Forced to sell her bed-and-breakfast, Piper Connelly’s happy to stay on as manager—until the pregnant widow discovers her former high school sweetheart is the buyer. While Max Evans has changed from the boy who once broke her heart, Piper’s not so sure about working with him. But what if the perfect home for Piper and her baby is right here with Max?
This was my first time reading a Gabrielle Meyer book and I just loved it. A wonderful story of how God gives second chances, how we shouldn’t let our past hurts determine whether we will step out in faith in the future. This thread really ministered to me in a situation. Truly it did. This is just a precious, precious story and I was great moved by it.
My thanks to the author and publisher for a copy of this book. I was not compensated in any way and the opinion in this review is entirely my own.
Publisher: Love Inspired Publication Date: January 26, 2021
A story of second chances and secrets, this mysterious Regency romance will transport you to 19th-century England as one young lady reunites with her childhood love to find his missing sister.
Her friend is missing.
After five years abroad, Charity Halliwell finally returns to Loxby Manor, the home of dear friends—and her lost love. No longer a young girl, she is now haunted by a painful secret and the demise of her dreams. Instead of the healing and happiness she hopes to find, she encounters a darkness lurking in the shadows of the once-familiar house. When her friend, Seline, disappears the very night of her arrival, Charity is determined to uncover the truth.
Her only hope is the man who broke her heart.
Branded a coward, Piers Cavanaugh has lived the last five years as an outcast far from his family home. When his sister presumably elopes with a stable hand, Piers joins forces with an unlikely partner—the one woman he thought he’d never see again. Together they launch an investigation that leads to strange nightly meetings in the ruins of an old abbey and disturbing whispers of a secret organization. The more they learn, the more desperate the situation becomes.
The house seems determined to keep its secrets.
As they struggle to piece together the clues, Charity and Piers also endeavor to rebuild their friendship. One cryptic letter changed everything between them. To find happiness they will have to overcome the grief and shame keeping them apart. But first they must discover why Seline vanished and confront the growing fear that she may never return.
Settle in, because once you start The Vanishing at Loxby Manor, you won’t be able to put it down.
About Abigail Wilson
Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children.
Charity Halliwell has come home after five years spent abroad to stay at Loxby Manor, family seat of an old love, who spurned her all those years ago. Her good friend Seline, goes missing unexplainably and Charity knows that something is incredibly wrong. Then Piers Cavanaugh returns home to Loxby, he who spurned her. He has been an outcast from society. Piers and Charity must together try and find out what has happened to Seline and not the story that has been bandied about.
I loved Abigail Wilson’s last book, Masquerade at Middlecrest Manor. It was extremely well done and a wonderful Regency. This one is also quite good. I was so caught up in it and the mysterious goings on that I never had one inkling of the culprit. Highly 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 and I received no compensation.
Rejected by the man she loved, quick-witted bluestocking Rosemary Denby is determined to win the position of governess to the temperamental Lady Miranda, daughter of the Earl of Howland. Surely helping another young lady find the joy in learning is just what she needs to regain her confidence.
Drake, Earl of Howland, is struggling to find his footing as a widowed father, new earl, and suddenly penniless owner of the castle near the cozy spa village of Grace-by-the-Sea. But the new governess has him even more off balance. He loved once and saw his wife die in childbirth. The more he learns about Rosemary, the more he begins to wonder whether he can open his heart again. As danger once more draws closer to the castle on the headland, he and Rosemary must work together to keep the village and his daughter safe. Could his bluestocking governess be the one to teach him a lesson, in love?
If you love sweet, witty Regency romances with a touch of adventure, then you’ll love The Governess’s Earl, the fourth book in Regina Scott’s Grace-by-the-Sea series, where romance and adventure come home.
“Oh, hooray! Another adventure series by Regina Scott.” Among the Reads Review Blog
Continue the adventure today.
I love a good Regency and Regina Scott does one well. Her Grace-By-The-Sea series is very interesting! I have grown so fond of the inhabitants of this little village. This fourth book in the series finds the penniless Earl of Howland now installed in his family’s castle in the vicinity of the village. He hires Rosemary Denby as governess to his precocious daughter Miranda and soon finds himself drawn to her.
There is also adventure here as the inhabitants are on the look out for French invaders trying to land on their soil. This is a clean and sweet read that will please Regency fans.
I was given a copy of this book by the author. I received no compensation and the opinion in this review is entirely my own.
Publisher: Edwards and Williams Publication Date: January 25, 2021 Length: 182 pages
‘She wouldn’t cry. She was done with tears…..with the fortitude of fragile glass.’
Savannah Sanderson promises her late husband that she will go to her 20th year high school reunion, which is the absolute last thing she wants to do. She finds a hiding spot behind a fern and that’s where she plans to stay until the night is over. Then another classmate, Michael McCann, spots her and drags her out. He’s changed his life completely since high school, too. He and Savannah decide to visit some old favorite spots from their high school years and soon their adventure turns into an emotional journey they are not sure they can navigate past.
Well written, poignantly told, this debut novel from Melony Teague will touch your heart and have you cheering for these two. Watching them reconnect after 20 years and seeing their hearts shine is something you don’t want to miss. Don’t miss this one, folks. Recommended.
*My thanks to the publisher and author for a preview copy of this book. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
Country music superstar Lane McCay left his hometown of Bluff Creek for the bright lights of the big city and the lure of fame and fortune. For the past several years he’s lived the life he always dreamed of by sitting at the top of the country music charts, touring the country relentlessly and casually dating any pretty face that came along. With the end of five year contract with his record label looming on the horizon, a string of meaningless relationships and a label executive bent on making his life miserable, he begins to wonder if there is more to life than what he’s achieved. By chance he meets Melanie Michaels, a rising Contemporary Christian recording artist and no matter how many times he tells himself she is not his type, he can’t get the attractive singer off his mind. Despite opposition from almost everyone around them, Lane and Melanie begin a relationship. While trying to keep their relationship away from the scrutiny of the public eye, Lane finds himself developing feelings he had promised himself he would never allow himself to feel again. And while Melanie finds herself falling for Lane, she is disturbed by his complete avoidance of anything related to her faith in God, a faith that she depends on to guide her life. Feeling pressures from not only their respective labels, but friends and family as well, Melanie and Lane struggle to stay together. But as threats are made, and Melanie struggles with Lane’s lack of faith, they reach a breaking point that sends both of them into a tailspin. As they struggle with getting on with their lives, Lane comes face to face with issues from his past. Unable to deal with the unexpected turn of events Lane slips into old patterns of destructive behavior, while Melanie battles against the court of public opinion to get her career back on track. Each of them are pushed to a limit where they must decide if they will try to bend life to their own wills or are be willing to trust the unknowns of life to an all knowing God, no matter what that may bring their way.
‘It takes a lot more strength to forgive than it ever did to hold onto all that anger.’
This is a wonderful story of hard choices, unforgiveness, bitterness of the past. It is also a story of God’s grace pouring into those devastating circumstances and proving He is who He says He is. Also the importance of not being unequally yoked. I enjoyed this one from Amanda Mason. Recommended.
Cole Barrett, former Army Ranger, has a new mission objective. Sell his grandfather’s house and put Deep Haven in his rearview mirror as fast as possible. Deep Haven holds the hurts of physical abuse at the hands of his grandfather, a man now in a memory care facility with dementia. Recently divorced, single, and unattached, Cole just wants a new life as a US Marshal. One where he can forget the past and start new.
Unfortunately, there’s a tenant in the garage apartment who’s refusing to move. Even worse? It’s his childhood crush, Megan Carter, and her son.
She’s waited years for her first love to return.
Wedding planner and single mom Megan Carter is no stranger to Deep Haven. To her, it’s the place where she makes dreams come true—at least, everyone else’s. Her big dream is to purchase the Black Spruce Bed & Breakfast to turn it into a premier event venue and, if she can stay booked for enough weddings over winter, she’ll have enough money to buy the inn, move out of Grandpa Barrett’s garage apartment, and finally give her nine-year-old son, Josh, the life he deserves. After using part of her intended down payment to cover his hockey fees, she’s behind on her Black Spruce funds and only has thirty days to come up with four thousand dollars.
Still, she’s oh, so close…until her childhood friend-slash-crush, Cole Barrett, returns to Deep Haven. Unfortunately, he’s not back to fulfill a silly childhood promise to marry her, but she never expected him to evict her! The last thing she needs is more expenses. Or for another man to walk into her heart…and break it.
Maybe it’s never to late to finish a love story…
When a blizzard strikes Deep Haven, and Megan is overrun with wedding catastrophes, it takes a former Ranger to step in and help. But the more he comes to her rescue, the sooner she’ll be able to move out…and he can move on.
And that’s what they both want, right?
Return to Deep Haven with this magical tale about the one who got away…and came back.
Rachel D. Russell is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and My Book Therapy’s Novel Academy, and is a regular contributor to the Learn How to Write a Novel blog. The mother of two teenagers, she often interrogates her husband on his own military and law enforcement experience to craft believable heroes in uniform. The rest of her time is spent cantering her horse down the Oregon trails. Visit Rachel at http://www.racheldrussell.com.
‘God didn’t have any kind of happy ending for someone like Cole.’
One thing I look for and know will make a book really speak to me is when I can ‘connect’ with the characters. When I can really get a feel for them and they seem real to me. This book certainly ticked that box! The characters really came alive in my mind from the first page, which certainly bodes well in a debut novel. The book was well written with truly believable characters, a plot that was completely interesting. Both of the main protagonists had issues that made them seem even more real as well. I can’t say how much I love digging down into a book when this happens early on. I was all in from the first paragraph.
Rachel D. Russell is now on my future radar whose books I want to read. Set in Deep Haven, MN, the small town everyone wants to visit, if not live in, it was wonderful to see characters again I had not ‘seen’ in years from Susan May Warren’s books. Reading this book was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and one that brought joy to my heart. There was also a wonderful spiritual lesson to learn here. Well done!
*My thanks to Sunrise Publishing for a copy of this book. I received no compensation. The opinion in this review is entirely my own
Neither wants to relive the past, but they need each other to face the future.
Connor Murphy lives by a code of honor and service. Dignified, duty-bound, and responsible, he’s spent the past eight years as a single enlisted airman, determined never to mess up another person’s life the way he did Sadie’s. As long as he follows orders, does his job well, and avoids romantic entanglements, he’ll do just fine. Of course, that last part was easier before Sadie rolled back into town.
Sadie Allen never intended to return to Sugar Pine—her hometown hosts too much regret—but she can’t face her health crisis alone. Not with a four-year-old depending on her. Even so, Connor Murphy’s proposal of a marriage of convenience wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. She can’t fault his reasoning—her prognosis is grim and her son could use a father—but her heart aches at the thought of a marriage without romance. Especially to the one man she’s never gotten over.
The day-to-day challenges of Sadie’s illness are enough to strain the strongest relationships, let alone one hastily conceived in the shadow of past mistakes. Will the pressure be too much for their marriage to withstand, or will they allow God to forge something beautiful through their pain?
Everything Behind Us, Book 21 in The Potter’s House Books Series (Two), is an uplifting and inspiring story of hope, redemption and second chances. It is also book three in Jennifer Rodewald’s Murphy Brother Stories (book One is Always You). Grab your copy and be encouraged today.
Murphy Brothers Stories:
Always You In Spite of Ourselves Everything Behind Us This Life (Coming in March 2021)
About Jennifer Rodewald
Jennifer Rodewald/J. Rodes lives on the wide plains somewhere near the middle of Nowhere. A coffee addict, pickleball enthusiast, and storyteller, she also wears the hats of mom, teacher, and friend. Mostly, she loves Jesus and wants to see others fall in love with Him too.
Jennifer Rodewald writes good books. I am a forever fan. She somehow manages to pull such depth of emotion from the characters in her books that it astounds me.
Here, in her Murphy Brothers, book three, we find Connor’s story. Along with Sadie, who has lived some pretty rough years. Now she is back in town, along with her four year old son and a devastating diagnosis.
Connor has prayed for Sadie for years and now feels a divine pull to marry her, even though neither loves the other. Watching this most honorable man, whose life is all about obedience to God, sacrifice what could be his entire life’s happiness, to marry a woman and give his life to take care of her and her son, was one of the most wonderful things ever. Connor Murphy’s heart is sacrificial and precious in the extreme to watch. And seeing how God rewards those who serve Him was incredibly moving. Well done! Highly recommended.
My thanks to the publisher and author for a digital copy of this book. I received no compensation and the opinion in this review is entirely my own.
But sometimes dirt an be hidden and you miss it. That happened to me recently. I sweep my kitchen just about every day. We have LVP flooring and the manufacturer recommends daily sweeping because little grains of dirt can scratch the floor when walked on. Since we had a kitchen renovation in February 2020, I try very hard to keep my floor swept often.
So, that day, when I cleaned my kitchen, I saved the floor for last as usual. I moved all the chairs and started sweeping. I was started at the amount of dirt I swept up! I just stood there, nearly in shock that I had allowed so much dirt on my floor! I had even noticed the dirt!
As I continued to look in disbelief at the mess on my floor, it struck me that this is how we sometimes allow hidden dirt into our spirits in our walk with Christ. It can creep in unawares and dirty up our relationship with the Lord just like that hidden dirt on my kitchen floor.
What are some ways that dirt (sin) can creep into our lives unawares? It’s happened to me and I’m pretty sure it’s happened to all believers at some point or another.
What about that person who cuts you off in traffic, eliciting a harsh word and anger at him or her? Then you let it ruin your day.
What about that book, TV show or movie you watched that had bad language and/or explicit scenes or nudity? This is a huge biggie with me. I am of the opinion that if God tells me in His Word not to use coarse language, I’m pretty sure He doesn’t want me to use it or derive entertainment from it. I refuge to watch OR read filthy language, vulgarity and explicit scenes. Ephesians 4:29 says: ‘Don’t use foul or abuse language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.’ And Psalm 101:3a tells us, ‘I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.’ Those verses show us God’s heart concerning these issues.
What about that gossip you listened to: Even if you refrained from actual gossip, if you listened, you share the guilt. James 1:26 says, ‘If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself and your religion is worthless.’ And also James 4:11 tells us, ‘Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters.’ And here’s a biggie from Proverbs 10:19:‘Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.’ One more from Proverbs 11: 13 says, ‘A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.’ There are a great many more verses involving the tongue. I think our mouths get us in more trouble than anything.’
What about that dirty joke you listened to a co-worker deliver:? Everyone laughed and you didn’t want to be the odd man out by refusing to join in, so you just stood there and listened. So by not speaking out against it, you effectively gave it your approval. More dirt.
How about the co-worker who has a dirty mouth and uses near constant foul language? If you refuse to say anything and just sit there and listen to it, you just got more dirt on your floor.
All of these situations can bring dirt into our walk with Christ. Sometimes they come in very slowly and begin to grow into something incredibly difficult to sweep away. Sometimes we boldly allow the dirt to creep in and willingly take part in these sins. Make no mistake: the enemy of our souls will use any means necessary to fool us and sneak in and bring his dirt with him.
Look at it this way: A mouse can squeeze through a hole in your house just one quarter of an inch big. They are breeding machines and can reproduce up to ten times a year, giving birth to up to fourteen babies in each litter. An infestation can happen in just weeks. So it is with our hidden dirt. If you don’t sweep often, you will have a huge mess that will damage your floor totally. So sweep up the mess!
Here are more verses on this subject. All scripture is taken from the NLT version of the Bible.
Psalm 51:7 “Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Psalm 51:10“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a loyal spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:2a‘Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.’
2 Corinthians 7:1‘ Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit.’
1 John 1:9 ‘But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Proverbs 18:21‘The tongue can bring life or death; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
1 Peter 3:10 ‘For the Scriptures say, if you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.’
Proverbs 4:23 ‘Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.’
Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in the Virginia colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family’s shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.
Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife, daughter of the Powhatan chief.
Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they’ve been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?
Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz takes you to the salty shores of seventeenth-century Virginia in this exploration of pride, honor, and the restorative power of true love.
I have been a fan of Laura Frantz since her very first book, The Frontiersman’s Daughter. I suspect that I will forever be a fan of her work. She has chosen her genre well because she writes a historical novel like no other. I get so caught up in her books that I lose all sense of time and find myself nearly an actual part of her stories.
‘Lord, wilt Thou not help?’
Frantz knows her history. Her research is incredibly impeccable; so much so, that I find myself anxious to do research into the time period myself, just to learn more! Her turns of phrase always leaves me wanting to know more and more. Her depictions of characters, even scenery are so moving, I picture walking along the same paths her characters walk. Reading a Laura Frantz book is not just a few hours’ worth of entertainment, but an unforgettable experience as she takes her readers on a journey through the wonderful and indeed, dangerous times in our nation’s history. Her books are to be read leisurely so they can be absorbed and cherished. For that is what they are to me. Cherished treasures for my keeper shelf. Highly recommended.
I received this book from Revell Publishers via Net Galley. I received no compensation and the opinion in this review is expressly my own.
From award-winning author Cathy Gohlke, whose novels have been called “haunting” (Library Journal on Saving Amelie) and “page-turning” (Francine Rivers on Secrets She Kept), comes a historical fiction story of courage and transformation set in rural Appalachia on the eve of WWII. When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin.
Slowly Lilliana finds revival and friendship in No Creek–with precocious eleven-year-old Celia Percy, with kindhearted Reverend Jesse Willard, and with Ruby Lynne Wishon, a young woman whose secrets could destroy both them and the town. When the plans for the library also incite the wrath of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple her before she’s learned to stand.
With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy. Change don’t.
I have long enjoyed Cathy Gohlke’s books and this one was no exception. She has written a compelling and powerful story here. Set in 1941, she deals with domestic abuse and racism in a small southern town with centuries old, long held beliefs about how things should be. Told from three different viewpoints, Gohlke brings each character to life in this story ina moving narrative. I would like to be able to say that I especially liked a few characters but they were all done so well, that I will most likely keep these folks in my mind for quite sometime. Well done!
My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. I received no compensation and the opinion here is entirely my own.