Book Review: ‘Under Scottish Stars’ (The MacDonald Family Trilogy) by Carla Laureano

About The Book:

Recently widowed Serena MacDonald Stewart focuses on her children to the exclusion of her career, her art, and her sanity. When her brothers ask her to oversee the family guest house on the Isle of Skye, it’s a chance to dust off her long-ignored business skills and make a new start. But her hopes for a smooth transition are dashed when the hotel manager, Malcolm Blake, turns out to be irritating, condescending . . . and incredibly attractive.

Malcolm Blake gave up everything—his home, his girlfriend, and his career—to return to Skye and raise his late sister’s teenage daughter. With few job opportunities available on the island, he signs on as the manager of the MacDonald family hotel, which he’s soon running successfully without interference from the owners. That is, until Serena shows up, challenging his authority and his conviction that there’s nothing missing from his new life on Skye.

Before long, Serena and Malcolm have to admit the spark between them is more than mere irritation. But as single parents, there’s more on the line than their own hearts. Will their commitment to family be the thing that draws them together or the only thing that could keep them apart?

About Carla Laureano

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Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Connect with Carla online at her website (www.carlalaureano.com) or on any of these social media platforms:

Facebook.com/CarlaLaureanoAuthor
Twitter.com/carlalaureano
Instagram.com/carlalaureanoauthor
Pinterest.com/laureano_carla

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘Faith was an easy thing to talk about but hard to hold on to. And even harder to regain once you let it slip through your fingers.’

I have been waiting for this book for FOUR long years! When I read the first book in Laureano’s ‘MacDonald Family Trilogy’, James’s story, I knew in my heart that Serena had a story to tell. Her character just pulled at my heart. Then I read ‘London Tides’, second in the series, and discovered that the author had changed publishers and the third book would be delayed. So I read the first book again and then the second again. I was so ready for this book and I was not disappointed.

Serena comes back to the island of Skye in Scotland to help out at her family’s hotel and pretty soon clashes with the manager, Malcolm. He is not exactly on Skye by choice, but is doing a wonderful job running the hotel. He doesn’t need Serena butting in telling him what to do. And she certainly doesn’t need him.

It felt so very good to just read the first sentence of this book, then settle down deep into it. Waiting so long for this book to be published just made me long for it more and the pleasure of it that more intense. Laureano is a wonderful writer, able to dig deep into her characters’ emotions and pull together a totally satisfying read that sticks with the reader long after the last word is read. I highly recommend this novel.

*My thanks to Tyndale House Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion expressed here is entirely my own.

Publisher: Tyndale House
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Length: 365 pages

Book Review: ‘The Peasant’s Dream’ by Melanie Dickerson

About The Book:

In this reverse Cinderella story, a poor farmer’s son, who dreams of using his talent as a woodcarver to make a better life for himself, falls in love with a duke’s daughter and must fight for a chance to win her heart.

Adela is the youngest daughter of Duke Wilhelm of Hagenheim and is never allowed outside of the castle walls. She loves her family, but she sneaks away one day to the market in the town center. There she meets a handsome young man and wonders what it might be like to fall in love with a poor farmer with a kind heart instead of marrying the man her family is suggesting for her.

Frederick earns the income for his family and defends his mother from his father’s drunken rages. He also uses his talent and creativity to carve figures, animals, and scenes into wood, and he’s asked to carve these scenes into cathedral doors when his talent is noticed. Frederick is inspired by the sweet and beautiful Adela, but he has no knowledge of her true identity. When he gets swept up into a plan to kidnap the duke’s daughter, both are shaken by what they learn about the other.

With the heartbroken Adela resigned to an arranged marriage with her noble suitor, Frederick must decide what he’s willing to risk for love.

About Melanie Dickerson:

Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time Christy Award finalist, two-time Maggie Award winner, Carol Award winner, two-time winner of the Christian Retailing’s Best award, and her book, The Healer’s Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher in Georgia, Tennessee, and Ukraine.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘Frederick, God is your Father, and in His yes, you are legitimate.’

I love fairy tales. I loved them as a child and love them still as an adult. Melanie Dickerson takes fairy tales and changes them up a bit into wonderful inspirational stories. This one is a reverse Cinderella and is beautifully told. Recommended.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Net Galley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishing
Publication Date: July 7,2020
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 320 pages

Book Review: ‘Guarded By The Soldier’ by Laura Scott

About The Book:

He’ll put his life on the line…

If it means protecting a little boy and his pregnant mom.

After months of searching, security expert Ryker Tillman finally finds Olivia Habush and her young son—just as they are attacked by armed mercenaries. Now safeguarding Olivia, her unborn child and little Aaron is the former special ops soldier’s new mission. But to save the family burrowing into his heart, Ryker must figure out why someone wants them dead…

About Laura Scott

My name is Laura Scott and I’m a registered nurse by day and an author by night. I have written 50 books for Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense as well as two indie series – Crystal Lake and The McNallys. I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my husband of 33 years. I hope you enjoy my books as much as I love writing them!

My Rating: 4 stars!

I love suspense and Laura Scott dishes out a lot in this story. A pregnant woman with a toddler running from a group bent on ending her life, throw in an ex soldier intent on keeping her safe and you have a fast paced, action fueled story. Nicely done.

*My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion here is my own.

Publisher: Love Inspired
Publication Date: July 1, 2020
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Length: 224 pages.

Book Review: ‘An Appalachian Summer’ by Ann H. Gabhart

About The Book:

In 1933 Louisville, Kentucky, even the ongoing economic depression cannot keep Piper Danson’s parents from insisting on a debut party. After all, their fortune came through the market crash intact, and they’ve picked out the perfect suitor for their daughter. Braxton Crandall can give her the kind of life she’s used to. The only problem? This is not the man–or the life–she really wants.

When Piper gets the opportunity to volunteer as a horseback Frontier Nursing courier in the Appalachian Mountains for the summer, she jumps at the chance to be something other than a dutiful daughter or a kept wife in a loveless marriage. The work is taxing, the scenery jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the people she meets along the way open up a whole new world to her. The longer she stays, the more an advantageous marriage slips from her grasp. But something much more precious–true love–is drawing ever closer.

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites you into the storied hills of Eastern Kentucky to discover what happens when one intrepid young woman steps away from the restrictive past into a beautiful, wide-open future.

About Ann H. Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. An award winning author, she’s published many books for both adults and young adults. Her books cover several genres from historical to small town family stories to cozy mysteries (mysteries published with author name A.H. Gabhart). Her ideas are sparked by events in Kentucky history and by experiences in her own family. Her first Shaker novel, The Outsider, was a finalist for the ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year. Love Comes Home won the Selah Book of the Year award, and These Healing Hills was the Faith, Hope & Love Readers’ Choice Women’s Fiction Book of the Year.

Ann lives on a Kentucky farm not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann enjoys hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. See more about her books at http://www.annhgabhart.com or join the conversation on her Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/anngabhart.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

I fell in love with this book! Ann Gabhart takes us to the Appalachian area of Kentucky as she tells us about Mary Breckenridge and the Frontier Nursing Service. I was so captivated that I did some research of my own. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about it, how the nurses lived, the people they treated, and especially how they respected those residents of the Appalachian area. A compelling story indeed. She sets a fictionalized set of characters in the midst of this story and it is absolutely completely interesting! Endearing and totally worth the read. Recommended.

*My thanks to Revell Publishing for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions in this review are my own.

Publisher: Revell Publishing
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Genre: Inspirational Historical
Length: 371 pages
Buy link:https://amzn.to/2NIADIO

Book Review: ‘Don’t Keep Silent’ (Uncommon Justice 3) by Elizabeth Goddard

About The Book

Investigative reporter Rae Burke will do anything to find her missing sister-in-law, even if it means facing Liam McKade, a man who almost lost his life saving hers. A former DEA agent, Liam thought he could find peace at his Wyoming ranch, but he just doesn’t feel at home anywhere anymore. When the reporter who blew his cover on an important investigation inserts herself back into his life, he’s less than thrilled. But Rae’s keen investigative skills have led her down the right path–and directly into the dragon’s mouth–leaving Liam no choice but to protect her. As the danger increases, the past they both tried to flee catches up to them, along with the feelings they once had for each other.

Bestselling and award-winning author Elizabeth Goddard plunges you into a fast-paced, high-stakes story of honor, forgiveness, and justice.

About Elizabeth Goddard
With over one million books sold, Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of over forty romance novels and counting, including the romantic mystery, THE CAMERA NEVER LIES–a 2011 Carol Award winner. Four of her six Mountain Cove books have been contest finalists. Buried, Backfire and Deception are finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, and Submerged is a Carol Award finalist. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time.


To get book news sign up for her newsletter at her website: http://elizabethgoddard.com
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You can connect with Elizabeth on Facebook: http://facebook.com/elizabethgoddardauthor
or Twitter: http://twitter.com/bethgoddard
My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘If no one ever held his heart, then he’d never have his chest ripped open and his heart pulled out and cut to pieces.’

Elizabeth Goddard brings her Uncommon Justice series to a close with the last McKade brother’s story. Liam McKade is a former DEA agent who nearly lost his life keeping investigative reporter Rae Burke safe and alive. Now he is back at his family’s ranch and she shows up in town trying to find her missing sister in law.

I have been looking forward to this book and Goddard’s suspense doesn’t let up for a minute. The suspense continues throughout and I absolutely could not put it down nor discover the culprit! Goddard throws a few surprises in to keep the reader on tender hooks, too. Well written, great characters and unrelenting suspense make for a great reading time. Don’t Keep Silent is the perfect finale to this great series.

‘God, what path do I take?’

*My thanks to Revell Publishers for a copy of this book. The opinions here are entirely my own.

Publisher: Revell Publishing
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Length: 373 pages
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Buy Links: https://buff.ly3dzyKmJ

Book Review: ‘The Crushing Depths’ (Coastal Guardians 2) by Dani Pettrey

About The Book:

When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker on the first drilling platform off the North Carolina coast, Coast Guard investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are sent to take the case. Tensions surrounding the oil rig are high and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the structure from being completed, while rumors are being whispered about ancient curses surrounding this part of the ocean.

Mounting evidence shows the death may not have been an accident at all. Was he killed by one of the activists or, perhaps more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only a plethora of suspects, but also their own past and attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems like it’ll break open, worse news arrives. A tropical storm has turned their way and soon they’re cut off from any rescue–and right where the killer wants them. It’s a race to discover his identity before he eliminates the threat they pose.

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than a half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and spent multiple months topping the CBA bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award finalist, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award.

From her early years eagerly reading Nancy Drew mysteries, to paging through Agatha Christie novels or watching on-the-edge-of-her-seat adventure movies, Dani has always enjoyed mystery and suspense. She considers herself blessed to be able to write the kind of stories she loves–full of plot twists and peril, love, and longing for hope and redemption. Her greatest joy as an author is sharing the stories God lays on her heart. She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland. For more information about her novels, visit http://www.danipettrey.com.
My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘She wouldn’t let fear stop her.’

I’ve been reading Dani Pettrey a long time and she definitely knows how to write suspense. This is her second in her Coastal Guardians series and it is just fascinating! I love the dynamics of the CGIS team and those very dynamics have me eager to read more about each team member in the future. This one mainly features Mason and Rissi and I just loved the preciousness of Mason’s love for Rissi.

Danger and suspense are Pettrey’s trademark and she does both so well, regularly adding more layers into the mix, leaving her readers’ attention captured at the beginning and held tight until the end. Very, very suspenseful and captivating. Well done!

*My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions stated in this review are entirely my own.

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date” June 30, 2020
Pages: 371
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Buy link: https://amzn.to/2BW1p7e

Book Review: ‘A Bride of Convenience’ (The Bride Ships, #3) by Jody Hedlund

About The Book:

Upon discovering an abandoned baby, Pastor Abe Merivale joins efforts with Zoe Hart, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Abe offers his hand as Zoe’s groom. But after a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.

About Jody Hedlund:

Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Jody Hedlund brings us the third book in her Bride Ships series and it’s so very good. One thing I enjoy about her writing is that she does wonderful historical research and it often spurs me on to do some research myself!

In this book, Pastor Abraham Merivale is on the island awaiting the time when he can send for his fiancé back in England to come and marry him. He misses her so much and watching the brides coming off the bride ships makes him miss her even more. In about a week, he unexpectedly finds himself married to one of those brides, not really even sure how it happened. An infant is left in their care when the widowed father of the babe dies and now he has a wife and a baby! And a fiancé in England.

Hedlund handles this situation so well, as she is wont to do in her books. Zoe doesn’t know what is expected of her and Abe doesn’t know what is expected of him. Zoe just wants to find her brother, who came to the island a few years earlier when he was angry with her. Then there is the danger of one man who seeks Zoe with the intent of destroying both her, her brother and Abe. I was captivated throughout the book as I watched everything unfold. The spiritual them is strong here and one that is relevant today for every believer. Sometimes out own plans are not what God plans. I loved every minute. Recommended.

*My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Genre: Inspirational historical romance
Length: 384 pages

Book Review: ‘Start With Me’ by Kara Isaac

About The Book:

Lacey O’Connor is finally a sure thing for the promotion she’s spent ten years working for. But when a scandal rocks her firm she finds herself on a collision course with the one person she has spent five years trying to forget. Only to discover he doesn’t even remember her…

Victor Carlisle has spent the last three years trying to convince his family he’s no longer the playboy alcoholic who tore their life apart. When a company merger is announced with a US sister firm, he’s presented with the perfect opportunity to prove he’s changed. Only to find himself falling for his competition and the one woman his family will never accept.

As the competition intensifies the choice looms between the professional and the personal. Can they find a way beyond their past decisions and present aspirations to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?

About Kara Isaac

Kara Isaac lives in Wellington, New Zealand. When she’s not chasing three hobbit-sized little people, she spends her time writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in New Zealand. She is the author of the RITA Award-winning Then There Was You, along with four other contemporary romances. She loves to connect with readers on GoodReads, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and through her website.

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘Living life only for himself had turned him into someone he didn’t like and hurt everyone he loved.’

It’s been a while since we’ve had a new Kara Isaac book to read and it felt SO good to bury myself in one again! I remember when I read her first book and realized I wanted to be a forever fan. My opinion has only solidified further with each book she writes.

‘How much stupid did she have to deal with before the sun had even gotten above the trees?’

Lacey O’Connor is banking on the promotion she’s spent a decade striving for when the company goes through some huge changes. Then she walks in her office and sees the one man she has never forgotten on her office sofa. He made a big impression on her five years ago; now he has no memory of her at all. Talk about hurt. Victor Carlisle isn’t trying to be forgetful, but he’s spend most of his life as a playboy alcoholic and has hurt nearly everyone he’s come in contact with. Now, with a company merger in the making, he finds himself in competition with Lacey for a promotion.

Of course, there’s much more at play here than this, but the way Isaac brings everything together is nothing short of absolute amazement. She delves into the emotions of these two people so deeply that I was stunned at their feelings. Truly. When I start reading one of her books, I just can barely bring myself to stop for necessary things. I stayed up well into the wee hours to finish this one and still the characters are deep in my heart.

Isaac probes well beneath the surface of all parts of these characters’ lives to bring to light things that have been hidden by each for their entire lives. Then they are there: laid out before them and waiting for a solution. I was completely captivated the entire time it took me to read this book. Seriously captivated. I was cheering for them, crying with them, and loving them, too. The spiritual aspect is quite good here: we see the wonderful mercies, grace and redemption of God. As well as His forgiveness. It brings to mind the verse that tells us all things work together for good to them that love the Lord. It doesn’t say there won’t be mountains to climb and many hurts to deal with. I loved this book so much. I already want another. Kara Isaac is a forever favorite of mine and always will be. And let me tell you this: the woman can write a pulse pounding, unforgettable ending! I have went back and reread her endings on previous books many times. I highly recommend this book.


*My thanks to the author and publisher for a copy of this book. The opinion stated in this review is expressly my own.

Publisher: Bellbird Press
Publication Date: June 29, 2020
Length: 285 pages

Book Review: ‘Love’s Mountain Quest’ (Hearts of Montana, Book 2) by Misty Beller

About The Book:

After her son goes missing, Joanna Watson enlists Isaac Bowen—a man she prays has enough experience in the rugged country—to help. As they press on against the elements, they find encouragement in the tentative trust that grows between them, but whether it can withstand the danger and coming confrontation is far from certain in this wild, unpredictable land.

Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Publisher: Bethany House
Genre: Historical Inspirational
Pages: 285

About Misty Beller

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love. For a limited time, you can get a free bestselling novel here: https://mistymbeller.com/freebook

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family—both immediate and extended—is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream.

Learn more at www.MistyMBeller.com.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

‘She struggled to believe the Almighty heard her tiny cry.’

When Joanna Watson, a young widow, needs Isaac Bowen’s help to rescue her kidnapped son and friend, she finds she must also guard her heard from this quiet, strong man. Isaac just wants to live a quiet life after being delivered from a despicable past. But he is finding it very difficult to stay unaffected by the young widow.

‘He’d long ago stopped letting his past rise up to haunt him.’

Misty Beller takes us along on a dangerous trek through the mountains of Montana as Joanna and Isaac follow the kidnappers, men who form a dangerous and deadly gang. We also get glimpses into the outlaws’ camp as they terrorize the young son of Joanna and her friend. We feel every emotion as things go from bad to worse, with both hoping and praying for God’s protection and deliverance.

Both journeys are harrowing but these folks are relying on God at every turn to see them through. Beller’s writing just keeps getting better and better and I never miss a new release.

‘She struggled to believe the Almighty heard her tiny cry.’

When Joanna Watson, a young widow, needs Isaac Bowen’s help to rescue her kidnapped son and friend, she finds she must also guard her heard from this quiet, strong man. Isaac just wants to live a quiet life after being delivered from a despicable past. But he is finding it very difficult to stay unaffected by the young widow.

‘He’d long ago stopped letting his past rise up to haunt him.’

Misty Beller takes us along on a dangerous trek through the mountains of Montana as Joanna and Isaac follow the kidnappers, men who form a dangerous and deadly gang. We also get glimpses into the outlaws’ camp as they terrorize the young son of Joanna and her friend. We feel every emotion as things go from bad to worse, with both hoping and praying for God’s protection and deliverance.

Both journeys are harrowing but these folks are relying on God at every turn to see them through. Beller’s writing just keeps getting better and better and I never miss a new release.

*My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.

Book Review: ‘The Artist’s Healer’ by Regina Scott

About the Book:

Grace-by-the-Sea: Where romance and adventure come home.

Spunky artist and entrepreneur Abigail Archer is determined to see her friend, Jesslyn Denby, restored as director of the spa at Grace-by-the-Sea, even if that means ousting the news physician who took her place. A shame she was recently injured and requires him to dance attendance on her. But if he thinks she’ll meekly accept his orders, he’d better think again!

Doctor Linus Bennett came to the little coastal village with his young son to escape a troubled past. He’s not about to lose his post to some crusader, but the pretty painter awakens feelings he’d thought long buried. When it appears the French are about to invade, Abigail and Linus must work together to save the village. In doing so, the doctor may just find that falling in love with the outspoken Abigail is the best prescription to heal his wounded heart.

Grace-by-the-Sea: Where romance and adventure come home.

Spunky artist and entrepreneur Abigail Archer is determined to see her friend, Jesslyn Denby, restored as director of the spa at Grace-by-the-Sea, even if that means ousting the news physician who took her place. A shame she was recently injured and requires him to dance attendance on her. But if he thinks she’ll meekly accept his orders, he’d better think again!

Doctor Linus Bennett came to the little coastal village with his young son to escape a troubled past. He’s not about to lose his post to some crusader, but the pretty painter awakens feelings he’d thought long buried. When it appears the French are about to invade, Abigail and Linus must work together to save the village. In doing so, the doctor may just find that falling in love with the outspoken Abigail is the best prescription to heal his wounded heart.

This sweet, clean Regency is the sequel to The Heiress’s Convenient Husband.

How about a bit of an excerpt?

Here’s a taste:
Abigail took particular pleasure from the look on Doctor Bennett’s face when he came to bring Ethan and check on her the next morning. As his son went to the dining room where her mother had hot chocolate waiting, the doctor stopped in the middle of the sitting room and narrowed his eyes at her.

“I distinctly recall saying we might consider you getting out of bed,” he said.

Abigail rose from the sofa, her burgundy-colored skirts falling about her feet. It had taken an hour of practice that had left her sweating, but she could stand without putting either hand on the seat to help her. “I did consider it, and then I attempted it, and you can see for yourself that I am fine.”

His gaze swept over her, as if he was examining every inch of her, and her cheeks heated.

“Your color is too high,” he said, bringing his gaze to meet hers. “You obviously overexerted yourself.”

Abigail shook her head. “Have you ever considered that my color has less to do with my health and more to do with your infuriating suggestions?”

He frowned. “I suppose that’s possible. And how am I to examine your arm now that you’re clothed?”

“Ha!” She twisted to show him the white satin lacing on the long full sleeves. “Eva Howland let me borrow the gown. You have only to untie the ribbons, and the fabric will fall aside.”

He looked skeptical, but he dropped his bag on the sofa and began loosening the ribbon to run it back through the embroidery-edged holes.

Abigail glanced toward the dining room. Her mother was sitting calmly, sipping at her cup and nodding to something Ethan was saying. She had explained the function of the gown to her mother, but surely the woman had some opinion on the fact that her daughter was being partially undressed less than twenty feet away.

Doctor Bennett, thankfully, seemed more fascinated by the gown than what was inside. “Ingenious,” he allowed as the bandage came into view. “I’ll have to suggest this to the next lady I treat who has had the misfortune to be shot in the arm.”

Was he teasing her? Abigail turned her head to watch him. He was busy unwrapping the bandage, large hands quick but gentle. The scent of mint caught her nose. His cologne, perhaps? Or the soap he used?

“Any pain?” he asked.

Abigail gathered her wits. “None. I haven’t used the laudanum either. And I ate an entire bowl of stew with no nausea. I’m ready to go about my day.”

“Not until the stitches have been removed,” he said, gaze on her wound.

“So, remove them.”

He turned to retrieve the new bandage. “In another ten days.”

“Ten days!” Abigail stared at him. “Jesslyn Chance walks down the aisle in four. Nothing will keep me from her side.”

Regina Scott started writing novels in the third grade. Thankfully for literature as we know it, she didn’t actually sell her first novel until she had learned a bit more about writing such as vocabulary, sentence structure, and plot. After numerous short stories and articles in magazines and trade journals, she got serious about her novel writing. The Unflappable Miss Fairchild was her first novel to be published (March 1998).

Besides her novels, Regina Scott has had published three Regency novellas (“The June Bride Conspiracy” in His Blushing Bride, “Sweeter Than Candy” in A Match for Mother, and “A Place by the Fire” in Mistletoe Kittens). Two of her novels, A Dangerous Dalliance and The Twelve Days of Christmas, have been translated into German. A Dangerous Dalliance and The Incomparable Miss Compton have been translated into Italian. Starstruck and Perfection have been translated into Dutch.

Regina Scott and her husband are the parents of two sons. They reside in the Tri-Cities of southeast Washington State and are members of the Church of the Nazarene. Born in 1959 and raised in the Seattle area, Regina Scott is a graduate of the University of Washington. She comes by her writing talent naturally–both her parents are excellent writers in their vocations as teacher and electrical technician. Her mother envisioned the plot for “Sweeter Than Candy,” the novella which was written as a tribute to her.

Regina Scott is a devout Christian and a decent fencer; owns a historical, fantasy, and science fiction costume collection that currently takes up over a third of her large closet; and has been known to impersonate an independent consultant specializing in risk communication.

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Once more Regina Scott takes us back to that delightful village of Grace-by-the-Sea in this third offering in her series. This time we get the story of the village’s new doctor and a wonderful shopkeeper. And we get to spend time with all the other wonderful and quirky characters in that village. How I love spending time here. These folks have earned a place in my heart. I can’t wait already for book four! I absolutely love Regina Scott’s books so much!

*My thanks to the author for a copy of this book. The opinion here is my own.

Publisher: Edwards and Williams
Publication Date: June 29, 2020
Genre: Regency
Length: 175 pages