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In Times Gone By by Tracie Peterson

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1906 – California

After getting left at the altar, Kenzie Gifford flees to San Francisco to start her life over, determined never to love again. She’s made new friends and has a good job in the office of her cousin’s chocolate factory. The only thorn in her side is Dr. Micah Fisher, who insists on pursuing her despite her constant rejection.

Then the Great 1906 Earthquake strikes the city, and everything changes. The devastation all around her makes Kenzie reevaluate her outlook on life–and possibly even her feelings for Micah. But then her world is rocked again when her ex-fiancé appears, full of apologies and determined to win her back. But Arthur already broke her heart once. Does she dare trust him again? The sudden arrival of a hidden danger will expose the motivations of all involved, but it could cost Kenzie her life–as well as her heart.

A Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter

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1850 – Missouri to California

Previously released in the The Westward Christmas Brides Collection

Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
 
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?

In Dreams Forgotten by Tracie Peterson

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1906 – California

Judith Gladstone came to San Francisco after her parents died to find her last living relative, an aunt she has never met. Instead she has fallen head over heels in love with Caleb Coulter, her friend’s brother. Caleb has promised to help Judith find her aunt, but she can tell he thinks of her only as a friend, and she struggles to hide her feelings.

When Caleb traces Judith’s aunt to the wealthy Whitley family, Judith is reunited with her long-lost relatives. The truths she learns about her past and her parents are shocking and overwhelming, however, and the more she gets to know her new family, the more danger she uncovers. Someone does not want Judith in the picture, and they will do whatever it takes to get rid of her.

Where the Snowy Owl Sleeps by Mimi Milan

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1852 – California

Known as “Snowy Owl” amongst her people, Kela Tukumu is less interested in taking a husband than she is in becoming the first medicine woman of her Miwok tribe. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that she is rather fierce to behold–taller and stronger than all the other women, and even many of the men… or maybe it is simply due to the terrible tragedy she heard all her life–the one that took away her grieving mother before Kela had the chance to even know her. Regardless of the reason, Kela is determined to stay the course. With the influx of new settlers in the territory, her people have suffered much. She has decided it is her responsibility to help them heal. However, doing so may require an alliance with the local town doctor in ways she never imagined.

If Jonathan Edwards could turn back the hands of time, he would have never left his medical practice back east. His wife warned him it would be their undoing and, sure enough, it was. Now he has his wife’s blood on his hands, as well as the responsibility of raising their two small children alone. Worse, the town’s mayor has charged him with yet another undertaking–unite the townsfolk with the local Miwok tribe. Yet, how can he possibly do so when the very real likelihood exists that it was one of their men who murdered his wife? The last thing he wishes is to betray her memory… an increasingly difficult task when the Miwok’s shaman turns out to be the most capable woman he’s ever known.

Will sharing their knowledge with one another open a way to healing, or only produce more hurt for both them and their peoples?

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

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1780s/Present Day – South Carolina/California

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.  

Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

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1929 – California

Watercolorist Olivia Rutherford has shed her humble beginnings to fashion her image as an avant-garde artist to appeal to the region’s wealthy art-collectors. When she lands a lucrative contract painting illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine, including its nightly one-of-a-kind Firefall event, she hopes the money will lift Olivia and her sisters out of poverty.

    After false accusations cost him everything, former minister Clark Johnson has found purpose as a backcountry guide in this natural cathedral of granite and trees. Now he’s faced with the opportunity to become a National Parks Ranger, but is it his true calling?

    As Clark opens Olivia’s eyes to the wonders of Yosemite, she discovers the people are as vital to the park’s story as its vistas–a revelation that may bring her charade to an end.

A Blessed Dream by Danica Favorite

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1852 – California

Newly arrived in Blessings, Louisa Davidson’s only goal is to support her sisters while they search for clues about their father’s murder. However, their neighbor’s unruly children keep disrupting her work and she finds herself longing for a dream she thought lost to her: that of being a schoolteacher. With her father’s murderer on the loose, she cannot think of her own dreams, but of justice.

Jonah Hastings’s dreams died along with his wife. He’s doing the best he can to keep his children out of trouble, but as his family falls apart, the person to save them may also be the greatest threat to walls around his heart. As Jonah and Louisa try to hold the shattered pieces of their hearts together, can letting go be the very thing that saves them all?

Bounty Beyond Reason by Kari Trumbo

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1853 – California

For the last four years, she’s wanted to watch him hang.

Hannah Gale has to avenge her husband’s death and the loss of her future and watching Emitt Hayes swing will do just that. When she’s able to catch him, she can bring him back and claim the bounty, redeeming some of the wealth Emitt stole.

Emitt stole a horse to redeem a debt.

It started a landslide of events that changed many lives, and a has eaten at him ever since. He’s taken on the name Cort Nelson to hide. When his past catches up with him, Hannah is more fire than he’s expecting. His quiet, hidden life will never be the same.

A hidden danger appears that could cost them both their lives, can Cort admit to what he’s done and be the man Hannah needs and can Hannah release her grudge to grab hold of a future worth having?

Blessings from Heaven by Lynn Winchester

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1853 – California

Nyevah Ivanov arrives in California seeking a new home, far away from the barren sorrow in Siberia. But when her brother abandons her, Nyevah determines to realize her dreams on her own terms. Despite not knowing much English, she finds work at the saloon, and is soon making a home in the boomtown of Blessings. But something is missing…until she meets a stunningly handsome loner.

Mourning the loss of his wife and child, Jeremiah Bridger has lost himself in the mountains, trapping and hunting…and wallowing in his own private hell. After a supply run into Blessings brings him face to face with the most beautiful and agitating woman, Jeremiah can’t seem to stay away from her sparkling golden eyes, sweet smile, and bright heart—no matter how many times he tells himself Nyevah is just a naïve foreigner.

Nyevah has never been one to give up, even when the going got hard, so when Jeremiah Bridger plants himself in her way, she can’t help but push back. He’s about as nice as a wounded bear, but she knows there is more to him than that. And when pushing back only seems to draw him closer, Nyevah can’t help but fall for him.

But is Jeremiah ready to risk his heart again? Will Nyevah fulfill her dream in Jeremiah’s arms? The growing town of Blessings already knows the answers.

We’ll Meet Again by Melody Carlson

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1944 – California

Now in its third year, World War II still rages, taking its toll on everyone. On the home-front, the Mulligans continue to face war-related challenges . . . and patience wears thin.

Margaret is pulled in various directions as she attempts to care for her toddler and disabled husband Brian, who’s haunted by mistakes made on the battlefield—and their marriage is put to the test. Colleen is still pursuing her Hollywood career, but will the arrival of her baby change everything? And with Navy pilots being shot down daily, will Geoff escape the odds and make it safely home?

Bridget still serves as an Army nurse in the Pacific front, where not only her life, but health and heart are in harm’s way. Molly continues to do her part to help her family and find her place in the world, but when her relationship with Patrick gets shaken to the core, she heads off on a journey that leaves her family conflicted.

The war will eventually end, but will the Mulligan family remain intact when it does?

Sweeten The Swindler by Dallis Adams

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1851 – California

To swindle a swindler is Jake’s idea of the ultimate revenge. His nemesis conned away his brother’s miner hat blueprints. In turn, Jake plans to woo his enemy’s bookish niece and then convince her to buy enough shares in Jake’s railroad ponzi scheme to bankrupt his nemesis’s miner’s hat business. Jake’s Trojan horse is a four-pound carnival trick dog.

Maxine Sweeten is a math whiz at keeping her uncle’s accounts on Pasley Miner’s Hats and dabbling in the stock market. She loves all God’s creatures.

When Jake brings Maxine the supposedly lame-legged terrier, she can’t help but soften toward the rugged stranger with his own emotional wounds that shadow his eyes. Once she realizes Jake is out to ruin both her and her uncle, she’s determined to discover why. His reasons open up a whole new bundle of trouble. What’s more, she must find a way to heal not only creatures from the forest, but Jake’s wild heart.

Dueling the Desperado by Mimi Milan

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1851 – California

It’s been several years since Araceli Arroyo left behind the burning ruins of her family’s hacienda in New Mexico for a new start in California. Despite the time that’s passed and all the loss she’s suffered, the painful memory of war is like fresh paint on a blank canvas. Perhaps that’s why the prints she creates always hold a touch of sadness. However, she’s determined to produce something new – a masterpiece that will inspire the folks in the growing town of Blessings. Could the new hire at her father’s sawmill help her do that… or will the secrets he carries destroy them both?

From Texas to New Mexico, problems stick to Miguel Santiago like stink on old fish. Hoping to shed his old life, he’s thankful for a friend’s invitation to start anew in a place where he can be anyone – literally. Operating under the alias of Michael St. James, his fair looks and country twang allow him to pass as any other American cowboy in search of California’s promise of golden opportunities. Could the family he’s always wanted also be part of the prospect… or will the woman of his dreams discard him like her dried jars of paint when his past is revealed?

A story of desire and deception, dismay and deliverance, hearts burn as bright as the summer sun setting on the golden California coastline in this classic western.

In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson

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1905 – California

On her way to San Francisco to find her brother, Caleb, who went missing three months ago, Camriann Coulter meets Judith and Kenzie, who both have their own mysteries to solve in the booming West Coast city. The women decide to help each other, including rooming together and working at Kenzie’s cousin’s chocolate factory.

Camri’s search for her brother, an attorney, leads her deep into the political corruption of the city–and into the acquaintance of Patrick Murdock, a handsome Irishman who was saved from a false murder charge by Caleb. Patrick challenges all of Camri’s privileged beliefs, but he knows more about what happened to her brother than anyone else. Together, they move closer to the truth behind Caleb’s disappearance. But as the stakes rise and threats loom, will Patrick be able to protect Camri from the dangers he knows lie in the hidden places of the city?

My Heart Belongs in San Francisco, California: Abby’s Prospects by Janice Thompson

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1853 – California

Journey now to San Francisco, California, of 1853 where…
An English socialite finds more treasure than expected on her trip to the American West.
 
When Abby Effingham becomes stranded in the middle of the California gold rush, her money depletes quickly even while her prospects for marriage increase daily. But Abby is on a mission to find her mother—not romance. Will a ridiculous scandal keep her from traveling on, or will it wake up an aloof innkeeper to the treasure right under his roof?
 
Samuel Harris runs a moderately priced hotel where Abby and her family’s elderly butler find shelter. He is looking forward to when she—and her parade of suitors—move on, though he concedes to let her work in his restaurant. When the sassy socialite is in trouble, will Samuel come to her rescue or find himself alone?

Hell-Bent on Blessings by Heather Blanton

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1850s – California

Left bankrupt and homeless by a worthless husband, Harriet Pullen isn’t about to lay down and die. Finding a temporary home for her children, she heads to the gold rush town of Blessings, California to start over. One carefully planned step at a time, she’s going to make a home for her family, regain her financial independence, and build a new ranch–bigger and better than the one she lost. God help the man who ever gets in her way again.

Jason Meredith, an old friend, has a few things he’d like to say to Harriet, especially now that she’s a widow. He might have better luck surviving a bear attack, though, than thawing her frozen heart. He’s got his work cut out for him, but Jason’s a patient man. At least, he used to think he was… 
BASED ON A TRUE STORY!

Blessed Beyond Measure by Kari Trumbo

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1850 – At Sea

Lenora Farnsworth craves the adventure of the California gold rush.

In the land of her dreams, the work and community are just what she’s looking for. Though she’s drawn to her protector, she must forgive the rumors about his past, or risk her future. Victor is not a Godly man; can he still be the Lord’s choice for her?

Victor Abernathy needs to make some money and get back to England, fast. He’s never met a woman he couldn’t match, until Lenora. She’s supposed to be no more than a job, but her every nuance imprints his heart. He makes a wager with her—it’s his gambler’s nature—but he’s dealt a bad hand when his plans fall through. Lenora is a prize he can’t afford to lose, but when England calls, will he fold, or take his winnings and run?

The Blessed Bride by Lynn Winchester

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1850 – California

Leaving Ireland for America, Patience “Pati” O’Connor has followed the trail of her heartbroken father west, to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. With no money and a missing father, Pati has no choice but to settle down in a small, gold mining town of Blessings, California. Maybe the rough and tumble place could use a skilled seamstress…

Pete Jones has spent a lifetime fighting. Wounded in battle during the Mexican War, Pete is left with shaking hands, nightmares, and a sour disposition—but his new job protecting gold claims in Blessings just might be what he needs to kick the anguish of his past.

When Pati’s new business is robbed, she seeks help from the ornery yet honorable Pete, who doesn’t seem too keen on sticking his nose into her business. But Pete can’t seem to say no to the vibrant, fiery, oh so beautiful lass, which may spell trouble for his plans to stay lonely and single.

As the town begins to grow around them, and as trouble starts to slither in, Pati and Pete are desperate to find a love more valuable than all the gold in the mountain.

But can Pete be a man worthy of Pati’s love, and can Pati convince Pete she is destined to be his blessed bride?

Grace Like Rain by Julie Lessman

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Grace Like Raingracelikerain

1905 – California

He’s everybody’s lovable rogue.
She’s nobody’s fool who hopes to steer clear.
Until a thunderstorm sinks them both into a sea of love.

Blake “The Rake” McClare has a notorious reputation as a womanizer, which is why soft-spoken Patience Peabody carefully avoids the lovable rogue attorney at the law firm in which they both work. Until a rare thunderstorm brings them together in a love soaked with the grace of God … and sparked with a little lightning of its own.

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Gift of Grace by Julie Lessman

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Gift of Gracethegiftofgrace

1885 – California

She’s the Accident to His Prayers …

Pastor Cole McCabe isn’t sure he’ll survive the holidays with his new housekeeper and nanny. She’s caught fire to the kitchen, dyed his long johns pink, and scorched nearly everything she cooks. But he’s desperate, and she’s as destitute as they come.

Even though she’s no good with her hands, Grace sure has a way with her heart. She’s brought a warmth into Cole’s home, added color to his daughters’ lives, and broken down the wall he’s built up since his beloved wife died.

But when Grace’s past threatens Cole’s family, she’s given one last chance to be home for Christmas . . . if she hasn’t burned it down yet.

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The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

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1944 – California

When she receives the news in late 1944 that her baby’s father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant’s paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don’t know that she–or their grandson–exists. When Amelia discovers that the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?

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Road to Harmony by Sherry Kyle

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roadtoharmonyRoad to Harmony

1907 – California

A cattle thief is loose in Harmony Valley. Elena Seifert wants to help her father guard his dairy farm, but everyone thinks that’s a man’s job. When her childhood sweetheart returns to Harmony, her heart is torn between Jonas Bollinger, her secret love, and Lars Rissler, the wealthy middle-aged storeowner her parents hope she marries.

Jonas never imagined he’d be back in Harmony Valley, but his pa isn’t well. When Jonas makes a promise he wishes he didn’t have to keep, he is torn between loyalty to his family and the woman he has loved since he was a boy.

The thief continues to strike, while a dispute among dairy farmers stirs up discord in the Valley. Is a truce possible so everyone can live in harmony? And will Elena and Jonas find the inner peace to choose love and still do what is best for their families?

As Time Goes By by Melody Carlson

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astimegoesbyAs Time Goes By

1942 – California

In 1942 San Francisco, war has touched every part of the Mulligans’ lives. With their brother killed at Pearl Harbor, their father recovering from tuberculosis, and their eldest sister a nurse in the Army, those at home are left to keep on, wondering if it’s possible to thrive…or only to survive.

Pragmatic Margaret struggles with the gap between the dreams she’d always fostered of married life and the reality of having a husband an ocean away—combined with the concerns for the family store in uncertain times. Colleen has always been considered the superficial sister, but when a chance at her dream of Hollywood makes her second-guess her hopes and tragedy shakes her to her core, her family sees a side of her they never expected. Molly, always the hopeful one, dedicates herself fully to the war effort at home—but can all the optimism in the world guard her against harsh reality? Who can she talk to when troubles come?

Each of the Mulligan sisters must do her part to keep the family going—and each must find her own new place as the world shifts under their feet and time goes by.

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.

Her Motherhood Wish by Keli Gwyn

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motherhoodwishHer Motherhood Wish

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.

To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

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1904 – California

It has been six years since army nurse Jenny Bennett’s heart was broken by a dashing naval officer. Now Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher has abruptly reappeared in her life at the Presidio army base but refuses to discuss the inexplicable behavior that destroyed their happiness.

Ryan is in an impossible situation. One of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring assignment, he accepted a government mission overseas that caused his reputation to be destroyed and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor bound never to reveal where he had been during those six years, he can’t tell Jenny the truth or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk.

Although Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution, he can’t pull it off on his own. Loyalty to her country compels Jenny to help, but she never could have imagined the intrigue she and Ryan will have to face or the lengths to which they will have to go to succeed.

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Rescuing the Runaway Bride by Bonnie Navarro

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1842 – California/Mexixo

When the beautiful daughter of a wealthy Mexican landowner is injured saving his life, Christopher Samuels must nurse her back to health. Despite their language barrier, Chris grows close to Vicky Ruiz…but she’s betrothed to another man. Can Chris care for the spirited young woman and find a way to take her home in time for her wedding, without falling for her in the process? 

Vicky would prefer spinsterhood to her arranged marriage. But while words aren’t necessary to express the growing attraction between them, Vicky can’t make Chris understand her reasons for running away. He seems determined to return her “home” to her father’s hacienda. Why can’t Chris see that the only home Vicky wants is with him?

Beneath a Golden Veil by Melanie Dobson

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1853 – California

As elegant as the Sacramento residence she operates, Isabelle Labrie keeps her past concealed, like the treasure she hides under the Golden Hotel. It’s 1853, the heyday of the California Gold Rush. Isabelle is full of hope, staking her claim on the city’s refined clientele and her future on a sweetheart’s promise to marry her when he returns from the gold fields. Then, unexpected guests—fugitive slaves seeking safe passage to the North—force her to confront her past and reconsider her path.

While Isabelle learns to trust God’s provisions, a law student in Virginia must confront his father’s cruelty and rescue a young slave from his family’s tobacco plantation. As the two escape to freedom, and Isabelle risks everything to harbor runaway slaves, the past and present are set on an inevitable collision course—one that reveals hidden treasures of the heart.

I’ll Be Seeing You by Melody Carlson

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itllbeseeingyouI’ll Be Seeing You

1941 – California

December 7, 1941, San Francisco is on high alert following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Mulligan family is grappling with the news that Peter, beloved son and brother, is among the missing.

Each of the Mulligan sisters Bridget, Margaret, Colleen and Molly strives to find her place in the rapidly changing world in these early days of World War II. With their father ailing, Margaret takes over management of the family’s grocery store trying to keep hoarders at bay while daydreaming of a June wedding. Meanwhile Bridget focuses on her board exams and hopes to be accepted as an Army nurse. Beautiful Colleen, the “family flibbertigibbet” just wants to have fun despite the dire news of the war. But it’s the “baby” fifteen-year-old Molly who seems to be the glue that holds the family together.

With siblings, friends, and beaus being shipped out weekly, the remaining Mulligans quickly realize that this war will be fought on two fronts at home and overseas.

Each of the strong, hopeful Mulligan sisters will do their part if they hope to see victory and the end of the war.

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Make-Believe Beau by Keli Gwyn

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makebelievebeauMake-Believe Beau

1874 – California

As a draftswoman in a man’s world, Jessica Sinclair causes a stir as her new male colleagues vie for her attention. And the company manager has an ultimatum: fake a courtship with her boss, Flynt Kavanaugh…or lose her job. But pretending to be smitten with the handsome engineer unleashes a real, complicated attraction—and could reveal the past she hoped to keep hidden. 

Jessica is certainly the best person for the job. But as their make-believe romance escalates, Flynt knows that’s not the only reason he wants her on his team. However, with his past shrouded by a shameful secret, Flynt has always focused his ambitions on building a career, not a family. Now he has designs on Jessica’s heart, but can they trust each other with the truth?

The California Gold Rush Romance Collection by Various Authors

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The California Gold Rush Romance Collectioncaliforniagoldrushcollection

Rush to California after the 1848 gold discovery alongside thousands of hopeful men and women. Meet news reporters, English gentry, miners, morticians, marriage brokers, bankers, fugitives, preachers, imposters, trail guides, map makers, cooks, missionaries, town builders, soiled doves, and more people who take advantage of the opportunities to make their fortunes in places where the population swelled overnight. But can faith and romance transform lives where gold is king?

Pony Express Hero by Rhonda Gibson

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ponyexpressheroPony Express Hero

1860 – California

Pony Express rider Jacob Young is a man of action, which is why when he sees a little girl caught in the middle of a stampede, he races to her rescue. And he soon discovers the child is the half sister he hadn’t known he had. The more time Jacob spends with adorable Daisy and her beautiful guardian, ranch owner Lilly Johnson, the more he realizes they’re filling all the lonely corners of his heart. 

Wary Lilly can’t deny the cherished feelings that overcome her when Jacob vows to protect her and Daisy from any harm. And she can’t help but hope that maybe they can put their past hurts aside and forge a future together as a full-fledged family.

Broken Ground by Karen Halvorsen Schreck

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brokengroundBroken Ground

1934 – California

Newly married to her childhood sweetheart, twenty-one-year-old Ruth Warren is settling into life in a Depression-era, East Texas oil town. She’s making a home when she learns that her young husband, Charlie, has been killed in an oil rig accident. Ruth is devastated, but then gets a chance for a fresh start: a scholarship from a college in Pasadena, CA. Ruth decides to take a risk and travel west, to pursue her one remaining dream to become a teacher.

At college Ruth tries to fit into campus life, but her grief holds her back. When she spends Christmas with some old family friends, she meets the striking and compelling Thomas Everly, whose own losses and struggles have instilled in him a commitment to social justice, and led him to work with Mexican migrant farmworkers in a camp just east of Los Angeles. With Thomas, Ruth sees another side of town, and another side of current events: the numerous forced deportations without due process of Mexicans, along with United States citizens of Mexican descent.

After Ruth is forced to leave school, she goes to visit Thomas and sees that he has cobbled together a night school for the farmworkers’ children. Ruth begins to work with the children, and establishes deep friendships with people in the camp. When the camp is raided and the workers and their families are rounded up and shipped back to Mexico, Ruth and Thomas decide to take a stand for the workers’ rights—all while promising to love and cherish one another.

Through the Shadows by Karen Barnett

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Through the ShadowsThrough the Shadows

1908 – California

The devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of San Francisco is still trying to recover. Destruction of this magnitude is not so easy to overcome-and neither are the past regrets shadowing Elizabeth King’s hopeful future.

Hoping to right her wrongs, Elizabeth dedicates herself to helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown brothels, even if it means putting her own life at risk to sneak through the gloomy alleys and rooftops where dangers lurk.

Putting her life on the line for a worthy cause is admirable. But opening her heart is even more terrifying. So when Elizabeth meets attorney, Charles McKinley—a man who dreams of reforming San Francisco’s crooked politics—Elizabeth begins to doubt: Can she maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will her secret jeopardize both their futures?

A Home of Her Own by Keli Gwyn

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ahomeofherownA Home of Her Own

1871 – California

Becky Martin knows that she can’t stay at James O’Brien’s apple farm forever, but she wishes she could. After her brother framed her for arson, she flees Chicago, traveling cross-country to California and finding work caring for James’s ailing mother. Beneath the apple blossoms, it’s almost as if she has a real family…but her secret won’t stay buried forever. 

James, scarred from an explosion, didn’t expect to connect to the pretty young traveler. Could she really love someone damaged like him? He knows she’s hiding something. If only she’d trust him. Can she let go of her past and believe in the possibility of a future amid the apple trees?

The Last Ride by Susan K Marlow

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lastrideThe Last Ride

1884 – California

Andrea Carter is turning sweet sixteen and life could not be better. School’s almost over for good, and there will be plenty of time to train the colt of her treasured horse, Taffy. Best of all, big brother Chad is giving Andi more responsibilities on the ranch she loves.

Her first job is to teach city-slicker cousin Daniel how things work on the Circle C. There’s just one big problem: Daniel wants nothing to do with ranch life. Charming one minute and outrageously rude the next, he ignores common sense, defies authority, and proves a danger to everyone, including himself.

When Andi stumbles onto a horrifying secret about Daniel, he warns her to stay silent or face the deadly consequences. But all bets are off when Daniel’s actions set off a chain of events that leave Andi brokenhearted and bitter. Can anyone break through the wall around Andi’s heart and help her find healing?

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