Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

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1960s – Alabama

There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse’s stunning debut, Missing Isaac.

It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople’s reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it’s all over, Pete–and the people he loves most–will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.

All She Left Behind by Jane Kirkpatrick

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All She Left Behindallsheleftbehind

1860s-1880s – Oregon

Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s doesn’t approve of such innovations as women attending medical school. To leave grief and guilt behind, as well as support herself and her challenging young son, Jennie cares for an elderly woman using skills she’s developed on her own. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman’s widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal–but the road will be winding and the way forward will not always be clear. Will Jennie find shelter in life’s storms? Will she discover where healing truly lives?

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With Love, Wherever You Are by Dandi Daley Mackall

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withlovewhereveryouareWith Love, Wherever You Are

1941 – Illinois/Missouri/Europe

Everyone knows that war romances never last . . .
After a whirlwind romance and wedding, Helen Eberhart Daley, an army nurse, and Lieutenant Frank Daley, M.D. are sent to the front lines of Europe with only letters to connect them for months at a time.

Surrounded by danger and desperately wounded patients, they soon find that only the war seems real—and their marriage more and more like a distant dream. If they make it through the war, will their marriage survive?

Based on the incredible true love story, With Love, Wherever You Are is an adult novel from beloved children’s author Dandi Daley Mackall.

Whispers in the Reading Room by Shelly Gray

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whispersinthereadingroomWhispers in the Reading Room

1890s – Illinois

Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.

Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.

Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn’t merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.

Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks—the man so many people fear—is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

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irishmeadowsIrish Meadows

1911 – New York

Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he’s put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry–as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans.

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O’Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father’s machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

A Bride for the Season by Jennifer Delamere

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A Bride for the Seasonabridefortheseason

1853 – England

Lucinda Cardington doesn’t care that she is close to being “on the shelf.” She has more serious pursuits in mind and is perfectly content to leave dreams of romance to silly young ladies like her sister. Yet when her sister places herself in a compromising situation with London’s most scandalous bachelor, the entire family’s reputation comes perilously close to ruin. Suddenly Lucinda is in the limelight . . . and in need of a husband. James Simpson’s rakish ways have finally caught up with him. Snared in a scandal that for once is not his doing, he is forced to do the honorable thing and offer marriage to the lady. But her father won’t agree to a dowry unless James can also find a suitable husband for the lady’s elder sister-quiet, reserved Lucinda Cardington. As James gets to know the vibrant, charming, and passionate woman behind Lucinda’s shy exterior, he comes to the distressing realization that he doesn’t want her in anyone’s arms but his own . . .

A Rumored Engagement by Lily George

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Regency England
 
Her Once And Future Fiancé 
 
It was a bold plan—become engaged to one man to avoid marrying another. Three years ago, Susannah Siddons had little choice. But with no communication since, she considers her alliance with Daniel Hale entirely ended—and her heart well and truly bruised. Until new gossip jeopardizes the Siddons sisters’ millinery shop, and Daniel proposes once more. To court one’s own fiancée…how does a man even begin? Daniel owes it to Susannah—and to the shambles he has made of his responsibilities so far—to start again. In truth, marrying Susannah would be far more than just a duty; it’s his dearest wish. If he can only persuade her to say “yes” a second time.

Daisies are Forever by Liz Tolsma

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Daisies are Foreverdaisiesareforever

1945 – Germany

Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin. However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch’s identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her “marriage.” Their journey to Gisela’s mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella’s daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.

Claiming Mariah by Pam Hillman

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Claiming Mariahclaimingmariah

1882 – Wyoming

In light of her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Frederick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he will unearth more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal and murder threatens more than the well-being of the ranch, endangering the lives of those who hold it dear. With days dwindling until the rest of the Donovan clan arrive to the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed alters their futures forever.

Finally a Bride by Renee Ryan

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Finally a Bridefinallyabride

1894 – Colorado

Seven years and two broken engagements haven’t erased Garrett Mitchell from Molly Scott’s mind. Her employer insists Molly and Garrett belong together. To appease the well-meaning matchmaker, the pair agrees to a pretend courtship. But too late, Molly finds herself falling for a man who might never trust her. Garrett is a prominent Denver attorney now, not the naive seventeen-year-old who always felt second-best. Surely the string of suitors Molly’s left behind only proves her fickleness. Does Garrett dare believe that she has only ever been waiting for him? The third engagement could be the charm, for his first—and only—love. Charity House: Offering an oasis of hope, faith and love on the rugged Colorado frontier

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

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With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale)witheveryletter

1942 – Washington DC

Lt. Mellie Blake is a nurse serving in the 802nd Medical Squadron, Air Evacuation, Transport. As part of a morale building program, she reluctantly enters into an anonymous correspondence with Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer in the 908th Engineer Aviation Battalion in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other’s true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face to face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage to their past? And can they learn to trust God and embrace the gift of love he offers them?

Combining excellent research and attention to detail with a flair for romance, Sarah Sundin brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing, and true love.

A Heart Revealed by Julie Lessman

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aheartrevealedA Heart Revealed

1931 – Massachusetts

Ten years ago, Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston as a battered woman, escaping the husband who scarred her beautiful face. The physical and emotional wounds have faded with time, and her life is finally full of purpose and free from the pain of her past. But when she falls for her friend Charity’s handsome and charming brother, Sean O’Connor, fear and shame threaten to destroy her. Could Sean and Emma ever have a future together? Or is Emma doomed to live out the rest of her life denying the only true love she’s ever known?

Jewel of Persia by Roseanna M. White

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Jewel of Persiajewelofpersia

BC – Ancient Persia

How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords?
Kasia grew up in a poor Jewish home with more siblings than luxuries. But when a chance encounter forces her to the palace of Xerxes, she becomes a concubine to the richest man in the world. She alone, of all Xerxes’ wives, loves the man beneath the crown. She alone, of all his wives, holds the heart of the king of kings.

Traveling with Xerxes through Europe as he mounts a war against Greece, Kasia knows enemies surround her, but they re not the Spartans or Athenians. The threat lies with those close to the king who hate her people. She determines to put her trust in Jehovah even if it costs her her marriage.

Years of prayers are answered when Kasia’s childhood friend arrives at the palace after the war, but even as she determines to see Esther crowned in place of the bloodthirsty former queen, she knows the true battle is far from over. How far will her enemies go to see her undone?

Combining the biblical account of Esther with Herodotus’s Histories, Jewel of Persia is the story of a love that nearly destroys an empire . . . and the friendship that saves a nation.

Bathsheba by Jill Eileen Smith

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Bathsheba: A Novel (The Wives of King David)bathsheba

BC – Middle East

Bathsheba is a woman who longs for love. With her devout husband away fighting the king’s wars for many months at a time, discontent and loneliness dog her steps–and make it frighteningly easy to succumb to King David’s charm and attention. Though she immediately regrets her involvement with the powerful king, the pieces are set in motion that will destroy everything she holds dear. Can she find forgiveness at the feet of the Almighty? Or has her sin separated her from God–and David–forever?

With a historian’s sharp eye for detail and a novelist’s creative spirit, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the passionate and emotional story of David’s most famous–and infamous–wife. Smith uses her gentle hand to draw out the humanity in her characters, allowing readers to see themselves in the three-dimensional lives and minds of people who are often viewed in starkly moralistic terms. You will never read the story of David and Bathsheba in the same way again.

Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake

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Serendipityserendipity

1893 – Arkansas

Todd Valmer should have known better. A farmer who’s been through several disasters, he travels to Virginia to fetch his widowed mother to cook and help him around his Texas farm…or that was the plan until she keels over on the train and they get kicked off. Maggie Rose barters for a living and also makes soaps, lotions, and perfumes with a special rose recipe passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She hasn’t wanted to marry…until that handsome Texan shows up. Her heart skips a beat, and when he proposes, a hasty marriage follows.

What ensues, however, is a clash of culture and a battle of wills–and it’s clear they both mistook instant attraction and infatuation for love. As their marriage loses its sparkle and fills with disillusionment, Todd and Maggie must determine what is worth fighting for. He dreams of a farm. Maggie wants to fulfill the family tradition with her rose perfumes. Todd’s mother, however, has entirely different plans for her son that do not include Maggie. In light of their hasty marriage and mistaken dreams, is there any hope of recapturing their love and building a future together?

Masquerade by Nancy Moser

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Masquerademasquerade

1866- New York

1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine. She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival. As for Dora, she lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions–yet is tormented by guilt and the presence of another love that will not die. Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts?  Will love win out? There is no guarantee the switch will work. It’s a risk. It’s the chance of a lifetime.

A Stray Drop of Blood by Roseanna M. White

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A Stray Drop of Bloodastradropofblood

30 – Jerusalem, Rome

Beautiful is a dangerous thing to be when one is unprotected. That is a lesson Abigail learns well when her master s son, Jason, takes her to his bed. Jason s mother, Ester, may have educated her as a daughter instead of a slave, his father, Cleopas, may have obeyed Hebrew law rather than Roman in the running of his household, but none of that matters to their son. At least, it doesn t until he has a child of his own on the way.

Over her seven years in the Visibullis household, Abigail has gotten accustomed to being a slave. She loves her fellow servants, she adores her mistress, and she respectes her master. She does not welcome change, neither when Jason decides she is better fit for a lover than a handmaid nor when he discoveres he loves her too much to leave her as anything but a wife. But she carries his child, so she can hardly argue. And maybe, given time, she could come to love him too….

Israel s unrest finds a home in her bosom, but their rebellion tears apart her world. Death descends with Barabbas s sword, and Abigail is determined to be there when he is handed the penalty for the crimes that destroyed her family. But when she ventureds to the trial, heavy with child and heavier still with hatred, it is not Barabbas that the crowd demands be crucified. Instead, it is the teacher Cleopas and Jason had begun to follow, the man from Nazareth that some call the Son of God….

She was born free, made a slave, married out of her bonds. But she never really knew freedom until she felt the fire of a stray drop of blood from a Jewish carpenter. She was disowned by Israel, despised by Rome, desired by all. Yet she never knew love until she received the smile of a stoic Roman noble.

Enduring Love by Bonnie Leon

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enduringloveEnduring Love

1807 – Australia

Just when things seem to be looking up for John and Hannah Bradshaw, their world is turned upside down. Years ago, John was in prison when he was told his first wife, Margaret, died. So how is it that she shows up in Sydney Town looking to pick up where they left off?

Her marriage now null and void, Hannah is distraught. But she and John feel they must separate to allow John’s first marriage to continue. But is Margaret hiding something after all? And just what will she do to get what she wants?

This conclusion to the Sydney Cove trilogy will draw readers in with its suspenseful, romantic, and tender narrative.

Grace in Thine Eyes by Liz Curtis Higgs

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Grace in Thine Eyes (Lowlands of Scotland Series #4)Grace in Thine Eyesgraceinthineeyes

1808 – Scotland

Davina McKie is a bonny lass of seventeen, as clever as they come and a gifted musician. Unable to speak since childhood, she is doted on by her belligerent younger brothers, Will and Sandy, who vow to protect their silent sister.

When the lads are forced to depart the glen, Jamie McKie intends to brighten his daughter’s summer by escorting Davina to the Isle of Arran. Her cousins make her welcome at the manse, and the parish delights in hearing their talented fiddler.

But when she catches the eye of a handsome young Highlander on Midsummer Eve, sheltered Davina is unprepared for the shocking events that follow.

The Rescue by Lori Wick

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The Rescue (The English Garden)rescue

1811 – England

The Rescue, book two in the series, is set in 1811 England. When Anne Gardiner slips from a ladder into the arms of a stranger, her father, Colonel Gardiner, deems the innocent embrace cause for immediate marriage.
Weston eventually sees that the “marriage” was performed for the Colonel’s sake and that Anne had no choice. When he learns that she’s sacrificed her own reputation to protect his name, Weston finds himself drawn to Anne.
But will these two guarded people give love a chance? And can they trust God enough to step into a new, real relationship? 

Whispers of Moonlight by Lori Wick

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Whispers of Moonlight (Rocky Mountain Memories #2)whispersofmoonlight

1870 – Colorado

When Travis and Rebecca marry, rumors quickly spread that he has done so only for her dying father’s ranch. Confused and convinced that Travis can never truly love her, Rebecca strikes out on her own. She disappears to make a new life for herself in a town far away, but her friends there are few, and life is hard.
 
When desperate circumstances drive Rebecca home to Travis, she can see the change in the man she left behind. In her absence, he has grown from a rough-hewn cowboy to a confident rancher.
 
Still, her wounded heart is hesitant. Is she more afraid to love–or to be loved?

Who Brings Forth the Wind by Lori Wick

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Who Brings Forth the Wind (Kensington Chronicles, Book 3)whobringsforththewind

1853 – England

Tanner Richardson, the volatile duke of Cambridge, sees his wife with another man. Misinterpreting the situation, he erupts in rage and throws her and their unborn baby out. Tanner’s anger smolders–until the night he is shot….