Review: The Preacher’s Bride (Heart of Faith #1) by Jody Hedlund

thepreachersbrideBook Blurb:

No matter the sacrifice,

Elizabeth Whitbread would serve a wounded family.

No matter the danger,

John Costin was determined to speak God’s word.

Neither expected to fall in love.

As enemies threaten to silence Costin—and those close to him—will following their hearts cost John and Elizabeth everything?

 

Little Miss Bookworm’s Review:

Jody Hedlund’s The Preacher’s Bride is a debut novel filled with rich historical detail and emotional depth.  Based on the life of evangelist John Bunyan (author of Pilgrim’s Progress) and his wife Elizabeth, Jody highlights the religious persecution and class division within a close knit Puritan community in 1659 England.  It encompasses the last days of Oliver Cromwell’s rule following the English Civil War.  The book opens with a heart-wrenching scene that immediately hooks the reader until the last page.  Each of the main and secondary characters have complex personalities that make them unique.  Elizabeth Whitbread views herself as plain and inconsequential.  However, her strong faith guides her into helping those in need.  John Costin is a newly widowed father who believes it is his destiny to preach Gospel to the poor.  As an unlicensed preacher, he becomes a prime target of Royalist supporters.  Their fragile relationship is hindered by the demands of others in the congregation, rumors, threats, and betrayal.  The powerful themes that emerge within the historical romance include:   Hopes.  Dreams.  Struggles.  Fear.  Worry.  Doubt.  Second-Guessing.  Despite the danger, the unbending faith and enduring love makes The Preacher’s Bride an interesting read.

 

I give The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund . . .  4 Stars.

 

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Review: Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen

lady-of-milkweed-manorBook Blurb:

EVEN A PROPER VICAR’S DAUGHTER CAN MAKE A MISTAKE . . . and now Charlotte Lamb must pay a high price for her fall.  To avoid the prying eyes of all who know her, she hides herself away in London’s forbidding “Milkweed Manor,” a place of mystery and lore, of old secrets and new birth.

But once there, she comes face-to-face with a suitor from her past—a man who now hides secrets of his own.  Both are determined, with God’s help, to protect those they love.  But neither can imagine the depth of sacrifice that will be required.

Sprinkled with fascinating details about the lives of women in Regency England, Lady of Milkweed Manor is a moving romantic drama about the redemption of past failings and the beauty of sacrificial love.

Little Miss Bookworm’s Review: 

Julie Klassen’s debut novel Lady of Milkweed Manor, is a bittersweet historical romance set in Regency England.  Charlotte Lamb undergoes a heart-wrenching journey as she tries to reinvent herself in an unforgiving society.  Charlotte’s wounded soul and Daniel Taylor’s secret torment makes their unconventional relationship unique.  A combination of historical detail, a realistic plot, and Klassen’s elegant prose gives the story a well-balanced depth.  Intricate subplots filled with angst, keep a reader in suspense.  Elements of Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre are also infused into the story.  None of the secondary characters overshadow Charlotte’s difficult journey with their own personal struggles.  A plot twist at the end is both surprising and deeply moving.  Sacrificial love is poignant throughout the novel and readers will love Klassen’s fresh approach to Regency romance.

I give Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen . . . 4 Stars.

January “To Be Read” Pile . . .

 

Hello Bookworms! It’s that time to post a new batch of books of the To Be Read Pile. I’ve been in a massive reading slump all year. Winter is my favorite season, so I’m hoping it will inspire me to read more. I’ve set an ambitious goal this month to read 12 books for January. *I’m not sure if I’ll reach this projected goal. Without further ado, my TBR is:

 

 

One woman searches for love—and herself—in a wild land.

LOVELY AND HIGH-SPIRITED, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father’s ties to the Shawnee Indians and her family’s past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded. As she faces the many trials of life on the frontier, Lael draws strength from the rugged land. But the arrival of a handsome doctor threatens her view of her world, her God, and herself. Can the power of grace and redemption break through in this tumultuous place?

This epic novel gives you a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman who would not be defeated.

 

 

EVEN A PROPER VICAR’S DAUGHTER CAN MAKE A MISTAKE . . . and now Charlotte Lamb must pay a high price for her fall. To avoid the prying eyes of all who know her, she hides herself away in London’s forbidding “Milkweed Manor,” a place of mystery and lore, of old secrets and new birth.

But once there, she comes face-to-face with a suitor from her past—a man who now hides secrets of his own. Both are determined, with God’s help, to protect those they love. But neither can imagine the depth of sacrifice that will be required.

Sprinkled with fascinating details about the lives of women in Regency England, Lady of Milkweed Manor is a moving romantic drama about the redemption of past failings and the beauty of sacrificial love.

 

 

No matter the sacrifice,

Elizabeth Whitbread would serve a wounded family.

No matter the danger,

John Costin was determined to speak God’s word.

Neither expected to fall in love.

As enemies threaten to silence Costin—and those close to him—will following their hearts cost John and Elizabeth everything?

 

 

HANNAH is desperate for help . . .

WILLIAM is determined to regain his family’s land . . .

When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but also for the Texas ranch her father recently acquired. A marriage of convenience could ease her predicament . . . but is it the true desire of her heart?

Wounded soldier William Barnett returns home only to find out that his family’s ranch has been seized. Though angered at this turn of events, he’s surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.

Despite these circumstances, Hannah and William form an uneasy truce . . . and an undeniable attraction builds between them. In a land where loyalties are divided in a country ravaged by war, is there any hope that the first blush of love can survive?

 

 

CAUGHT BETWEEN THE WILDERNESS AND CIVILIZATION, MORROW LITTLE MUST FIND HER WAY TO TRUE LOVE.

MORROW LITTLE is haunted by the memory of the day her family was torn apart by raiding Shawnee warriors. Now that she is nearly a grown woman and her father is ailing, she must make difficult choices about the future. Several men—ranging from the undesired to the unthinkable—vie for her attentions, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to a forbidden love that both terrifies and intrigues her. Can she betray the memory of her lost love ones—and garner suspicion from her friends—by pursuing a life with him? Or should she seal her own misery by marrying a man she doesn’t love?

This sweeping tale of romance and forgiveness will envelop you as it takes you from a Kentucky fort through the vast wilderness of the West.

 

 

Lilly Haswell remembers everything—whether she wants to, or not . . .

AS LILLY TOILS IN HER FATHER’S APOTHECARY SHOP, preparing herbs and remedies by rote, she is haunted by memories of her mother’s disappearance. Villagers whisper the tale, but her father refuses to discuss it. All the while, she dreams of the world beyond—of travel and adventure and romance.

When a relative offers to host her in London, Lilly discovers the pleasures and pitfalls of fashionable society and suitors, as well as clues about her mother. But will Lilly find what she is searching for—the truth of the past and a love for the future?

Blending romance, family drama, and fascinating historical detail, The Apothecary’s Daughter is a novel to savor and share.

 

 

Pricilla White KNEW God wanted her to be a missionary, NOT A WIFE.

Then, the missionary board declares the ONLY WAY she can serve is to be MARRIED.

Now, married IN NAME ONLY, her epic journey west will test her spirit . . . and the new LONGINGS of her heart.

 

 

Her heart is CAUGHT BETWEEN the MAN she loves and the SISTER she’s desperate to protect.

Though their first encounter is hardly auspicious, Laura Marquardt soon discovers herself drawn to the dashing Captain Brandon Reid. As an officer over the colored troops, he eagerly supports her desire to educate blacks and seek harmony in a town where the defeat of the South is a bitter reality.

When Laura’s sister marries her Confederate beau, Laura finds herself in a difficult situation after overhearing a discussion with frightening consequences. In her heart she feels she should confide in Brandon, but Laura fears to do so may endanger her sister’s life. Yet as the stakes continue to rise and Brandon’s motives for pursuing her come into doubt, Laura questions where to turn . . . and wonders if her own dreams of love may be forsaken.

 

 

CAN LOVE SURVIVE THE SECRETS KEPT BURIED WITHIN A TORMENTED HEART?

Roxanna Rowan may be a genteel Virginia woman, but she is determined to brave the wilds of the untamed frontier to reach a remote Kentucky fort. Eager to reunite with her father, who serves under Colonel Cassius McLinn, Roxanna is devastated to find that her father has been killed on a campaign.

Penniless and out of options, Roxanna is forced to remain at the fort. As she spends more and more time with the fiery Colonel McLinn, the fort is abuzz with intrigue and innuendo. Can Roxanna truly know who the colonel is—and what he’s done?

Immerse yourself in this powerful story of love, faith, and forgiveness set in the tumultuous world of the frontier in 1779.

 

 

OLIVIA KEENE IS FLEEING HER OWN SECRET.

SHE NEVER INTENDED TO OVERHEAR HIS.

BUT NOW THAT SHE HAS, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything—his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.

He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he finds himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.

Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.

 

 

 

Michigan, 1883

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

 

 

 

A YOUNG WIDOW nursing the wounds of her past . . .

a COWBOY with demons of his own . . .

Though grateful for the blessing of her daughter, Carissa Lowe has accepted that widowhood is her lot in life. Bound by fear and mistrust, she feels incapable of opening her heart again.

Tyler Atherton has never forgotten Carissa. When he discovers she’s living with her sister on a nearby ranch, his life becomes intertwined with the lovely widow’s. And Carissa’s daughter, Gloria, seems determined to wrap herself around his little finger. But while Tyler longs to provide a home and future for Carissa, he is haunted by an obligation he feels unable to fulfill.

Challenged by mounting hardships, can Carissa and Tyler preserve their fledging love in a land as unforgiving and vibrant as the people who call it home?