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?
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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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Long Time Gone
by Mary Connealy
As usual, I enjoyed another one of Mary Connealy’s stories. One word of warning about this book though, don’t try to read it before reading No Way Up. While Mary does a good job of filling in details you would have missed, the very first sentence picks up where the last book ended. Immediately where it left off.
I enjoyed getting to know Justin a little more – especially the rivalry between him and Cole. The love he showed for his annoying big brother, the rest of his family, and Angie makes him a hero in my book. He is a hard-working man that any woman could swoon over.
Angie was a heroine that grew on me. I never disliked her, but she took some getting used to. I loved watching her grow to become an independent woman capable of taming the West. She moves forward from her past to become a woman I cheer for and envy.
The Cimarron Ranch is still in trouble throughout the book, and the mystery behind what is really going on begins to unravel.
I am looking forward to reading the third and finding out what the real story behind the trouble is. Not to mention Cole and Mel are the hero and heroine – Squee!!!
“The Boden clan thought their problems had ended with the death of a dangerous enemy, but have they truly uncovered the real plot to take their New Mexico ranch? Rancher Justin Boden is now in charge. He is normally an unshakable and rugged man, but with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts. And it doesn’t help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin ever laid eyes on.
With her and the doc’s timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend, and Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the dangers facing them. It’s clear now that everything that’s occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret. Can they uncover all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the threat to the ranch even bigger than any of the Bodens could imagine?”
– Blurb from Amazon.com
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Under this Same Sky by Cynthia Roemer
Under this Same Sky was a sweet romance that will forever stand out to me for it strong, real-life spiritual thread. Cynthia has done a masterful job in taking us through the faith struggle of Becky Hollister as she deals with the tragic loss of her Mother, Sister, and her Pa’s vision.
God has not promised a life without struggles, but He has promised to be with us as we face them. This story is so real to the emotions and struggles we face as Christians dealing with a tragedy that it strengthens your own faith.
Becky is a heroine who matures from a youth into a woman with a deep love for others. Pastor Matthew Brody is a hero whose strong faith but real struggles make you want to kiss him. His strength and compassion will melt your heart. The supporting cast of characters, especially those of the Blind School, swell your heart. I loved Jimmy, Roy, and Emily.
With the help of the hero, Jimmy, and Aunt Ellen, Becky’s faith strengthens in a way that is so relatable and heart wrenching that you can’t help but be carried through the pages.
I highly recommend this story for anyone who has struggled with a loss or question of “why did God let this happen?” The romance was mostly long distance, but so sweet. It is not your typical romance but will leave you satisfied.
Interested in more? Check out the blurb below and the purchase links.
~ She thought she’d lost everything ~ Instead she found what she needed most. ~
Illinois ~ 1854
Becky Hollister wants nothing more than to live out her days on the prairie, building a life for herself alongside her future husband. But when a tornado rips through her parents’ farm, killing her mother and sister, she must leave the only home she’s ever known and the man she’s begun to love to accompany her injured father to St. Louis.
Catapulted into a world of unknowns, Becky struggles to make sense of the path the Lord has placed her on and finds solace in corresponding with Matthew Brody, the handsome pastor back home. But when word comes that he is all but engaged to someone else, she must call upon her faith to decipher her future.
– Blurb from Amazon
Check back in January when I will be doing an author interview with Cynthia AND will have a copy of this book up for grabs.
See the bottom for a quick announcement my writing journey.
This was a great break from the chaos of life and, for me, was easily read in a night, but I tend to binge read.
As you may guess, I have a weak spot for stories with Pinkertons, Secret Service Operatives, U.S. Marshalls, Texas Rangers… you get the pictures, so it was a no-brainer for me to pick this story up.
I really loved how all the aspects of the story tied together. From the beginning, every detail had meaning. My little brain loved connecting the dots as the story progressed.
The hero, William, was a strong and focused agent, but really fumbled with his responsibilities for his sudden family. Elsie really does become a necessary part of their family. I love the inner struggles to try and stay aloof from the trio living under his borrowed roof.
Elise was a great teacher with a heart for children, which leads to the predicament of being almost forced into caring for William’s niece and nephew. I love how her relationship with the children grow and how she helps provide healing for two very hurt children
While it was mostly a predictable story, it was the relaxing read I needed to escape from the world.
When schoolteacher Elsie Mitchell meets rugged William Benton on a train platform in Albany, it appears they have nothing in common. He isn’t the sort of fellow a proper young woman of the 1890s would ever speak to, much less become involved with. But when she arrives at her small town in the Adirondack Mountains, Elsie is offered a job as caregiver for this mysterious out-of-towner’s niece and nephew, who’ve been tragically orphaned. Heartbroken for them, she accepts.
Unknown to her, William is an undercover Pinkerton agent posing as a lumber-company foreman. He’s never wanted family—his work is too dangerous. Yet as Elsie transforms his house into a home and he spends time with the children, he feels drawn to family life—and to Elsie.
As a good Christian, Elsie is troubled by William’s secrets…though she does find him intriguing. And when a sinister figure from her past arrives, Elsie and William will have to trust in faith and newfound love to protect their unlikely family from danger.
– Blurb from Amazon.com
You can purchase the book from the links below.
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Just a quick note to share that the first 15 pages of my Work in Progress finaled in the ACFW Virginia Crown Awards. While I did not “win”, it was an honor to be a finalist. Curious to know what the entry is? Only my November newsletter subscribers will get a sneak peek. So if you are interested, sign up for newsletter above or by clicking this link: Newsletter Sign-Up.