Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How Have I Not Read You Yet?

        This month’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about the top ten 2015 releases I meant to get to, but somehow never got around to reading them. There are definitely some on this list that I have no idea how I never got around to, except maybe because college and work got in the way. Others, I know I meant to get to as well, but I either know I will get to them this year because they’re already on my schedule, or I just wasn’t looking forward to them quite as much as I was looking forward to some of the others. Either way, this is my top ten!
A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears
        A Bride at Last is the third book in Melissa’s Unexpected Brides series, coming after A Bride for Keeps and A Bride in Store, which I read earlier this year. Since I really loved the first two, I naturally assumed I would get around to reading the last one. Unfortunately, I did not.

        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?

The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay
        The Bronte Plot is Katherine Reay’s third book to date, but so far, I’ve only read her debut novel. I absolutely loved it, so I added her second book and her 2015 release to my to-read list. So far, I haven’t gotten to either Lizzy and Jane OR The Bronte Plot. The saddest part about it is, I was actually planning on pre-ordering The Bronte Plot. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen either.

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.

The Midwife’s Choice by Delia Parr
        The Midwife’s Choice is the second book in Delia’s At Home in Trinity series, coming after The Midwife’s Tale. I read the first novel a couple of months ago and absolutely loved it, so I added The Midwife’s Choice to my preorder list and planned on reading it as soon as it released. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up being able to preorder it, or to read it. That’s beginning to be the statement of the year.

Come home to Friendship, Family, and Faith in the Town of Trinity.
        In a time when the traditional ways of medicine are constantly being questioned by new doctors fresh from medical school, midwife Martha Cade tries to balance her life’s calling with the demands of her family. Recently reunited with her estranged seventeen-year-old daughter, Martha finds herself torn between guiding her child and allowing her to be an adult. At the same time, she must decide whether she’ll risk reopening the heart she’d long closed off to love.
        Though a small town, Trinity, Pennsylvania, is fraught with secrets, and as a midwife, Martha moves among its people. She knows which homes are filled with light and love, which families have slipped into grief, which wives are unhappy, and which husbands dare to cross lines…As Martha struggles with the conflicts of being a mother, a midwife, and a woman, she learns the greatest lessons of all—that hope can shine even in the darkest hours, and that faith has a way of making the impossible possible.

The Photograph by Beverly Lewis
        I have read almost every single one of Beverly’s novels, so when I heard she was coming out with The Photograph, I knew I absolutely had to read it. Not only was it written by one of my top three favorite Amish-novel-writing authors, but it sounds absolutely wonderful! As is the theme of this post, I didn’t get around to reading this one either.

He studied the picture more closely, finding it curious that the young woman looked so boldly into the camera while wearing a white prayer Kapp shaped like a heart—the characteristic head covering for the Lancaster County Old Order Amish.
Why would a devout girl have her picture taken?
        When her sister Lily disappears only months after their widowed mother’s passing, Eva Esch fears she has been wooed away from the people. Yet Lily’s disappearance isn’t Eva’s only concern: she and her sisters must relocate once their older brother takes over the family farmhouse. Then Jed Stutzman, an Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up in Eden Valley with a photo of a Plain young woman. Eva feels powerfully drawn to the charming stranger—but the woman in the forbidden photograph is no stranger at all.

A Refuge at Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky
        A Refuge at Highland Hall is the third book in Carrie’s Edwardian Brides series, coming after The Governess of Highland Hall and The Daughter of Highland Hall. I read both of the first novels a few months ago and absolutely loved them, so I planned on reading the third one as soon as possible. Clearly, I never got around to reading this one either.

        Penny Ramsey is determined to do all she can to help those she loves face the challenges brought about by The Great War—World War I—but can her heart survive the losses that will surely come her way as war sweeps through Europe and bombs begin falling on London? When Penny meets Alex Goodwin, a confident, dare-devil RNAS pilot, intent on defeating the Germans and proving his worth, her heart is drawn to him, but should she give her heart away, when it will most certainly mean losing the man she loves? Penny, her sister Kate, and the nine orphaned children in their care seek refuge at Highland Hall, and the family’s unity is tested. When Alex is seriously injured, Penny’s unyielding devotion helps him recover and find hope for the future. But an unexpected event puts Penny in great danger. Can Alex find the strength and courage to rescue her and bring her home to Highland Hall?

A Reluctant Bride by Kathleen Fuller
        A Reluctant Bride is the first book in Kathleen’s Amish of Birch Creek series, but I’ve read many of her other novels in the past. She is another one of my favorite Amish-novel-writing authors, so when I heard she was working on a new series, I was sure I would want to read the first novel as soon as it released. Yep, you guessed it, I couldn’t get around to this one either.

She never wanted to marry. He hopes to make amends for past wrongs. Can love find a way to heal both of their hearts?
        Sadie Schrock swore she would never marry. All of her other Amish friends could court and marry—she was content to manage the family business and eventually take it over when her parents are ready to retire. But all of that changes when a reckless driver kills both of her parents and seriously injures her younger sister. With mounting hospital bills adding to the pile of debt her parents left behind, Sadie is left with no choice: she must marry. And not just any man—the man who saw her at her weakest and walked away.
        Aden knows what his brother did to Sadie years ago was inexcusable. And every day since that incident, Aden has lived with the guilt for not intervening sooner. When he is faced with the chance to protect Sadie once again, he can’t let her down—even if it means living with the scorn of the woman he loves for the rest of his life.
        Working alongside Aden at the store, Sadie realizes he isn’t the same boy who once betrayed her. Just when Sadie starts to let her guard down and perhaps develop feelings for her new husband, dangerous secrets are revealed. Now everything Sadie has worked so hard to protect is threatened, and she must find a way to save her family—and herself.

Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin
        Through Waters Deep is the first book in Sarah’s Waves of Freedom series, but I have read one of her other novels—With Every Letter—in the past. I really enjoyed that one, and though I didn’t find the time to read the rest of that series, when I heard she was coming out with a new one I knew I would want to read them. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to the first book. Maybe I’ll actually get to read it before the second book comes out.

War is coming. Can love carry them through the rough waters that lie ahead?
        It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Handsome and outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. On shore, Jim encounters Mary Stirling, a childhood friend who is now an astute and beautiful Boston Navy Yard secretary.
        When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is discovered, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges—and dangers—await them.

To Get to You by Joanne Bischof
        Although I haven’t read anything by Joanne so far, I absolutely fell in love with the storyline of To Get to You the second I began reading the description, so I knew I would want to read it as soon as it came out. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to read this one either, but I am still hoping to soon.

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.

Undercover Bride by Margaret Brownley
        Undercover Bride is the second book in Margaret’s Undercover Ladies series, coming after Petticoat Detective. I read the first novel just a couple of months ago and absolutely loved it, so I wanted to pick up the second book next. Unfortunately, my library didn’t have it at the time, and I haven’t had a chance to check again, so I haven’t had a chance to read this one either.

Pinkerton detective Maggie Cartwright has no intention of walking down the aisle…
        But her current case has Maggie posing as a mail-order bride for widower Garrett Thomas, the prime suspect in the Whistle-Stop Bandit robbery.
        No sooner does Maggie arrive in Arizona Territory when she’s confronted by his meddlesome aunt who insists the two set an early wedding date. With the clock ticking, Maggie sets to work to uncover the truth.
        Maggie is nothing like the woman widower Garrett expected from her letters. But he’s immediately smitten with the blue-eyed beauty and feels the need to protect her, not only from his aunt’s critical eye, but also from the ugliness of his past.
        As the day of the wedding draws near, Maggie begins to panic. The investigation may be progressing, but the real problem is that the more she gets to know Garrett and his two charming children, the harder it is to keep up the deception.
        Can a man as kind and gentle as Garrett really be the Whistle-Stop Bandit? Or has the possibility of a home, family, and a handsome husband blinded Maggie from seeing the truth?

When Love Returns by Kim Vogel Sawyer
        When Love Returns is the third book in Kim’s Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy series, coming after When Mercy Rains and When Grace Sings. I read the first two novels earlier last year and really enjoyed both of them, so I was eagerly anticipating the release of the third installment. Unfortunately, things got busy, and I never found the chance to pick this one up.

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?

        Those are the top ten 2015 releases I had planned one reading, but never had the chance to. How about you? What are some books you meant to read last year but never did?
        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 each italicized synopsis goes to their respective authors and publishers.

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