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The Last Word

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  31 reviews
1861. Miss Lucinda Leavitt is shocked when she learns the author of her favorite serialized novel has died before completing the story. Determined to learn how it ends, Lucinda reluctantly enlists the help of her father’s young business partner, Mr. David Randall, to track down the reclusive author’s former whereabouts.

David is a successful young businessman, but is overwh
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Swoon Reads
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4.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  48 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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The Clever Reader
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so lovely! Lucinda’s spunky personality mixed with her independent nature made her one of my favorite female MC’s! She is not afraid to stand up for way she believes and what she wants. I enjoyed getting to know her!

David! He is so adorable & the banter he has with Lucinda makes for some of the best flirty in a YA Historical I’ve ever read! They are so much fun together!

If you love historical romance than you’ll definitely love this one!!
Samantha (WLABB)
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
It wasn't easy being a young woman in 1861. All Lucinda wanted to do was contribute to her father's business, but society dictated that she belonged in the home, bored to tears. When one of her favorite authors died before finishing their book, Lucinda was determined to get those last pages. This search for the "ending" resulted in more than Lucinda had ever anticipated.

• Pro: I rarely read historicals, but for some reason, the majority seem to be set during this time period, and I always enjoy
Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: earcs, favorites < Full Review

A delightful read for any fan of Victorian tales, but definitely a brilliant aim at YA readers. Hastings gives us a fantastic female protagonist who not only has a strong will but is realistically limited for most of the story by her gender, she's also a protagonist with a head for numbers. YES to this. We need more female characters interested in STEM. Lucinda was such fun to read about and I loved her wit and David was just adorable. The
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE LAST WORD is lovely, fun, and absolutely swoon-worthy! What a phenomenal debut by Samantha Hastings!

Main character Lucinda is a heroine that will have readers applauding the whole way through the book. I adored her spirit, her sass, and her heart.

I was blown away by the wonderful feminist themes throughout this book, and Hastings delivered them with such a witty punch. Lucinda is the type of heroine girls need to read about!

The romance is absolutely swoon-worthy! For a clean, historical nove
Kimberly Gabriel
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was really wanting a swoony romance with a strong, witty heroine and this book went beyond my expectations fulfilling that. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the witty banter between Lucinda and David. Both main characters (just like the secondary characters in this book) were fully fleshed out to the point where I find myself missing them now that I'm done reading. I LOVE the setting and the fact that Hastings made this a historical fiction book. Being a Bronte and Austin fan (both of whom are mentioned ...more
S.M. Koz
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Last Word is a charming (and swoonworthy) read that left me wanting to look up other historical romances! David is the perfect gentleman while Lucinda is anything but the perfect lady. I love how she pushed boundaries for the time period, questioning why gender roles had to be the way they were. With a host of colorful secondary characters (I love me some Persephone!), a little mystery, and an unexpected disaster, I ended up reading late into the night to finish this one.

Historical romance
I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

"It's not about the story. It's about unfinished business."

Fresh out of finishing school, Lucinda "Lucy" Leavitt quickly finds some unfinished business that she wants to seen taken care of.

Lucy has been following a serialized novel for years now, and it seems to be getting towards the all important climax. But then--to her horror--she learns that the author died without finishing the story. She recruits her childhood
Jacqueline Firkins
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was loads of fun. It's super fast paced, told mostly in dialogue with a tight group of characters that leap through dances, teas, carriage rides, and house parties while falling in love and finding their places in society. There's just enough family drama and societal conflict to flesh out the world, while the narrative focuses tightly on the romance between its two protagonists. Lucy is a modern heroine in a period setting and I think readers will enjoy seeing how she navigates her world a ...more
Addie Thorley
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Official Comments: Witty, spirited, and utterly swoon-worthy, THE LAST WORD by Samantha Hastings is filled with fierce feminism, impeccable period detail, and a charming romance that's sure to stay with readers long after the last word.

Me, Gushing: OMG this book, you guys! It is So. Much. Fun!! The banter is to die for and Lucinda is the feisty, feminist narrator of my heart. She is so bold and unflinching, and I just loved cheering her on. The side characters a lively and entertaining, and the
Jon David
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best historical fiction I've read this year, loved it.
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oh this was such a delight to read! I absolutely loved it! Lucinda and David are such wonderful main characters! It was quite a swoon read as well with those two! I love the concept of the story and setting! Everything fits so well together!

Lucinda is so independent and knows what she wants. I liked her character this was because she clearly would’ve been considered a rebel back in that time period. She never gave up on finding
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it

This book was a fun one! I enjoyed reading about Lucinda and David's adventures tracking down the mysterious author, Mrs. Smith. The banter between the two of them is sharp and entertaining. The strength of this novel is that it is so progressive about women's roles in society. Lucinda aims to be more than a trophy wife of a prominent man. She yearns to take a role in her father's business and prove herself worthy of the job. This is difficult in a time when ladies were made to
Apr 22, 2019 added it
The relationship, the banter, the setting--it's all the perfect read for fans of historical romance. It's a super fast read and I loved the characters.
Kara J McDowell
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely adorable historical novel that kept me turning the pages in anticipation. I loved the witty banner, the swoony moments, and Lucinda's fierce feminism! Highly recommend for fans of Victorian era stories.
Eileen (BookCatPin)
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I last read a historical romance and I've been eager for a new one. The Last Word was a short story but it did hit most of the marks for me.

I quite liked the setting of The Last Word. Societal expectations described in the book had my veins throbbing but I was glad to see the issues being tackled. The speech and action of the characters felt accurate to the time period. Though the writing style didn't much stand out, the characters were well-developed and easy to root for
B.R. Myers
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Set in mid-nineteenth century London, Samantha Hastings’ THE LAST WORD is a delightful period romance that explores the odds of finding true love in the age of propriety.

Lucinda, a determined heroine frustrated with the constraints of her time, brings a subtle feminism to the story as a young woman who shrugs off the implication of using marriage to secure her future. Instead, she hopes to convince her father she is more than capable of working at his counting house. But when she discovers her
Amalie Jahn
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a huge historical fiction girl, but The Last Word by Samantha Hastings pulled me in from the start. The spunky voice of the MC, Lucinda, had me cheering for her all the way through, and the development of her relationship with David was absolutely swoon-worthy! Plus, bonus points for a book about a book--I'm a sucker for those! This was a fun, fast read for me and one that definitely had me turning the pages quickly! More, please!
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Was lucky enough to read an e-ARC. Such a cute story with a spunky pre-feminist heroine that's just perfect for historical romance fans!! Looking forward to reading what Hastings comes up with next!
Olivia Wildenstein
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reminiscent of a Jane Austen romance!

A sweet story that’ll keep a smile on your face throughout, that is, when you’re not laughing... Lucinda’s chaperone cracked me up. 💕
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a portion of the review on my blog
Just 15 pages into ‘The Last Word‘ and I already knew I wanted to be Lucy’s best friend. Samantha Hastings has created a positively adorable character in Lucinda Leavitt.

An intelligent and capable woman who bravely keeps holding on to whatever snatches of freedom she can have within the stifling bars she has to live in just because she is a woman.

There would be many in that situation who might think “Ah, If only I was born a man” and that would be an un
Katherine Paschal
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, mystery, teen
*Review can be found at

I was not really sure what direction Samantha was going to take the story in when I first started but right from the beginning I was on board for the ride. Over the last few months I have heard nothing but good things about The Last Word, so to say that my expectations were high is very much an understatement. Add in the fact that The Last Word is historical fiction which is usually not my jam, I was a touch hesitant when I began the b
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lucinda Leavitt has just returned home from finishing school. Lucinda's mother died when she was young and Lucy has grown up at her father's countinghouse where she learned how to help with the books and complete sums quickly in her head. After finishing school, Lucy would like to have a job at the countinghouse, however, she is now expected to spend her days as a lady- working on stitching, attending parties and generally wasting the day away. One of Lucy's pleasures after finishing school is r ...more
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .

I hadn't really been sure I would read this when I found it in my FierceReads package. It seemed awfully cute, which isn't bad, I just didn't know if it was my "thing". Anyway, after reading a ton of books set in the future, I was jonesing for some historical fiction (and fine, something relatively short, don't judge). So I grabbed it off the shelf, and I am so glad that I took a chance
The Last Word is a delightful debut from Samantha Hastings! This historical fiction has sweet romance and a book-lover’s mystery at its heart. I absolutely adore historical fiction, in both senses of the word: fiction written today about historical subjects, and fiction written in historical times. The Bronte sisters are my all-time favorite, and I also have a soft spot for Jane Austen. I would compare The Last Word to Jane Austen’s novels, as it has decidedly less gothic feel than the Bronte si ...more
Susan Burlew
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway
What a delightful story! It is 1861 in London and Miss Lucinda Leavitt has finally graduated from finishing school. She is bored to tears. She wants to work at her father's counting house since she is very good with numbers but young ladies at that time are considered too "delicate" to use their brains. One of the only things she has to look forward to is a the monthly installment from her favorite author. When the author dies before finishing the book Lucy is determined to find out how the book ...more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
The blurb makes it out as if the mystery of the identity of the novelist/ending of her novel is the main part of the story, but it's really the plot device that brings the love interests together after not speaking to each other for several years and keep spending time together throughout the book. I would categorize this book's genre as a YA feminist historical romance. It's an interesting combination.
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Rosemary
Cover Story: Big Face
BFF Charm: Yay
Swoonworthy Scale: 5
Talky Talk: Dick and Jane
Bonus Factor: Girls Who Code Count
Bonus Factor: Feminism
Relationship Status: Leaving My Calling Card

Read the full book report here.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to love this one as I adore historical fiction. But sadly this one just didn't have the spark I was looking for. The story was slow and the setting just didn't work for me. The characters were flat and I just didn't connect with anyone. So sadly this one I think just was not for me at all.
Jenni Walsh
What a fun novel. I really got into the Victorian details, which were aplenty. The premise was top-notch (and I like the author's inspiration for her idea. See author's note at the end), the banter was excellent, and the ending was completely satisfying. A sweet romance, for sure!
Irene Clegg
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A charming regency novel of an outspoken young woman trying to find her place in society. I thoroughly enjoyed these characters and their interactions
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Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey-sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. THE LAST WORD is her debut novel.
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