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1747 – North Carolina
When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.
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1763 – Connecticut
In 1763, the war with the French came to a close. While most Connecticut colonists breathe in relief, others are faced with unexpected conflicts as battles of a different nature ensue at home.
Veteran Abijah Whitney regrets leaving his pregnant wife behind when he was called away to war. The news of her death during childbirth as well as the ugly brutalities of war have left their mark. His only comfort is the knowledge that his daughter survived. But his plans for her upon his return will cause an uproar in many lives, including the aunt who raised her.
Primrose Allan’s sole consolation after the death of her sister in childbirth is the baby girl who lived. The aunt raises the girl as her own, fearing that one day the girl’s father might return for her. But Primrose never imagined the nightmare that would ensue.
Dr. Isaac Northrup is a friend caught in the middle of the turmoil. Always desiring to bring healing, he feels helpless in the events that cause pain and heartache to others, as well as himself.
Jonas Wooding, the town’s blacksmith, is caught in the strife, made all the worse by a serious epidemic. Bound by constrictions of local law and forced to face his own grief, Jonas’s trust in God is stretched beyond endurance.
When all seems lost, will faith endure?
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1779 – Connecticut
During the American Revolution, Aurinda Whitney lives with her cold and calloused father, an embittered veteran of the previous war. Aurinda’s life changed forever when her father returned for her after that war, taking her away from the only place she’d ever experienced affection. Since her father blamed Aurinda for the death of his wife in childbirth, Aurinda is convinced she is unworthy of love.
Zadok Wooding believes he is a failure as he tends the smithy at home while others go to battle against the British. Just when he has an opportunity to become a hero, he is blinded in an accident. Now he fears he will never live up to the Biblical “mighty man of valor” for whom he was named.
When the couple meet, they are both challenged to overcome adversity as well as their inadequacies. Unexpected secrets of their past emerge that can change their lives forever. But can they look past their present circumstances to heal—and find love?
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1892 – Washington
Cameron Wallace thrives as both the blacksmith and the minister in his community of Pine Creek. Out of the fires of a chaotic childhood, he’s forged a peaceful life filled with safe relationships and predictable routines. But when the smithy he’s been renting is sold out from under him, the impulsive woman who buys it stokes the embers of emotions he’d rather keep unlit—and even has the audacity to lend a helping hand to his smithy work.
Samantha Klein has never been afraid to push boundaries when it comes to helping those whom society—and God—have overlooked, be they orphans, immigrants, or injured animals. When her latest attempt to aid a group of Chinese women lands her in a newspaper scandal, her high-society family sends her packing from Seattle. Setting out on her own, she purchases the Pine Creek smithy and hatches another plan for helping her immigrant friends. But only weeks after arriving in Pine Creek, her plan turns to ashes, and she’s overwhelmed by needs she can never hope to meet, including her own need to be seen and cared for. And the one who seems to understand her is the man who won’t let her anywhere near his heart, no matter the attraction that burns between them.
As Cameron struggles to find a new normal, and Samantha yearns for someone to share her burdens, old hurts and dangerous secrets make them both terrified to admit that what they need—and what God has planned for them—just might be each other.
The Marriage Bargain
1881 – Texas
Lily Warren’s new hat shop is her ticket to self-reliance…until a fire threatens to destroy her dreams. And when Edward Stone—her landlord and the town blacksmith—bursts into her private rooms to rescue her, Lily’s reputation is tarnished. So Edward proposes a solution that could save her good name—even as it puts her independence at risk.
With an orphaned niece who needs a mother, Edward believes a marriage of convenience is the answer to his and Lily’s problems. But he didn’t plan on developing feelings for his new wife. And now he can’t quell his urge to protect impulsive, kindhearted Lily. Perhaps it’s time for the wary blacksmith to try forging something truly precious—a real family…
The Texan’s Courtship Lessons
1888 – Texas
Courtship lessons are all Isabelle Bradley can offer when one of her sister’s former suitors suddenly comes calling. Unwilling to be someone’s backup choice, Isabelle will help the clumsy—yet handsome—blacksmith find and woo his true match. But it certainly won’t be her.
Rhett Granger’s awkwardness around women may be a joke to most of the town, but Rhett isn’t laughing. How can he find love when Isabelle, the only woman who doesn’t turn him into a tongue-tied fool, won’t accept his courtship? Perhaps her “lessons” can give them both the chance to learn about the surprises love can bring…
The Cactus Creek Challenge
1888 – Texas
Anything he can do, I can do better. At least that was what Cassie Bucknell thought before she pinned on Ben Wilder’s badge and took to patrolling the streets of Cactus Creek, Texas. Cassie has been in love with Ben since primer school, but Ben treats her like a little sister. When they are picked to swap jobs for a month as part of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge in their Texas hometown, the schoolhouse is thrown into an uproar, the jail becomes a temporary bank vault, and Cassie and Ben square off in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts
1898 – Pennsylvania
Slip into romance in the third book of bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Brides of Lehigh Canal series. Widowed Sarah Turner has her hands full, raising three young children, tending the lock on the canal, baking bread, and washing clothes for boatmen. Although she’s not looking for love, she’s vowed not to lose her heart to a boatman. Yet she didn’t count on meeting Captain Elias Brooks. Will she follow her heart where it leads or accept the proposal of a handsome land-loving blacksmith?
The Preacher’s Promise
1866 – Ohio
Devastated by her father’s death days after her triumphant graduation from Oberlin College, Amanda Stewart is all alone in the world. Her father’s unscrupulous business partner offers her an indecent proposal to earn a living. Instead, to fulfill a promise she made to her father, she resolves to start a school to educate and uplift their race. Sorting through her father’s papers, she discovers he had carried on a mysterious correspondence with a plantation in Milford, Georgia. She determines to start her teaching work with the formerly enslaved. However, when she arrives, the mayor tells her to leave. There’s no where for her to go. Virgil Smithson, Milford’s mayor, blacksmith and sometimes preacher man with a gift for fiery oratory, doesn’t want anything to do with a snobby schoolteacher from up North. On top of everything else, the schoolteacher lady has a will hard enough to match the iron he forges. He must organize his fellow formerly enslaved citizens into a new town and raise his young daughter alone. Still, his troubled past haunts him. He cannot forget the promise he made to his daughter’s mother as she died–that their child would learn to read and write. If only he didn’t have secrets that the new schoolteacher seems determined to uncover.
To keep THE PREACHER’S PROMISE, Amanda and Virgil must put aside their enmity, unite for the sake of a newly-created community in a troubling age, and do things they never imagined. In the aftermath of the flood that was the Civil War, God set his bow upon the earth to show love and understanding for humankind. To reflect God’s promise, these combatants must put aside their differences and come together–somehow.
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1778 – New Jersey
She’ll risk everything to save him…
Agnes, a blacksmith, runs the forge while her father fights in the Continental Army. The morning after the Battle of Monmouth, she discovers a wounded British soldier in her barn. Despite the risk, she vows to heal him as she believes a good Samaritan should. Edwin, third son of the Duke of Dalfour, was supposed to become a barrister. He opted to run away and join the army. Shot on a mission to deliver the general’s message, he wakes in Agnes’s barn unaware of how he got there and missing his horse. If he is caught, he could be hung, but Loyalists are also searching for British deserters. If anyone discovers he is the son of the Duke, he is doomed. Agnes tells everyone Edwin is her mother’s cousin, but she soon finds herself falling in love with him. When Loyalists kidnap her sister, Edwin vows to bring the child back from the British held camp. Can Agnes trust him? Or is he using her sister as an excuse to return to his company? Will Agnes ever see her sister again? And will Edwin break her heart?
Heart of Mercy
1890 – Tennessee
Mercy Evans has known a great deal of heartache and hardship in her twenty–six years. She lost her mother at a young age and was only sixteen when her father was killed in a brawl sparked by a family feud spanning several generations. Yet Mercy never doubts the presence and provision of her heavenly Father. When a house fire claims the lives of her two best friends, leaving their two young sons as orphans, Mercy offers to be their guardian. It seems simple enough, until the judge mandates that the boys be placed with a married couple. Samuel Connors is a man adrift. Despite the success of the blacksmith business he inherited from his father, he senses a void unaffected by material rewards. His mother keeps nagging him to find a wife, but the only woman who comes to mind is Mercy Evans. What would she want to do with the man whose father is now serving a life sentence for the murder of hers? Mercy is determined to do whatever it takes to win custody of the Watson boys. But marry a mortal enemy of the Evans family? God alone can give her the heart to go through with it.
Groom by Arrangement
1886 – Colorado
Eliza Kelly thought her humiliation was complete when she identified the wrong train passenger as her mail-order groom. She was only trying to tell Jackson Hart that the madcap scheme was not her idea. But now that the stormy-eyed blacksmith has decided to stay, rumors are flying. And Jackson does the gallant thing—he offers the lovely widow a marriage of convenience.
Though he came to New Mexico to find his father, Jackson wonders if Eliza’s mistake was his good fortune. Between caring for an orphaned youngster and protecting Eliza, Jackson feels whole again. If only he can persuade Eliza to marry him, her reputation will be saved…and so will their long-buried dreams of forging a real family.
Love’s Reckoning (The Ballantyne Legacy)
1785 – Pennsylvania
On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in Lancaster. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege’s daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other’s jealousy destroy their love?
In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man’s choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. Love’s Reckoning is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.
The Red Fury
1871 – Wisconsin
Spurned twice since the death of her betrothed in a logging accident, Lainey Kade has become the object of talk. “That Lainey, she’s a shrew all right. Not ever going to marry, likely.” Fleeing heartache and flaunting convention, Lainey seeks solace instead in seeking adventure and breaking the rules.
When she crosses paths with Zane and Kelly Beaumont, she pretends to be married, but soon forges an adventurous companionship with these brothers whose nightmares since the Civil War have never let them return home. Dependent on each other, Lainey denies love’s rekindled spark. But as fires rage across the Wisconsin wilderness, it may tear them each apart, and Lainey may be consumed by the fury burning inside her.
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?
A Tailor-Made Bride
Sparks fly when a dressmaker who values beauty tangles with a livery owner who condemns vanity.
That Certain Spark
1892 – Texas
Gooding, Texas, is about to gain a double blessing–a veterinarian and a doctor. But when siblings Enoch and Taylor Bestman arrive, the discovery that Taylor is a lady doctor has the town up in arms. Especially Karl Van der Vort, the town blacksmith, who becomes the first patient…against his will.
Though hesitant to believe in Taylor’s doctoring skills, Karl finds himself oddly protective of this surprising woman who dares to drive about town on her own, wearing the color red, for heaven’s sake! Taylor, on the other hand, wants only to prove that doctoring is her life’s calling, despite the town’s opposition. The result? Pride meets attraction head-on, and sparks begin to fly.
Sean Donovan (The Californians, Book 3)
1874 – California
Caught in his first bank robbery, Sean Donovan is sentenced to hang. But Charlotte Cooper, who needs a blacksmith for her livery, has other ideas. By law, a woman of good standing in the community can save a man from the gallows by marrying him. Humbled by the dramatic rescue and renewed in his faith, Sean’s heart goes out to his new bride, a woman whose past has prompted her to guard her heart. Yet could the talk around town be true? Is the fiercely independent Charlotte falling for Sean Donovan?