Dumb me. I didn't realize this was book 1 in a series where the entire story takes 3 books to tell. I don't like first person nor contemporary but I lDumb me. I didn't realize this was book 1 in a series where the entire story takes 3 books to tell. I don't like first person nor contemporary but I listened to the ENTIRE book hoping I was going to get an HEA at the end. Nope. You get the first part of an HEA and there are two books. Big sigh... I hope I learned my lesson. I don't usually read series where there is continuation from one to the next. If this had just been one book and had a HEA I'd have given it a five. This ends up being a women's fiction not a true romance although there is a romance in it. I hate to say I feel ripped off, but I do. So in my mind I'm making up my own HEA because I won't spend another 20+ hours listening to the next two audiobooks. It was well written. But I don't want to listen to two more to hear the final ending. I listened to this as an audible.com download....more
I haven't listened to the first two audiobooks in this series yet but after listening to this one, I think I'll get them.
Privileged heroine Jessica AI haven't listened to the first two audiobooks in this series yet but after listening to this one, I think I'll get them.
Privileged heroine Jessica Atherton may have lost her previous beau but she's got plenty suitors now. One is the rather insistent Harrison Gable, a lawyer who lays his attention on thick and a little too much. But Jessica is beginning to feel like she needs to get married and start a family, and Harrison obviously is interested in her.
Austin Todd, is also new to Jessica's Texas town. Previously a Secret Service agent, he's lost his entire family and is harboring some deep hurts. Although he's begun work as as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector he becomes involved in a dangerous case of forged gold certificates that involve Jessica's close friends.
Jessica has a huge character arc. At the beginning I was somewhat put off by her, because she was an anti-hero--spoiled, self-centered, and privileged. But she journeys on to correct her flaws, with God's help, and becomes a admirable young lady.
Will go back and listen to the first two series as the characters from the other stories are also mentioned in this book. You'll be rooting for Austin to win Jessica's heart. Will he?...more
Although the cover looks spooky, there's nothing eery about The Yuletide Angel--but she DOES go about with her charitable work dressed in black and thAlthough the cover looks spooky, there's nothing eery about The Yuletide Angel--but she DOES go about with her charitable work dressed in black and that house is a nice new one for the time period, which is 1890! Convicted that good works should be kept private, Violet goes to extremes!
Having lost her father, and previously her mother, Violet is left living with her brother who has now announced his engagement. This young lady, five years younger, will soon be moving into what has been their home. Sensing she will soon become unwanted in her own home, Violet (whose personality has been consistent with that of being a shy shrinking violet) sets out begin what she hopes will be a successful bakery business.
Meanwhile Hugh Barnes, a grocer whose home is across the street from Violet's has discovered who the town's mysterious Yuletide Angel is--and he's concerned for the young woman who does her merciful acts at night. Seeking to protect her, he follows her through the dark streets of their town.
Rejected by several other storekeepers, Violet approaches Hugh about placing her baked goods in his store. Their relationship grows and a sweet romance begins. But then an unwanted reminder of past hurts returns to affect them....more
I'm not a contemporary fan and rarely read them. But this was a great listen. Although not "biblically correct" it is still a sweet story about angelsI'm not a contemporary fan and rarely read them. But this was a great listen. Although not "biblically correct" it is still a sweet story about angels and their impact on some young West coast people in a Dickens' Christmas Carol parallel. Charming story and darling romance. I listened to this on audible.com...more
A collection of four very different novellas by four Seekerville authors.
"A Whisper of Hope" by Julie Lessman I love Julie Lessman's books and I rea A collection of four very different novellas by four Seekerville authors.
"A Whisper of Hope" by Julie Lessman I love Julie Lessman's books and I read her novella first. This is a story about Charity, set in Boston during the Great Depression and her desire to adopt a child after she begins volunteering at an unwed mother's home. But Mitch says absolutely no to a baby. Of course Charity takes his words literally and finds a way around his denial. Meanwhile her much older husband struggles with his fear that he is facing heart disease--a nice bibliotherapy element. I'd recommend that if you haven't read Julie's other novels in the Boston series that you do so first before you read the novella. At the minimum, read Charity and Mitch's novel.
"A Town Called Christmas" by Ruth Logan Herne I don't think I've read Ruth Logan Herne's books before but I LOVED this story and I will read more of her books. Since my grandfather was a first generation Brit who became a cowboy for a while, I was particularly intrigued by this story. LOVED the redemption of the sweet heroine. A tear jerker and absorbing story!
"Designs on Love," by Myra Johnson. This was SO good. Heart-breaking loss for a young seamstress is met by God's answer via a young rancher who has loved her since childhood. Powerful story and I had to keep reading until I was done.
"Sophie’s Other Daughter" by Mary Connealy Mary Coneally fans will not be disappointed. She delivers a western rancher story with an unexpected Christmas story involving criminals who must be corralled. ...more
This is a good book but fairly predictable. Set in my home state of Michigan, where pirates weren't a particularly big issue, it is interesting to reaThis is a good book but fairly predictable. Set in my home state of Michigan, where pirates weren't a particularly big issue, it is interesting to read a novel where Great Lakes pirates are included. Set primarily on Presque Isle at a lighthouse, the limited setting with mainly the hero and heroine restricts some of the scope of the story. I found myself getting irritated with the heroine for revealing information to a busybody that she should have kept to myself and at the hero for failing to reveal facts that he should have to Emma, the heroine. But I read to the end to find out if I was right about my suppositions and I was. Having a hero who you're unsure of, as to whether he is hero material or not was somewhat disconcerting in this historical romance. The author's love for lighthouses and interest shines through and there is a nice author's note at the end. I received a copy from NetGalley for my honest review. ...more
Isabella Brandt finally gets her chance to dance as principle ballerina, Clara, in The Nutcracker ballet. The war has been over for a year and her fiaIsabella Brandt finally gets her chance to dance as principle ballerina, Clara, in The Nutcracker ballet. The war has been over for a year and her fiancé presumed dead. Isabella is moving on with her life. Or is she? A handsome Hungarian violinist, Victor, makes her believe she can find love again. The two quickly "click" as soul mates. He's a thoughtful, intuitive man, especially where Isabella is concerned. When a startling event occurs, he is there steadfast as Isabella must make decisions about her future--a future that has changed. Heart warming with lovely characters and a compelling storyline. Highly recommend!...more
I listened to this book as an audible.com download.
Book two in Carrie Turansky's Highland Hall series gives us Kate making her debut in London societyI listened to this book as an audible.com download.
Book two in Carrie Turansky's Highland Hall series gives us Kate making her debut in London society. She's very young, only 18, and having to make choices that will affect her for the rest of her life. Scandal in the family looms in the background. As part of her story arc she learns to deal with an over-bearing aunt. Kate must choose between two men who are pursuing her, but it becomes clear early on who she'll end up with. The story is slow to unfold and even though I had the speed set on 1.5 or 2 for speed it was still slow moving, which I am assuming may be a narrator issue. Several of the men in the story sounded exactly alike in their accents and in their choice of words. Some of that may be from the narrator but it made it difficult to differentiate which character was speaking at times. It is so difficult to find Christian fiction to listen to, and this is one that I enjoyed and was able to do my household chores as I was listening. Glad to have had the audiobook available!...more
A Bride In Store by Melissa Jagears Bethany House Publishers (August, 2014)
Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Sweet Story with Rich Layers!
Eliza Cantrell, A Bride In Store by Melissa Jagears Bethany House Publishers (August, 2014)
Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Sweet Story with Rich Layers!
Eliza Cantrell, the daughter of a Eastern businessman, arrives in Kansas only to be robbed on the train enroute. She has come as a mail-order bride, bringing funds to assist the mercantile owner of what is primarily a men's shop. But her intended isn't even in town when she arrives. Instead Eliza begins helping William Stanton, her husband-to-be's business partner at the store. Except William doesn't seem to know much about business at all. He wants to be a doctor. Not only that but he is generous to a fault, failing to charge for services and goods. Will Eliza marry the man who sent for her? Will William find a way to attend medical school? Their sweet romance affects everything!
Bibliotherapy elements: Robbery and attack with injury so there is some PTSD, abandonment by her family, self concept issues, sexism against a woman being a business owner, honesty in relationships, and more! This novel has lots of lovely layers of meaningfulness. Not a light fluffy mail order bride story!
I was privileged to be able to contribute to this inspirational Christmas short story collection. All the stories are so well written! The covers areI was privileged to be able to contribute to this inspirational Christmas short story collection. All the stories are so well written! The covers are gorgeous--they are hardbacks and are smallish so they fit easily into your purse for lunchtime reading. This is a collection that people can re-read and share with others. There are two stories set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula--mine, entitled "Snowed In" and also Carla Gade's, which is about a Christmas ship that transports trees to Wisconsin. The newest collection is now available from Guidepost Books--A Cup of Christmas Cheer Volumes 3 & 4 for 2014....more
Elizabeth Byler Younts is proving herself as a story telling extraordinaire. The reader should be sure to read the blurb about the book because this nElizabeth Byler Younts is proving herself as a story telling extraordinaire. The reader should be sure to read the blurb about the book because this novel includes a sexual assault. However, one can infer this from the blurb plus it is necessary to understand the heroine's motivations and the struggles she faces. And the way the scene is written it is done well and integral to the plot. Because my father worked in a state hospital near my home, I was interested in Elizabeth's descriptions of treatment in a New York state asylum just after WWII. Very disturbing. I would like to think that the mental institutions in Michigan were much better than this, at that time. Shocking. Lovely story about forgiveness, mercy, and redemption. Beautiful love story. Just when you think you know what will happen there is a hairpin turn. Highly recommend!...more
Darlene Franklin is known for her imaginative Christian historical romance with unique elements and this story isThis is a really heart-warming story.
Darlene Franklin is known for her imaginative Christian historical romance with unique elements and this story is not different. Turns out Miss Nelson has a background in agricultural science as related to apples and she’s landed a job in the East with an apple orchard grower who is so enamored of the fruit that he’s named his daughters Margil and Pippin. Mac Cortland has known deep sorrow, having lost his wife and being left to raise his twins by himself.
You’ll find yourself rooting for Ruby as she tries to get Mac more involved in understanding that his girls, too, have been trying to cope with the loss of their mother. At least that’s the reason she gives herself for the more frequent visits to the Cortland household than any other. It can’t be because she wants to see more of the handsome widower!
Darlene does a lovely job of showing the scientist that Ruby is, including the proverbial snake in the teacher’s draw scene that is made fresh by the heroine’s reaction. Throughout the story Darlene keeps Ruby’s point of view consistently that of a researcher and teacher, which results in some cute exchanges between her and Mac.
Pippin, who is a handful, and Margil, fall in love with their teacher and try to take matters into their own hands. Ruby handles the situation with aplomb. Will she and Mac create a new tradition to celebrate Christmas?
An Apple for Christmas by Darlene Franklin is Book 4 in the Christmas Tradition Series. Cynthia Hickey’s Handcarved Christmas, Niki Turner’s Sadie’s Gift, Carrie Fancett Pagels’ The Fruitcake Challenge comprise books 1-3. Patty Smith Hall’s Christmas Lesson’s is book 5. ...more
Kate and Trevor are two super competitive people who are meant to be together. Their romance is the glue that holds this book together. Wonderful storKate and Trevor are two super competitive people who are meant to be together. Their romance is the glue that holds this book together. Wonderful story about the difficulties in treating tuberculosis in the 19th century. I received my copy through NetGalley but this book is worth paying full price for. Highly recommend. This book will make "best of" lists for 2014 I feel sure. The pacing and the plot are seamless. And wonderful job of HEA ending that makes you want to read her next book. I'd love to read more about the characters in this story and wish it was part of a series. ...more
It’s 1880 in Montana and mail order bride, Laura Worth, arrives looking for her intended—Ben Cooper. Except that Ben never sent for a bride. His brothIt’s 1880 in Montana and mail order bride, Laura Worth, arrives looking for her intended—Ben Cooper. Except that Ben never sent for a bride. His brother sent for a wife for him, as a Christmas present. And Laura arrives at their home looking prettier than any gift he’s ever received. Lot’s of romantic tension in this wonderful Christian novella, part of the Christmas Traditions series.
Ben’s brother, Sam, leaves the couple alone for a few days, for privacy’s sake, but Ben is thoughtfully attempting to “court” his new wife and give her time to settle into the small home. He returns, and Sam and Ben quickly add on another room to the cabin, despite the cold weather and snow.
Laura is one of many children whereas Ben and Sam have only had one another. Laura is in a situation where she must marry so that she is not a drain on her family. Cynthia does a nice job of weaving this in without bogging down the story with this sad aspect of the heroine’s life.
Ben wants to make Christmas special for his bride because Laura’s Christmas tradition has literally been shattered. The Irish nativity set she transported with her out West was broken. So he spends a lot of time in solitude in the barn, working on a new set to carry on the tradition. Laura wants to make Christmas special for her husband, too, and give him the gift of her love as his wife. She’s not quite sure what to do about the fact that Ben hasn’t accepted her, fully, as his wife in the eyes of the law and God. But Laura comes up with a solution that might have readers reaching for their husbands after they’ve finished the novella. ...more