Category Archives: Christian Fiction

The Shell Collector by Nancy Naigle

Publication Date: 11 May 2021

Publisher: Waterbrook

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook

Genre: Christian Fiction, Southern Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5

“Life is rarely predictable if we’re doing it right.”

-Maeve

When a grieving widow meets a wonderfully, eccentric older woman wandering the beach near her home, the two become fast friends. Moving to Whelk’s Island, North Carolina with her two young children provides Amanda with an opportunity to get her life together and move on past the overwhelming grief she suffers since the loss of her husband two years previously. For Maeve, who is eighty-one and appears extremely agile, roaming the beach and collecting shells is a big part of her life. Meeting Amanda and the children fills a void in her soul unlike anything has in years.

The women have much to teach each other over the course of their summer together. Bonding and sharing their friendship, losses, grief, and healing works magic in their lives. Amanda and the children run into an old and dear friend from the past which helps heal a particularly empty part of Amanda’s heart. As summer gives way to fall, Maeve’s health issues come to light.

These two women come together to realize how precious their friendship is in so many special ways. As they each do for the other, they must learn to utilize the lessons they taught each other over the summer. A beautiful story filled with loss, grief, the healing powers of friendship, and second chances! Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for the sea shells that pop up in the story filled with special messages for the finder. A perfect beach read for the summer!

This copy was received from Waterbrook and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheShellCollector#NetGalley

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Under the Magnolias by T.I. Lowe

Publication Date: 4 May 2021

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Tyndale

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian

Rating: 5 out of 5

“There are seasons in a life that one may choose to remember best. A time where the good outweighs the bad enough that the bad is pushed into the foggy crevices of the mind, while the good is crystal clear. ”

Vivid characters, tumultuous family problems, and a rough around the edges South Carolina tobacco farm named Nolia Farms form the heart of this emotional, insightful story woven by T. I. Lowe. The Foster family is held together by the oldest of the siblings, fourteen year old Austin, who inherits this task when her mother dies leaving behind a set of newborn twins to go with the other five children. A daunting task for an adult, nevertheless, Austin makes it her mission in life to hold the family together by raising the children, working  on the farm, keeping her dad’s darkest secret, and attending school in between the chaos.

Through the years Austin manages with the help of their friends Foxy and Jinx, who live on the farm and work, and members of the community who attend their small church. She even figures out a way to have a relationship with Vance Cumberland, the mayor’s son. Through thick and thin, Vance keeps showing up on her doorstep. Join this brave, independent young woman as she raises her siblings, takes care of her father, and tries to figure out life on her terms.

A beautiful story filled with sadness, heartache, family, faith, love, forgiveness, and healing! This is truly one of the best books I’ve read this year. I highly recommend it. From start to finish, you will be captivated by Austin’s story.

This copy was received from Tyndale and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#UnderTheMagnolias #NetGalley

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Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green

Series: The Windy City Saga, Book 2

Publication Date:  02 February 2021

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Rating: 5 out of 5

This book is a beautifully guided tour of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair intermingled with a captivating story of Sylvie Townsend’s life 22 years after the Great Fire of 1871, where we first met her in book one of The Windy City Saga series. Once again Jocelyn Green artfully brings to life a story that blends fictional characters with historical events, settings, and people.

Now in her early forties, independent Sylvie still runs her bookshop and has raised Rose, a young Hungarian orphan, for the past thirteen years on her own. Living in the apartment above Sylvie are the Bartok brothers; steady, solid Kristof and Gregor, handsome and a bit wild. Both brothers play for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Exposition Orchestra at the Fair. When Rose disappears one day at the Fair, Sylvie finds she may need the support and assistance of the steady Kristof more than she could ever imagine.

Sylvie and Kristof must decide if Rose’s disappearance intertwines with Gregor’s wild life style. Drawn closer together while they try to piece the puzzle together, the pair finds comfort in each other’s presence and in the comfort of close friends and Sylvie’s sister, Meg and her family.

As control and fear dictate Sylvie’s choices, she works on learning to trust the Lord’s timing during difficult times.  One of the most importance lessons Sylvie and Rose both come to understand is the value of the gift of choice. Sylvie, Rose, Kristof, and their friends and relatives explore the true value of family of choice.

Come and spend some time exploring the 1893 World’s Fair with a guided tour by Rose, listen to a concert where Kristof plays beautiful classic music, and take a ride on Mr. Ferris’s Wheel! See the sights, smell the Parisian perfume, taste the hot chocolate! Don’t miss this great piece of history woven throughout the story.

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction

A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen

Publication Date: 01 December 2020

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC Copy from Netgalley.com and Bethany House

Rating: 5 out of 5

Welcome to the coast of Cornwall!  Shipwrecks, smugglers, and strange men are all part of the intrigue in this latest tale by Julie Klassen. Lovely Laura, a kind young woman with a melancholy heart, lives with her guardian, her Uncle Matthew Bray, the local minister, and his family. When a shipwreck deposits a wet, bedraggled man on the beach at her feet, Laura immediately sets out to heal the man and uncover the mystery surrounding his identity.

Alexander Lucas, the mysterious man from the shipwreck, slowly begins to heal and begins a search for a cryptic object that he needs to take home with him. The story unfolds as Alexander’s past gradually gets exposed to Laura. Is he a good guy or a bad guy? Nothing is quite as black or white as it seems.

Read this appealing story to uncover the mystery behind the shipwrecked man and his unforeseen connection to Laura! I thoroughly enjoyed this book; the intrigue, the understated romance, the unique characters, and the discovery of the real meaning of family.

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#ACastawayInCornwall  #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Regency

Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch

Publication Date: October 2020

Publisher: Kregel Publications

Purchased Copy

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Who doesn’t love a heartwarming Christmas story? Put three of these Regency gems in the same book and you’ll be absolutely gifted with Christmas cheer!

Heaven and Nature Sing by Carolyn Miller

Grantley House, 1813

When Christmas festivities draw Edith Mansfield and George Bannerman, one of the most eligible bachelors of the season, to Lady Grantley’s estate for the holiday, can they put their past history behind them and make it through the Christmas holidays? Read this delightful story of pride and pretenses, second chances, and grace and forgiveness under the Christmas kissing ball!

Far as the Curse is Found by Amanda Barratt

London, 1816

When a man in a black mask and cape saves Jenny Grey and her tiny daughter, Anna,  late at night on a dark London street, little does she know the changes that will take place in her life as a result of that meeting. A deeply touching Christmas story of grief, forgiveness, faith, and grace will play on all of your emotions in this poignant, slightly sad tale that was my very favorite out of the trio!

Wonders of His Love by Erica Vetsch

Oxfordshire, 1814

Lady Priscilla Haverly, widow and sister-in-law of the Duke of Haverly, lives a quiet, resigned life with her mother-in-law the Dowager and her baby daughter. When Hamish Sinclair, a ruggedly handsome Scottish painter, arrives to pain the Duke and Duchess, Lady Priscilla’s orderly world is turned upside down with possibilities. Will she receive the gift of her life this holiday season? Delightfully romantic!

This copy was purchased for my personal reading. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Christmas, Historical Fiction

Gentleman Jim by Mimi Matthews

Publication Date: 10 November 2020

ARC Copy from Netgalley and Perfectly Proper Press

Rating: 4 out of 5

Mimi Matthews gives us an engaging Regency tale filled with romance and an intriguing mystery surrounding the identity of the dashing John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare. Maggie Honeywell, a lovely, rather frail young woman, spends ten years of her life wondering what happened to her best friend, a young man named Nicholas Seaton who is the illegitimate son of one of the maids. Just as she resigns herself to marrying her unpleasant guardian, the son from a neighboring estate, she accidentally meets John Beresford, Viscount St. Clare, who bears a startling resemblance to Nicholas. As Maggie tries to uncover the mysterious identity of St. Clare, she finds herself in precarious circumstances more than once trying to unravel the clues. Could a scruffy, fun loving stable boy turn into an educated, well-mannered aristocrat? An intriguing little romance that ends in an absolutely delightful way!

This ARC copy was received from Perfectly Proper Press and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#GentlemanJim  #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Regency

The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano

Publication Date: 20 Oct 2020

ARC copy from Revell and Netgalley.com

Rating:  4 out of 5

“Matched souls always find their way back to one another, for they seek refuge in the same place.”

An emotional story about the turmoil created when a long lost love note is returned to its original location! An interesting tale is woven around the premise of the mysterious love note and the path it takes from its beginning until the final discovery of the author and the intended recipient. The story centers on a young woman, Willa Duvall, who is extremely interested in becoming a doctor in a time when women were not doctors and her ties to the Gresham family. Willa finds herself with one last chance to prove herself at the dark, moody Crestwicke Manor with its ruined towers and rugged coastline.

Filled with some unusual twists as the plot follows the mysterious note, the story will leave the reader guessing as to who actually wrote the love note. The characters are varied; some I liked very much and others I disliked everything about them when I initially met them. Understanding evolved as the story unfolded.  I loved the voice in which the story was told, and the atmospheric setting of the dark manor definitely adds to the overall intrigue of the book. Readers of historical fiction and historical mysteries will appreciate this book!

This ARC copy was received from Revell and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 #TheLoveNote #NetGalley

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Her Secret Song, Book 3 by Mary Connealy

Series: Brides of Hope Mountain

Publication Date:  6 Oct 2020

Publisher: ARC from Netgalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

Rating: 4 out of 5

Beautiful music and a tall, slender stunning white blonde—what a glorious sight and sound for Wax Mosby to regain consciousness to! Certain he’s died and gone to heaven, Wax will eventually learn he’s been found by the third and oldest of the Nordegren sisters, Ursula. Mary Connealy begins this third and final book in the Brides of Hope Mountain series with a rough and ready gunfighter and the extremely troubled sister who is scared to death to come off the mountain.

This witty, humorous story explores two very different people, both extremely interested in changing, as they find their way around all the complexities life hands them. Pick this one up, guys! A terrific conclusion to an absolutely unique and humor filled series! Mix in some romance along with a good sprinkling of faith and you have a read that will entertain you for hours.

 This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, western

Colors of Truth by Tamera Alexander

Series: Carnton, Book 2

Publication Date: 06 October 2020

Publisher: Fountain Creek Press

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com

A story of counterfeiting, missing family, complicated lies, and two feisty red heads will draw you rapidly into life at Carnton Plantation. This story weaves together the tale of Wade Cunningham, an undercover Secret Service agent with a complicated past, and Catriona and Nora O’Toole, Irish immigrants fresh from immigrating to America in search of their brother Ryan, a conscripted Confederate soldier.

As Wade works on the plantation by day as the overseer, he investigates a counterfeit operation in the area at night and in his spare time. As the layers are peeled back in his investigation, Catriona O’Toole, now the head gardener at Carnton becomes a prime suspect. The two have a push/pull relationship, frequently at odds, but attracted to each other as well. They finally settle into a friendship that works for their complicated life.

Highlighted by the ravages of war and the lack of progress in reconstruction, the south offers a setting both sad and hopeful. Once again the characters are rich in historical genuineness and true personality. Woven with threads of historical fact amid a complicated plot, the story is a rich mingling of history, drama, and romance.  Touching on complex issues of the prejudice against immigrants and the difficulties of life in the south for slaves after the war, the story is well written and respectfully handled.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this multifaceted story. Excellent read for those who enjoy historical fiction and those who read inspirational historical fiction!  This is the second book in the Carnton series.

This ARC copy was received from Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

The Soldier’s Lady: Four Historical Stories by Susanne Dietze, Janette Foreman, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad

Publication Date: 1 August 2020

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Barbour Publishing

A delightful collection of novellas about four bold young women who choose frontier adventure in the forts of the west!

 

The Colonel’s Daughter by Gabrielle Meyer

Ft. Snelling, Minnesota, 1828.

Duty calls Major Nathaniel Ward to guard his Colonel’s three daughters upon their arrival at Ft. Snelling. Nathaniel’s job is to make sure the girls are protected and that they not get involved with any man in the military. As Nathaniel spends more and more time with the charming Ally, he finds he is in danger of breaking his own rules. Read this enjoyable story and see if Ally and Nathaniel can figure a way around the Colonel’s rules.

 

Frontier of Her Heart by Susanne Dietze

Ft. Humboldt, California, 1854.

When the fort commander issues a challenge to his Assistant Surgeon Boyd Braxton and his cook, Emily Sweet, he merely intends to entertain his troops with a bit of fun. Emily is raising her younger brother and is a rather serious soul and Boyd is the exact opposite, finding amusement in most things. The contest he challenges them to sets a course in motion that neither could have predicted. Fun story!

 

Save the Last Word for Me by Lorna Seilstad

Ft. Riley, Kansas, 1864.

Adelina Dante, a schoolteacher on a mission to educate, collides with her fort commander, Colonel Isaac Scott, a young officer who takes his duty at the fort very seriously. Mishap after mishap dogs Adelina on her first posting to a military fort. Will the outspoken Adelina ever learn to follow the rules or be perpetually in trouble with the Colonel?

 

Winning the Lady’s Heart by Janette Foreman

Ft. Garland, Colorado, 1879.

When Captain Jefferson Gray’s friend, Martin O’Neal dies, duty demands that he meet Martin’s new fiancée, Annie Moreau, who arrives on the coach shortly after his death. When Annie becomes stuck at the fort, she finds that she hasn’t really been corresponding with Martin, but instead with the Captain. Can Annie get over her embarrassment, pride, and confusion to figure out who she really cares for? Time has a way of making complicated situations clearer. This novella was definitely my favorite of the four.

This ARC copy was received from Barbour Publishing and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheSoldier’sLady  #NetGalley

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Filed under American Frontier, Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction