Category Archives: Romance

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

The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

Cambron, Kristy The Illusionist's Apprentice

Publication Date: 2017

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Copy from The Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson Publishers

 

“Everything about it causes me to doubt, but that’s just instinct. If you’re asking me personally, then I’d say it’s because my faith must always be stronger than what my eyes can see. However, if you’re asking Wren the illusionist, then I’d say that you once told me a showman must always make the crowd believe the story she tells.”

                                                                        -Wren Lockhart

 Kristy Cambron weaves yet another absorbing tale grounded in history and based on real people. The story of Wren Lockhart, a famed illusionist trained by Harry Houdini, begins in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the year 1926. Much to my dismay when I began reading, Houdini had been dead for two years. The story focuses entirely on Wren and a young FBI agent, Elliot Matthews.

As Elliot works to solve a mysterious death that occurs as part of a public performance by a well known medium, he draws Wren into the investigation. The case pulls the two together as Wren struggles to maintain her very private life and a few well kept secrets of her own. The more time they spend together, the more their interests intersect.

The story is filled with mystery, suspense, intrigue, faith, and romance. The story is based on a real apprentice who worked for Harry Houdini prior to his death, even though the story itself is fiction. A great job of weaving the threads of history with fiction! Readers who love historical fiction will definitely find this an excellent read.

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

 

 

 

 

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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

A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

hauck-rachel-a-royal-christmas-wedding

 

Series:  The Royal Wedding Series

Publication Date: 2016

Publisher: Zondervan and the Fiction Guild

 

 

“You’re redeeming the curse of Prince Michael, bringing the tradition back to life.”

                                                                        -Edward Tattersall

There is nothing like a good Christmas book filled with a real live prince, a beautiful young American woman, and a bell ringing tradition to spice up one’s holiday season. An entertaining read sprinkled with fairy tale romance, Christmas balls, and a Royal family!

After being dumped by Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom five years previously, Avery Truitt is hesitant to encounter the young man again. However, in order to see her favorite sister, Avery must endure the company of Prince Colin during the holidays.

The story follows Prince Colin as he learns to stand up for himself and act on the wishes of a power higher than himself and his rather overbearing father.  Avery reaches deep to find the faith and trust she will need to change her world and to truly believe in Colin again.  Will Avery show up on Christmas morning after the bell rings?

A fun and engaging story! Perfect holiday reading!

This ARC 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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The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

gray-shelley-the-loyal-heart

 

Series: Lone Star Hero, Book 1

Publication Date: July 2016

Publisher: Zondervan

Gratis copy from The Fiction Guild

 

 

Suspense, a bit of a mystery, and some romance all rolled into a post Civil War story set in Galveston, Texas!

Miranda Markham, a devastated, lonely widow, is currently being harassed endlessly by the townspeople of Galveston. Life is not difficult enough to endure after the loss of her husband, Captain Phillip Markham, she must put up with rumors about her husband’s loyalties, disgruntled in-laws, and a boarding house where no one wants to stay.

Robert Truax, a fellow officer from Robert’s unit, arrives to do his duty to his fallen comrade’s widow. As part of a close knit group of officers who agreed to look after each other after the war, Robert begins an investigation into Miranda’s troubles uncovering secrets that were not meant to be discovered and struggling to maintain secrets that need to remain just that!

Readers of historical fiction who enjoy the Civil War and post Civil War era will enjoy this novel. The secrets and mysteries add to the intrigue. Is it possible for Miranda to have feelings for someone other than Phillip again? A serious, but quick read!

 

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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No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer

Witemeyer, Karen No Other Will Do

Publication Date: June 7, 2016

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC from Bethany House and Netgalley.com

 

 

 

Finish the job at hand and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.”

-Malachi Shaw

Sage advice from a mature, wise young man who is good at saying it and thinking it, but not so good at carrying it out! Once again Karen Witemeyer introduces her readers to a handsome young man who has done well for himself and a delightful heroine who runs an all female colony for the abused and downtrodden. Her witty style and humorous characters are evident once again in this tale.

The story of Malachi Shaw and Emma Chandler begins back in the winter of 1882 in Gainesville, Texas when they are just young kids. Malachi at thirteen is orphaned and struggling to stay alive when he winds up in the barn on the property of Henrietta and Alberta Chandler, Emma’s aunts.

Malachi and Emma are separated for nearly ten years until he gets a telegram that sends him running straight back to Emma and the aunts. What Malachi finds at Harper’s Station sets him on edge and sends him in to full rescue mode. The story details the harassment of the ladies in the town by an unknown male who steadily ups his means of getting rid of the women.

The ladies of the town are characters you will not soon forget. Each and every one has a unique story and personality to go with it, including Aunt Henri and Aunt Bertie. The few males that are allowed in town are distinct as well.

Read this fun and lively tale to find out how far the mysterious stranger is willing to go to get rid of the women of Harper’s Station! Balancing personal struggles  with faith, Ms. Witemeyer puts together a great summer read for lovers of  inspirational historical fiction!

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

Karen Witemeyer’s website

Karen’s Facebook Page

 

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Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell

Mitchell, Siri  Flirtation Walk

Publication Date: March 2016

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC copy from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com

 

 

In August of 1855, Miss Lucinda Pennyworth finds herself enroute to Buttermilk Falls, New York hoping to turn herself into a respectable young woman in search of her long lost relations. Lucinda’s sketchy past has left her wishing for family and respectability and now that she has been left on her own, she is going to do her best to make that wish come true.

After arriving at her relations’ home in Buttermilk Falls outside the famed West Point Academy, Lucinda finds that she must work to prove herself. The longer she stays with her aunt and uncle, the more she grows attached to her family and her life of respectability. Along with the family, she meets the young men of West Point who vie for her attention. As she begins to fall for Seth Westcott, an upstanding young West Point cadet, he undergoes some very personal trauma that changes the course of his career as a soldier.

The cast of characters is broad in this novel.  They are an interesting group, as well as having a few quirky ones thrown in to lighten the mix. The storyline certainly has some twists and unexpected turns. The historical detail is very interesting, based on West Point and the small town that is located outside its gates. The author has a very good set of historical notes at the end of the book regarding military life at West Point.

Definitely an enjoyable read! This novel will be interesting for readers of historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and romance. The story is well paced and keeps the reader’s interest engaged.

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.

****/5

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