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Undaunted Hope by Jody HedlundHistorical Romance. It's 1871, and winter will soon make travel impossible to the rough mining town of Eagle Harbor in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Newly arrived, teacher Tessa Taylor discovers the school supervisor was expecting a man. Reluctantly allowed to teach in a rundown building for a few months (no male teachers can get there before the spring thaw), determined Tessa tries to make herself indispensable before she is replaced. In the meantime, a powerful man causes trouble for many, and Tessa attracts the romantic attention of two brothers. This is the richly detailed 3rd book in the Beacons of Hope series; the 4th, Forever Safe, will be released in June.
The Painter's Daughter by Julie KlassenRegency Romance. Beautiful Sophie Dupont, the daughter of a successful Devon coast painter, is near ruin. She fell in love with a self-absorbed visiting artist, Wesley Overtree, and is pregnant, but before she can even tell Wesley the news, he unexpectedly leaves for Italy. When his responsible brother, Captain Stephen Overtree, comes looking for him and realizes Sophie's predicament, he offers a marriage of convenience. She goes to live at his family's estate, where she finds others also have secrets...and then Wesley returns. This "gorgeous story of love and redemption" (Library Journal) features gothic elements and a twisty, romantic plot that may please fans of Jane Austen and Jane Eyre.
Cold Shot by Dani PettreyRomantic Suspense. Gettysburg park ranger (and former SWAT-team sniper) Griffin McCray catches two people illegally digging for artifacts late one night. When the skeletal remains they've unearthed turn out to be very recent, he gets help from charming anthropologist Finley Scott. Also working the case are two of Griffin's childhood friends, but there's some tension among the three due to a friend's disappearance years ago. Griffin and Finley grow closer as they investigate the case, but both have emotional scars that they will have to face before they can have a future together. Cold Shot is the 1st in Dani Pettrey's fast-paced new Chesapeake Valor series, which blends intrigue, romance, and faith.
You're the One that I Want: A Christiansen Family Novel by Susan May WarrenRomance. Working on an Alaskan crabbing boat, troubled former NHL hockey player Owen Christiansen hides his past and doesn't get too close to anyone. But no matter how he tries, he can't hide his affection for Scotty, the captain's’ daughter as well as a cop, who's helping her dad on this trip. But it's not smooth sailing for these two since they'll face a multitude of trials, including being washed overboard, family drama, the news of Owen's illegitimate child, and a murder investigation. Readers charmed by the various personable members of the Christiansen family (this is the 6th and final novel in the series) will be thrilled to read prodigal son Owen's story and see what the rest of his siblings are up to.
Candle in the Darkness by Lynn AustinHistorical Fiction. When wealthy, white 12-year-old Caroline Fletcher awakes to the grief-stricken cries of her mammy one rainy morning in 1853, she learns the woman's 9-year-old son, Grady, has been sold. Caroline, the only child of a moody, sickly mother, had played with Grady since he was born, and is also distraught. With her eyes opened to how slavery tears families apart, she enters her teen years, and later, when she lives with relatives in the north, she embraces the abolitionist movement. Returning home to Richmond, she falls in love with a slave owner as civil war looms...and must decide if she has the courage to stand up for her conviction that slavery is evil and goes against the Bible. This engrossing, thought-provoking 1st in a trilogy won a 2003 Christy Award.
Not by Sight by Kate BreslinHistorical Romance. In 1917, the Great War rages and suffragettes hand out white feathers of cowardice to conscientious objectors. Slipping into a London costume ball disguised as Pandora, misguided Grace Mabry hands a feather to Jack Benningham, an aristocrat who's secretly serving as an English spy. The two feel a connection in that moment, but neither is aware of the danger and betrayal around them. Within a few months, Jack is injured and goes into seclusion, and Grace, along with her maid, joins the Women's Forage Corps and heads to rural Kent, where fate slowly pulls her and Jack together. Fans of Downton Abbey will want to read this well-researched and evocative love story.
The Twelfth Imam by Joel C. RosenbergPolitical Thriller. His parents barely escaped the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and Iranian-American CIA operative David Shirazi must now head there himself. His goal is to infiltrate and disrupt Iran's nuclear weapons program -- leaving no trace of U.S. involvement -- but he has to do so amid escalating tensions as rumors swirl that the prophecy of the Twelfth Imam has come to pass. This is the action-packed 1st in a trilogy by evangelical Christian political commentator and bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg; since it ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, fans will want to read the 2nd book, The Tehran Initiative, too.
The Crimson Cord: Rahab's Story by Jill Eileen SmithBiblical Fiction. In chapter two of Joshua, the Bible addresses how a prostitute named Rahab aided two Israelite spies before the battle of Jericho. Expanding on those verses, veteran author Jill Eileen Smith paints Rahab as a beautiful young soldier's wife -- but she's unable to have children and he has a gambling problem. Due to her husband's debts, Rahab is sold into prostitution, but eventually her faith leads her on a different path. This is the well-researched 1st in the new Daughters of the Promised Land series; the 2nd, The Prophetess: Deborah's Story, was just released in February. For another version of Rahab's story, try Tessa Afshar's Pearl in the Sand.
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