First Line Friday (#5) – To Win Her Heart

 

 

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

This week’s book selection is: To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer.

 

 

Spencer, Texas

February 1887

After two years, they’d finally cut him loose.  Gave him a new suit of clothes and everything.  Funny, though.  The shame of the convict stripes still clung to him, as if tattooed horizontally across his skin.

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About To Win Her Heart

Do they have a fighting chance at love?

After completing his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade Levi learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past.

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs in the town her father founded. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she’s reluctant to trust him. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Eden believes she’s finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about Levi’s prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?

 

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 (#4) – Love in the Balance

 

 

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

This week’s book selection is: Love in the Balance by Regina Jennings.

 

 

Prairie Lea, Texas

October 1879

The pew creaked as another sinner rose to unburden her troubled soul.  Molly Lovelace twisted around on the slick wooden bench, bunching her tiered silk skirt against her mother’s and watched as Louise Bradford stood.  Bother.  As if she had anything interesting to confess.

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About Love in the Balance

Handsome Cowboy or Debonair Tycoon.  How’s a Girl to Choose?

Molly Lovelace dreams of a life without cares in Lockhart, Texas.  She also dreams of handsome wrangler Bailey Garner, her ardent but inconsistent beau.  The problem is, with Bailey’s poor prospects, she just can’t fit the two dreams together.

Then mysterious stranger Edward Pierrepont sweeps into town—and her life—and for the first time Molly wonders if she’s met the man who can give her everything.  But he won’t be in Lockhart long, and while it certainly seems like he talks about their glorious future together, she can’t quite get Bailey out of her mind.

What’s a girl to do with all these decisions when love is in the balance?

 

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 (#3) – Love by the Letter

 

 

Happy Friday! Welcome to First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books! This week I’m highlighting the first book in my June “TBR” pile.

This week’s book selection is: Love by the Letter by Melissa Jagears.

 

 

Missouri

1858

An envelope with bright blue ink stamps landed in Dex’s lap, a startlingly bright white against the faded tan of his trousers.

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About Love by the Letter

Dex Stanton has never had much time for book learning. He’s been too busy helping to provide for his family. Now that he’s heading west, Dex is hoping to start a family of his own. However, his attempt to acquire a mail-order bride fails miserably when the lady writes back ridiculing his terrible spelling. Rachel Oliver may be the last person he wants to know what a dunce he is, but she’s also the smartest woman in town–and it’s clear he needs her help.

Rachel Oliver has lingered in town for three years secretly mooning over Dex Stanton, but now she’s done. If the fool wants to write to a mail-order bride company, so be it. Once she begins giving Dex lessons, however, Rachel realizes she may not be prepared to give up just yet.

As their time together runs short, can two of the most stubborn people in town set aside their pride long enough to find love?

 

 

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.

June “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. I’ve set an ambitious goal this month to read 10 books for June. *I’m not sure if I’ll reach this projected goal. Last month, I failed to meet my objective by one book. Without further ado, my TBR is:

 

 

Dex Stanton has never had much time for book learning. He’s been too busy helping to provide for his family. Now that he’s heading west, Dex is hoping to start a family of his own. However, his attempt to acquire a mail-order bride fails miserably when the lady writes back ridiculing his terrible spelling. Rachel Oliver may be the last person he wants to know what a dunce he is, but she’s also the smartest woman in town–and it’s clear he needs her help.

Rachel Oliver has lingered in town for three years secretly mooning over Dex Stanton, but now she’s done. If the fool wants to write to a mail-order bride company, so be it. Once she begins giving Dex lessons, however, Rachel realizes she may not be prepared to give up just yet.

As their time together runs short, can two of the most stubborn people in town set aside their pride long enough to find love?

 

 

She’s Finally Found a Place to Call Home . . . How Far Will She Go to Save It?

With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to their Texas family ranch. Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have just three months to pay.

Though facing eviction, Rosa falls in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best. They welcome her vivacious spirit and try to help her navigate puzzling American customs. She can’t help but stand out, though, and her beauty captures attention. Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honorable. But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, Rosa must decide to what lengths she will go to save her future.

 

 

When a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a liveryman who condemns vanity, the sparks begin to fly!

JERICHO “J.T.” TUCKER wants nothing to do with the new dressmaker in Coventry, Texas. He’s all too familiar with her kind—shallow women more devoted to fashion than true beauty. Yet, except for her well-tailored clothes, this seamstress is not all what he expected.

HANNAH RICHARDS is confounded by the man who runs the livery. The unsmiling fellow riles her with his arrogant assumptions and gruff manner, while at the same time stirring her heart with unexpected acts of kindness. Which side of Jericho Tucker reflects the real man?

When Hannah decides to help Jericho’s sister catch a beau—leading to consequences neither could have foreseen—will Jericho and Hannah find a way to bridge the gap between them?

 

 

Everett Cline will never humiliate himself by seeking a mail-order bride. Not again. He’s already been jilted by three mail-order brides and figures a wife just isn’t in his future. However, a well-meaning neighbor hasn’t given up on seeing him settled, so she goes behind his back to bring yet another woman to town for him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiancé. A mail-order marriage in faraway Kansas is a last resort, but she’ll do anything to leave her life in Massachusetts and the heartbreak she’s experienced there.

Although Everett doesn’t see how a beautiful, cultured woman like Julia could be happy sharing his simple life, he could really use a helpmate on his homestead. Determined to prove she’s more than just a pretty face, Julia agrees to a marriage in name only. Faced with the harsh realities of life on the prairie and hesitant to explore the tentative feelings growing between them, can Everett and Julia ever let each other—and God—in long enough to fall in love?

 

 

Handsome Cowboy or Debonair Tycoon?

How’s a Girl to Choose?

Molly Lovelace dreams of a life without cares in Lockhart, Texas. She also dreams of handsome wrangler Bailey Garner, her ardent but inconsistent beau. The problem is, with Bailey’s poor prospects, she just can’t fit the two dreams together.

Then mysterious stranger Edward Pierrepont sweeps into town—and her life—and for the first time Molly wonders if she’s met the man who can give her everything. But he won’t be in Lockhart long, and while it certainly seems like he talks about their glorious future together, she can’t quite get Bailey out of her mind.

What’s a girl to do with all these decisions when love is in the balance?

 

 

WHEN A RECOVERING ROMANTIC GOES TO WORK FOR A HANDSOME RANCH OWNER, HER HEART’S NOT THE ONLY THING IN DANGER!

ADELAIDE PROTCTOR longs to find a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a governess position on a remote Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her sill romantic yearnings behind.

GIDEON WESTCOTT left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America’s wool industry, never expecting to end up with a child. To his dismay, five-year-old Isabella hasn’t uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon—and intrigues him at the same time. But he can’t afford distractions.

When Isabella’s uncle comes to claim the girl—and her inheritance—Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man’s evil schemes. Soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?

 

 

Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store, mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early. But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers who steal her dowry, and Axel, her groom-to-be, isn’t even in town when she finally arrives.

Axle’s business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business and would much rather be a doctor. When his friend’s mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, he feels responsible and lets her help around the store—where she quickly proves she’s much more adept at business than he ever will be.

The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. When Axel finally returns, their troubles are far from over, and soon Will and Eliza must decide what they’re willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams—or if God has a new dream in store for them both.

 

 

She Wants the Freedom of the Open Plains.

He Wants the Prestige of a Successful Career.

Neither Is Ready for What Comes Instead.

The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life’s next victory to Nicholas Lovelace. Instead, it gets held up by robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected—Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.

Anne’s been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She’s only in Garber to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees—leaving Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person Anne knows in Garber, the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.

But being in town means acting and dressing for polite society—and it’s not going well for Anne. Meanwhile, Nick’s work is bringing new pressures, and being seen with a rough-around-the-edges woman isn’t helping his reputation. Caught between their own dreams, a deepening relationship, and others’ expectations, can the pair find their way to love?

 

 

Do they have a fighting chance at love?

After completing his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade Levi learned at his father’s knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past.

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs in the town her father founded. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she’s reluctant to trust him. Yet as the mysteries of the town’s new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Eden believes she’s finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about Levi’s prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian’s affections?

 

 

Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she’d been deceived about her intended groom, she’s now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she’ll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony—until two men suddenly show up in town, both claiming to be the boy’s father.

Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together, or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

 

What is in your June “TBR” Pile?

Review: The Doctor’s Lady (Heart of Faith #2) by Jody Hedlund

Book Blurb:

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Little Miss Bookworm’s Review:

 

 

The Doctor’s Lady is another historical romance masterpiece by Jody Hedlund. With well-crafted dialogue and descriptive narrative, Hedlund depicts life in the early 1800s. Dr. Eli Ernest is a complex character, but maintains a level of integrity and perseverance. Priscilla White is strong-willed and determined to serve in the missionary field. Forced into a marriage of convenience, Eli and Priscilla are unprepared for a multitude of obstacles. On a journey fraught with adversity and heartache, they are tested to the utmost of their endurance and abilities. Illness, deprivation, unreliable guides, hostile tribes, and uncertainty threaten their quest to reach Oregon territory.

Filled with romantic tension, The Doctor’s Lady keeps a reader in suspense from the first page until the last. With historical details woven into the plot, flawed characters and a gripping adventure, Hedlund’s sophomore novel is a must read. In particular, I loved the Oregon Trail element. The Doctor’s Lady is based loosely on the real life of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, a young missionary couple who traveled overland in 1836 to start a mission in Oregon for the Nez Perce natives. Narcissa Whitman and Eliza Spalding were the first women to cross the Continental Divide.

 

I give The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund . . . 5 Stars.

Review: The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

Book Blurb:

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.

Little Miss Bookworm’s Review:

 

 

The Apothecary’s Daughter provides an interesting perspective of how apothecaries worked, the ailments and remedies used to treat them in 19th century England. Lilly Haswell is an apothecary’s daughter torn between two worlds . . . sleepy Bedsley Priors and glamorous London. Throughout the first half of the novel, Lilly is indecisive on what she wants in life and has a fickle attitude towards potential suitors. By the end of the story, Lilly learns to be content with her life and realizes that what she wanted was right there all along. Overall, Julie Klassen’s writing style is rich and full of period details that bring the story to life. Also, elements of Austen and Brontë are woven into the plot to add additional depth to it. I recommend The Apothecary’s Daughter for those who have enjoyed Klassen’s other novels and those set in the Regency Era.

I give The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen . . . 4 Stars.

First Line Friday (#3) – The Doctor’s Lady

 

 

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

This week’s book selection is: The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund.

 

 

February 1836

Angelica, New York

“Indians!” The sharp call from the back of the sanctuary jolted Priscilla White.  She sucked in a breath and twisted in the pew.

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About The Doctor’s Lady

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.

 

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.