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17th (1660s) and 19th (1820s) Century – Massachusetts
Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair.
Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him.
But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?
Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.
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1820 – England
Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for?
Rachel’s friend and hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and fills her days managing her girls’ school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or who–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.
Meanwhile, life has improved at the coaching inn and Jane Bell is ready to put grief behind her. Now if only the man she misses would return–but where is he?
As the women of Ivy Hill search for answers about the past and hope for the future, might they find love along the way?
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill
1820 – England
The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to the inn.
Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora’s wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them–and her future–in a different light.
With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?
One Dark Night
1821 – England
It is 1821 and smuggling is rife on the English coast. Lucy Yorton, dragged away from her privileged early life, finds it impossible to know who to trust, while those around her suspect she is a spy and treat her accordingly. Her problems increase when two men enter her life.
Lieutenant Karl Thorsen, sworn to avenge the death of his father, is a King’s man. He is determined to stop the violent smugglers, hang them, and hang and gibbet one in particular.
Daniel Tynton has smuggling in his blood. Undaunted by Thorsen’s threats, he is respected and feared. When he witnesses a murder, he makes a bold decision, and many lives will never be the same.
The Promise Keeper
1825 – Massachusetts
Danger reunites a sea captain’s daughter with her childhood protector—who is now a reclusive lighthouse keeper on an island across the bay. The new keeper has manned Pilgrim Light for a year now, and though her father recruited him for the post, Iris Moon has never seen the fellow nor will anyone discuss him. Rumors circulate he was once a pirate and had been imprisoned. Lured by the secrecy, Iris rows out to the light to meet the solitary keeper. He’s a curmudgeon who remains as mysterious as ever, until confusing dreams haunt her, causing Iris to suspect they share a past connection. Jonathan Mayne sailed with Captain Moon’s family as a young cabin boy during the earliest years of Iris’s life. A grown woman, Iris holds no memory for her childhood friend, who now guards the bay from a lonely lighthouse tower. When a shipwreck survivor bent on revenge washes up on the shores of the Moon family mansion, will Johnny be able to protect Iris from her dead mother’s secret while keeping a promise to her father never to expose it?
1825 – Michigan
The Michigan Territory had lain ripe for settlement by hardy American souls for thirteen years. But there were reasons the interior had remained wild. Indian uprisings, harsh weather, diseases, and loneliness were hardships to face let alone clearing trees and building homes. Finally the trickle of pioneers advancing from the shores began. Eliza Pearce was a young woman with goals of her own. They did not include taming the Territory. But, too young to argue, she finds herself immersed in pioneer life and struggling to survive her experience.
Fairer than Morning (A Saddler’s Legacy Novel)
1823 – Ohio
Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli-until Will Hanby shows her that nobility is more than fine words.
On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio, young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann’s dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.
Ann travels to Pittsburgh, accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker’s apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann’s compassion lights a long-dark part of his soul. Through his encounters with Ann’s father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.
When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost. If Will can make it back to Ann, will she be waiting?