A Respectable Actress
1870 – Georgia
India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, is now alone after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.
A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.
Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia lowcountry and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.
Among the Fair Magnolias
In the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history, four Southern women–destinies forged by birth, hearts steeled by war–face near impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.
To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander
Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home. So when new owner, Aidan Bedford, a Boston attorney and former Union soldier, seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But the clock is ticking. Can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front. This time, one of the heart.
An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray
When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he’s determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother’s homestead, he discovers she’s very ill, and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.
A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.
Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily has a secret: She’s in love with one of the freedmen on her family’s plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.
Each novella includes a scrumptious Southern recipe that’s inherent to each author’s story and that will suit your book club meeting to a T!
1858 – Georgia
Celia Browning dreams of the day when her childhood sweetheart Sutton Mackay comes home to Savannah after two years in Jamaica managing his family’s shipping interests. Sutton has all but proposed, and their marriage will unite two of the city’s most prominent families. But just as Sutton returns, a newspaper reporter arrives in town, determined to pry into twin tragedies that took place at the Browning mansion on Madison Square when Celia was a child.
While the journalist pursues his story, someone is trying to frighten Celia. When she receives a series of anonymous notes, and a bracelet imbued with a chilling message, Celia realizes that her family’s past has the power to destroy her future.
As the clouds of war gather over Savannah, and her beloved father’s health worsens, Celia determines to uncover the truth about what really happened all those years ago.
Inspired by actual events in one of Savannah’s most prominent 19th-century families, The Bracelet is the story of a young southern woman whose dreams fracture under the weight of her family’s tragic past.
A Proper Marriage
From a hasty union begun in shame, two young outcasts struggle to build a lasting love.
Following a brief romance with George Mackenzie, Blue Gap’s most desirable suitor, Olivia Brooks finds herself abandoned and expecting a child. Cast out of her father’s house, Olivia hastily weds George’s brother Luke whom she has known since childhood. Luke hopes that giving his brother’s child a name will prove his worth, and provide a home for the woman he has long admired.
An accident on the road delivers the young couple into the care of a Tennessee Quaker family. As Olivia and Luke recover from their injuries and await the birth of the child, they struggle to make peace with their pasts and to forge at last a proper marriage.ten
Readers familiar with Dorothy Love’s Hickory Ridge series will enjoy another installment of memorable characters and settings.
Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love
1868 – South Carolina
The war is over, but at Fairhaven Plantation, Charlotte’s struggle has just begun.
Following her father’s death, Charlotte Fraser returns to Fairhaven, her family’s rice plantation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. With no one else to rely upon, smart, independent Charlotte is determined to resume cultivating the superior strain of rice called Carolina Gold. But the war has left the plantation in ruins, her father’s former bondsmen are free, and workers and equipment are in short supply.
To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly agrees to tutor the two young daughters of her widowed neighbor and heir to Willowood Plantation, Nicholas Betancourt. Just as her friendship with Nick deepens, he embarks upon a quest to prove his claim to Willowood and sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that uncovers a long-held family secret, and threatens everything she holds dear.
Inspired by the life of a 19th-century woman rice farmer, Carolina Gold pays tribute to the hauntingly beautiful Lowcountry and weaves together mystery, romance, and historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman’s struggle to restore her ruined world.
Every Perfect Gift (A Hickory Ridge Romance)
1886 – Tennessee
Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart.
Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town. A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl.
Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country.
When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She’s equally intrigued but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life but their budding romance.
Beauty for Ashes (A Hickory Ridge Novel)
1876 – Tennessee
She’s a beautiful young widow. He’s a Southern gentleman with a thirst for adventure. Both need a place to call home. It’s 1876 and eligible bachelors are scarce in Hickory Ridge. But Carrie Daly has found love. Not the weak-in-the-knees kind, but something practical. Still, she isn’t quite ready to set a date with Nate Chastain.
Griff Rutledge is passing through to collect an old debt. Formerly a member of Charleston society, Griff has been estranged from his family for years. Determined to lead an unencumbered life, he is on his way to explore the gold fields and cattle ranches of Australia. But when he’s asked to train a Thoroughbred for an upcoming race in Hickory Ridge, he decides to stay a bit longer.
Despite objections from the townsfolk, and her fear that true happiness has eluded her, Carrie is drawn to Griff’s kindness and charm. But Griff isn’t sure if he wants to settle down. It will take a leap of faith for them to open their hearts and claim God’s promise of beauty for ashes.
Beyond All Measure
1871 – Tennessee
After losing family, fortune, and fiance in Boston, Ada Wentworth journeys to Hickory Ridge to take a position as lady’s companion to the elderly town matriarch. Ada plans to stay only long enough to save enough money to open a millinery shop back east. As she struggles to forgive those who have wronged her, she falls in love with local mill owner Wyatt Caldwell who is making plans of his own. Ada must decide whether to trust God with her future and Wyatt with her heart.