Tag Archives: historical romance fiction

Book Review: Sarah’s Choice

26 Jan

Sarah’s Choice by Pegg Thomas is an historical romance set in Colonial America. It’s hard to remember that western Pennsylvania was once the frontier. This was a time of European settlement in the traditional lands of Native Americans, and the novel explores the violent conflict between the two groups, With a strong faith message, the book will give you much to think about.

Sarah Feight has her life planned with a loving husband, a promising new settlement, and big dreams to shape the future of trade on Pennsylvania’s frontier. An Indian attack at dawn changes everything.

When he pulls his freight wagons into Fort Pitt, Leith McCully never dreams he’ll be conscripted into the militia and ordered to defend the fort. Worried about trader friends on his delivery route, he rides to their settlement and returns with Sarah, the only survivor.

Fort Pitt is crowded to twice its capacity with the settlers who have taken refuge there and surrounded by the rising smoke of burned-out settlements. Tempers flare, disease breaks out, and the constant fear of the next attack has everyone on edge.

Cully keeps an eye on Sarah because he feels responsible for her. And, though he doesn’t admit as much, she tugs at his heart. Sarah sees Cully as the last link to her past. A friend of her husband’s family. She’s going to need someone she can trust, and she trusts Cully. Her rescuer.

Are trust and admiration enough to help them survive the siege and its devastating consequences? Is there any hope for a future beyond?

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Lower Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. Besides writing, she enjoys a variety of crafts including spinning sheep’s wool into yarn and knitting. Together, she and Michael enjoy camping, fishing, boat-nerding (you have to be a Great Lakes person to know about that), and thoroughbred horse racing.

A life-long history geek, it’s no surprise that historical fiction is her genre. Colonial America and the Civil War era are favorite time periods to both read and write. Her favorite type of book centers on a great fiction story surrounded by factual historical events.

My Impressions:

It has been a while since I read a novel set in Colonial America. While many feature the rise of the Revolution, Sarah’s Choice by Pegg Thomas explores the time when European settlers and Native American’s clashed in what is commonly called the French And Indian War. I thought this novel was an interesting look at the desire for white settlers to make a home in the expanding frontier, while Native Americans wanted to preserve their lands and way of life. It didn’t help that another European adversary, the French, was agitating the conflict. It’s a time that modern readers may be uncomfortable with, but as it is part of how our nation was formed, it shouldn’t be forgotten. Sarah’s Choice is mostly from the viewpoint of the settlers. An attack leaves Sarah all alone, hurt, and vulnerable. She shelters in Fort Pitt as a siege takes place. The title points out that she has a choice to make, many in fact. She must choose whether to live, whether to love again, and whether to forgive. Her struggle is very natural given what she endures. She is supported by people of faith whose influence helps her to heal. I found the descriptions of life in a fort during a siege very interesting. Those who were within the fort’s walls had to deal with disease, lack of food and water, and the fear of daily attacks. There is a limited viewpoint from the other side, which I wish had been a bit more balanced. The novel is also a romance, and Sarah is put in a definitely unromantic position — her survival hinges on a marriage of convenience. I would not have wanted to make that choice!

If you are a fan of historical fiction set in the early days of America’s formation, then check out Sarah’s Choice. It raises a lot of questions and opportunities for goolging. 😉

Edit: for more points of view (French And Native American), check out books 2&3. 😀

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased Sarah’s Choice from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Bookish Goals

17 Jan

Happy Tuesday! Welcome to the blog where all good intentions are soon thrown out the window! LOL! Last year I had great goals to improve my reading experience. I can’t quite remember what they all were, but I am pretty sure I didn’t stick to very many. 😉 It’s January, so resolutions are all the rage — if they haven’t been abandoned yet. When thinking about this topic I resolved (see what I did there) to make goals that I know I can keep. The trick is if I actually will. Time will tell.

For more bloggers’ bookish goals, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Bookish Goals

Resolved — read books.

Okay, this one is very easy to achieve because I don’t intend to give up reading. I have one win.

Resolved — read outside my comfort zone.

I am a member of a book club that has been challenging me to read books that I would not naturally pick up on my own. Have I liked them all? No. But I’ve liked more than I haven’t. This year I hope to stretch my reading horizons even more.

Resolved — read more books that I already own.

This goal is a bit trickier. I have tons of books that I bought with the express purpose of reading, not to take up space or look pretty on the shelf. But still they sit neglected, some after years and years. I am going to write some in on my reading calendar (yes, I actually have one of those) and try to really read them.

Resolved — read more books from my NetGalley shelf.

Like my physical books, I have lots of unread NetGalley books. This is really embarrassing since publishers have approved me to read these books, and I feel like I have let them and the authors down. I certainly have let myself down. Again I will be deliberately adding them to my reading calendar.

Resolved — read what I want to read.

This one goes hand in hand with reading more from my actual shelves. I plan to read more on a whim than on a have-to basis. Yes, I will still be reviewing and accumulating more books — its a fatal flaw — but I want to have a little more flexibility and fun in my reading.

So there you go. I think 5 goals is plenty!

Here are a few of the books that will help me achieve my goals this year:

Blind Trust by Natalie Walters

Roots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

Secrets in Old Savannah by Mary Ellis

Sunburst by Susan May Warren

To Love A Viking by Heather Day Gilbert and Jen Cudmore

Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin

First Line Friday — Sarah’s Choice (Forts of Refuge, Book 1)

13 Jan

Happy Friday! Today I am sharing the first line from an upcoming read — Sarah’s Choice (Forts of Refuge, Book 1) by Pegg Thomas. I haven’t read a book set in Colonial America in a while, so I am definitely looking forward to digging into this historical romance!

Here’s the first line:

The forest smelled of warming earth, new growth, and hope.

Sarah Feight has her life planned with a loving husband, a promising new settlement, and big dreams to shape the future of trade on Pennsylvania’s frontier. An Indian attack at dawn changes everything.

When he pulls his freight wagons into Fort Pitt, Leith McCully never dreams he’ll be conscripted into the militia and ordered to defend the fort. Worried about trader friends on his delivery route, he rides to their settlement and returns with Sarah, the only survivor.

Fort Pitt is crowded to twice its capacity with the settlers who have taken refuge there and surrounded by the rising smoke of burned-out settlements. Tempers flare, disease breaks out, and the constant fear of the next attack has everyone on edge.

Cully keeps an eye on Sarah because he feels responsible for her. And, though he doesn’t admit as much, she tugs at his heart. Sarah sees Cully as the last link to her past. A friend of her husband’s family. She’s going to need someone she can trust, and she trusts Cully. Her rescuer.

Are trust and admiration enough to help them survive the siege and its devastating consequences? Is there any hope for a future beyond?

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Lower Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. Besides writing, she enjoys a variety of crafts including spinning sheep’s wool into yarn and knitting. Together, she and Michael enjoy camping, fishing, boat-nerding (you have to be a Great Lakes person to know about that), and thoroughbred horse racing.

A life-long history geek, it’s no surprise that historical fiction is her genre. Colonial America and the Civil War era are favorite time periods to both read and write. Her favorite type of book centers on a great fiction story surrounded by factual historical events.

Top 10 Tuesday — Top Anticipated Books From New-To-Me Authors

10 Jan

Happy Tuesday! I was a bit stumped with today’s TTT prompt. Not that I don’t have plenty of books that I am anticipating. But I have already covered this topic in some form or fashion in the past month or so. I don’t want to bore everyone by repeating myself again and again. So I decided to look for books that are from new-to-me authors, those whose books I have yet to read for one reason or another, but that I need to read if you know what I mean! Some are upcoming releases; some have been in the book world for a little while. Some are from never before discovered authors; others from authors I know I need to read. I was astounded by the book choices that now populate my gargantuan TBR list. Help me now!

For more bloggers’ anticipatory lists, go to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Anticipated Books from New-To-Me Authors

The Antiquity Affair by Lee Kelly and Jennifer Thorne

Two estranged sisters must band together to solve a puzzle three millennia in the making in this female-heroine take on Indiana Jones.

1907: The dawn of Egyptology is a time of imperialism and plunder, opulence and unrest, and Dr. Warren Ford, esteemed archaeologist, is the man of the hour. His daughters—prim intellectual Lila, on the eve of her debut as a Manhattan socialite, and doting nonconformist Tess, who dreams of following in his footsteps—have always lived their lives in the shadow of their famous father’s exploits. But when a secretive organization becomes intent on finding a lost artifact legendary for its dangerous power, it isn’t Dr. Ford they turn their sights on—it’s his two remarkable daughters.

Tess and Lila called themselves The Fearless Fords in their childhood, dreaming of daring international adventures together, but the sisters have barely spoken for years. Presented now with a grand adventure and a puzzle that will require all their wits, the two women face a choice. Will they follow the clues fast enough to win the ultimate prize? Or will they prove clever enough to change the game entirely?

The Antiquity Affair is a high stakes trans-Atlantic thrill ride, with the page-turning excitement and romance of classic adventure novels and a poignant story of sisterhood at its core—all the messy and beautiful truths of what it means to be family.

Bastille Day by Gregory Garrett

Veteran TV journalist Calvin Jones travels to Paris, where he negotiates love, friendship, and despair in award-winning novelist Greg Garrett’s Bastille Day.

With brilliant pacing and gorgeous prose, acclaimed novelist Greg Garrett tells the story of American TV journalist Calvin Jones, who travels to Paris to work with a producer friend he knows from their dark days covering the war in Iraq.

Cal Jones has had a quiet ten years, by design. After surviving the loss of two people he loved in the Iraq war, which he covered as a national correspondent, he fell apart and retreated to a local news job in Texas. Cal is still wrestling with those old demons when he goes to Paris to work with an old friend and encounters Nadia, a brilliant, lovely, and sad Saudi Muslim woman in Paris with plans to wed a Saudi sheikh in a family-arranged marriage.

Against his own better judgment, Cal falls for Nadia, even dragging her from the Seine when she attempts to solve her insoluble problem by taking her own life. He begins to risk a heart he thought was too badly broken to ever love again, and as the wedding ticks closer, to hope that perhaps Nadia can make a choice that includes him. Then their time rescuing each other is interrupted by the terror attack in Nice, which Cal is called out to cover. Back in that setting, Cal is thrown back into the memories of senseless violence and extremism that shattered him in Iraq—and that threaten to shatter him and his hopes now.

Garrett’s characters wrestle with the ghosts of their pasts, as they long for love, friendship, and faith in the present. Bastille Day is a gloriously-affecting novel about how our histories can damage us, but hope can heal us.

Beneath His Silence by Hannah Linder

Will Seeking Justice Lead to Her Own Demise?
 
A Gothic-Style Regency Romance from a Promising Young Author
 
Second daughter of a baron—and a little on the mischievous side—Ella Pemberton is no governess. But the pretense is a necessity if she ever wishes to get inside of Wyckhorn Manor and attain the truth. Exposing the man who killed her sister is all that matters.
 
Lord Sedgewick knows there’s blood on his hands. Lies have been conceived, then more lies, but the price of truth would be too great. All he has left now is his son—and his hatred. Yet as the charming governess invades his home, his safe cocoon of bitterness begins to tear away.
 
Could Ella, despite the lingering questions of his guilt, fall in love with such a man? Or is she falling prey to him—just as her dead sister?

Bless Your Heart, Rae Sutton by Susannah Lewis

Sometimes what your life is missing is an eccentric group of older ladies to take you under their wing?.?.?. 

When Rae Sutton’s mama passes away and leaves her the house where she grew up, Rae can’t imagine how the little old place might restore her broken life. Mourning the recent loss of her marriage, she takes the house and settles back into her tiny hometown with her fourteen-year-old daughter, Molly Margaret, and their overweight dog. 

There she’s embraced by her mother’s close-knit circle of friends, the Third Thursday ladies. Though almost half their age and far less confident of positive outcomes, Rae joins their ministry-slash-book-club-slash-gossip circle and allows the women to speak wry honesty and witty humor into her tired heart. As a new career and a new romance bring their own complications, Rae relies on the unlikely family she’s found and begins to wonder if her future holds more hope than she ever could have imagined. 

The Call of The Wrens by Jenni L. Walsh

The Call of the Wrens introduces the little-known story of the daring women who rode through war-torn Europe carrying secrets on their shoulders.

An orphan who spent her youth without a true home, Marion Hoxton found in the Great War something other than destruction. She discovered a chance to belong. As a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service—the Wrens—Marion gained sisters. She found purpose in her work as a motorcycle dispatch rider assigned to train and deliver carrier pigeons to the front line. And despite the constant threat of danger, she and her childhood friend Eddie began to dream of a future together. Until the battle that changed everything.

Now twenty years later, another war has broken out across Europe, calling Marion to return to the fight. Meanwhile others, like twenty-year-old society girl Evelyn Fairchild, hear the call for the first time. For Evelyn, serving in the war is a way to prove herself after a childhood fraught with surgeries and limitations from a disability. The re-formation of the Wrens as World War II rages is the perfect opportunity to make a difference in the world at seventy miles per hour.

Told in alternating narratives that converge in a single life-changing moment, The Call of the Wrens is a vivid, emotional saga of love, secrets, and resilience—and the knowledge that the future will always belong to the brave souls who fight for it.

A Cry in The Dark by Jessica Patch

Deep in the Kentucky hills, three women have been found brutalized and murdered.
But the folks in Night Holler have their own ways and their own laws.
And they’re not talking…

Led to an isolated Appalachian Mountain town by a trail of disturbing murders, FBI special agent Violet Rainwater’s determined to catch a serial killer with a twisted agenda. With locals refusing to reveal their secrets, Violet’s only ally is Detective John Orlando. But even John has an ulterior motive—he’s convinced this case is connected to his wife’s murder. 

As they dig deeper, Violet uncovers a link to her own unresolved past. For years she’s worked the cold case of her mother’s abduction, which had led to her birth. The need to look into the eyes of the sinful man who fathered her consumes Violet. Until she can, she’ll never have peace. Because she’s terrified she might be exactly like him.

In this chilling novel, when the present collides with Violet’s mysterious past and John’s tragic loss, they must unravel the warped, sinuous connections before the killer strikes again. But solving the case might not be nearly as terrifying as the possibility that Violet’s finally found her roots…

Hardly Any Shooting Stars Left by B. K. Froman

A captivating tale of humor and mystery by an award-winning author.

After her father’s death, a creative, free-spirited young woman plans to leave her Oregon ranch and hometown of busybodies. But she didn’t count on a corpse in her shop—or murder. Forced to create friendships with strange, crabby, or too-helpful neighbors, she must face a murder charge and confront aching childhood memories in a town and a life stuck in the past.

Lexi DePriest has always been a loner with a sharp wit and lack of concern about fitting in. If she could quickly sell the family ranch—her father’s life’s work—she’d get out of the Oregon valley, but life has never been easy.

When her crackpot neighbor shoots the drone she uses to check fences and cattle, a battle begins. Nosy eyes in the tiny community are watching, some malevolent—and dangerously nearby.

With no explanation,a man is found murdered in her shop, and the trust she’s built in herself and with a few townsfolk unravels. It takes a crabby school secretary and a Scottish welder to secretly examine murder suspects. The investigation gives her a rare choice to fit in to the home where she’s always lived—but will she choose community, family, or herself?

Indigo Isle by T. I. Lowe

“Storms show up and there ain’t a thing we can do to stop them.”

Sonny Bates left South Carolina fifteen years ago and never looked back. Now she’s a successful Hollywood location scout who travels the world, finding perfect places for movie shoots. Home is wherever she lands, and between her busy schedule and dealing with her boss’s demands, she has little time to think about the past . . . until her latest gig lands her a stone’s throw from everything she left behind.

Searching off the coast of Charleston for a secluded site to film a key scene, Sonny wanders onto a private barrier island and encounters its reclusive owner, known by locals as the Monster of Indigo Isle. What she finds is a man much more complex than the myth.

Once a successful New York attorney, Hudson Renfrow’s grief has exiled him to his island for several years. He spends his days alone, tending his fields of indigo, then making indigo dye―and he has no interest in serving the intrusive needs of a film company or yielding to Sonny’s determined curiosity. But when a hurricane makes landfall on the Carolina coast, stranding them together, an unlikely friendship forms between the two damaged souls. Soon the gruff exterior Hudson has long hidden behind crumbles―exposing the tender part of him that’s desperate for forgiveness and a second chance.

A story of hanging on and letting go, of redemption and reconciliation, and of a love that heals the deepest wounds, from the author of the breakout Southern fiction bestseller Under the Magnolias.

The Unhiding of Elijah Campbell by Kelly Flanagan

Elijah Campbell is on the verge of losing his writing career, his faith, and his marriage when a recurring childhood nightmare drives him back to his hometown, Bradford’s Ferry. There, his encounters with loved ones both past and present shed light on the reason his wife left him—and the meaning of his nightmare. However, beyond the light he begins to glimpse something even more terrifying—a decision he must make either to continue hiding the secrets of his past or unhide the only thing that can save his marriage: himself.

In psychologist Kelly Flanagan’s nonfiction works (Loveable, True Companions), he drew from clinical insight to explore the spiritual depths of identity and relationships. Now, in this debut novel, he weaves a compelling and plot-twisting tale that brings new life to those insights, along with fresh revelations about personal growth, spiritual transformation, and the dynamics of interpersonal relationships.

If You Liked . . . The Mistletoe Countess

31 Dec

My book club LOVED The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham. It was the perfect book for a busy December. Besides it being a Christmas-y book, we enjoyed the historic setting, the marriage of convenience trope, and the amateur sleuthing instigated by Grace. It was a fun and oftentimes funny read. If you liked it too, here are a few book recommendations for your.

Historical Marriage of Convenience

More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free to live life on his own terms. No opportunities to disappoint those he cares about, just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away once again when the baker of his favorite breakfast treat is railroaded by the city council. As hard as he tries to avoid getting involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples. Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. Not the stoic lumberman who oozes confidence without saying a word whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him. Once vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. As trust grows between Zach and Abby, she finds she wants more than his rescue. She wants his heart.

Contemporary Marriage of Convenience

Practically Married by Karin Beery

Ashley Johnson moved to northern Michigan to finally meet her fiancé face-to-face, but she arrived in time to attend his funeral. With no home back in Ohio, she decides to stay in what would have been their house, except his cousin Russ lives there too, and Russ has never heard of Ashley. To complicate matters, her fiancé accidentally willed her the family farm house. Eager to please everyone and desperate to disappoint no one, she proposes a marriage of convenience that could solve her and Russ’ problems, if they can get past her aunt, his sisters, and an ex-girlfriend.

Sleuthing Duo

Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering

Introducing Drew Farthing. From the tip of his black Homburg hat to the crease in his cheviot trousers, he’s the epitome of a stylish 1930s English gentleman. His only problem? The body he just discovered. Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. With the help of beautiful and whip-smart Madeline Parker, a guest from America, Drew proposes to use the lessons he’s learned reading his mysteries to solve the crime. Before long, he realizes this is no lark, and no one at Farthering Place is who he or she appears to be — not the blackmailer, not the adulterer, not the embezzler and not even Drew himself. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer — and trying harder to impress Madeline — Drew must decide how far to take this dangerous game.

Coming Soon!

The Cairo Curse by Pepper Basham (January 15, 2023)

Clue meets Indiana Jones with a fiction-loving twist only Grace Percy can provide.
 
Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley have already experienced their fair-share of suspense, but when a honeymoon trip takes a detour to the mystical land of Egypt, not even Grace with her fiction-loving mind is prepared for the dangers in store. From an assortment of untrustworthy adventure-seekers to a newly discovered tomb with a murderous secret, Frederick and Grace must lean on each other to navigate their dangerous surroundings. As the suspects mount in an antiquities’ heist of ancient proportions, will Frederick and Grace’s attempts to solve the mystery lead to another death among the sands?
 
The Cairo’s Curse is a delightful sequel to The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham in the Freddie and Grace Mystery series.

Top 10 Tuesday — Most Recent Additions To The NetGalley Shelf

27 Dec

Despite my TTT post last week listing all of the books I would love to have Santa pre-order, I have yet to receive them. My immediate family hasn’t had Christmas together yet, but I don’t anticipate any book gifts in my future. Most of them think I have enough books already. 😉 But I have been diligently adding to my NetGalley shelf and those are the books I am spotlighting today. I have quite the range of great books. Hope you find one to love!

For more book shelf additions, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Ten Most Recent Additions to My NetGalley Shelf

Body of Evidence by Irene Hannon

Broker of Lies by Steven James

The Cairo Curse by Pepper Basham

Daughter of Eden by Jill Eileen Smith

The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green

A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter

The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin

The Weight of Air by Kimberly Duffy

What Happens Next by Christina Suzann Nelson

The Year of Jubilee by Cindy Morgan

Book Review: Mistletoe Countess

21 Dec

Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham was a fun way to spend a reading/relaxing weekend. This marriage of convenience story made lots of sense, especially with some endearing characters and LOL moments. There are lots of kissing scenes too — something Basham is famous for. If you’ve got some time in between baking, shopping, and celebrating, I recommend this historical romance.

Will the magic of Christmas bring these two newlyweds closer together, or will the ghosts of the past lead them into a destructive discovery from which not even a Dickens’s Christmas can save them?

Mistletoe is beautiful and dangerous, much like the woman from Lord Frederick’s Percy’s past, so when he turns over a new leaf and arranges to marry for his estate, instead of his heart, he never expects the wrong bride to be the right choice. Gracelynn Ferguson never expected to take her elder sister’s place as a Christmas bride, but when she’s thrust into the choice, she will trust in her faithful novels and overactive imagination to help her not only win Frederick’s heart but also to solve the murder mystery of Havensbrook Hall before the ghosts from Frederick’s past ruin her fairytale future. 

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance “peppered” with grace and humor. Writing both historical and contemporary novels, she loves to incorporate her native Appalachian culture and/or her unabashed adoration of the UK into her stories. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the wife of a fantastic pastor, mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Her nineteenth novel, Authentically Izzy, debuted in November with Thomas Nelson. She loves connecting with readers and other authors through social media outlets like Facebook & Instagram.

You can learn more about Pepper and her books on her website at http://www.pepperdbasham.com.

My Impressions:

My book club always picks a Christmas-y novel for our December discussion. This year we chose the historical romance by Pepper Basham, The Mistletoe Countess. I found it perfect reading for my busy holiday schedule. It is light, humorous (often LOL funny), and balances romance, mystery, and a firm spiritual message well. The premise of the book is a marriage of convenience, one that made perfect sense given the era in which the book is set. An American heiress marrying a nobleman in need of a cash infusion to save his estate was not uncommon in the late 1880s. The book pushes the time period to the early 1900s, a time with a few more conveniences 😉 . The sizzle between the two main characters starts from the beginning, even as they were not intended happy couple. (Read the book to find out more.) I could see their romance coming from the outset, but that’s exactly what I wanted. Mysterious accidents put the two on alert, especially the Sherlock Holmes-loving Grace. I found Grace to be absolutely delightful. With her head planted in the fictional worlds of a lot of books, she, nevertheless, has common sense and intelligence. She might be youthful, but she can match wits with anyone. Frederick is the perfect brooding hero of the story, and, as Grace, proclaims his story as well. The black sheep of the family, he grows into his new responsibilities with Grace’s encouragement and belief in him. The faith of the two characters is front and center. And while they may have doubts and insecurities, their trust in God never really wavers. Lots of kissing scenes ignite the budding romance, and events of a mysterious nature speed the plot along. I love that Grace is determined to save her man!

If you like historical romance, heavy on the romance, with some mystery thrown in you will like this book. Add to it the Christmas season, and The Mistletoe Countess is a winner!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Dear Santa, Load Me Up With Pre-Orders

20 Dec

This week bloggers are talking about the books on their Christmas Wishlists. This year I would love for Santa to load me up with pre-orders. Sort of like a fruit of the month club, but way better! A brand new book arriving in my mailbox or on my Kindle over the next few months would warm my bookish heart! My list includes my favorite authors across genres. I hope there’s one you’d like to include in your letter to Santa.

For more bloggers’ Christmas hopes and dream, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Pre-Orders I Would Love From Santa

The All-American by Susie Finkbeiner

Counter Attack by Patricia Bradley

He Should Have Told The Bees by Amanda Cox

In This Moment by Gabrielle Meyer

The Lies We Believe by Lisa Harris

Under Fire by Lynn H. Blackburn

The Vanishing at Castle Moreau by Jaime Jo Wright

The Weight of Air by Kimberly Duffy

Windswept Way by Irene Hannon

The Words We Lost by Nicole Deese

Top 10 Tuesday — Winter TBR List

13 Dec

Happy Tuesday! Today bloggers are revealing their Winter TBR Lists. Mine as usual is a mix of hopes and dreams — I hope I get to them all and I dream of whittling down the pile. 😉 My list includes book club choices, books for review, and just-because-I-want-to-read-them books. I hope you find one to include on your list!

For more bloggers’ TBR lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books on My Winter TBR List

The Brilliance of Stars by J’Nell Ciesielski

The Cairo Curse by Pepper Basham

Cold Light of Day by Elizabeth Goddard

Critical Threat by Lynette Eason

Daughter of Eden by Jill Eileen Smith

Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin

Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd

Honor Bound by Hallee Bridgeman

A Quilt for Christmas by Melody Carlson

Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barrat

December Book Club Pick/First Line Friday — The Mistletoe Countess

2 Dec

Happy first Friday in December! Wow, where did the year go? I am so behind on my Christmas prep partly due to having my 3 year old granddaughter with us for 2 weeks. We are half way through the visit, and I know why God designed people to have their children young. LOL. I’m old and she doesn’t nap — interesting combo. 😉 But seriously, I wouldn’t trade this time of endless pleas of Oma, read me a book, painting projects, and baking forays. This time has been a real Christmas treat.

Because of the busyness of this week, I am combining two posts — BTB’s December book club pick and First Line Friday. My book club tries to read a Christmas book every December and we chose a historical romance, The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham. If you have read it, we would love to know your thoughts.

Here’s the first line:

Gracelynn Ferguson gripped the Model T’s window frame and leaned forward, breath caught in a suppressed gasp.

Will the magic of Christmas bring these two newlyweds closer together, or will the ghosts of the past lead them into a destructive discovery from which not even a Dickens’s Christmas can save them?

Mistletoe is beautiful and dangerous, much like the woman from Lord Frederick’s Percy’s past, so when he turns over a new leaf and arranges to marry for his estate, instead of his heart, he never expects the wrong bride to be the right choice. Gracelynn Ferguson never expected to take her elder sister’s place as a Christmas bride, but when she’s thrust into the choice, she will trust in her faithful novels and overactive imagination to help her not only win Frederick’s heart but also to solve the murder mystery of Havensbrook Hall before the ghosts from Frederick’s past ruin her fairytale future.