Beholden by Jody Hedlund

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Medieval – Fictitious Kingdom/Country

In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse…

A beautiful noblewoman with a terrible secret, and a prince subjected to slavery.

Upon the death of her wealthy father, Lady Gabriella is condemned to work in Warwick’s gem mine. As she struggles to survive the dangerous conditions, her kindness and beauty shine as brightly as the jewels the slaves excavate. While laboring, Gabriella plots how to avenge her father’s death and stop Queen Margery’s cruelty.

Prince Vilmar of Scania enslaves himself in Warwick’s gem mine as part of a royal test to prove himself the most worthy of three brothers to become the king’s successor. Amidst the hardships, he doesn’t anticipate his growing compassion for the other slaves, especially tenderhearted Gabriella.

As the annual summer ball looms nearer, Gabriella sets into motion her plan to end Queen Margery’s evil. When Vilmar learns of Gabriella’s intentions, he resolves to come to her aid and fight against Warwick’s queen. But doing so may require him to give up his chance of becoming Scania’s next king, perhaps even cost him his life.

Magnolia’s Measure by Kimberly Grist

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1892 – Tennessee

Choosing to participate in a matrimonial agency as a mail-order bride, Magnolia proceeds methodically and uses her skills as a cook to create the perfect recipe for a husband.

A successful businessman, the idea of putting another person’s needs in front of his own is foreign. He’s shocked when a young cook from an orphanage intrigues him. Can he measure up?

Unyielding Hope by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

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1800s – Canada

As a young girl, Lillian Walsh lost both her parents and a younger sister. Now in her twenties, after enduring the death of her adoptive mother, Lillian must find her place in the world. Just as her adoptive father is leaving for an extended trip to his native Wales, a lawyer appears at the door to inform Lillian that she has inherited a small estate from her birth parents–and that the sister she had long believed dead is likely alive.

When she discovers that her sister, Grace, is living in a city not far away, Lillian rushes to a reunion, fearful that the years of separation will make it hard to reconnect.

When the two sisters meet, Grace is not at all what Lillian expected to find. Though her circumstances have been difficult, Grace has big dreams. Can Lillian set aside her own plans to join her sister in an adventure that will surely change them both?

Wings Like a Dove by Camille Eide

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1933 – Indiana

Can the invisible walls that separate people ever come down?

In 1933, Anna Leibowicz is convinced that the American dream that brought her Jewish family here from Poland is nothing but an illusion. Her father has vanished. Her dreams of college can’t make it past the sweat-shop door. And when she discovers to her shame and horror that she’s with child, her mother gives her little choice but to leave. Deciding her best course of action is to try to find her father, she strikes out…hoping against hope to somehow redeem them both.

When Anna stumbles upon a house full of orphan boys in rural Indiana who are in desperate need of a tutor and a cook, she agrees to postpone her journey. But she knows from the moment she meets their contemplative, deep-hearted caretaker, Thomas Chandler, that she doesn’t dare risk staying too long. She can’t afford to open her heart to them, to him. She can’t risk letting her secrets out.

All too soon, the townspeople realize she’s not like them and begin treating her with the same disdain they give the Sisters of Mercy–the nuns who try to help Thomas and the boys–and Samuel, the quiet colored boy Thomas has taken in. With the Klan presence in the town growing ever stronger and danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe…and staying to fight beside them.

Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest…

A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears

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1909 – Kansas

In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain, determined to protect Teaville’s children from the bullying she experienced as a child, finds fulfillment working at the local orphanage and serving on the school board. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she’s dead set against him getting the job.

Aaron knows he deserves every bit of Mercy’s mistrust, but he’s returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He doesn’t expect Mercy to like him, but surely he can prove he now has the best interests of the children at heart.

Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they’re working for?

An Awakened Heart by Jody Hedlund

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1857 – New York

Trying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton decides to volunteer at Centre Street Chapel. Ministering to one of the most deprived parts of New York City, the chapel aims at making a difference in the lives of the impoverished immigrants flooding the city. After seeing firsthand the hopelessness of the poor women and orphans, Christine is convinced more can be done to help them.

Guy Bedell has been serving at the chapel and pouring his heart out for the people he’s grown to care about. When Christine begins to challenge his methods and offers a new vision for reaching out to the community, can he trust that perhaps God has bigger plans in store for him–plans that may include this feisty socialite?

Her Motherhood Wish by Keli Gwyn

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1875 – California

En route to the Double T Orphanage to work on its expansion, carpenter Chip Evans and Caroline Hunt discover two orphaned children—and become their caregivers. But Chip’s determined not to let himself get too attached to the children who just lost their widowed father…or to the lovely woman helping him care for them. Especially since Callie and the little ones just don’t fit into his detailed plans for the future. 

Callie can’t help but fall in love with the orphans, and despite her better judgment, she’s falling for Chip, too. Her dreams of being a wife and mother were not quite like this. But Callie believes a plan bigger than Chip’s brought them all together…and now she just has to help him see it, too.

The Doctor’s Undoing by Allie Pleiter

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1919 – South Carolina

When Dr. Daniel Parker requested an army nurse to help with his orphanage, he expected an organized, sensible matron. Instead he gets young, beautiful, obstinate Ida Lee Landway, whose vibrant outlook and unrelenting optimism turn his work and his life inside out. 

Army life was easy compared to the discipline at her new workplace. Yet Ida is immediately smitten by the children in her care…and impressed by Daniel’s unfaltering dedication. Adding color and warmth to her new surroundings is one thing. Can she also help the good doctor embrace joy—and in so doing, find the family they both deserve?

Her Patchwork Family by Lyn Cote

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1867 – Pennsylvania

Christmas is for families…

And Felicity Gabriel intends to build a family right away! When she inherits a mansion, she decides to turn it into a home for orphans. But her first charges test her resolve. One child is a thief, suspicious of her kindness. The other is the local judge’s traumatized daughter.

Broken by war, Judge Tyrone Hawkins is devastated when his little girl runs from him to Felicity. But Felicity’s courage despite the town’s scorn for her orphanage and her caring way with his daughter restore his lost faith. Now he wonders if they all can find the family they seek…just in time for Christmas.

 

 

 

 

The Fiddler’s Gun by A. S. Peterson

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1772 – At Sea

America is on the brink of war with England, and Fin Button is about to come undone. She’s had it with the dull life of the orphanage, and she’s ready to marry Peter and get away from rules, chores, and a life looked after by the ever-watchful Sister Hilde. But an unexpected friendship forms between Fin and the fiddle-playing cook, Bartimaeus, which sets her on a course for revolution.

With Bart’s beloved fiddle and haunting blunderbuss as her only possessions, Fin discovers her first taste of freedom as a sailor aboard the Rattlesnake. She’s hiding some dark secrets, but there are bigger problems for the crew—they are on the run from the Royal Navy, and whispers of mutiny are turning the captain into a tyrant.

When Fin finally returns home, will she find Peter still waiting, or will she find that she’s lost everything she once held dear?