Category Archives: Historical Fiction

A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

 

Series: Treasures of Surrey, Book 3

Publication Date: May 2017

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ARC copy from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers

 

“Every person is on a journey. You.  Me.  Mr. Thorley. Miss Stillworth. Every single one of us.” …. “Some of us will learn and grow, and some will struggle and fail. I know I certainly could not judge another. All we can do is be there for the ones who have been put into our lives.”

-Crosley

Suspense, romance and a bit of faith deliver a great story in this latest novel by Sarah E. Ladd. Readers of Regency novels will definitely engage with this story. Intriguing characters, dark plots, and subtle romance tie the story together quite well!

Annabelle Thorley,  a young gentile woman, finds her life changing drastically as her family goods are carted from their pleasant home and sold by her brother who has inherited the family estate. Bills to settle, debts to be paid, and unsavory friends add to Annabelle’s brother Thomas’s problems. Thomas decides to use Annabelle as a means of getting himself out of debt and out of trouble.

Desperation drives Annabelle to seek shelter at Fellsworth School run by her Uncle Edmund, whom she has not seen in ten years. Owen Locke, a groundskeeper from the neighboring estate, steps in and provides safe transportation to Fellsworth for Annabelle and her ladies maid, Crosley.

Uncle Edmund is quite willing to provide the two women with jobs and a safe place to live. Thus begins a changed life for Annabelle and Crosley both. One will use the change to her advantage and one will use it unwisely.

Once again Sarah Ladd examines in depth the significance of family, morals, and the true meaning of home. Annabelle and Owen have both suffered loss and difficulties. Annabelle’s upbringing left her ill suited to the life with which she winds up, but she makes an effort to adapt and do the best she can with the skills she has. Owen learns that he is capable of a great deal of patience and that his patience and hard work do pay off in the end. Annabelle and Owen learn that home is where you make it and family is sometimes what we choose, not what we are born to.

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.  

 

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Regency

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

Hedlund, Jody With You Always

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

Series: Orphan Train, Book 1

Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Publisher: Bethany House

 

In order to determine which of my sons is worthiest to inherit sole control over all my investments and companies, I am issuing a six-month challenge. The two conditions are as follows. First, each son must build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad. And second, each son must get married to a woman he loves.                                                                                              -From the will of Mr. Quincy

The stipulations in the will of Thornton and Bradford Quincy’s father set a chain of events into motion that will impact many lives other than their own. Elise Neumann, an extremely poor young immigrant woman, struggles to provide for herself and four younger children for whom she is responsible. Her path crosses with that of Thornton and Bradford Quincy when they begin hiring people for employment to move to the towns they are struggling to build in the wilds of Illinois territory in 1857.

Elise Neumann is forced like many others to take a job in the Midwest as there is no longer any work available in New York City at this time. She embarks on a train journey leaving her siblings behind until she can earn enough money to send for them. Women were at a distinct disadvantage at this time in history. Pay was not equal; accommodations were not equal; and life was significantly more complex if you were a female.

Elise Neumann finds her life entangled with Thornton Quincy in spite of their very different social classes. Faith, love, and spirits filled with integrity and honesty eventually bring Elise and Thornton to a place where they can pursue their dreams together.

This book is an excellent start to a new series. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and feel that is one of Jody Hedlund’s best books. The characters are engaging and dynamic. The plot pulls the reader right in from the very beginning and carries through to the end. Ms. Hedlund draws on real historical detail to provide depth to the story. Readers of historical inspirational fiction will love this appealing novel! Excitedly awaiting book two!

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Romance

To The Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC copy from Bethany House and Netgalley.com

 

“One should not accept an apology until one is prepared to consign the offense to the past. Otherwise it will fester like a splinter beneath the skin and continue to cause problems in the future.”

                                                                       -Lt. Ryan Gallagher

 Jenny Bennett, a beautiful and rather complex young nurse, works at the U.S. Army Base at the Presidio in San Francisco in the year 1898 when she meets and falls in love with handsome, blonde Lt. Ryan Gallagher. Although not together long, they make plans for their future marriage when Ryan suddenly has to depart mysteriously in the night.

After being gone for a year, a cryptic letter from Ryan arrives telling her that he will not be returning. Six years later Jenny still struggles to completely give up thoughts of Lt. Gallagher who disappeared that night. When the mysterious Ryan arrives back at the Presidio with a beautiful Asian daughter, Jenny wants only an explanation for his behavior from him.

The story revolves around the conflict of Jenny’s need for security and the truth and Ryan’s characteristics of being closed off and secretive. Even when the secrets are finally disclosed, Jenny and Ryan find that they have different definitions o f forgiveness.

An intriguing read that will leave readers questioning the art of forgiveness!  Be sure and check out the reader’s notes at the end of the book. Elizabeth Camden once again fills her novel with detailed historical data that captivates one’s imagination and characters that are true to life.

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

Author Links:

 Elizabeth Camden

 Facebook:  Author Elizabeth Camden

 Goodreads: Elizabeth Camden

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An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray

Series: Lone Star Hero, Book 2

Publication Date: Feb 2017

Publisher: Zondervan

Gratis copy from The Fiction Guild

 

“I’m too rough. Too big. I’m not smart, and I get in fights all the time too. None of those things are what women want.”

                                                                                    -Thomas Baker

Little did Thomas Baker know but that big, rough man was exactly what Laurel Tracey needed in her life at the time she meets him. Laurel, a pretty, young woman intent on saving the family ranch, is having a tough time on her own. She takes matters into her own hands and uses the last of her money to get Thomas Baker out of jail and into her employ.

Sergeant Thomas Baker is a young man who is rough around the edges but has a very good heart and a huge soft spot for Laurel Tracey. Laurel needs help desperately, and the only person that seems to be seriously on her side is Thomas. As mysterious events start to occur around the ranch, Laurel questions whether she’ll lose everything she worked hard to hold on to or whether Thomas will be enough to help her figure out what is going on and stop the threats.

Little does Laurel know but Thomas has a close group of officer friends who made an agreement to look after each other after the civil war. As a result of this friendship, able bodied help rides to the rescue in the form of his war comrades. Together the four men and Laurel take on the quest to stop the mysterious accidents and save the ranch.

Readers of Civil War and post Civil War fiction will enjoy this easy read! The characters are engaging and the plot line pulls the reader in right from the start. A fun read that continues the story of the four survivors from Johnson’s Island POW camp.

This copy was received from Zondervan and the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

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Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

Series: Heart of the Frontier

Publication Date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

Tracie Peterson narrates an engrossing and heart-wrenching story in the first book of her new Heart of the Frontier series, Treasured Grace. The novel centers around three young women headed west on the Oregon Trail in 1847 whose lives are forever changed by the Whitman Mission massacre. At the mission Grace Martindale meets Alexander Armistead, a hunter and guide, with strong ties to the area. Grace and her two younger sisters, Hope and Mercy, have not been at the mission long when the massacre occurs.

Alex and Grace find that they will need faith to get them through some very difficult situations after the slaughter of so many innocent people. The massacre was a very real historical event around which the story of Alex and Grace evolves. The historical details were a bit sparse in this novel, but the basic plot hooked me and kept me intrigued. This sad, introspective story will leave readers with much to think about. Not a light read, but a very deep touching tale!

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

 

 

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Filed under American Frontier, Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

Child of the River by Irma Joubert

joubert-irma-child-of-the-riverPublication Date: October 2016

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Copy from The Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson      

                                      

“It’s hard to be a woman, child.”

                                    -Ma Pieterse

Irma Joubert once again weaves an intricate tale of life in South Africa amid the political turmoil of the apartheid and WWII. Pérsomi Pieterse, a thin young girl raised on a dirt poor sharecropper’s farm in the veld of South Africa, values her education and her big brother, Gerbrand, above all else.

Pérsomi’s story unfolds as her beloved brother goes off to war, and she struggles to be able to continue her education. Before departing, Gerbrand discloses the fact that Pérsomi’s father is not really the father she has been raised to believe, much to her relief. This fact makes a fundamental difference in the outcome of Pérsomi’s education and life choices.

Follow Pérsomi’s journey to adulthood and her success as an attorney as she strives to lead a life that does not always conform to the beliefs of those around her. A woman of strong values and character, Pérsomi sets a fine example as a strong female role model during a time period when women were dominated by men.

The historical detail adds depth to the novel, and the incorporation of the politics of the apartheid offers an interesting intensity.  The religious and ethnic prejudices encountered in this book are reminiscent of our own history in the United States at different times.

A very intriguing novel! This is not a light read, but the book is excellent for readers of historic fiction and anyone with a specific interest in South Africa.

This copy was received from Thomas Nelson’s Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

alexander-tamera-a-note-yet-unsung

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

Publication Date: February 2017

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

 

“But you must trust that the Lord has your best at the center of his Heart, and whatever His plans are for your life, for this talent He’s given you, He will bring them to fruition in time.”

                                                            -Adelicia Acklen Cheatham

Once again I feel as though I stepped back in time to the genteel world of Nashville, Tennessee at a time following the Civil War when people were beginning to rebuild their lives. Tamera Alexander writes in such a way that as soon as you read those opening lines you are transported into her character’s world. I hear soft southern drawls and hear the gentle swish of petticoats and skirts stepping into the drawing room.

Rebekah Carrington, a beautiful young woman in her twenties, returns home to Nashville after years of studying music in Vienna, Austria only to find that her home is not a safe haven or even a comfortable place to live. Challenged by a time period when women were not allowed to play an instrument in the orchestra, Rebekah initially chafes at the constrictions placed on her by society as she struggles to find a job and a place to live. Maestro Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb, the handsome young conductor of the Nashville Philharmonic, steps into Rebekah’s life. Although the conductor might be forward thinking himself, his benefactors would never stand for a woman in their orchestra.

Once again Adelicia Cheatham, one of the richest women in America at the time, comes to the aid of a struggling young woman and employs Rebekah as a tutor to her daughter and an assistant to Tate Whitcomb to aid in his music transcription and composition. Tate and Rebekah battle against time, health, and struggling musicians to turn out a symphony worthy of the grand opening of the Nashville Opera House in a few months time.

Rich in historic detail regarding music and the time period, the city of Nashville, and architecture, readers of historical fiction and will truly enjoy this novel. Morals and integrity shine throughout the story which also leaves the reader with a comforting sense of inspiration and faith.

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Romance