Tag Archives: 1800’s

Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati

Series: The Waverly Place Series

Publication Date: 10 Sept 2019

Publisher: Berkley Books


Where the Light Enters is a complex family saga set in 1880’s New York and centers around two female doctors. Dr. Anna Savard, an outspoken, bold surgeon married to an Italian New York police investigator, and Dr. Sophie Savard Verhoeven, a mixed race obstetrician and pediatrician as well as also widow of a prominent New York attorney, join forces in this multifaceted story. The women share family ties as well as working relationships, which bind them close in their daily struggle as female doctors during this period in history.

The women have unique personalities and represent strong female role models taking on the issues of sexism and racism in their daily roles. The cast of secondary characters are lively and interesting, contributing generously to the story. Keeping the characters straight initially in this large, complex tale took a bit of work. In addition to a large cast of characters, the multi-layered storylines weave in and out of the intricate plot. In addition to dealing with their daily lives, the women try to help resolve a complicated murder mystery plaguing the women in their area. Read this intriguing tale to find out who was making the women of New York disappear.

I love the historical detail interspersed throughout this story. If you enjoy large, complex historical fiction novels, this book is perfect. I very much enjoyed reading the novel and it went surprisingly fast in spite of its size, a mere 600+ pages.

This ARC copy was received from Berkley Books and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#WhereTheLightEnters #NetGalley

Rating: 4/5


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Once Upon a Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep

Publication Date: 1 September 2019

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

ARC Copy from the author, NetGalley.com and Barbour Publishing


A delightful trio of tales from the Victorian Era with a bit of a Dickens’s essence to each one! Each of these stories, two of which are previously published, are filled with eccentric characters, subtle twists,  and a cameo appearance by none other than Charles Dickens himself. The themes of second chances, hope, forgiveness, family and friends run through each of the stories tying them up with pleasing endings for the holidays.

12 Days at Bleakly Manor

Clara Chapman, Ben Lane, and a handful of quirky personalities find themselves spending the 12 days of Christmas at Bleakly Manor together, each in search of a special prize significant only to them. However, they must last the entire twelve days which may be more difficult than it seems initially. Read this tantalizing little story to find out who makes it to the twelfth day and who doesn’t.

A Tale of Two Hearts

William Barlow, a young law clerk with a bit of a wild past, crosses paths with Mina Scott, a free thinking young woman who loves to read Dickens when she’s supposed to be waiting on tables at her father’s inn. When Will needs to come up with a bride quickly, who better to ask than his friend Mina who waits on him! As Mina and Will begin their journey along a path twisted with tall tales and some outright lies, they find their situation more complex than they planned.

 The Old Lace Shop

My personal favorite of the three stories is this third tale. In her search to become self-sufficient, Bella White, a lovely young woman coming from an extremely difficult home life, encounters Edmund Archer, a former old love from her distant past. Bella and Edmund end up as partners in the Nottingham Lace and Hose factory. Sprinkled with interesting historical detail about the manufacturing of lace, this story draws the reader right into the world of Victorian manufacturing with all its intrigue, turmoil, and heartbreak.

 Don’t miss these intriguing short stories tied up nicely in one volume for easy reading! Great book for readers of historical fiction, Victorian fiction, or Christmas fiction!

This ARC copy was received from the author, Barbour Publishing and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

Series: Daughters of the Mayflower, Book 9

Publication Date: July 2019

Publisher: Barbour Books

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Barbour Books


Kimberley Woodhouse takes an adventurous piece of history, the Pony Express, and spins her own special story with a unique twist. This intriguing story actually begins back in 1834 in St. Louis when Anna Vines runs for her life with her baby daughter, Jacqueline; however, the core of the story takes place at the Carson Sink Station in Utah Territory in 1860.

Jackie Rivers’s life changes drastically in just a few months as she deals with the loss of her beloved father and takes over running the Pony Express station at their home, along with an inn for the stagecoach stop. At twenty-six Jackie is a lovely, young woman who wears many hats in her life as manager of the Carson Sink Station. The life she leads leaves little opportunity to meet someone and minimal time for romance. Two unexpected visitors show up on the stagecoach one October day both bringing unexpected activity, adventure, and a bit of romance to the Station.

Check out this intriguing tale of a spirited young woman living life on her terms back in the days of the Pony Express. The story is laced with historical fact and embellished with fictional characters and adventures. A great historical fiction read and one that fans of inspirational fiction will also enjoy very much! This is the ninth book in the series, but works perfectly as a standalone.

This ARC copy was received from Barbour Books and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheExpressBride #NetGalley

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

The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep

Series:  The Bow Street Runners Trilogy, Book 3

Publication Date: June 01, 2019

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.

ARC from Netgalley.com, the author, and Shiloh Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing

“Life is more than good ideas. It’s the risks that return greater results.”

–Samuel Thatcher

 Michelle Griep finishes off the Bow Street Runners Trilogy with her best hero yet, Captain Samuel Thatcher.  Be still, my beating heart!! A dark, silent man, scarred and a bit short on conversational skills, Samuel has little time in his busy life as an officer of the law to escort women and babies all over the countryside. However, he finds himself doing just that.

Abigail Gilbert, a lovely young woman from a relatively well-off family, departs on a journey to marry a virtual stranger in order to escape her unhappy family life. Little does Abigail dream that her life will take on the twists and turns she encounters along the way. Abby finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime. The bride-to-be finds herself a kidnap victim, a babysitter, and nursemaid before the trip comes to an end.

Packed with action, adventure, extremely bad guys, sweet babies, dark, handsome heroes, and romance, this book entertained me right from the start.  Can these two damaged people find a way to make a life for themselves? Don’t miss this last book in the trilogy. It is an excellent read that I highly recommend for people who enjoy historical fiction, Regency fiction, and Christian fiction.

This ARC copy was received from Netgalley.com and Shiloh Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheNobleGuardian  #NetGalley  #amreading  #amreviewing


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

A Silken Thread by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Publication Date: April 2019

Publisher: Waterbrook

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook

“My mam, she b’lieves real strong that God don’t waste nothin’. That all things is s’posed to wo’k  fo’ good. But I ain’t b’lieved it ‘til right now.”


A story of class, racism, faith, and family! This story set in Atlanta, Georgia in the year 1895 centers around the Cotton states and International Exposition, a huge exhibit with multiple states playing a role over a three month period. The jobs generated by the exhibition offer new opportunities to a variety of individuals and impact their lives in a multitude of ways.

The primary characters in the novel all work at the Exposition in diverse positions, from groundskeeper to silk weaver. Laurel Millard, the youngest sister from a family with modest means, looks to the Exposition for a job as a weaver to broaden her horizons and meet some other young people. Willie Sharp, a polite, handsome young man, gets a job as a security officer in order to pay for rehabilitation care for his father who has had a stroke. Langdon Rochester, wealthy son and heir apparent to the Rochester Steam-Powered Engines, works the Exposition to avoid being in the office under his father’s scrutiny. Quincy Tate, a young man from a large, very poor family, is trying to help his family out and find out about himself.  The characters are each in search of something that they hope to find along the way. They are pretty conventional characters for the time period. A few of them are not very likeable. However, they each played a role in the story.

The novel draws to an end as the exposition nears its completion. The ending felt a bit forced as it seemed that a great deal happened in a short time period. However, it was a satisfying ending with a great many lessons learned by the characters along the way. The historical detail regarding the exposition and the social issues of the time were interesting. Readers of Christian historical fiction should enjoy this novel.

This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook Multnomah and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof

Series: Blackbird Mountain, Book 2

Publication Date: March 12, 2019

ARC from Thomas Nelson Publishers and Netgalley.com

 “Sorry’s for something you didn’t mean to do, he added.” “For breakin’ something that’s on accident. But my behavior that day wasn’t an accident, so I know it’ll take more than a word to make it right.”

                                                                            –Haakon Norgaard 

Driven away for four years by his own rash behavior, bad decisions, and regret, Haakon Norgaard, the youngest of the Norgaard brothers, returns home to Blackbird Mountain to try and make amends to those he cares about. While timely, his arrival leaves many of the residents of the Mountain uneasy and apprehensive.

Sharing the family homestead are Jorgan and his wife, Fay, and their two children as well as Thor and his very pregnant wife, Aden. The Sorrel clan once again brings turmoil and violence to Blackbird Mountain in their quest for revenge. Harlan Sorrel knows no boundaries when it comes to battle. He steps over the line this time. With Haakon’s assistance, the Norgaard men work to bring peace to the Mountain.  As Haakon works toward forgiveness and peace for his soul, he is haunted by a page from the Bible, a drawing from a young Norwegian boy, and a pair of deep blue eyes.

During this time of unrest on Blackbird Mountain, a young widow named Kjersti Jönsson and her children remember a young fisherman who helped them out on her farm while his ship docked in southern Norway. As memories fade and hopes die away, the harsh reality of the coming winter in Norway gives way to an unexpected visitor.

Once again Joanne Bischof touches my heart with this beautiful story of forgiveness, hope, faith, family and looking to the future. Well written and deeply moving! If you have not read book one in the series, I highly recommend reading Sons of Blackbird Mountain first. Come to Blackbird Mountain and discover the Norgaard family.

 This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson Publishers and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#DaughtersOfNorthernShores  #NetGalley #Norway  #historicalfiction  #christianfiction  #amreading



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With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

Publication Date: 08 Jan 2019

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers


“What is a man supposed to do, Lizzie when an army shows up to occupy his land? His home? His possessions? He fights, that’s what he does!”


Tamera Alexander takes us back to the Carnton Plantation, south of Nashville, to relive the night of November 30, 1864 and the Battle of Franklin along with the ensuing aftermath left by the brutal battle that resulted in a loss of approximately 8500 men. The story is an amazing mingling of historical facts, documents and letters, interspersed with threads of fiction filling in the blanks. The primary characters are based on real people, which add to the depth of the novel.

Let me introduce you to Captain Roland Ward Jones of the Mississippi Sharpshooters and Miss Lizzie Clouston, governess at Carnton and friend of John and Carrie McGavock, owners of Carnton. Their introduction occurs during some of the worst fighting of the battle when Roland is brought in among the wounded to Carnton for surgery. He stands to lose a good portion of one hand and his right leg until Lizzie, serving as the untrained surgical assistant, steps in on his behalf and advocates for him. During the long process of healing, Roland and Lizzie fall in love. However, Roland is a plantation owner with slaves and Lizzie is learning how she really feels about slavery.

Is there a future for these two very different souls? Can they come to terms with what the war has done to them physically, spiritually, and mentally? This story carries strong themes of freedom, freedom of choice and freedom to make one’s own decisions, as well as promises one makes and the price we pay when we honor them.

It is a difficult task to take such a tragic event and turn it into a story that evokes positive emotions and instills life lessons. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this detail rich story sprinkled with inspirational reminders. The characters are genuine and real.   If you enjoy inspirational historical fiction or historical fiction, this book is a must read.

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#WithThisPledge #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction