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Archive for the ‘Bethany House Books’ Category


Twenty-two-year-old Militine Scott is in training at the Madison Bridal School in Seattle, yet she has no intention of pursuing marriage. What respectable man would have her? But she has found the school provides the perfect opportunity to keep her unsavory past hidden.

Thane Patton, though fun-loving and fiercely loyal to his friends, hides a dark secret, as well. He finds himself drawn to Militine, sensing that she harbors a haunting pain similar to his own.

Will they allow God to make something new and beautiful from the debris of their past?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Militine is hiding. Getting married is the last thing on her mind, but to stay safe, she takes refuge at the  Madison Bridal School. And she’s not the only one dead set against marriage. Abrianna, “niece” of the owners of the school, has no intent to marry if she can help it.

As similar as their mindsets are about not marrying, their reasons couldn’t be more different. Militine can never trust; not even God. Plus, she needs to stay hidden, so no one learns about her past. Abrianna, on the other hand, is too busy doing God’s work to worry about making a marital match.  refiningfire

While the book description centers on Militine and Thane, this story is really about two very different couples: one couple struggles to find faith and each other; the other is busy working God’s plan together, and surprisingly has their feelings for each other revealed in a hodge-podged way.

Add in a splash of deception, human smuggling, and a fire, and you have the makings of a page turner! Tracie Peterson is an author I really enjoy. While this is the second book in the series, I hadn’t read the first book and didn’t need to.

5 out of 5 stars for this title. My only complaint is that the print edition has a wee tiny font, which made reading more time consuming and tedious than I prefer, due to old, tired eyes. 🙂

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

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Caroline Taylor was meant to be a lightkeeper. She’s spent her whole life living at and loving lighthouses. As her father’s health declined, Caroline took over more and more of the keeper’s duties; essentially managing the light herself.heartsmadewhole

But it’s not a walk in the park. Since her mother’s death several years ago, 20 year old Caroline has done what she could to fill those long empty shoes. While Caroline takes care of the light, the tasks of keeping track of the three younger siblings- twin brothers and a bedridden and declining sister- falls to Tessa, Caroline’s younger sister.

When disaster strikes and her father drowns, Caroline hopes to go on as before; managing the light. Unfortunately, it’s 1865, and that means women still don’t have as many rights as men. Caroline is threatened by the district lighthouse inspector, who believes the only role a woman has is beneath her husband, having babies.

Given a week to vacate the lighthouse to make way for the new keeper, Caroline is stressed. Where can they go? How will she provide and make sure her family is taken care of, especially with a sister teetering on the brink of death? She has a week to figure it out…..

Civil War veteran, Ryan, hopes his new job will allow him to save enough money to help clear his conscience. He figures the lighthouse is the perfect place to hide his broken, disfigured body. Making it to his final destination, he’s thrilled to find the keeper’s house fully furnished. Exhausted, he welcomes the inviting bed.

The only problem is, he soon learned, is that it was already occupied. Caroline isn’t thrilled to find a strange man waking her in bed……………

What will become of Caroline and her family? Is someone trying to force them away, thinking they can scare her enough to make her leave? Can Ryan fight his addictions and demons enough to keep the light functioning? Can he let Caroline leave without him?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have to say- this book gets an A+ from me. While there are several layers to the plot, they aren’t so obvious as to be immediately predictable. Then there’s the danger, which is intriguing. I absolutely love the struggles the characters have within themselves.

I’m glad this is a series, because I’ll be reading more. To make this even better, the author’s note at the end explains how the Caroline character was inspired by a real woman, also named Caroline; also a lightkeeper from Michigan. The two stories overlap really nicely; having many similarities and characters. I’ll be interested to see if subsequent books in the series follow suit.

I’m giving 5 out of 5 stars- really good read!  😀

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

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Kylie was sick and tired of wearing pants. Yep. Pants. She’d had enough.

Although, being up on her roof hearing thunder, that would have been a fine time to have had a pair of them on. Nonetheless, Kylie has got to get her roof repaired before the rain hit. triedandtrue

But roofs are tricky. She’d need a ladder. And she didn’t have one on hand. Her Pa had a ladder.

“Talk about someone Kylie didn’t want to ask for help! Cudgel Wilde would scold and snarl and in the end make Kylie want to jump on her horse and ride off and never come back.”

And, he’d make her wear pants.

Kylie was sick of pants.

Sisters Bailey and Shannon wore pants and didn’t mind. Of course, it was all part of the disguise….. Disguised as boys, the three sisters went off to war after their brother died during his service. Their pa demanded they go, so then they could homestead using the special exemption for having served in the Civil War- as boys. And being a boy meant wearing pants. Did I mention Kylie was sick of pants?

And that brings us to the present situation- Kylie on top of her roof in a skirt, with a thunderstorm coming. But before the rain came, there was thunder- and lightening. That meant Kylie had to get down without repairing the roof. Kylie hated roofs just as much as she hated pants.

“A sprinkle hit the back of her neck. Just how slippery did a roof get? Could she survive a fall? What if she broke her leg? Would she have to lie in the yard until help came? Or wolves came?

“Dear Lord,” she cried as she glanced at the dark clouds and spoke past them to God, “don’t let me be eaten by wolves because I was too stubborn to ride over to Shannon’s and wheedle her into fixing my roof.””

As she slipped and worked her way down the roof, she repeated the same mantra, “Three years to earn the life I want….”  Down to the furthest point she could reach with her hands around her stove pipe,  she realized the ladder back chair she had used to climb up with- is missing.

“She began losing her grip on the pipe, feeling her fingernails scraping along its length, and then lost her hold completely and fell. Solid arms closed around her legs. “I’ve got you, miss!””

And thus, her introduction to Aaron Masterson, land agent for Aspen Ridge. Land agent, as in, the person responsible for inspecting homestead claims and making sure there’s a cabin on the homestead after 6 months. As in, the homestead claim Kylie’s pa forced her to make for her two years of service during the Civil War. And, the homestead claim only men were allowed to have……..

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One of the reasons Mary Connealy is one of my all-time favorite authors is because of her humor. I was laughing pretty much from the get-go, and didn’t stop until the satisfying end. This title is classic Mary Connealy, through and through.

This is the first book in the Wild at Hearts series. You can bet I’m going to read about sisters Shannon and Bailey. Don’t miss it!

As usual, I give this title 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

 

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They had butted heads in school; Kate losing the valedictorian spot to Trevor, thanks to trigonometry. Puh. Lost was the full scholarship to college, which Kate desperately needed, and rich, mansion-living Trevor did not. witheverybreath

12 years later, Kate still hadn’t forgotten the sting of that loss, nor the path deviation her life had taken. A year earlier, Kate had loved her job as a census bureau statistician. Now there were machines doing those jobs. The statistical forecasting jobs all went to men- not just men, but men with college degrees. Punch card tabulating bored Kate to tears, but without the college degree snatched from her all those years ago, she was at a loss to do much of anything else.

Until the letter came. She still didn’t understand why a renowned doctor had singled her out and asked her to apply for a “prestigious position at Washington Memorial Hospital.” The position was to analyze data and predict trends in health and disease- just what Kate would love doing. She was ready to do something meaningful with her brain again.

Putting her current job tenuously on the line, Kate decides it’s worth the risk to interview. She was feeling pretty good, until she saw him. Him, being the doctor who had requested her to apply.

She’d thought she didn’t know him up from down. She was wrong. The doctor she was to interview with was none other than Trevor McDonough Kendall. Yes, *that* Trevor……..

Could she tolerate working for him if she accepted the job, realizing his prickly demeanor hadn’t changed? What was driving his passion to find treatment and a cure for tuberculosis? Could she handle working with the critically ill patients? And, when mysterious situations take place and point to Dr. Kendall, with evidence showing up at her  parent’s boarding house, Kate’s home, could they untangle the clues in time?

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It’s been a year since I have had the chance to review another title by this author, and am I glad I did! The scene was set well; the disappointment of losing the college scholarship bitter. Although I don’t generally like books that have a lot of characters, this one was written well enough that none of them got confused.

I loved the historical content, too. It’s easy to forget how far medicine has come in recent decades. This book has it all- a fight for women working in the prejudiced work-force; love, mystery, secrets, etc. Elizabeth Camden stays on my ‘favorite authors’ list, and I will definitely make a point to review any more that come my way. This is another 5 out of 5 stars title.

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

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1814 was a rough year. The British have taken control of Michilimackinac Island. If the Americans on the island want to stay there, they must swear loyalty to the Brits. Swearing loyalty, though, doesn’t make the British soldiers any less the enemy…….  capturedbylove

Everyone is hungry. Angelique does what she can to help her blind future mother-in-law by sneaking her the food the she manages to hide away. If her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley, catches her, the punishment will be severe. He’s got a cruel streak a mile wide, and since marrying her sister off, Angelique gets the brunt of his anger.

And, to top it off, his pregnant wife is hugely jealous of Angelique and is convinced she’s letting him in her bed. Angelique would rather be dead.

That morning, she nearly got her wish. Accosted in the forest by quartermaster Lieutenant Steele. Although drunk and barely managing to stay upright, she is no match for his strength. He threatens to tell her guardian; she knows she can report him for breaking curfew and being outside the fort. While he may get lashed, she knows he’d be back to punish her, too.

Relentless in his pursuit of more than food, she feels her life force draining away, as his hands clamped around her throat prevent her from breathing. The last thing she remembers hearing before the darkness claimed her permanently is a loud “thwack.” “Instantly, the deathly chain around her neck fell away.”

She recognized her savior as a voyageur; a canoe-paddling fur trader. As he retreats into the forest, Angelique must see his face. He motions her to be silent as he faces her, yet she cannot contain her gasp. It’s Pierre Durant.

Pierre.

Her fiancee Jean’s brother.

Pierre.

Her first love.

Pierre.

Her only love…………………..

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

This is the third title in the Michigan Brides Collection. I have not read the first book, but I absolutely adored the second book, A Noble Groom.  I was thrilled to realize this was another title in the series, as author Jody Hedlund has been added to my ‘favorite authors’ list.

One of the things I liked best about this book was that, despite the imminent danger, the final issue boiled down to choosing between two honorable men. I can’t say a whole lot more without spoiling the plot, so I’ll have to leave it there.

As with the last book in the series, this one also gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me. I’d give it more if I could. I’m enjoying this series so much that I might actually go back and buy the first book if I don’t ever get a chance to review it.

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

 

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Tina Cahill is on a mission. She is going to shut down the saloon at any expense! Well, they have to notice her first. Her daily picketing doesn’t seem to be having much effect, but she’s still trying! stucktogether

Even though she’s convinced everyone hates her, they sure don’t mind her cooking. But with the former cook at Glynna’s locked up for trying to murder Dr. Riker, Glynna’s husband, she figures they tolerate her just so they don’t have to try and gnaw on Glynna’s food. And, to make matters worse, she keeps running into “Invincible Vince,” of Regulator fame and town sheriff.

This afternoon’s picketing brings an all-out sidewalk brawl and trough dunkings. If anyone asked, Vince would be the first person to tell you what a thorn in his side she is! Despite Tina being easy on the eyes and Vince being one of the last remaining single men in town, marriage is not in the cards for him. Between his tyrannical father and his mother’s mental issue, there is no way he’d curse a wife and kids with those genetics.

And yet………

When Vince’s father arrives with his mother and a sister he didn’t know about in tow, and then sneaks off as quickly, Vince finds himself having to lean on his Regulator family- including Tina. Things come to a head when, “Tina’s picketing at the saloon has revealed a dark secret that could put everyone Vince loves in danger.”

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This is a no-brainer. I love Mary Connealy’s writing. This is the third title in the Trouble in Texas series. I have reviewed the first two books, Swept Away, and Fired Up. As usual, this title gets 5 out of 5 stars. I was really excited to find this one available for review. Definitely add this title to your reading list!

Mary Connealy’s  website has all of her titles- be sure to check it out!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for this unbiased review.

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It’s hard being a brainiac genius. Gina Gray knows this all too well. She wants nothing more than to get married, but finding the right guy- someone who isn’t intimidated by her intelligence- has left her with nothing but a broken heart.

Some of Gina’s expertise is in sonar. As in, under the water sonar used by submarines. As the sister of a sub commander, Gina’s sonar work was paramount in keeping him safe.

After a particular stunning and unexpected break up, Gina decides to head West to stay with her brother for a while; work, and try to mend her wounded heart. And see if her brother can recommend a guy for her.

Mark Bishop is one of Je Gray’s best friends, and also a submarine commander. He’s not surprised to see Gina, and can tell she’s using work as a distraction. Since Je is still underwater,- literally- Mark decides to keep an eye on Gina, knowing how dangerous her sonar work could be to her personal safety.

Mark, a widower, is also looking for love. Well, marriage, at least. After 10 years as a devoted and loving husband, he really misses not having anyone waiting when he comes home from sea. He misses everything about being a husband. When Je arrives home and casually suggests Mark think about dating his sister, Mark turns him down, thinking the age difference and friendship with Je would just be, well, weird.

And so, Daniel Field is introduced to Gina, and they get along really well. So well, in fact, that it’s not long before they are considered to be a couple, and Gina is invited to meet Daniel’s family.

As part of her work, Gina works closely with both Mark and Daniel, neither of whom mind that she now needs 24/7 security as a result of her discoveries. Maybe it’s because they work closely together; maybe it’s because she has a beau and is off limits, but Mark finds himself completely falling for Gina.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Without giving it away, you can obviously tell that at some point, Gina will have to chose between the two. Both are good men; good choices.

Because I have read other Dee Henderson titles, I was not deterred by what could be considered the “dry” beginning. Some might get bored by the dialogue; I thought it was great. The more I read, the harder it was to put down, and I found myself wondering about the scientific theories and wondering how plausible they were. I mean, I wondered if this WAS plausible, the book really ought to be classified.  😆

At one point, I realized the brother and wife being referred to were Charlotte and Bryce, from Unspoken. As with that title, one gets the feeling that the author is very knowledgeable about the topic, which I appreciate. Even if it’s all made up, the “facts”  seem believable, and that makes a book thoroughly enjoyable for me.

As with her other title, if you are turned off by technical talk, this might not be the book for you. Again, like her other title, I loved it and am giving it 5 out of 5 stars. Dee Henderson goes on my “must read” author list. I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

You might really like the trailer. Definitely worth the 2 minutes. Go watch it. 😀

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJe8pBiDUP0%5D

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Marty had had her one true love. And he was gone; 4 years to the day. Having the love of her life gored to death by a bull was not even on Marty’s radar. Dreams of ranching; dreams of children- all gone; lost forever. 10 years of marriage and no child carried to term, children are pretty well off the table, as she sees it. Marty stopped praying that day; the day God had refused her prayers to save her Thomas’ asensiblearrangementlife.

To add salt to her still raw wound, constant reminders of those lost dreams in the form of her sister’s children haunt her on a regular basis.

She needs a change. She needs to get away.

Hannah has no qualms about cutting her ties to her Texas ranch. The classified  ad from a Colorado banker seeing a Lone Star wife caught her eye. Her decision made, she doesn’t quite find the right time to tell her family about her contracted suitor, but nonetheless, her mind is made up and she is resolved.

Knowing her sister would never approve of her marrying a man she’s never met, Marty explains her trip to Colorado as a visit to finishing school friends living in Colorado Springs. Hoping to keep a low profile, Marty makes her way on the stagecoach, which is subsequently held up by bandits. Marty knows she has to do something, or they could all die. Runaway stages with shot-up drivers rarely have happy endings.

Well, Marty is no church mouse. She’s a Texan through and through. She knows how to shoot and how to drive a team. Fortunately, her shots hit one bandit, and the others are discouraged from pursuing their heist. And thus begins Marty’s entrance into Denver society.

Banker Jacob Wythe would love nothing better than to ditch the stuffy high-life and get back to his ranching roots. That’s the reason why he was looking for a Lone Star bride, to tell the truth. He wanted a woman of hardy stock, who wouldn’t mind ranching. Little did he know that Marty was determined to leave those days behind.

Jacob makes no bones about his future plans, and Marty knows she has to keep a lid on the fact that she own the exact kind of ranch Jacob wants to end up on. Can she keep her secret from him? What will happen if he finds out?

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This book was excellent from start to finish. Both Marty and Jacob have demons they are battling, and the reader can see each struggle and the logical outcome. As one part of the plot unfolds, another part thickens. I really enjoyed the sub-plots and the final telling off of the highfalutin’ society ladies. Definitely worth some giggles.

Great book- 5 out of 5 stars.  I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.

 

 

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1861. Bonnie Rose. Offered the opportunity of a lifetime and knowing she had no other choice for herself and her sister, Bonnie Rose accepts. wildwoodcreek

Where else was she going to find someone who could look past her shame; abuse and scars resulting from the her time in Indian captivity? And besides, no one much likes the Irish anyhow. What choice does she have but to pack up Maggie May and make the journey to the town in Texas?

Has she made a deal with the devil? How does a whole town go missing? Is she the witch he’s accused her of being?

Present Day. Allie. Basically disowned by her mother and step-father for following in her deceased father’s movie-making footsteps instead of going to law school like they want her to. Offered the opportunity of a lifetime to work as a production assistant. On an errand to the super-secret movie site, she’s asked to portray the lead role of Bonnie Rose. How can she say no?

Allie and her BFF, Kim, both find themselves working on a movie, the plot of which is mostly secret; the location of which is completely under wraps, under ‘penalty of death.’ Well, ok, maybe they won’t kill a person who leaks the details, but life won’t be real great for them afterwards. There is a price to pay for defying a major horror film maker’s directive.

Intrigued by the premise of the movie, Allie, with help from a library-working neighbor friend, Stewart, begins to string together the tid-bits of information she’s unearthed. Her working theory on location and historical figures proves accurate.

Being asked to step into the shoes of Bonnie Rose, Allie feels compelled to find out what truth she can, and to clear Bonnie Rose’s name.

And this era is not without a mystery of its own. Who is this cowboy Blake fellow? Why does Allie keep running into him? What’s his role in the show?

Can she and Kim make it out of a summer with no modern conveniences alive, even after both of them are kidnapped?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hoooo dingy. I love this book. LOVED it, I tell ya! I’d give it twenty stars if I could. Or a hundred.  You pick.

This is my *absolute* favorite kind of story- dual storyline; one historical, steeped in mystery and tragedy; the other modern-day meets time-warp. Fabulous.

This title wasn’t short by any means, but it easily could have been twice as long and held my interest. I especially love how the whole thing was wrapped up, with the former slave’s narrative on a scratchy phonograph recording. We finally learn what really happened at the time, and what happened after the fact. I won’t spoil it, because it really is *that* good.

I give this one 5 out of 5 stars. Do. Not. Miss. This. One. Seriously. Run and get a copy. It’s that good. I can’t wait to see what else this author has written!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for this unbiased review.

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Alaska and nursing. Her father. These three things are all Gwyn Hillerman wants; all she needs. Even being abandoned and left by her mother and sister hasn’t changed Gwyn’s feeling on her valley. This is where she belongs. It’s what she loves.  allthingshidden

She also loves the peace of the valley, and the natives that share it. Both are threated when hard times hit the lower 48. The Great Depression was so far away, yet now hits close to home, as homesteaders are shipped in by the hundreds.

The Matanuska Project aims to settle two hundred families in the valley- in HER valley! Gwyn is simply overwhelmed with the news of colonization in her back yard.

Her father, Dr. Hillerman, is the only doctor; she, the only nurse. And they’ve done just fine up ’till now. But this? There’s no way they can serve a community of that size on their own.

A world away in Chicago, Dr. Jeremiah Vaughn is stunned when his medical license is stripped from him. Despite a life saving attempt of using the new intravenous anesthesia, the patient died from her fatal wound, and her wealthy husband was out to place blame where he could.

Jeremiah’s first thought is to go to his fiance, Sophia Hillerman. The grim face of the butler gives him a clue that his conversation isn’t going to be pleasant. To his complete shock, the usually graceful and engaging Mrs. Hillerman greets him coldly and accuses him,  “How dare you drag my daughter down with you! You doctors. Always so selfish, so-“ Cut off by his affianced, she continues her mother’s tirade with animosity, “You’ve ruined everything, Jeremiah. Everything. And now you’ve tarnished my name and my family’s name along with yours. I can’t believe you would embarrass me in such a ghastly manner. it is totally unacceptable for someone of my station.”

And just like that, his engagement is off. With stunning clarity, he sees Sophia for who she is. Learning Sophia doesn’t even care about him, leaves his heart in shreds. How could he have been so blind?!

Adding insult to injury, his own family isn’t much better. Suggesting he leave town for a while while his lawyer cousin works to get things straightened out, his parents give him some money and send him on his way. “His loving parents were too embarrassed to have their disgraced son remain in Chicago.”

Jeremiah’s been let down by everyone he thought loved or cared about him; his fiance, her mother, his own parents- and God. He was done with all of them. He’s done with women, and he’s done with God. The one place he felt he could escape to was waiting with an invitation- Alaska.

His mentor, Dr. Hillerman, was desperate for help with the new colonials. Jeremiah was desperate for a change of scenery. If it all works out, Jeremiah could practice medicine was his cousin was getting his medical license back, and Dr. Hillerman would never need to know his daughter had been engaged to Jeremiah.

The only problem with this plan is Gwyn. The more Jeremiah works with her, the more he sees the stark difference between her and her sister and mother. And- the more he falls for her.

Gwyn can’t figure out why Jeremiah is constantly on her mind. She doesn’t mind him, and he certainly tolerates her, but there’s nothing more. Even though she’s being stalked by a crook hiding out in the new colony, that doesn’t mean she’s in love with Jeremiah. Of course not.

Can they both survive the trial that lie ahead for them?

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I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit frustrating, though, the back and forth over when Jeremiah should spill the beans. I often thought it seemed like there were two different people writing, and I was not surprised when I looked, to find that there were actually co-authors. My only issue with this e-title was that again, the double ‘f’ was missing, which is frustrating. Since that’s a formatting issue and not a content/storyline issue, I’m not knocking because of that.

I’m giving this one 4 out of 5 stars. I’ll definitely recommend it. I think either of these authors write very well; there were just parts that didn’t blend as well as they could have.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for this unbiased review.

Watch the trailer!

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQhJVZenjPw%5D

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