A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther
485 BC – Middle East
You’ve read it as a biblical tale of courage. Experience it anew as a heart-stirring love story.
She was a simple girl faced with an impossible choice. He was a magnificent king with a lonely heart.
Their love was the divine surprise that changed the course of history.
The beloved story of Esther springs to fresh life in this inspired novel that vibrates with mystery, intrigue, and romance.
The Irresistible Earl
1811 – England
Meredee Price cannot let the Earl of Allyndale get close, however much his unexpected attentions thrill her. What follows is a daring dance between an irresistible gentleman and a woman determined to resist.
The Sweetest Thing
1933 – Georgia
The Singleton family’s fortunes seem unaffected by the Great Depression, and Perri–along with the other girls at Atlanta’s elite Washington Seminary–lives a carefree life of tea dances with college boys, matinees at the cinema, and debut parties. But when tragedies strike, Perri is confronted with a world far different from the one she has always known.
At the insistence of her parents, Mary “Dobbs” Dillard, the daughter of an itinerant preacher, is sent from inner-city Chicago to live with her aunt and attend Washington Seminary, bringing confrontation and radical ideas. Her arrival intersects at the point of Perri’s ultimate crisis, and the tragedy forges an unlikely friendship.
The Sweetest Thing tells the story of two remarkable young women–opposites in every way–fighting for the same goal: surviving tumultuous change.
To Grace Surrendered (The Chastelayne Trilogy)
Medieval – Fictitious Kingdom
Having suffered through some years of warfare, King Philip Chastelayne is finally able to settle down with his beloved wife Rosalynde. Even the fact that a neighboring kingdom is led by the tyrannical King Sarto does not provide enough incentive for Philip to leave his wife’s side to spend time on the battlefield. However, when Rosalynde gets kidnapped by Sarto, who believes she is the reincarnation of his lost love, Philip is finally forced into action. Throughout his ordeal, he discovers that his faith in God is waning.
Secrets of the Heart: The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book One
1815 – England
Madeline Whittington, daughter of the deceased Earl of Richfield, emerges from English society’s prescribed period of mourning in the winter of 1817. Madeline believes that she no longer belongs in a world of gossip and gowns after experiencing multiple losses. When she rescues a runaway from Ashcroft Insane Asylum, her life will be forever changed as she discovers the dark secrets within the asylum walls. Because of his elder brother’s unexpected death, Devlin Greyson becomes Earl of Ravensmoore and struggles between two worlds: one of affluence and privilege and one of poverty and disease. Torn between his desire to become a doctor and the numerous responsibilities of his title, he wrestles with God s calling for his future. Will he be able to honor this God-given gift and win the woman he falls in love with in a society that does not value gentlemen who work? And will Lady Madeline be able to honor her father s memory when she is attracted to the man she holds responsible for her father’s death?
To Win Her Heart
1887 – Texas
A blacksmith with a criminal past. A librarian with pacifist ideals. Do they have a fighting chance at finding love?
An Unlikely Suitor
1895 – Rhode Island
Lucy Scarpelli, an Italian dressmaker from New York, befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she’s making her summer wardrobe. It’s an unlikely friendship, but one that Rowena encourages by inviting Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Grateful for Lucy’s skill in creating clothes that hide her physical injury, Rowena encourages Lucy to dream of a better future. One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what man will accept her family responsibilities? Rowena also deals with love as she faces a worrisome arranged marriage to a wealthy heir. And Lucy’s teenage sister, Sofia, takes up with a man of dubious character. All three women struggle as their lives, and those of each unlikely suitor, become intertwined in a web of secrets and sacrifice. Will any of them find true happiness?
The Lightkeeper’s Ball (A Mercy Falls Novel)
1910 – California
At the elegant Mercy Falls masquerade ball, Olivia’s hidden identity will be revealed.
It is the dawn of a new century and Olivia Stewart is heiress to an empire. Her family numbers among the Four Hundred-those considered the wealthiest and most distinguished in America. Unfortunately their wealth has nearly disappeared, and now their security rests upon the Stewart daughters’ marrying well.
Olivia’s sister, Eleanor, was engaged to Harrison Bennett, one of the nation’s wealthiest men, but has since died. Now the pressure is on Olivia to take her place, despite her suspicions about Eleanor’s fiance. Using her family’s long-forgotten English title, Olivia travels to Mercy Falls, California, as Lady Devonworth, hoping to learn more before committing to marriage. There she finds that Eleanor’s death was no accident. And Harrison is not the man she thought he would be.
When Mercy Falls holds a charity masquerade ball to raise funds for the new lighthouse, secrets-and truths long hidden-will be revealed. But can Harrison really love Olivia when he finds her true identity? Can she live with the repercussions of failing her family, or will she finally realize that nothing-not money, family, or romance-will ever compare to God’s unconditional love?
Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island, Canada
1860 – Canada
In the summer of 1860, Prince Edward Island’s inhabitants eagerly await their first visit from a British royal. Molly Orland is too poor to be invited to the ball in honor of the young Prince of Wales, but she is pleased to serve as a maid in the house where he will be a guest. There she meets Peter Stark, under-steward for the royal party. Peter is attracted to the beauty of the island and to Molly, whom he’s determined to shield from the antics of the playboy prince. When they discover a long-buried secret that could bring shame to Peter’s royal employer, will he remain a loyal servant or help Molly’s family get the justice they deserve?
By Love Redeemed (The Chastelayne Trilogy)
Medieval – Fictitious Kingdom
Complete strangers on their wedding day and separated by war since their honeymoon, can they find true love together?
Even though their time together has been short, Prince Tom is eager for his bride’s return. Though his love for her has grown, Elizabeth makes it clear that she considers him a stranger, not to be trusted. Not to be loved.
Certain the lavish love he claims to have for her cannot be genuine, Elizabeth turns to a deceitful friend who feeds her doubts and insecurities, poisoning her mind against her young husband. Just as Tom’s patient tenderness begins to soften her heart, he is left with a heavier burden. His brother the king receives news that threatens the stability of the kingdom and his marriage. Forced to go in secret to find the truth behind it, he leaves Tom to deal with the undercurrent of treason and treachery that lies beneath the deceptive quiet of the court. Will Tom be able to hold the kingdom together and win his wife’s heart? Or will she let a seductive stranger lead her away from his unconditional love?
Bathsheba: A Novel (The Wives of King David)
BC – Middle East
Bathsheba is a woman who longs for love. With her devout husband away fighting the king’s wars for many months at a time, discontent and loneliness dog her steps–and make it frighteningly easy to succumb to King David’s charm and attention. Though she immediately regrets her involvement with the powerful king, the pieces are set in motion that will destroy everything she holds dear. Can she find forgiveness at the feet of the Almighty? Or has her sin separated her from God–and David–forever?
With a historian’s sharp eye for detail and a novelist’s creative spirit, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the passionate and emotional story of David’s most famous–and infamous–wife. Smith uses her gentle hand to draw out the humanity in her characters, allowing readers to see themselves in the three-dimensional lives and minds of people who are often viewed in starkly moralistic terms. You will never read the story of David and Bathsheba in the same way again.
A Heart Most Worthy
1918 – Massachusetts
The elegance of Madame Forza’s gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream–and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times. Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star-crossed encounter with the grocer’s son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza’s most important client. Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek?
Lady in the Mist
1809 – Virginia
By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets: the names of fathers of illegitimate children, the level of love and harmony within many a marriage, and now the identity of a man who may have caused his wife’s death. Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, what he, a British nobleman, is doing on American soil working as a bondsman in the home of Mayor Kendall, a Southern gentleman with his eye on a higher office.
By chance one morning before the dawn has broken, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths on a misty beachhead, leading them on a twisted path through kidnappings, death threats, public disgrace, and . . . love? Can Tabitha trust Dominick? What might he be hiding? And can either of them find true love in a world that seems set against them?
14th C. – Time Travel – Italy
Gabriella has never spent a summer in Italy like this one.
Remaining means giving up all she’s known and loved…
and leaving means forfeiting what she’s come to know…and love itself.
Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds… until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
And thus does she come to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?
The Girl in the Gatehouse
Miss Mariah Aubrey, banished after a scandal, hides herself away in a long-abandoned gatehouse on the far edge of a distant relative’s estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how–by writing novels in secret.
Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made. When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant and sets out to uncover her identity, and her past. But the more he learns about her, the more he realizes he must distance himself. Falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans.
The old gatehouse holds secrets of its own. Can Mariah and Captain Bryant uncover them before the cunning heir to the estate buries them forever?
The Damascus Way (Acts of Faith Series, Book 3)
40 – Middle East
Julia has everything money can buy…except for acceptance by either the Gentiles or the Jews. Her Greek father already has a wife and family, leaving Julia and her Hebrew mother second-class citizens. But when they are introduced to followers of the Way, they become part of that community of believers.
Abigail’s brother, Jacob, now a young man, is attempting to discover his own place as a Christian. He is concerned that being more serious about his faith means trading away the exhilaration of his current profession as a caravan guard. Hired by Julia’s father to protect the wealthy merchant’s caravans on the secretive “Frankincense Trail”–undercover transport of this highly valuable commodity–Jacob also passes letters and messages between various communities of believers. He is alarmed to find out that Julia, hardly more than a girl, is also a messenger. Can their immediate mistrust be put aside to finally bring their hearts together?
The Healer’s Apprentice
Medieval – Germany
In this historical romance loosely based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, a woodcutter’s daughter becomes the town healer’s apprentice. Rose’s job is to care for the sick and injured in Hagenheim Castle. But she gets sick at the sight of blood and is more suited to making up stories than sewing up wounds. She is determined to overcome her weakness and prove herself a competent healer, or she faces marrying a disgusting old merchant her mother has picked out for her.
Lord Hamlin, the future ruler of the region, is injured and Rose must overcome her squeamishness to save him. He is everything that is noble and good, but loving him is forbidden. He is already betrothed to a mysterious woman in hiding.
1746 – Scotland
A SECRET LIST… To protect his loved ones and escape the dark fate of his brothers, a noted warrior abandons his identity. Hiding from relentless soldiers who want him dead, Brody MacCaulay vows to protect the woman he loves more than life, more than freedom, more than Scotland. But his presence throws her into danger.
A VOW HONORED… To escape an arranged marriage to an abusive noble, a Lowland Lady weds a stranger to save his life. But vows spoken do not make a marriage, especially when Megan MacMurry holds a different love inside her heart.
A SACRIFICE MADE… Outlawed, and with a price on his head, Brody condemns himself to a life of heartbreak without Megan. Wanting her desperately, knowing he can’t have her, he heads alone to certain death…
1866- New York
1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine. She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival. As for Dora, she lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions–yet is tormented by guilt and the presence of another love that will not die. Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts? Will love win out? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It’s a risk. It’s the chance of a lifetime.
81 – Rome
Quintus Ambustus is a slave–Adiona Leonia is a wealthy socialite. He fights for his life in the gladiator’s ring–she plays cutthroat politics in Rome’s high society. He’s sacrificed everything for his Christian faith–she believes in nothing and no one. But when Adiona’s life is threatened, Quintus is chosen as her bodyguard, and their fascination with one another shocks them both. Neither thought to find joy in a match society would condemn…but their feelings cannot be denied. Have they lost too much to believe in happiness? Or will their growing love let them leave the past behind–and build a new future together?
200s – Roman Empire
Valeria’s Cross is the story of a 3rd century Roman marriage, forged in violence and deceit and built on religious opposition. It is about the many ways that men and women love and fight and grudgingly respect. Yet in the end, God’s faithfulness triumphs.
A Matter of Character
1918 – Idaho
The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series delivers exactly what readers have been waiting for—smart, confident women who are not afraid to defy convention, live their own dreams, and share their lives if the right man comes along. In A Matter of Character, book three in the Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series, it’s 1918, and Daphne McKinley, heiress to a small fortune, has found contentment in the town of Bethlehem Springs. But Daphne has a secret. A series of dime novels loosely based on local lore and featuring a nefarious villain known as Rawhide Rick has enjoyed modest popularity among readers. Nobody in Bethlehem Springs knows the man behind the stories … except Daphne. When newspaperman Joshua Crawford comes to town searching for the man who sullied the good name of his grandfather, Daphne finds herself at a crossroads, reassessing the power of her words, re-thinking how best to honor her gifts, and reconsidering what she wants out of life.
76 – Rome
HE FIGHTS FOR HIS FREEDOM. SHE FIGHTS FOR HER LIFE. TOGETHER, THEY FIGHT FOR EACH OTHER.
After watching Roman soldiers drag his parents away to their death, David, a young Hebrew, is sold and enslaved to serve at a villa outside of Rome. As David trains to become a skilled fighter, he works hard to please his master and hopes to earn his freedom. However, an opportunity to escape tempts him with its whispering call. Freedom beckons, but invisible chains hold him captive to the master’s granddaughter, an innocent girl with a fiery spirit. David vows to protect Alethea from his master, the murderous patriarch, and contrives a daring plan—sacrifice his own life to save hers.
She Walks in Beauty
1891 – New York
For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage in the late 1890s, so much depends on her social season debut. Clara Carter has been given one goal: secure the affections of the city’s most eligible bachelor. Debuting means plenty of work–there are corsets to be fitted, dances to master, manners to perfect. Her training soon pays off, however, as celebrity’s spotlight turns Clara into a society-page darling.
Yet Clara wonders if this is the life she really wants, especially when she learns her best friend has also set her sights on Franklin De Vries. When a man appears who seems to love her simply for who she is, and gossip backlash turns ugly, Clara realizes it’s not just her heart at stake–the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.
1858 – New Jersey
Susan Morris has a large inheritance, yet all but a small allowance is held in trust until she marries. What good works can she do if her future husband has other plans for her money? Daire Grassick arrives at his father’s bedside to learn that the heirloom he reluctantly sold for fare home is more valuable than he imagined – and its loss could mean the ruin of the family business. By the time Daire finds Susan to buy it back, the heirloom is missing. Will they find it before its secret is discovered? Or will God lead them to something of far greater value?
The Captain’s Lady
1776 – England
Torn Between Love and Duty: He devoted his life to his country and his love to a British lady.
Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther (Lost Loves of the Bible)
BC – Persia
The story of a girl unsparingly plunged into heartache and chaos, who would save a nation … of Esther, who would be queen.
Wrenched from a simple life for her beauty, Esther finds herself at the mercy of King Xerxes. Leaving behind her only relative, her cousin Mordecai, and her first true love, Cyrus, she is thrown headlong into the unrestrained extravagance of palace living. Quick of mind and strong in spirit, she refuses to suffer the fate of her harem sisters and boldly challenges Xerxes to give of his heart before taking his pleasure, thus sealing her place beside him a queen. While conspiracy spins its diabolical web, Esther’s mind and spirit waver, and she is forced to confront the past in order to save her future—and that of an entire nation.
The Duke’s Redemption
1781 – South Carolina and England
He came to the colonies for one reason: revenge. Drake Amberly, Duke of Hawk Haven, won’t leave South Carolina until he’s unmasked the colonial spy who killed his brother. Yet the more he sees of spirited Elise Cooper, the more he’s moved by the happiness she brings him…never suspecting the dangerous secret she hides.
Her faith drives Elise to spy for the rebels, dreaming only of freedom for her homeland. Then she meets Drake, and learns that love could be hers, as well. When his pursuit of “The Fox” brings him dangerously close to the truth, she’ll risk everything to prove that love and forgiveness are all they need.
The Country House Courtship
1818 – England
Linore Burkard’s fans devoured her first two Regency novels Before the Season Ends and The House in Grosvenor Square. Now, as her third novel opens, the year is 1818 and Miss Beatrice Forsythe is determined to marry well. After all, her sister, Ariana, married The Paragon, Mr. Phillip Mornay, five years earlier–which all but guarantees that she, Beatrice, can also make a famous match to a wealthy man.
But her sister and husband have disappeared from high society as they raise a family at their country estate. Can Beatrice persuade them to chaperone her in London? And what about Beatrice’s business with the curate, Mr. O’Brien, whom she rashly promised to marry years earlier. At seventeen now, she has no wish to marry a mere clergyman—despite his agreeable countenance and gentle, understanding ways.
When Mr. Tristan Barton becomes the tenant of the Manor House, Beatrice’s hopes seem to have found their object. But when Ariana falls gravely ill, secrets come to light, motives are revealed, and the pretenses that are easy to keep up in the darkness begin to crumble. Hearts are bared, truths uncovered, and when all is said and done, a country house courtship like no other has occurred!
The Raven Saint
1718 – Carolinas/Caribbean
Grace Westcott has spent her entire life serving God and helping the poor—not to mention trying to save the souls of her two wayward sisters. But while on an errand of mercy, she is kidnapped by a French mercenary and told she will be sold to a Spanish Don in Columbia.
The Silent Governess
Believing herself guilty of a crime, Olivia Keene flees her home, eventually stumbling upon a grand estate where an elaborate celebration is in progress. But all is not as joyous as it seems.
Lord Bradley has just learned a terrible secret, which, if exposed, will change his life forever. When he glimpses a figure on the grounds, he fears a spy or thief has overheard his devastating news. He is stunned to discover the intruder is a scrap of a woman with her throat badly injured. Fearing she will spread his secret, he gives the girl a post and confines her to his estate. As Olivia and Lord Bradley’s secrets catch up with them, will their hidden pasts ruin their hope of finding love?
Fit to Be Tied
1916 – Idaho
It’s 1916, and Idaho rancher Cleo Arlington knows everything about horses but nothing about men. So when charged with transforming English aristocrat Sherwood Statham from playboy into cowboy, she’s totally disconcerted. So is Statham, who’s never encountered a woman succeeding in a ‘man’s world.’ Their bumpy trot into romance is frustrating, exhilarating, and ultimately heartwarming.
The Bartered Bride
1905 – Minnesota
Can true love result from a business deal?
Jonathan Kennebrae is furious when his grandfather informs him that his future has been decided. He will marry Melissa Brooke or lose his inheritance. Jonathan has invested years of his life in Kennabrae Shipping, but heaven help him if Grandfather decides to take it all away for this.
Melissa, too, is devastated when her parents make their announcement. As little more than a bargaining chip in her father’s business maneuvers, she feels her secure world slipping away. Engaged to marry a man she has never met—someone “considerably older” than herself? What have her parents done?
Can Jonathan and Melissa find a way out of this loveless marriage, or must they find a way forward together?
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” Proverbs 21:1
In the Arms of Immortals
1347 – Italy
The Black Death sweeps through a Sicilian village in Book Two of Ginger Garrett’s unforgettable Chronicles of the Scribe series
It starts when a strange ship docks in the village harbor. That night an old man falls ill…then the baker’s wife…then a street urchin. By morning half the townspeople are dead and more are dying—horribly. And no one in town has a clue how to stop it. Not the local priest. Not the rich baron or his powerful knight. And not the three women at the heart of this book: the baron’s proud daughter, Panthea, the outcast healer Gio, and Mariskka, an unwilling visitor from another time. This fast-moving, richly imagined tale is a sure winner for lovers of historical fiction.
Surrender the Wind
Pre/Post Revolutionary War – England and Virginia
When Seth Braxton inherits his grandfather’s estate in faraway England after the Revolution, he inherits more than an isolated manor house. He wins the heart of Juleah Fallows, the daughter of a landed gentleman, and Seth’s sister’s best friend. They become entangled in a plot that leads to kidnapping, murder, and betrayal in a stirring tale of fidelity and forgiveness.
‘This book is one of the most romantic I’ve ever read. The love that is poetically described between Seth and Juleah was rousing. This alone makes this book a page turner. I loved this book.’
Annette Temple ~ ‘A Well-Watered Garden Blog’