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.

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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 (#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.

July “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’m starting to hit my groove in reading, but at the same time I keep going into reading slumps.  I’ve set another ambitious goal this month to read 13 books for July!  Hopefully, I’ll reach my projected goal before the month is over.  Without further ado, my TBR is:

 

 

When Miss Charlotte Wilson asks God for a husband, she decides he must want her to pursue Mr. Hamilton Beckett, the catch of the season.  The only problem?  She’s never actually met Hamilton.  Fortunately, one of her oldest and dearest friends, Mr. Henry St. James—who has returned to new York after a two-year absence—does know Hamilton.  Much to Henry’s chagrin, Charlotte immediately ropes him into helping her meet Hamilton.  However, none of her plans to catch Hamilton’s eye go as she expected, and she is even more confused when her old feelings for Henry begin to resurrect themselves.  In the midst of the mayhem Charlotte always seems to cause, she wonders if the gentleman of her dreams might be an entirely different man than she thought.

 

 

Love Has No Place in a World of Spies.

1779—Winter Reeves is an aristocratic American Patriot forced to hide her heart amid the British Loyalists of the city of New York.  She has learned to keep her ears open so she can pass information on British movements to Robbie Townsend, her childhood friend, and his spy ring.  If she’s caught, she will be executed for espionage, but she prays the Lord’s protection will sustain her, and Robbie has taught her the tools of the trade—the wonders of invisible ink, secret drop locations and, most importantly, a good cover.

Bennet Lane returns to New York from his Yale professorship with one goal: to find General Washington’s spy hidden among the ranks of the city’s elite.  Searching for a wife was supposed to be nothing more than a convenient cover story for his mission, but when he meets Winter, with her too-intelligent eyes in her too-blank face, he finds a mystery that can’t be ignored.

Both are determined to prevail at any cost . . . and each is committed to a separate cause.  Will God lead them to a shared destiny or lives lived apart?

 

 

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.

 

 

Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission.  After losing her family, her fiancé, and her faith, the disappearance of her fortune is the last straw.  Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she’s determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.

Much to Mr. Hamilton Beckett’s chagrin, all the eyes of New York society—all the female ones, at least—are on him.  Unfortunately for all the matchmaking mothers and eligible daughters, he has no plans to marry again, especially with his hands full keeping his business afloat and raising his two children alone.

When Eliza’s hapless attempts to regain her fortune put her right in Hamilton’s path, sparks instantly begin to fly.  The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces, but with all their plans falling by the wayside and their enemies getting the better of them, it will take a riot of complications for Hamilton and Eliza to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

 

 

This bonus romantic novella is set in the intervening years between Ring of Secrets and Whispers from the Shadows.  In 1789 General Isaac Fairchild travels across the Channel on a very special assignment.  After surviving the American Revolution, he is now gathering information on life at King Louis XVI’s court.  But he must also locate a countess and her grown daughter and escort them back to England before revolution explodes in France.  He knows danger is in the task set before him, but when he meets the beautiful Julienne, a new peril beckons him deeper into the intrigue of Versailles.

 

 

Can they overcome the past to find a brighter future together?

Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge—until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty.  When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth’s heart a top-priority mission.  But he has his work cut out for him.  Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she also is determined not to give her heart to any man.

As the danger and tension of World War II rise to a fever pitch, Jack and Ruth will need each other more than ever.  Can Jack break down her defenses?  Or are they destined to go their separate ways?

From the English countryside to the perilous skies over France, A Memory Between Us takes you on a journey through love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.

 

 

Miss Arabella Beckett, defender of the downtrodden women of America, is returning from her travels in support of the women’s suffrage movement when she suddenly finds herself in a spot of trouble.  Arabella, always loath to accept help, is particularly reluctant to receive assistance from the arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor who shows up just in time.

Private investigator extraordinaire Mr. Theodore Wilder is on an assignment that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett but swiftly evolved into a merry chase across the country.  When he finally locates Hamilton’s sister, and she turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he’s at his wit’s end.

Much to their chagrin, Theodore and Arabella’s paths continue to cross when they return to New York.  When the trouble Arabella accidentally stirred up in her travels follows her home and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they have landed in the most peculiar circumstances of all: love.

 

 

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.

 

 

In a time of peril, can they find the courage to confront their fears and embrace a love that lasts?

When her husband becomes a casualty of the war in the Pacific, Helen Carlisle throws herself into volunteering for the war effort to conceal her feelings.  But keeping up appearances as the grieving widow of a hometown hero is taking its toll.  Soon something is going to give.

Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit.  His stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life—and a convenient excuse to ignore his deepest fear.  When the beautiful Helen catches his eye and captures his heart, he is determined to win her hand.

But when Ray and Helen are called upon to step out in faith and put their reputations and their lives on the line, can they meet the challenges that face them?  And can their young love survive until blue skies return?

Filled with drama, daring, and all the romance of the WWII era, Blue Skies Tomorrow is the captivating final book in the popular Wings of Glory series.

 

 

For years, Miss Felicia Murdock’s every thought and action have been in pursuit of becoming a minister’s wife.  When the minister she’d set her sights on has other ideas, she decides something in her life needs to change—and soon—before she wastes any more time pretending to be someone she’s not.  If that means spreading her wings and embracing a more lively way of life, who’s to say nay?

Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton, has had his fill of spreading his wings and only hopes to settle into the life of a respectable New York gentleman.  Prompted by friends to life the spirits of the disappointed-in-love Miss Murdock, he is surprised to encounter an adventurous young lady with an unfortunate knack for stumbling into troublesome situations.

Just as Grayson decides he’s had quite enough of her antics, his past comes back to haunt him and his presence in Felicia’s life endangers her.  As they work to extricate themselves from this latest complication, will Grayson and Felicia decide they want to spend the rest of their lives keeping each other out of trouble?

 

 

January 29, 1835 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Twenty-year-old Julienne Lane eagerly awaits the return of her fiancé and naval officer, Jack Arnaud, but she has not been idle.  She and her best friend, Freeda Payne, have been working hard to support the abolitionist movement.  Their efforts have been clouded in secrecy, but when Freeda shows up in Julienne’s cellar with a runaway slave, the need for secrets becomes imperative.  When Jack returns home, will Julienne threaten his career in the Navy by including him in their plans, or will she hide news of the slave from him and put his trust to the test?  Moreover, why does her fiancé appear to be hiding a secret of his own?

Despite a harrowing tour of duty in the North Atlantic, Jack’s hopes for rest and recuperation are put on hold.  His wedding to Julienne is in two days, but a more pressing matter comes to his attention from his associates in the Culper Ring.  Should he ask his beautiful fiancée to postpone the wedding for the third time in two years?  How will he and the Culper Ring foil the malicious plans they have uncovered?  And why does Julienne blush so brightly when he asks her about the cellar?  The clock is ticking.  Danger looms.  Can justice prevail?  Will their love survive?

 

 

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?

 

 

A Glimpse Was All She Had . . .

A Glimpse Was All She Needed.

1865—Marietta Hughes never wanted to be a spy, but the family legacy of espionage is thrust upon her as the War Between the States rolls on.  Unknown to her, the Knights of the Golden Circle—a Confederate secret society bent on destroying the Union her brother died for—has been meeting in a hidden lair beneath her home.  Faced with the secrets of her late husband and his brother, whom she thought she could trust with anything, Marietta’s world tilts out of control.  Can she right it by protecting a Union agent infiltrating the KGC?

Slade Osborne, an undercover Pinkerton agent, is determined to do whatever is necessary to end the conflict between the North and the South.  When he infiltrates this secret cell, it isn’t just their inner workings that baffle him—it’s the beautiful woman who seems to be a puppet for the new leader and yet . . . so much more.

Do they dare trust each other in this circle of intrigue?  Will their shared faith sustain them?  And can Mari and Slade stymie the enemy long enough to see their beloved country reunited?

 

 What is in your July “TBR” Pile?

Review: Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz

Book Blurb:

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 loved 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.

 

Little Miss Bookworm Review:

 

 

Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz is a captivating love story set in the wild, untamed and savage land of 1778 Kentucke. Living along the Red River and surrounded by nature’s beauty, Morrow Little suffers from anxiety along with fear of the local Indian tribes. In the first half of the book, Morrow is considerably weighed down by the grudge she holds against them from a prior incident against her family. Red Shirt is strong, courageous, humble, protector, warrior, and leader. He displays all the traits that make a perfect hero. Throughout the novel, Red Shirt is both gentle and patient towards Morrow as he shows her not every Indian is a savage. Slowly, Morrow learns to trust and even fall in love with him. Morrow’s character growth highlights her patience, faith and devotion in the second half of the novel. With each turn of the page, readers are transported into a scene with the rich historical details and vivid imagery. Readers are also able to identify with Frantz’s characters on a deep and personal level. Love conquers all is the prevalent theme in an adventurous, romantic and dangerous world of colonial Kentucke.

I give Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz . . . 5 Stars.

 

 

Review: The Frontiersman’s Daughter by Laura Frantz

frontiersmansdaughterBook Blurb:

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.

 

Little Miss Bookworm’s Review:

 

 

The Frontiersman’s Daughter by Laura Frantz is an interesting debut novel, that highlights a young woman’s journey to womanhood during the late eighteenth century.  Living in the untamed Kentucke frontier, Lael Click struggles with her mother’s indiscretion and her father’s hidden past with the Shawnee Indians.  Ma Horn, Captain Jack, Ian Justus, and the inhabitants of a small Kentucke settlement, are an unique blend of secondary characters.  Living in the middle of Indian Territory strife with danger, feuds reigniting, and broken hearts.  Lael is determined to prove women can survive in the uncivilized region.

The extensive research and historical detail highlights the harsh realities of living in 1777 Kentucke during the American Revolution.  Conflict between white men and Indian tribes like the Shawnee is woven into the plot.  Frantz does a remarkable job in portraying both sides of the issue.

The Frontiersman’s Daughter is a hard book to review.  It immediately captured my attention and I thought the prologue foreshadowed what was to come.  However, the intricate plot twists kept me hooked from beginning to end.  I also loved how each character was given a complex personality that enabled them to stand out.  Adventure, Romance, Faith, and Redemption are four key themes that emerge within the story.

There were several flaws that caused significant problems.  First, the story focuses on an eight-year period of Lael’s life.  On more than one occasion, I was unsure of her age.  Second, the heroine lets other characters influence her decisions.  Third, not all of the plot lines were completed, leaving the reader with unanswered questions.  Finally, I was unsure if the chemistry was there between Lael and the man she ultimately ends up with.

Overall, I would recommend The Frontiersman’s Daughter to anyone who enjoys historical romances set during the American Revolution.

 

I give The Frontiersman’s Daughter by Laura Frantz . . . 4 Stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Love (Blue Edition)

 

Happy Tuesday! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl, focuses on books with our favorite colors on the cover. I was torn over which color to choose, but in the end BLUE prevailed. I selected nine historical romance covers that utilize it in some way.

 

 

Irish Meadows by Susan Ann Mason

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky

 

 

The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

A Dangerous Engagement by Melanie Dickerson

The Magnolia Duchess by Beth White

 

 

Out Of The Ashes by Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse

The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma

A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears

 

What’s YOUR favorite color to see on a book cover?