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Would-Be Mistletoe Wife by Christine Johnson

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1871 – Michigan

Worried she might lose her teaching job if funding is cut for her boarding school, widow Louise Smythe must consider marriage. But the only prospective groom in town is lighthouse-keeper Jesse Hammond, and he wants children—something she may never be able to provide. While Jesse waits for the ideal woman to make his wife, though, Louise can’t help but long for something more than his friendship.

If he wants to be promoted to head lighthouse keeper, Jesse needs to find a wife suited to his rustic lifestyle. But as he and Louise partner to give the town’s homeless orphans a joyous holiday, he’s drawn to the petite woman. Will the light of Christmas finally inspire them to trust in each other’s hearts?

A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner

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1935 – Michigan

Pearl Spence has finally settled into a routine in Bliss, Michigan, far from her home in Red River, Oklahoma. Like all the other kids, she goes to school each day, plays in the woods, and does her chores. But there’s one big difference: Mama is still gone, and doesn’t seem to have a thought for the family she’s left behind.

Escaping from her worries is another part of Pearl’s new routine, whether that’s running to Aunt Carrie’s farm, listening to the radio with Ray, or losing herself in a book. In fact, a chair in the stacks, surrounded by books, might be her favorite place on earth–until she discovers swing dancing. The music transports Pearl to a whole other world.

When Mama unexpectedly returns, it isn’t the happy occasion Pearl had imagined. Mama is distant and Pearl can’t figure out how to please her. And the horrible way she treats Daddy is more than Pearl can bear. Seems life would be better if Mama would just stay away.

Finkbeiner’s portrayal of both tragedy and everyday life in times of great change is charged with a raw beauty that will haunt readers. Fans of the two prior Pearl Spence novels won’t be disappointed!

Secrets and Wishes by Kathleen Rouser

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1901 – Michigan

Maggie Galloway and Thomas Harper clash after their sons collide in a fistfight. Both widowed, they’re each doing their best as single-parents. Outgoing Maggie has dreams for a home of her own and a business to provide for her son as she searches for God’s path for her life as a widow. Reserved Thomas struggles to establish his new pharmacy and take care of his four rambunctious children, while wondering how a loving God could take his beloved wife.

When Thomas becomes deathly ill, Maggie is recruited to nurse him back to health. Taking the children in hand, as well, is more than she bargained for, but she is drawn to help the grieving family. Both nurse and patient find themselves drawn to each other but promptly deny their feelings.

A baking contest sponsored by the Silver Leaf Flour Company brings former beau, Giles Prescott, back into Maggie’s life. When Giles offers Maggie a position at their test kitchen in Chicago, he hints that, along with assuring her a good job, it will allow them to possibly rekindle their relationship.

But then a charlatan comes to town, and tragedy soon follows. Maggie and Thomas discover the miracle potions he hawks aren’t so harmless when an epidemic hits Stone Creek. Thomas and Maggie realize they must work together to save lives.

Maggie finds herself caught up in battles within and without—the battle to help the townsfolk in the midst of illness and chicanery, and the battle to know which man—Thomas or Giles—deserves to win her heart.

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels

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My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring

1895 – Michigan

Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel.

Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel.  While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude—and he digs deep for his story.

But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?

Mail Order Sweetheart by Christine Johnson

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Mail Order Sweetheart

1871 – Michigan

Theater singer Fiona O’Keefe is on a quest to form the perfect family for her orphaned niece. It’s a shame handsome and musically talented Sawyer Evans can’t support a household on his sawmill-manager wages. Fiona needs a respectable gentleman of means. And if she can’t find one in Singapore, Michigan, then she’ll just have to look for a husband in the mail-order want ads… 

Sawyer doesn’t want Fiona to marry a stranger…or anyone other than him. It would be easy to reveal that he’s secretly heir to a railroad fortune. But Sawyer’s determined to be a self-made man, so he isn’t willing to take his father’s money. Instead, can he prove to Fiona that the man she needs is already by her side?

Love’s Winter Hope by Naomi Rawlings

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Love’s Winter Hope

1883 – Michigan

When Jessalyn Dowrick’s husband left her and their three daughters to head west five years earlier, she had no choice but to pick up the pieces of her broken life and continue without him, eventually supporting herself as Eagle Harbor’s seamstress, and secretly hoping her husband would return. But days soon slipped into months, and months into years, all without word of Thomas or a cent of the money he’d promised to send.

While working day and night to build a new life that his wife would be proud of, Thomas wrote Jessalyn every week, asking her to come to South Dakota. But she never arrived. In fact, she never answered a single one of his letters. When he returns to Eagle Harbor in search of answers, he finds a woman who thought him dead . . . and soon regrets he didn’t come after her earlier.

As winter closes in and storms trap Thomas in town until the harbor opens in the spring, will he be able to convince his wife he’s worth a second chance?

 

Stranger

 

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Love’s Eternal Breath by Naomi Rawlings

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Love’s Eternal Breath

1883 – Michigan

Lindy Marsden once dreamed of having a husband, a house, some children, and maybe even a sewing machine. But since she grew ill five years ago, those dreams have become too much to hope for. Now she just wants to provide for herself and help the abandoned children she found living in the woods until their father returns… and avoid doctors for the rest of her life. Their medicine never leads to any good, and she has the scars to prove it.

Seth Harrington loves being a doctor, but treating patients in the small town of Eagle Harbor is nothing like working at a prestigious Boston hospital, especially with the other doctor in town trying to steal Seth’s patients. When he’s called to treat a reluctant woman, Seth finds Lindy Marsden’s fiery dislike for him rather insulting. He has the ability to help her, but she wants nothing to do with him. Until she shows up on his doorstep one night…

When the plight of a young abandoned boy brings Seth and Lindy irrevocably together, Seth finds himself in the most difficult situation of his career. His expertise can help him heal the sick, but will his love be enough to soothe Lindy’s wounded soul?

Mail Order Mommy by Christine Johnson

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Mail Order Mommy

1870 – Michigan

Nursing a broken heart, Amanda Porter had answered a frontier mail-order bride ad placed by Garrett Decker’s children—only to find the groom-to-be didn’t want a wife. The widowed bachelor she hoped to marry does need a housekeeper, though, and taking the job is Amanda’s only option. But his adorable children are determined she’ll be their mother by Christmas… 

His wife’s betrayal and tragic death demolished Garrett’s life. Now he can’t even look at another woman, let alone marry Amanda, who resembles his first love. Even if she does make his house feel like a home, filling it again with laughter and his children’s smiles. But with his daughter convinced Amanda is the perfect mother, will Garrett realize she’s also his perfect match?

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

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Waves of Mercy

1846-1896 – The Netherlands and Michigan

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from The Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she is asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions that have remained buried all these years, including the story of her one true love. 

A few miles away at the Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of her broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after the violent storm her steamship encounters on her journey across the lake, stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

Collision of The Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes

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Collision of The Heart (Re-edited and covered, previously titled The Professor’s Heart)

1856 – Michigan

Mia Roper isn’t a typical nineteenth-century woman. Refusing to pass up the hard-won opportunity to prove herself as a journalist, she left Hillsdale, Michigan, hoping in vain that Ayden Goswell would follow her to Boston.

When the train bringing her back for her first major story crashes in a snowstorm outside town, Mia is stranded. Not even the survival of a fellow passenger, a toddler, can ease her heart’s sudden ache at seeing Ayden, now a history professor at the local college, courting someone else.

Ayden’s never gotten over the fact that the most fascinating woman he ever met chose her career over marriage…and he let her go. But marrying the department director’s daughter could at least guarantee him a permanent job. It’s a satisfactory arrangement, yet his kind, pretty bride-to-be has one simple flaw: she’s not Mia.

As soon as the trains are running, Mia will be leaving again, unless she and Ayden can reconcile ambition and love—and take a leap of faith together.

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