The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo
Genre: Historical Romance, 1730’s, Carribean/New Orleans
Plot Overview: 12-year-old Maribel is taken from her home by her pirate father who is thrown overboard when privateers take over the ship. Believed orphaned Captain Jean Beaumont takes her onto his vessel until better arrangements can be made. Over the months together, her spitfire ways worm their way into his heart. When circumstances separate them and allow them to believe each other is dead, they move forward with their lives only to be reunited eleven years later with danger hampering their every move.
What I loved: I loved the high seas adventure aspect of this book. I grew up loving books like Treasure Island, Three Musketeers and the such, so there were parts of this book that threw me back to my childhood and I relished the danger and adventure.
Favorite Character: Israel, the African man rescued from a slave trade vessel. He was a strong Christian figure and full of wisdom. He cared for both Jean and Maribel to a high degree and his loyalty was like no other.
Further Thoughts: While this book is a romance it doesn’t really have a ton of romance in the traditional sense. Half of the book occurs when Maribel is twelve and the rest when she is an adult. Their shared history made the spark happen very quickly, but it still didn’t feel fully romantic.
Who would like this: Anyone who loves adventure with a touch of romance.
Rating and Why: I gave this a four-star rating because while I did really enjoy the story, it was not really a mystery like the blurb tends to make you think and the romance aspect was cute but not fully developed as they entered the adult stage.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher/author. I was in no way required to leave a review, and the above review is my honest opinion.
Join the discussion: What is the best adventure book or movie you have ever read or seen?
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April 2018 New Releases
More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.
Pelican Point by Irene Hannon — After inheriting a crumbling lighthouse, ex-Army doctor Ben Garrison wants to sell it. But Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber is determined to save the town landmark. Can these two romance-wary souls finds a meeting of the minds…and hearts? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing)
An Amish Heirloom by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Beth Wiseman — From bestselling Amish authors come four novellas about the meaning and tradition found behind every family heirloom. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)
This Wilderness Journey by Misty Beller — He’s been sent to retrieve the new missionary… But she’s not at all who he expects to find. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy — Deborah and her sister and two little children survive a wagon train massacre. Trace finds them and takes them home. He finds himself their accidental guardian. He must protect them all and gain justice. When he does, all these friendly visitors–especially Deborah–will leave him forever. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker])
First Love Forever Romance Collection by Susanne Dietze, Marcia Gruver, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancette Pagels, Martha Rogers, Lorna Seilstad, Connie Stevens, Erica Vetsch, and Jennifer Uhlarik — Coming face to face with a lost love can be awkward when the heartstrings are still holding on to the “what ifs.” In settings from 1865 to 1910, nine couples are thrown back on the same path by life’s changes and challenges. Can love rekindle despite the separation of time and space? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
All Things Beautiful by Keely Brooke Keith — It’s 1868 in the settlement of Good Springs, and Hannah Vestal is passionate about writing fiction and keeping her stories to herself. When her father asks to read her work, she decides to have it printed secretly for his 50th birthday. Hannah tries to arrange the printing with the settlement’s pressman, but the witty and dapper Henry Roberts has better things to do with his ink. In order to secure settlement support for his printing press, the elder council says Henry must print an error-free copy of the New Testament before the settlement’s 8th anniversary celebration. He is determined to meet their challenge, but when the enigmatic Hannah proves to be a beguiling distraction, Henry longs for something more than a life at the letterpress. (Historical Romance from Edenbrooke Press)
Adoration by Olivia Rae — Sir Darrin de Longue is desperate to get his lands back from Lady Faith de Sainte-Marie, the woman who betrayed him and may have had a hand in his father’s murder. But King Richard discloses on his deathbed that Lady Faith is the king’s daughter and then issues an ultimatum Darrin must obey. In order to reclaim his lands, he must marry Lady Faith and get her with child in a year’s time. Lady Faith has loved the rowdy and bold Sir Darrin since childhood, but cannot be a true wife to the bitter, angry man whom she has wed. In order to gain his trust and love, she vows to find the truth about his father’s murder. But when she stumbles upon deadly secrets, will she be able to prove her innocence–and his–to erase the past and win Darrin’s heart? (Historical Romance from HopeKnight Press)
Under Prairie Skies by Cynthia Roemer — Illinois prairie, 1855. Unsettled by the news that her estranged cousin and uncle are returning home after a year away, Charlotte Stanton goes to ready their cabin and finds a handsome stranger has taken up residence. Convinced he’s a squatter, she throws him off the property before learning his full identity. Little does she know, their paths are destined to cross again. Quiet and ruggedly handsome, Chad Avery’s uncanny ability to see through Charlotte’s feisty exterior and expose her inner weaknesses both infuriates and intrigues her. When a tragic accident incites her family to move east, Charlotte stays behind in hopes of becoming better acquainted with the elusive cattleman. Yet Chad’s unwillingness to divulge his hidden past, along with his vow not to love again, threatens to keep them apart forever. (Historical Romance from Mantle Rock Publishing)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo — The last time New Orleans attorney Jean-Luc Valmont saw Maribel Cordoba, a Spanish nobleman’s daughter, she was an eleven-year-old orphan perched in the riggings of his privateering vessel proving herself as the best lookout on his crew. Until the day his infamy caught up with them all and innocent lives were lost. Unsure why he survived but vowing to make something of the chance he was given, Jean-Luc has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—until a very much alive and very grown up Maribel Cordoba arrives on his doorstep and threatens all he now holds dear. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Shadows of Hope by Georgiana Daniels — Crisis pregnancy worker Marissa Moreau suspects her husband is cheating, but little does she know how close to home her husband’s infidelity hits. College student Kaitlyn Farrows is floundering after a relationship with her professor leaves her pregnant. Soon she lands a job and a support system at the local pregnancy resource center and things seem to be turning around. But when Marissa and Kaitlyn become friends, neither one knows they share a connection—Colin, Marissa’s husband and Kaitlyn’s former professor. When their private lives collide, the two women must face the ultimate test of their faith and choose how to move forward as they live in the shadows of hope. (General Contemporary from Barbour Publishing)
Secret Past by Sharee Stover — With gunmen at her doorstep, Katie Tribani learns her true identity. She’s been in witness protection since childhood, and now her crime-lord father has found her. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Chase by Glenn Haggerty — Tyler, a middle school newbie, shadows drug runners to rat out the methamphetamine dealer before his friend turns into a brain-dead druggie. (Young Adult, Independently Published)
The Winner of Under Prairie Skies is Rose! Congratulations, Rose!
Under Prarie Skies by Cynthia Roemer
I love how great a job Cynthia does with character development. She has never failed to fully flesh out her characters and make them relatable and Under Prairie Skies is no different. You can read the review of the first book in the series Under This Same Sky,here.
Genre: Historical Romance, 1850s
Plot Overview: Charlotte is a jealous, bitter young lady with no idea on how to improve herself until Chad Avery steps into her life as a new neighbor. Challenged to face her faults and change, Charlotte finds helping others is the first steps to becoming the woman God has called her to be.
Chad Avery is trying to fulfill the dream he and his late wife had together, to establish a cattle ranch. He has no desire to love again and struggles with the tug of attraction toward Charlotte as circumstances bring them together over and over again.
Can both Charlotte and Chad let go of the past to discover a better future?
What I loved: These characters are so real and deep. Even though Charlotte was a woman we didn’t like in the last book, Cynthia really brings us full circle with this character. We get a full understanding of why she is the way she is and absolutely relate to it. Chad is a sweet hero with his own struggles but a man who brings out the best in Charlotte.
Favorite Character: This is a toughy. I love both the hero and the heroine so much, but I have to admit, I really like Johnny. Without giving too much away, he is a determined little boy that helps both characters to move beyond themselves.
Who would like this: Anyone who loves stories with deep characters, characters who struggle with grief and learn to move forward, or sweet romances.
Rating and Why: I gave this a five-star rating because of the mastery of character development and solid plot line. Everything weaved together perfectly and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. The review above was influenced in no way by this and the above opinions are my own.
Join the discussion: Do you think it is possible to fall in love with someone else without loving the other person any less?
Join the Discussion: Check out the Community Question below and comment.
The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz
In high school, I was obsessed with the American Revolution. I lived, breathed, and dreamed every detail I could find about the American Revolution. Stories that (thankfully) will never see the light of day were written.
As terrible as those amateur stories were, I am happy to report that The Lacemaker is no amateur story. Laura Frantz crafted a wonderful story that draws you so completely into the complexities of those first days that it is a shock to your system when someone *ahem – children I’m referring to you* interrupt your reading for something as trivial as being fed.
Who can eat when the balance of a nation is hanging on a lacemaker’s thread?
Genre: Historical Romance, American Revolution
Plot Overview: Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is days away from her arranged marriage taking place when she is abandoned by her fiancé and family. As daughter of a prominent British leader, she is suspected to be a spy and struggles to survive in her hometown of Independence Men. No one is willing to come to her aid, save the Welsh Independence man, Noble Rynallt. An enemy to the crown, he has his own struggles to contend with, but the former-lady-turned-lacemaker cannot be ignored. As tensions grow, Liberty must make a choice – join the Independence Men or turn her back on her father and country? Whatever the choice, the cost could be her life.
What I loved: I will say my absolute favorite part of any story that takes place during the American Revolution or Civil War is the complexities of how families were affected. The relationship between Elisabeth “Liberty” and her family is so complex that I just relish every detail. Her father so wonderfully reflected the Independence Men’s view of England while her mother was the independent spirit that refused to be broken. The broken family was such a wonderful symbol of Britain’s relationship with it’s colonies. I don’t know if she meant that symbolism or not, but I absolutely loved it.
Favorite Character: It is such a hard toss up between Liberty and Noble. Liberty is such an amazing young woman who really grows from the submissive daughter to a woman who learns to fend for herself without compromising her morals. She is brave, kind-hearted, and the woman I hope I would be under such circumstances.
Noble is the swoon worthy hero every romance needs. He is a man who watches out for the needs of others, has a strong sense of obligation and duty to bring this nation to independence, and Welsh heritage makes you want to cuddle up next to him in real life. I won’t give away the details, but he is a great leader and a man who will do anything for those he loves. Such a brave man.
Who would like this: Anyone who love historically accurate stories with love, romance, danger, and self-sacrifice (no one dies). Those who especially love the American Revolution and the complex relationships between the British and those seeking independence.
Rating and Why: I give this story 5 stars. I loved the complexities of the story, the romance that was exciting but clean, and all the historical characters. It was masterfully created and a pure joy to read.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this story on #netgalley through the publisher for review purposes. The opinions above are completely my own and not influenced in any way.
Join the Discussion: What is your favorite aspect of reading books set in the American Revolution? Do you like the battles? Espionage? Relationships? Love between opposite sides? Romance against all odds?
If you read the book: Which character did you identify with most?
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Welcome to a New Year and allow me to introduce you to a new author, Cynthia Roemer! I really enjoyed her debut novel Under This Same Sky. You can check out my review here, and read to the end to have your chance to win a signed copy!
Cynthia Roemer is an award-winning inspirational writer with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the 1800s prairie. She writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband and their two college-aged sons. Under This Same Sky is her debut novel.
WC: Thank you, Cynthia, for joining me today. It was a pleasure to meet you at your book signing and I am so excited to introduce you to others. First off, tell us a little about you.
WC: What do you like to do when you aren’t reading or writing?
CR: I love spending time with my family, hiking, gardening, riding the combine with my farmer husband, and enjoying God’s creation.
WC: What does your family think of your writing?
CR: Difficult to say. I know they’re happy for me, but neither my husband nor my grown sons are readers, so it’s hard for them to grasp why I enjoy writing. I got the thrill of my life recently though when I walked in and saw my husband reading my novel!! That meant the world to me.
WC: What is your favorite Bible verse?
CR: Oh, wow. There are so many great Scripture verses. One of my favorites would have to be Jeremiah 29:11, the theme verse for my debut novel, Under This Same Sky: “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.” I love the promise of God’s guidance and presence in my life.
WC: What does literary success look like to you?
CR: When readers’ lives are touched through what I write, that’s success! If a reader feels led to contact me or leave a review that says my novel spoke to them, I can think of no better measure of success. That’s when I know I’m in line with the Lord’s will.
WC: I love that definition and I think your book Under This Same Sky truly measures up to that success. You dealt with grief so well in this book. How did you do it? Did you have personal experience or did you turn to those who did? What was the process like for you?
Though I’ve not lost any close family members, I’ve known others who have. The Lord gave me compassion to feel and experience deeply the hurts of others, and I pray that carries over into my writing. I shed a few tears of my own in writing Becky’s story.
WC: I love the connection to the blind school. What interested you in that topic?
I used to visit a lady named Ann who was blind. She loved for me to read her my stories. It was such a blessing. I have to credit my interest in blindness to her.
WC: Who was your favorite character? Why?
That’s a toughy. I have a fondness for all of my characters. But, one of my top favorites would be Jimmy Bodine, the blind orphan boy who befriends Becky. He’s so wise and knows just the right words to speak encouragement. He’s the friend everyone would love to have.
WC: I have to agree. Jimmy has a soft spot in my heart. Were there any lessons God taught you as you wrote this particular book? What were they?
Definitely! The theme of Under This Same Sky is total surrender to God, something I think we all struggle with. The Lord is continually urging me to rely on Him instead of putting my trust in myself or others.
WC: Do you have any upcoming projects, releases, or sales?
I’m glad you asked. Book Two in my series, Under Prairie Skies, is set to release in late April or early May, 2018 with Mantle Rock Publishing. Book Two begins just days after Under This Same Sky ends and is the story of Becky’s cousin, Charlotte, and cattleman, Chad Avery. I’ll be sharing more about it in my upcoming author newsletters. I’m always happy to have new readers sign up! You can do so on my website: http://cynthiaroemer.com/
WC: I always love to ask these just for fun questions. If you could be any character from any book, who would it be and why?
Oh, wow! That’s a loaded question. Hmm. Possibly Jo in Little Women or Lady Miranda Hawthorne of Kristi Ann Hunter’s A Noble Masquerade. I like ladies who have some grit and can identify with these two ladies who don’t quite fit into the mold.
Once again, thank you so much, Cynthia, for dropping by! Readers, comment below with your answer to what character you would be and enter via the Rafflecopter link below for a chance to win a signed copy of her debut novel.
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*Legal Jargon: No Purchase is necessary. This contest is open to all readers in the world, 18 years and older who are legally allowed to participate in such a giveaway as allowed by their local laws. Those outside the contiguous United States will receive an e-copy instead of a physical signed copy. The Write Call does not exchange prizes for reviews. Reviews are appreciated, but not required.*