This week I decided to share my comfort reads, the books I run to when I just want something familiar and comfortable. What is your favorite comfort book?
In no particular order, here are my top ten favorites to re-read:
Brentwood’s Ward by Michelle Griep – Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge.
A Cross-Country Trip through Regency England Brings Intrigue, Rogues, and High Adventure
The must-read conclusion to Michelle Griep’s Bow Street Runners Trilogy
The Hawk and the Jewel by Lori Wick – Everyone thought little Sunny had perished with Lady Gallagher in storm-tossed seas off the Arabian coast, but the beautiful toddler had been found, taken to the palace of Darhabar, and raised as the ruler’s own child. Now the emir, Ahmad Khan, is sending her home, and Sunny’s uncertain, new life is completely in God’s hands.
The Knight and the Dove by Lori Wick – When the king commands Bracken to marry, high-spirited Megan is chosen to fulfill the edict. Unskilled in the ways of love, Bracken finds Megan captivating, yet cannot seem to voice his feelings until he almost loses her forever.
A Rumored Fortuneby Joanna Davidson Politano – Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first.
When Comes the Spring by Janette Oke – Elizabeth, the cultured young schoolteacher from the East, has braved the western frontier and spent a year teaching in a one-room schoolhouse. Now she and Wynn are planning their wedding and their new life together at his outpost in the far north. While Wynn is accustomed to life in the north, Elizabeth is not. Can their love for each other sustain them through a harsh winter, loneliness, and rigors of life without any of the conveniences they’re used to?
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can’t bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.
Seven Brides for Seven Texans – Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas. Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children—until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will. How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum? Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance?
No One Is Too Tough to be Loved Join seven Texas Rangers on the hunt for a menacing gang, who run straight into romances with women who foil their plans for both the job and their futures.
Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake – When “Big Tim” Creighton spies the mincing fop headed toward Forsaken Ranch, he is appalled. Thankful his boss isn’t around to witness the arrival of his kin, Tim decides he’ll turn “Fancy Pants” Hathwell into a man worthy of respect. Lady Sydney Hathwell never intended to don men’s attire, but when her uncle mistakenly assumed she was a male, the answer to her problems seemed clear. When her deception is exposed, will she be forced to abandon her hopes for family…and true love?
And a bonus…
Plots and Pans by Kelly Eileen Hake – The ability to follow orders—his orders—is the #1 job requirement for anybody joining cowboy Tucker Carmichael’s cattle drive. He knows that on the Chisholm Trail a moment’s hesitation can mean death. So when his partner’s headstrong sister, Jessalyn, joins their team as chuck wagon cook, sparks start to fly! Is God “stirring up” romance?
Okay after having to leave a two-star rating for my favorite author last week, I had to revisit my favorite series from her and give her a glowing review to make up for the disappointment.
The Canadian West Series:
#1 When Calls the Heart
#2 When Comes the Spring
#3 When Breaks the Dawn
#4 When Hope Springs New
# 5 Beyond The Gathering Storm
# 6 When Tomorrow Comes
The first four books are my absolute favorite. In the first book, Elizabeth Thatcher goes to the Canadian West to teach in a school near her brother. Only she finds out turning down the wrong man puts her in a school much farther west where she has to learn to live alone and teach in a little one room school house. The fun ensues with her mistakes and the challenges of teaching in a small community.
In When Calls the Heart, Elizabeth Thatcher goes to the Canadian West to teach in a school near her brother. Only she finds out turning down the wrong man puts her in a school much farther west where she has to learn to live alone and teach in a little one room school house. The fun ensues with her mistakes and the challenges of teaching in a small community. Of course, there is the dashing mountie, Wynn. The miscommunications and the romance that follows is wonderful to read.
When Comes the Spring begins with the wedding, honeymoon, and then the first year of marriage. It is such a wonderful book showing how a God-centered marriage works, even in the most challenging of situations. Not only do they have to leave the small community they had come to know and love, but Elizabeth follows Wynn to the far north to live in an Indian village where she is an outsider.
In When Breaks the Dawn, they must move yet again and Elizabeth works with the Indian community to survive a wildfire and then flood. It is an exciting read and I just love following their marriage.
When Hope Springs Newis the last one to focus on their lives as husband and wife, mountie and teacher. This book touches on the difficult topic of not being able to have children and God’s grace. It is a wonderful read that leaves you with hope for the future.
Finally, Beyond the Gathering Storm and When Tomorrow Comes follow the lives of Wynn and Elizabeth’s two children. One is an adopted son and the other is their miracle daughter. Each struggle to find their way in the world and to be patient for love. I enjoy reading both of their stories and love that you get to see Wynn and Elizabeth in a different light.
This is one of those rare series that I would make everyone read if I could. Janette Oke reveals the true life trials of married life and how it can be done in a Godly manner. Even if you have no Godly couples to look to, you can really see a great example in this series.
I love Wynn and Elizabeth as if they were real people. Okay, so maybe that is a little creepy. But in the books that really impact you and you love, it feels that way.
So what are you doing? Go buy and read this series. I promise you won’t regret it AND it is way better than her newest series and even the When Calls the Heart television show (which I do like, but it is nothing like the books.)
Where Hope Prevails by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan
Janette Oke was the first Christian author I ever read. She was also the first author to make me anxiously await the next release. Her books largely helped me to understand life as a Christian when I first began my own journey. She is still a remarkable writer that I would love to meet one day.
That being said, this was not my favorite book from her and her daughter. In fact, I would rate it as my least favorite I have ever read from her and will promptly be reading my favorite book from her, When Calls the Heart, to make sure I end on a good note.
For me, the story line was very slow moving, and actually quite boring. There was not a lot of interaction with her and Jarrick, even though this is the book they get married in. Elizabeth spends most of the book struggling with her relationship with her partner teacher and her own personal emotional struggles.
If I had not been reading expecting a romance story, it would have been probably more enjoyable. I would call this book strictly women’s fiction. Elizabeth Thatcher has a great amount of personal growth, and there are great lessons to be learned. I would still recommend the book as long as you have that as the primary focus. If you are expecting romance and the sweetness of an engaged couple, you will find it in unsatisfactory amounts.