Review: Tidewater Bride, by Laura Frantz

book coverOverview

They’re both too busy for love . . . but love is not too busy for them

Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in Virginia Colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family’s shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.

Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife.

Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they’ve been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?

Review

Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

I don’t choose books to read based on their romance potential. Yeah, I’m a weird reader who looks at the plot, and the historical aspects involved. With Tidewater Bride, I knew I could rely on Laura Frantz to write a good story. Tidewater Bride is set in 1634, shortly after recorded massacres of colonists and times of starvation. It’s also a spin on the bride ships trope, in that the bride ships are not the focus of the story. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: To Dwell Among Cedars, by Connilyn Cossette

book coverOverview

Eight years ago, after the Philistines surrendered the stolen Ark of the Covenant back to the Israelites, Eliora and her brother left their Philistine homeland to follow it to the community of Kiryat-Yearim. Though they both were lovingly enfolded into a Levite family that guards the Ark, Eliora can’t stop feeling like she doesn’t belong.

Meanwhile, a faction of discontent Hebrews finds Kiryat-Yearim to be an unfit resting place and believes that the sacred vessel should be in the hands of the priests who mean to restore the Holy of Holies in a new location. Under the guise of gathering Hebrews to worship together for the festivals, Levite musician Ronen has been sent by his uncle to find where the Ark has been hidden and steal it back. But Ronen never expected that the Philistine girl he rescued years ago would now be part of the very family he’s tasked to deceive.

Ronen’s attempts to charm Eliora into revealing the location of the Ark lead them in unexpected directions, as they must battle betrayal and fear to help establish Israel’s leadership for a better future.

Review

Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

Connilyn Cossette returns with a new series about Philistine siblings living around the time of the prophet, Samuel, in the Old Testament. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Review, A Castaway in Cornwall, by Julie Klassen

book coverOverview

Set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers, Laura Callaway now lives with her uncle and his disapproving wife in North Cornwall. There she feels like a castaway, always viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong.

While wreckers search for valuables along the windswept Cornwall coast–known for its many shipwrecks but few survivors–Laura searches for clues to the lives lost so she can write letters to next of kin and return keepsakes to rightful owners. When a man is washed ashore after a wreck, Laura acts quickly to protect him from a local smuggler determined to destroy him.

As Laura and a neighbor care for the survivor, they discover he has curious wounds and, although he speaks in careful, educated English, his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Despite the evidence against him, the mysterious man might provide her only chance to discover the truth about her parents’ fate. With danger pursuing them from every side, and an unexpected attraction growing between them, will Laura ever find the answers she seeks?

Review

Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, the words and opinions below are my own.

Cornwall has a history of being the location for classic titles such as Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. In recent years, perhaps due to the success of the 2015 television adaption of the Poldark novels, it has become a favored location again. This is the third novel I’ve read this year that focuses on the area and its dangerous coastline, and a way of life that includes shipwrecks and smuggling. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Review: To Steal a Heart, by Jen Turano

book coverOverview

After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as his heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

Review

Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

Hurrah for another Jen Turano book. If you’re not familiar with her work, each book is a fun jaunt set during the Gilded Age. It’s where society boys and girls get into all sorts of scrapes and hijinks, while sometimes mingling with the masses. Or it’s where young working men and women get into all sorts of scrapes and hijinks while trying to improve themselves, and sometimes mingle with society. To Steal a Heart mostly falls into the second category, although Nicholas has already crossed the divide between the classes and acts as a bridge for Gabriella and her friends. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gift Book Review: 52 Weeks of Gratitude

gift book coverInformation

Infuse spirituality and thankfulness into your daily life with this beautiful gratitude journal that offers a simple way to lower stress and improve happiness.

Scripture says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” But we could all use a little help actually making room for gratitude among our everyday busyness and concerns. 52 Weeks of Gratitude offers you a space to record and reflect on your blessings each week as you focus through the year on four major themes: Home, Community, Faith, and Beauty.

With its lovely full-color photographs and illustrations, this textured hardcover book is a perfect keepsake. The weekly format offers just the right amount of encouragement to inspire, motivate, and create a grateful heart in all who write in its pages.

Review

Disclaimer: Although I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the words and opinions below are my own.

Hands up: who’s had a problem with being grateful this year? Last year seemed to fly by, which was bad when I needed it to go slow. In contrast, it feels like 2020 has dragged. There have been personal tragedies, country-wide issues, and global problems. It’s no wonder we’ve experienced times when the last emotion we feel is gratitude. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment