Tag Archives: Christian Fiction

The Lieutenant’s Bargain

The Lieutenant’s Bargain

By Regina Jennings

The Story

She Was Supposed to Be Gaining Independence.

What She Found Was Even Better . . .

Hattie Walker dreams of becoming a painter, but her parents want her to settle down. As a compromise, they give her two months to go to Denver and place her works in an exhibition. Her journey is derailed when a gunman attacks her stagecoach, leaving her to be rescued by a group of Arapaho . . . but she’s too terrified to recognize them as friendly.

Confirmed bachelor Lieutenant Jack Hennessey has long worked with the tribe and is tasked with trying to convince them that the mission school at Fort Reno can help their children. When a message arrives about a recovered survivor, Jack heads out to retrieve her–and plead his case with the chief once more.

He’s stunned to run into Hattie Walker, the girl who shattered his heart years ago, but quickly realizes he has a chance to impress her. When his plan gets tangled through translation, Jack and Hattie end up in a mess that puts her dreams in peril and threatens to destroy his life’s work.

(Back cover summary from Bethany House)

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I love, love, love Regina Jennings’ books. They’re always spot-on historically, filled with unique, authentic characters, and with a romance that strikes just the right balance. The Lieutenant’s Bargain carries that through. I love that in this book we get to learn more about Jack Hennessey. He’s such a sweet character, but also obviously flawed. As is Hattie. The whole circumstances surrounding their being thrown together are hilarious, and I loved reading how their relationship progressed. This book provides the perfect opportunity to simply slip into a story, and not come out for as long as you want—it’s that immersive.

I loved the history involved in this book, as I did in the previous novel. What I really loved, though, was how Hattie battled her very-real fears after her traumatic experience. It wasn’t easy, but she wouldn’t allow herself to remain a victim. Though she had her own set of weaknesses, this strength shone through, as she learned to rely on God and others.

All in all, this novel was a delight to pick up, and one that I’ll be picking up again in the future—providing my sister relinquishes it after she gets her turn reading it. 😀

About the Author

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a minor in history. She’s the winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award, a two-time Golden Quill finalist and a finalist for the Oklahoma Book of the Year Award. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and at First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She lives outside of Oklahoma City with her husband and four children and can be found online at www.reginajennings.com.

(Biography from Bethany House)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

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Who I Am With You

Who I Am With You

By Robin Lee Hatcher

The Story

For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination.

When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have wronged them, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.

Who I Am With You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

(Back cover summary from Thomas Nelson)

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Who I am With You is a sigh-worthy story that takes you through the highs and lows of life and love and comes out on the other side more sure of God and His goodness.

I loved this story because it didn’t shy away from the hard stuff. Robin Lee Hatcher took in the sorrows and struggles of real-life relationships, and it made this fiction love story feel more authentic.

I also loved the history woven into it. With time-lapse stories or contemporary novels with a historical thread, often the story is told from the viewpoint of two women. This story comes from both Jessica and Ridley’s viewpoints, but in the past it’s from Andrew Henning’s—Jessica’s great-grandfather—view. Which I loved more than I thought I would.

“God would always bring her through. He was there in the joy, and He was there in the sorrow. He was there in the sameness and the surprises. He was with her always, just as He’d promised.”

That’s probably my favorite quote from the book. There’s a lot of background that leads up to it, but I loved how simply it was put, but how all-encompassing it was.

About the Author

Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 75 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Robin is an ACFW Carol Award winner and an eight-time finalist and has won two RITA Awards and been a finalist eleven times. Her numerous other awards include the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. She is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

For more information, visit robinleehatcher.com; Facebook: robinleehatcher; or Twitter: @robinleehatcher.

(Biography from Thomas Nelson)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Lady of a Thousand Treasures

Lady of a Thousand Treasures

By Sandra Byrd

The Story

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

(Back cover summary from Tyndale House)

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Lady of a Thousand Treasures has a Pride and Prejudice or somewhat-classic feel to it. Sandra doesn’t hurry through the story; instead, savoring the experience on each page.

While I was excited about the whole idea of the story, for me, it just took too long to get there. I felt like the story dragged, making it difficult for me to keep my attention on the book. It just wasn’t my kind of novel.

However, it did have some good mystery in it, and a truly unique occupation that I enjoyed learning about. It’s also written in first person, which is somewhat unusual for this setting and type of novel. So I liked being able to get to know Eleanor better that way. But I did wish some of the story was told from Harry’s point of view. I wish I could have gotten to know his character better.

If you enjoy unhurried stories with rich description, then you may enjoy Lady of a Thousand Treasures. For me, it was just too unhurried.

About the Author

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published fifty books.

Sandra’s delighted to kick off her new historical romance series with Tyndale House Publishers, Victorian Ladies, with Lady of a Thousand Treasures. The three-book Victorian Ladies series follows her historically sound Gothic romances, Daughters of Hampshire, launched with the bestselling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, was published in 2017. Check out her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a devotionalist, with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions, and The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional.

Please visit http://www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more.

(Biography from Tyndale House)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Wait For Me

Wait for Me

By Susan May Warren

The Story

With Jess and Pete, every day is lived at full throttle.

Now if they can only stay alive to enjoy it.

Pete Brooks can’t believe he’s waited an entire year for EMT Jess Tagg to return to Montana, only to have her break his heart. Worse, a series of mistakes on the job has cost lives, and Pete isn’t sure he wants to continue to work in search and rescue. Maybe if he can just get over Jess, he can figure out how to move forward.

When a terrible fight between Jess and Pete sparks an impulsive decision, Jess finds herself crashed on the side of a highway along with two others. Just when Jess thinks things couldn’t get any worse, they are taken captive and dragged into the untamed Montana wilderness–with murderous intent.

Now Pete will have to call on everything he’s learned to find them–and pray that his past mistakes don’t cost him the life of the woman he can’t stop loving.

(Back cover summary from Revell)

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Oh man, Wait for Me is a stunning conclusion to an incredible, fast-paced series. I’ve long wanted Pete and Jess to get their stuff together and just finally get together for goodness’ sake—but it’s not as easy as all that. And it isn’t a quick, easy solution they find in this story.

At first, I really wasn’t too happy with either character. Jess keeps making bad choices and putting people in poor positions, because she doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Pete acts like a jerk, because then at least he’ll deserve the bad things that inevitably come his way.  These two characters come head-to-head with their faults, past and present consequences, and grace of God. And just like the rest of the books in this series, it’s an explosion that sets the heart racing and the pages turning. I always try to savor Susan May Warren’s books, but she’s just too good. I can’t stop to savor, let alone breathe. This story had just enough twists and turns—even causing me to gasp out loud once. The romance is full-throttle like the other stories in this series. But what I love the most is how the characters changed. More than their love for each other, realizing and stepping into God’s love for them changes them. And they go from the mess that we’re all experienced with, to the glow of grace He offers us all.

A fantastic conclusion to a great series, it brought tears to my eyes as I turned to the last page.

About the Author

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels with more than 1 million books sold, including Wild Montana Skies, Rescue Me, A Matter of Trust, Troubled Waters, and Storm Front. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers’ Choice Awards, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, romantic comedy, and novellas. She makes her home in Minnesota. Find her online at http://www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook at Susan May Warren Fiction, and on Twitter @susanmaywarren.

(Biography from Revell)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Romancing the Bride

Romancing the Bride

By Melissa Jagears

The Story

Marrying a stranger to save a ranch is one thing; losing the land on their wedding day is another.

Desperate to keep the ranch where three of her children and a husband lie buried, Annie Gephart must marry or sell. Which of the few bachelors in town would consider a surprise proposal to wed a plain widow with a rebellious daughter, a spirited boy, and unpaid taxes—without laughing in her face?

Jacob Hendrix has never fully let go of his ranching dreams despite ending up as a small Wyoming town’s marshal. The job wouldn’t be so bad, except he’s more errand boy than lawman. When Annie proposes marriage without a single coquettish bat of an eyelash, can he commit himself to a woman he hardly knows for a choice piece of property he’d be an idiot to pass up?

But taxes aren’t all that threaten Annie and Jacob’s plans. Cattle rustlers, crumbling friendships, and wayward children make this marriage of convenience anything but. When they lose what they’ve sacrificed everything to save, will the love of a stranger be enough?

(Back cover summary from author website)

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Melissa Jagears has long been a name in historical romance that readers can trust to deliver clean, sweet romance that takes you on a journey. Her latest novel is no different.

While many romance novels follow the falling-in-love stage pre-marriage, Romancing the Bride explores falling in love with your partner after a marriage of convenience.

‘Unfair’ has characterized Annie’s life the last year or so. And though she responds with strength to these dilemmas, bitterness is a difficult companion to rid oneself of. Jacob is such a sweet character. He’s not perfect, and his selfishness gets in the way of things just as much as Annie’s. But as they work together to figure out their future and how to raise two children—one a rebellious teenager—true sacrificial love begins to be displayed.

I enjoyed that we got to explore the point of view of several other characters as well.  Melissa doesn’t shy away from the hard parts of life and the difficulties that these characters face are similar to those common today. Especially at the end, I was breathlessly waiting to see how she would resolve everything.

This is a sweet, romantic read, but with enough unique characters and compelling plotlines that it won’t feel like anything you’ve read before. I highly recommend Romancing the Bride.

About the Author

Award winning author, Melissa Jagears, is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian Historical Romance into the wee hours of the night. She lives in Kansas with her husband and three children. Her ebook novella, Love by the Letter, is her ACFW Carol Award winning novella and free to try. You can learn more about her, her books, and where she hangs out online at www.melissajagears.com

(Biography from author website)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

A Sparkle of Silver

A Sparkle of Silver

By Liz Johnson

The Story

Uncovering the past can lead to an unexpected future . . .

Millie Sullivan plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of a palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia, where her great-grandmother was a real guest ninety years ago. When Millie learns of a lost diary that may contain the location of a hidden treasure on the estate and reveal the identity of her great-grandfather, she sets out to find the truth of her heritage–and the fortune she desperately needs. But it won’t be easy.

When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate’s private library, he threatens to have her fired. Still, her story seems too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up.

Get ready for a romantic escapade through dark halls and dusty corners that will have you holding your breath and sighing with delight.

(Back cover summary from Revell)

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I absolutely fell in love with this book. Liz Johnson writes real-to-life characters, who understand what it is to struggle, to be swamped by guilt, and burdened by responsibilities too big for them.

Millie (first of all, great name!) loves romance novels and her forgetful grandma. Ben is sweet and duty-driven to make up for the mistakes of others. These two characters were so much fun to read about, as they followed the clues that led them closer to the rumored treasure, answers about Millie’s past, and each other. They’re delightfully flawed. I really appreciated this, as some characters in books have ‘flaws’ that are hardly human. I felt like I could meet either Millie or Ben while picking up items at the grocery store or any of my other normal activities. They are refreshingly broken and find no easy answers. But the answers we’re led to are worth the struggle.

I liked that through the pages of the diary, we also get to have a glimpse at Ruth and her life.

Towards the end, there were a few things that confused me in the character’s reactions and reasonings. But overall, I really enjoyed this book, and will definitely be reading more from Liz Johnson.

About the Author

Liz Johnson is the author of more than a dozen novels, including A Sparkle of Silver, The Red Door Inn, Where Two Hearts Meet, and On Love’s Gentle Shore, as well as a New York Times bestselling novella and a handful of short stories. A marketing manager for a Christian film company, she makes her home in Phoenix, Arizona.

(Biography from Revell)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

The Christmas Heirloom: Four Holiday Novellas of Love Through the Generations

The Christmas Heirloom:

Four Holiday Novellas of Love through the Generations

By Krisi Ann Hunter; Karen Witemeyer; Sarah Loudin Thomas; & Becky Wade

The Story

Four Festive and Heartwarming Romance Novellas That Celebrate the Magic of Christmas

Perfect for the Christmas season, four beloved authors bring their bestselling, award-winning talents to a multigenerational collection of romantic holiday novellas. In stories ranging from 1820s Regency England to present-day Washington state, readers will be treated to Christmas tales of an heirloom brooch passed from mother to daughter for almost two hundred years. Will the family legend claiming the brooch brings love to its recipient hold true for these women separated by the years but bonded together by the ties of family?

In Kristi Ann Hunter’s “Legacy of Love,” Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman’s grandson. While he may be far above her station, she can’t help but notice that his desire to make this Christmas special for his grandmother matches her own.

In Karen Witemeyer’s “Gift of the Heart,” widow Ruth Fulbright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from a wealthy resort owner. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love as the holidays draw near.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas’s “A Shot at Love,” Fleeta Brady’s rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her mother’s brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance one December.

In Becky Wade’s “Because of You,” Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

(Back cover summary from Bethany House)

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I love that these authors got together and created this collection! What a fun idea! I love the idea of a novella collection that spans the centuries, especially from some of my favorite authors!

Legacy of Love was a sweet story, and fun to read as Sarah Gooding began to show more of who she truly was to her employer’s handsome young grandson. She is such a unique, fun character, and I loved watching the two get to know each other better.

Gift of the Heart was an engaging story, set in a fun location. This hero is multi-faceted and not the man that anyone in town thinks he is. Getting to know Ruth brings him out of his self-imposed seclusion, and makes for a humorous, fun story.

A Shot at Love was delightfully different, as Fleeta is not a girly-girl by any stretch of the imagination. She’s strong, opinionated, and definitely does not want to fall in love, not when that love has the capacity to so overwhelm someone, they leave other loves behind. It was so fun watching how her mind changed on this aspect, and she learned there might be a man worth falling for.

I was so very excited for Because of You, as I love anything Becky Wade writes. This sweet story explores what it might be like to love again, and all the confusion that can be caught up in that. It’s a satisfying conclusion to a sweet collection.

About the Author

Kristi Ann Hunter is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for Excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com.

Sarah Loudin Thomas is a fundraiser for a children’s ministry and has written for Mountain Homes Southern Style and Now & Then magazines, as well as The Asheville Citizen-Times. She is the author of Miracle in a Dry Season, Until the Harvest, and A Tapestry of Secrets. She holds a BA in English from Coastal Carolina University. She and her husband reside in Asheville, North Carolina. She can be found online at www.sarahloudinthomas.com.

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Christy Award, a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and an INSPY Award. Learn more at www.beckywade.com.

(Biography from Bethany House)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.