The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith

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975 BC – Israel

King Solomon was wealthy and wise beyond measure. He could–and did–have anything he wanted, including many women from many lands. But for all his wisdom, did he or the women in his life ever find what they searched for all of their lives?

In this engrossing novel, you’ll find yourself whisked away to ancient Israel, where you’ll meet Solomon and four of the women he loved: Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba. As you experience the world of Solomon through his eyes and the eyes of these women, you’ll ask yourself the ultimate question: Did Solomon’s wisdom ultimately benefit him and those he loved . . . or did it betray them?

Jerusalem’s Queen by Angela Hunt

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BC – Israel

Born in the small village of Modein, a town made famous by the warrior Maccabees, Salome Alexandra knows better than to harbor grand dreams for her future. She pales in comparison to her beautiful older sister, and though she learns to read at an early age, girls are not valued for their intellectual ability. But when her father and sister are killed, John Hyrcanus, a distant relative, invites Salome and her mother to live with his family in Jerusalem, where her thirst for knowledge is noticed and indulged.

When her guardian betroths her to a pagan prince, she questions HaShem’s plan. When Hyrcanus finally marries her to a boy half her age, she questions her guardian’s sanity. But though Salome spends much of her life as a pawn ordered about by powerful men, she learns that a woman committed to HaShem can change the world.

 

The Secret Heir by Janice Broyles

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1022 BC – Israel

Years before, he was anointed future king of Israel. Now if the sitting king learns of his secret, it will mean death for David and everyone in his family. David’s secret destiny becomes more complicated when he falls in love with King Saul’s daughter, Michal. He will do whatever it takes to secure her heart, provided she doesn’t find out that David is the rumored rival to her father’s throne.

Now that Michal is of age, the Queen determines her daughter must be married as soon as possible. Michal resigns herself to a pre-arranged marriage with a man she does not love. Then by fate or God’s providence she meets the handsome, young lyre player standing outside her father’s chambers.

One lives in a palace; the other sleeps under the stars. Though they come from vastly different worlds, Michal and David are drawn together. When King Saul uncovers David’s secret and vows to kill him, Michal is torn between her love for her father and feelings for David. Two kings, two men she deeply loves but for different reasons — one heart broken in two.

Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

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732 BC – Israel

In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah’s household rises to capture the heart of the future king.
 
Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name–Zibah, delight of the Lord–thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet’s home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah’s lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah’s favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.

The Queen of Sheba by Jill Eileen Smith

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953 BC – Middle East

What questions did the Queen of Sheba come to ask King Solomon? Come explore her story with me as I look at the historical queen (two different versions of her tale) and try to determine a plausible story that imagines what might have been. Her experience and the outcome of her story might surprise you.

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The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection

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The Message in a Bottle Romance Collectionmessageinabottlecollection

Join the journey as one word etched in Latin on an ancient bronze bottle travels through the centuries to reach five young women who are struggling to maintain their faith in God and love. An Irish princess, a Scottish story weaver, a Post-Colonial nurse, a cotton mill worker, and a maid who nearly drowned each receive a message from the bottle just when they need their hope restored. But will the bottle also bring them each to a man whose love will endure?

The Distant Tide by Heather Day Gilbert
1170: County Kerry, Ireland
When a Viking bent on revenge mistakenly raids the castle of a bookish Irish princess, will she cast her fears aside to befriend the enemy, finally realizing God’s plan for her life?
 
A Song in the Night by Amanda Dykes
1717: Scotland and England
When a Scottish story-weaver loses her family in a clan war, she finds herself aided by a handsome, secretive bagpiper in a race against time to reunite with someone she never dared hope she’d see again.
 
The Forgotten Hope by Maureen Lang
1798: New York
As a champion of the sick, a young New Yorker never doubted her worth until a new doctor arrives to work with her father, one who believes her to be nothing more than a social butterfly. Can she gain his respect—and his love?
 
A River Between Us by Jocelyn Green
1864: Roswell, Georgia
When a Georgian cotton mill worker is arrested and sent North, the Union officer who tries to protect her is the last person she wants to forgive—and the only man who can bring hope and healing to her heart.
 
The Swelling Sea by Joanne Bischof 
1890: Coronado Island, California
After washing ashore on the California coastline, a young woman’s yearning to discover her past leads her to the courageous oarsman who helps her find the key.

Oswiu: King of Kings by Edoardo Albert

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635 – England

Oswald’s head is on a spike. Can Oswiu avoid the same fate? The great pagan king Penda set a trap, and when the brothers Oswiu and Oswald walked in, only one came back alive. Rumours abound that the place where Oswald’s body is strung up has become sacred ground – a site of healing for those who seek it. Oswald’s mother believes he will protect those he loves, even beyond the grave. So she asks the impossible of Oswiu: to journey to the heart of Penda’s kingdom and rescue the body that was stolen from them. Will this fateful task allow Oswiu to prove himself worthy of uniting the kingdoms under him as the King of Kings, or will it set him on a path to destruction? Oswiu: King of Kings is the masterful conclusion to The Northumbrian Thrones trilogy.

The Shepherdess by Jill Eileen Smith

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theshepherdessThe Shepherdess

973 BC – Middle East

Abishag may not be living the joyful life she once had before her oldest brother took over the household, but she can always escape to the fields for solace. There she can let down her veil, sing to the flowers and the sheep, and bask in the warmth of a sun-drenched sky of purest blue. And there she can meet Yaron, the young man she has loved as long as she can remember. Yet even this will be taken from her when men come searching out a beautiful woman to attend the aged King David.

Enclosed within the high palace walls as part of the king’s harem, Abishag wonders what happened to the life she had planned to live. As the king’s health deteriorates, his sons contend with each other, hoping to succeed him and take possession of what was his–including his beautiful young attendant . .

Oswald: Return of the King by Edoardo Albert

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635 – England

The exiled family of King Aethelfrith of Northumbria arrive, after much hardship, on the island of Iona, where the monastery founded by St Columba has become a centre of worship and learning. Young Oswald becomes firm friends with a novice, Aidan. When Aidan professes his final vows, Oswald and his little brother Oswiu are received into the church. As befits a young prince, Oswald learns to fight. However, Aidan’s example attracts him and he is on the point of deciding to become a monk when news reaches Iona that his half brother, Eanfrith, has been killed by Cadwallon, the king who defeated Edwin. Oswald sails back to Northumbria and meets Cadwallon in battle, defeating and killing him. Oswald, now undisputed king of Northumbria, gives Aidan the island of Lindisfarne as his base. But Penda, the last great pagan king in England, is raising troops against him.

The Pharaoh’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

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The Pharaoh’s Daughterpharaohsdaughter

BC – Egypt

Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt’s good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. In order to provide Sebak the heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile.

     When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.

  As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants, the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?

An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

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An Uncertain Choiceanuncertainchoice

Medieval – Fictitious Country

Due to her parents’ promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father’s enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents’ will left a second choice–if Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.

Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the convent is the best place after all. If only one of the knights–the one who appears the most guilty–had not already captured her heart.

The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki

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accidentalempressThe Accidental Empress

1853 – Austria

The year is 1853, and the Habsburgs are Europe’s most powerful ruling family. With his empire stretching from Austria to Russia, from Germany to Italy, Emperor Franz Joseph is young, rich, and ready to marry.

Fifteen-year-old Elisabeth, “Sisi,” Duchess of Bavaria, travels to the Habsburg Court with her older sister, who is betrothed to the young emperor. But shortly after her arrival at court, Sisi finds herself in an unexpected dilemma: she has inadvertently fallen for and won the heart of her sister’s groom. Franz Joseph reneges on his earlier proposal and declares his intention to marry Sisi instead.

Thrust onto the throne of Europe’s most treacherous imperial court, Sisi upsets political and familial loyalties in her quest to win, and keep, the love of her emperor, her people, and of the world.

With Pataki’s rich period detail and cast of complex, bewitching characters, The Accidental Empress offers a captivating glimpse into one of history’s most intriguing royal families, shedding new light on the glittering Hapsburg Empire and its most mesmerizing, most beloved “Fairy Queen.”

The Vow by Jody Hedlund

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vowThe Vow

Medieval – Fictitious Country

In this ebook historical romance novella by Jody Hedlund, young Rosemarie finds herself drawn to Thomas, the son of the nearby baron. But just as her feelings begin to grow, a man carrying the Plague interrupts their hunting party. While in forced isolation, Rosemarie begins to contemplate her future—could it include Thomas? Could he be the perfect man to one day rule beside her and oversee her parents’ lands? 

Then Rosemarie is summoned back to her castle in haste. The disease has spread, and her family is threatened. And the secret she discovers when she returns could change her future forever.

Esther by Angela Hunt

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Estheresther

BC – Middle East

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king’s heart and a queen’s crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king’s permission to exterminate all Jews–young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people…and bind her husband’s heart.

Tears of the Sea by Marylu Tyndall

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tearsoftheseaTears of the Sea

Historical Fantasy

Doomed by the evil warlock Forwin to wander the ancient seas as a mermaid for all eternity, Perdita longs for the release death would bring. Every ten years she has a chance to break the curse when she emerges from the sea fully human for one month. The catch? She must find a man willing to die for her. Yet, after three hundred years, her failures have left her heartbroken and alone.

Savion Ryne wants nothing to do with beautiful women. It was one such woman whose betrayal sent him far away to battle Natas’s rebellion. He longs to return to his father’s kingdom in Nevaeh, but he is destined for a mission, but where and to help whom? He doesn’t know. After Savion falls off his ship during a storm, he wakes on the shores of an island with visions of a dark-haired mermaid tending his wounds. Later, when a woman similar in appearance begs for his protection, he is suspicious.

Perdita has never met anyone as honorable as Savion. Even though he shuns her every advance, she falls for him. But as the end of her time on land approaches, she faces the hardest decision of all: save Savion and remain cursed for all eternity or break the curse and watch the man she loves die.

The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee

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The Legend of Shebathelegendofsheba

10th Century BC – Middle East

In the tenth century BC, the new Queen of Sheba has inherited her father’s throne and all its riches at great personal cost. Her realm stretches west across the Red Sea into land wealthy in gold, frankincense, and spices. But now new alliances to the North threaten the trade routes that are the lifeblood of her nation. Solomon, the brash new king of Israel famous for his wealth and wisdom, will not be denied the tribute of the world—or of Sheba’s queen. With tensions ready to erupt within her own borders and the future of her nation at stake, the one woman who can match wits with Solomon undertakes the journey of a lifetime in a daring bid to test and win the king. But neither ruler has anticipated the clash of agendas, gods, and passion that threatens to ignite—and ruin—them both. An explosive retelling of the legendary king and queen and the nations that shaped history.

Ismeni by Tosca Lee

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Ismeniismeni

989 BC – Middle East/Yemen

A mysterious beauty, a destiny set in the stars. Born under an inauspicious sign, young Ismeni is feared by her own people. The single thing she prays for: to live an invisible life. But that is not to be for the young woman who has captured the attention of the king’s youngest son. A story of love, passion, and twists of fate through the eyes of the woman who will one day give birth to the legendary Queen of Sheba.  

The Desert Princess by Jill Eileen Smith

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The Desert Princess thedesertprincess

980 BC – Middle East

Solomon captured her heart. But can she hold on to his? King David is running for his life with his young son Solomon in tow when Naamah first encounters the prince. Her father is loyal to the king, and that loyalty will be sealed years later–through the marriage of Solomon and Naamah. For her part, Naamah is happy to wed the handsome prince and enter into palace life. But all is not well in Jerusalem. Solomon must navigate constant threats to his life–even from within the palace walls. And when peace is restored, can Naamah ever be truly happy as she watches the love of her life taking more wives?

Warrior’s Vow by Christina Rich

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Warrior’s Vowthewarriorsvow

835 BC – Judah

Swept away from her home and into the desert, Abigail is as much a prisoner as she is a princess. A ruthlessly ambitious captain of the palace guard intends to force her into marriage and rule Judah through her. Yet the badly beaten soldier Abigail rescues offers another choice—if she dares trust him. She is royalty, yet Jesse is surprised by the gentle compassion Abigail shows him as he heals. In return, he will help her escape to Jerusalem, protecting her life with his own. But Abigail’s rank and Jesse’s deadly past makes any future impossible, unless forgiveness forged by love can triumph over all.  

The Queen’s Handmaid by T. L. Higley

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The Queen’s Handmaidqueenshandmaid

39 BC – Egypt

From the servant halls of Cleopatra’s Egyptian palace to the courts of Herod the Great, Lydia will serve two queens to see prophecy fulfilled.Alexandria, Egypt 39 BC Orphaned at birth, Lydia was raised as a servant in Cleopatra’s palace, working hard to please while keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s been rejected and left with a broken heart too many times in her short life. But then her dying mentor entrusts her with secret writings of the prophet Daniel and charges her to deliver this vital information to those watching for the promised King of Israel. Lydia must leave the nearest thing she’s had to family and flee to Jerusalem. Once in the Holy City, she attaches herself to the newly appointed king, Herod the Great, as handmaid to Queen Mariamme. Trapped among the scheming women of Herod’s political family—his sister, his wife, and their mothers—and forced to serve in the palace to protect her treasure, Lydia must deliver the scrolls before dark forces warring against the truth destroy all hope of the coming Messiah.

Edwin: High King of Britain by Edoardo Albert

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600s – England

Edwin is a king. Yet he is about to be betrayed and butchered. Edwin, the long-exiled king of Northumbria, thought he had found sanctuary at the court of King Rædwald – his friend, and now protector. But Rædwald faces the lure of riches and the threat of bloodshed, and Edwin fears that he will be abandoned to his enemies. As Edwin contemplates his fate, a mysterious messenger prophesies that he will ascend to greater heights than any of his forefathers. Can Edwin escape the fearsome warrior king who is calling for his blood? Do the Anglo-Saxon Gods of old, or the new God from across the sea, really have the power to raise Edwin above all other kings?

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In the Shadow of Jezebel by Mesu Andrews

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In the Shadow of Jezebel intheshadowofjezebel

843 – Israel

Princess Jehosheba wants nothing more than to please the harsh and demanding Queen Athaliah, daughter of the notorious Queen Jezebel. Her work as a priestess in the temple of Baal seems to do the trick. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the royal household, Jehosheba realizes that the dark arts she practices reach beyond the realm of earthly governments. To further Athaliah and Jezebel’s strategies, she is forced to marry Yahweh’s high priest and enters the unfamiliar world of Yahweh’s temple. Can her new husband show her the truth and love she craves? And can Jehosheba overcome her fear and save the family–and the nation–she loves?

The Secret Princess by Rachelle McCalla

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The Secret Princess (Protecting the Crown)secretprincess

800s – Fictional Country

When Evelyn tended Prince Luke of Lydia’s battle wounds, she had no idea whose life she was saving. Yet now the handsome warrior is determined to rescue her from King Garren’s fortress. Evelyn may be Garren’s granddaughter and a princess by right, but the vindictive king has forced her to pay off her father’s debts as a servant. A shared faith deepens her bond with Luke, but revealing her true identity could tear them apart and bring war to two kingdoms. Only courage and trust will help them forge a royal union where two hearts reign as one..

Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel by Ginger Garrett

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Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel (Lost Loves of the Bible)reign

BC – Middle East

From the moment her marriage to prince Ahab thrusts her into the intrigues of palace life, Jezebel’s exotic beauty opens doors and her will breaks down walls. Torn from her homeland and wed to power in a strange country, Jezebel vows to create a legacy and power all her own. Some might call her a manipulative schemer, bent on having her way. But they don’t know the whole story, and she was much, much worse.
 
As she moves through the halls of power, her heart struggles between devotion to the gods she worships, the prince who loves her, and her thirst for revenge. She sparks a battle between her strangely powerless gods and the God of palace administrator Obadiah—a God who confronts her with surprising might. She will fight, though victory may cost her everything.

Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd

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Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth Iroseshavethorns

1565 – England

From the acclaimed author of To Die For comes a stirring novel told that sheds new light on Elizabeth I and her court. Like Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, Sandra Byrd has attracted countless fans for evoking the complexity, grandeur, and brutality of the Tudor period. In her latest tour de force, she poses the question: What happens when serving a queen may cost you your marriage–or your life?

In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiance has fallen in love with her sister and her dowry money has been gambled away, but ahead of her lies an adventure that will take her to the dizzying heights of Tudor power. Transformed through marriage into Helena, the Marchioness of Northampton, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in Elizabeth’s circle. But in a court that is surrounded by Catholic enemies who plot the queen’s downfall, Helena is forced to choose between her unyielding monarch and the husband she’s not sure she can trust–a choice that will provoke catastrophic consequences.

Vividly conjuring the years leading up to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots, Roses Have Thorns is a brilliant exploration of treason, both to the realm and to the heart.

Daughter of the King by Carlene Havel

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Daughter of the Kingdaughteroftheking

1500BC – Israel

This is a story of enduring love, based on Biblical information contained in the books of I and II Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Princess Michal was the youngest daughter of ancient Israel’s first king. More than thirty centuries ago, she fell in love with and married a hero named David. As told in the Bible, Michal helped her husband escape from her insane father. King Saul punished his daughter by forcing her into a bigamous marriage. Years after being banished, the Princess became a pawn in negotiations between Judea and Israel. She was shattered to learn her family was wiped out, and to find David has six additional wives. In the book, Michal longs to bear a son to inherit David’s crown and reestablish the line of King Saul. Yet rivals are equally ambitious for their sons. Michal must draw on her faith, patriotism, and love for David to sustain her through disappointment, infidelity, and betrayal.

In the Shadow of Sinai by Carole Towriss

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In the Shadow of Sinaiintheshadowofsinai

BC – Israel and Egypt

Bezalel is a Hebrew slave to Ramses II. An artisan of the highest order, he has been kept in the palace even when Ramses has banned all other Israelites. Bezalel blames El Shaddai for isolating him from his people. When Moses and Aaron appear one summer, and El Shaddai shakes Egypt to its core, Bezalel must reexamine his anger. Over the course of the next year, Bezalel’s life becomes intertwined with those of an Egyptian child-slave, the captain of the guard, and especially a beautiful, young concubine. When spring arrives, all of them escape with the young nation of Israel. But that’s only the beginning…