Tag Archives: Texas

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

An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray

Series: Lone Star Hero, Book 2

Publication Date: Feb 2017

Publisher: Zondervan

Gratis copy from The Fiction Guild

 

“I’m too rough. Too big. I’m not smart, and I get in fights all the time too. None of those things are what women want.”

                                                                                    -Thomas Baker

Little did Thomas Baker know but that big, rough man was exactly what Laurel Tracey needed in her life at the time she meets him. Laurel, a pretty, young woman intent on saving the family ranch, is having a tough time on her own. She takes matters into her own hands and uses the last of her money to get Thomas Baker out of jail and into her employ.

Sergeant Thomas Baker is a young man who is rough around the edges but has a very good heart and a huge soft spot for Laurel Tracey. Laurel needs help desperately, and the only person that seems to be seriously on her side is Thomas. As mysterious events start to occur around the ranch, Laurel questions whether she’ll lose everything she worked hard to hold on to or whether Thomas will be enough to help her figure out what is going on and stop the threats.

Little does Laurel know but Thomas has a close group of officer friends who made an agreement to look after each other after the civil war. As a result of this friendship, able bodied help rides to the rescue in the form of his war comrades. Together the four men and Laurel take on the quest to stop the mysterious accidents and save the ranch.

Readers of Civil War and post Civil War fiction will enjoy this easy read! The characters are engaging and the plot line pulls the reader in right from the start. A fun read that continues the story of the four survivors from Johnson’s Island POW camp.

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, christian fiction, Historical Fiction

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

A Moment in Time by Tracie Peterson

Moment in TIme

 

Publication Date: June 2014

Series: Lone Star Brides, Book 2

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

“God knew the kind of wife I needed, and He brought you right to my doorstep.”

-Robert Barnett

This book continues the story of Marty and Jake Wythe whom we met in the first book of the series, A Sensible Arrangement. Marty and Jake married, fell in love, and were suffering through the Denver depression at the end of the last novel. This story picks up as the depression deepens, and Jake is forced to make a move back to Texas for employment.

Marty and her companion from the first novel, Alice Chesterfield, stay behind in Denver at the orphanage until Jake can procure a job and send for them. Time stretches out and a variety of events take shape before the women can leave for Texas, adding an element of excitement and anticipation to the story.

Jake, in the meantime, has sought employment with his in-laws; Marty’s sister, Hannah and her husband, Will and their son, Robert. The storyline unfolds as Marty and Alice arrive at the ranch and begin a new life.

This story focuses a great deal on Alice and her personal life as she falls in love with young Robert. The story is relatively predictable, but has some interesting twists and turns to keep the reader engaged. The dual storylines with Jake and Marty and Robert and Alice make the book an appealing read.

I always enjoy the historical detail in Tracie Peterson’s books. This story is set at the end of 1893 and takes place predominantly in Texas. The country as a whole was experiencing economic depression, and it influenced people’s lives everywhere.

I looked forward to the book after reading the first one earlier this year. It is an entertaining read and picks up right where the first book ended. The story offers a good mix of historical fiction, mystery, drama, and romance while being grounded in Christian values.

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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Stuck Together (Trouble in Texas, #3) by Mary Connealy

Stuck Together by Mary Connealy

Series: Trouble in Texas

Publication Date: June 2014

Publisher: ARC from Netgalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

Stuck Together, a rowdy little novel set in 1868 in Broken Wheel, Texas, is an entertaining read from seasoned author, Mary Connealy. She writes what she lives and knows best.

The town of Broken Wheel is a desolate little place with a minimal population of mismatched and interesting people. Vince Yates, a do-it-yourself lawyer and unpaid sheriff, meets his match when Tina Cahill, self-reliant, picket toting woman, comes to town to stay with her brother, Jonas.  Jonas and Vince are part of a close knit group of friends that survived the civil war in the confines of Andersonville prison by serving as Regulators.  A bond that defies normal friendship ties the small group of four together.

The story details the enormous sense of responsibility that Vince takes on for the town and for all the people involved in his life. He is a rather serious, handsome fellow who is determined never to marry due to the dementia that he thinks is hereditary in his family. The novel takes on some serious issues such as dementia, mental illness, and family relationships.

Tina Cahill is a lovely, spirited young woman who wants nothing more than to be loved and needed. She spent her young life in less than pleasant situations and never truly felt loved. She meets Vince, who is dead set against marriage, and the lightning strikes.

The secondary cast of characters, some from previous novels, is an engaging group, individually and as a whole. The storyline would not be complete without the mixture of the entire cast of town characters.  The challenges they face as a group are demanding and entertaining. The historical aspect of the novel is interesting with information about Andersonville and the Regulators adding a realistic note to the story.

Readers of light, inspirational historical fiction will like this novel. The book is not a heavy, complicated read, but a nice mixture of inspirational and family drama with a little mystery and a whole lot of romance going on! Read and enjoy! I have not read the first two in the series, but I am definitely going back and read those two so I am up to date on the story!

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, Historical Fiction

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

Full Steam Ahead

Publication Date: June 2014

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC from Bethany House and Netgalley.com

 

 

Only, the treasure he hunted was already on his arm. A priceless treasure whose value was far above rubies and one he would hold tight to forever. “                                                                                                                                                                           -Darius Thornton

How appropriate an ending for another happily ever after tale from Karen Witemyer. Those of us that read Karen Witemeyer know that her tales generally end on a positive note. This story is no exception. I had some trouble getting into this story initially due to the complex number of technical issues dealing with the steam engines which made the reading tedious in the early pages. However, once I got past the first few chapters, the story drew me in. I knew it would be a good ending, but I am always interested in finding out about the journey to get there.

This novel tells the tale of Darius Thornton, driven, unconventional experimenter, and Nicole Renard, dagger throwing, math expert, in the guise of a sweet Southern young woman. Nicole is on the run trying to save her family heirloom, the Lafitte dagger. She is in need of money to continue implementing her plan; however, just as she is feeling a bit desperate, she runs across an ad for a secretary for Darius Thornton.

Their story unfolds as she begins her work for Darius, tries to evade the bad guys intent on stealing the dagger, teaches the new employee, a little homeless boy, how to throw daggers, and falls hopelessly in love with her odd employer.

The characters have many similarities that make them loveable and interesting. The personal struggle each of them undergoes strengthens their story, and Darius’s reconnection to his faith adds a satisfying undercurrent to the tale. The conclusion is fun and the story draws to a satisfying end.

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.

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A Sensible Arrangement by Tracie Peterson

Sensible Arrangement

 

Publication Date: April 2014

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

 

“. . . I’m going to marry a man I’ve never met and do not love. I’m going to marry him and leave this place forever.”

-Marty Dandridge Olson

Marty Olson, a petite blonde Texas born rancher, can’t wait to get out of the state. A bull killed her beloved husband  four years earlier, and Marty continued to miss him. She wanted to get out of Texas and away from the life that consumed her on the small ranch they had shared.

Desperate to depart, Marty agrees to marry Jacob “Jake” Wythe, a good-looking Texan living in Colorado and working as a banker. Jake is looking for a strong, sensible woman from Texas. He fails to disclose in his letters that his true heart’s desire is to buy a ranch and return to Texas. Marty also forgets to mention that she never wants anything to do with ranching and Texas again.

Marty’s adventures begin with an attempted stagecoach robbery before she ever reaches Denver.  Upon her arrival in Denver, Marty marries Jake and life as a Denver society wife begins. The storyline follows Jake and Marty as they become acquaintances and then friends while maintaining a marriage in name only.

The characters do not evolve a great deal in this novel. Some of the greatest character growth evolves from Marty’s struggles with finding her faith again. She also struggles with her lack of children, but she succeeds in finding a creative means of channeling her love of children in a useful manner.

I enjoyed the historical detail regarding Denver in the early days. In addition to the information regarding the city, an abundance of historical political and business detail was scattered throughout the book. The story is set at the end of 1892. This time period was one of great growth due to the building of the railroad through the area which contributes to the storyline.

I enjoyed the book. It is a light, easy read. This is Tracie Peterson’s 100th book to be published. Readers of her many books will enjoy the novel. The story offers a good mix of historical fiction, drama, and romance with a good Christian basis.

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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