Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Road to Magnolia Glen by Pam Hillman #REVIEWED

https://www.christianbook.com/the-road-to-magnolia-glen/pam-hillman/9781496415943/pd/415943?event=ESRCG

From the Back Cover:

1792, Natchez Trace, MS
Bitter since his eldest brother abandoned their family in Ireland, Quinn O’Shea travels to Natchez, Mississippi, ready to shuck the weight of his duty and set off on an adventure of his own. It’s time Connor, as head of the family, took responsibility for their younger siblings. While aboard ship, a run-in with three Irish sisters lands Quinn in the role of reluctant savior. Though it may delay his plans, he cannot abandon the Young sisters, especially the tenacious yet kind Kiera.

Upon arriving in the colonies, Kiera Young prepares to meet her intended and begin her new life. But she soon discovers the marriage her brother-in-law arranged was never meant to be, and a far more sinister deal was negotiated for her and her sisters.

Quinn offers to escort his charges safely to Breeze Hill Plantation and his brother’s care, fully intending to seek his freedom elsewhere. But the longer he remains, the greater his feelings toward Kiera grow and the more he comes to realize true freedom might be found in sacrifice.



My thoughts:

Wonderful book--one of my favorites released this year!

From the details of plantation life all the way to the major plotline of human trafficking, this story was riveting. I so enjoyed getting to know the characters and watching them fall in love as they faced the challenges of survival, keeping their siblings out of trouble, and searching for a place to truly belong. I have also added this book to a Goodreads List of Christian Novels Containing Sigh-worthy Kisses! Such a sweet romance. I love how protective the hero is of his lady, even when he denies his attraction for her and knows their goals in life are far different. The game-changer characters blew me away, and I loved how volatile things became when these characters were on the page. Seeing Connor and Julia again brought back sweet reader-memories of their love story, while following their current relationships as they navigate the demands of plantation life. Pam Hillman has produced another Southern classic! Can't wait until the third book in the series!


Comment fodder:
Can you name any other Christian romance books set in the antebellum South?

Sunday, September 2, 2018

September 2018 Fiction Releases #ACFW

September 2018 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:


A Baby for the Minister by Laurel Blount -- Jilted at the altar, Natalie Davis has no one she can turn to—until Jacob Stone steps in. The single minister’s drawn to the beautiful mommy-to-be and wants to help…even if it goes against his congregation’s wishes and could cost him his job. But when she refuses to accept charity, can he convince her she’s more than a ministry project? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



Courting Her Secret Heart by Mary Davis -- Deborah Miller lives a double life as an Amish woman—and a fashion model! All photography is forbidden in her Plain community, so she must keep her job a secret. But when Amos Burkholder starts helping at her family’s farm, hiding the truth from him is impossible. And soon she must choose between the Englischer world of modeling and the Amish man she’s come to love. (Contemporary Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



12 Gifts of Christmas by Lena Nelson Dooley -- Can Malcolm MacGregor, a contemporary descendant of Scottish lairds, capture the heart of Brazilian-Italian beauty, Alanza Cantalamessa, in 12 days? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)



All Made Up by Kara Isaac -- Katriona McLeod has never gotten over Caleb Murphy, the one guy she's ever loved. When she accepts a job as a make up artist on the latest looking-for-love reality TV show, Falling for the Farmer, she discovers to her horror that Caleb is the leading man and she's cast as one of his harem. But she hides a secret that means that even if she wanted a second chance with the guy who broke her heart she could never have it. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)



An Amish Holiday Wedding by Carrie Lighte -- On the brink of losing her bakery, the last thing Faith Yoder’s interested in is courting—until Hunter Schwartz returns to Willow Creek. After hiring him to deliver her treats to a Christmas festival, Faith’s determined their relationship will stay strictly professional. But despite a secret that’s kept her single, Faith can’t help but wish she and Hunter could become husband and wife. (Contemporary Amish Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Cozy Mystery:


Deadly Holiday by Marissa Shrock -- The Christmas season greets Georgia Winston with a new boyfriend (maybe), a Christmas program to run, and a man dying at her feet. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)

General Contemporary/Women’s Fiction

From the Lake to the River by JPC Allen, Bettie Boswell, Carole Brown, Sandra Merville Hart, Tamera Lynn Kraft, Sharyn Kopf, Michelle Levigne, Cindy Thomson, and Rebecca Waters -- Set in Ohio, in the past and present, these nine short stories and novellas by Ohio authors cover a wide range of genres, topics and locations. From Troy in the west to the North Coast and south-central Ohio. From Lake Erie to the Ohio River. From romance to YA adventure, with touches of mystery and humor. Dealing with historical events and situations, such as floods and the lasting effects of the Civil War. With characters involved in square dancing, theater, and music. Dealing with loss and danger, a second chance at love and taking a chance on love for the first time. Chances are good, no matter what you have a taste for reading, you'll find something to like. Welcome to a taste of the Buckeye State! (General Contemporary from Mt Zion Ridge Press)


Place Called Home by Brenda S. Anderson -- While building his graphic design company, Nate Brooks is focused on the future he's dreamed of: traveling around the country from the comfort of his renovated school bus. But when he picks up a wounded, mysterious hitchhiker, those well-laid plans take a backseat to protecting her. Hobbled by her injury, and unable to keep running from her controlling ex, Tessa fears she'll never find freedom. Or has she found it with the family who graciously opens their home to her? And will Nate's protection put his family--and his heart--at risk? (Women’s Fiction, Independently Published)


Swimming in the Deep End by Christina Suzann Nelson -- Jillian Connors has big expectations for her teenage daughter, Gabby, an Olympic hopeful---until Gabby becomes pregnant with her boyfriend Travis's child. Meanwhile, Margaret Owens is furious that Gabby's condition jeopardizes her son's baseball scholarship. In the midst of the family drama lies the fate of the unborn baby. What does the future hold for him? (General Contemporary from Kregel Publications)

Historical:


Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson -- A gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted the evils of the Hitler regime in their own extraordinary way. (Historical from Tyndale House)



Everything She Didn’t Say by Jane Kirkpatrick -- A Victorian woman who traveled 15,000 miles by stage between 1870-98 decides to tell the story behind her memoir believing her husband will never see it. (Historical from Revell - A Division of Baker Publishing Group)



Enya’s Son by Cindy Thomson -- This retelling of the early life of St. Columcille and his mother will usher readers on a fateful journey through ancient Ireland’s monastic centers, her wild coastline islands, and the land Columcille believed was filled with holy angels, a place where he felt safe … yet was destined to abandon. (Historical, Independently Published)

Historical Romance:


Victorian Christmas Brides by C.J. Chase, Susanne Dietze, Rita Gerlach, Kathleen L. Maher, Gabrielle Meyer, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Vanessa Riley, Lorna Seilstads, and Erica Vetsch -- Faced with the daily extremes of gluttony and want in the Victorian Era, nine women seek to create the perfect Christmas celebrations. But will expectations and pride cause them to overlook imperfect men who offer true love? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)



Esther’s Temptation by Lena Nelson Dooley -- Saddle weary, former deputy US Marshal Jac Andrews rides into Denton, Texas hunting a swindler-and-daughter criminal team and finally feels he’s caught up to them. Unfortunately, he becomes distracted by the lovely redhead, Esther Brians. Esther, feeling like an old maid surrounded by all her close friends who are happy married couples, is drawn to the intense gaze, blue as the Texas sky, of an unknown cowboy. But several things cause her to become wary of his intentions—and his spiritual well-being. Has this unsaved lawman captured Esther’s heart or will the Lord deliver her from the temptation of Jac’s presence? What will it take for Jac to win this lovely lady and become Esther’s husband? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)



The Sound of Distant Thunder by Jan Drexler -- Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents' insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother's name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother's place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation? (Historical Romance from Revell - A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

Romantic Suspense:


Loving the Texas Negotiator by Mary Connealy -- Beth Garrison is the top hostage negotiator in Rocky Ridge Texas. She's called in to a task force to investigate a killing that is a copy cat of her first bust as a rookie cop. The Valentine Killer.
Tate McCade, with the best arrest record on the force and a reputation for steamrolling anyone who gets in his way, heads the task force. He's had a run-in with Beth and her oversized ego. He's got a bruise on his face to prove it. Rather than have the pleasure of busting her back to walking a beat, he has to work with her. And the clock is ticking because there's a woman and child missing and nothing about the crime adds up. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

Speculative:


Guardian of Ajalon by Joan Campbell -- The poison tree path is Shara’s road home. . .if she and her companions can survive the journey. In the danger and darkness of the forest, her only respite is in the story unlocked in the Old Tongue book. In this vivid world, Shara finally discovers what she has longed for all her life: the key to the secrets of her past. Yet time is running out for Shara—and all of Tirragyl—as Lord Lucian, King Alexor, and the royal army attack the Guardian Grotto to claim the powerful Guardian Rock. Unwilling to sit idly by as her kingdom is destroyed, Queen Nyla leaves her hiding place to recruit a most unlikely army—the Charab. But how can she win over the infamous assassins who have been oppressed by her family for generations? (Speculative Allegory from Enclave Publishing)

*All authors whose books are included on the ACFW New Releases list attest that their book meets CBA standards for clean, Christian content. The posting of this list on the Sweet South Blog is not a review or an endorsement of any book on the list.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

August 2018 Fiction Releases #ACFW

August 2018 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.



Contemporary Romance:


Scarlet Tears by Laura Hervey -- Caught in a romantic triangle with her brother’s best friend and a charming pastor, former call girl Carly Lawrence struggles to start a new life. (Contemporary Romance from Alabaster Box Press)


Historical Romance:


Rebecca’s Legacy by Betty Thomason Owens -- After a threat against her family, a spoiled heiress is sent to the country to work on her aunt’s produce farm and finds love. (Historical Romance from Write Integrity Press)



The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse -- Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)


Cozy Mystery:


Deadly Harvest by Marissa Shrock -- Georgia’s biggest challenge in the farming town of Wildcat Springs, Indiana, is figuring out how to win Evan Beckworth’s heart. Until the day she discovers the body of a former student in the woods. When she starts to suspect this wasn’t an accident, memories stir of her father’s murder nine years earlier. A murder never solved. As Georgia works with the sheriff's department’s newest detective, Cal Perkins, she finds her heart slipping into his hands. But her head is pummeled with conflicting evidence and anonymous threats of severe consequences if she digs any deeper. In the end, Georgia faces a paralyzing choice. Ignore the dark secrets inside the family and friends who surround her or be willing to risk her own life to uncover the truth. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)



Unknown Enemy by Janet Sketchley -- A young woman with a traumatic past must discover the truth about who's playing mind games with the Green Dory Inn's owner. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)


Romantic Suspense:


Hiding in Plain Sight by Mary Ellis -- When a Charleston PI rents a room above an Italian restaurant owned by a handsome chef, she lands in the middle of a family feud with robbery, arson and murder for the daily specials. (Romantic Suspense from Severn House Publishers LTD)



Wildfire by Gayla K. Hiss -- A female wildfire scientist and a firefighter team up to solve the mystery behind the outbreak of wildfires in the Rockies and find themselves at the center of a firestorm. (Romantic Suspense from Mountain Brook Ink)



Amish Country Ambush by Dana R. Lynn -- A police officer and a dispatcher travel deep into Amish country to rescue her nephew and to escape a killer. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Imperfect Promises by Elizabeth Noyes -- When a homegrown terrorist threatens the woman he loves, former Special Forces soldier Jonas Cameron calls on old friends to help him eliminate the danger. (Romantic Suspense from Write Integrity Press)



Cold Fear by Susan Sleeman -- When a sniper’s ex-girlfriend, a musician, is framed for murder during her summer tour, he jumps to defend her from an imminent arrest and a killer’s deadly rage. But the evidence against her stacks higher as three bodies are found with her name tattooed on their wrist. (Romantic Suspense from Edge of Your Seat Books, Inc.)



Cold Case Cover-Up by Virginia Vaughan -- The first thrilling Covert Operatives tale An infant is believed to have been murdered thirty years ago—but investigative journalist Dana Lang is convinced she’s that baby. Now someone’s willing to kill to stop her investigation. And only secretive deputy Quinn Dawson, whose grandfather may have faked Dana’s death to protect her, can keep her safe. But a killer’s dead set on burying the past—and them—for good. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Thriller/Suspense:


Pretense by John Di Frances -- A dark cloud hangs over Europe after the brutal murders of two heads of state just days apart. A diabolical plot appears to stretch westward to the United States, implicating the CIA. But do the facts reflect reality or is there a sinister force working behind the scenes to destabilize Europe and NATO? The team of investigators led by Interpol’s Marek Frakas, 'The Wolf,' moves quickly to track the perpetrators and uncover the identity of the unseen mastermind behind the conspiracy. This cadre includes the lovely Adrianna, a young forensic weapons expert who can hold her own on the male-dominated international team of investigators. Together they seek to understand reality versus the shattered mirror-like reflections meant to obfuscate the truth and shroud the mastermind’s identity and ultimate purpose. (Political Thriller from Reliance Books Publishing, LLC)



Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig -- Dismantled centuries ago, the sword of Goliath is still rumored to thirst for its enemies' blood. Cole "Tox" Russell wants only to put the dangers of his past behind him and begin his new life with Haven Cortes. First, though, he's called to complete a final mission: retrieve the sword and destroy the deadly Arrow & Flame Order. The AFO, however, is determined to reunite the sword. With the Wraith team slowly being torn apart, things worsen when Mercy Maddox, a new operative, emerges with the stunning news that the artifact is tied to a string of unsolved serial murders. Tox and the others are forced to set aside fear and anger to target the true enemy. No matter the cost, Wraith must destroy the AFO . . . or join them in the flames. (Military Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

*All authors whose books are included on the ACFW New Releases list attest that their book meets CBA standards for clean, Christian content. The posting of this list on the Sweet South Blog is not a review or an endorsement of any book on the list.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July 2018 Fiction Releases #ACFW

July 2018 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.



Contemporary Romance:


A Widow’s Hope by Vannetta Chapman -- After tragedy claimed her husband’s life and her son’s ability to walk, Hannah King doesn’t want a new man. She has her family, a home and mounting debts. Scarred Amish bachelor Jacob Schrock offers Hannah the job she desperately needs. But while Hannah helps Jacob resolve his accounting issues, can she and her little boy also heal his wounded heart? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])



Firestorm by Laura V. Hilton -- Bridget Behr can’t shake the guilt that it was her fault her family moved—and is too afraid to trust anyone, especially the flirtatious, overly-friendly Amish man who lives next door. Just as Bridget is finally settling into friendship, a new life, and maybe even love, a devastating forest fire ravages the county, destroying both land and the Behrs' dreams. Now Bridget and her family must decide: will they leave behind the ashes and start anew in another Amish community? Or will they dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County? (Contemporary Romance from Whitaker House)

General Contemporary:


Ride to the Altar by Linda W. Yezak -- Cattle are dying on the Circle Bar, putting the Texas ranch in financial jeopardy. Newly engaged Patricia Talbert and Talon Carlson must root out the cause before they can concentrate on wedding plans—which involves Patricia’s traveling to New York to patch things up with her domineering mother. While she is away, Talon discovers that the attacks on the ranch are connected to the murder of his first fiancĂ©e over eight years ago. Before they can move forward together, each have to resolve the past. Will they be able to start their new life with a clean slate? (General Contemporary from Canopy Books of Texas)

General Historical:


My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas by Kathleen Y’Barbo -- Dodging bullets takes a simple missing person case to a new level as Jonah Cahill, a Pinkerton agent, and Madeline Latour, an investigative reporter, form a tentative truce in Galveston, Texas, 1880. Are they on to a much bigger story when their best witness is suddenly kidnapped? (General Historical from Barbour Publishing)

Historical Mystery:


The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright -- Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it's too late and they lose their future--or their very souls. (Historical Mystery from Bethany House [Baker])

Historical Romance:


This Freedom Journey by Misty M. Beller -- Adrien Lockman left France to finally live life on his own terms, but when he discovers a half-starved and half-frozen woman in the treacherous Canadian mountains, the truth soon becomes clear—the only way they’ll survive is together. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)



The Widow’s Plight by Mary Davis -- After moving to a new town and joining a quilting circle, a single mother steps out of the shadows of abuse and into the sunshine. But will a secret clouding her past cost her the man she loves? (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)



River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart -- Orphaned during an early 19th century cholera epidemic and helped by a slave to find a new home, Adria Starr must now stand up for his freedom—and maybe find her own in the process. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])



A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano -- A young heiress is suddenly the poorest wealthy woman in all of England when her father dies without telling anyone where he put his money. (Historical Romance from Revell [Baker])

Mystery:


Shifting Sands by Elizabeth Ludwig -- A mysterious key hidden in the depths of an ancient lighthouse unlocks family secrets hidden for generations. (Cozy Mystery from Guideposts Publications)



Guarded Prognosis by Richard L. Mabry -- At first Dr. Caden Taggart feared for his freedom, then for his ability to cope, and eventually he feared for his life. (Medical Mystery, Independently Published)

Romantic Suspense:


Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll -- When Adelaide Fountaine, the general manager of a hotel in New Orleans, finds the body of a guest who was stabbed with a kitchen knife, her childhood friend Detective Beau Savoie is shocked to discover a connection between his friend--the woman he's quietly loved for years—and the murdered guest. But Beau can't press Adelaide too hard . . . because he's keeping secrets of his own. Can Adelaide and Beau afford to hide from the truth with a killer on the loose? (Romantic Suspense from Gilead Publishing)



Camp Hope by Sara L. Foust -- Facing dehydration, starvation, and a convoluted kidnapper, will Amy succeed in recovering her precious foster daughter or get lost in a vast wilderness forever? (Romantic Suspense from Mantle Rock Publishing)



Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey -- Seven years ago, operative Luke Gallagher vanished to join an elite team of terrorist hunters. Private investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving or looking for Luke after he disappeared. But she also never imagined he left her or his life by choice. Now he's back, asking her help to stop America’s newest terrorist threat—an attack that would shake the country to its core. Together they must navigate secrets, lies, and betrayal, all while on the brink of a biological disaster. Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist's next mark? (Romantic Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Young Adult:


Launch by Jason C. Joyner -- Teens with special abilities are invited to an exclusive conference where tech billionaire Simon Mazor is looking for those who can help him influence the world. (Young Adult from Little Lamb Books)


*All authors whose books are included on the ACFW New Releases list attest that their book meets CBA standards for clean, Christian content. The posting of this list on the Sweet South Blog is not a review or an endorsement of any book on the list.

Friday, June 29, 2018

More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer #REVIEWED




Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes--one bright blue, the other dark brown--Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world's judgments, and Eva has two--Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father's death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach's sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?

The prologue for this book is powerful. Had me tearing up within the first few minutes of opening the cover. From that point on, you have to know what will happen to the orphan characters, because you've become connected to them on a heart level, every single one.

Logan and Eva are both beautifully flawed characters, and their journey is a delight to read. From the heroine's unique family and newfound friends to a horse and pet pig named after Old Testament prophets (one of which wears a red bow to avoid becoming ham steaks), the secondary characters display show-stealer potential. Their plot weaves in and out with the main characters' goals so well. I have a hunch we'll be seeing Zach's story soon, and the anticipation is getting to me already. The jaded son of a riverboat gambler who gave up his dreams to raise two orphans? I have a feeling his story is going to be well worth the wait.

I was delighted to see a dual romance thread in this book. Smart, protective men and strong-but-feminine women shine through all the ups and downs of finding love in tough circumstances. The nerd in me loved to see a bookish romance between secondary characters, while the western-loving part of me smiled at the roguish antics of the tough and gruff leading man with his Lady Sunshine.

One aspect that sets apart the main romantic story, is the hero's "wooing" the heroine to get information from her that will advance his goals, which of course accidentally turns into a real courtship, leaving our hero with lots of well-deserved inner conflict! I enjoyed watching him squirm under the glaring light of his conscience while wrestling between serving up justice and admitting his heart had found its home with a plucky little farm-girl sporting mismatched eyes.

Overall, this story delighted me with surprises and fueled my curiosity for the next book in the series. There were only a couple times I didn't quite understand the hero's decisions in relation to the villain, but the resulting danger and edge-of-your-seat moments saw me turning pages faster to keep up with the action! The author's trademark wit, adventure, and warm western charm saturates this story. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys inspirational western romance with a giggle.


*I received a copy of this book from the publisher free of charge. My review is voluntary, and the opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, June 8, 2018

A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears #REVIEWED

 



Doesn't this cover just grab your heart? Gives me a case of the warm fuzzies. <3


Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Christian Book Distributors | Kobo | Apple iBooks | Google Play | Abebooks | Book Depository | Indigo | Alibris | Better World Books | IndieBound | Libraries

 
From the back cover:
In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain, determined to protect Teaville's children from the bullying she experienced as a child, finds fulfillment working at the local orphanage and serving on the school board. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she's dead set against him getting the job.

Aaron knows he deserves every bit of Mercy's mistrust, but he's returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He doesn't expect Mercy to like him, but surely he can prove he now has the best interests of the children at heart.

Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they're working for?


The Characters:
Both the main characters and the secondary characters in this story are unique and have unexpected qualities.


The Romance:
One thing I love about Melissa Jagears' books is that the romance stories are so unique and unexpected in how they play out. Aaron and Mercy, given their past and present struggles, have to become very vulnerable with one another in order for a relationship to work. Watching them grow brave enough to open up and trust was a joy that kept me turning pages to see what happened next.

The Faith Element:
Melissa always has a practical and challenging Scriptural message for readers, one the characters show organically through their struggle to learn and use the truth in everyday life.

The Author's Trademarks:
There is also such relatability and practical, homey flavor to Melissa's stories. No matter the book is set around the turn of the century, I can empathize with the characters' struggles, their goals, and even the world in which they operate. The conflicts are simple, but so strong and personal, a reader can't help but relate.

Overall Impression:
While I'm sad to see the close of a great series, it was great to revisit familiar characters and see some long, twisted threads tied up into a satisfying resolution. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys clean historical romance filled with hope. The way the characters learn to stand up for truth and for the ones they love is touching and rewarding for the reader. I look forward to seeing what Melissa has coming in the future!


Comment Fodder:
I’d love to know… What are some things you look forward to experiencing in historical novels? Unique historical facts? Simpler times? Chivalry and old-fashioned values? Descriptions of clothing and daily living? A closer look at historical world events? 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher free of charge. My review is voluntary, and the opinions expressed are my own.