The Last Word

The Last Word

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...

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Title:The Last Word
Author:Samantha Hastings
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Last Word Reviews

  • Kimberly Gabriel

    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

    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 in this book), I was thrilled to have that literary feel mixed with page-turning anticipation. This book, with its clever plot, its characters that pop off the page, and its sweet, gripping romance, makes for an unforgettable read.

  • Krysti

    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

    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 novel, it really gets the blood pumping! And oh the banter between the two main characters! It is witty repartee at its finest, and I absolutely adored it. Lucinda and David are one literary couple that readers are sure to ship!

    I fell in love with the premise for this book the second I read about it, and learning about its inspiration in the author’s note made me appreciate it even more!

    The authors writing style is charming. Her voice is clear and full of personality, and it made for such a fun read.

    This book was everything I’d hoped it would be and then some. Even if you aren’t usually a reader of historical fiction, you will enjoy this book. It’s an absolute delight!

  • Katherine Paschal

    *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

    *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 book. Well, I am every so happy to report that I easily fell in love with the story and all the characters. Samantha was able to turn a generally (in my terrible opinion) historical fiction into something approachable for all genre and age readers.

    The Last Word was such a cute, fast read that was equal parts adorable and engaging. I enjoyed getting to meet Lucinda and feel the struggle she experienced for having all of her life controlled against her will. Also, as someone who did not get a conclusion to one of her favorite book series, I 100% could relate to Lucinda's need to know the answers. I also wonder if this was just one little things she could control in a world where she had no power as being a woman.

    I loved watching the romance between Lucinda and David develop, almost an enemies to lovers vibe. Lucinda and David had been the best of friends growing up until her destroyed her trust and she was sent away to a ladies finishing school. Now that Lucinda is home, she is equal parts the refined beautiful lady her father was hoping she would be and the headstrong, spunky, sightly manipulative (in a totally cute, endearing way!) number wizard she knows herself to be. I loved watching the two interact and verbally spar, and I think I was just as love with David by the end of the book as Lucinda was.

    I highly recommend this YA standalone read to anyone who loves romance, mystery, history and a spunky heroine who can save herself- but has a charming love interest to help her if she needs it. This is Samantha's debut book and she set the bar very high. I can't wait to see what she creates next.

  • The Clever Reader

    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!!

  • Olivia Wildenstein

    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. 💕

  • Shohinee

    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

    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 understandable thinking pattern. But Lucy reveled in her feminity. She was proud of who she was and had no qualms about showing it. That just makes me love her more. Lucy is awe-inspiring.

    The best part about Lucy, she’s a book lover who is ready to go on a winding uncertain journey just to know how a story ends. I really wanted to jump into the carriage and travel with Lucinda to find Mrs. Smith’s last words.

    I generally have a bone of contention with Romance books. Simply because all love stories have so many misunderstandings and lost opportunities of communication…and we are all familiar with that frustrating scene, aren’t we, where the Hero and Heroine are at the same place at the same time but still miss each other because their faces are resolutely turned in the opposite directions!! How infuriating! I have this itch to physically grad hold of their heads, twist them like door knobs towards each other and scream

    “YOU! SIT! TALK! NOW!”

    But ‘The Last Word‘ is surprisingly refreshing. There is all the sweetness of a budding romance and the warmth of unburdened companionship without the frustrations. Even the little misunderstanding that Lucy and David had is so pure in nature that it is a perfect reflection of the comfort and friendship that these two share with each other. I liked that the resolution of this misunderstanding was not turned into a big deal within the plot but was included naturally in a simple conversation. No drama, just an unadorned progression of the story.

    The bond between Lucy and David is sure to put a smile on your face. There is no allusion of perfection here. Author Samantha Hastings portrays a relationship where two people heal and grow together. Their individuality is celebrated along with their togetherness.

    I was incredibly happy to read the author’s depiction of the relationship between a reader and her favorite story. It is never ‘just a story’ for us book lovers. Our favourite stories are friends that hold us together when we are falling apart. They let us feel all those emotions that we might hide from prying eyes. It’s not just a reader who loves a story. The story loves the reader back. So it was for Lucy. Mrs. Smith’s stories let her breathe even in the fog of suffocation surrounding her.

    To think that this is only Samantha Hastings’ debut is thrilling. If she can come up with such a mesmerizing story in her first inning, then think about all the other beautiful stories to come out of her pen. I am eager to read the stories she will write in the future.

    But coming back to the present, I am sure you would absolutely love to read ‘The Last Word‘. So get your hands on a copy as fast as you can.

  • Samantha (WLABB)

    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

    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 it. I was amused, time and time again, by how prim and proper everyone acted, and loved seeing characters toppling social barriers.

    • Pro: Her father tried his hardest to turn Lucinda into a proper lady, but she could not keep that much spirit under wraps. It was fun seeing all the little ways she pushed the boundaries, and David's reactions to her shenanigans were priceless.

    • Pro: Speaking of David, he was a great match for Lucinda. Unlike most men of that time period, he delighted in Lucinda's mathematical brilliance, curiosity, and desire to do more than write letters and work on her needlepoint. Hooray, for forward-thinking men.

    • Pro: Lucinda won my heart. She was fierce, determined, and very much an independent thinker. That girl had moxie, and I loved the way she challenged people and their ideas of who she should be.

    • Pro: It was wonderful watching the spark ignite between these two former friends. The interactions between David and Lucinda were sweet and fun and packed with snappy banter. There were these seriously swoony parts too, that just melted my heart. The romance between these two was absolutely precious, and I was shipping them the whole time.

    • Pro: I think readers will appreciate the feminist messages permeating the story. Lucinda was definitely a woman ahead of her time.

    Overall: A fun and charming romance between a lovely hero and a spirited heroine, which was filled with a little action, a bit of mystery, witty banter, and lots of swoons.

    *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

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    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

    .

    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 on it! It's such an unexpected gem! 

    Yes, it's cute, but not in a cheesy, sugary way. It's more that yes, there are very swoony moments, and it overall made my insides feel happy, but the characters also went through some junk too. It wasn't just adorableness and magic, it was real. Basically the author did an amazing job of toeing the line between adorable and saccharine. 

    The main character, Lucinda, thinks that the nineteenth century norms of treating women like possessions is garbage. I agree with Lucinda, so we were getting along right from the start. While her father wanted her to get married and Idk, trot around in fancy garb (look, I have no idea what women did then, but seems frilly and boring), Lucinda wanted to use her amazing math-wizard brain to help the family business. Her father's partner (and her former childhood pal) David seemed to be down with Lucinda doing some work. Because she was awesome at it and he knew it. 

    Lucinda was also pretty bummed because the author of her favorite serial story is dead... and has left no clue to the ending. Lucinda is bound and determined to find out the ending, and she enlists the help of David. Sure, she has to bend the truth a little, but such is life. David doesn't want to get in the middle of family arguments, even though he does seem to agree with Lucinda's desire for independence and purpose. They get along quite well, and you can tell that even when they're on opposite sides there's an undeniable spark. 

    Bottom Line: Ultimately, it's impossible to not cheer for Lucinda and want her to break free from the nonsense societal norms. Watching her use her intellect and wit to do just that is an adventure you won't want to miss. 

  • Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader

    < 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

    < 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 storyline is just this perfect small adventure with the sort of ending that leaves you thoroughly satisfied. There is loss, there is a heartbreak of a different sort, and there is strength in being a girl and in knowing what you want. Hastings has given us a true delight in this book and I look forward to reading anything else she ever writes after this.

    **Also thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read this via NetGalley, my honest opinion has been given in exchange**

  • 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!

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