Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My Bookshelf: Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall

Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage. But she yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way…
Mr. Peter Adsley is joining the clergy and he desires a godly wife by his side. After a failed attempt to obtain one, he engages in a clandestine meeting with the bewitching young woman who keeps crossing his path. But she is so unsettling.
Destined for disappointments, Peter and Annette both endure disgraceful situations. Will Peter’s faith sustain him through overwhelming setbacks? Can Annette overcome her doubts? Or will their starving hearts yield to the machinations of a mad man?

Top Ten Tuesday: First Lines

So, today’s Top Ten Tuesday is actually supposed to be all about anything back to school related, but since school is the LAST thing I want to spend my spare time thinking about, I decided to forgo that topic for one a little bit more interesting. A while back, I got the idea for doing a topic about lines from my favorite books, and was inspired by Carrie from Reading is My Superpower, who does a First Line Friday post every week. While my post today is just a little bit different, I definitely give her credit for helping me come up with this idea. I’ve decided to share the first line from the first page of the first chapter—or prologue—of ten of my favorite books off my very own bookshelf! Okay, okay, so maybe I’ve listed twelve books instead of ten, but I just couldn’t help it! You’ll see why below!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Must-Have September Releases + A Linkup

I can’t believe it’s already almost September! I have to say though, I’m really kind of glad, because there are so many fantastic books coming out in the next month! I have a handful of these on my absolutely-have-to-preorder list, because I just have to read them as soon as possible! So, what are these fantastic books, you ask? Just read on to find out! Oh, and as always, just click on the coral colored titles to see my full reviews of any of the previous books in the series!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Bookshelf: The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.
Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.
After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.
Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.
He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again but it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Been Meaning to Read

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about my top ten books that have been on my To-Be-Read list since before I started blogging that I somehow still haven’t read yet. My TBR list is really, really long, and there are so many books on there that have been there for years, so this was a fairly easy post for me. I tried to slim it down by picking books that I’ve wanted to read more than some of the others, ones that have been really high on my list for a while. So, here’s my top ten!

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Forgotten Recipe + A Linkup

After losing her fiancé in a tragic accident, Veronica Fisher finds solace in the old recipes stored in her mother’s hope chest—and in a special visitor who comes to her bake stand to purchase her old-fashioned raspberry pies.
Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome—but most importantly, he loves Veronica.
When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love—or be loved—again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi’s raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer who gives her heart pause.
Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life—a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancée to convey his condolences, the last thing he expects—or wants—is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica’s bake stand every week…and it’s for more than the raspberry pies.
Now, as Veronica’s heart thaws, Jason can’t bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed? Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg

Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley’s haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered. But when the newspaper she runs is in danger of closing, she pins all her hopes on a story that just might convince the new owner to keep the paper running.
After his biggest campaign success yet, widowed speechwriter Logan Walker has the chance of a lifetime: a spot on a presidential campaign. But first he has to return to his hometown to sell the newspaper he’s suddenly inherited.
But instead of a quick sale, Logan finds himself helping Amelia chase her story. She’s scrappy, but wounded. He’s dependable, but lost. And working together to breath the story on Maple Valley’s unsolved mystery is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Bookshelf: The Things We Knew by Catherine West

When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?
After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.
Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.
As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.

Top Ten Tuesday: It’s All About Setting

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about our top ten favorite books with the specific setting of our choice. I wasn’t entirely sure what setting I wanted to pick, but I know I love historical novels, and it all just kind of fell into place after that. To help slim down the options, I only chose books from my all-time favorites list, so these are all stories that I absolutely love. Well, let’s get to it! And as always, if you want to see my full review of any of the books, just click on the coral-colored titles!

A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar
A Thousand Shall Fall is the first book in Andrea’s Shenandoah Valley series.

A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War.
Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off—only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.
Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.
Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally—and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Petticoat Detective by Margaret Brownley
Petticoat Detective is the first book in Margaret’s Undercover Brides series.

Pinkerton detective Jennifer Layne has a past full of identities…
But posing as a lady companion named Amy at Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Boots in Goodman, Kansas, is a first for her. Amy’s current assignment has her on the trail of the notorious Gunnysack Bandit, when one of Miss Lillian’s girls—Amy’s best hope for a lead—meets an untimely demise.
Former Texas Ranger Tom Colton has every reason to distrust the green-eyed beauty at Miss Lillian’s who calls herself Amy. Determined to clear his brother’s name, he’s convinced she knows more than she lets on, and he means to find out what it is.
As Amy’s investigation continues, her biggest problem is Tom and his stolen kiss. The closer she gets to tracking down the outlaw, the harder it is to keep Tom from finding out the awful truth about his brother. The Gunnysack Bandit she can handle, but it’ll take a whole lot of faith and a little help from Miss Lillian and her girls to snag the man who stole her heart.

Blue Moon Promise by Colleen Coble
Blue Moon Promise is the first book in Colleen’s Under Texas Stars series.

Lucy Marsh’s worldly resources are running out, but she’s fiercely determined to care for her younger brother and sister. When she discovers that their father’s recent death was no accident, Lucy is eager to leave town. She accepts a proxy marriage she believes will provide safe refuge. But trouble follows her to Texas where her new husband is surprised to suddenly have a wife and children to care for.
Nate Stanton always hoped he’d marry someday, but running the family ranch meant he had no time for romance. When his father deposits Lucy Marsh—a city girl—on his doorstep, with two siblings in the bargain, he expects ranch life will send her running on the first train out of town. But Lucy is made of tougher stuff than Nate imagined. When danger moves in, Nate finds he’d give anything to protect Lucy and the children he’s grown to love. Even if it means giving up his ranch.

A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist

The wedding is all planned…someone just needs to tell the bride.
In 1860s Seattle, redwoods were plentiful but women scarce. Yet a man with a wife could secure 640 acres of timberland for free.
Joe Denton doesn’t have a wife, though. His died before she could follow him to Seattle and now the local judge is threatening to take away his claim. In desperation, he buys himself a Mercer bride—one of the eastern widows and orphans brought to the Territory by entrepreneur Asa Mercer.
Anna Ivey’s journey west with Mercer is an escape from the aftermath of the Civil War. She signed on to become a cook—not a bride. When she’s handed over to Denton, her stubborn refusal to wed jeopardizes his land. With only a few months before he loses all he holds dear, can he convince this provoking, but beguiling, easterner to become his lawfully wedded wife?

Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelley Gray
Whispers in the Reading Room is the third book in Shelley’s Chicago World’s Fair Mystery series, coming after Secrets of Sloane House and Deception on Sable Hill.

Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye…and perhaps her heart.
Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.
Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.
Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn’t merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.
Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks—the man so many people fear—is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund
Hearts Made Whole is the second book in Jody’s Beacons of Hope series, coming after Love Unexpected.

Can she forgive the hurting man who costs her the role she loves?
After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper—even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.
Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation—the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he’s unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope…and possibly love?

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

During New York City’s Gilded Age…
The game is played amid banquets and balls.
The prize is a lifetime of wealth and privilege.
The rules will test friendships and the desires of a young woman’s heart.
Clara Carter is the social season’s brightest star…but at what cost?

The Midwife’s Tale by Delia Parr
The Midwife’s Tale is the first book in Delia’s At Home in Trinity series.

Martha Cade comes from a long line of midwives who have served the families of Trinity, Pennsylvania, for generations. A widow with two grown children, she’s hopeful that her daughter will follow in her footsteps, but when Victoria runs off, Martha’s world is shattered.
Worse, a new doctor has arrived in town, threatening her job, and she can’t remember a time when her faith has been tested more. Still determined to do the work she knows God intended for her, Martha is unprepared for all that waits ahead. Whether it’s trying to stop a town scandal, mending broken relationships, or feeling the first whispers of an unexpected romance, she faces every trial and every opportunity with hope and faith.

Playing the Part by Jen Turano
Playing the Part is the third book in Jen’s A Class of Their Own series, coming behind After a Fashion and In Good Company.

Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but must abandon her starring role when a fan’s interest turns threatening. Lucetta’s widowed friend, Abigail Hart, seizes the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta’s life and promptly whisks her away to safety at her eligible grandson’s estate.
At first glance, Bram Haverstein appears to be a gentleman of means—albeit an eccentric one—but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there’s much more to him than society knows.
While Lucetta has no interest in Abigail’s matchmaking machinations, she can’t ignore the strange things going on in Bram’s house and the secrets he hides. As the hijinks and hilarity that Bram, Lucetta, and their friends are swept into take a more dangerous turn, can they accept who they are behind the parts they play in time to save the day?

No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer
No Other Will Do is Karen's most recent novel. 

She trusts him for the job, but can she trust him with her heart?
Men are optional. That was the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts taught her and why she established Harper’s Station, a woman’s colony that offers a fresh start to females in need. But when a dangerous and shadowy assailant tries repeatedly to drive the women out, Emma is forced to admit they might need a man after all. One who can fight. And there is only one man she trusts enough to ask.
Malachi Shaw has finally earned the respect he’s always craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s telegram arrives, he rushes back to Texas to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.
As the danger intensifies, Emma, Mal, and the ladies of Harper’s Station must choose safety or whether to risk everything to fight for their future.

Those are my top ten favorite books set in nineteenth century America, as of now anyway! Check back with me after a few months or so; I might have found ten more to love!
Happy Tuesday and happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.

All credit for the italicized synopses goes to each author and their respective publishers.

Monday, August 15, 2016

A Getaway + A Linkup

Today I just want to talk a little bit about this past weekend and all that it meant for me before we dive into the linkup. The past couple of days I was on a short little vacation in Plum Branch, South Carolina, at the Hamilton Branch state park that sits there on a peninsula in the Strom Thurmond Lake. It is so secluded there, and so far outside civilization that I couldn’t even tell you where the closest grocery store is, but that made it the perfect getaway for me and my family. As the summer comes to a close and everyone begins gearing up for the next school year, I found myself desperately in need of a getaway to clear my mind and help me to remember that school is only so stressful as I make it and that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13).

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Trouble with Cowboys by Denise Hunter

Only one pair of boots—and the cowboy wearing them—can get Annie out of the mess she’s in.
Annie Wilkerson is Moose Creek’s premier horse trainer and equine columnist for Montana Living. Money is tight as she tries to put her kid-sister through college and provide for her young nephew. When Annie’s column is cancelled, she’s given first shot at a new lovelorn column—and she can’t afford to turn it down. Only problem is…Annie’s never been in love.
Always resourceful, she reluctantly strikes a deal with the town’s smooth-talking ladies’ man Dylan Taylor: She’ll work with his ailing horse, Braveheart, if he’ll help her answer the reader letters.
Working closely with Dylan is harder than Annie imagined, and she quickly realizes she may have misjudged him. But her unwavering conviction that cowboys are nothing but trouble has kept her heart safe for years. And she can’t risk getting hurt now.
The more Annie tries to control things, the more they all apart. Her feelings are spinning out of control, and her sister’s antics are making life increasingly more difficult. Annie knows she needs to turn the reins over to God, but surrender has never come easily.
When Dylan reveals his feelings for her, Annie doesn’t know what to trust—her head or her heart. The trouble with this cowboy is that he might just be exactly what she needs.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My Bookshelf: Through the Deep Waters by Kim Vogel Sawyer

A past filled with shame can be washed away with a love that conquers all.
Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.
The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her. Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?

Top Ten Tuesday: REWIND!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is a rewind, which means everyone is either revisiting an old topic that they loved, or going back to do an older topic that they missed. I decided to revisit a favorite of mine and list some fantastic sequels that I’m looking forward to. (If you want to see my original post click here). All of the ones listed are sequels to some books that I absolutely loved, which has made me soooo ready to finally read the next installment in each series. Let’s get to that list! Oh, and if you want to see my review of any of the novels that come before these sequels, just click on the coral colored titles!

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter + A Linkup

When a wedding reenactment turns real, Shay finds she’s an accidental bride.
Shay Brandenberger is raising her daughter in Moose Creek, Montana, on her childhood ranch, nestled against the Yellowstone River. Despite the hard work, she can’t seem to keep her head above water—and now the bank is threatening to foreclose. She prays for a miracle, but the answer she receives is anything but expected.
Having agreed to play the bride in the Founders’ Day wedding reenactment, Shay is mortified to be greeted at the end of the aisle by none other than Travis McCoy, her high-school sweetheart—the man who left her high and dry for fame and fortune on the Texas rodeo circuit.
Then the unthinkable happens. Thanks to a well-meaning busybody and an absentminded preacher, the make-believe vows result in a legal marriage. But before Shay can say annulment, Travis comes up with a crazy proposal. If she refuses his offer, she may lose her home. If she accepts, she may lose her heart.
Shay isn’t sure if the recent events are God’s will or just a preacher’s blunder. Will trusting her heart to the man who once shattered it be the worst mistake of her life? Or could their marriage be the best accident that ever happened?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


It’s August!!! I have to say, I’m not really all that excited about that because it means that school is coming, but on the other hand, it means football season is right around the corner! And as a huge football fan, that is a big deal for me. So, at least half of me is excited that it’s August, and I suppose that’s enough. I knew I’d have to go back to school eventually. Well, let’s get to what I’m currently up to this month!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

My Bookshelf: Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?
Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole’s father has always focused on what she’s not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard shipping.
Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it’s too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family’s greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father’s rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole’s plans.
After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.
Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father’s rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family’s legacy?

Top Ten Tuesday: A Gift Card? For Me?

So, let me start by telling you how much I LOVE this topic! I am absolutely obsessed with buying new—and used—books (like and good bookworm would be), so I can only imagine how fantastic it would be if I was turned loose in a bookstore with an unlimited budget! Because of the extensive list of all the books I would love to own, I knew as soon as I heard about this topic that I would have to find a way to slim the options down a bit. So, I’ve decided to list books by some of my favorite authors that I haven’t yet read but am dying to, and owning them would just make it that much easier. Well, let’s get to that list!

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Cowboy’s Touch by Denise Hunter + A Linkup

Abigail is just in Moose Creek, Montana for the summer to temporarily care for her great aunt. But a tender-hearted cowboy beckons her to stay.
Abigail Jones intends to spend just one summer in middle-of-nowhere Montana with her Aunt Lucy. Time away from her job is just what Abigail needs to reassess her life. The slow pace has her breathing deeply for the first time in years. And the majestic scenery encourages her to get reacquainted with herself…and God.
What she didn’t count on was the handsome widowed cowboy who owns the ranch where her aunt lives. When the rancher loses his daughter’s nanny, Abigail decides to lend a hand for the summer.
Wade Ryan can’t help being attracted to Abigail. But he’s given up everything to protect his daughter, and he’s not about to risk it all on a pretty face.
Under Abigail’s care, Wade’s home and daughter thrive. And with Wade’s touch, Abigail’ heart feels at home at last. But Abigail knows this elusive rancher is hiding something. Will her own secrets separate her from the cowboy who finally captured her heart?