The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

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Publication Date:  January 3, 2017

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from Netgalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

                   “Everything begins and ends with grace.”

The Mark of the King is a beautifully written story of a young Parisian midwife sentenced unfairly for a crime she did not commit. As part of her punishment she is sent to the colony of New Orleans on a convict ship after being forced to marry a male prisoner. The story follows Julianne’s unusual story as she and her husband Simon are delivered to the colony of New Orleans to help populate the struggling settlement.

The tale is filled with Julianne’s struggles in the new world; the loss of her husband, her marriage to a French Captain, and the search for her missing brother. Her struggles and her strength and courage to succeed in this rough country shine throughout this story.

I really enjoyed the historical detail about this time period in America’s history. I had never heard of this very interesting aspect of the settling of Louisiana by the French. The inclusion of real historical characters always adds depth to historical fiction. The story also included an amazing number of lessons learned by our characters and cherished by this reader. These lessons include forgiveness, doing the right thing, and living a life filled with grace. Experience Julianne’s tragedies and triumphs! I loved this book and I hope you will too! Outstanding read for fans of historical fiction or inspirational historical fiction!

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.

5/5

 

 

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Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

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Publication Date: Nov 2016

St. Martin’s Press

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and St. Martin’s Press

 

Daisy Goodwin once again takes on a cast of historical characters in this novel set in England during the early 19th century. The novel details the early years of Queen Victoria’s ascendance to the throne of England as well as detailing some of her earlier years prior to becoming queen.

Alexandrina Victoria was a young woman who lived an extremely sheltered life guided by her single parent mother and her mother’s advisor, Sir John Conroy, a rather shifty individual who stood to gain much through his manipulations of Victoria and her mother. However upon gaining her crown, Alexandrina Victoria retitles herself as Queen Victoria and finds her own mentor in the form of Lord Melbourne.

The book portrays the Queen as having a less than discreet romantic interest in Melbourne; however, Melbourne treats her for the most part like his Queen in spite of his feelings for her as a female. The reality of the story is not really known, but Ms. Goodwin does a nice job of portraying Melbourne in a positive manner.

As Victoria gets a couple of years experience behind her and learns some difficult lessons along the way, she receives a visit from her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  Her Uncle Leopold did his best to match make, and he eventually succeeds. Victoria marries Prince Albert in what will become a very strong love match.

The characters are dynamic and changing as they age and progress through the story. They are not always likeable, but generally always interesting. A fun read filled with historical data based on the real life of Queen Victoria, her family, and the political intrigues that followed her! A well written, interesting story!

This ARC copy was received from St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

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Publication Date:  January 3, 2017

Publisher: Baker Publishing Group

ARC Copy from Netgalley.com and Baker Publishing

 

 

Let me begin by saying that Laura Frantz is one of those amazing authors who can actually pull the reader right back in time. Maybe it’s because I hear her characters speaking or maybe it’s because the setting places me right in the middle of the story.

I loved reading this frontier drama-romance. I especially enjoyed the historical detail that is vital to a novel of this genre. The inclusion of historical characters that are an integral part of this area’s past adds to the intriguing tale.

Temperance Grace Tucker and Sion Morgan are spirited characters that come to life in the pages of this story set in the territory of Kentucke in April of 1777, a volatile and violent time in our nation’s history. Traveling through minimally charted territory during a time when the colonists fought for their freedom in the East and brutal Indian attacks occurred on a regular basis in the West, Sion does the unexpected and hires Tempe, an outstanding marksman familiar with the land, to guide his surveying crew through the remote wilderness.

Tempe and Sion’s travels through the wilds of Kentucke are filled with action, adventure, heart break, a bit of romance, and faith. This story touched my heart with its very real characters and its sense of the time period. A wonderful story for lovers of historical fiction, inspirational fiction, romance, and adventure!

This ARC copy was received from Baker Publishing 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

To Follow Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

demarino-rebecca-to-follow-her-heartSeries: The Southold Chronicles, Book 3

Publication Date: July 2016

Publisher: Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Purchased Copy

 

Rebecca DeMarino once again takes us to the village of Southold on Long Island in the year 1664. This third and final novel in the series brings back all the characters we came to know so well in the first two novels, Barnabus and Mary Horton and their family; Heather Flower and her husband, Dirk Van Buren; Jeremy Horton and Patience Terry as well as many others. The storyline follows Patience and her long standing love for Jeremy Horton, the ship captain who cannot seem to keep himself on land or at home long enough to get married although he professes a deep love for her.

The politics of the time are calling for a takeover of New Amsterdam on the other end of the island and the generally peaceable village is disrupted when the men head off to a potential battle. This village’s strong women bond together to do what is necessary to carry on while the men are gone.

Ms. DeMarino once again does a terrific job of detailing the history of the time with the political drama and making the entire story very appealing. The book offers drama, death on the high seas, estates up in flames, and thwarted romance!  I would definitely recommend this novel for readers of historical fiction and inspirational historical fiction. This third novel in the series is definitely necessary to tie up all the loose ends and it brings a beautiful close to the Horton’s family story.

 I purchased this book. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

 

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A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

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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 Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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Series: The Bishop’s Family Series

Publication Date: Oct 2016

Publisher: Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

 

“Watch and wait for God’s timing. You’ll know it when it comes.” 

-Dok

Ruthie Stoltzfus, a lively 17 year old Amish girl, is restless and can’t decide what she really wants to do with her life. Being Amish is a crucial part of her life, but the need for more than the Amish life is driving her in a different direction. To add to her confusion, Patrick Kelly, a quiet, intelligent young man from Canada, arrives for an extended stay at the Inn at Eagle Hill interested in becoming Amish.

Our story revolves around Ruthie, Patrick, and Luke Schrock, a 17 year old Amish boy who has been Ruthie’s on again and off again close friend since grade school. Of course, we also have the people of Stoney Ridge and their everyday lives making things interesting, mysterious deaths at the Inn, unexpected illness, and the odd romance here and there.

The book is an interesting read with undertones of faith, second chances, and finding ourselves where we are instead of always searching elsewhere. Ruthie’s restlessness and Patrick’s quest each lead them to come to the realization that the alternative to their current situation is not always the better one. The story is a pleasant read with a clear path to additional stories in the series. I especially enjoyed the bits of wisdom sprinkled throughout the story.

I received this copy from NetGalley.com and Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for a fair review. The opinions and statements above are my own.

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The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

klassen-julie-the-innkeeper-of-ivy-hill

Series: Tales from Ivy Hill, Book 1

 Publication Date: Coming December 6, 2016

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC Copy from Netgalley.com and Bethany House

 

 

 

The spring of 1820 started out rather mundanely for Jane Fairmont Bell as she continued to hide out in her small lodging next to the Bell, a coaching inn, in Wiltshire, England. Jane’s life had taken some unexpected turns in the past year upon the suspicious and slightly mysterious death of her young husband who had ran the inn along with his mother, the rather imposing Thora Bell. This quiet, routine existence was about to abruptly end.

With the arrival of Thora back at the inn and the mysterious disappearance of funds, Jane must step up and figure out whether or not she is capable of being an innkeeper and businesswoman. The storyline evolves around Jane’s awakening to the reality of maintaining the inn and her employees and her evolving relationship with her mother-in-law, which had previously been rather touchy.  With the assistance of a couple of interesting male acquaintances, Jane begins to find her way forward in a world that was not always kind to women.

Once again, Julie Klassen mixes a variety of interesting characters with unique personalities into the tale. This book is the first in a series, Tales from Ivy Hill. I am looking forward to see which of the characters is highlighted in the next book. They are a slightly eccentric group and some have a hidden side that has not been fully developed in this story.

I enjoyed the book very much. An intriguing Regency read that leaves plenty of questions to be answered and characters to be developed with time!

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.

4/5

 

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