Book Review (and a Giveaway!): The Test of Gold by Renee Yancy

Posted April 8, 2021 by meezcarrie in giveaway, historical, Renee Yancy, romance / 5 Comments

Hearts of Gold #1

GENRE: Historical Romance (Clean & Wholesome)
PUBLISHER: Vinspire Publishing
RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2021
PAGES: 300

Heiress Evangeline “Lindy” Lindenmayer has been groomed since childhood to marry into the British aristocracy as her mother’s ultimate ambition is a royal title for the family name. But literature fascinates Lindy far more than ballgowns, and she spends all her free time in the library, the only room in the Fifth Avenue mansion where she can safely indulge her passion for reading and find refuge from the prying eyes of her mother.

Jack Winthrop is studying for the ministry at Union Theological Seminary and has been invited to use the Lindemayer’s library for his studies. His sole experience of upper-class young women has occurred at his uncle’s church, where he has found these young debutantes universally featherbrained. When he meets Lindy, he is pleasantly surprised to discover she has wide-ranging interests and is highly intelligent. Although cautioned by his uncle to stay away from her, he finds Lindy a kindred spirit and over animated discussions of books and life, they fall in love.

But to reach happily ever after, Lindy will need to challenge her mother’s long-laid plans, and weathering the approaching storm will take more backbone than she even knew she had.


The Test of Gold by Renee Yancy takes us to the heart of the Gilded Age, immersing us equally in the glitter & the grime of the era. Before all is said and done, we’ll have traveled with Lindy to Paris, London, and back home to New York; in each new setting, Yancy’s vivid descriptions and attention to detail have you feeling as though you’re right there, a part of the crowd. And no matter where the story takes us, readers will be rooting for Lindy and her happily-ever-after.

Any romance that begins in a library has a special place in my heart, and that’s exactly how Lindy and Jack meet – in her father’s well-stocked library. Though they are certainly from different tiers in society, here in the library Lindy & Jack are on common ground and the discrepancy in their social statuses doesn’t seem quite as insurmountable. I really liked both of these characters and how authentic they were. Two young adults still trying to find their footing in life, realizing they actually have more in common than they do apart. The juxtaposition of their societal differences versus their internal similarities added new dimension to their characters as well as the plot, and I appreciated how Yancy portrayed them.

There were three other characters I loved as well – Lindy’s maid Claudine, Lindy’s aunt Gertrude & Lindy’s cousin Emma. All three women were independent, strong characters, each fascinating in her own right and each someone who saw Lindy’s true worth & encouraged her to step out into a path of freedom. While neither had a ton of page time in this book, I hope we see more of them in the series because they need their own stories! The majority of the other characters in The Test of Gold? I didn’t care for them at all, and two in particular were really over the top cruel, almost psychotic. They became oppressive to me, to be honest, and interrupted my reading flow.

Bottom Line: The Test of Gold by Renee Yancy is an entertaining dance through the Gilded Age with a couple of villains to hate, a hero to swoon over, and a heroine to love. Readers will desperately cheer for Lindy to break free of her mother’s obsessive mission and will earnestly root for Lindy and Jack to overcome all the obstacles to happily-ever-after. Descriptions make each scene and character come alive on the pages, and though I wasn’t entirely satisfied with how this story ended, I’m interested to see how it continues in book 2. Some of the characters were problematic, as were decisions made by other supporting players, but overall this is a book that will definitely tug at your emotions!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received via Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 3.5 stars / enjoyed it!

KissingBook Level: 2 / soft & sweet

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Renee Yancy is a long time history and archaeology nut who has been living vicariously through historical fiction since she was a young girl. Now she writes the kind of books she loves to read—stories filled with historical and archaeological detail on every aspect of living in a different time period, interwoven with strong characters and a tale full of pathos and conflict. She wants to take you on a journey into the past so fascinating that you can’t put the story down.

When she’s not writing, Renee Facetimes with her twin grandbabies, and lives in Kentucky with her husband and two mutts. She enjoys reading, antiquing, and collecting pottery.

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Other Books by Renee Yancy

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The Test of Gold

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5 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): The Test of Gold by Renee Yancy

  1. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds

    I’ve only read a couple of books about the gilded age. Sounds interesting.

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