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It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

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It Happened at the Fairithappenedatthefair

1893 – Illinois

A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair’s Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.

The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?

Family Lessons by Allie Pleiter

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familylessonsFamily Lessons

1875 – Nebraska

After a catastrophe strands a train—and eight orphaned children—near Evans Grove, Nebraska, schoolteacher Holly Sanders sees hope in the chaos. These children are the new start her community needs. And Holly is stubbornly determined to give the townspeople, the children…and even gruff sheriff Mason Wright…the happy families they deserve.

How can anyone so petite have so much gumption? Watching Holly rally her young charges wins Mason’s admiration—and reminds him of his own failures. No matter what Holly or the orphan boy Liam think, Mason’s no hero and he doesn’t merit a second chance. Can Holly’s faith, Liam’s trust and God’s grace open Mason’s heart to love’s greatest lesson?

Second Chance Proposal by Anna Schmidt

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Second Chance Proposalsecondchanceproposal

1938 – Florida

John Amman left his Amish community and sweetheart Lydia Goodloe to make his fortune in the outside world, while Lydia stayed behind to devote herself to teaching. She can accept spinsterhood, and even face the closure of her beloved school. But John’s return after eight years tests her faith anew. Lydia hasn’t forgotten a single thing about John Amman—including the way he broke her heart.

John risked becoming an outcast to give Lydia everything she deserved. He couldn’t see that what she really wanted was a simple life—with him. Lydia is no longer the girl he knew. Now she’s the woman who can help him reclaim their long-ago dream of home and family…if he can only win her trust once more.

One Glorious Ambition by Jane Kirkpatrick

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onegloriousambitionOne Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix

1814 – Massachusetts

One dedicated woman…giving voice to the suffering of many

Born to an unavailable mother and an abusive father, Dorothea Dix longs simply to protect and care for her younger brothers, Charles and Joseph. But at just fourteen, she is separated from them and sent to live with relatives to be raised properly. Lonely and uncertain, Dorothea discovers that she does not possess the ability to accept the social expectations imposed on her gender and she desires to accomplish something more than finding a suitable mate.

Yearning to fulfill her God-given purpose, Dorothea finds she has a gift for teaching and writing. Her pupils become a kind of family, hearts to nurture, but long bouts of illness end her teaching and Dorothea is adrift again. It’s an unexpected visit to a prison housing the mentally ill that ignites an unending fire in Dorothea’s heart—and sets her on a journey that will take her across the nation, into the halls of the Capitol, befriending presidents and lawmakers, always fighting to relieve the suffering of what Scripture deems, the least of these.

In bringing nineteenth-century, historical reformer Dorothea Dix to life, author Jane Kirkpatrick combines historical accuracy with the gripping narrative of a woman who recognized suffering when others turned away, and the call she heeded to change the world. 

So Shines the Night by Tracey Higley

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So Shines the Nightsoshinesthenight

57 – Rhodes

In a city teetering at the brink of anarchy, Daria finds hope among people of The Way.
She escaped a past of danger and found respite in beautiful Ephesus, a trading center on the Aegean coast, serving as tutor to Lucas, the wealthy merchant who rescued her.
But the darkness she fled has caught up with her.
The high priests of Artemis once controlled the city, but a group of sorcerers are gaining power. And a strange group who call themselves followers of The Way further threaten the equilibrium. As Daria investigates Lucas’s exploits into the darker side of the city, her life is endangered, and she takes refuge in the strange group of believers. She’s drawn to Paul and his friends, even as she wrestles with their teachings.
When authorities imprison Lucas for a brutal crime, Daria wonders if even Paul’s God can save him. Then she uncovers a shocking secret that could change everything—Lucas’s fate, her position in his household, and the outcome of the tension between pagans and Christians. But only if she survives long enough to divulge what she knows.

Choices of the Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes

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Choices of the Heart: (The Midwives)choicesoftheheart

1842 – Virginia

Esther Cherrett comes from a proud line of midwives and was trained by her mother to take over the family calling. But when a scandal threatens all she holds dear, Esther takes a position as a teacher in the western mountains of Virginia instead. There she finds herself in the midst of a deadly family feud and courted by two men on opposite sides of the conflict. When it seems as though her past has followed her all the way into the mountains, all she wants is to run away again.

In this gripping story of trust, deception, and bittersweet loss, a young woman learns the true meaning of choices of the heart.

A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs

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A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novellaawreathofsnow

1894 – Scotland

All Margaret Campbell wants for Christmas is a safe journey home. When her plans for a festive holiday with her family in Stirling crumble beneath the weight of her brother’s bitterness, the young schoolteacher wants nothing more than to return to the students she loves and the town house she calls home.

Then an unexpected detour places her in the path of Gordon Shaw, a handsome newspaperman from Glasgow, who struggles under a burden of remorse and shame.

When the secret of their shared history is revealed, will it leave them tangled in a knot of regret? Or might their past hold the threads that will bind their future together?

As warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve, A Wreath of Snow is a tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.

Christmas at Holly Hill by Martha Rogers

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Christmas At Holly Hill (Winds Across the Prairie)christmasathollyhill

1898 – Kansas

It is October 1898, and Clayton Barlow has just returned home after serving time in prison for his part in a bank robbery. His family welcomes him, but the townspeople are skeptical. Bored with life in the small town but determined to make a new start, he goes to work with his father, hoping to regain the town’s trust. 
 
Clayton recognizes the schoolteacher at the Prairie Grove School as his childhood friend, Merry Lee Warner, and old feelings surface. Still, he doubts that he could ever get a woman like Merry to love him.
 

As the townspeople prepare for Christmas, their suspicions about Clayton lead to trouble. Will the trusting heart of an unlikely new friend be enough to restore Clayton’s relationships with his neighbors and reunite him with God and Merry?

Wooing the Schoolmarm by Dorothy Clark

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Wooing the Schoolmarmwooingtheschoolmarm

1840 – New York

When Willa Wright’s fiancé abandoned her, he ended all her hopes for romance. Now she dedicates herself to teaching Pinewood’s children, including the new pastor’s young wards. If she didn’t know better, Reverend Calvert’s kindness could almost fool Willa into caring again. Almost…

Though Matthew Calvert adores his niece and nephew, he wants a family of his own, too. The more he sees of the pretty schoolteacher, the more he wants that future with her. Yet Willa, so warm to her pupils, is ice-cool toward him. But where there’s a woman like Willa, there’s a man determined to guide her back to love.

Through Rushing Water by Catherine Richmond

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Through Rushing Waterthroughrushingwaters

1876 – Dakotas

Sophia has her life all planned out-but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory. Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim. With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known-and never expected-and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve. It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.

A Love Forbidden by Kathleen Morgan

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loveforbiddenA Love Forbidden (Heart of the Rockies)

1879 – Colorado

Moved by the desire for adventure and a yearning to help the Ute Indians, twenty-year-old Shiloh Wainright impulsively accepts a teaching position at the White River Indian Agency in northwestern Colorado. The new job, however, isn’t what she imagined it would be, and Shiloh soon finds herself caught in the cross fire between the Utes, their unyielding Indian Agent, and the unrealistic demands of the US government. Her unexpected encounter with Jesse Blackwater, an embittered half-breed Ute and childhood friend, only complicates matters as they battle their growing feelings for each other amidst the spiraling tensions threatening to explode into a catastrophic Indian uprising.

Set amongst the wilds of the Colorado Rockies in 1879, this is a tale of a forbidden love and a faith tested in the cauldron of intolerance and the harsh realities of life on the untamed frontier. Bestselling author Kathleen Morgan deftly explores themes of mercy, fidelity to one’s beliefs despite what others think or do, and compassion for those different from oneself as she plumbs the depths of the human heart and the healing power of God’s love.

The Cowboy Father by Linda Ford

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The Cowboy Fathercowboyfather

1933 – Canada

With Alberta in the grip of the Depression, Louisa Morgan is desperate to bolster her family’s finances. But how can she tutor bedridden Ellie Hamilton? The little tomboy is more interested in making mischief than studying sums. And the girl’s bond with her handsome papa is another reminder to Louisa of the children she’ll never have.

For Emmet Hamilton, strength means shouldering burdens alone. He never thought he’d let himself share his child, or his heart, ever again. But before long, Louisa’s kindness and optimism start to change the cowboy’s mind. Maybe he can gain the courage to trust again—in Louisa, in God’s grace, and in this new family.…

The Cowboy Tutor by Linda Ford

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The Cowboy Tutorcowboytutor

1932 – Canada

With the mortgage due and funds scarce, Madge Morgan can’t afford distractions. Especially not from Judd Kirk, her sister Louisa’s meek tutor and—according to their mother’s plans—suitor. Madge’s focus is on her housekeeping job…little knowing Judd’s connection to her employer, or his real reason for coming to Golden Prairie.

At last, Judd has found the man who swindled his mother. Yet if he seeks revenge, he risks losing the one thing he wants even more: a woman with faith enough to rekindle his own. A woman with strong values and a gentle heart. A woman like Madge.

An Inconvenient Match by Janet Dean

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An Inconvenient Matchinconvenientmatch

 1901 – Iowa

His family destroyed hers. But Wade Cummings’s job offer—to care for his recuperating father—is impossible to decline. Schoolteacher Abigail Wilson can swallow her pride for the sake of a summer paycheck that will help her sister. And when Abigail’s employment ends, old loyalties will separate the feuding families once more.

If there’s anyone in town stubborn enough to deal with Wade’s cantankerous father, it’s Abigail. It’s just a business arrangement—and a temporary one, at that. Her good opinion shouldn’t matter a lick to Wade. Yet their different backgrounds belie a surprising kinship. Perhaps unexpected love will be their reward for the summer’s inconvenient match.

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