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Cherished Mercy by Tracie Peterson

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cherishedmercyCherished Mercy

1855 – Oregon

Mercy Flanagan survived the Whitman Massacre as a child, and now her heart’s cry is for peace between the native peoples and the white settlers inhabiting Oregon Territory. Unfortunately, most of the settlers would rather the tribes were removed from the land completely, one way or the other, and tensions are rising. Mercy has grown tired of Oregon City and feels that she has a larger purpose in life, so when she learns that family friend Eletta Browning is pregnant, she travels south to the Rogue River Valley to help.

At the Rogue River Mission, Mercy meets Eletta’s brother-in-law, Adam, who has suffered a broken engagement. Mercy finds him attractive, but Adam seems determined to focus on ministering to the local tribes and keeps Mercy at arm’s length.

When tragedy strikes and tensions in the territory reach the boiling point, Mercy is pushed to the limit of her strength. She and Adam must rely on their firm faith in God in order to make it out alive.

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Loving Luther by Allison Pittman

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Loving Lutherlovingluther

1505 – Germany

In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows—a choice more practical than pious—but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.

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12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

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12 Days at Bleakly Manor12daysatbleaklymanor

1851 – England

When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

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My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar

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My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemmalilysdilemma

1816 – Virginia

Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lillyanna Laughlin—or so she erroneously thinks. Mac sets her straight and despite a poor start, the two become friends. . .if only he were financially stable to offer her more. 

When Lily’s life is threatened and his whole future goes up in flames, Mac truly becomes a man without means, and Lily is forced to make the impossible choice between a loveless marriage with a man twice her age or the man who has shown her what true love could be. How can she choose between love and economic security? Her family is depending on her. Is her heart destined to break?

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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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Pony Express Special Delivery by Rhonda Gibson

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1861 – Wyoming

Pony Express manager Clayton Young arrives for his new assignment at a Wyoming ranch just in time to save Maggie Fillmore’s ailing baby. The lovely young widow is struggling to care for a ranch, her sister and a newborn, and Clayton plans to pursue medicine—not marriage. Yet Maggie’s dire situation spurs him to offer a match of convenience… 

Maggie hoped never to rely on any man again, even one as kind as Clayton. But with her late husband’s greedy cousin trying to take away her ranch, she has little choice. And though Maggie worries her union with Clayton might not be enough to save her ranch, she soon sees it could be just what her heart needs.

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The Outlaw’s Second Chance by Angie Dicken

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The Outlaw’s Second Chanceoutlawssecondchance

1893 – Oklahoma

When Cort Stanton and Aubrey Huxley try to claim the same land in the Oklahoma Land Run, Cort offers a deal—one that could help him keep his freedom. After taking the blame for his brother’s crime, Cort needs to lie low, so he gives Aubrey the land for her horse ranch…if she’ll hire him. Now he just has to avoid growing too close to the gorgeous seamstress, who can never know his secret. 

Aubrey refuses to depend on any man, even one as handsome and kind as Cort. Yet, as they work together to make her dream a reality, it’s impossible to imagine life on the prairie without him. And though Aubrey knows Cort has secrets that stand between them, she can’t help but wish she could stake a claim on his heart.

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Rancher to the Rescue by Barbara Phinney

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Rancher to the Rescueranchertotherescue

1883 – Colorado

Clare Walsh isn’t too keen on marrying, but it’s the only way for her to keep her family home…and custody of her two younger brothers. So when rancher Noah Livingstone offers a union in name only, Clare reluctantly agrees. Accepting Noah’s strictly practical proposal has an unexpected catch, though—she’s actually falling for him. 

Though Noah is drawn to vibrant, independent Clare, he knows romantic feelings will only complicate their marriage of convenience. But when secrets from his past threaten Noah’s fragile new family, he must make a difficult choice. Will Noah risk all his dreams to secure a real future with Clare?

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Bygone Christmas Brides: Six Stories of Old-Fashioned Christmas Romance

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Bygone Christmas Bridesbygonechristmasbrides

Light a candle in the window and sit down to a slice of fruitcake as you delight in six 19th Century romances that welcome love at Christmastide. Many traditions held dear today have their roots in the British Isles and have been practiced for over a hundred years. In these six delightful historical stories, romance is nurtured amidst baking Scottish shortbread and English mince pies, burning the yule log, and hanging kissing boughs. But each couple is also plagued by worries of the day. As Christmastide draws to a close, will faith and love endure for future celebrations?

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The Queen’s Daughters by Lorry Lutz

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The Queen’s Daughtersqueensdaughter

1891 – England

Inspired by a dream, Dr. Kate Bushnell writes to Josephine Butler, famous crusader who frees women from sex slavery in Victorian England. Kate tells Mrs. Butler she is planning to travel to Great Britain. Though she she doesn’t have a cent for the journey from America, God provides, and months later Kate arrives in London.

Once there, Kate and her friend Bess are invited to tea with Mrs. Butler. “When I read of your experiences rescuing girls in the lumber camps in Wisconsin,” Mrs. Butler says, “I thought you might be able to help us in India. We need proof for Parliament that the military entices or buys girls for the brothels on the bases.”

Kate glances at Bess. She sees a streak of fear in her eyes.

Mrs. Butler goes on, “I warn you, you would have to enter as secretly as possible. General Roberts, the commander-in-chief, would make sure you’d never enter another base again.” She pats Kate’s hand as if to soften her words. “I’m afraid this will be one of the hardest assignments you’ve undertaken…”

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Mail-Order Marriage Promise by Regina Scott

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Mail-Order Marriage Promisemailordermarriagepromise

1874 – Washington

Stunned that his sister ordered him a mail-order bride, John Wallin insists he’s not the husband Dottie Tyrrell needs. The scholarly logger knows Dottie will make the perfect wife—for some other man. Yet he’s compelled to invite the lovely widow and her infant son to stay with his family…but only until she can find her own way. 

Dreams of true love are for other women. Betrayed by her baby’s father, Dottie just wants a safe home for her precious child. But who could resist a man with John’s quiet strength? When her secret past brings danger to their door, they may yet find this mail-order mix-up to be the perfect mistake…

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The Promise Bride by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham

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thepromisebrideThe Promise Bride

1887 – Montana

In a booming frontier town, a heavenly match may be in store for mail-order brides seeking a fresh start . . . women of strength and spirit who embrace the challenges of life and love in the wild Montana Territory.
 

Determined to save her father and siblings from a crumbling Chicago tenement, Emilia Stanek becomes the long-distance bride of a Montana rancher. But when she arrives in Helena, a rugged lawman shatters her plans with the news that her husband is dead—and deeply in debt.
 
County sheriff Mac McCall can’t afford to be distracted by the pretty young widow, not with scandalous secrets emerging as he investigates his friend’s suspicious death. Mac’s gruff order that she leave town at once only spurs Emilia’s resolve to take ownership of her late husband’s ranch and face his debtors. But as her defenses soften, Emilia begins to accept Mac’s help, feel compassion for his own wounded heart—and learns that trust means taking a leap of faith . . .

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Enchanted Isle by Melanie Dobson

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enchantedisleEnchanted Isle

1958 – England

In the spring of 1958, Jenny Winter embarks on a two-month adventure to one of the most enchanting places on earth, a quaint village in England’s magical Lake District. With a new camera and an eye for capturing the beauty others miss, she can’t wait to explore the heathery fells and mystical waters. Adrian Kemp, a handsome and enigmatic local, makes the sightseeing even more beguiling—and he’s about to invite Jenny into one of the area’s most enduring legends.

When Adrian shows Jenny his late father’s abandoned dream, a deserted island amusement park, she glimpses a kindred spirit in this reckless, haunted young man. Yet as she opens her heart to Adrian, the two stumble into a labyrinth of mystery leading back a generation to an unforgettable romance and an unsolved murder that still casts a shadow over the lakes. As long-held secrets come to light, it’s left to Jenny and Adrian to put the past to rest and restore a lost dream.

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Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

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Many Sparrows manysparrows

1774 – Ohio/Kentucky

In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.

When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son…especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?

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Liar’s Winter by Cindy Sproles

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Liar’s Winterliarswinter

1893 – Tennessee

Lochiel Ogle was born with a red-wine birthmark–and it put her life in jeopardy from the moment she entered the world. Mountain folks called it “the mark of the devil,” and for all the evil that has plagued her nineteen-year existence, Lochiel is ready to believe that is true. And the evil surely took control of the mind of the boy who stole her as an infant, bringing her home for his mother to raise.

Abused and abandoned by the only people she knows as family, Lochiel is rescued by a peddler and given the first glimpse of love she has ever known. The truth of her past is gradually revealed as is the fact that she is still hunted by a brother driven to see her dead. Unsure if there’s anyone she can truly trust, Lochiel is faced with a series of choices: Will she continue to run for escape or will she face her past and accept the heartbreaking secrets it reveals? Which will truly free her?

Set in the wild and beautiful Appalachian Mountains of nineteenth-century East Tennessee, Liar’s Winter is an unflinching yet inspirational exploration of prejudice and choice.

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