A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventure by Angela Bell Book Review

A Lady's Guide to Marvels and Misadventure

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A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventure by Angela Bell is a delightful historical fiction with adventure, quirky characters, and character growth.


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A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventure

Author: Angela Bell

Pub. Date: Feb. 27, 2024

Genre: Adult Historical Romance

Pages: 384

Rating: 4.5 stars

Spice: none

Content Warnings: mentions death, PTSD, fighting, blood, child abuse, stalking, kidnapping, assault, addiction, gun violence


When Clara Marie Stanton’s ex-fiancé begins to spread rumors that her family suffers from hereditary insanity, it’s all Clara can do to protect them from his desperate schemes and society’s prejudice. Her family may be eccentric, yes, but they certainly aren’t insane. Then Clara’s Grandfather Drosselmeyer brings on an apprentice with a mechanical leg, and all pretense of normalcy takes wing.

Theodore Kingsley, a shame-chased vagabond skilled in repairing clocks, wants a fresh start far from Kingsley Court and the disappointed father who declared him dead. Upon returning to England, Theodore meets clockmaker Drosselmeyer, who hires him as an apprentice, much to Clara’s dismay. When Drosselmeyer spontaneously disappears in his secret flying owl machine, he leaves behind a note for Clara, beseeching her to make her dreams of adventure a reality by joining him on a merry scavenger hunt. Together, Clara and Theodore set off to follow Drosselmeyer’s trail of clues, but they will have to stay one step ahead of a villain who wants the flying machine for himself–at any cost.


Book Review

Thank you to Bethany House Fiction for this ARC of A Lady’s Guide to Marvels and Misadventure by Angela Bell. All opinions are my own.



What an excellent debut! This book is an absolute delight with a menagerie of animals, an adventurous European scavenger hunt, and a delightful cast of characters. It’s also a faith-filled story that is heartwarming and full of character growth.

There were so many fun elements to this story. The number of different animals and all the sticky situations they found themselves in was hilarious. Mrs. Stanton, the protagonist’s mother, was so endearing, and I loved her care for all animals and for everyone she encountered. She was also super protective and full of wisdom. I really enjoyed all her interactions with Clara (the protagonist) and Arthur (the apprentice/love interest).

Both Clara and Arthur were interesting characters. I loved their interactions and how much each of them grew throughout the story. While I do think Clara was pretty mean to Arthur to start with, I did understand why she acted that way. Arthur was so patient towards her, and I found him to be so charming.

Grand (Clara’s grandfather) was so sweet and quirky. I loved how he cared for everyone and didn’t pass unfair judgments on people. The scavenger hunt he set up was so fun and interesting. He was such a brilliant inventor, and I looked forward to learning about each of his creations.

One thing I really appreciated about this story was how the author included faith naturally throughout the book. Some of the characters had such strong faith and were amazing mentors to the younger characters. I loved seeing how the characters grew in their faith throughout the story.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this book was such a great read. I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy historical fiction stories set in 1860s Europe. It’s full of adventure, family, and a slow burn romance.


Where to Read & Purchase

You can purchase a copy of this book at the following retailers:

Bookshop.org (supports independent book stores) [affiliate]

Libro.fm (audiobooks that support independent book stores) [affiliate]

get a free audiobook when you start a membership

Amazon [affiliate]

Books a Million (BAM) [affiliate]

AbeBooks [affiliate]

Barnes & Noble


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