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Christmas at Stoney Creek by Martha Rogers

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christmasatstoneycreekChristmas at Stoney Creek

1892 – Texas

When newspaper reporter Tom Whiteman befriends a homeless man named Joe, Tom decides to bring him home to Stoney Creek, Texas. Joe begins to work odd jobs around town and make new friends, but contradictions in the man’s manner and speech cause Tom to believe there’s more to the old man than meets the eye.
 
As Tom and his childhood friend Faith Delmont set out to learn the truth about the old man with the kind, sad eyes, Christmas in Stoney Creek becomes one they will never forget as they discover that God’s love can turn tragedy and loss to triumph, and that true love comes to those who wait.

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Montana Cowboy Daddy by Linda Ford

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montanacowboydaddyMontana Cowboy Daddy

1890 – Montana

With a little girl to raise, widowed single father Dawson Marshall could sure use some help—he just didn’t expect it to come from city girl Isabelle Redfield. Dawson has encountered city women before. He even married one. What if his little girl grows attached to Isabelle and the woman tires of ranch life just like his late wife did? 

For heiress Isabelle, the fledgling Western town of Bella Creek, Montana, offers something more meaningful than her wealth: a chance to forge a useful life. But if she wants the townsfolk to value her for more than her money, she has to keep her identity hidden. A difficult feat, especially when it comes to the cynical cowboy whose sweet daughter she cares for after school. But will hiding the truth ruin her chance of earning Dawson’s love?

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

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Waves of Mercywaves of mercy

1846-1896 – The Netherlands and Michigan

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from The Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she is asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions that have remained buried all these years, including the story of her one true love. 

A few miles away at the Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of her broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after the violent storm her steamship encounters on her journey across the lake, stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

Ask Me to Marry You by Heather Blanton

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askmetomarryyouGoodreads ~ Purchase ~ Sample

1890s – Wyoming

Audra Drysdale grudgingly accepts that the mere presence of a husband will keep her men working on her ranch, and a greedy cattle baron under control. It seems a perfectly reasonable idea, then, to ask her uncle, who is the town attorney and a matchmaker of sorts, to find her a groom–a “proxy” who will take her orders and dish them out to the men. A marriage of convenience seems to be in order … 

Dillon Pine is in jail for a conspiracy charge, but because of certain mitigating factors, he’s deemed a good risk for an unusual form of probation: serving as Audra’s husband. After a year, he can abandon her and she won’t tell. By then, she will have proven to the cowboys she’s a competent rancher, and the cattleman next door will be looking elsewhere for a wife. But when word gets out that Dillon came to Audra via Evergreen’s matchmaker, he’s dubbed a “male order bride.” The resulting jokes at his expense are constant and brutal. Just how much abuse can Dillon’s pride stand? 

When Audra discovers her father’s death was no accident, she realizes her new husband is in danger, too. And she cares . . . quite a lot, it turns out. To save Dillon, she may have to let go of the one thing she’s fought her whole life to keep. 

A Rancher of Convenience by Regina Scott

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arancherofconvenienceA Rancher of Convenience

1895 – Texas

Sweet mail-order bride Nancy Bennett can’t believe it when her husband is exposed as a cattle rustler—and killed. And when the banker holding the ranch’s mortgage questions whether she can run the ranch on her own, the pregnant widow has nowhere to turn. Until steady foreman Hank Snowden proposes marriage… 

Racked with grief about his role in Lucas Bennett’s death, Hank resolves to do right by the man’s wife and child. So it’s natural for him to step in as Nancy’s newly minted husband. But the marriage of convenience may become more than a mere obligation…if only Hank and his bride can brave the first steps toward elusive true love.

Texas Cinderella by Winnie Griggs

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texascinderellaTexas Cinderella

1898 – Texas

After a life of drudgery on her family’s farm, Cassie Lynn Vickers relishes her freedom working in town as a paid companion for feisty Mrs. Flanagan. When her father suddenly demands she come home, she has no choice. Unless she can find a husband. If only she could convince handsome town newcomer Riley Walker to marry her… 

Riley is on the run. He’s desperate to keep his niece and nephew safe from his crooked half brother. But a delay in Turnabout, Texas, shows him everything he didn’t know he was missing: home, family—and Cassie Lynn. Can he find a way to become her Prince Charming…and build a real family with the children and Cassie Lynn?

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

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1890 – Virginia

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

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Two Ways Home by Sondra Kraak

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twowayshomeTwo Ways Home

1892 – Washington

Mary Smith was never one to back down from a challenge. Her father’s health may be failing, but their dairy farm was her mother’s dream, and Mary will do whatever it takes to keep her father from selling it—even if it means sneaking off to the next town to earn money by playing the piano in a questionable establishment. No one seems to understand why home is so important to her, least of all her childhood nemesis who’s just wandered back into town.

When injured Texas Ranger Luke Thomas is forced to return to Pine Creek, Washington, he’s hailed as a hero and thrust into the town’s first race for sheriff. But no one knows the secret he carried to Texas, nor the secret he’s brought home. Setting his perfect aim on returning south, he refuses to get tied down by the town’s admiration, his brother’s disapproval, or the spirited, hardworking dairy girl who’s less annoying than he remembers.

But strange things are happening at the Smith dairy and in Pine Creek, and Luke’s instincts tell him Mary is in far more trouble than she realizes. One thing is certain: “home” is about to get more complicated for them both.

A Family for the Rancher by Louise M Gouge

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afamilyfortherancherA Family for the Rancher

1895 – Texas

Rancher Edmund McKay likes his life simple and quiet—everything feisty neighbor Lula May Barlow is not! But with a cattle rustler on the loose, he’s duty-bound to protect the widowed mother, even without her approval. Yet he never expected to enjoy her company. And he certainly never thought her crowded, bustling house would be the first place he’d ever feel at home… 

After a harsh childhood, Lula May knows how to stand on her own two feet. She doesn’t need Edmund’s help—but she’s starting to want it, all the same. So are her children, who clearly have matchmaking in mind. And when a threat from the past resurfaces, she realizes all that’s at stake…including her chance for a lifetime of love.

A Changed Agent by Tracey Lyons

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A Changed Agentachangedagent

1890 – New York

When schoolteacher Elsie Mitchell meets rugged William Benton on a train platform in Albany, it appears they have nothing in common. He isn’t the sort of fellow a proper young woman of the 1890s would ever speak to, much less become involved with. But when she arrives at her small town in the Adirondack Mountains, Elsie is offered a job as caregiver for this mysterious out-of-towner’s niece and nephew, who’ve been tragically orphaned. Heartbroken for them, she accepts.

Unknown to her, William is an undercover Pinkerton agent posing as a lumber-company foreman. He’s never wanted family—his work is too dangerous. Yet as Elsie transforms his house into a home and he spends time with the children, he feels drawn to family life—and to Elsie.

As a good Christian, Elsie is troubled by William’s secrets…though she does find him intriguing. And when a sinister figure from her past arrives, Elsie and William will have to trust in faith and newfound love to protect their unlikely family from danger.

Stand-In Rancher Daddy by Renee Ryan

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standinrancherdaddyStand-In Rancher Daddy

1895 – Texas

Rancher CJ Thorn isn’t ready to graduate from uncle to brand-new daddy—but he has no choice. After his widowed brother runs off, a pair of adorable twins have no one but CJ…and lovely neighbor Molly Langley. She’s helped with the girls for so long that she’s almost part of the family. Almost. CJ knows his family isn’t good enough for her. Not when his brother’s actions have disgraced the Thorn name yet again. 

Watching CJ become a devoted father would soften any woman’s heart. Yet Molly must remain immune. CJ deserves more than a woman who can’t have children. Held back by fear, it’ll take a disaster forcing the community together before they’re ready to risk a chance on happiness.

No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer

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nootherwilldoNo Other Will Do

1894 – Texas

Men are optional. That was the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts taught her and why she established Harper’s Station, a women’s colony that offers a fresh start to females in need. But when a dangerous and shadowy assailant tries repeatedly to drive the women out, Emma is forced to admit they might need a man after all. One who can fight. And there is only one man she trusts enough to ask.

Malachi Shaw has finally earned the respect he’s always craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s telegram arrives, he rushes back to Texas to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.

As the danger intensifies, Emma, Mal, and the ladies of Harper’s Station must choose between safety or risking everything to fight for their future.

A Nanny for Keeps by Janet Lee Barton

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A Nanny for Keeps anannyforkeeps

1898 – New York

With no teaching positions open, Georgia Marshall agrees to become the temporary nanny for the two little girls next door. But she soon becomes enamored of the precocious children and their dashing but distant widowed father. Though she’s falling for him, she can’t help but think that the nobleman is out of her reach. 

After the tragic loss of his wife, Tyler Walker swore he’d never again give his heart away. Until his neighbor brightens his home and brings some much-needed stability to his motherless family. But he refuses to allow this arrangement with the pretty teacher to become permanent…no matter how much he wants Georgia by his side—forever.

From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

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fromthismomentGoodreads ~ Purchase ~ Sample

1897 – Massachusetts

Stella West’s artistic talent made her the toast of London, but when her beloved sister dies under mysterious circumstances she abandons everything and heads for Boston. With single-minded determination she fights to pierce the ring of secrecy surrounding her sister’s death. Upon meeting Romulus White, a publisher with connections into every important power circle in the city, she quickly realizes he could be a valuable ally in navigating Boston society.

Romulus has been pursuing Stella for years to create art for his magazine. Her luminous illustrations are the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry, and he will stop at nothing to get her on board.

Sparks fly the instant they join forces, but Romulus is unsettled by the unwelcome attraction he feels toward Stella, fearing she might be the one woman who could disrupt his hard-won independence. He may have finally met his match in Stella, but is helping her solve the mystery of her sister’s death worth the risk to his publishing empire?

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The Cowboy’s City Girl by Linda Ford

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cowboycitygirlThe Cowboy’s City Girl

1899 – Montana

Beatrice Doyle came to Montana to escape her father’s marriage plans for her—not to lasso herself a cowboy. Yet she can’t ignore the sparks that fly between her and Levi Harding while she’s at his family’s ranch, caring for his injured stepmother. But opening her heart would mean sacrificing her quest for independence… 

After being rejected by the girl he hoped to marry, Levi vows never to love again. Nevertheless, he’s drawn to big-city girl Beatrice. In her, the half–Native American rancher sees himself: someone a little bruised, a lot lonely. And when the two join forces to care for an orphaned girl, he yearns to heal their fractured hearts—and form the family they all long for. 

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