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1890 – Texas
Leila Abbott, despaired of ever finding a husband, has one goal in mind–to raise enough money for a library and a new addition for the clinic. Jake Halliday’s goal is to find a place he can call home after five years of drifting from town to town. Leila’s attraction to the tall, dark stranger grows as he blends in with the people of Paradise Valley and lends a hand with his wood-working skills to help organize the largest fund-raising event ever seen by the town. Leila’s enthusiasm and determination strike a chord in Jake as he searches for answers about faith and forgiveness. Their hopes and dreams for the future may well drive them apart, or bring about the love they both have sought.
A Noble Masquerade
1812 – England
Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, the Duke of Marshington. Since she’s never actually met the man she has no intention of ever sending the letters and is mortified when her brother’s mysterious new valet, Marlow, mistakenly mails one of the letters to the unsuspecting duke.
Shockingly, this breach of etiquette results in a reply from the duke that soon leads to a lively correspondence. Insecurity about her previous lack of suitors soon becomes confusion as Miranda finds herself equally intrigued by Marlow, a man she has come to depend upon but whose behavior grows more suspicious by the day. As the secret goings-on at her family’s estate come to light, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.
1880 – Iowa
After a year of geological surveying northeastern Iowa, English paleontologist James Holly yearns to join a fossil dig in Colorado. Although amused by the town’s folklore and Christmas festivities, he doesn’t believe in superstitions or curses. Celebrating the holiday only reminds him of the family he lost. What goodwill he has for the townsfolk dissipates after someone steals one of his fossils. For once in his life he needs is a bit of luck on his side, and he’ll take it, even if it’s in the form of a charming lady.
Everyone knows fortune favors Lena Reinhardt. That’s why on St. Barbara’s Day since she turned eighteen, she’s the lucky one who places the cherry twig in the holy water. The town believes her good fortune causes the year’s windfall of crops and livestock, and it will continue as long as she stays unmarried. This year, though, Lena believes God sent James to change her luck. Now if she can only convince him…
A Bride for the Season
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 . . .
Her Holiday Family
1896 – Texas
Reserved widow Eileen Pierce never considered herself the kind of woman who was cut out to be a mother. She wouldn’t know what to do with one child, much less ten. But when handyman Simon Tucker is stranded in town with a group of young orphans at Christmastime, she discovers she can’t just turn them away. Simon knows there’s more to Eileen than meets the eye. Though his easygoing demeanor immediately clashes with her buttoned-up propriety, Simon’s kindness soon melts Eileen’s stern facade. Simon and the children already upended Eileen’s quiet, orderly life. Will they do the same to her guarded heart?
The Gift of a Child
1873 – Kansas
At twenty-seven, Rose Kellogg knows it’s unlikely that she’ll ever marry. Her dreams of motherhood seem hopeless. Until she rescues Alf, a young boy abandoned in her father’s barn in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. In Alf, Rose finally has hope again, and she’s not alone…. Cattle rancher Seth Montgomery always felt awkward around people, but that’s not the case with Rose and Alf. Seth instantly bonds with the shy boy and is eager to help Rose make her dream of a family come true. But when their future with Alf is threatened, will Seth and Rose find the courage to embrace the love they’ve found in each other?
Prelude for a Lord
1810 – England
At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician. In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal. But when a thief’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument . . . with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick. Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul. Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . .
At the advanced age of twenty-seven, vicar’s daughter Prudence Pentrye is on the shelf. Content to occupy her time by attending meetings of Mr. Wilberforce’s Abolition Society and helping her father administer vaccines in an effort to prevent a small pox epidemic, Prudence is resolved to see that her younger cousin Margaret does not share her own unmarried fate. But Margaret is plain and shy. She is repulsed when a swashbuckling baronet, Sir James Brownell, makes her an offer of marriage. With his sunburned skin, eye patch, and indifference to fashion, Sir James is not Margaret’s idea of a romantic suitor. Nor does Margaret enjoy his tales of fighting against Malay pirates and trekking through tropical jungles on the island of Borneo in hopes of capturing a living orangutan. Prudence, however, finds herself secretly smitten. Will she maintain control of her traitorous heart or will she trust God to make her life richer and more rewarding than the one she had planned for herself?
Groom by Design
1923 – Michigan
Dressmaker Ruth Fox gave up her dream of a husband and children long ago. Her family’s floundering dress shop, her ailing father and her two younger sisters require Ruth’s full attention. Though the handsome new stranger in town is intriguing, Ruth is certain he wouldn’t look twice at a plain spinster of twenty-six. Sam Rothenburg’s connection with the shy young woman next door is immediate, but he knows Ruth will be crushed when she discovers his real purpose in town. Sam is secretly working to open one of his father’s large department stores in Pearlman, Michigan, which will surely put Ruth out of business. How much is Sam willing to sacrifice to claim Ruth’s heart?
1816 – England
When tragedy strikes, Juliana and her family must flee their home. Can they persuade a virtual stranger to help them? Juliana isn’t so sure, especially after their chaperone threatens to cane him. Even as Juliana struggles to trust him, she finds herself drawn to this mysterious man. Surely all she wants from him is refuge… Rupert is a man whose life depends on his ability to remain unnoticed. What, then, is he supposed to do with this family he’s inherited? His life is overrun with an ancient chaperone who would terrify a lesser man, two spirited girls, and the secretive Juliana – someone he comes to think of as his own precious jewel. With this new responsibility thrust upon him, Rupert will have to make sacrifices – but will God ask him to sacrifice everything?
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1868 – Nashville
Pink is not what Eleanor Braddock ordered, but maybe it would soften the tempered steel of a woman who came through a war . . . and still had one to fight.
Eleanor Braddock – plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty – knows she will never marry. But with a dying soldier’s last whisper, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. Impoverished and struggling to care for her ailing father, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion, home of her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America – and possibly the most demanding, as well. Adelicia insists on finding her niece a husband, but a simple act of kindness leads Eleanor down a far different path – building a home for destitute widows and fatherless children from the Civil War. While Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve of this endeavor.
Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Hiding his royal heritage, Marcus longs to combine his passion for nature with his expertise in architecture, but his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widows’ and children’s home run contrary to Eleanor’s wishes. As work on the home draws them closer together, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground – and a love neither of them expects.
But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor, and even if he were, someone who knows his secrets is about to reveal them all.
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1894 – Arizona Territory
The Cactus Corner singles scene is shrinking. . . . Many were unmarried by choice, others by circumstances, but single women living the 1800s carried the unfortunate label of “spinsters.” Once branded, can a spinster find love?
India Cunningham is happy running the ranch her father left her when a man she doesn’t remember from her childhood arrives to help her. Can she trust Joshua Dillinger, or is he there to steal her land?
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1830 – North Carolina
Ida Mae McAuley wounder if her occupation and marital status will forever be defined by the same word – spinster. Cyrus Morgan has proposed more than once, but is her gratitude for his kindness since her kindness since her parents’ tragic deaths reason enough to accept? Seven years ago Olin Orr’s temper cost another man his life. Now an accomplished tinsmith, Olin returns to Charlotte to rent McAuley’s vacant smithy, knowing he must also face the past. When the lovely Ida Mae begins receiving threats, demanding she get rid of her tenant, Olin fears coming home was a mistake. But in the prepetrator trying to get rid of Olin? Or is Ida Mae the real target?