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Contemporary Fiction Book Review: Where Hope Begins

Publisher's Description "Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .

Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.
But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.

Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations."
My ReviewWher…
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Contemporary Fiction Book Review: Falling for You

Publisher's Description "Willow Bradford is content taking a break from modeling to run her family''s inn until she comes face-to-face with NFL quarterback Corbin Stewart, the man who broke her heart--and wants to win her back. When a decades-old missing-persons case brings them together, they''re forced to decide whether they can risk falling for one another all over again."
My ReviewThe second book in the Bradford Sisters Romance series, Falling for You, by Becky Wade, is a gem of a novel. It sparkles with humor, romance, mystery, and second chances. Set in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Falling for You is a book as grand and as striking as the scenic setting that enriches the story. The unique plot of this novel is simply captivating as it abounds with details and twists that are delightfully entertaining and thoroughly intriguing. 

The characters are lively, authentic, and incredibly endearing. Even as they face difficult trials, they persev…

Contemporary Fiction Novella Review: Second Impressions

Publisher's Description "He likes streamline. She prefers embellishments. His forte is business. Hers is atmosphere. Will they realize each has what the other needs most to create the perfect romance with a touch of Jane Austen flair? When a country girl travels to Bath, England to visit Jane Austen country, will a serious businessman ruin her regency-dream?"
My ReviewSecond Impressions, by Pepper Basham, is a wonderful novella that fans of Jane Austen will find particularly delightful. Set in Bath, England, the historic charm of British literature and all things Austen provides the ideal setting for an unexpected romance to flourish. Full of wit and humor, Second Impressions, is especially funny and endearing. The characters are engaging and relatable, and the plot is quickly paced and truly entertaining. At all times, this novella finds the perfect blend of comedy, romance, and faith making it a love story that is thoroughly fun and memorable. There is quite a lot…

Historical Fiction Review: 223 Orchard Street

Publisher's Description "A heartening novel of the immigrant experience—and of redemption, self-sacrifice, and the power of hope when all else seems lost.

Irish immigrant Katie O’Connor and her younger sister, Shannon, risk everything to journey to America at the turn of the twentieth century. As each woman passes into an intimidating, stirring, and unpredictable New York City, she is forced to rethink her dream of a better life. It isn’t until Katie begins serving the sick in the depressed slums of the Bowery alongside Dr. Titus Brentwood that she discovers her true calling. Meanwhile, fate directs the vulnerable Shannon down an unsettling path that could put her life at risk.

As Katie’s and Ty’s selflessness and devotion turn into something deeper, Ty must make a choice that could save one O’Connor sister at the expense of losing the other. But Katie hasn’t come this far to let go now. She’ll do anything to save Shannon and hold on to the man she’s come to lo…

Biblical Fiction Book Review: A Light on the Hill

Publisher's Description "Seven years ago, Moriyah was taken captive in Jericho and branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods. Now the Israelites are experiencing peace in their new land, but Moriyah has yet to find her own peace. Because of the shameful mark on her face, she hides behind her veil at all times and the disdain of the townspeople keeps her from socializing. And marriage prospects were out of the question . . . until now.

Her father has found someone to marry her, and she hopes to use her love of cooking to impress the man and his motherless sons. But when things go horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee. Seeking safety at one of the newly-established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face, and the enemies--and unexpected allies--she will encounter on her way."
My ReviewA Light on the Hill is the first book in Connilyn Cossette’s new Cities of Refuge series. Adventurous and compelling, this book is…

Historical Fiction Book Review: Beneath a Prairie Moon

Publisher's Description "Readers rabid for the sweet historical romances of Tracie Peterson and Tamara Alexander will flock to best-selling author Kim Vogel Sawyer's prairie-set heartwarmer of high society cast-off and the western town that welcomes her.

Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence and knows exactly how to behave in high society. But when she is cast from the social registers due to her father's illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in the subjects of manners and morals so they can "marry up" with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he's put off by the snooty airs and fastidious behavior of the "little city gal" in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rou…

Contemporary Fiction Book Review: No One Ever Asked

Publisher's Description "Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district--and in their lives.

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray--the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser--faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones--the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Cr…

Historical Fiction Book Review: Three Words and a Kiss

Publisher's Description "When a big-hearted debutante collides with a small-town blacksmith set in his ways, it can mean only one thing—a war of hearts has come to Pine Creek.

Washington, 1892

Cameron Wallace thrives as both the blacksmith and the minister in his community of Pine Creek. Out of the fires of a chaotic childhood, he’s forged a peaceful life filled with safe relationships and predictable routines. But when the smithy he’s been renting is sold out from under him, the impulsive woman who buys it stokes the embers of emotions he’d rather keep unlit—and even has the audacity to lend a helping hand to his smithy work.

Samantha Klein has never been afraid to push boundaries when it comes to helping those whom society—and God—have overlooked, be they orphans, immigrants, or injured animals. When her latest attempt to aid a group of Chinese women lands her in a newspaper scandal, her high-society family sends her packing from Seattle. Setting out on her ow…

Historical Fiction Book Review: A Chance at Forever

Publisher's Description "In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain, determined to protect Teaville's children from the bullying she experienced as a child, finds fulfillment working at the local orphanage and serving on the school board. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she's dead set against him getting the job.

Aaron knows he deserves every bit of Mercy's mistrust, but he's returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He doesn't expect Mercy to like him, but surely he can prove he now has the best interests of the children at heart.

Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they're working for?"

My Review
A Chance at Forever is the third book in the Teaville Moral Society series by Melissa Jagears. Thoug…

Historical Fiction Book Review: The Innkeeper's Daughter

Publisher's Description "Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead."
My ReviewThe Innkeeper’s Daughter, by Michelle Griep, is a well-crafted historical fiction novel that thoroughly entertained and thrilled me with …