October Reading Challenge Suggestions

October Reading Challenge Suggestions

Welcome to the tenth month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focuses on WWII. I’ve used the Inspirational Historical Fiction Finder to pull together my list of suggestions. I have several on my bookshelves, but we’re starting to reach the eras that I don’t generally read. I’m looking forward to peeking into parts of history I am not as familiar with.

*There have been questions on does it HAVE to take place in the US. The answer is no, but I’d encourage you to try or at least have American characters. All the book suggestions below are tied to US locations.

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 August, don’t forget to go to yesterday’s post (RCR: When Silence Sings) 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.


The Lines Between Us by Amy Green

1945 – Washington State/Oregon

A WWII novel of courage and conviction, based on the true experience of the men who fought fires as conscientious objectors and the women who fought prejudice to serve in the Women’s Army Corps.

Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gordon Hooper and his buddy Jack Armitage have stuck to their values as conscientious objectors. Much to their families’ and country’s chagrin, they volunteer as smokejumpers rather than enlisting, parachuting into and extinguishing raging wildfires in Oregon. But the number of winter blazes they’re called to seems suspiciously high, and when an accident leaves Jack badly injured, Gordon realizes the facts don’t add up.

A member of the Women’s Army Corps, Dorie Armitage has long been ashamed of her brother’s pacifism, but she’s shocked by news of his accident. Determined to find out why he was harmed, she arrives at the national forest under the guise of conducting an army report . . . and finds herself forced to work with Gordon. He believes it’s wrong to lie; she’s willing to do whatever it takes for justice to be done. As they search for clues, Gordon and Dorie must wrestle with their convictions about war and peace and decide what to do with the troubling secrets they discover.


The Cryptographer’s Dilemma by Johnnie Alexander

1942 – Washington DC

A Code Developer Uncovers a Japanese Spy Ring

FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent letter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head oversees when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of coded defense coordinates related to dolls should be easy, but not so when the Japanese Consulate gets involved, hearts get entangled, and Phillip goes missing. Can Eloise risk loving and losing again?


The Rose Keeper by Jennifer Lamont Leo

1915/1944 – Illinois

July 1944. Chicago nurse Clara Janacek has spent her whole life taking care of other people. Grumpy yet loveable, all she wants now is to live out her life in peace, tending her roses and protecting her heart. But beneath the gruff exterior lies a story, and when new neighbors move in and shake up her quiet world, Clara must grapple with long-buried realities.

July 1915. The picnic across Lake Michigan was to be the highlight of the summer for young nurse Clara—a day filled with laughter, dancing, and budding romance aboard a stately excursion steamer. But when unspeakable tragedy strikes, Clara’s life is changed forever.

By turns funny, tender, and bittersweet, The Rose Keeper celebrates the redemptive hope found in friendship, faith, and the search for belonging.


From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes

1945 – Texas

WWII airman Luke Hampstead found comfort in letters from the sister of a lost compatriot. When he visits Texas to thank her, he discovers her constructing a project with surprising ties to his letters. . . and that she herself is even more surprising. While a promising opportunity awaits him elsewhere, will what they’ve shared be enough to give their future flight?

 


Night Bird Calling by Cathy Gohlke

1941 – North Carolina

When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin.

Slowly Lilliana finds revival and friendship in No Creek—with precocious eleven-year-old Celia Percy, with kindhearted Reverend Jesse Willard, and with Ruby Lynne Wishon, a young woman whose secrets could destroy both them and the town. When the plans for the library also incite the wrath of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple her before she’s learned to stand.

With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy. Change don’t.


For the Love of Emma by Starr Ayers

1938 – North Carolina

A rose-covered grave, seventy-nine letters, and a scribbled note unearth buried emotions and the timeless beauty of first love.

When Caroline Myers discovers a box of letters in her deceased mother’s trunk, she’s captivated by the romance that unfolds between her mother, Emma Rose Walsh, a nineteen-year-old waitress, and Noah Anderson, a handsome young soldier.

Determined to read between the lines, Caroline and her sister, Kate, set out on a search that leads them to the North Carolina foothills and the padlocked gate of the Anderson family cemetery. Will the one who holds the key keep them from unearthing long-buried secrets and fulfilling a request their mother tucked inside the box sixty-four years earlier? Will they find closure—or encounter a surprising revelation that plunges them deeper into the past?


Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Green

1944 – Minnesota

Headstrong Johanna Berglund, a linguistics student at the University of Minnesota, has very definite plans for her future . . . plans that do not include returning to her hometown and the secrets and heartaches she left behind there. But the US Army wants her to work as a translator at a nearby camp for German POWs.

Johanna arrives to find the once-sleepy town exploding with hostility. Most patriotic citizens want nothing to do with German soldiers laboring in their fields, and they’re not afraid to criticize those who work at the camp as well. When Johanna describes the trouble to her friend Peter Ito, a language instructor at a school for military intelligence officers, he encourages her to give the town that rejected her a second chance.

As Johanna interacts with the men of the camp and censors their letters home, she begins to see the prisoners in a more sympathetic light. But advocating for better treatment makes her enemies in the community, especially when charismatic German spokesman Stefan Werner begins to show interest in Johanna and her work. The longer Johanna wages her home-front battle, the more the lines between compassion and treason become blurred–and it’s no longer clear whom she can trust.


The Love Coward by Naomi Musch

1947 – Wisconsin

Tulla Johanson waited the entirety of WWII for Burke Delgard to safely return and make her his wife, but her dreams of their life together on the farm crumble, when he walks over her heart and out of the church on their wedding day. Thank heaven for friends like Joan and Walter and now Van.

War buddy and would-be best man Steven “Van” Vandreel has come to town for the wedding, never anticipating he’d have to offer a hankie and a ride home to Burke’s humiliated fiancée. She seems like a real sweet girl, but Van has no intention of getting between Burke and his jilted bride. Having carried his own secrets home from the war, he’s determined to keep them barred inside, even if Tulla might hold the key to unlocking them.

When Burke realizes his mistake and determines to win Tulla back, and even old pal Walter turns friendship to pursuit, Van is forced to face his own growing feelings for the pretty farmer’s daughter. Still, can he commit to her any better than Burke did or give her the kind of dream-come-true Walt offers? Or might keeping his longings at arm’s length prove Van to be just another love coward?


Love at First Flight by Linda Shenton Matchett

1944 – Texas

Can two people emerge from the clouds of past hurt to find a silver lining of love?

Evelyn Reid would rather fly than do anything else, so when war engulfs the U.S., she joins the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. One of the program’s top pilots, she is tapped for pursuit plane training…the dream of a lifetime until she discovers the instructor is her ex-fiancé, Jasper MacPherson.

Collecting enough points to rotate stateside, fighter pilot Jasper MacPherson is assigned to teach the WAFS how to fly the army way. Bad enough to be training women, but things take a turn for the worse when his former fiancée shows up as one of his students.


A Wing and a Prayer by Julie Lessman

1943 – Texas

She’s dead-set on giving everything to the war overseas …
Even if it means losing everything in a war of the heart.

A street orphan abused and abandoned by an alcoholic father at age five, Gabriella (Gabe) O’Connor has never let a man stand in her way yet. So when a handsome flight officer thwarts her plans to become a WASP — Women Air Force Service Pilot — she’s determined to join the war effort anyway she can. Her chance comes when she “borrows” foreign correspondent credentials from the Boston Herald—where her father is the editor—to stow away on a medical ship to the front.

Lieutenant Alex Kincaid pegs Gabe O’Connor as trouble the moment she steps foot on Avenger Field as a WASP cadet. As the eldest brother of a boy whose jaw Gabe broke in grade school, Alex is familiar with her reputation as both a charismatic ringleader and a headstrong hooligan who’s challenged every male and nun from grade school to college. As her WASP flight instructor, Alex eventually expels Gabe when she pulls a dangerous stunt. But when he is an evacuation pilot in France eight months later, their lives intertwine once again, exposing them to a danger as perilous as the German tanks roaming the Reichswald Forest: a love that neither expects.


For Love and Country by Candace Waters

1941 – Hawaii

When Lottie Palmer runs away the day before her wedding to join the Navy WAVES program, she not only leaves behind a fiancé, but also the privileged lifestyle that she has known as the daughter of one of the most important manufacturers in Detroit’s auto industry. Spurred by a desire to contribute meaningfully to the war effort, Lottie pours all of her focus and determination into becoming the best airplane mechanic in the division, working harder than she’s ever worked before.

Her grit impresses her handsome instructor, Captain Luke Woodward. But when the war ramps up and she is assigned to Pearl Harbor she must fight her growing feelings for Luke and navigate her role as one of the only female mechanics among a group of men, all while finding out what it means to be your own hero.


The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

thelandbeneathus1943 – Tennessee/England

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for–fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family–the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true?

September RCR: When Silence Sings

September RCR: When Silence Sings

Welcome to the ninth month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focused on the the 1920’s to 1930’s. Due to family caregiving needs this month, I got lots of helf from Staci this month, and she read When Silence Sings by Sarah Loudin Thomas. Once you read her 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.*

When Silence Sings by Sarah Loudin Thomas

 

This month’s review comes from fellow reading challenge participant, Staci (Goodreads link here) who also runs a Facebook group you might want to check out called Christian Fiction Devourers. Thank you so much, Staci, for making a difficult month easier.


Book Blurb:

Colman Harpe works for the C&O in the Appalachian rail town of Thurmond, West Virginia, but he’d rather be a preacher and lead his own congregation. When a member of the rival McLean clan guns down his cousin and the clan matriarch, Serepta McLean, taunts the Harpes by coming to a tent revival in their territory, Colman chooses peace over seeking revenge with the rest of his family.

Colman, known for an unnaturally keen sense of hearing, is shocked when he hears God tell him to preach to the McLeans. A failed attempt to run away leaves Colman sick and suffering in the last place he wanted to be–McLean territory. Nursed by herbalist Ivy Gordon–a woman whose unusual appearance has made her an outcast–he’s hindered in his calling by Serepta’s iron grip on the region and his uncle’s desire to break that grip. But appearances can be deceiving, and he soon learns that the face of evil doesn’t look like he expected.


Review:

West Virginia 1930

A beautifully written novel set in small Appalachian towns. There are multiple focuses in the novel and they weave together seamlessly to create a symphony of words.

When Silence Sings is partially about a feud between two families, Harpes and McLeans, dating back to 1832. As an example of the sentiment of everyday residents…when one man quotes Romans 12:19: “For it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” is quoted, a second man responds “And this right here (waving hand) is the hand of God”. The feud and being on one side or the other was a way of life.

Colman Harpe didn’t fit this mold. Although he works for the railroad, his life’s ambition is to be a preacher. When he hears a word from God to spread the love of Christ to the McLean family, Colman believes he must have heard that wrong.

“He knew it was a command but couldn’t think why God would send him on such a fool’s errand.”

Think Jonah. Colman goes a different direction, but God continues to work on his heart and mind.

Meanwhile the head of the McLean family, Serepta, leads her businesses and sons with a cold heart and iron will. There are glimpses of kindness and softness, but these are rare.

Colman has his work cut out for him. Along his journey, Colman builds up his faith and learns a lot about himself, God and humanity.

The pages include several charming phrases from the region such as “You turn up as regular as a hungry hound dog”. The characters are well written and there were a couple of surprises. I would have loved to know a bit more about what happened to one individual, but can see the author’s point of view in leaving that to the reader’s imagination. Some of the actions of the two brothers didn’t fully align to what I envisioned.

Overall, it’s a delightful novel.

The author’s note at the end was charming and informative. This novel is highly recommended for fans of historical fiction.


Purchase Links

Amazon   Baker Bookhouse       Barnes & Noble      Books-a-Million      Book Depository      Bookshop.org      Christianbook.com      Indiebound.org


The Giveaway:

Leave a comment below with what you read for this month’s challenge and/or enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for more entries. Entries close October 7th at midnight EST. Drawing will be randomly held on October 8th. The winner will be notified by email, listed on the winner’s section of the Reading Challenge page, and listed here. Open to those legally able. International winners will receive an Amazon gift card for $10 if the book is not available to ship. to you via Book Depository.

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August RCR: Until June by Barbara Britton

August RCR: Until June by Barbara Britton

Welcome to the eighth month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focused on the WWI Period, and my choice of story was Until June by Barbara Britton. For this month’s giveaway, I have a special treat. The author provided me with a signed copy to mail one lucky winner. So don’t forget to comment to be entered for your chance to win.

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

Until June by Barbara Britton

I received a copy of this book for review purposes last year, and I completely fell in love with the story. It was a unique WWI story plot, and it touched on subjects I’d not really thought about in relation to the War. To be honest, one of my favorite things about the book was the heroine’s determination to help the veteran overcome his pain medicine addiction and find life beyond the pain. This book is definitely one a recommend to others.


Genre: Historical Romance, Alaska, 1918

Plot Overview:

When seventeen-year-old seamstress, Josephine Nimetz, agrees to take care of a WWI amputee in a remote Alaskan lodge, there’s enough friction to melt the Mendenhall Glacier. Her position is only until June, and it pays well enough to overlook the hardship of managing a rustic home and a shell-shocked veteran.

Geoff Chambers makes it clear that he isn’t too fond of the “runt” sent to take care of his needs, nor of her painful mistakes. Dealing with a depressed and addicted veteran pushes Josephine to the brink of leaving, if not for the money her salary brings.

But Josephine is a perfectionist, determined to get Geoff back on his feet—figuratively…Although, sending a rich, handsome veteran back into society may cost Josephine the man she has grown to love.

What I loved: This brought another aspect of the Great War I’d never thought about to life. The injuries of any war or horrific, but knowing what I do of trench warfare, the soldiers of WWI endured far more than I can or want to imagine. Watching a veteran work his way through his injuries, break free of addiction, and find hope again were aspects of the story that have stuck with me from the very first time I read it more than a year ago.

Favorite Character and Why: Josephine really stuck to her guns and helped Geoff to move beyond his injuries to a hopeful future. Her tenacity and loyalty to family were things I could identify with.

Who would like this? Lovers of historical romance, especially stories of homefront heroes, injured veterans, and love that overcomes harsh challenges.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon     Barnes & Noble      Books-a-Million      Book Depository      Bookshop.org      Indiebound.org


BOOK GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment about what book you read here. Leave a comment by midnight on September 7th to be entered to win a signed, print copy of Until June. International winners will receive either an unsigned copy through Book depository or a $10 Amazon gift card.

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August 2021 ACFW New Releases

August 2021 ACFW New Releases

I am so excited for several of these releases. Beyond These War-torn Lands is sitting on my desk, and A Warrior’s Heart should be arriving soon. Plus Jen Turano’s To Write a Wrong should arrive soon, too! First I have to finish a book for a book club meeting, and then I get to dive into some of these beauties! Which ones are on your TBR pile?

August 2021 New Releases

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


Amish Romance:
 


The Cowboy’s Amish Haven
by Pamela Desmond Wright — Her home and her heart are on the line…

On the same day Gail Schroder’s faced with losing her Amish family ranch, her old crush Levi Wyse shows up on her doorstep. He doesn’t know that when he left ten years ago he’d taken Gail’s heart with him. Now Levi’s her only hope of keeping a roof over her head. But can this cowboy teach Gail the ropes in time to save her home? (Amish Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))


An Amish Schoolroom by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, and Shelley Shepard Gray — From three bestselling authors of Amish fiction come three charming stories of new school years and new romance. (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson and Zondervan))


Contemporary Romance:


To Bring You Back by Emily Conrad — He’s determined to confront the past she’s desperate to forget. When Adeline Green’s now-famous high school crush descends on her quiet life, a public spotlight threatens to expose her deepest regret. After eight years of trying to bury her mistakes under a life of service, she’s broke financially and spiritually. The last thing she can afford is feelings for the man who took center stage in her past—even if he does claim to know the secret to her redemption. But when Gannon’s fame and their mutual regrets jeopardize their relationship anew, will grace be enough to bring them back to God and each other? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Cornerstone
by Nancy J. Farrier — She’s been hurt one time too many—can his patience and love may heal her empty places. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)


Beyond the Tides
by Liz Johnson — When Meg Whitaker’s father decides to sell the family’s lobster-fishing business to her high school nemesis, she sets out to prove she should inherit it instead. Though she’s never had any interest in running the small fleet–or even getting on a boat due to her persistent seasickness–she can’t stand to see Oliver Ross take over. Not when he ruined her dreams for a science scholarship and an Ivy League education ten years ago.
(Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)


The Cottage on Seagull Lane
by Patti Jo Moore — Mindi Kirkland hopes her move to the quaint town of Ocean Mist, Florida, will help her move forward in her life. The widowed introvert is happy to live closer to her grown daughter, and has no interest in romance after enduring a painful marriage to an alcoholic. (Contemporary Romance from Winged Publications)


A Mother’s Strength
by Allie Pleiter — Will finding her son a friend lead to forever love? Single mom Molly Kane will do anything to help her son overcome his anxieties—including enlisting former police officer Sawyer Bradshaw to give him golf lessons. Sawyer’s a loner, yet he quickly forms a bond with little Zack. And with Molly. But protecting Zack means Molly must keep her heart off-limits from Sawyer, even as her little boy draws them together…(Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired (Harlequin))


Historical Romance:

A Warrior’s Heart
by Misty M. Beller — Brielle Durand is a key defender and hunter for her people’s peace-loving French settlement in the Canadian mountains. When a foreigner wanders too near to their secret homes, she has no choice but to disarm and capture him. She won’t allow another massacre like the one that killed her mother a dozen years before. But now, what to do with this man who looks at her in a strange way? (Historical Romance from Bethany House (Baker) Publishing)


The Debutante’s Secret by Mary Davis — Will Geneviève open her heart to a love she never imagined? Geneviève Marseille, a French socialite, has only one purpose in coming to Kamola—stopping her brother from digging up the past. She has reluctantly journeyed alone to the quaint college town in central Washington State. Kamola is so different from her beloved Paris that she is tempted to abort her mission, but the kindness of a handsome deputy tempers her desire to flee. (Historical Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)


Beyond These War-Torn Lands
by Cynthia Roemer — The War brought them together ~ Would it also tear them apart?
While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel. (Historical Romance from Scrivenings Press)


Rose Among Thornes by Terrie Todd — War might be raging overseas, but Rose Onishi is on track to fulfill her lifelong goal of becoming a concert pianist. When forced by her government to leave her beloved home in Vancouver and move to the Canadian prairie to work on the Thornes’ sugar beet farm, her dream fades to match the black dirt staining her callused hands. Though the Thorne family is kind, life is unbearably lonely. In hopes that it might win her the chance to play their piano, Rose agrees to write letters to their soldier son. Will Rusty survive the war only to encounter the Japanese on his own doorstep? Can Rose overcome betrayal and open her heart? Or will the truth destroy the fragile bond their letters created? (General Historical from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)


Speculative:
 


Into the Unknow by Daphne Self, Daniel Peyton, Lauren Smyth, Eric Landfried, Allen Steadham, P.S. Patton, and Jake Tyson
— Humanity has spread and colonized regions of the galaxies. As their reach expanded, countries, colonies, and planets joined to form the Federated Nations, providing a centralized government among the stars. Along with the Science Conglomerate—who explores and researches the unknown regions—and the Judicial Clerical Court—purveyors of truth, history, and justice—humanity discovers new beings, wondrous worlds, old temptations, and strength in horrendous trials. (Speculative from Ambassador International)


Mystery/Thriller/Suspense:
 


One Hundred Proof Murder
by Mary Ellis — ravel writer Jill Curtis is in Louisville, Kentucky, on the next stop of her bourbon tour assignment, and is keen to explore the local distilleries with her videographer, Michael Erickson – especially since her new beau, Lieutenant Nick Harris, lives in the city. But the night before Jill’s first tour at Parker’s Distillery, she is shocked to learn that the master distiller, William Scott, has died suddenly of a heart attack – and even more shocked when she discovers William’s daughter, Alexis, suspects foul play. Is there more to William’s death than meets the eye? Jill is soon drawn into a deadly blend of rivalry, jealously, and cold-blooded murder as she attempts to uncover the truth behind William’s unexpected demise. (Cozy Mystery from Severn House)


Exile by Brian Shotton — Gone for three years, Scott returns home to find Aurora in decay. A curse has descended on the small Kentucky town. Someone is convincing the young to take their own lives, and with each suicide the death-cycle grows stronger, entangling all it touches. Scott and Father Stan must find the source of the evil if they hope to heal and restore community. Meanwhile, Dee and Tim find their own trouble at the Order of the Third Sister. A demon has infiltrated the Sisters, hellbent on discovering the truth behind the prophecy of the Scion and secretly ushering in the destruction of the enclave. (Thriller/Suspense/Biblical, Independently Published)

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

Hunt for a Hometown Killer by Mary Dodge Allen, Small towns have secrets and skeletons… what happens when a sinkhole uncovers them? (Thriller/Suspense)

Counterfeit Captive by Susan Page Davis, A chance for escape takes two unlikely allies on a romantic adventure along a desert trail. (Historical Romance)

P.W. Stone and the Missing Kingdom by S.C. Easley, Sometimes the planets and stars do align. Enter the Kingdom Realms, where the unseen is seen, and battles must be won… (Children’s/Middle Grade)

The Fire Within Us by Greg N. Ford, About to turn thirty, Tom Barton’s life as a fireman/farmer is turned upside down when he meets a beautiful, intriguing woman and someone starts attacking him. (Action/Adventure/Contemporary)

Justice at Dawn by Valerie Massey Goree, When a training exercise turns deadly, can Agent Callahan save the rookie, the abducted family, and himself? (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)

Entering the Zone: Helena by Barbara James, Visiting Mrs. Caldwell on Sunday afternoons was one thing. Dealing with Leon, her skeptical grandson, was another.
(Contemporary Romance)

In Search of True North by Kathleen Neely, She lost her son twelve years ago. Now that she’s part of his life, will history repeat itself? (Contemporary Romance)

Betrayal of Genius by Robin Patchen, Join Jacqui and Reid as they navigate this pulse-pounding, faith-filled adventure into the high-stakes world of medical research, innovation, and greed. (Thriller/Suspense/Romance)

Mendicant by Brian Shotton, In the shadows of New Orleans, evil hunts children. And Dee, a one-time Voodoo princess, has discovered why. (Thriller/Suspense/Biblical)

Sweet Summer by Christina Sinisi, Can Shelby let her sisters, Tyler, and even
more importantly, God, show her in one Sweet Summer, that love is worth taking the risk? (Contemporary Romance)

Potato Flake Christmas by Cathe Swanson, It seemed like such a good idea at the time… (Contemporary Romance)

July RCR: Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

July RCR: Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

Welcome to the seventh month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focused on the Progressive Era, and my choice of story was Heart onf the Line by Karent Witemeyer. 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.*

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

I’ve long been a fan of Karen Witemeyer’s books. In fact, I think I own almost every book she’s written, even though I’ve far from read them all. It was a joy to pick up one of her books this month and read Heart on the Line. It was an adorable historical twist on “meeting online.” And Karen NEVER fails to deliver on the action and adventure. I didn’t pay attention to this being a book 2, but it stands alone without having read the first story. However, I am definitely going back and reading Emma and Malachi’s story now.

Heart on the Line is one of those reads that stick with you long after you finish reading. I’m still chuckling over the quirky characters and thinking through the spiritual lessons they grew through. Amos is one of those heroes who doesn’t quite fit the mold, yet has all the qualities you would want in a hero. I loved his own acknowledgment of not being the kind of man a woman takes a second glance at. While insecure, he managed to have an underlying confidence that made you root for him even in those moments of doubt. Grace was intelligent, brave, and wise while still having room to grow as a person.

I recommend this novel for fans of friends to more, somewhat awkward heroes, and stories laced with humor, danger, and spiritual truths that don’t Bible thump you.


Genre: Historical Romance, Texas 1894

Plot Overview:

Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can’t let the villain she believes responsible for her father’s death release his wrath in Harper’s Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she’s ever known.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

What I loved: I absolutely adored the relationship between Amos and Grace, but even more so the relationship between Helen and Lee. Both had their own tugs and pulls, and both sets were willing to risk their lives not only for each other but for the community at large.

Favorite Character and Why: It’s a tie between Helen and Amos. Helen’s growth as a character was so fun to watch. My heart ached and cheered for her as she moved beyond the hurts of the past toward a stronger relationship with Christ and others. Amos was just an adorable hero who had such an underlying strength that he won my heart right off the bat.

Who would like this? I recommend this novel for fans of friends to more, somewhat awkward heroes, and stories laced with humor, danger, and spiritual truths that don’t Bible thump you.

Rating and Why: Five. The story while somewhat predictable was satisfying and lifted my spirits. I loved the action involved, and the romance was just the right amount to swoon without gagging. (Yes, this romance author can’t take too much romance without gagging. LOL)

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon   Baker Bookhouse       Barnes & Noble      Books-a-Million      Book Depository      Bookshop.org      Christianbook.com


Reading Challenge Giveaway

Comment with what you read for this month’s challenge to be entered to win a print copy of Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer. This giveaway is open to U.S. and International Residents who are legally able to enter. If an international winner is picked and Book Depository cannot ship, they will get a $10 Amazon Gift Card.  Comment or use Rafflecopter for extra entries by 11:59 pm (EST) on August 7th to be eligible to win. Happy reading!

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