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A Tale of Two Hearts

(Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  358 ratings  ·  183 reviews
Can two hearts survive such deception?

London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life, for there’s nothing more mundane than serving customers day after day. Every minute she can, she reads lovely stories and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catching the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William i
Paperback, 178 pages
Published September 1st 2018 by Shiloh Run Press
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Kristina It is a standalone book. You do not need to read 12 Days at Bleakly Manor to enjoy A Tale of Two Hearts.

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Julie Carpenter
Isn't it just a wonderful feeling when you read a book and while reading it you feel so happy and content? Then to finish it and you're still contemplating the story and characters that have left you changed and wanting to do better/be better? I sure love that feeling and that is definitely how I felt while reading Michelle Griep's latest book. I absolutely love Charles Dickens. Confession-I've read several of his books but not all, but I have watched and rewatched several different adaptions of ...more
update 12/3/18: updated my rating

"And in the meantime, when ere your fingers rub against the metal, think on more than just the second chance I gave you. Think on the second chance God gives us all, eh love?"

A Tale of Two Hearts (2018, Barbour), second in the Once Upon A Dickens Christmas series by Michelle Griep, is a Christian historical romance set in 1853 London. The novel is a standalone story, and is only connected to 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by the Dickens theme and the presence
Susan Snodgrass
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'Either he believed all he'd heard and read of God, or he didn't.'

I enjoyed every moment of this book. Michelle Griep continues her 'Once Upon a Dickens Christmas' series with this second book. A second chance coin features in each novel and it was used so sweetly in this one.

Will is having tea with his rich Uncle Barlow, he and his loathsome cousin Percival and his equally obnoxious wife Alice. Uncle Barlow is going to let the men know which he intends to leave his worldly belongings to. But...
Rachel McMillan
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The magic of Michelle Griep is that you know she is enjoying what she is writing. That knowing wink to the reader is more alive than the paper and ink of a manuscript ( or at least the type and screen of an e-device). Here, she takes those who spend too much time in the pages of Dickens, his life, writing and work and those who just want a nice Victorian Christmas confection and throws it altogether.

The premise is delicious, of course, a young impoverished woman who will go to great lengths to
A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep is the second installment in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. Mina Scott works at The Golden Egg Inn owned by her father, Jasper Scott in 1853 London. Mina is engrossed in David Copperfield when her father finds her and sends her back to work. He fails to understand her love of literature. She enters the taproom and finds her crush William Barlow along with his friend Thomas Fitzroy. William is a law clerk with a gentleman’s upbringing and an ailing mother wi ...more
Karen R
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another delightful Victorian era story by one of my favorite authors! A faster paced read with a lot of depth. Set in 1853 London around the Christmas season, this shorter novel is full of wonderful characters, Dickens quotes, and plenty of dilemmas to bring the tension level up.

Loved the Dickensworthy descriptions of people such as, "He wore his wrinkles like a garment, the deep creases on his face in sore need of a good ironing." A few cameo appearances of recognizable names adds a bit of fu
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was more than a romance it was a reminder we get second chances in God and with people. Mina wants nothing more than to be with Will in more than a fake marriage. Though she is happy to pretend for his Uncle’s sake, and Will’s. She is a sweet girl with a heart of gold, one that is willing to do anything for those that she love. Her dear friend Effie was the one to remind her of the second chance and give her the second chance coin. Which was the sweetest gift ever, in my opinion. Uncle ...more
This is book 2 in the Once Upon a Dickens' Christmas series, but it reads well as a standalone. This book is delightfully enchanting as you stroll through Dickens' era with Mina Scott and William Barlow. A topsy turvy tale as William embroils Mina in his attempt to appear married for his Uncle Barlow as Barlow decides which of his two nephews would become his heir. Even though William had good intentions to protect his uncle from his cad cousin Percy, the truth from the beginning would have prob ...more
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
4.5 stars

“… think of eternity, then live backward from that.”

Y’all! I loved this story so much! And for a shorter page count, it’s full of delicious gems – multiple sentences that I’ve highlighted in my Kindle copy to remember later.

Mina is an absolutely delightful heroine – a romantic bookworm with a big heart. (“Were this a novel, she’d skip to the next chapter to see how things turned out.”) Though poor by most standards of the day, she is rich in things that truly matter. A love of books. De
Carole Jarvis
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep is enjoyable, intriguing, and very clever. Being transported to the 1853 Victorian world of Dickens is pure pleasure at any time, but there’s just something special about the Christmas season. Michelle Griep is gifted at conveying the essence of a setting and its culture, so much so that I felt like I was in the middle of a PBS period drama, enjoying all the sights, sounds, and aromas of Victorian Englan
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

"There is no playing fast and loose with the truth, in any game, without growing the worse for it." - Charles Dickens, "Little Dorrit"

And yet . . . . . the truth of the matter was, William Barlow was in a bit of a pickle and the lovely innkeeper's daughter seemed just the right person to ask for a favor; of the honorable kind, that is. (if you could call pretending to be one's wife an honorable role) Much was riding on a family inheritance; a contest of sorts between Will and his pompou
Jaime Jo Wright
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Michelle Griep has fast become one of my favorite, new-to-me authors. In her latest addition to her Dickens Christmas series, she weaves a warm-hearted Dickens-ish story that left me smelling Christmas spices, sensing holiday warmth, and seriously wanting to decorate my house for Christmas (before HALLOWEEN!). It’s a Can’t-miss Christmas novel that will stay with me through the holiday season.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful Christmas story about second chances and redemption. It is such a sweet love story and it holds your attention. This book was a joy to read. Thank you Barbour Publishing via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. This is my honest opinion of this book.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Tale of Two Hearts was a delightful story. I felt thoroughly immersed in the time period. Mina and William were characters that I couldn’t help but like, as they matched wits against some truly deplorable relations of William’s.

The story had a gentle flow to it, as did the romantic feelings that blossomed between Mina and William. I felt that the author captured the time and place nicely in this story, while also peppering the novella with nods to Dickens throughout.

I received a complimentary
Jocelyn Green
A Dickensian delight! Victorian London and the characters within come alive within these pages. I thoroughly enjoyed riding the characters coattails through bustling streets between the Golden Egg Inn, the Palace Tea Room, and more as they wove a tangled web of their own design—and then desperately tried to unravel it before falling through the strands. A refreshing tale perfectly paired with a cup of Christmas tea.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a delightful Christmas read to get you in the spirit. This is book two in the Once Upon A Dickens Christmas series, but worked fine as a stand-alone. I loved the Dickens quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Mina is an identifiable character that you will love and root for in this story of unrequited love. William is flawed but saved by grace. A quick but entertaining read to curl up with your cup of tea, as this is a great Cup of Tea read. It has great detail and is complete unlike some ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
In this second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series we meet Will and Mina along with a cast of secondary characters you love and hate. Will and Mina learn that deception is never the answer to problems, as well as how beautiful grace and second chances can be. Loved the literary allusions and quotations from Ms. Griep. Looking forward to The Old Lace Shop coming in 2019.

Thanks to Net Galley for a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Marguerite Gray
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Now I'm in the Christmas spirit. I wish #3 was out, and I'd go on a Dickens Christmas binge. What a delightful series....
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
I had no idea this series was considered Christian fiction until I just started writing my reviews and saw it in the genre listings. I'm not sure I would have chose to read it if I did, so I'm glad I didn't know because I would have missed out on a good series. I enjoyed the first book more but this is a really good story too. It does have a heartfelt message but there's nothing in the writing that made me even once think I was reading Christian fiction or that the author was trying to sway me t ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
•°o•:*:•. Book Lover’s Dream .•:*:• o°•

London, 1853 Miss Wilhelmina Scott, aka Mina, serves in her father’s inn, The Golden Egg. But, she much prefers to have her nose in a good book such as ‘David Copperfield’ or daydream of her ‘brown-haired hero’, William Barlow. Miss Whymsy is her former governess and co-conspirator in lending her books and enlisting her help with The Single Women’s Society of Social Reform. Effie is another dear friend who helps guide her in the story and added prayer, olde
Kelly Bridgewater
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Christmas. London. Victorian era. What could be the better makings for a novel? Maybe some suspense. But Michelle Griep creates a wonderful short story that fits in with the makings of a true Dicken's novel. I enjoyed the first book in the series entitled 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on A Tale of Two Heart too. Boy, am I glad I did. The story comes to life and brings the good feelings that Christmas brings only a couple of months earlier.

I really enjoy traveling
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Michelle Griep's writing! Her Dickens Christmas series is neat in that although the books are sequential, their ties to each other are not such that they have to be read in order (that I can tell...) Book one ties to book two with a side character. She works making hatboxes in the first book, and changes jobs at the end. In the second book she turns up as a fast friend of the main character, but is not central to the story line in either. Then based on the excerpt for book three, a second ...more
Lisa Johnson
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Title: A Tale of Two Hearts (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #2)
Author: Michelle Griep
Pages: 192
Year: 2018
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
William Barlow has changed his ways. He has a checkered past but has tried over the last few years to clean up his reputation and stay on the straight and narrow. His uncle has informed him that he will be naming the heir to his estate and that it will either be Will or his cousin Percy. Will needs the money to care of his ill mother, wh
Jodie Wolfe
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was my first introduction to Michelle Griep's Dickens Christmas Series. I found it to be delightful as she cited quotations from Dickens at the beginning of each chapter and then mined the premise throughout.

Michelle has a gift of weaving a tale to produce a fun story that the reader can't put down while also providing a tapestry of spiritual truths along the way. I highly recommend her work.

This book was provided free and I was not obligated in any way to give a favorable review - 2018.
Mary Jaimes-Serrano
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mina finds herself with big troubles when she chooses to go along with William Barlow's crazy scheme. She is in love with him though, so pretending to be his wife should be no hard task, or so she thinks. When she finds herself face to face with William's wicked cousins and learns of their evil plot to harm his uncle, she must choose between telling the truth or protecting an innocent. Both learn a valuable lesson about second chances to do the right thing and trusting in the All-Mighty to prote ...more
Just Commonly
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
"A farthing for your thoughts?"

What a delightful short read Michelle Griep's A Tale of Two Hearts is! This is the second book in the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas story, but can easily be read as a standalone. I've enjoyed it from start to finish, with the desire to get to the third book too! That ending was sweet, and though not unexpected, it still put a warmth in my heart and a smile on my face.

"...there's great deal of difference between self-love and self-sacrificing love."

A story of second
Nora St Laurent
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This a fun and intriguing read. Readers first meet Mina Scott at the Golden Egg Inn, Mina Scott (the innkeeper’s daughter) is taking a break to read David Copperfield. She loved reading. She could go on so many adventures and take her mind off of work and her father. He didn’t enjoy reading, couldn’t understand why she loved it so much.

This is a charming, fun story set in 1853 London when Charles Dickens was doing his writing. Each chapter has a quote from him and/or one of his novels. I enjoyed
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this cozy Dickensian Christmas romance! Uncle Barlow was my favorite because of his good humor and wisdom. The rest of the cast goes about trying to deceive or manipulate him for the most of the book - some for honorable reasons, some not.

The romance between William and Mina was sweet and the lessons learned about honesty and what's truly important (people over status) were melded naturally into the story.

This Christmas series has been a treat!
Historical details, unique characters with tangible development, suspense ~ all kept me stealing moments to discover more . . .

Ms Griep's writing talents evident once again in this second of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas. Loveable Mina with her mind on Dickens' novels and her heart lost to William the handsome regular at her father's inn. William himself scheming his way into his Uncle's good graces and taking Mina along for the ride... Family plots and despots piqued my attenti
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this second book in Griep's "Once Upon a Dickens Christmas" series even more than the first. Her characters and their struggles with conscience and circumstances beyond their control rang true, even though they come from a very different time and place. In fact, I shared a quote from Mina's dear friend, Effie, to encourage one of MY friends this week: "My mother-God rest her-always told me to think of eternity, then live backward from that. Such a view has a way o' whittlin' down our c ...more
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I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

Other books in the series

Once Upon a Dickens Christmas (3 books)
  • 12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas, #1)
  • The Old Lace Shop (Once Upon a Dickens Christmas #3)

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