relationships. I easily imagined myself in Ginny’s bookshop in Cornwall and became invested in her desire to save it. Sophia’s discovery of Emily’s journals added even more richness to the story. Emily, who also lived in Cornwall 150 years earlier, had a passion to write at a time when it wasn’t acceptable for a woman to be published, at least under her own name. I loved the creative way Emily’s story connected with the present-day characters.The author handles themes of abuse and infidelity with skill and effectiveness, bringing a touch of realism to the lingering effects, guilt, self-blame, and denial. At its heart, this is a story of hope, grace, and second chances. The conclusion is great, with a few surprise twists along the way. I look forward to more of Lindsay Harrel’s writing. Highly recommended.I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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  • Courtney Clark
    January 1, 1970
    What’s better than books? Books with bookish characters, of course!The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Linsday Harrel fits this description wonderfully. From the bookish nature of one of the heroines, Sophia, to the delightful English village & bookstore setting, this novel encapsulates important themes within a charming environment to deliver its message of healing with care.The Secrets of Paper and Ink is a delightful women’s fiction novel with a literary bent, historical threads, a little rom What’s better than books? Books with bookish characters, of course!The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Linsday Harrel fits this description wonderfully. From the bookish nature of one of the heroines, Sophia, to the delightful English village & bookstore setting, this novel encapsulates important themes within a charming environment to deliver its message of healing with care.The Secrets of Paper and Ink is a delightful women’s fiction novel with a literary bent, historical threads, a little romance, and a message of identity. The main characters, 3 women whose stories span a century, have unique situations on the surface, but all are searching for identity in something or someone. And the setting!!!!! I really, really want to visit Cornwall now. Specifically, the ocean or coastline there. 😉Sophia and Ginny, in the present timeline, alternate points of view with an intriguing Emily, the historical heroine whose “first person” journal entries intersect and intertwine with theirs. I found the earlier time period was just as captivating and interesting as the present. I would love to see more from Lindsay Harrel with a historical setting!From being surrounded by books to the nods to literature and a bookworm Sophia (and William!!!), Harrel uses the theme of story to further connect the characters and express life as an ever-growing experience; life as a unique story that is in the process of the telling. And, whose Author is all-knowing even when trials come on the next “page”.Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.
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  • Regina
    January 1, 1970
    I went into this totally blind and apprehensively, expecting it to be a semi-racy romance. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be Christian fiction. No sir, no smut here! The plot was predictable, perfectly so, but I did enjoy it.
  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    What a well written, beautiful story, about three incredible women. Ms. Harrel has a special way of weaving two couples from the present and the past, and a flawless way of connecting them.This story is about love, forgiveness and faith and it is book-ended by romance.I picked up The Secrets of Paper and Ink and it grabbed me by the heartstrings from the first page. I could not put it down. For me this was a very emotional read. Often I found my self in tears. Ms. Harrel does an excellent job of What a well written, beautiful story, about three incredible women. Ms. Harrel has a special way of weaving two couples from the present and the past, and a flawless way of connecting them.This story is about love, forgiveness and faith and it is book-ended by romance.I picked up The Secrets of Paper and Ink and it grabbed me by the heartstrings from the first page. I could not put it down. For me this was a very emotional read. Often I found my self in tears. Ms. Harrel does an excellent job of covering some heavy topics in this story. From Sophia's domestic violence, from a prior abusive fiance, Ginny's abandonment and husband's unfaithfulness, and Emily Fairfax, a Victorian governess from Cornwall England, who knew two things. She wanted to become a published writer and she was in love with her childhood best friend, who was an heir and well above her station in life. All three of these ladies struggled with adequacy issues. For me this book was perfection. It had several of my favorite things. It takes place in England, it is about a book store and old books, There is the mystery of a personal journal, published or not, that is the question. Solving this mystery and putting the puzzle pieces together. Also Ginny's obsession with her stress baking and desire to go to Culinary School. There is a quote from Emily at the end of the book,“Today, I choose not to leave Emily Fairfax behind but to take her with me as I forge on through life, allowing my experiences and the Light within to shine ever brighter. For I am not the sum total of my experiences. I am much, much more because the Light has claimed me. I started writing because I though it would save me, but ultimately it is not our deeds that have such power. For we can never do enough with only our own strength or even the borrowed strength of other people. It is to another strength we must look, to first build and then to sustain us.”I don't know if I did this book justice with my review. It was hard to put into words the emotions it evoked in me. But I truly enjoyed it and believe you will too.I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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  • Martha
    January 1, 1970
    I don't know that I have read a book that spoke to me as deeply as this one. It is hard to even describe it. I was sitting in a public place, reading and was struggling to hold back tears. For me, that is something that meant it touched me somewhere beyond the surface. I loved the story, both the modern and historical. The author did an incredible job of capturing the novel location, but also the hard topics that she touched on. Domestic Violence, abandonment, and discovering oneself all are pac I don't know that I have read a book that spoke to me as deeply as this one. It is hard to even describe it. I was sitting in a public place, reading and was struggling to hold back tears. For me, that is something that meant it touched me somewhere beyond the surface. I loved the story, both the modern and historical. The author did an incredible job of capturing the novel location, but also the hard topics that she touched on. Domestic Violence, abandonment, and discovering oneself all are packaged in this book, but don't assume this is a heavy story. It is one of those books that you will want to give as gifts to other book lovers. This book is to be released Feb. 26, 2019! I would highly recommend it. I obtained this book from the publisher through NetGalley. The opinions contained are my own. 
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  • Chautona Havig
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve never read anything by Lindsay Harrel, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when The Secrets of Paper and Ink arrived. It hinted at women’s fiction, romance, historical mystery… so many things. Could an author really meld such diverse topics and ideas into something I’d love?In a word, yes.Lindsay Harrel takes the reader on an emotional journey of rejection, self-discovery, brokenness, surrender, and healing.She does all this with a skillful pen that not only weaves a light mystery through the p I’ve never read anything by Lindsay Harrel, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when The Secrets of Paper and Ink arrived. It hinted at women’s fiction, romance, historical mystery… so many things. Could an author really meld such diverse topics and ideas into something I’d love?In a word, yes.Lindsay Harrel takes the reader on an emotional journey of rejection, self-discovery, brokenness, surrender, and healing.She does all this with a skillful pen that not only weaves a light mystery through the pages but keeps you guessing even as she’s given you everything.When each major (and some minor) character appears on the page, you already know his or her story. You’re aware of how their pasts play into their presents, and what the outcome will be—sort of.You know who this woman from the past is. In fact, you even know what’ll happen—for the most part.Sophie, Ginny, William, Garret, Steven, even Hugh (?)… we know the journey each must take, and we suspect who will and won’t. Ms. Harrel doesn’t stop with the inevitable. After all, we each have volition, and she gives her characters that as well. As each character’s life plays out on the page, surprises emerge… Just like in real life.The plot and subplots of The Secrets of Paper and Ink—compelling.Ms. Harrel wove the different plots and time periods together so beautifully, that by the end of the story, I felt as if I’d read just one story instead of several. Everything had meaning to the entire book, and when I finished, my heart ached. I didn’t want to say goodbye.Add to that, beautiful writing, and you’ve got a winner.Only once or twice did I see something I wondered if it was Britishly correct. For the most part, the Brits felt British to this American reader, and the Americans seemed perfectly American. Ginny was the only one who didn’t fit in either world exactly, and that’s just as it should be.Beautiful prose that never turned purple at all, lovely descriptions that didn’t weigh down the story, and authentic dialogue that made each individual character come alive—what’s not to love?When I requested a review copy of The Secrets of Paper and Ink, I really didn’t know what to expect. However, I like to try new authors and see what they have to offer.As I said, this was my first book by Lindsay Harrel. It won’t be my last. And it’s been plopped on my top ten list for 2019.I should throw out a caveat, however.Ms. Harrel writes of realistic people who make really stupid decisions sometimes. Not once is sin ever glorified, but these very human characters make wrong decisions—even the Christian ones. They repent, yes, but not with overly grandiose protestations and prostrations. It’s real repentance that says, “I’m turning away and going this way.” Except with actions instead of words.The way Ms. Harrel resolves these messes couldn’t be more beautiful, and I loved reading it, but there’s the warning if that bothers you.Recommended for both contemporary and historical fiction lovers as well as people who like a light mystery with no murder or gruesomeness. If you love Doc Martin, you’ll likely want to grab this book.
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  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel takes readers on a journey to Cornwall. Sophia Barrett is a women’s counselor in Phoenix, Arizona. Her abusive husband died over a year ago and Sophia has spent the last three months recovering from a breakdown. Sophia’s first patient turns out to be an abusive victim which causes her to flee. Needing to find a way to move forward, Sophia decides a change a venue is needed and heads to Cornwall, England. She fell in love with the area through the wo The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel takes readers on a journey to Cornwall. Sophia Barrett is a women’s counselor in Phoenix, Arizona. Her abusive husband died over a year ago and Sophia has spent the last three months recovering from a breakdown. Sophia’s first patient turns out to be an abusive victim which causes her to flee. Needing to find a way to move forward, Sophia decides a change a venue is needed and heads to Cornwall, England. She fell in love with the area through the works of her favorite author, Robert Appleton. Sophia is living in the flat over Rosebud Books owned by Ginny Rose and her estranged husband, Garrett. As part of the rental agreement, Sophia agrees to work part-time in the store which is a perfect fit for Sophia with her love of literature. Ginny Rose left Harvard to follow Garrett Rose to Port Willis, Cornwall, England. It had always been Garrett’s dream to open a bookstore and Sophia helped him achieve it. Then six months ago, Garrett left to find himself and Ginny is struggling to keep the shop open. Ginny is positive that Garrett will return to her and she wants to make sure the bookstore is there for him. Sophia immediately has some ideas to help increase traffic into the store and their website. While sorting through the books in the store, Sophia finds an old journal belonging to Emily Fairfax. In the 1850s, Emily lost her father and became a governess. Emily spends her spare time writing stories and dreaming of becoming a published author. She grew up with Edward Elliott and was deeply in love with him. However, Edward was the oldest son and heir who is expected to marry a society lady. Sophia wants to learn more about Emily and enlists the help of Ginny’s literature professor brother-in-law, William. Sophia grows close to William while following Emily’s journey, but she is afraid to fall in love again. Just when things are looking up for Ginny, it looks like she will lose it all. How will the stories of these three women play out?The Secrets of Paper and Ink is charming tale that combines the stories of three woman. We get to see them overcome pain and loss to move forward as stronger, fulfilled women. The authors flowery descriptions of Cornwall transported me to the area. I like how the three stories are woven together into one lovely story. While Sophia and Ginny’s section are told in the third person, Emily’s journal entries are her personal accounts (first person). The Christian element is light but pivotal. It is important to have faith and realize that only One person is truly in charge. The Secrets of Paper and Ink is well-written with thoughtful pacing. We get to see women overcoming adversity and taking charge of their lives. The romance is light and sweetly knitted into each ladies’ tale. I appreciated how the story comes together with a heartwarming ending. The Secrets of Paper and Ink is a perfect for those readers who like to read women’s fiction and watch romantic movies.
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  • Carla Johnson-Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    The Secrets of Paper and Ink is a story of three strong woman, who have all suffered serious heartbreak. How they deal with it, heal from it, and move on in life is what this book is all about. Sophia Barrett is still dealing with her feelings after the death of her abusive fiancé. After taking several months off from work, she returns only to suffer another breakdown. She decides she needs a change of scenery and escapes to Cornwall, England, the setting of books written by her favourite author The Secrets of Paper and Ink is a story of three strong woman, who have all suffered serious heartbreak. How they deal with it, heal from it, and move on in life is what this book is all about. Sophia Barrett is still dealing with her feelings after the death of her abusive fiancé. After taking several months off from work, she returns only to suffer another breakdown. She decides she needs a change of scenery and escapes to Cornwall, England, the setting of books written by her favourite author. It turns out the temporary job and home she has taken for three months is living above and working in an almost bankrupt bookstore. The bookstore is owned by fellow American Ginny Rose, whose husband, Garrett, cleaned out the bank account and went off to London to find himself. Six months later, he informs her he has found someone else and wants a divorce. Ginny and Sophia work tirelessly with the help of Stephen (Garrett's brother) and Garrett's best friend to save the bookstore and make a go of it. While all this is going on, Sophia has found a journal belonging to Emily Fairfax. For some reason, Sophia wants to track down Emily's family and find out if the story in the journal is fact or fiction. I really enjoyed The Secrets of Paper and Ink. The story is told in three points of view, Sophia and Ginny in the present and Emily in the past. Lindsay Harrel did a wonderful job weaving these stories together in a seamless way. Even though all three women are dealing with heartbreak, they also have very different challenges, different dreams and different paths to follow. The mystery of who Emily Fairfax was and how she fits into the lives of the characters in the present added another layer to make this more than just another women's story of second chances. There is romance in all their lives that moves slowly and has some stumbling blocks they need to overcome. The women show strength and resilience, but they are not able to determine the paths to fulfill their dreams until they give it up to the Lord and let him guide them. With friendship, self-discovery, faith and love, all three women have a second chance to find and achieve their dreams. The writing is beautiful, descriptive and left me wanting to take a trip to Cornwall to see all the places described in this story. I am hoping there might be a sequel so I can reconnect with Ginny and Sophia to see what comes next in their lives. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
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  • Janie
    January 1, 1970
    A pleasant read that follows the paths of self-determination for two contemporary women. I enjoyed following Sophia and Ginny, each of whom are at a stage in their life when they can break free and understand the true source of their identity and personal worth. At times there seemed to be too many threads to follow, considering the inclusion of the century-ago parallel life of Emily who also needed to find who she was and what gave her value as a person. But the resolution of all the stories ti A pleasant read that follows the paths of self-determination for two contemporary women. I enjoyed following Sophia and Ginny, each of whom are at a stage in their life when they can break free and understand the true source of their identity and personal worth. At times there seemed to be too many threads to follow, considering the inclusion of the century-ago parallel life of Emily who also needed to find who she was and what gave her value as a person. But the resolution of all the stories tie those threads all together, satisfying so. The ending made me happy.I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.Publication date: Feb 26, 2019
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