June 2021 ACFW New Release

June 2021 ACFW New Release

Unfortunately, with some significant family stuff going on (I’d appreciate your prayers), I don’t have this week’s post ready, so I fell back on the one provided to me every month by ACFW. I hope you find some amazing books to add to your TBR pile. I know I have. 🙂 Let me know if you know of other books being released this month not on this list.

June 2021 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website


Contemporary Romance:

A Chance for the Newcomer by Lisa Carter — She’s stirring things up…A big-city chef. A small-town single dad. And matchmakers with marriage in mind… Chef Kara Lockwood didn’t think changing a small-town diner’s menu would cause a boycott, but the locals sure do love their apple pie—especially fire chief Will MacKenzie. Kara’s not sure she and the single father can ever learn to live peacefully as neighbors. But even as they clash over pastries, local matchmakers and Will’s little boy are determined to bring their stubborn hearts together. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))


His Secret Daughter
by Laurie Larsen — he had the perfect life all on her own …Alyssa Stark works hard to make her life’s dreams come true … all on her own. She built her reputation as New York City’s top advertising executive, client by client. And when her ill-advised marriage didn’t work out, she knew she had to make her dream of becoming a mother happen by untraditional means. Now, she and her eight-year-old daughter Caroline are living the dream life in the Big Apple.

He’d lost everything that meant anything until he made a discovery …Grant Fontaine is the widowed president of his father-in-law’s electronics company. Since the tragic death of his pregnant wife a decade ago, he’s become a high achieving businessman, but a social hermit. Several years ago, his lonely life took on new meaning when he discovered that the donation he’d made to a reproductive clinic long ago had sired a child. Through the services of a discreet private eye unafraid to push legal limits, he identifies his “daughter,” Caroline, and her mother, Alyssa. Could it be time to reveal his secret? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Always a Wedding Planner
by Davalynn Spencer, R.L. Ashely, LeeAnn Betts, Toni Shiloh — Love Is Only Business for 4 Wedding Planners Discover how keeping secrets from each other threatens four women’s friendships, wedding business, and their own ability to find love in Loveland, Colorado. Business partners Felicity Anderson, the cake baker; Kiki Bell, the seamstress; Cassie Blackthorn, the coordinator; and Chef Saffron Delarosa are best of friends in a town that is a romantic wedding destination for many couples—who work together at Weddings by Design to make every bride’s special day perfect. Could each falling into their own romance be the key to working out their differences and learning to trust each other—and God—with their futures? (Contemporary Romance from Barbour Publishing)


Matched Hearts
by Cathe Swanson — She’s looking for a “Plus One” for her parents’ anniversary party. He’s looking for “Happily Ever After.” When a matchmaking agency pairs them up, is it a computer error or a match made in heaven?Eleanor Nielson always wanted to follow in her distinguished parents’ footsteps, becoming a teacher and living a life of selfless community service – until she tried it. Now, she’s run away to find herself and decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life, but she can’t skip her parents’ anniversary party, and she needs a date. Can a matchmaking agency find her a fake boyfriend who will impress her parents? Mechanical engineer David Reid has his life all planned out, and he’s ready for the next phase: a loving wife who will share his faith and work at his side when he becomes a pastor. But a good woman is hard to find, so like any good engineer, David turns the project over to experts: an online matchmaking agency. The pretty, blond teacher with denim blue eyes seems like a match made in heaven. Or is she too good to be true? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Plot Twist by Bethany Turner — February 4, 2003, is just another day for Olivia Ross—a greeting card writer whose passion project is a screenplay of her own. After she and a handsome, struggling actor have a near-magic encounter in a coffee shop, they make a spontaneous pact: in ten years, after they’ve found the success they’re just sure they’re going to achieve, they’ll return to the coffeehouse to partner up and make a film together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget the date. For the next ten years, every February 4, Olivia has an exceptional day, full of coincidences and ironies. As men come and go and return to her life, and as she continues to write her screenplay, she still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain was Hamish MacDougal, now a famous member of the Hollywood elite. But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the epic romance playing out right before her eyes. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan))


Historical:

More Than Honor
by Carol Ashby — Devotion to duty and dogged determination make Tribune Titianus the most feared investigator of the Urban Cohort. Honor drives him to hunt down anyone who breaks Roman law, but it becomes personal when Lenaeus, his old tutor, is murdered in his own classroom. Why kill a respected teacher of the noble sons of Rome, a man who has nothing worth stealing and no known enemies? Had he learned something too dangerous to let him live? Pompeia was only a girl when Titianus studied with Father before her family became Christians. She and her brother Kaeso can’t move their school from the house where their father was killed. But what if the one who killed Father comes to kill again? Kaeso’s friend Septimus insists they spend nights at his father’s well-guarded home. But danger lurks there as well. As Titianus hunts for the murderer, will he discover their secret faith and arrest them as enemies of the Empire? (Historical from Cerrillo Press)


The Dream Weaver’s Bride: Asenath’s Story by Janelle Hovde — As the daughter of the high priest of On, Asenath has a solid vision of her future. Her education with the royal scribe is a luxury not usually afforded to women, and even though she is betrothed to the pharaoh’s half-brother, she has dreams of something more. But everything changes when the pharaoh has troubling nightmares that only a prisoner named Joseph can interpret. Suddenly, Asenath finds herself married to this foreigner, who demands that no god but his own be worshipped in his house. Despite her fears, Asenath is touched by Joseph’s kindness and humility, even as he steps into his newfound power. Can Asenath trust the God of Joseph and forsake her old deities? Can she learn to love this stranger from another land, a stranger with scars from a painful past? As a famine sweeps across Egypt and the surrounding lands, Asenath and Joseph find themselves face-to-face with the men who caused Joseph’s suffering. Can Asenath embrace the power of El Shaddai and help her husband forgive? (Historical from Guideposts Publications)


Historical Romance:

Faith in the Mountain Valley by Misty M. Beller — After eleven years spent looking for the girl who stole his heart, Jean-Jacques Baptiste-better known as French to his friends-is tempted to give up. Until the day he spotted the flaxen-haired stranger traveling the wooded path with Blackfoot Indians. He never imagined he’d find his childhood friend masquerading as a man in this Rocky Mountain wilderness, hundreds of miles from the Canadian town where he last saw her. No matter her reasons, he can’t let her go this time. From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.
(Historical Romance, Independently Published)


The Captain’s Quest by Lorri Dudley — Pricilla Middleton only attended the Lemoore house party to keep her friend out of trouble. Now, her only chance to keep from becoming a gossip column headline is to sneak aboard her brother’s ship and pretend she’d been visiting him instead of taking part in the debacle. Before she can speak to her brother, the ship sets sail, and the man in charge is not at all who she expects. Captain Tobias Prescott, son of an infamous war hero, has been assigned on a critical mission to deploy warships in St. Kitts for battle in New Orleans. Unfortunately, his orders require him to assume command of a friend’s ship, and he must weigh anchor the instant the former captain is escorted down the gangplank. When they reach open waters, the last thing he expects is to find a woman hiding in the captain’s cabin, yet his mission is too urgent to return her to England. (Historical Romance from Wild Heart Books)


Along a Storied Trail by Ann H. Gabhart — Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn’t mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her Appalachian mountain community during the Great Depression. Yet she longs to find love like the heroines in the books she loves. When a charming writer comes to town, she thinks she might have found it—or is the perfect man actually closer than she thinks? Perdita Sweet has called these mountains home for so long that she’s nearly as rocky as the soil around her small cabin. Long ago she thought she could love, but when the object of her affection up and married someone else, she stopped giving too much of herself away to others. As is so often the case, it’s easier to see what’s best for others than to see what’s best for oneself. Perdita knows who Tansy should choose, but why would anyone listen to the romantic advice of an old spinster? (Historical Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)

To Find Her Place by Susan Anne Mason — In the midst of WWII, Jane Linder, a childless divorcée, puts all her energy into her career at the Toronto Children’s Aid Society. As acting directress, Jane hopes to be awarded the position permanently so she can continue making a difference in the lives of troubled children. Garrett Wilder has been hired to overhaul operations at the Children’s Aid Society. He hopes to impress the board members with his findings and earn the vacant director’s position. A war injury ended his dream of taking over his parents’ farm, but with the security of the director’s job, he’d be able to contribute financially and help save the family business. As Garrett works closely with Jane, he comes to admire her tenacity and her dedication to the children. Just as feelings begin to blossom between them, her ex-husband returns from overseas with an unexpected proposition that could fulfill Jane’s deepest desires. With the odds stacked against them, can Garrett and Jane navigate the obstacles to their relationship and find lasting love? (Historical Romance from Bethany House (Baker) Publishing)

A Bride for Keegan by Linda Shenton Matchett — Fiona Quigley’s parents came to America for a better life, but illness and the Civil War took them from her. Now, she’s barely scraping by as a seamstress to Boston’s elite. A chance for a new start arises in the form of being a mail-order bride, but to her dismay she must marry the man by proxy. Once they’re wed, there will be no turning back. After being jailed one too many times for protesting against the Unionists in Ireland, Keegan O’Rourke heads for America—land of the free. He takes advantage of the Homestead Act to create a farm in his new country, but he has no one to share his success, so he advertises for a mail-order bride. They wed by proxy, but after she arrives, he discovers his Irish lass hails from the northern reaches of the Emerald Isle – the very area he fled. (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)

On Sugar Hill by Ane Mulligan — She traded Sugar Hill for Vaudeville. Now she’s back. The day Cora Fitzgerald turned sixteen, she fled Sugar Hill for the bright lights of Vaudeville, leaving behind her senator-father’s verbal abuse. But just as her career takes off, she’s summoned back home. And everything changes. The stock market crashes. The senator is dead. Her mother is delusional, and her mute Aunt Clara pens novels that have people talking. Then there’s Boone Robertson, who never knew she was alive back in high school, but now manages to be around whenever she needs help. Will the people of her past keep her from a brilliant future?
(Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

No Journey Too Far by Carrie Turansky — In 1909, Grace McAlister set sail for Canada as one of the thousands of British Home Children taken from their families and their homeland. Though she is fortunate enough to be adopted by wealthy parents, the secrets of her past are kept hidden for ten years until someone from her long-buried childhood arrives on her doorstep. With this new connection to her birth family, will she be brave enough to leave her sheltered life in Toronto and uncover the truth? After enduring hardship as an indentured British Home Child, Garth McAlister left Canada to serve in World War I. His sweetheart, Emma Lafferty, promised to wait for his return, but after three long years apart, her letters suddenly stopped. When Garth arrives home from the war to unexpected news, he is determined to return to Canada once more on a daunting mission to find the two women he refuses to abandon—his long-lost sister and his mysteriously missing sweetheart. (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah (Random House))


A Life Redeemed
by Olivia Rae — Upon Queen Elizabeth’s order, Audrey Hayes travels to the borderlands of Scotland to learn where the fierce Laird Armstrong’s loyalties lie. Is he aligned with his mother’s English roots in support of the queen, or does he hold with the beliefs of his father, who wishes to see Mary of Scots on the English throne? The fate of Audrey’s family rests on her success in finding the answer. After losing his lands in a wager and being betrayed by his kin, Gavin Armstrong entered a loveless marriage to obtain the funds to buy back his family home, Warring Tower. Now a widower, struggling against countless border wars, he is on the verge of losing his home and lands again. With few resources, he reluctantly makes another risky wager, one he cannot hope to win without trusting the secretive Audrey Hayes, a woman he suspects is an English spy. (Historical Romance from HopeKnight Press)


Speculative/Science Fiction:

The Chase by Bradley Caffee — in the Chase. Be the hero. Or die trying. The chaos and anarchy following the Great Collapse nearly brought the world to its knees until the unchanging Law brought order and peace. Generations later, the twelve alliances of the World Coalition come together once a year to allow their best and brightest young people to compete in the Chase. The prize? A chance to pass exactly one new law. The son of two former Chase runners, Willis Thomson is the top trainee in the Western Alliance. With the expectations of the world and his heritage driving him, he leads his elite Red Team as they prepare for his moment to become a coveted law-changer. Perryn Davis, the new leader of the Blue Team, struggles to survive as she competes as one of the designated losers. She knows that losing means genetic recoding, a process that cannot go on indefinitely, and longs to age out of the program before it kills her. When a mysterious new racer with knowledge of the outside shows up at their orbiting training center, the natural order of the Western Alliance trainees is upended. In a world where too much knowledge is dangerous, Willis and Perryn find themselves in a race to save their lives and uncover the hidden underbelly of the peaceful World Coalition. (Speculative/Science Fiction from Mountain Brook Fire)


Thriller/Suspense/Romance:

Cold Case Trail
by Sharee Stover — Following the clues could be the last thing they do…
Temporarily working in the cold case division was supposed to mean less danger for state trooper Trey Jackson and his injured K-9 partner, Magnum—until they thwart an abduction. Now he must protect profiler Justine Stark, even as she blames him for her friend’s death ten years ago. Can he right past wrongs by finally solving the murder…and making sure Justine lives to find closure? (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic from Love Inspired (Harlequin))


Young Adult:

Aslan: Running Joy
by Kristin Kaldahl — For fourteen-year-old Krissy, her new life maxim is pretty sad: First choices out. Second choices in. It’s been that way since dialysis left her disabled. Her limitations went from none to a ton, and now they stand in the way of her dream―to compete in dog agility with her runty sheltie pup, Aslan. (Young Adult from CrossLink Publishing)

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

 

 

Love & Adventure by Elise Davis, What do baseball and true love have in common besides a diamond? Is that a trick question? (Contemporary)

 

 

Miracle in Milan by MaryAnn Diorio, When a young, female auditor discovers evidence that the man she loves is an embezzler, she must choose between ruining herself or ruining him. (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic)

 

 

Finding Home by Candee Fick, Two hearts longing for home. (Contemporary Romance)

 

 

Love Found in Cranberry Cover by June Foster, Can Blake and Gracie learn who’s behind the danger that threatens them? Will a small-town girl and big-city boy find a life together? (Thriller/Suspense/Romantic)

 

 

A Night Divine by Dawn Kinzer, One chilly December night, a tragedy connects Camryn and Trace, and the devastating experience spurs her into volunteering with his team. But as Christmas Eve approaches and the two grow closer, secrets have the potential to break someone’s heart. (Contemporary Romance)

 

 
Let It Be Me by Becky Wade, The one woman he wants is the one he cannot have.
(Contemporary Romance)
June Reading Challenge Suggestions

June Reading Challenge Suggestions

Welcome to the sixth month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. We are halfway through!!!! This month focuses on the Gilded Age. The Gilded Age is a period the 1870s and 1900. This is the time period in which we think of rich societies, industrialization, labor strikes, and the World’s Fair.

When it comes to this time period, I have quite the collection. Enjoy the perusal through my virtual bookshelf and then add your suggestions in the comments. You’ll notice I have a LOT of Jen Turano. She’s one of my favorite Gilded Age authors. Elizabeth Camden is newer to me, but I am definitely enjoying her too. At the bottom of my post, I’m including books suggested by others.

Add your suggestions in the comments, and/or tell me what you are reading. Have you read any of these below? Which one should I choose for this month? Let me know.

Also, if a title has (read and reviewed), clicking on that takes you to a review I’ve written on that book. Just in case you are interested in learning more.

Monthly Reminders:

*If you read a book for May, don’t forget to go to yesterday’s post (RCR: The Bounty Hunter’s Bargain) to comment and get your name entered for your chance to win a print copy. (You’ll also earn your entry for the end of the year giveaway.)

*You can also join the Facebook Group. for more interaction and suggestions, or if you’d like a bookmark to remind you of the monthly challenges, fill out this Google Form.

From My Shelf

After a Fashion by Jen Turano

Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.

Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can’t make her fashionable. She’ll never truly fit into Oliver’s world, but just as she’s ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

Other titles in the series: In Good Company, Playing the Part

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turnano

Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn’t guaranteed to “take.” After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she’s finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill.”

Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it’s simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she’s determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she’ll end up at risk as well.

As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .

Other titles in the series: Out of the Ordinary, Caught by Surprise

A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. After losing her family, her fiance, 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.

Other titles in the series: A Most Peculiar Circumstance, A Talent for Trouble, A Match of Wits

Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

Other titles in the series: Diamond in the Rough, Storing Up Trouble

Masquerade by Nancy Moser 

Two young women risk it all for adventure and romance.

1886. Charlotte Gleason embarks from England with conflicting emotions. She is headed to New York City to marry one of America’s wealthiest heirs—a man she has never even met.

When her doubts gain the upper hand, she swaps identities with her maid Dora. Charlotte wants a chance at “real life,” even if it means giving up financial security. It’s a risk she’s willing to take.

But what begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl becomes a test of survival beyond her blackest nightmare.

For the maid, Dora, it’s the chance of a lifetime. She is thrust into a fairy tale life amid ball gowns and lavish mansions, yet she is tormented by the possibility of discovery. And what of the man who believes she is his intended? Can they find happiness sharing a life based on a lie?

Other titles in the series: An Unlikely Suitor

The Pursuit of Lucy Banning by Oliva Newport

Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago’s rich and famous, but the expectation that she will marry an up-and-coming banker makes her question where her heart lies. The garb of a well-dressed wife may not fit as well as the life she dreams of.

When Lucy meets Will, an unconventional young architect working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World’s Fair, she begins to believe a life on her own terms might be possible. But when secrets not Lucy’s to tell get in the wrong hands, Lucy only wants to keep everyone safe.

A life of glitz and grandeur, stark social concerns, and the courage to cross lines for her convictions challenge Lucy to find her own way—and the answer to the question of whether she will ever be loved for who she truly is.

Other titles in the series: The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, The Invention of Sarah Cummings

 

Secrets of Slone House by Shelley Gray

Against the backdrop of the 1893 World’s Fair, a young woman finds employment with an illustrious Chicago family—a family who may guard the secret of her sister’s disappearance.

Sloane House is among the most gilded mansions of Gilded Age Chicago. Rosalind Perry, the new housemaid, pours the morning coffee before the hard gaze of her mistress.

“It’s simple, Rosalind,” she says. “I am Veronica Sloane, heiress to one of the country’s greatest fortunes. You are simply one in a long line of unsuitable maids.”

Back on the farm in Wisconsin, Rosalind’s plan had seemed logical: Move to Chicago. Get hired on at Sloane House. Discover what transpired while her sister worked as a maid there—and follow the clues to why she disappeared.

Now, as a live-in housemaid to the Sloanes, Rosalind realizes her plan had been woefully simple-minded.

She was ignorant of the hard, hidden life of a servant in a big, prominent house; of the divide between the Sloane family and the people who served them; and most of all, she had never imagined so many people could live in such proximity and keep such dark secrets.

Yet, while Sloane House is daunting, the streets of Chicago are downright dangerous. The World’s Fair has brought a new kind of crime to the city . . . and a lonely young woman is always at risk. But when Rosalind accepts the friendship of Reid Armstrong, the handsome young heir to a Chicago silver fortune, she becomes an accidental rival to Veronica Sloane.

As Rosalind continues to disguise her kinship to the missing maid—and struggles to appease her jealous mistress—she probes the dark secrets of Sloane House and comes ever closer to uncovering her sister’s mysterious fate. A fate that everyone in the house seems to know . . . but which no one dares to name.

Other Titles in the Series: Deception on Sable Hill, Whispers in the Reading Room

 The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden (read and reviewed)

Gray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building his very successful global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Resolved to salvage his family before it spirals out of control, he returns to his ancestral home to save his brother and sister before it’s too late.

As a junior botanist for the Smithsonian, Annabelle Larkin has been charged with the impossible task of gaining access to the notoriously private Delacroix plant collection. If she fails, she will be out of a job and the family farm in Kansas will go under. She has no idea that in gaining entrance to the Delacroix world, she will unwittingly step into a web of dangerous political intrigue far beyond her experience.

Unable to deny her attraction to the reclusive business tycoon, Annabelle will be forced to choose between her heart and loyalty to her country. Can Gray and Annabelle find a way through the storm of scandal without destroying the family Gray is fighting to save?

Other titles in the series: A Gilded Lady, The Prince of Spies

Veiled In Smoke by Jocelyn Green (Windy City Saga, Book 1)

Meg and Sylvie Townsend manage the family bookshop and care for their father, Stephen, a veteran still suffering in mind and spirit from his time as a POW during the Civil War. But when the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago’s business district, they lose much more than just their store.

The sisters become separated from their father and make a harrowing escape from the flames with the help of Chicago Tribune reporter Nate Pierce. Once the smoke clears away, they reunite with Stephen, only to learn soon after that their family friend was murdered on the night of the fire. Even more shocking, Stephen is charged with the crime and committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum.

Though homeless and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life, but prove her father’s innocence before the asylum truly drives him mad.

Other titles in the series: Shadows of the White City

Books Shared with Me:

  • Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang
    • Other titles in the series: All In Good Time
  • Bride by Blackmail by Debbie Lynne Costello
  • Cameo Courtships Collection by Various Authors
  • Carousel Dreams by Various Authors (4 Stories of Love Spun on a Carousel)
  • A Daughter’s Inheritance by Tracie Peterson & Judith Miller

    • Other titles in the series: An Unexpected Love, A Surrendered Heart

  • Enduring Dreams by Sandra Ardoin
    • Other Titles in the series: Rekindling Trust
  • If Only It Were Yesterday by A.M. Heath (Split-time, Fantasy, Historical)
  • Have Cash Will Marry by Renee Yancy
  • The Lightkeeper’s Daughter by Colleen Coble
    • Other titles in the series: The Lightkeepers Bride, The Lightkeepers Ball
  • Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist

  • Serving Up Love Novella Collection by Various Authors
  • The Test of Gold by Renee Yancy



Check out these alternatives to Amazon:  Baker Bookhouse       Barnes & Noble      Books-a-Million      Book Depository      Bookshop.org      Christianbook.com      Get It Local      Indiebound.org

Leave Your Comments:

If you have a favorite book or author who writes in this time, put it in the comments so other readers can know who to go search out for options. Old or new, it doesn’t matter. 🙂

May RCR: The Bounty Hunter’s Bargain

May RCR: The Bounty Hunter’s Bargain

CONGRATULATIONS Winnie on winning a copy of The Bounty Hunter’s Bargain. (Entry via Rafflecopter)

Welcome to the fifth month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focused on the Wild West Period, and I chose a reread. The Bounty Hunter’s Bargain by Lucette Nel is such a fun read, and I enjoy mixing up the reading challenge with traditionally published and indie published (self-published) authors of good quality.

Once you read my review, don’t forget to comment to be entered for your chance to win a copy.

*Want more interaction and/or suggestions each month? Join the Facebook Group. Want a bookmark with the monthly themes? Fill out this Google Form.*

THE BOUNTY HUNTER’S BARGAIN BY LUCETTE NEL

The Bounty Hunter’s Bargain is part of a wider series written by multiple authors which are all read as stand-alone novels. As is par for the course with Lucette Nel, her book is filled with laughter, tough relationships, redemption, and a hint of danger. The characters have individual problems that contribute to a wider picture and draw them closer to one another as they learn forgiveness of each other and the past. The romance is sweet and humorous, and there is a twist I didn’t see coming. I fell in love with the unique characters, from the boarders and Emily to Annabelle and Jack. I need Annabelle to come to my house when she is stressed though. I am not a stress cleaner and that woman can really make a place shine. 😉 You’ll just have to read it to find out what I mean.

This quick read would be great for anyone who loves stories of redemption, second chance love, and western settings.


Genre: Historical Romance, 1868

Plot Overview:

Can love withstand new betrayals and old hurts?

Jack Sullivan has a runaway wife to return and a bounty to collect. A gunshot lands him at the feet of Annabelle Lawson and jeopardizes a promise he can’t afford to break. Can he set aside his heart and focus on what he came to do?

Annabelle Lawson had finally picked up the fragments of her heart. Why did Jack have to crash back into her world? She may have to care for the injured bounty hunter, but she refuses to help him cash in on his professed ‘easy money’. Nor will there be a second chance at claiming her heart.

What I loved: I really enjoyed the relationship and tension between Annabelle and Jack. They knew each other well, yet still managed to misread each other as any real couple does. The struggle between moving forward and clinging to past hurts permeated multiple relationships.

Favorite Character and Why: I love ALL the characters, but I really loved Annabelle. She was a mix of strong woman and vulnerability. I could see quite a bit of myself in her because she always did what needed to be done while trying to shield her heart and failing miserably.

Rating and Why: Four and a half stars. The story was well-developed and well-written. There were a couple of things I would have loved to see more of, but everything was completely satisfactory.

Purchase Link: Amazon


Reading Challenge Giveaway

Comment with what you read for this month’s challenge to be entered to win a print copy of The Bounty Hunter’s Bargain by Lucette Nel. This giveaway is open to U.S. and International Residents who are legally able to enter. If an international winner is picked, they will get a $10 Amazon Gift Card. I’m sorry. Book Depository does not carry this book. Comment or use Rafflecopter for extra entries by 11:59 pm on June 7th to be eligible to win. Happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 2021 ACFW New Release

May 2021 ACFW New Releases

I love when the new release list comes out…but I can’t say that my bank account does. Which books are on your “to buy or borrow” list?

May 2021 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website


Amish Romance:


The Jam and Jelly Nook
by Amy Clipston — In the final installment of Amy Clipston’s bestselling Amish Marketplace series, a young widow struggling to raise her son dreams of one more chance at love. Over time Emory and Leanna become closer friends, discovering how much they have in common. As single parents, they struggle with the limits of what they can provide for their children and feel somewhat responsible for what happened to their respective spouses. The two eventually realize they have feelings for each other-but when they try to date, their children resist. Will God pave a way for them to build a family together, or will hurdles block the path to a second chance at happiness? (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan))


Contemporary Romance:

Stealing the First Mate by Tabitha Bouldin — Sometimes, happily ever after is as elusive as a pirate’s treasure. Darcy Riggins dove headfirst into the online dating pool and sank. Every time. Her lifelong dream of becoming a wife and mother becomes more elusive every year. So, taking the lack of a Mr. Right in her life as a decided “No!” from God, Darcy gives up altogether. Being single and content turns out to be tougher than Darcy imagined, and when she begins doubting everything she’s ever known, Nigel decides it’s time to admit his mistakes, tell the truth, and trust God for the outcome. (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit Publishing)


Royally Confused
by Jill Boyce — Will this doctor trade in her stethoscope for a tiara? Claire must decide by the night of the Royal Gala if she will accept her place on the throne as the Queen of Amorley–even if she might have to give up medicine or love to do so. Will she return to Boston and pursue her passion for surgery and turn her back on her newfound family, country, and the love of a lifetime? Will Claire trade in her stethoscope for a tiara? Does light overcome darkness? Can Claire learn that her worth does not reside in what she does, but who she is–the daughter of her heavenly Father and part of a royal priesthood. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)


Once Upon a Summer
by Toni Shiloh — Embrace the enchantment of summer with these contemporary twists on timeless tales. Let these five sweet contemporary Christian romances take you away this summer. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


General Contemporary:

Shelter in the Storm by Laurel M. Blount — In this moving Amish romance, two broken hearts find hope in each other after a terrible loss. Unspeakable tragedy strikes the Amish hamlet of Johns Mill when an unstable Englischer opens fire in the Hochstedler’s General Store. In the aftermath, and under the media’s spotlight, Joseph Hochstedler struggles to hold his shattered family together, drawing unexpected comfort from a faithful childhood friend. Born with a serious heart defect, optimist Naomi Schrock has always longed to live a life of service. She rolls up her sleeves, determined to help Joseph cope with this terrible crisis. But dare she hope that his friendship will finally deepen into love? (General Contemporary from Berkley Penguin Random House)


Impact
by Audra Sanlyn — She sat in the midst of fear and desperation, facing the biggest decision of her life. (General Contemporary, Independently Published)


Historical Romance:

Finding Home (Within the Castle Gates #4)
by Candee Fick — Two hearts longing for home. A memorable first encounter brought them together, but then Susannah Stanley and Nicholas Pennington were torn apart by circumstances beyond their control. From the Lake District in Northern England to a Moroccan port along the African coast and the Napoleonic Wars in between, they struggle to hold onto hope they will be reunited. After being supplanted by her stepmother’s schemes and the betrayal of a friend, they finally meet again in the most unlikely of places. Now the battle is on to reclaim their rightful inheritance. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)


Gold Rush Bride Hannah
by Linda Shenton Matchett — Hannah Lauman’s husband has been murdered, but rather than grief, she feels…relief. She decides to remain in Georgia to work their gold claim, but a series of incidents makes it clear someone wants her gone…dead or alive. Is a chance at being a woman of means and independence worth risking her life? Jess Vogel never breaks a promise, so when he receives a letter from a former platoon mate about being in danger, he drops everything to help his old friend. Unfortunately, he arrives just in time for the funeral. Can he convince the man’s widow he’s there for her protection not for her money? (Historical Romance from Shortwave Press)


Mystery:

Three Days Clueless by Luana Ehrlich — Mylas Grey is determined to find the person who shot a politician in broad daylight. There’s just one problem. The killer left no clues behind. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Mylas gets involved in an intriguing case of MURDER . . .When Mylas arrives in his hometown to spend time with Whitney, he agrees to help his father, a local private detective, examine the files of a politician who was murdered in cold blood. Mylas gets involved in an intriguing case of murder with NO CLUES . . .The wife of the slain politician believes her husband’s murder is connected to his duties as a state legislator, but the police find no clues to his murder and no evidence to support her claim. (Mystery/Crime, Independently Published)


Romantic Thriller:

Rising Danger
by Jerusha Agen — t’s up to a K-9 handler and her canine partner to stop a bomber before it’s too late. Someone’s planting explosives on dams in the Twin Cities, and Bristol Bachmann and her bomb sniffing dog must move quickly to find them before everything ends up underwater. That means relying on the dams’ supervisor—an ex-boyfriend Bristol never thought she’d see again. Hopefully Remington Jones has grown up from the rakish charmer she knew in her academy days. Because lives now depend entirely on them…
(Romantic Suspense/Thriller from Love Inspired (Harlequin))


Dark Threat by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Reporter Trinity Lockhart pursues a story but then unwittingly becomes the story. Acting on a tip from an anonymous source, Trinity investigates an art trafficking ring at a high-end Seattle gallery. She turns to handsome FBI agent Kyle Richards for help after being spotted by the crooks. Kyle is drawn to the feisty reporter, but he can’t afford a beautiful distraction when lives are at stake. He must trust his friends at Protection Inc. to watch over Trinity while he investigates the gallery.
(Romantic Suspense/Thriller, Independently Published)

Plus check out these recent additions to Fiction Finder published within the past month:

 

 

The Trouble with Jenny by Kathy Geary Anderson, She’s always getting into trouble. He’s always getting hurt. (Historical Romance)

 

 

Courage in the Mountain Wilderness: Call of the Rockies, Books 4 by Misty M. Beller, Keeping her son safe on this epic journey may be harder than she imagined. (Historical Romance)

 

 

Out of Range: In the Shadows, Book 2 by JL Crosswhite, It’s her chance to prove she’s good enough. It’s his chance to prove he’s more than just a fun guy. Is it their time to find love, or does he have deadly competition? (Romantic Suspense)

 

 
Poppy’s Path to Love – Great Smoky Mountain Getaways by Elsie Davis, Escape to the Great Smoky Mountains with Poppy as she tries to hit the reset button on her life, only to discover there’s been a mistake and she has a limited window of time to prove herself and figure out where she belongs.
(Contemporary/Women’s Fiction) 
 
Juliet’s Journey to Love – Great Smoky Mountain Getaways by Elsie Davis, Escape to the Great Smoky Mountains with Juliet as she learns patience trying to figure out God’s plan for her life instead of trusting Him.
(Contemporary/Women’s Fiction) 
 

Seeking Sanctuary by Susanne Dietz, When Kellan’s deepest secret threatens their growing bond, will Paige be able to forgive him for the past he can’t forget? (Contemporary Romance)

 

 

Grace Beneath the Frost by Christine Dillon, Professional success. Personal failure. (General Contemporary)

 

 

The Good German Girl by Erica Marie Hogan, As they begin a dangerous correspondence, both Margot and Bernie embark on treacherous journeys. (General Historical)

 

 

The Amish Teacher’s Wish by Tracey Lyons, She wants her own happily-ever-after…As an Amish bachelor repairs her school…can she heal his heart? (Romance/Amish)

 

 

Surviving Carmelita by Susan Miura, Where Do You Run When Your World Implodes? (Contemporary/Women’s Fiction)

 

 
Every Good Work by Urcelia Teixeira , Beware the eye of the storm…Adam Cross faces a life-changing decision when he returns in the gripping Christian suspense series finale!
(Thriller/Suspense) 
 
See You Monday by Kristen Terrette , One choice can change everything.
(YA Fiction)
To Steal a Heart by Jen Turano

To Steal a Heart by Jen Turano

*New feature to my website: Share your own historical fiction review to potentially be shared on my website. Check out this page for details.

To Steal a Heart

by Jen Turano

I have always loved Jen Turano books . . . I just forgot how much until I read this one. It’s probably been a couple of years since I’ve picked up a Jen Turano book–not for lack of want, but for lack of time to read all the great books out there. Since I had a 3 hour round trip drive to my ACFW chapter meeting, I decided to listen to an audiobook that I also had the print copy of. It’s a good thing I did. Do you remember how I didn’t make the April Reading Challenge? Well you can blame Jen Turano. I ended up reading her book that weekend instead of the one I was supposed to read for the challenge. Oops.

Jen’s books are always packed full of humor, wit, danger, and unique characters. This story brought the levity I needed to a stress-packed month while also giving me the danger, mystery, and crime that I desire. I absolutely cannot wait to continue reading the series. Once a street thief, Gabriella has grown into a respectable woman with a heart of gold and a willingness to do whatever it takes to clear the name of a fellow boardinghouse mate. . . even if it brings her former partner and best friend back into her life. Gabriella isn’t the only whose had a lifestyle change, Nicholas has not only changed his ways, he’s done the impossible and moved into the social circles of the famed Four Hundred. Danger and social differences threaten to break apart the bond they once shared.

Any reader who enjoys banter, humor, adventure, danger, unique characters, and stories of friends to more will love this book.


Genre: Historical Romance, 1886, New York CIty

Plot Overview:

After a 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. In the middle of breaking into a safe that holds the proof to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella is interrupted by 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 heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed 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.

What I loved: I am a huge fan of the combination of humor and danger, while still maintaining a realistic relationship strain. The characters were delightful, the crimes exciting, and the Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency an absolute joy to watch grow.

Favorite Character and Why: The pairing of Gabriella and Nicholas is wonderful. I love their connection, the banter, and the romance. However, Daphne stole the show for me–which makes me absolutely delighted that she gets her own book next! Not only is Daphne an author, but she’s also an absolute mess and a hoot! 

Who would like this? Any reader who enjoys banter, humor, adventure, danger, unique characters, and stories of friends to more will love this book.

Rating and Why: Five stars. It was such a fun story, one I will certainly be rereading.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon     Barnes and Noble    Baker Bookhouse    Books-a-Million     Book Depository     Bookshop.org     Christianbook.com     Get It Local     Indiebound.org


Have you ever read a Jen Turano book? Which ones? If you haven’t, does her story sound appealing to you?

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