Book Review: Artfully Yours by Joanna Lowell

Posted February 24, 2023 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 33 Comments

Artfully Yours
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Joanna Lowell
Publication Date February 21, 2023
Published by Penguin
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Genres: Fiction / Historical / General, Fiction / Romance / Historical / General, Fiction / Romance / Historical / Victorian
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Reading Challenges: Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

Sparks fly between a lordly art critic and a lady forger in this enthralling Victorian historical romance from the author of The Runaway Duchess.

Nina Finch isn't suited for a life of crime. Raised by her art-forger brother, she can paint like Botticelli. But she'd so much rather be baking gooseberry tarts. She finally has the money she needs to open her own bakery. Unfortunately, her brother's carelessness lands her—and their forgeries—directly under the nose of London's most discerning art critic, Alan De'Ath. De'Ath knows the paintings are fake. He doesn't know that Nina had a hand in their creation. In fact, he offers her a job in his household. Accepting it is the most dangerous thing she has ever done....

Alan takes pride in seeing things other people miss. He plans to catch the forger and cement his reputation. There's only one problem: the closer he gets to the beguiling woman he hired, the less he trusts his perspective. Nina isn't what she seems. But despite their false start, she just might hold the real key to his heart. 

As Nina and Alan’s attraction grows, divided loyalties threaten to pull them apart and shatter their worlds. They’ll lose everything, or discover how powerful true love can be....

Artfully Yours by Joanna Lowell is historical fiction set in London and puts an art forger against an art forgery expert.  

Story Recap:

Nina Finch isn’t suited for a life of crime but that’s what she has.  Her brother saved her when their mother died, and kept her out of the workhouse or worse, so she owes him her loyalty.  And her job of making art forgeries isn’t a bad one, she’d just rather open a shop selling gooseberry tarts.  She’s just about saved enough to open a shop when an art critic starts to notice several of the forgeries, it puts Nina and her brother in his sights and might put them in jail too. 

Alan De’Ath is an art critic and he has the ability to quickly see a forgery.  He knows how much forgers hurt artists and he’s convinced he has to round up all the art forgers and put them all in prison.  And then he meets Nina, and he doesn’t know what to think after that. 

My Thoughts: 

Artfully Yours gave me an interesting look into the lives of art forgers in Victorian England.  Nina was a sympathetic and plucky heroine.  Her loyalty towards her brother, who led her to a life of crime is admirable, as is her talent for forging paintings.  The author provided enough backstory to make us understand Nina’s loyalty, as well as made Nina a sympathetic character.  

Alan De’Ath is also an interesting character, he’s a man on a mission, and he knows he must use his talent for finding forgeries to help the police bring the forgers to justice.  Alan hires Nina as his assistant, and Nina reluctantly agrees, and from their first moments together, there is both chemistry and an easy companionship between them.  

Of course, I can’t finish this review without talking about the star of the story, Fritz, Nina’s pet marmoset.  Fritz causes a great deal of trouble during the story, and he’s just adorable.  


I highly recommend, Yours Artfully to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Joanna Lowell

Joanna Lowell lives among the fig trees in North Carolina, where she teaches in the English department at Wake Forest University. When she’s not writing historical romance, she writes other things as Joanna Ruocco. Those books include Dan, Another Governess / The Least Blacksmith, The Week, and Field Glass, co-authored with Joanna Howard.

Book Challenges:

Artfully Yours counts towards my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023

Have you read Artfully Yours?

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2023

33 responses to “Book Review: Artfully Yours by Joanna Lowell

  1. Not familiar with this book or author, but it sounds like a good one. I like the historical aspect and a woman ‘forced’ down a path when she wants another is always a good plot.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

  2. I have this widget and I hope to read this real soon now. It sounds amazing and I like the concept and idea of forgery in historical romance.

  3. This reminds me of How to Steal a Million with Audrey Hepburn. I am a sucker for historical fictions. Thanks for the review.