First Line Friday (#14) – A Worthy Heart

 

 

Happy Friday! Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! This week I’m highlighting in my September TBR pile,  the second book in the Courage to Dream series.

This week’s book selection is: A Worthy Heart by Susan Anne Mason.

 

 

 

June 1914

New York City

“THERE SHE IS!  The Statue of Liberty.”

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About A Worthy Heart (Courage To Dream, #2)

 

Will Maggie Listen to the Warnings of Those She Trusts Most or the Leadings of Her Heart?

THE ANSWER TO MAGGIE MONTGOMERY’S dream of seeing America has arrived at just the right time.  Not only will she be reunited with her beloved brother Rylan, but she’ll finally be able to escape Neill Fitzgerald and his increasingly unwanted attentions.  She’s intent on never returning to Ireland, hoping to build her future in the land of opportunity and perhaps find the love of her life.

While visiting Irish Meadows, she meets an intriguing man she thinks is a stable hand.  Only when her brother demands she stay away from Adam O’Leary does she learn he’s Rylan’s brother-in-law, recently released from prison.  Nonetheless, Maggie can’t seem to make her stubborn heart conform to her brother’s request.

Adam O’Leary has never felt worthy of his place in the family.  Now a free man, Adam’s only desire is to earn back his family’s trust.  Falling in love with the newly arrived Maggie, however, was never in his plans.  Despite everyone’s efforts to keep them apart, the two develop a bond it seems nothing can break—but they soon discover the past isn’t easy to overcome.

 

 

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 (#13) – A Lady of Esteem

 

 

Happy Friday! Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! This week I’m highlighting in my September TBR pile, the first book from the Hawthorne House series.

This week’s book selection is: A Lady of Esteem by Kristi Ann Hunter.

 

 

Suffolk, England

1803

Amelia Stalwood winced as the tower of fabric-wrapped wooden blocks crashed to the floor.  She looked to the housekeeper, tears welling in her young eyes.  “I’m sorry, Mrs. Brummel.”

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About A Lady of Esteem (Hawthorn House #0.5)

Miss Amelia Stalwood may live in London at her absent guardian’s townhouse, but she’s never actually met any nobility, and instead of aristocrats, her closest friends are servants.

Quite by happenstance, she’s introduced to the Hawthorne family and their close family friend, Anthony, the reformed Marquis of Raebourne.  They welcome her into their world, but just as she’s beginning to gain some confidence and even suspect she may have caught Anthony’s eye, she’s blindsided by an unexpected twist in her situation accompanied by nasty rumors.

Will she lose her reputation when the world that has only just accepted her turn its back on her, or will she rest in the support of the friends who’ve become like family and the man who’s shared his faith and captured her heart?

 

 

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.

September “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 14 books for September.  Hopefully, I’ll reach my goal.  Without further ado, my TBR is:

 

 

Miss Amelia Stalwood may live in London at her absent guardian’s townhouse, but she’s never actually met any nobility, and instead of aristocrats, her closest friends are servants.

Quite by happenstance, she’s introduced to the Hawthorne family and their close family friend, Anthony, the reformed Marquis of Raebourne.  They welcome her into their world, but just as she’s beginning to gain some confidence and even suspect she may have caught Anthony’s eye, she’s blindsided by an unexpected twist in her situation accompanied by nasty rumors.

Will she lose her reputation when the world that has only just accepted her turn its back on her, or will she rest in the support of the friends who’ve become like family and the man who’s shared his faith and captured her heart?

 

 

Faced With an Uncertain Future, Sometimes All You Have Left Is the Courage to Dream.

BRIANNA AND COLLEEN O’LEARY know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well.  Recently he’s put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands.  Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college.  Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry—as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom.  When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans.

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O’Leary grows more desperate.  It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father’s machinations and instead follow their hearts.  And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

 

 

Sweeping ROMANCE AND MYSTERY IN THE EDWARDIAN ERA.

Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs.  When her friend Justin uncovers the fact that she is possibly a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea and the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not.  Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close—but will their loyalty come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother?

As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities.  When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that their friendship has grown into something much more.  But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

And then for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession—and those who can save her still aren’t sure whom to trust.

 

 

Amelia Barrett gave her word.  Keeping it could cost her everything.

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby.  She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s fathera sea captain she’s never met.

When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting to her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.  Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she’s forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.  Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline.  And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.  Both must learn to accept God’s sovereignty and relinquish control so they can grasp the future He has planned for them.

 

 

Lady Miranda Hawthorn acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree.  Approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, the Duke of Marshington.  Since she’s never actually met the man, she has no intention of ever sending the letters and is mortified when her brother’s mysterious new valet, Marlow, mistakenly mails one of the letters to the unsuspecting duke.

Shockingly, this breach of etiquette results in a reply from the duke that soon leads to a lively correspondence.  Insecurity about her previous lack of suitors soon becomes confusion as Miranda finds herself equally intrigued by Marlow, a man she has come to depend upon but whose behavior grows more suspicious by the day.  As the secret goings-on at her family’s estate come to light, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.

 

 

Will Maggie Listen to the Warnings of Those She Trusts Most or the Leadings of Her Heart?

THE ANSWER TO MAGGIE MONTGOMERY’S dream of seeing America has arrived at just the right time.  Not only will she be reunited with her beloved brother Rylan, but she’ll finally be able to escape Neill Fitzgerald and his increasingly unwanted attentions.  She’s intent on never returning to Ireland, hoping to build her future in the land of opportunity and perhaps find the love of her life.

While visiting Irish Meadows, she meets an intriguing man she thinks is a stable hand.  Only when her brother demands she stay away from Adam O’Leary does she learn he’s Rylan’s brother-in-law, recently released from prison.  Nonetheless, Maggie can’t seem to make her stubborn heart conform to her brother’s request.

Adam O’Leary has never felt worthy of his place in the family.  Now a free man, Adam’s only desire is to earn back his family’s trust.  Falling in love with the newly arrived Maggie, however, was never in his plans.  Despite everyone’s efforts to keep them apart, the two develop a bond it seems nothing can break—but they soon discover the past isn’t easy to overcome.

 

 

WILL FLEEING THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS ONLY LEAVE HER IN MORE DANGER?

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she’s never felt good enoughnot for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God.  But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping those threatening her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, yet the last thing he needs is the distraction of the newly introduced Lady Rowena.  He has enough on his plate having recently come into possession of a rare treasure for which many would kill, yet those around him seem intent on pairing him with this desperate but beguiling girl.

Rowena is reluctant to marry this notorious flirt.  And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she’ll end up in more danger than she fled.

 

 

PATIENCE CREIGHTON HAS DEVOTED HER LIFE TO RUNNING HER FATHER’S BOARDING SCHOOL.  BUT WHEN THE ENIGMATIC MASTER OF THE ESTATE APPEARS AT HER DOOR, BATTERED ADN UNCONSCIOUS, THE YOUNG HEADMISTRESS SUDDENLY FINDS HER LIVELIHOODAND HER HEARTIN THE HANDS OF ONE DANGEROUSLY HANDSOM GENTLEMAN.

At twenty-five, Patience Creighton is already a spinster.  The busy headmistress of Rosemere always expected a dashing man to sweep her off her feet and take her away . . . but that man never came.  And since her father’s death, keeping the school running and her mother happy has been plenty to keep her occupied.

William Sterling dallied his way into financial trouble and mortal danger.  When he is assaulted by his creditors’ henchmen on the road home from a tavern, he guides his horse to the doorstep of his tenant, the Rosemere School for Young Ladies.  After being tended to by Patience, the wounded William rides off into the dawnbut makes a point to learn more about the lovely headmistress.

As he spends more time at Rosemere, something delicate beings to develop between William and Patience.  But that will not deter William’s creditors.  With little money to repay his debts, and less for the upkeep of his estate, it becomes clear that sacrificing Rosemere may be the only way to preserve his legacy.  But it may also cost him his happiness.

 

 

Lady Georgina Hawthorne has always known she must marry well.  After years of tirelessly planning every detail of her debut season, she is poised to be a smashing success and have her choice of eligible gentlemen.

With money and powerful business connections but no title, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere.  He intends to marry someday, but when he does it will not be to a shallow woman like Lady Georgina, whose only concerns appear to be status and appearance.

But beneath her flawless exterior, Georgina’s social aspirations stem from a shameful secret she is desperately trying to keep hiddenand that Colin is too close to discovering.  Drawn to each other despite their mutual intent to avoid association, is the realization of their dreams worth the sacrifices they’ll be forced to make?

 

 

If Two Wounded Souls Can Find Healing, Love May Not Be Far Behind.

WIDOWER DR. MATTHEW CLAYBOURNE is devoted to two things: his work with wounded soldiers and his four-year-old daughter, Phoebe.  When Deirdre O’Leary, a feisty New Yorker, arrives in Toronto requesting he use his skills to help her stricken mother, he won’t abandon either of these priorities to care for one older woman.  However, when his daughter suffers a health scare and needs a respite, Deirdre offers a tradethey can escape to the peace of her family’s farm, if he will care for Mrs. O’Leary.

Matthew agrees for his daughter’s sake, but is intent on staying as short a time as necessary.  The sojourn at Irish Meadows does wonders for Phoebe, and as she begins to flourish, Matthew finds himself drawn to the O’Learys, especially to the captivating Deirdre.  But since he has no intention of leaving his life up north forever, and Deirdre has sworn off marriage in favor of her career, how will they deal with the undeniable attraction between them?

 

 

AMID THE UNFORGETTABLE COTSWOLDS, THE FINAL GRASP FOR THE FIRE EYES DIAMONDS COULD THREATEN THEM ALL.

Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smileeven if it’s just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today.  All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well how the dangerous Fire Eyes diamonds have haunted her brother and their friends, and she won’t wait for peril to strike again.  She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord James Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her.  Now he’s determined to live a better life . . . but that proves complicated when old acquaintances pull Cayton into their desperate attempt to seize the jewels.  He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won’t budge.  How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving herand his daughterfrom those intent on destroying them all?

 

 

HER SECRET CLOAKS HER IN ISOLATION AND LONELINESS.  HIS SECRET TRAPS HIM IN A LIFE THAT IS NOT HIS OWN.

Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could expose her disgrace.  But soon after becoming a lady’s companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years.

Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his ownone that has haunted him for years and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove Hall.  To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breath a word of the truth.  But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to find his own way in the world.  He’ll never be free to fall in love.

When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and fight for a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long kept?

 

 

Lord Trent Hawthorn couldn’t be happier he is not the duke in the family.  Free to manage his small estate and take his time discovering the life he wants to lead, he has grand plans of someday wooing and falling in love with the woman of his choice.  When he finds himself honor bound to marry a woman he barely knows, his dream of a loving marriage like his parents’ seems lost forever.

Life for Lady Adelaide Bell was easier when she hid in her older sister’s shadowwhich worked until her sister got married.  But even with her socially ambitious mother’s focus entirely on her, the last thing she expected was a marriage of convenience before she’s been introduced to society.

With nothing going as expected, can Trent and Adelaide’s marriage of obligation survive their own missteps and the pressures of London society to grown into a true meeting of hearts and minds?

 

 

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, so he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride.  While he’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, she is strangely elusive, and he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, she has no choice but to agree to a bargain that puts her at odds with all her romantic hopesas well as her conscience.  And the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she regrets the unpleasant obligation that prevents her from any dream of a future with him.

As all Griffith’s and Isabella’s long-held expectations are shaken to the core, can they set aside their pride and fear long enough to claim a happily-ever-after?

 

What is in your September “TBR” Pile?

 

 

 

First Line Friday (#12) – Against The Tide

 

 

Happy Friday! Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! This week I’m highlighting another historical romance from my August TBR.

This week’s book selection is: Against The Tide by Elizabeth Camden

 

 

 

Boston, 1876

Lydia was embarrassed to wear a damp dress on the first day of school, but it rained last night while her clothes were strung across the boat’s rigging to dry.

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About AGAINST THE TIDE

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?

 

 

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 (#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.

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?