Category Archives: Romance

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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Filed under Christmas, Clean, Contemporary, Romance

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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Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Historical Fiction, Romance

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

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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Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

Hedlund, Jody Undaunted Hope

Publication Date: January 2016

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

“He wanted to pull out his money and outbid his brother.”

-Alex Bjorklund

Tessa Taylor certainly complicates the lives of bachelor brothers, Alex and Michael Bjorklund, when she lands in Eagle Harbor, Michigan on a September day in 1871. Tessa, a beautiful young woman, hired to be the local schoolteacher finds herself in all kinds of trouble after being hired by Percival Updegraff, superintendent of the local mining operation, because he thought she was a man.

The novel follows the drama of life in a mining town which is controlled by a dishonest, scheming man who thinks nothing of destroying anyone who dares to dispute his word. The tale unfolds as Tessa begins teaching and gradually finds herself enmeshed in the lives of the Bjorklund brothers, who run the local lighthouse.

Some of the characters in the story are based on real people and events which were detailed in diary entries. The detailing of life in a mining town during the most brutal time of the year is both interesting and sad at the same time.  The book is centered on themes of overcoming fear by facing it with faith and the fact that goodness and faith triumph over evil even in the darkest of times.

Personal Thoughts:

The characters in this novel were not as appealing as in the previous books in the series. The story did not move at a very fast pace. I had to push myself to get through a couple of slower spots. I have read all of Jody Hedlund’s books; and to me, this particular book was not as engaging as her others.

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.

 3/5

Links to author websites:

Jody Hedlund

 

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

Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray

Gray, Shelley  Whispers in the Reading Room.jpg

Publication Date: November 2015

Publisher: Zondervan

Copy from publisher as a “Fiction Guild Team Challenge” book

 

“If life has taught me anything, if that World’s Fair in the middle of our fair city has shown me anything, it’s that everyone, no matter what their circumstances or bearings or hopes, deserves to be around other people.”

                                                                                    -Sebastian Marks

Sebastian Marks, a handsome, aloof, and formidable young man from the wrong end of town, likes to hang out in the library reading some most respectable works of literature. His presence in the library reading room has intrigued Miss Lydia Bancroft, the upright and serious young librarian who manages the front desk at the library.

The story begins in 1894 shortly after the World’s Fair has closed in Chicago. The historical detail on the seedy end of Chicago and the violent crime occurring at the time lend a different approach to the story that centers around the lives of four people who are drawn together as a result of a poor decision of Lydia’s late one night. A bit of mystery and intrigue creep through the story, as well as a healthy dose of romance.

The four main characters are interesting and dynamic. They all come to the realization by the end of the novel that solving their individual problems is not a task to be handled by them alone. Each finds the need for faith in order to turn their lives in a more positive direction.

I felt the book was relatively predictable. The mystery added a bit of intrigue to the overall tale, but at the same time, the clues were easily read. I enjoyed the story, but the book was not a complicated read. I thoroughly enjoyed the setting being in the library and Sebastian and Lydia’s love of literature and books.

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson Zondervan as part of the Fiction Guild Team Challenge in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 ***/5

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Romance, Uncategorized