Building Benjamin by Barbara Britton

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Building Benjamin: Naomi’s Journey

BC – Israel

Love Grows Where God Grafts the Tender Shoot. Naomi desires to dance well enough to catch the eye of a wealthy landowner. Her father needs a substantial bride price due to the deaths of her brothers at the hands of the tribe of Benjamin. But when Benjamites raid the Ephraimite feast and capture young girls, Naomi is bound and carried from her home by Eliab, a troubled shepherd who needs a wife. As Naomi awaits rescue, she finds Eliab has a strong faith in God and a just reason for abducting her. A reason that affects all the tribes of Israel. The future of the tribe of Benjamin hangs in the balance, but if Naomi follows her heart and stays with Eliab to rebuild his lineage, she must forfeit her family and become a traitor to her own tribe.

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The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

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The Lady and the Lionheart

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.

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

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Irish Meadows

1911 – New York

Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he’s put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry–as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans.

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O’Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father’s machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

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To Win Her Favor

 1869 – Tennessee

A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who could help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing forever.
 
An Irishman far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He’s come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and begin farming, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he’d wagered, especially when Maggie Linden’s father makes him an offer he shouldn’t accept yet cannot possibly refuse.

Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance–and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder–Maggie’s father, aging, yet wily as ever, makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail–Maggie must marry a man she’s never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson

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The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest

1363 – Germany

A beautiful maiden who poaches to feed the poor.

A handsome forester on a mission to catch her.

Danger and love are about to unite in Thornbeck Forest.

The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.

 
For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave’s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him . . . a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher.

When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.

The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his cunning target . . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher? What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?

West for the Black Hills by Peter Leavell

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West for the Black Hills

1873 – Dakotas

Philip Anderson keeps his past close to the vest. Not many people in Mitchell, a small town in the Dakota Territory, would understand him living with the Sioux Indians who rescued him as a boy. Haunted by the murder of his pioneer parents as they traveled west in their covered wagon, he knows it wasn’t Indians who killed them, and his many unanswered questions about that night still torment him.

His only desire is to live quietly on his western homestead and raise Arabian horses. Until he meets Anna, a beautiful young woman with secrets of her own. Is it his eery and unusual wolf eyes that draw Anna to him? Romance was not part of his plan. Can Philip open his heart and tell her he’s in love before it’s too late?

With Anna a pawn in the corrupt schemes brewing in Mitchell, Philip is forced to become a reluctant gunslinger even as his inner battle gets in the way. Will Philip’s uncannily trained horses and unsurpassed sharpshooting skills help him free Anna and find out what really happened to his family out there in the frontier wilderness?

A Pony Express Christmas by Rhonda Gibson

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A Pony Express Christmas

1860 – Colorado

When Jake Bridges suddenly finds himself the guardian of his orphaned niece, he knows he needs a wife. What does a stock tender at a pony express station know about raising little girls? A marriage of convenience to the child’s caretaker is the most practical solution.

A mail-order marriage seems like Leah Hollister’s last chance to know the simple joys of family life. But then she receives word that her would-be groom is dead. Now Jake proposes she marry him. She knows love isn’t necessary. Yet the more she learns of sweet Molly’s kindhearted uncle, the more she dreams of a true partnership with the man who has unexpectedly captured her heart.

To Love and Cherish by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

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To Love and Cherish (Bridal Veil Island)
1898 – Georgia/Ohio

When Melinda Colson’s employer announces they’ll be leaving Bridal Veil Island to return to their home in Cleveland, Melinda hopes her beau, Evan, will propose. But Evan isn’t prepared to make an offer of marriage until he knows he can support a wife and family. Evan works as the assistant gamekeeper on Bridal Veil but hopes to be promoted soon.

Letters strengthen their love, but Melinda remains frustrated at being apart from the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Then she learns of a devastating hurricane in Bridal Veil and knows she must give up her position as a lady’s maid and make her way back to Evan.

The destruction on Bridal Veil is extensive, meaning every available person is needed to help with cleanup and repairs. Melinda finds a new job on the island, but Evan seems even busier than before, meaning she still never gets to see him. Has she given her heart to the wrong man?

And when Melinda overhears a vicious plot against President McKinley, who is scheduled to visit the island, is Evan the one she should turn to? Will Melinda and Evan ever get the chance to stand at the front of a church and promise “to love and cherish”?

Love’s Sacred Song by Mesu Andrews

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Love’s Sacred Song
Old Testament – Middle East

Standing in the massive shadow of his famous father, young king Solomon wavers between fear and bravado, wisdom and folly. In the uncertain world of alliances and treachery, Solomon longs for peace and a love that is true and pure–a love that can be his cornerstone.

A shepherdess in the northern city of Shunem, Arielah remembers the first time she laid eyes on Solomon in Jerusalem when she was just seven years old. Since then she has known that it was her destiny to become his bride. When her father, a leader of their tribe, secures a promise from King Solomon to marry Arielah as a treaty bride to help unite the kingdom, it seems her dreams may come true.

But how can this simple shepherdess live as part of Solomon’s harem? Can Solomon set aside his distractions to give himself completely to just one woman? Or will he let duty, deception, and the daily routine divide his heart?

Avery’s Battlefield by Deanna K. Klingel

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Avery’s Battlefield
1861-62 – Virginia

When the unrest between the north and the south ignites into war, 14 year-old Avery Junior Bennett and his hound dog Gunner leave home on a family errand, taking them on a dangerous journey across the paths of people on both sides of the struggle. What can a simple farm boy bring to the war effort? A true heart, a healing hand, and a supply of courage and faith. Avery discovers his battlefield is in the hospitals where the anger and pain continue long after the fighting ends. Avery’s Battlefield is the story of a boy, a dog, and their search for peace in the first years of the Civil War. (This is book 1)