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.