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1873 – Wisconsin
Mason Chandler is home to meet his mail-order bride—six months too late! Little wonder Emma Jones wants to honor his letter releasing her from their agreement, especially when Mason has returned from his father’s deathbed with two adopted girls in tow. And the dark secret he’s hiding makes the homesteader feel unworthy to woo anyone.
As the new schoolteacher in Pepin, Wisconsin, Emma can support herself without a husband. Yet she’s touched by Mason’s kindness to his half sister and her orphaned companion. Taking the little girls under her wing comes naturally to Emma—and they dearly want her for their mama. Can Mason break free of his past to fight for their surprise family?
Frontier Want Ad Bride
1873 – Wisconsin
Mail-order bride Judith Jones has barely arrived in Pepin, Wisconsin, before she’s whisked away to prepare for her wedding to Asa Brant. Though something about Asa seems so familiar, how do two strangers become husband and wife? Especially when Judith senses Asa’s hidden sorrow. His kindness in helping two young orphans could win her heart…if only he’d open up to her.
Determined to start over after four years of brutal war, Asa moved away and sent for a mail-order bride. He had no idea the woman answering his ad would be the sister of his former soldier in arms. The less he reveals, the fewer painful memories there are to confront. But Judith’s compassion—and two loving children—might just show them the path to true happiness…
1858 – Ohio
The Civil War battlefield is the last place Quakeress Faith Cathwell thought she’d find herself. But with a gift for nursing, Faith seizes this opportunity to join the fight for abolition―and to search for Shiloh, a freeborn childhood friend who was kidnapped and sold south by unscrupulous slave catchers.
Knowing it’s much too dangerous for her to search enemy territory alone, Faith enlists the help of Colonel Devlin Knight, who is indebted to her for saving his cousin’s life. A career soldier, Dev is committed to the preservation of the Union but conflicted about freeing his own slave and confidant, who plans to enlist as soon as Dev gives him manumission papers.
Blazing a trail east with the rest of Grant’s army, Dev and Faith fight their personal battles―and a growing attraction to each other. When beliefs clash and passions flare, they quickly find that the only thing more dangerous than the war surrounding them is the battle within their hearts.
1848 – Ohio
An impetuous love swept Blessing Brightman away from the Quaker community, into the highest ranks of Cincinnati society. But behind the glitter of ballroom and parlor, her spirit slowly eroded in an increasingly dangerous marriage. Widowed young, determined never to lose her independence again, Blessing reclaimed her faith and vowed to use her influence to fight for women’s rights and abolition.
Gerard Ramsay, scion of a wealthy Boston family, arrives in Cincinnati hoping to escape his father’s clutches with a strategy that will gain him independence. His plan is soon complicated, however, by the enchanting widow. Never before has a woman spoken as if she’s his equal―or challenged him to consider the lives of others.
In a city nearly ablaze with racial tensions quickly dividing the country, can two people worlds apart possibly find common ground?
1819 – Maryland
When unexpected circumstances leave Honor Penworthy destitute after the death of her grandfather, she is forced to leave her Maryland plantation—and the slaves she hoped to free—and seek refuge with a distant relative. With no marketable skills, her survival hinges on a marriage arranged through the Quaker community to local glass artisan Samuel Cathwell. Samuel is drawn to Honor, but he has been unwilling to open his heart to anyone since scarlet fever took his hearing as a child. A move west brings the promise of a fresh start, but nothing in Honor’s genteel upbringing has prepared her for the rigors of frontier life with Samuel. Nevertheless, her tenacity and passion sweep her into important winds of change, and she becomes increasingly—though secretly—involved in the Underground Railroad. Samuel suspects Honor is hiding something, but will uncovering the truth confirm his worst fears or truly bring them together as man and wife? Set against the backdrop of dramatic and pivotal moments in American history, the Quaker Brides series chronicles the lives of three brave heroines, fighting to uphold their principles of freedom while navigating the terrain of faith, family, and the heart.
1871 – Wisconsin
Quaker Rachel Woolsey dreams of having her own bakery and her own homestead. But the odds are stacked against her—until the handsome ex-soldier she nurses back to health offers to help her. Like Rachel, Brennan Merriday is an outsider. But he’ll be the temporary ally she needs, and her foolish attraction will fade once he’s gone. At first, the only thing Brennan wants to know about Pepin, Wisconsin, is how fast he can leave it. Perhaps in Canada he’ll find peace after a bloody war. Yet repaying his debt to the pretty baker offers unexpected solace. She saved him once. Now he longs to rescue dreams of family—for both of them.
The Baby Bequest
1870 – Wisconsin
Schoolteacher Ellen Thurston never expected to find love in Pepin, Wisconsin. But the moment she discovers a baby boy outside her door, it’s love at first sight. While the townsfolk don’t approve of Ellen as a single mother, what worries her most are her feelings for the handsome farmer who defends her decision to keep the child. Ellen is far above the reach of a German immigrant like Kurt Lang. Especially one weighted with responsibility. Kurt knows how hard it is to raise a child alone, but he will do whatever it takes to help make Ellen’s dream of a family come true.
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1869 – Wisconsin
No one is more surprised than Sunny Licht when Noah Whitmore proposes. She’s a scarlet woman and an unwed mother—an outcast even in her small Quaker community. But she can’t resist Noah’s offer of a fresh start in a place where her scandalous past is unknown.
In Sunny, the former Union soldier sees a woman whose loneliness matches his own. When they arrive in Wisconsin, he’ll see that she and her baby daughter want for nothing…except the love that war burned out of him. Yet Sunny makes him hope once more—for the home they’re building, and the family he never hoped to find.
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1868 – Idaho
A female physician with an adopted black daughter? The townsfolk of Idaho Bend will never accept Dr. Mercy Gabriel—even when faced with a deadly cholera epidemic. But all Mercy needs is one man willing to listen…and to trust.
Four years of war command turned Lon Mackey into a footloose gambler who can’t abide attachments. Yet he can’t help getting riled by the threats Mercy keeps receiving. Her trailblazing courage could reignite his faith and humanity. And his loyalty could make her dream—for the first time—of a family of her own….
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1867 – Pennsylvania
Christmas is for families…
And Felicity Gabriel intends to build a family right away! When she inherits a mansion, she decides to turn it into a home for orphans. But her first charges test her resolve. One child is a thief, suspicious of her kindness. The other is the local judge’s traumatized daughter.
Broken by war, Judge Tyrone Hawkins is devastated when his little girl runs from him to Felicity. But Felicity’s courage despite the town’s scorn for her orphanage and her caring way with his daughter restore his lost faith. Now he wonders if they all can find the family they seek…just in time for Christmas.
To Love Somebody (formerly titled Leigh)
1963 – Maryland
A child of the sixties, Leigh Sinclair always knows what she wants. So why does her mother Bette always try to hold her back? Leigh senses there must be something behind her mother’s inclination to overprotect her. But her mother will not let go and it builds a wall between them.
When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, sets in motion his March on Washington in 1963, no one least of all, Leigh, could have predicted how this would impact her life especially when she meets handsome but forbidden Frank Dawson III.
Leigh faces all the challenges of the 1960’s, the Cold War, Vietnam, a turbulent time in the US and the world. With the change in women’s rights, she confronts so many new possibilities and choices her grandmother Chloe never faced. Falling for the wrong man brings her consequences she never envisioned. Falling in love with the right man proves heart-breaking too. Will she never get it right? Then one day the worst she could imagine happens. Who can help her make this come right?
Had to Be You (Formerly titled Bette)
1930s/40s – Maryland
Coming of age in the deep Depression, Chloe’s daughter, Bette faces a troubled world. Her mother and father have taken in Gretel, a Jewish girl her same age sent by her family from Nazi Germany. In the KKK South this is met with animosity. As she finishes high school, Bette falls in love with a young man who applauds her family’s decision. The two become informally engaged and Bette dreams of a future as a wife and mother with him, clipping recipes and living the quiet life.
But Hitler and others who seek world domination interfere with her plans. As her fiance attends college in Georgetown, she works as a secretary in the War Department. And that job leads her into the murky world of espionage. The US, Canada and England have banded together to foil German spies working to gain American military secrets. Bette never considered being a spy even in her wildest dreams. But she will do anything to stop these enemies, those who are persecuting Gretel’s family. But after swearing an oath, she can tell no on–not even the man she loves.
The Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. War crashes over them all and again Bette and her love are separated. Another man has entered her life, one who works with her to foil Hitler. A man she resists but who won’t take no for an answer. When the war ends, which will she choose–the young man she fell in love with as a girl or the man who taught her how to be a spy?
The Carlyle Women-four generations,
each facing the challenges of her time
and each harboring her own painful secret~
Meant for Me (formerly titled Chloe)
1920s – Maryland and New York
Award-winning author Lyn Cote delivers the first story in her moving Women of Ivy Manor series about four generations of women, set against the sprawling tapestry of the twentieth century. Chloe Lorraine Kimball is born at the estate of Ivy Manor in the wee hours of the twentieth century. She is the apple of her grandmother’s eye, if not her mother and father’s. For despite a home filled with everything a young girl could desire, she lacks the one thing she wants above all else-unconditional love from her parents. Thinking she can win that love through her actions, she creates a successful life for herself in Washington, DC, as the belle of her father’s political career. Bright and beautiful, she revels in the attention she receives from the capitol’s major players. But in the end, as her world comes crashing down amid the opening months of the Depression, Chloe must realize that whether or not she’s capable of giving and receiving love is something entirely up to her. And perhaps she can finally find happiness on her own terms.