This week's Top Ten Tuesday was a relatively easy list to make, except when it came to narrowing it down to just ten. I did it, however, by choosing which ones I expected to read first. If there's anything you need to know about me, it's that my to-read list is always infinitely longer than my have-read list. So these type of lists are always easy to fill. It's just narrowing it down that's the problem.
1. As Love Blooms by Lorna Seilstad
Young romance opens like a rose…but even a rose has its thorns.
Tessa Gregory is nothing if not tenacious. Denied a position as a horticulturist at prestigious Como Park in Saint Paul, Minnesota, she is not above a little benevolent deception in order to get the park superintendent to change his mind hire her. She plans to infiltrate the world of wealthy and influential people in the hopes of drumming up financial support for a world-class conservatory. But before she can put those plans into action, she meets Reese King, a handsome gardener at Como Park—and a major distraction. Still, Reese might be the key to achieving her dream. But is his goal to help her…or capture her heart?
Doesn’t that sound just amazing?! I read the first two books in the series—When Love Calls and While Love Stirs—a couple of months ago in anticipation of As Love Blooms’ release, and I really loved both of them. They were the first books I had ever read by Lorna Seilstad, but I fell in love with her style of writing almost immediately. I have been anticipating reading this novel ever since, and I am finally going to be able to over the next couple of weeks.
2. A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears
Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.
Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she’d been deceived about her intended groom, she’s now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she’ll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony, until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy’s father.
Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?
I just love mail-order bride stories, don’t you? And this one sounds full of drama and intrigue. I have read all of Melissa Jagears’ other novels—Love by the Letter, A Bride for Keeps, and A Bride in Store—which are all in the same series as A Bride at Last, and loved each one of them. I cannot wait to finally get to read this one, and I will have my chance very soon!
3. The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay
When Lucy’s secret is unearthed, her world begins to crumble. But it may be the best thing that has ever happened to her.
Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.
In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else.
As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change.
Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.
This novel sounds so, so good, doesn’t it? I just love anything Jane Austen, and Katherine Reay’s parallels to Austen’s novels are perfectly spot on, and I love that she’s added the Bronte sisters to her repertoire. Since I really enjoyed her first novel, Dear Mr. Knightly, I knew this would be a book I would love, so I’ve already preordered it. I know I will make time to read it as soon as it comes out, in mid-November. Look out for my review, because I will be posting it as soon as possible (in November of course)!
4. The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.
Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.
Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.
The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?
As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?
I love, love, love Melanie Dickerson. Recently I read one of her novels—The Captive Maiden—and I was reminded again just why she is one of my favorite authors. Her fairy tale retellings are always wonderful and never fail to melt me into a little puddle, and her medieval settings are perfectly portrayed. So, I decided early on when I found out she was doing Rapunzel that I would preorder this book. And I have. So I cannot wait until November when it will finally get sent to me!
5. Last Chance Hero by Cathleen Armstrong
What happens when your heart is intercepted before you even know it’s in play?
The folks in Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica MacLeod has opened an office right on Main Street and Andy Ryan, the best athlete the town ever produced, has come home from the NFL to coach the high school football team. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot with this football-obsessed town when she admits that she’s never seen a football game, isn’t really interested in doing so, and in fact doesn’t know a first down from a goalpost.
Despite having little in common, Jess and Andy find themselves drawn to each other. But when a disagreement over the future of an injured player puts them both on the defensive, it begins to look like this game is over…
Although I got super busy over the last month and didn’t actually have a chance to finish the three books that come before this one in its series, I know I am still looking forward to reading this novel. Cathleen Armstrong is a wonderful author, and all of her stories sound extremely captivating. Hopefully I’ll actually get a chance to finish this series soon!
6. The Sea Keeper’s Daughters by Lisa Wingate
Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Guilded Age hotel on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at the Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney’s estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney’s only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a Depression-era love story change everything?
Recently I read the first book in the Carolina Heirlooms series—The Prayer Box—and I loved every second of it. Although I didn’t get a chance to read The Story Keeper, I am positive I would enjoy both that novel and The Sea Keeper’s Daughters. I am hoping that I will be able to soon, but I am not sure if my all the sudden hectic schedule will allow it!
7. To Get to You by Joanne Bischof
To get to the girl he loves, Riley Kane must head off on a road trip with the father he never knew. Then pray for a miracle.
Most teens would love to have a pro surfer for a dad. Just not Riley. Abandoned as a kid, he hates the sound of the ocean and the man who gave himself to it.
When the eighteen-year-old learns that his best friend is stranded at a New Mexico hospital as her father fights for his life, Riley hits the highway to head east. But when his Jeep breaks down before he even leaves California, he must rely on the one man he despises to get to the girl who needs him the most. And when it comes to the surfer with the Volkswagen van and dog-eared map, a thousand miles may—or may not—be enough to heal the past.
I cannot wait to read this book! Although I have never read anything by Joanne Bischof yet, this novel sounds completely and utterly amazing, and I know I would never be able to resist it. I have been anticipating reading it ever since I stumbled upon it, so I’m so excited that I will get the chance to soon!
8. The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck
For sixty years, a wedding chapel sat silent, waiting for love. But times have changed and the hour has come when it just might be too late.
Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—the wedding chapel he built for Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in ’49. But now an offer has come to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be—a place for love—and Jimmy sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.
Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s abysmal marriage rate. But love surprises her when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester, a top ad man. Their whirlwind romance results in an elopement, and a mountain of doubt. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to overcome his own demons to find the words of his heart.
When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time.
When Taylor’s journey intersects with Coach’s, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.
Doesn’t this sound wonderful? I have absolutely loved every one of Rachel Hauck’s novels that I have read so far, so I am sure that The Wedding Chapel will be a hit. I’ve already preordered this one as well, so I am sitting on pins and needles as I wait for its November release. As soon as it comes out, you can guarantee I will be reading it!
9. When Love Returns by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Riddled with doubt and lingering regrets, will Suzanne and Paul find strength in God to explore a second chance at love?
It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family.
Now, with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter, Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago?
Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends—and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly changer her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?
I cannot wait for this book! I read When Mercy Rains and When Grace Sings—the first two books in this series—a couple of months ago, and I really, really loved both of them. So naturally, I’ve been anticipating this novel ever since. And it sounds so, so good, doesn’t it?
10. The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren
Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.
Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.
While on surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind?
Oh my word I cannot wait for this novel!!!!! I loved, loved, loved all four of the previous books in this series, so much that I couldn’t even pick a favorite. When I read Take a Chance on Me, I fell in love with the Christiansen family, and after reading It Had To Be You, When I Fall in Love, and Always on My Mind, I have fallen so deeply for the characters of these novels that I still think about them all the time. And I read these books four months ago! I have been sitting on pins and needles waiting for the chance to read this book, so I cannot wait until I get to pick it up!
Those are my top ten to be read books this fall! What are some books on your fall TBR list?
Linking up at Top Ten Tuesday, Bloggers Who Have InspiredMe, Literacy Musing Mondays, and Totally Terrific Tuesdays.
All credit for the italicized synopses goes to the authors and their publishers.