Last Chance Wife by Janette Foreman

Last Chance Wife by Janette Foreman

Last Chance Wife by Janette Foreman

I don’t know if you have heard the news, but Love Inspired is bringing back their Historical line for a limited time. I didn’t even know the line existed until after they’d already closed it, so with the announcement of the new line, I decided to read a dozen or so first chapters and pick out which story grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. Janette Foreman’s story was exactly that!

This was such a fun twist on mail-order brides and love letters. Winifred is a disgruntled mail-order bride ready to admit defeat and return home, however, first she must earn her way back home. Ewan begrudgingly puts an anonymous ad out for a mail-order bride–and his cut and dry expectations flare Winifred’s frustration with men to new heights. She picks up a pen and immediately writes to “Business Man” and signs it “Thoroughly Disgruntled,” never expecting to actually send the letter. Of course, it gets sent, and I have to say, I love the results.

Last Chance Wife is a story that will have you giggling, grinning, and turning the pages all night long.


Genre: Historical Romance, Mining Camp, 1878

Plot Overview:

Her Secret Suitor

When six-time mail-order bride Winifred Sattler is stranded in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, she’s grateful to find a temporary position at Mr. Ewan Burke’s business until she can return home. Ewan is handsome, but stuffy and serious—her complete opposite. Unlike her new anonymous correspondent, Mr. Businessman, who appreciates her bubbly optimism.

To keep his mining company afloat, Ewan can’t be distracted by Winifred’s vivacious beauty. He needs a no-nonsense wife. Someone like Miss Thoroughly Disgruntled, the only respondent to his recent ad with whom he truly connected. In person, Winifred and Ewan don’t get along, but in their letters they’re falling in love. Will they discover a perfect match in each other?

What I loved: I loved the letters the most! It was so fun seeing them interact in person and then through the written word. It truly made my heart swoon.

Favorite Character and Why: Although Ewan appears to be a stiff, stand-offish person on the outside, he proved to be a multi-layered hero who steals your breath with his generous heart.

Who would like this? I’d recommend it to anyone who loves sweet romances with heroes who are generous on the inside but appear rigid on the outside, and heroines who are independent and capable but not perfect.

Rating and Why: Five Stars. It was a fun, quick read with a unique twist on letter writing and mail-order brides.

PURCHASE LINKS

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Waltz in the Wilderness by Kathleen Denly

Waltz in the Wilderness by Kathleen Denly


Waltz in the Wilderness by Kathleen Denly

Waltz in the Wilderness is Kathleen Denly’s debut novel set in California during the 1850’s. This story is a fresh take on the wild west aspect of California’s history with a dash of adventure, romance, and danger. I particularly enjoyed seeing the early days of San Fransico and San Diego, traveling between the two via steamer, and experiencing the wilds between the two. It is an exciting view of history with lots of wonderful details. The characters were relatable and fun to watch as they maneuvered physical dangers, forbidden love, and family conflict. I would recommend this book to readers of sweet romances.

Genre: Historical Romance, California Gold Rush, 1854

Plot Overview:

She’s desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help. 

Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother’s death, so she’ll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend’s unexpected assistance is a blessing she can’t refuse.

Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it’s been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancée is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.

When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?

What I loved: The adventure of the story as well as the inner strength, loyalty, and honor of the hero, Daniel.

Favorite Character and Why: Eliza was a character I could really connect to, as I too struggle to be in control of everything. Her fear for her father drives her to dangerous things, and it is an emotion I can completely understand. Honestly, I could see my self behaving in the same manner as she.

Who would like this? Those who love sweet romances, rich in historical details, unique settings, and wilderness settings. It was a fun read which will have you turning pages.

Rating and Why: Four stars. It is a book I enjoyed and will likely read again.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon.com     Barnes and Noble     Book Depository   Books-A-Million     Walmart

Circle of Spies by Roseanna White

Circle of Spies by Roseanna White

Circle of Spies is the third and final book in the Culper Ring series, but you don’t necessarily have to read the others to enjoy the last, although I HIGHLY recommend it as you will get connections missed otherwise. This particular story takes place during the last months of the Civil War and full of espionage and tension.

As I prepare to write my own Civil War series, it was a great way to get my mindset in the time period. As always her characters have special gifts that make them stand out. The heroine, Marietta, has a photographic memory. This comes as a curse which she eventually learns to accept as a gift. It truly was a fascinating read with historical details that really got my mind working.

Genre: Historical Romance, Civil War, 1865 – Baltimore

Plot Overview:

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

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

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

What I loved:
History is always a big one for me, but I enjoyed then tension and ending action of this one. Everything seemed to go a believable path while still keeping me on the edge of my seat.

Favorite Character and Why: It’s hard to put my finger on one, but Grandpa Thad is definitely still a favorite of mine.

Who would like this? Anyone who enjoy American history, especially Civil War fans. The romance in this one is a bit different, but realistic of two broken people learning to become new in Christ. If you like danger, history, and characters with unique gifts, this is definitely a go to read.

Rating and Why: Four and half stars. I love the history, tension, and action of the story.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon.com Barnes and Noble Christianbook.com Walmart

Whispers from the Shadows by Roseanna White

Whispers from the Shadows by Roseanna White

This was a particularly fun read for me because I managed to get my mother-in-law hooked. My MIL is legally blind, and doesn’t read for leisure as it is very difficult on her. However, while baking for Thanksgiving, I had this book playing over the speaker while she sat nearby. Friends, she became so engrossed, I wasn’t allowed to listen to it without her. Which led to me showing her how to download my account to her phone and me purchasing an e-book copy so I could continue at my own pace. We ended up having a reading race, and it was one of the greatest joys I’ve shared with her this year.

Whispers from the Shadows is the second book in the Culper Ring series, but you don’t necessarily have to read the first one to enjoy the second. (As proved by my MIL.) However, you will enjoy seeing the characters from the first book reappear and have a stronger understanding of the backstory if you do.

I really enjoyed taking a look at the War of 1812. I had a vague recollection of the war from my long ago studies, but I always just viewed it as the wrap up of the American Revolution. In a way it was, but it was so much more than I remembered. The way Roseanna M. White brought it to light was exciting, enlightening, and engaging. Whispers from the Shadows is a book I will reread and recommend to others.

Genre: Historical Romance, War of 1812 – Baltimore

Plot Overview:

Treachery causes Gwyneth Fairchild’s world to crumble. The daughter of a British general, she barely saves her life by fleeing London aboard a ship to America. Her goal is to find refuge with the Lane family in Maryland, having been told by her father she could implicitly trust Winter and Bennet Lane, even though their nations are once again at war. After meeting their son, Thad, she wonders how safe she truly is when she discovers that the Lanes trade in a dangerous commodity – espionage.

Not long after Gwyneth finds refuge in his city, Thad Lane experiences the tug of love, though he fears it may blur lines of loyalty. With family playing the part of enemies and enemies proving themselves friends, a future with Gwyn is uncertain. But at this moment, with the British advancing on Washington and Baltimore, they have only their shared faith in God as a shield about them.

What I loved:
Besides the history, which is always a go-to for me, I really loved the connection between Gwyneth and Thad. There was just something so unique and special about it. Their relationship drew me in.

Favorite Character and Why: Thad. Without a doubt. He was a man with convictions who followed the Lord’s leading. He was brave, compassionate, a leader, and intelligent. Thad was a hero I could respect.

Who would like this? Anyone who enjoy American history, especially time periods not heavily focused on in writing or in the history books. Readers who enjoy sweet romance, strong natural spiritual threads, and danger-filled stories will want to pick this book up.

Rating and Why: Five stars. This history, the danger, the love, and the hope shared through this book make it one I will reread again.

PURCHASE LINKS

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Ring of Secrets by Roseanna White

Ring of Secrets by Roseanna White

As has often been the case for me of late, I’ve been so busy that reading fiction has fallen to audiobooks while driving. In desperation for something I could download quickly from my library I reached out the Facebook group Avid Christian Fiction Readers and asked for suggestions. Roseanna White’s books was one of the first to pop up on the responses. Since the library didn’t have the one suggested I went with A Ring of Secrets because of two words: Culper Ring.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the Culper Ring was a network of spies used by General George Washington during the American Revolution, and who doesn’t love a good story of espionage and intrigue. This history buff/danger-craving reader downloaded it in a heartbeat.

Ring of Secrets is the first in a series of three dealing with this Culper Ring, so don’t be surprised if more reviews for the following books pop up. As always, the thing that drew me in was the immense amount of historical accuracy in this story. It was absolutely jaw-dropping the amount of information I learned (and then verified) while reading this book. 

The plot line was exciting, while realistic, and the romance one that was well developed. While multiple people vied for Winter’s hand, I never once felt the anger I usually feel with love triangles. Roseanna White handled it in a wonderful believable way that felt right and not like someone got the short end of the stick just because. So Roseanna White, if you’re reading this, kudos! That is an amazing undertaking in my opinion, and your research? AMAZING.

If you like books with espionage, tension, danger, as well as love and a wonderful spiritual thread, you definitely need to pick this book up. 

Genre: Historical Romance, American Revolution – New York

Plot Overview:

Winter Reeves is an aristocratic Patriot forced to hide her heart amid the Loyalists of the City of New York. She has learned to keep her ears open so she can pass information on British movements to Robbie Townsend, her childhood friend, and his spy ring. If she’s caught, if she’s hung for espionage…well, she won’t be. Robbie has taught her the tools of the trade: the wonders of invisible ink, drop locations and, most importantly, a good cover. 

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

Both believers…and both committed to a separate cause. Will their faith in God lead them to a shared destiny or lives lived apart?

What I loved:
The history! I love all the historical details and true look into spying during the American Revolution.

Favorite Character and Why: I really did love Winter. Her struggle with her place in her family, what she felt called to do, and the courage she had really drew me in. She made a few decisions I would never had made, but I thoroughly admire her for them. 

Who would like this? Anyone who enjoys a thorough reimagining of the American Revolution, its relational difficulties, and the brave men and women who participated in it will find this a refreshing and exciting story. Also, anyone who enjoys sweet romance, strong spiritual threads that are preachy but natural, and danger filled tension, this book is for you.

Rating and Why: Five stars. This history, the danger, the love, and the hope shared through this book make it one I will reread again.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon.com Barnes and Noble Christianbook.com Joseph-Beth Target Walmart

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