First Line Friday (#11) – The Lightkeeper’s Bride

 

 

Happy Friday! Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! This week I’m highlighting in my August TBR pile,  the second book from the Mercy Falls series.

This week’s book selection is: THE LIGHTKEEPER’S BRIDE by Colleen Coble.

 

 

 

THE LAPEL WATCH on her blouse read half past nine when Katie Russell removed the skates from her boots and dropped them inside the door of the Mercy Falls Telephone Company.

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About The Lightkeeper’s Bride (Mercy Falls, #2)

 

When Katie answers the call of duty, she awakens the call of her heart.

Katie Russell loves working as a telephone operator in Mercy Falls, California.  But since childhood she has been expected to marry well.  Her family presses for an engagement to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster and though he doesn’t stir her heart, their engagement promises a secure financial future.

Working the phone lines one evening, Katie overhears a chilling exchange between her friend Eliza and a familiar male voice.  Katie soon learns that Eliza has disappeared, and the crime may be linked to another investigation by handsome new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson.  Katie and Will soon form an alliance.  An alliance that slowly blossoms into something more.

Despite the danger surrounding her, Katie is powerfully drawn to Will.  But she is not at liberty to marry for love.  And though society forbids their growing affection, Katie can’t help but notice Will’s sense of peace.  It’s a peace that rests on his trust in God – a trust that Katie has never had to depend on, with her future so clearly mapped out before her.

But the more Katie uncovers of the mystery, the more she discovers about herself, her past, and the brilliant future that could be hers if only she has the courage to trust in God and follow where her heart so fearlessly leads.

 

 

What are you reading? Share your first line in the comments below. Don’t forget to visit Hoarding Books to see what other book bloggers are sharing.

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First Line Friday (#10) – Making Waves

 

 

Happy Friday! Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! This week I’m highlighting in my August TBR pile,  is the first book from the Lake Manawa Summers series.

This week’s book selection is: Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad.

 

 

 

Council Bluffs, Iowa

1895

If forced to endure Roger Gordon for five more minutes, Marguerite Westing would die.  Dead.  Gone.  Buried.  Six feet under Greenlawn Cemetery.

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About Making Waves (Lake Manawa Summers, #1)

 

Sun, summer, and a scrumptious sailing instructor.  What more could a girl want?

When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will spend the summer of 1895 at Lake Manawa, Iowa, she couldn’t be more thrilled.  It’s the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon.  It’s also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews.

But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father’s secrets threaten to ruin the family forever.  Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father’s name and fortune?  Or will she follow her heart—even if it means hurting the family she loves?

Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves will whisk you away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday.

 

 

What are you reading? Share your first line in the comments below. Don’t forget to visit Hoarding Books to see what other book bloggers are sharing.

August “To Be Read” Pile . . .

 

 

Hello Bookworms!  It’s that time to post a new batch of books of the extensive To Be Read Pile.  I’ve set another ambitious goal this month to read 15 books for August!  Hopefully, I’ll reach my goal, but it may be a long shot.  Without further ado, my TBR is:

 

 

Christmas, 1910. Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts would be enjoying the season a lot more if they weren’t forced to do their own laundry and cooking. Just as they are adapting to their trusty housekeeper’s ill-timed vacation, they are confronted by the strangest mystery they’ve encountered since they started their private investigation firm.

In this bonus e-only novella, what begins as the search for a missing cat leads to a rabble-rousing suffragette and the disappearance of several young women from St. Jerome’s Reformatory for Incorrigible Females. From the women’s courts of City Hall to Toronto’s seedy docks and into the cold heart of the underground shipping industry, this will be the most exciting Christmas the girls have had yet…if they can stay alive long enough to enjoy it.

 

 

Sun, summer, and a scrumptious sailing instructor.  What more could a girl want?

When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will spend the summer of 1895 at Lake Manawa, Iowa, she couldn’t be more thrilled.  It’s the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon.  It’s also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews.

But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father’s secrets threaten to ruin the family forever.  Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father’s name and fortune?  Or will she follow her heart—even if it means hurting the family she loves?

Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves will whisk you away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday.

 

 

With the lies of the past behind her, Addie finds love . . . and discovers her true Father.

Addie Sullivan leads a quiet life in a northern California lighthouse.  She mourns the death of her father and endures her mother’s bitterness, until the night of a storm brings an injured stranger and a dark secret to her home.  The man insists she is not who she thinks she is, but rather “Julia Eaton” — the child long lost and feared dead by her wealthy family.  Seizing the chance to be reunited with the Eatons, Addie leaves her lighthouse home but decides to keep her true identity a secret until they can unravel the mystery.

Addie loves the Eatons’ palatial home tucked away among the California redwood forests.  She feels secure with the jovial family, adores the young boy who is her charge as governess, and finds romance with his father John, a young widower.  But sinister shadows overtake Addie’s joy.  As dusty rooms and secret compartments give up their clues about her past, Addie finds a faith and a love she could never have guessed.  To embrace this new world of promise is to risk her life; but to run away is to risk losing the greatest love she’s ever known.

 

 

When Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain’s worlds collide after twelve years apart, the spark that was once between them immediately reignites into a romance neither of them though possible.

But time has changed them both.

Daniel is an industrial titan with powerful enemies.

Clara is an idealistic journalist determined to defend underprivileged workers.

CAN THEY WITHSTAND THE COST OF THEIR CONVICTIONS WHILE THEIR HEARTS—AND LIVES—HANG IN THE BALANCE?

 

 

BENEATH THE FACDE OF A WEALTHY ARISTOCRAT MAY BEAT THE BLACK HEART OF A KILLER . . .

In 1910 Toronto, most bachelor girls are perfecting their domestic skills and finding husbands.

But Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts have never been ordinary.  As the two detectives launch their business, the deaths of young Irish women lead them into the mire of the city’s underbelly.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest.  Merinda could well become Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever—if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

 

 

She wants to change the world.

He wants to change her mind.

It’s the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change.  When Emily Graham’s meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor.  She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next.  Will Carter strike out?  Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

The perfect summer novel, A Great Catch will enchant you with its breezy setting and endearing characters.

 

 

When Katie answers the call of duty, she awakens the call of her heart.

Katie Russell loves working as a telephone operator in Mercy Falls, California.  But since childhood she has been expected to marry well.  Her family presses for an engagement to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster and though he doesn’t stir her heart, their engagement promises a secure financial future.

Working the phone lines one evening, Katie overhears a chilling exchange between her friend Eliza and a familiar male voice.  Katie soon learns that Eliza has disappeared, and the crime may be linked to another investigation by handsome new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson.  Katie and Will soon form an alliance.  An alliance that slowly blossoms into something more.

Despite the danger surrounding her, Katie is powerfully drawn to Will.  But she is not at liberty to marry for love.  And though society forbids their growing affection, Katie can’t help but notice Will’s sense of peace.  It’s a peace that rests on his trust in God – a trust that Katie has never had to depend on, with her future so clearly mapped out before her.

But the more Katie uncovers of the mystery, the more she discovers about herself, her past, and the brilliant future that could be hers if only she has the courage to trust in God and follow where her heart so fearlessly leads.

 

 

In the small town of Colden, Massachusetts, Libby Sawyer leads a quiet, predictable life.  Yet beneath the surface, she is haunted by a secret.

Newly arrived on American shores, Michael Dobrescu is far from predictable, and his arrival in Colden is anything but quiet.  Michael’s shocking claim to be the rightful owner of Libby’s father’s house immediately alienates him from the appalled citizens of Colden.

Despite her own outrage, Libby is unwittingly fascinated by this enigmatic man who seems equally intrigued by her.  As the court’s decision about the house looms, and the layers of mystery surrounding Michael’s past are unveiled, Libby’s loyalties are tested in ways she never imagined.

TORN BETWEEN FAMILY OBLIGATION AND THE STIRRINGS OF HER HEART, DARE SHE TRUST A MAN WHOSE INTENTIONS AND AFFECTIONS ARE SO UNCERTAIN?

 

 

Ne’er-Do-Wells of New England—You’ve Been Warned!

Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts are never lacking for mysteries of the curious and commonplace, but lately business has been a little less curious and a lot more common.

With only missing jewelry and a kidnapped rooster on the case docket, Merinda is bored stiff. Jem welcomes the reprieve as she settles into married life, attempting to learn the domestic skills that have cunningly evaded her as a bachelor girl detective.

The lull in business is short-lived when a telegram arrives from the detective duo’s suffragette friend, Martha Kingston, detailing the mysterious disappearance of a school chum’s sister in Concord, Massachusetts.

No sooner do Jem and Merinda arrive in the States to investigate than they find themselves embroiled in a world of strange affairs, purloined letters, and a baffling mystery whose clues lead directly to Orchard House, the homestead made famous by its long-time resident, Louisa May Alcott.

 

 

She’s planted firmly on solid ground.  He’s ready to sweep her off her feet.

The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six-year-old.  Widowed for three years, Lilly has decided to leave the home of her intrusive in-laws to stand on her own.  However, her in-laws find her new life as a cook at Lake Manawa utterly unsuitable for their grandson.  When an argument ensues, a handsome stranger—who designs roller coasters, of all things—intercedes on her behalf.  But Lilly is not about to get involved with any man, especially this cocky gentleman.  Little does she know she is about to begin the ride of her life.

Filled with the sweet romance of summer, The Ride of Her Life will have you laughing out loud and sighing contentedly as you spend the summer of 1906 at Lake Manawa.

 

 

At the elegant Mercy Falls masquerade ball, Olivia’s hidden identity will be revealed.

It is the dawn of a new century and Olivia Stewart is heiress to an empire.  Her family numbers among the Four Hundred – those considered the wealthiest and most distinguished in America.  Unfortunately their wealth has nearly disappeared, and now their security rests upon the Stewart daughters’ marrying well.

Olivia’s sister, Eleanor, was engaged to Harrison Bennett, one of the nation’s wealthiest men, but has since died.  Now the pressure is on Olivia to take her place, despite her suspicions bout Eleanor’s fiancé.  Using her family’s long-forgotten English title, Olivia travels to Mercy Falls, California, as Lady Devonworth, hoping to learn more before committing to marriage.  There she finds that Eleanor’s death was no accident.  And Harrison is not the man she thought he would be.

When Mercy Falls holds a charity ball masquerade to raise funds for the new lighthouse, secrets—and truths long hidden—will be revealed.  But can Harrison really love Olivia when he finds her true identity?  Can she live with the repercussions of failing her family, or will she finally realize that nothing—not money, family, or romance—will ever compare to God’s unconditional love?

 

 

After a childhood rampant with uncertainty, Lydia Pallas has carved out a perfect life for herself.  She spends her days within sight of the bustling Boston Harbor, where her skill with languages has landed her an enviable position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.

Lydia’s talents bring her to the attention of Alexander Banebridge, a mysterious man in need of a translator.  Driven by a campaign to end the opium trade, Bane is coolly analytical and relentless in his quest.  He cannot afford to fall for Lydia and must fight the bittersweet love growing between them.

When Bane’s enemies gain the upper hand, he is forced to turn to Lydia for help.  Determined to prove her worth, Lydia soon discovers that carrying out Bane’s mission will test her wits and her courage to the very limits.

WHEN FORCES CONSPIRE AGAINST THEM FROM WITHOUT AND WITHIN, CAN THEIR LOVE SURVIVE?

 

 

From political danger to personal drama, life is about to get explosive…

The legacy of literary icon Sherlock Holmes is alive and well in 1912 Canada, where best friends Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts continue to develop their skills as consulting detectives.

The city of Toronto has been thrown into upheaval by the arrival of radical anarchist Emma Goldman. Amid this political chaos, Benny Citrone of the Royal North-West Mounted Police arrives at Merinda and Jem’s flat, requesting assistance in locating his runaway cousin—a man with a deadly talent.

While Merinda eagerly accepts the case, she finds herself constantly butting heads—and hearts—with Benny. Meanwhile, Jem has her hands full with a husband who is determined to keep her out of harm’s way.

As Merinda and Jem close in on the danger they’ve tracked from Toronto to Chicago, they uncover a sinister plot to assassinate presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt. Will they be able to save the day and resolve the troubles threatening their future happiness before it’s too late?

Independence, love, and lives are at stake in A Lesson in Love and Murder, the gripping second installment of the Herringford and Watts Mysteries series.

 

 

It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but that you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. – Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles

Toronto, 1912
A seemingly forgettable evening of second-rate vaudeville entertainment proves lethal when Constable Jasper Forth and reporter Ray DeLuca witness the onstage death of the actor Stephano. Was this the performance of a lifetime or merely opening night of the next intriguing case for Jem DeLuca and Merinda Herringford?

Hiding from Toronto’s dreaded Morality Squad in the back alleyway of the theater, Jem and Merinda encounter a mysterious musician who steps out of the shadows to tell them a murder has occurred inside.

Jasper and Ray join the detective duo backstage and begin to interview the rest of the troupe, a veritable casting call of possible suspects, every one of them with more motives than talent. Can Jem and Merinda foil this plot before a fatal encore ensues?

This Herringford and Watts adventure in four acts will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final curtain closes on yet another enthralling whodunit.

 

 

Uncommon Heroes…or Unsuspecting Victims?

Toronto, 1914. Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts never could have imagined their crime-solving skills would set them up as emblems of female empowerment in a city preparing to enter World War I at the behest of Great Britain. Yet, despite their popularity, the lady detectives can’t avoid the unrest infiltrating every level of society.

A war measure adopted by Mayor Montague puts a target on Jem and her Italian husband, Ray DeLuca. Meanwhile, deep-rooted corruption in the police force causes their friend, Constable Jasper Forth, to wonder if his thirst for upholding the law would be best quenched elsewhere.

In spite of these distractions, Merinda, Ray, and Jasper join with other honorable and courageous city leaders in the Cartier Club, which exists to provide newly arrived residents of Toronto with a seamless integration in the city.

When a club member turns up dead, bearing a slanderous white feather, will Merinda, Jem, and those they hold dear be able to solve the high-stakes mystery before they’re all picked off, one by one?

 

What is in your August “TBR” Pile?

First Line Friday (#9) – Unending Devotion

 

 

Happy Friday! Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! For my final FLF for July, I’m featuring the final book from my May TBR.  In May, I was in a mini book slump and missed my projected book goal by one book.

This week’s book selection is: Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund.

 

 

 

JANUARY 1883

CENTRAL MICHIGAN

It was time.  The drunk shanty boys were finally quiet.

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About Unending Devotion (Michigan Brides, #1)

IN HER DARKEST HOURS,

IS HE THE MAN SHE NEEDS?

Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying.  Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer’s assistant.  And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan—and into the sights of Connell McCormick.

Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father and figures as long as he’s living an upright life, that’s what matters.  But when Lily arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turn a blind eye.

Vexing but persuasive, Lily soon secures Connell’s help, drawing them ever closer to each other.  Will standing for what’s right cost them both everything?

 

 

What are you reading? Share your first line in the comments below. Don’t forget to visit Hoarding Books to see what other book bloggers are sharing.

First Line Friday (#8) – A Match of Wits

 

 

Happy Friday! Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! This week I’m highlighting in my July TBR pile,  the final book from the Ladies of Distinction series.

This week’s book selection is: A Match of Wits by Jen Turano.

 

 

 

Colorado

Late September – 1883

Sometimes, no matter how independent and self-assured a young lady believes herself to be, certain situations demand a good dose of screaming.

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About A Match of Wits (Ladies of Distinction, #4)

After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancée, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune.  Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family.  Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes—by hook or by crook—she’ll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.

Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home . . . until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha.  Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha’s determined to nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own.  When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they’ll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.

Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth—until Agatha finds herself in real trouble.  Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?

 

 

What are you reading? Share your first line in the comments below. Don’t forget to visit Hoarding Books to see what other book bloggers are sharing.

First Line Friday (#7) – Whispers from the Shadows

 

 

Happy Friday! Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! This week I’m highlighting in my July TBR pile,  the third book from Roseanna M. White’s The Culper Ring Series.

This week’s book selection is: Whispers from the Shadows by Roseanna M. White.

 

 

 

London, England

April 1814

The servants hefting her trunks onto the carriage might as well have been loading her coffin.

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About Whispers from the Shadows

I LOVE HER . . . CAN I TRUST HER?

I LOVE HIM . . . IS HE SAFE?

1814—England and America are again at war.  Sudden and implacable treachery causes Gwyneth Fairchild’s world to crumble in a moment’s time.  The daughter of a British general, she barely saves her life by fleeing London aboard a ship bound for America.  Her goal is to find refuge with the Lane family in Maryland.  Yet after meeting the Lanes’ son, Thaddeus, Gwyn wonders how safe she is.  For she discovers that this family trades in a dangerous commodity—espionage.

Thad Lane is a prominent citizen in the city of Baltimore.  He has the ear of everyone, and he is in a unique position to pass on to leaders of government exactly what he hears.  Not long after the beautiful and British Gwyneth Fairchild finds safe haven in his community, he experiences the tug of love, though he fears it may blur lines of loyalty.  With family playing the part of enemies and enemies proving themselves friends, a future with Gwyn is more than uncertain—it could be life threatening.

In the end with the British advancing relentlessly on Baltimore, Thad and Gwyn have to trust in their shared faith in God to be a shield about them.  To give them a future and a hope.

 

What are you reading? Share your first line in the comments below. Don’t forget to visit Hoarding Books to see what other book bloggers are sharing.

First Line Friday (#6) – A Distant Melody

Happy Friday! Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! This week I’m highlighting a book in my July TBR pile.

This week’s book selection is: A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin.

Los Angeles, California

Monday, June 22, 1942

One whole delicious week together.  Allie Miller clung to her best friend’s promise and to the train ticket that would deliver it.

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About A Distant Melody

Will a chance meeting in a time of war change her life forever?

Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval—even marry a man she doesn’t love.  While Allie has nearly resigned herself to that fate, Lt. Walter Novak—fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women—takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas.

Walt and Allie meet and begin a correspondence that will change their lives.  As letters fly between Walt’s muddy bomber base in England and Allie’s mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together.  But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

Book I in the Wings of Glory series, A Distant Melody is an exciting and tender story of love, courage, and sacrifice during World War II.

What are you reading? Share your first line in the comments below. Don’t forget to visit Hoarding Books to see what other book bloggers are sharing.