Category Archives: Romance

Jane of Austin by Hilary Manton Lodge

Publication Date: June 13, 2017

Bethany House Publishers

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook Multnomah

 

 

“It’s good to have dreams. But sometimes dreams change, or take different forms, or you go down a path and realize that while it’s not the beach, you really like the forest.”

-Jane

 A delightful read for the summer! This unique variation of Sense and Sensibility set in modern day Austin, Texas is a fun, light read. The lives of three sisters, Celia, Jane, and Margo, takes another intriguing turn when necessity forces a change of residence from their native San Francisco to Austin. The city of Austin, lights years different in terms of culture and lifestyle, offers the girls an opportunity for a new start.

Join this intriguing trio of sisters as they set out for Austin and try to move their tea business, plants and all, along with them. The older two, Celia and Jane, each have their own love issues with which to contend, in addition to raising their teenage sister. The girls have character, charisma, and charm.

The book is a poignant story full of family, romance, and the meaning of sisters. If you’ve read Sense and Sensibility, you’ll see the similarities. As a bonus, some wonderful recipes for the amazing baked goods discussed in the story are sprinkled throughout the book. Don’t miss this fun summer read!

This copy was received from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance

The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Hauck, Rachel The Writing Desk
Publication Date: July 10, 2017
Publisher: Zondervan Publications

 

 

 

“Her old typewriter perched on its well-worn grooves, waiting for her to type again. But her story had been told.”

And what a story Birdie Shehorn had lived and told! The book weaves the stories of Birdie Shehorn and Tenley Roth together in an intriguing read that covers two distinctly different periods in history. Tenley, a young promising author, lives in present day New York engaged to a pretentious young man from a well to do family, the Van Cliffs. Birdie Shehorn, a struggling young want-to-be author, lives in New York in the year 1902 and becomes engaged to Alfonse Van Cliff, a flirtatious charming young man. The similarities begin.

Both young women find their lives changed as a result of their writing and the men to whom they are engaged. They each take their destiny into their own hands after many difficult trials and choices. Their path toward finding themselves and fulfilling their writing careers is a complex one.

What starts out as a simple story quickly unfolds and becomes so much more! I really enjoyed this book and particularly loved the historical portion of the story. Readers of contemporary and historical fiction will enjoy this book. Read the story and find out how these young women turn their lives around and find happiness each in her own way.

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

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So Pure a Heart by Amber Lynn Perry

Series: Daughters of His Kingdom Series, Book 4

Publication Date:  July 2016

Publisher: Liberty Publishing

ARC copy from author

 

And you will surely be protected, my dear. For God cannot but shelter one with so pure a heart.

  -Willis Plains, Patriot

In this fourth novel in the series, Amber Lynn Perry continues her captivating tales set during the Revolutionary War. The war is under way in Plymouth, Massachusetts and weapons are in short supply for both sides thus making Ensign Young’s foundry a desirable place for the Patriots and Loyalists. Hannah Young, Ensign’s niece, is a lovely young woman who lives with her Uncle and late aunt as a result of a difficult home life.

The book follows the story of Hannah and Joseph Wythe, a young blacksmith, as they meet again for the first time in many years. Thrown together in a complex situation, Hannah and Joseph engage in a serious and deadly game of spying for the Patriots. Intrigue, politics, war, family relationships, and the cost of honesty are explored in this tale.

Many of my favorite characters have appeared again in this fourth novel, Nathaniel and Kitty from book two, as well as Anna and Henry from the last book. Their wonderful Patriot spirits shine through once again.

The historical detail in Ms. Perry’s novels always draws me deep into the time period. The accounts of Patriot spying are true to life and based on historical facts, even though the actual story is fiction. Faith, love, and a dedication to freedom are the pillars of the story set once again during a complex time in history.

A wonderful read for lovers of historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and romance! And if you are like me and are looking forward to the next one, So Bright a Hope, Book Five, appears to be in the works already.

I received this book free from Liberty Publishing and the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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