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Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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17th (1660s) and 19th (1820s) Century – Massachusetts

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair.

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?
Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

The Best of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason

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1919 – Canada

In the aftermath of WWI, Grace Abernathy is determined to reunite with her family, crossing an ocean to convince her widowed sister to return home to England. Yet Toronto holds more tragedy and her nephew Christian is now in the custody of his paternal relatives, the formidable Easton family, who rejected Grace’s sister because of her low social status.

Unconvinced the Eastons can be fitting caretakers, Grace jumps at the chance to be Christian’s nanny and observe the family up close under an assumed name. In the course of her new position, she is shocked to discover herself falling for Andrew Easton, the boy’s guardian. Unfortunately, Andrew is promised to a spoiled socialite who will make a terrible stepmother for Christian. Will Grace be able to protect her nephew . . . and her heart?

Handpicked Family by Shannon Farrington

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1865 – Virginia

After the Civil War, newspaper editor Peter Carpenter insists he’ll never marry or raise children in such a troubling world. His commitment to bachelorhood only intensifies as he and his lovely assistant, Trudy Martin, search the ravaged Shenandoah Valley for his missing widowed sister-in-law and her baby.

Ever the optimist, Trudy refuses to embrace Peter’s bleak outlook. Unfortunately, that doesn’t diminish her deep feelings for him—feelings she knows he’ll never reciprocate. But when Peter and Trudy become responsible for two war orphans, will Peter still keep his heart closed to his newfound family…or can he find hope in fatherhood?

Rebecca’s Song by Dawn Kinzer

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1905 – Wisconsin

Rebecca Hoyt’s one constant was her dedication to her beloved students. Now, a rebellious child could cost her the job she loves. Without her teaching position, what would she do?

Detective Jesse Rand prides himself in protecting the people who ride the railroads. But, when his own sister and brother-in-law are killed by train robbers, the detective blames himself. Yet, another duty calls—he must venture to Riverton where his niece and nephews were left in the care of their beautiful and stubborn teacher, Rebecca Hoyt. They need to mourn and heal, but Jesse is determined to find his sister’s killers. Rebecca is willing to help care for the children, but she also fears getting too close to them—or their handsome uncle—knowing the day will come when he’ll take them back to Chicago.

Will Jesse and Rebecca find a way to open their hearts and work together? Or will they, along with the children, lose out on love?

 

Baby on Her Doorstep by Rhonda Gibson

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1884 – Texas

Laura Lee has longed for a child of her own—but she never expected one would suddenly appear on the school steps. With a note begging her to raise the baby girl, the teacher must find a new home since there’s a rule against children in the boardinghouse. Her only option is becoming a temporary live-in nanny for a rancher.

Widowed single father Clint Shepard needs a nanny for his daughter immediately—even if hiring Laura means he’ll have to find someone else in a few months when school starts up. But after spending time with her and the little girl she’s raising, he starts falling for them, and wishing their arrangement could be permanent.

Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

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1858 – Illinois

Marianne Neumann has one goal in life: to find her lost younger sister, Sophie. When Marianne takes a job as a placing agent with the Children’s Aid Society in 1858 New York, she not only hopes to give children a better life but seeks to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train.

Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with the children–firm but tender and funny. Underneath his handsome charm, though, seems to linger a grief that won’t go away–and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden. As the two team up placing orphans amid small railroad towns in Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.

The Rancher Inherits a Family by Cheryl St. John

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1869 – Kansas

The pretty redhead Seth Halloway pulls from a derailed train has surprising news for him. The children she’s accompanied to Cowboy Creek aren’t hers—they’re his, thanks to the last wishes of a late friend. Busy rancher Seth must suddenly cope with three rambunctious boys…and try to ignore his growing feelings for independent Marigold Brewster.

Marigold hopes to start over as the town’s new schoolteacher. She’ll choose her own path, and stay aloof from the adorable Radner boys—and their guardian. But the man who rescued her from a wrecked railcar might just be the one to save her from loneliness…if she dares to let him in.

The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy

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1867 – Nevada

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes the hand behind the attack as the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he’d finally carved out a home and started a herd–while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail, driving off dangerous men. He’d
hoped those days were over, but the latest attack shows he was wrong.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace offers the only shelter for miles around, and agrees to take them in until she can safely continue. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling–yet enticing.

Working to survive the winter and finally bring justice to the trail, Trace and Deborah find themselves drawn together–yet every day approaches the moment she’ll leave forever. 

Accidental Family by Lisa Bingham

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1874 – Utah

When newborn twins are dropped on Charles Wanlass’s doorstep—along with a note begging him to protect them—he knows he needs help to give them a proper home. The only solution: entering a marriage of convenience with mail-order bride Willow Granger. But soon the handsome pastor longs for their make-believe family to become real…

Willow will do whatever it takes to keep her missing friend’s babies safe. She’s drawn to Charles’s steadfast caring and honesty, but she’s sure she doesn’t have the proper background or courage to ever be a worthy wife or mother. But as danger closes in, she and Charles will risk everything to face down their fears—and turn their temporary home into a lifetime of love.

The English Lieutenant’s Lady by Evelyn M. Hill

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1845 – Oregon

It’s 1845. Britain and America both claim the Oregon Territory, and neither side is willing to back down. As the two nations prepare for war, the British government sends Lieutenant Geoffrey Montgomery to Oregon City on a confidential mission. Doing his duty means lying to everyone—including the woman who catches his attention the moment they meet.

Lia Griggs needs to find a home for herself and her nephew. She has the chance to carve a niche for herself in Oregon City—so long as she is prepared to hide her past from everyone, even the Englishman who quickly becomes her friend and ally… and more.

To survive, Geoff and Lia both need to pretend to be someone they’re not. The last thing either of them wants is to fall in love. And as the threat of war grows stronger, choosing to stay together could cost them everything they have.

Suddenly a Frontier Father by Lyn Cote

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1873 – Wisconsin

Mason Chandler is home to meet his mail-order bride—six months too late! Little wonder Emma Jones wants to honor his letter releasing her from their agreement, especially when Mason has returned from his father’s deathbed with two adopted girls in tow. And the dark secret he’s hiding makes the homesteader feel unworthy to woo anyone.

As the new schoolteacher in Pepin, Wisconsin, Emma can support herself without a husband. Yet she’s touched by Mason’s kindness to his half sister and her orphaned companion. Taking the little girls under her wing comes naturally to Emma—and they dearly want her for their mama. Can Mason break free of his past to fight for their surprise family?

An Inconvenient Marriage by Christina Miller

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1866 – Mississippi

Widowed reverend Samuel Montgomery is excited to start over with his daughter in Natchez, Mississippi—until he learns he’ll lose his job if he doesn’t marry. His solution: a marriage in name only to heiress Clarissa Adams, who needs a husband to win her inheritance. Though the beautiful music teacher will make a good wife, Samuel doubts he can ever truly capture her heart.

Marriage satisfies only the first provision of Clarissa’s grandfather’s will, which pits her against her cousin. And fulfilling the remaining stipulations won’t be easy between caring for Samuel’s rebellious daughter and managing an orphanage. But Samuel seems determined to stand by her side…and maybe even prove their marriage could be more than just convenient.

Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke

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1940 – England

For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees . . . if Claire will stay to help. Though desperate to return to France and the man she loves, Claire has few options. But her tumultuous upbringing—spent in the refuge of novels with fictional friends—has ill-prepared her for the daily dramas of raising children, or for the way David Campbell, a fellow American boarder, challenges her notions of love. Nor could she foresee how the tentacles of war will invade their quiet haven, threatening all who have come to call Bluebell Wood home and risking the only family she’s ever known.

Set in England’s lush and storied Lake District in the early days of World War II, and featuring cameos from beloved literary icons Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, Until We Find Home is an unforgettable portrait of life on the British home front, challenging us to remember that bravery and family come in many forms.

Montana Groom of Convenience by Linda Ford

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1891 – Montana

Carly Morrison’s father issued an ultimatum: get married or lose her ranch. But while she can rope and ride as well as any man, leading one to the altar is another matter—until newcomer Sawyer Gallagher suggests a marriage of convenience. Their arrangement might be a sensible solution to her predicament, but Carly’s growing feelings are a genuine complication.

Desperate to provide a home for his orphaned sister, Sawyer takes a chance on lassoing himself to headstrong cowgirl Carly. He’s convinced he’s too hardened by life to love anyone…until their union is threatened. Is it too late to turn this practical partnership into a real Big Sky family?

My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele’s Journey by Amanda Barratt

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1870 – New York

Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband. 

Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.
 
On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love.  When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?

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