Beneath the Bending Skies by Jane KirkpatrickStarring: Mollie Sheehan, the dutiful teenage daughter of an Irish immigrant father in 1860s Montana, who falls for a man ten years her senior.
What happens: Mollie's father forbids the relationship and even moves his family to California. But Mollie eventually marries her love, who becomes the agent for Montana's Flathead Indian Reservation, where they live for many years.
Why you might like it: This engaging, well-researched novel is based on real events and real people and "brings insight and empathy to historical intercultural relations" (Booklist).
To Win a Prince by Toni ShilohThe downfall: Prince Ekon Diallo, who plotted against the new queen of the fictional African nation of Ọlọrọ Iléwho, is stripped of his title by the royal council, and of his servants, car, and home by his father.
Redemption: Iris Blakely, the queen's best friend, starts a fashion business to help create jobs. As part of his punishment, a remorseful Ekon acts as her business consultant, drawing the two together.
Series alert: This charming, faith-filled royal romance follows In Search of a Prince, where an American teacher learns she's African royalty.
The Florence Legacy by Lauraine SnellingThe setup: A member of a writing group dies and leaves each of the four others money for a dream trip to Italy, but only one, Bree, is able to go.
What happens: Widowed Bree develops feelings for an acquaintance helping her learn Italian, stands firm against her spoiled adult daughter (who thinks her mother should give her the money), and heads to Europe, taking cooking classes and sightseeing.
For fans of: evocative settings; character-driven novels featuring older women; stories about faith, friendship, grief, and romance.
Come Down Somewhere by Jennifer L. Wright1940s New Mexico: World War II rages, and the government seizes the Alexander family's land for a top-secret Army site. Living in nearby Alamogordo, teenage Olive Alexander befriends Jo, the Christian daughter of the sergeant living in Olive's old home...but events tear them asunder.
Seven years later: Returning to Alamogordo, Jo is still upset with Olive and her faith is shaken, but she's determined to put the past behind her. Then she learns something that changes what she thought was true.
Reviewers say: Based on real events, Come Down Somewhere "is historical fiction as it is meant to be told" (Library Journal).
The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn AustinFresh starts: English best friends now living in Connecticut, Audrey Barrett and Eve Dawson are looking forward to Christmas 1951 and starting new traditions with their five-year-old sons.
Toys, toys, toys: But when the Sears Christmas Wish Book arrives and the boys obsess over it, Audrey and Eve realize the kids need to learn about the real spirit of the holiday, including helping others.
Why you might like it: This charming, nostalgic novel features characters from If I Were You, highlights the meaning of the season, and shows hearts healing from the tragedies of war.
First Christmas on Huckleberry Hill by Jennifer BeckstrandHow matchmakers get matched: Family members gather at the home of elderly Amish couple Anna and Felty Helmuth on Christmas Eve and hear the story of how the renowned matchmakers got together.
Home from war: As a young man, Felty felt God wanted him to join the Army; even so his pacifist Amish community didn't welcome him back from Korea with open arms. But lovely Anna Yoder was still kind to him...
Series alert: This 10th entry in the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill will please newcomers who'd enjoy a look at 1950s Amish life as well as series fans, who'll adore reading Anna and Felty's love story.
An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie KlassenA family ultimatum: Richard Brockwell, a selfish bachelor who's nearly 30 and living in his family's London townhouse, must attend his mother's 1822 Christmas house party in Wiltshire or be cut off financially.
What happens: With the funny stray dog he's recently adopted, Richard returns to the bucolic village of Ivy Hill and finds himself unexpectedly charmed by houseguest Arabella Awdry. But she's planning to devote her life to charity work and finds Richard unsuitable for many reasons.
Series alert: This delightful Tales from Ivy Hill novella will please series fans as well as anyone who enjoys Christmas romances with themes of redemption.
Alaskan Holiday by Debbie MacomberLove is in the air: In remote Ponder, Alaska, Palmer Saxon falls for Josie Avery, who's the chef at the lakeside lodge until it closes for winter, when she'll head home to Seattle and her dream job at a new restaurant.
'Tis the season: Despite Palmer's marriage proposal, Josie returns home, but events conspire to bring them together for Christmas.
Is it for you? While this sweet book doesn't have a strong religious theme, it's a heartwarming holiday romance written by a Christian author.
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