Book Recommendation – Merry Ex-Mas by Courtney Walsh

Book Description:

I haven’t been home for Christmas in eight years.

But that’s about to change. This year, I’m traveling to my small hometown to convince my producer to make me the permanent host of Good Day Denver.

The plan: Charm viewers by sharing my favorite family Christmas traditions, and in turn, get the likes, clicks and shares to land the job.

Not the plan: Running into my ex-boyfriend.

In my house.

For Christmas.

But here he is, a guest of my mother, who apparently had more trouble letting go of Max Weber than I did.

Unfortunately, he is as handsome and charming and talented and annoying and frustrating and flirty as ever.

Even more unfortunately, he seems to have a plan of his own—to convince me to give him a second chance.

Which is not happening.

There’s just one problem—my viewers love him. More than that, they love us. Me and Max. My ex.

The boy who broke my heart.

The boy I now have to fake flirt with to win over the hearts of my viewers.

But it’s not their hearts I’m worried about. . . it’s mine.

Merry Ex-Mas is a sweet, small town, second chance romance with a dash of not-so-fake flirting, a tiny bit of enemies to lovers and just enough forced proximity to make things sizzle.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Merry Ex-Mas, a sweet and clean romcom set in a small town in Illinois. I do want to clarify that the main characters are not Christian, and this means they’re not necessarily following the Christian morality code that many readers would expect to see in contemporary Christian romances (CCR). The target audience for this book is general market romance readers who like sweet, clean, and flirty romantic comedies.

Marin is a tv journalist based in Denver who wants to land the news anchor job. Her producer, Steph, after hearing about Marin’s mother being the queen of Christmas, decides that Marin should go home to Pleasant Valley, Illinois, with her and Danny (their cameraman) to film Marin’s homecoming for Christmas.

Two weeks before Christmas, Marin surprises her parents by arriving on their doorstep unannounced. Marin is shocked when Max, her childhood sweetheart who dumped her eight years ago, opens the door to her parent’s home. Max and Marin’s mother’s were best friends who lived next door to each other until Max’s parents were killed in a car accident eight years ago. Everyone thought Marin and Max would get married, and Marin was heartbroken when Max broke up with her not long after his parents passed. Marin still carries a grudge, and struggles to get over what happened between her and Max.

A hilarious enemies-to-love romance, with a fake relationship in the mix for their social media fans to assist Marin in getting her promotion, unfolds in the story. Steph schedules Marin to be filmed at town events in the lead up to Christmas.

Both Max and Marin have to deal with emotional baggage from their shared past, and old feelings that resurface while they’re living in close proximity in her parent’s home in the lead up to Christmas. I recommend Merry Ex-Mas to contemporary romance readers who like second chances and enemies-to-love sweet and clean Christmas romcoms set in a small town.

Book Recommendation – The Bookshop of Secrets by Mollie Rushmeyer

Book Description:

A collection of lost books holds the clues to her family’s legacy…and her future.

Hope Sparrow has mastered the art of outrunning her tragic past, learning never to stay anywhere too long and never to allow anyone control over her life again. Coming to Wanishin Falls in search of her family’s history already feels too risky. But somewhere in the towering stacks of this dusty old bookshop are the books that hold Hope’s last ties to her late mother—and to a rumored family treasure that could help her start over.

Only, the bookshop is in shambles, and the elderly owner is in the beginning stages of dementia and can’t remember where the books lie. To find the last links to the loved ones she’s lost, Hope must stay and accept help from the townsfolk to locate the treasured volumes. Each secret she uncovers brings her closer to understanding where she came from. But the longer she stays in the quaint town, the more people find their way into the cracks in her heart. And letting them in may be the greatest risk of all…

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading The Bookshop of Secrets, set in a small town in Minnesota on the shore of Lake Superior. Hope is a survivor, and she is dealing with the consequences of long term abuse and trauma. She is slow to trust, and is determined to fulfil her late mother’s wish from many years ago which is to solve the family mystery surrounding lost treasure.

Hope has changed her name, and she is the mysterious newcomer who arrives in the small town of Winishin Falls looking for old books she claims belonged to her mother. The valuable books were supposed to be put aside in a safe place. Her mother’s friend, who was looking after the books, has passed. The friend’s next of kin is an elderly brother who owns the book store in their home town and is fast losing his memory.

Hope’s plan is to find the missing books, solve the family mystery, and leave town ASAP. Getting attached to the town or the people is not something she can allow to happen. Hope doesn’t factor in meeting Ronan, the grandson of the book store owner, who offers to help Hope with her search. Ronan has his own secrets, and a prosthetic lower leg from a tragic work accident.

Hope and Ronan are drawn to each other despite their initial reservations, and there is potential for their developing feelings to become something more if they can overcome their past and their fears. Hope, in particular, has a challenging journey to travel from brokenness to healing and faith in a God who loves her unconditionally. The story is not a lighthearted read because it’s dealing with significant emotional issues.

I loved the mystery in the story, and how it played out in a way that challenged both Hope and Ronan to explore their family history and deep roots in Winishin Falls. I recommend The Bookshop of Secrets for contemporary romance readers who like romantic mysteries with emotional depth that address heavy issues with a relevant faith element in the story.

Many thanks to the author for an advanced reader copy.

Christian Fiction New Releases: November 2022

Trust Me With Your Heart, Cowboy (Cavanagh Cowboys 6) by Valerie Comer

A cowboy bent on discovering the truth. A woman with nothing to hide… except her forbidden torch for the younger man whose family her father hurt.

Ryder Cavanagh yearns to be seen as more than a tagalong kid brother, so he invites his law-student buddy to assess rumors involving his stepbrothers’ uncle. Ryder doesn’t stand a chance with the suspect’s beautiful daughter, anyway. Ryder is several years younger, and then there’s the family connection.

But Carey Anderson is not immune to the unassuming cowboy. She’s back in Jewel Lake to be near cousins and friends, to escape the continuing fallout of her parents’ spectacular divorce, and to daydream about Ryder. Who cares about three years age difference when they’re both in their twenties? Making the first move feels risky, but it might be worth it.

Fragile trust comes to a crashing halt when Carey discovers the investigation Ryder can’t derail. Is justice more important than love and trust?

More Montana Ranches Christian Romances to buy or borrow from USA Today bestselling author Valerie Comer!

Cavanagh Cowboys Romance
Join the Cavanagh brothers as they rope in romance in this Montana Ranches Christian romance series!
1. Marry Me for Real, Cowboy
2. Give Me Another Chance, Cowboy
3. Let Me off Easy, Cowboy
4. Kiss Me Like You Mean It, Cowboy
5. Choose Me for Always, Cowboy
6. Trust Me With Your Heart, Cowboy

Her Christmas Redemption by Toni Shiloh

Can she find a second chance…
on a town’s holiday wish list?

Organizing her church’s Christmas Wishes program is the perfect start to Vivian Dupre’s new life—one without the shame of her recent mistakes. But as she grows closer to co-coordinator Michael Wood, she’s even more determined to keep her past hidden. Together they can give joy to their small town. But when Michael discovers her secret, will he be willing to grant Vivian’s holiday wish—forgiveness?

Within the Storm (Seasons of Faith 3) by Milla Holt

He hid the truth to spare her heart, even as it broke his.

Five years ago, Bethany lost her husband, a world-famous actor, in a freak accident. Since then, she has rebuilt her life away from the limelight in her small Norwegian hometown.

But her peace is about to be destroyed.

A vengeful co-star is preparing to publish a vicious tell-all book to smear her late husband’s name. Refusing to stand by and allow his memory to be tarnished, Bethany scrambles to release her own biography to celebrate his legacy. To make that happen, she needs mementos and stories from his childhood. That means swallowing her pride and asking for help from his brother, Lukas, who’s always treated her with icy indifference.

Lukas knew his brother never deserved Bethany. The selfish, narcissistic rogue swept her off her feet while keeping her in the dark about the unsavory and immoral corners of his life. The only way Lukas could protect his own heart and integrity was to keep Bethany at arm’s length and avoid blurting out his feelings for her. She deserved better… to be treasured and adored. Knowing he could never fill that role, he hid his attraction and his guilt, and allowed her to believe he despised her.

Now, as she turns to him to help memorialize his brother, Lukas faces an impossible choice. If he lets her discover the truth, he’ll open up a long-awaited chance to confess his feelings for her. But the full truth will also reveal his own role in hiding a closet full of skeletons.

Within the Storm is Book 3 in Milla Holt’s Seasons of Faith Christian romance series. Five friends were in the same wedding in a small Norwegian town over twenty years ago. Four bridesmaids, one bride. Now, two decades on, each woman learns that God’s timing is perfect as they find forever love later in life.

Puppy Love and Christmas Cookies (Happiness in Hallburg 3) by Merrillee Whren

When Lesley Ackerman meets Alex Randall, she’s smarting from the recent breakup with her long-time boyfriend. She isn’t interested in a rebound romance, but his sweet kids steal her heart.

Alex Randall has moved to Hallburg to take a position as the high school basketball coach, and he hopes moving to a new town will help him get over his wife’s death. He’s not interested in the standoffish young woman their mutual friends keep pushing at him. But he’s desperate to find someone to watch his kids while he’s away at a basketball tournament. She fits the bill, but she comes with a confession that shakes both of them.

Can Christmas cookies, a cute puppy, and two matchmaking children help Lesley and Alex overcome hurts from the past and find love?

Muskoka Christmas by Carolyn Miller

Staci Everton is a multi-published author of historical romances, whose Christmas Eve deadline for a new book sees her leave her Chicago home to go write while staying with her grandmother in the beautiful small town of Muskoka Shores, Canada. Staci is determined to finish her manuscript, despite the small town’s Christmas charm – and Muskoka Shores most eligible bachelor.

Dr. James Wells is on enforced leave from working in Africa, after nearly burning out. He’s here to spend time with family, not spend time with a workaholic whose focus on fiction is very different from the harsh realities he’s faced.

But Christmas is a time of second chances, family and faith. Maybe they’ll find magic under the mistletoe, and a future after all.

Waiting on the Tides by Tabitha Bouldin

People are more than the sum of their mistakes.

After a life lived in her older brother’s shadow, Abby Solomon is ready to take on the world—or at least a teaching position that puts her face to face with the one guy who thinks she’s nothing more than an immature nuisance.

When his daughter’s mother abandoned them, Christian Johnson swore off women and the trouble they bring. No wife—no drama. Just how he likes it.  But as Christian struggles to juggle his job as a cop with raising his daughter and tracking down a runaway teen, he’s forced to ask the one woman who reminds him of his wife for help.

Abby is thrilled with the opportunity to show Christian that there’s more to her than what he thinks. But just as Christian begins to trust Abby, she makes a colossal mistake that threatens to ruin everything. 

She just wanted to be accepted.

He wanted to be left alone. 

It’ll take a runaway teen to show them that love is not measured by a single mistake.

This Breakers Head novel is Tabitha Bouldin’s final book in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Running to the Hero by Hannah Jo Abbott

Spending Christmas with a reclusive grinch isn’t exactly what this runaway bride had in mind for her honeymoon.

Felicity Keaton didn’t even bother to shed her wedding dress when she left her hometown in the rearview mirror. As if it weren’t already the worst day of her life, an accident lands her in the ER in an unknown town – where the handsome doctor is as mysterious as she is.

Jude Palmer tries to keep to himself, which is easier said than done in the small town where everyone knows your business. Living in a tourist hotspot at Christmas is difficult when you would rather be in seclusion.

When Felicity dives into the community in full holiday spirit, she drags Jude along with her. He’s determined not to enjoy it, but Felicity makes that nearly impossible.

Jude knows if he tells her about his past, she will run again. Can Felicity convince him he’s been the hero all along?

Hope for the Hero by Mandi Blake

She’s his opposite, and opposites don’t attract. So why is she impossible to resist?

Tessa Mitchell is finally getting a chance to work at her brother’s private security firm, and after one hundred other jobs that didn’t work out, this one needs to stick. Headquarters could use a makeover anyway. Oh, and she’s working for up-tight Adam. Ruffling his meticulous feathers should be fun.

Adam Roberts doesn’t need an assistant, especially not flighty Tessa. If she’d let him get a word in between her constant questions, he’d save her the trouble. She’s not meant to work in the security field.

Except, Tessa is intelligent underneath all that flirty chatter, and Adam can’t focus when she’s around. The smart thing to do would be to shut down the feelings and put some space between them. Instead, they’re sent out of town for work. Together.

When a snowstorm descends on their first co-assignment, will a change in the weather cause a change in their hearts?

Authentically Izzy by Pepper Basham

Dear Reader, My name is Isabelle Louisa Edgewood—Izzy, for short. I live by blue-tinted mountains, where I find contentment in fresh air and books. Oh, and coffee and tea, of course. And occasionally in being accosted by the love of my family. (You’ll understand my verb choice in the phrase later.) I dream of opening my own bookstore, but my life, particularly my romantic history, has not been the stuff of fairy tales. Which is probably why my pregnant, misled, matchmaking cousin—who, really, is more like my sister—signed me up for an online dating community.

The trouble is . . . it worked. I’ve met my book-quoting Mr. Right, and our correspondence has been almost too good to be true. But Brodie lives across an ocean. And just the other day, a perfectly nice author and professor named Eli came into the library where I work and asked me out for a coffee. I feel a rom-com movie with a foreboding disaster nipping at my heels.

But I’ve played it safe for a long time. Maybe it’s time for me to be as brave as my favorite literary heroines. Maybe it’s time to take the adventures from the page to real life. Wish me luck.

Authentically,

Izzy

  • Witty, hilarious, and heartwarming contemporary romance about book lovers
  • A sweet, kisses-only romance
  • An epistolary novel written mostly in emails and texts
  • Stand-alone novel

An Alaskan Christmas Promise by Belle Calhoune

A Christmas to cherish…

And a secret to protect.

This needs to be the best Christmas Kit O’Malley has ever seen—because she may not be able to see another. Diagnosed with failing vision, it takes all her determination to stay focused on what makes her happy: her daughter, her service-puppy-in-training and the puppy’s trainer, Leo Duggan. But they can’t reach their Christmas joy together until Kit’s secret comes to light…

A Secret Christmas Family by Jenna Mindel

It started out as strictly business.

Will the power of Christmas transform it into more?

Bo Harris’s proposal is the last thing newly widowed Ruth Miller expects. But the marriage arrangement could be the only chance to save her family business. It’s just for one year, and the new business partners promise to keep their vows a secret. But as Bo starts falling for Ruth and her boys, will he allow their first Christmas together to be their last?

A Christmas Bargain by Mindy Obenhaus

Can a property dispute…

Turn into a holiday blessing?

When single mom Annalise Grant inherits a fledgling Christmas tree farm in Texas, she vows to do whatever it takes to make it a success. But when neighbor Hawkins Prescott claims some of her trees are on his property, the only option is a partnership. As Christmas draws closer, Annalise and Hawkins find themselves growing closer as well. Could a family by Christmas become part of the deal?

Christmas Crime Cover-Up by Dana Mentink

A violent attack

Isn’t the homecoming she expected.

When an ATV tries to run her down in Death Valley, animal rescuer Nora Duke knows it’s a sign she never should have returned. Now she’s stuck on Seth Castillo’s ranch until Christmas with a pregnant donkey—and a criminal desperate to silence her. Facing her past is as terrifying as uncovering a killer’s twisted plan. But can Seth convince her to stay…if they live through the holidays?

Hunted in Alaska by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Gunmen in pursuit…

And the ruthless wilderness is the only refuge.

No legitimate plane should be near Hayley Brent’s remote Alaskan cabin this time of year—and her fears are confirmed when gunshots fly her way. When one of the weapon-smugglers on board claims to be an undercover ATF agent, Hayley must decide fast whether she believes him because with vicious pursuers and a blizzard closing in, Sean O’Keefe may be her only hope of surviving…

Christmas Baby Rescue by Jordyn Redwood

An infant on his doorstep…

And enemies closing in.

Liam Knight’s solitary plans for Christmas Eve fall apart when he discovers a baby left outside his cabin—and bloody footprints leading to his injured pen pal. Suffering from PTSD, the former navy SEAL thinks he’s the wrong choice to protect Ashlyn Sutton and her infant niece. But with contract killers on their trail, he must overcome his fear…and stop the criminal behind the threats.

Refuge Up in Flames by Shirley Jump

Their safe place…

Just became a dangerous trap

After his daughter breaks her arm and an arsonist stalks their small Colorado town, widower Mike Byrne decides to spend Christmas at their mountain cabin. But when Julia Beaumont, Ginny’s reluctant occupational therapist, makes a surprise visit just before a snowstorm hits, Mike is forced to share their refuge. Only, the arsonist is closer than they think and nowhere is safe. Least of all the treacherous, snow-covered Rockies…

Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman

When she was just five years old, Melissa Braxton watched her father take her mother’s life. Separated from her sister, Lola, at that time, Melissa grew up with a strong desire to help those stuck in abusive relationships. It’s why she became a family therapist and opened a domestic abuse shelter.

After losing a leg to a gunshot wound in the line of duty, Phil Osbourne has felt like a man without a purpose–until he hears Melissa’s story and decides to use his Special Forces contacts to track down her missing sister. He knows what he discovers will break Melissa’s heart. What he doesn’t realize is that helping the women reunite will bring the cartel down on them like the Category 5 hurricane striking Miami.

Bruised yet not quite broken, Melissa and Phil battle the storm and the cartel, calling on strength they didn’t know they had to escape death, save the innocent, and–just maybe–find healing in each other’s arms.

Deadly Conclusion by Kathy Harris

A Fast-Paced Suspense Book You Can’t Put Down

In the thrilling conclusion of the “Deadly Secrets” series, dog trainer Keely Lambert breaks in Titan, a new shepherd, during a rescue mission to find little Conner Wells. Aided by childhood friend, Beau Gardner of the TBI and Conner’s uncle, Keely finds the boy deep inside Beaman Park.

But Conner is not all that Keely found. On the way back to the welcome center, she notices something sticking out of the dirt—the military dog tags of her father who disappeared more than two decades before.

The discovery sets Keely on a hunt to unearth her father’s killer, only to be thwarted by multiple setbacks—the murder of Beau’s father, the kidnapping of her mother, and her kennel being set on fire in the middle of the night. After Keely is kidnapped herself, Beau leads a manhunt to find her before the outcome reaches a deadly conclusion.

Sealed with a Christmas Promise by Laura Scott

Risking their hearts and their lives while protecting the innocent…

A promise to protect . . .


After months of searching, former SEAL turned cop Bryce Flynn and his K9, Kirby, has finally found Callie Burgess. He needs to question her about her former boyfriend, a member of the Desert Death Rays motorcycle gang, who was recently murdered. But when shots are fired through the window of the diner where she’s working, he realizes she’s in danger too.

After being betrayed by a police officer in the past, Callie doesn’t trust cops. But when a gunman comes after her, she has little choice but to accept Bryce’s promise to protect her. Her life is in shambles—no money, no job, no place to live. The only redeeming factors are the stray puppy she’s found and Bryce himself.

As the Christmas holiday approaches, will Bryce keep Callie safe and convince her to give love a chance?

Made of Steele by Susan Sleeman

She keeps her feelings to herself…
When Teagan Steele faces her hardest challenge since taking over her family’s security company, she has to dig deep to figure out how one of their clients smuggled antiquities into this country, and what they did with them. And she has to clear Steele Guardians of any charges of collusion and wrongdoing.

But a bold undercover agent changes everything.
When she comes face-to-face with undercover ICE agent, Drew Collier, who is deep in the smuggling ring, she has to work hard to keep her emotions in check and herself professional at all times. Despite her best efforts, Teagan and Drew grow closer, but a new threat soon puts their budding relationship to the test and their lives in grave danger

Sundown by Susan May Warren

Former Delta Operative Colt Kingston knows when someone is lying. He may not know the truth, but he sure doesn’t trust Tae, the woman who is caring for his ailing father at Sky King Ranch. Behind those beautiful blue eyes, he can tell there is a troubled–and smart–woman.

A few of her stories prove true–he’s found the crashed plane and the dead body inside. Still, her story of survival seems too incredible to believe . . . until the thugs she claims to be hunting her show up and threaten Sky King Ranch. Now Tae must disappear, along with her secrets.

But Colt’s not about to let her go it alone. And when they discover that her secrets include the antidote to a plague that threatens the world, it’ll take all three Kingston brothers to save the country they’ve vowed to protect.

Susan May Warren brings her Sky King Ranch series to a climactic close with this high-stakes race against the clock.

Targeted by Lynette Eason, Lynn H Blackburn, Natalie Walters

Get ready for triple the excitement, intrigue, and romance with three heart-stopping stories from your favorite romantic suspense authors!

In On the Run, Lynette Eason introduces you to IT Specialist Daria Nevsky, a highly skilled FBI agent with the ability to hack any computer. She must go on the run to find out who wants her dead–and Dr. Ryker Donahue refuses to let her do it alone.

In Deadly Objective, Lynn H. Blackburn throws physical therapist Emily Dixon and Secret Service Agent Liam Harper into an impossible situation. They don’t know why the vice president’s son seems to be in the crosshairs of a killer, but they’ll sacrifice anything to keep him safe.

In Caught in the Crosshairs, Natalie Walters pits former Army PSYOPS officer Ari Blackman against his colleague, CIA officer Claudia Gallegos, when Claudia is implicated in the murder of a Saudi prince. Can he prevent a coup that would put America at risk?

The Hidden Prince by Tessa Afshar

From the bestselling author of Jewel of the Nile comes the thrilling tale of a woman who feels she has no future but soon discovers the fate of nations may rest in her hands.

The beloved daughter of Jewish captives in Babylon, Keren is sold into Daniel’s household to help her family survive. She becomes Daniel’s most trusted scribe, while taking lessons and swordsmanship training alongside Daniel’s sons and their best friend, Jared.

But after a tragic accident changes the course of her life, Keren finds herself in a foreign country, charged with a mysterious task: teaching a shepherd boy how to become a lord. When she overhears whispers that hint at his true identity, she realizes she must protect him from the schemes of a bloodthirsty king.

Jared cannot forgive Keren. Still, he finds himself traveling over mountains to fetch her back to the safety of home. When he discovers the secret identity of Keren’s pupil, Jared knows he must help protect him. Love battles bitterness as they flee from the king’s agents, trying to save the boy who could one day deliver their people from captivity.

A Daughter’s Courage by Misty M. Beller

Her quest to repair what’s been broken leads to imminent danger–and soon it’s more than her own life on the line.

After accidentally destroying the intricately carved chalice her people have treasured for over a hundred years, Charlotte Durand sets out in search of a skilled artisan who can repair the damage. What she expected to be a two-day trek becomes much more daunting when a treacherous snowstorm sets in.

Searching for solitude and respite from his troubling past, the last thing Damien Levette needs in the middle of a mountain blizzard is to tend to another person, but he can’t leave behind the mysterious woman he found half frozen at the edge of a mountain lake.

As they battle both the elements and their distrust of each other, Charlotte and Damien must work together to survive the peril of the mountains–or it could be the downfall of them both.

The Brilliance of Stars by J’Nell Ciesielski

Amid the chaos of the Great War, two elite assassins learn precisely how dangerous it is to have something—or someone—worth losing.

Washington, DC, 1914. Ivy Olwen knows how to survive on the streets without two coins to rub together. Then destiny thrusts her into the nest of a covert agency of assassins sworn to drive back the world’s darkness, and she acquires a new set of lethal skills. Her education—from explosives to etiquette, sharpshooting to sabotage—is as far reaching as the organization’s missions. But it’s the hours she spends among the towering bookshelves in the library and stargazing on the roof with Agent Jack Vale that make her heart fly.

Jack knew plenty of hardship before the agency refined his rough edges, transforming him into the man who never misses. But he didn’t know the feeling of home until Ivy entered his world. Now Jack’s heart drums with a singular purpose: he will fight for her, fight alongside her. No matter the cost.

When the pair is sent on a seemingly simple mission to take down Russia’s newest and most dangerous arms dealer—a soulless man using the Great War as an opportunity to further his own depraved agenda—they discover that no amount of training could have prepared them for a manhunt that takes them across the frozen tundra, to the Crimean Peninsula, and along the Trans-Siberian Railway . . . only to discover that there is evil in the world they will never understand.

The first book of an epic duology from bestselling author J’nell Ciesielski, The Brilliance of Stars incorporates her signature blend of thrilling adventure, glamorous espionage, and sweeping romance.

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green

In 1942, an impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European front puts Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine. Though she has never been much of a reader, when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn’t be more different–a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.

At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they have more in common than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost.

Passages of Hope by Terri J. Haynes

Discover the Story Behind a Secret Passageway
 
Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.

Gracie Kingston begins renovations on the Philadelphia house inherited from her grandmother and finds a secret room. It is connected to a house nearby, the home of William Still, the man known as the father of the Underground Railroad. As she researches, she discovers a mystery in her house’s ownership. In 1855, Olivia Kingston helps a mother and her young child by hiding them in a secret room in her home. As she helps, she learns that there may be an impostor conductor in their community. As Gracie’s and Olivia’s stories intertwine, they learn the meaning of sacrifice and love.

The Delightful Lady Delia by Grace Hitchcock

Behind the curtain, she must put on the performance of a lifetime . . . while love and risk take center stage.

Delia Vittoria’s mother has lost her voice at last. After five years of being her diva mother’s understudy, it is time for Delia to assume her place as the lead soprano onstage behind the Academy of Music’s faded velvet curtain. And she is all that stands between the Academy and its greatest threat–the nouveaux riches’ lavish new Metropolitan Opera House.

Kit Quincy never misses opening night, but when his sister begs him to help get her husband out of an Italian opera star’s arms, Kit accidentally confronts the younger Lady Vittoria instead. When he meets the stunning young diva again, he attempts to make amends, but then finds himself pulled into a society matron’s plot to win the great opera war. To draw attention to Delia Vittoria as the Academy’s new soprano star, Kit is convinced to act as both Delia’s patron and the enigmatic phantom who once haunted the Academy years ago. But when a second phantom appears, more than Delia’s rising career is threatened.

Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams by Jennifer Lamont Leo

Hollywood, California, 1933. Selling perfume in a department store is far from the life Helen Corrigan envisioned when she headed for Hollywood with stars in her eyes. Beneath the glittering façade, things in Tinsel Town are seldom what they seem, and Helen fights to maintain her moral scruples amid trials and temptations. However, she’s not about to give up on her dream. All she needs is a lucky break. But what if the only “break” involves her heart?

Screenwriter Rusty Noble has one goal in mind: to make moving pictures that uplift and inspire their audiences. But his thankless job at Cooperman Studios keeps him toiling away on B-grade movies. Worse, box-office sensation Cynthia Starr—beloved by audiences and detested by those who actually know her—won’t let Rusty out of her talons. The idea of breaking away and starting fresh with his own studio seems a sketchy pipe dream at best, a career-ending fiasco at worst.

This story of hope, heartbreak, and healing along the Boulevard of Broken Dreams will linger with readers long after they close the book.

Beneath His Silence by Hannah Linder

Will Seeking Justice Lead to Her Own Demise?
 
A Gothic-Style Regency Romance from a Promising Young Author
 
Second daughter of a baron—and a little on the mischievous side—Ella Pemberton is no governess. But the pretense is a necessity if she ever wishes to get inside of Wyckhorn Manor and attain the truth. Exposing the man who killed her sister is all that matters.
 
Lord Sedgewick knows there’s blood on his hands. Lies have been conceived, then more lies, but the price of truth would be too great. All he has left now is his son—and his hatred. Yet as the charming governess invades his home, his safe cocoon of bitterness begins to tear away.
 
Could Ella, despite the lingering questions of his guilt, fall in love with such a man? Or is she falling prey to him—just as her dead sister?

Never Love a Lord by Regina Scott

He refused to court her once. Can she trust his intentions this time?

Spunky Petunia Bateman may be a commoner, but she is far from common. Anyone who cannot appreciate that is not worth her time. Then her best friend’s fiancé, the deposed crown prince of Batavaria, awards her a title, and the man she once loved decides she might be worth another look. Think again, sir!

Lord Ashforde had considered the lovely Miss Bateman for his bride three years ago. But his family history convinced Ash that cool heads and calm demeanors must prevail. There is nothing cool and calm about his feelings for Petunia, which have only grown since he rashly decided against her. But can he convince her, and himself, to give their love another try?

When the prince asks Petunia to persuade Ash to take up their cause to see their kingdom restored, the two are thrown together, and the enemies of Batavaria take note. Can love blossom amid skullduggery? Especially with an unlikely couple that might be made for each other?

Belle Fourche Legacy by Kari Trumbo

The thrilling conclusion to the Belle Fourche Chronicles

Alice has always been the good daughter, the one who does what everyone expects. She promised Kent Douglas she would wait for his return even though her family has fought his for the past thirty years.

Then he left and never contacted her again.

Two long years have gone by and Alice is an adult. Despite the occasional annoyance by the Douglas patriarch, they hear nothing from their neighbors. When word comes that Kent not only returned, but has been back for quite some time without contacting her, tensions rage. Alice wants revenge for her humiliation.

Kent was heavily scarred protecting Alice from a bomb, and he’s returned home with worse scars to his heart.

He went to school to become a doctor, but along the way found out the teachers thought he’d be better suited to a barn. No patient wants to look to a monster for hope. He never wanted to work on a ranch again, but now his training — the training he ran away and fought to have — will be in a barn.

He loves Alice Johlman like she’s half of his heart, but he can’t accept the failure he is and won’t force her to follow through on her promise from years before.

If only he could forget her.

Wounded hero Kent will do anything for the only woman he’s ever loved, except ask her to keep her promise. 

Like the Wind by Robin Lee Hatcher

A life in pieces. A hundred-year-old journal. And a chance for love to be reborn.

Olivia Ward arrived in Bethlehem Springs alone—with no job, no home, and no money—after her manipulative ex-husband used his power and wealth to destroy everything. Six years later, the peaceful life she rebuilt is once again turned upside down when she learns that her fifteen-year-old daughter, Emma, will be coming to live with her. The reunion should be a dream come true, but years of deception have driven a wedge between them. And Emma seems more interested in an old diary she discovered than reconciliation with her mother.

Tyler Murphy knows what it’s like to lose everything. Propelled by his history in the foster-care system, he’s determined to root out dishonesty and protect the most vulnerable through his work as an investigator. When he’s hired to investigate Olivia Ward, though, he finds himself longing to believe she’s exactly who she appears to be, and he soon realizes that his desire to learn more about her has nothing to do with his job. But how can he pursue a relationship that began with a lie?

In this latest novel from award-winning author Robin Lee Hatcher, an antique diary, a family-fueled investigation, and unexpected feelings collide to create a promise that’s worth fighting for.

Caesar’s Lord by Bryan Litfin

After more than a decade of tumult, Roman warrior Rex and his aristocratic wife, Flavia, are thankful to the God they serve for the peaceful life they are living in the city of Alexandria. But with the Empire in flux, it cannot last. When Rex is called away to serve Constantine in his fight against Licinius, Flavia’s loneliness and longing for a baby lead her down the road of temptation. Perhaps one of Egypt’s gods will grant her conception?

As battles rage both within and without, Rex and Flavia will have to rely on God’s forgiveness and protection if they are to survive the trials to come. Their adventures sweep them into the great events of the ancient church, including the forging of the Nicene Creed, terrible murders within the imperial family, the quest for the true cross of Christ in Jerusalem, and the end of pagan Rome as a new Christian empire dawns.

Bryan Litfin brings his epic Constantine’s Empire series to a thrilling close with this dramatic tale of struggle and redemption.

Aberration by Cathy McCrumb

Freedom Awaits, but the Consortium is Watching

When rogue drones threaten citizens and the ship’s crew falls ill, the Recorder answers their call for help, once again drawing scrutiny from the Consortium.

With no other option and under an Elder’s overbearing watch, she returns to Pallas Station where she nearly lost her life in the hope of finding something—anything—to save her friends and countless others. Her friends are determined to keep her safe, but for the Recorder, saving others comes first, no matter the cost.

Book Recommendation – Look for Me by Jan Thompson

Book Description:

She needs a champion. Just not him.

Four years after his girlfriend ghosted him, Martin MacFarland finds her in Key Largo, abused and pregnant with her second child. Martin wants to be there for her, but she can’t give him a second chance.

Remember the MacFarlands in Smile for Me (Vacation Sweethearts Book 1)? Look for Me is the story of Tina’s brother, Martin. This Christian beach town romance novel with a side of suspense has clean language while dealing with the difficulties of past sins, single motherhood, second chances, redemption, and the mercy of God. It is Book 4 in USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson’s Vacation Sweethearts series of Christian travel romance novels, a spin-off of her Savannah Sweethearts beach romance series.

She needs a champion…

A single mother on the run, Corinne Anderson has made many mistakes since she broke up with Martin MacFarland four years ago. Each mistake compounds on the other problems in her life.

Down and out, Corinne and her three-year-old daughter end up in the small beach town of Key Largo, hiding from the criminals looking for them. Their witness protection cover blown, Corinne needs all the help she can get.

As long as it’s not from Martin.

Anyone but him…

After his father gives him half the ownership of the MacMuscles Classic Car Restoration business in Savannah, Georgia, Martin MacFarland is convinced that he is ready to settle down and start a family. Unfortunately for him, the only woman he ever loved has vanished without a trace.

After his private investigator tracks her down, Martin drives to Key Largo, praying that Corinne will forgive him for what he did before he became a Christian, and hoping she might consider starting over with him.

Well, she can’t. And she won’t tell him why either.

Yet he won’t leave…

As Martin gets closer to finding out what Corinne is up to or hiding from, will he fall into the same fire that has burned Corinne so many times? Will his love survive the flames?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Look for Me by Jan Thompson, Book 4 in her Vacation Sweethearts series set in Key Largo, Florida. I jumped into the series at Book 4 and read the book as a standalone. That said, I think I have read earlier books in the series a few years ago because some of the series story details were familiar. The back story for Corinne and Martin, who were in a relationship in Savannah, Georgia, four years ago, plays out in earlier books in the series.

I like second chances romances, and I loved how the story premise was seeded in Martin and Corinne’s relationship history in Savannah, Georgia. Four years earlier, Martin became a Christian while he was dating Corinne. His new faith dictated that he couldn’t continue his current romantic relationship with Corinne, and the obvious solution was to get married. Corinne didn’t understand why Martin’s new religious beliefs had to change or impact their relationship. She loved Martin, but she didn’t want to get married. Corinne perceived his marriage ultimatum as a rejection, which led to her ghosting Martin and running into a whole new world of trouble.

Fast forward four years, and Corinne’s life is a train wreck. A series of foolish decisions resulted in her hiding out in Key Largo, Florida. She’s now a pregnant single mother with a three year old, and in a witness protection program.

Martin has not forgotten Corinne, and he hires a private investigator who discovers Corinne is working in a Key Largo chocolate shop using a different name. The story opens with Martin visiting Key Largo and wanting to reconnect with Corinne. His presence in Key Largo places Corinne’s life in more danger.

I enjoyed the suspense element in the story, and how the characters relied on their faith to survive and endure many challenging situations. Corinne became a Christian a year earlier in Key Largo, and she has accepted that she has to live with the consequences of her past decisions. I wanted to see Corinne and Martin reunite and have their second chance with Jesus at the centre of their relationship. I recommend Look for Me to contemporary romance readers who like a suspense thread plus a strong and overt faith element in the story.

Book Recommendation – Sunrise by Susan May Warren

Book Description:

Coming home was never the plan

Pilot Dodge Kingston has always been the heir to Sky King Ranch. But after a terrible family fight, he left to become a pararescue jumper. A decade later, he’s headed home to the destiny that awaits him. 

That’s not all that’s waiting for Dodge. His childhood best friend and former flame, Echo Yazzie, is a true Alaskan–a homesteader, dogsledder, and research guide for the DNR. Most of all, she’s living a life Dodge knows could get her killed. One of these days she’s going to get lost in the woods again, and his worst fear is that he won’t be there to find her.
 
When one of Echo’s fellow researchers goes missing, Echo sets out to find her, despite a blizzard, a rogue grizzly haunting the woods, and the biting cold. Plus, there’s more than just the regular dangers of the Alaskan forests stalking her . . .

Will Dodge be able to find her in time? And if he does, is there still room for him in her heart?

Sunrise is the first explosive volume in a new nail-biting series from USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I loved reading Sunrise, the first book in Susan May Warren’s Sky King Ranch romantic suspense series. The story is set in a gorgeous small town in Alaska, and I loved experiencing life in Alaska with the characters in the story. Being an Aussie, it took me a while to work out what ‘Lower 48’ means (the southern mainland states).

Echo is a courageous character who has endured a lot of hardship. She lives with her dad, and has followed in his footsteps with her love for animals, especially her adorable dogs, and native wildlife. She shares her father’s passion for protecting the grizzly bears and other animals from illegal poaching.

Dodge is a triplet who does not have a close relationship with either of his brothers. He left town years ago after Echo rejected his impulsive marriage proposal and he had a falling out with his brother, Colt. Dodge joined the military and is an experienced pilot. Their dad runs an aviation business based at Sky King Ranch, and he was involved in a minor flight incident. Dodge returns to Sky King Ranch to help out his dad by delivering supplies to the people living in remote places and keeping the business running.

Echo’s father suspects a newcomer to town who offers guided tours in the wilderness is not all he seems. When Echo’s researcher friend goes missing during a blizzard, Echo is determined to find her, even if it puts her life in danger. Dodge is drawn to Echo, despite their past history, and is determined to keep her safe.

I enjoyed the suspense thread in the story that kept me turning the page, wanting to know what happens next. Echo and Dodge are thrown together in difficult circumstances. They are forced to confront their fears and deal with painful emotional issues from the past that impact their current relationship and the potential for a future together.

A series mystery unfolds, and I’m looking forward to reading the next two books in the series. I recommend Sunrise to romantic suspense readers who like emotionally compelling second chance romances entwined with heart pounding danger and mystery set in the stunning Alaskan wilderness.

Luella Linley Series by Meredith Resce: Paperback Giveaway for Australian Readers

I’m excited to have the opportunity to give away the complete Luella Linley: License to Meddle series (3 autographed paperbacks) – a fabulous contemporary Christian romance series from my Aussie author friend, Meredith Resce.

I love this series, and I was thrilled when my favourite book in the series, In Want of a Wife, recently won the CALEB Adult Fiction Prize at the 2022 Omega Writers conference.

To learn more about the books, please check out my book recommendations:

We’ve also talked about the Luella Linley: License to Meddle series at StoryChats @ InspyRomance podcast/YouTube that I co-host with my author friends Elizabeth Maddrey and Valerie Comer:

Episode 13 – International Settings in CCR (Organized Backup)

Episode 55 – Contractor Main Characters (All Arranged)

Episode 60 – CCR Recent Reads (All Arranged)

Episode 70 – Mom Side Characters (Luella Linley License to Meddle series)

Enter the Giveaway:

One reader will win the complete Luella Linley series of three autographed paperback books (Organized Backup, In Want of a Wife, All Arranged). A wonderful Christmas gift for an Aussie reader who loves lighthearted contemporary Christian romance novels set in Australia.

The giveaway is only open to readers with an Australian mailing address. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post and include your first name and the Australian state/territory where you live.

The giveaway will close on NOVEMBER 20, 2022, and the winner will be announced in a comment on this post and also contacted via the email address connected to their comment.

Question for you: What’s your favourite place to read books? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Book Recommendation – A Seaside Wonder by Melissa Tagg

Book Description:

In one evening, Indi’s world falls apart. Enter the shy professor her family mistakes for her fiancé…make that ex-fiancé.

Professor Philip West never wanted to return to Maine . . . or his grandfather’s miserable old house. But after his mother’s death, he’s now the guardian of a teenage half sister who doesn’t want anything to do with him. He longs to help her heal, but he’s exhausted and numb, desperate for relief of his own. Maybe that’s why he’s so easily distracted when he happens upon the little shop with an intriguing owner—one who happens to share a name with someone from his grandfather’s mysterious past.

More than a decade has passed since Indi Muir made the heartbreaking decision she’s never recovered from—though she’s certainly tried. She has a full life running her shop and creating the artsy pieces that fill its shelves. If she can just stay busy, she’ll keep her hurt and regret at bay. But when her ex-fiancé returns to Muir Harbor, he brings news that shatters her carefully built walls. Things only get worse when lurking danger comes calling at her childhood home.

The one bright spot amid Indi’s turmoil is the shy stranger who wandered into her shop months ago and his moody but lovable sister. As she confronts her past and the mysterious threat facing her family, she’s intent on helping Philip win over his sister. He just might win over Indi, too, if they can overcome old secrets and wounds, outrun rising peril . . . and take a chance on love.

Breathtaking romance, a captivating mystery, and an enchanting wintry seaside . . . return to Muir Harbor in bestselling author Melissa Tagg’s latest.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I loved reading A Seaside Wonder by Melissa Tagg, the second book in her Muir Harbor romantic mystery series set in Maine. I especially loved the meet cute in the story. Indi is Maggie Muir’s adopted daughter who owns artsy antique stores in Muir Harbour and Augusta. Philip is a history professor in Augusta who, many years ago, found an old love letter written by his grandfather to Maggie Muir. 

When Philip discovers Indi’s store in Augusta, and sees the owner is Indi Muir, he wonders if she’s related to the Maggie Muir mentioned in his grandfather’s letter. Philip wanders into Indi’s store and accidentally eavesdrops on a conversation taking place at the back of the store where Indi’s fiancé is dumping her. Philip is shy and socially awkward, and when he hears them leaving the back of the store and heading to the front, he makes an impulsive decision to hide in a wardrobe.

Indi discovers this strange man in her wardrobe, and wonders if he’s looking for Narnia. A family emergency phone call from her sister, while she’s trying to sort out the Philip situation, sparks the beginning of a friends-to-more romance between Indi and Philip. 

Indi and Philip are adorable characters who are struggling with many issues. They both have a challenging and emotional journey to travel in the story that pushes them to face their fears and deal with painful situations and circumstances from their past. 

The cast of minor characters are fascinating and the series mystery, set up in Autumn by the Sea (Book 1), is partly solved. New questions arise in A Seaside Wonder that deepen the series mystery. These questions will be addressed in the final third book in the series that I can’t wait to read. I recommend A Seaside Wonder to contemporary romance readers who like friends-to-more romances with a mystery subplot and a relevant faith element in the story. 

Many thanks to the author and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy.

Christian Fiction New Releases: October 2022

The Billionaire’s Secret Crush by Elizabeth Maddrey

Love might be a choice, but some choices are off limits.

They say opposites attract—and I’m not going to disagree. In fact, I’d be doing my best to see if the attraction was mutual if not for one little thing.

She’s my best friend’s little sister.

And since she and her brother are close, she’s become the honorary sister for all the guys in our group.

But I don’t see her as a sister.

At all.

She’s funny and smart.

And gorgeous.

But I don’t want to make it weird with the guys, so I figure I’m going to leave it be. And if enlisting her help to plan a fundraiser for my job is a convenient excuse to spend time alone with her? So what?

The only person I’m hurting is me.

Second Chance with the Hero by Liwen Y. Ho

Two high school sweethearts. One broken marriage. And an unexpected reunion that offers the perfect opportunity for redemption.

Retired midwife Josephine Gilbert is all about her children and grandchildren these days. That’s why she’s moved back to Freedom to be close to her loved ones and to help with her daughter’s upcoming delivery. The last thing she expects is to fall ill and need emergency surgery. What’s worse, the person who offers to help with her recovery is none other than her ex-husband, the man who left her a single mom twenty years ago.

Jack Gilbert spent the last two decades working as a medic on an oil rig, a job that provided him with the financial security he himself never had but so desperately wanted to give his family. The only downfall of that decision was losing the only woman he’s ever loved. When given the chance to care for Josephine, he rushes back without a second thought. It may take a miracle though for him to convince her to accept his help.

With the support of their family, can this estranged couple let go of their past and give their love a second chance?

Return to Freedom, Colorado and enjoy the faith, friendships, and forever-afters of the Heroes of Freedom Ridge in this Christian Christmas romance.

Second Chance with the Hero is book 14 in the Heroes of Freedom Ridge series, but each of the books can be read on their own.

To Believe in You by Emily Conrad

Can she trust her heart to a man who can’t trust himself?

Since his dismissal from the rock band Awestruck, former bassist and addict Matt Visser has been transformed by faith and a year of sobriety.

Betrayed by her fiancé, Lina Abbey surrenders her hopes of a family of her own. Instead, she focuses on her work as Awestruck’s social media manager and director of Key of Hope, a non-profit funded by the band to teach music lessons to kids from low-income families.

She would never hire a man with Matt’s track record as a bass guitar instructor, but her boss, a firm believer in God’s grace and second chances, overrules her objections. Matt takes the job to clear an old debt, but soon finds he can’t resist the challenge of winning the beautiful but cautious Lina’s trust.

When a new truth about his past reveals a wrong he can never right, he and Lina both need Someone more trustworthy than Matt to believe in. Otherwise, history will repeat itself in all the worst ways.

A meaningful Christian romance with a side of fame and fortune for readers who enjoy faith-filled escapes and happily-ever-afters where no one is beyond hope of redemption.

Destination Christmas by Sarah Monzon, Jaycee Weaver, Cathe Swanson and Chautona Havig

This Christmas, pack your bags for a holiday away from home.

Join the Christmas Lights Collection authors as we travel to Colorado, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and New Cheltenham for warm and wonderful stories of love and Christmas cheer.

Kiss Me on Christmas by Sarah Monzon

Single mom Kaitlyn Stafford has never considered Christmas a balancing act, but when her sister calls with the news that she’s getting married in less than two weeks—on Christmas Day—that’s exactly what the holiday looks like becoming. Helping with the out-of-state wedding will be fun. The challenge will be doing so while accommodating her neurodivergent son’s need to keep every single one of their Christmas traditions while they’re away from home. It’ll be tricky, but she can do it.

At least, that’s what she thinks before her son’s favorite YouTuber, Beckett Walsh, shows up on the scene, knocking her world off-kilter with his speaking glances and knowing smiles. How on earth is she supposed to pull off her balancing act when her world’s just tilted on its axis?

Christmas Camp by Cathe Swanson

Julia is eager to prove herself in her first job as project manager for the family’s charitable foundation, but she expected it to be something more meaningful than creating a winter wonderland Christmas vacation for snow-deprived southerners. Why is this project so important to her grandmother?

Tom doesn’t understand why anyone would want to renovate his uncle’s broken-down Wisconsin deer camp, either, but if it will save the old man’s home and business, he’ll help the ambitious city girl put together the most cliché-filled Christmas ever.

Not Another Christmas by Jaycee Weaver

The palm trees and beaches of Florida are far from her chaotic family as Cindy Sinclair can get. Her anticipated promotion is the perfect excuse not to come home for the holidays… until she’s passed over and the job is given to none other than her childhood nemesis.

This far from New Mexico, Nick Hoover never imagined he’d beat Cindy out for a job. Again. He’s messed up her plans since the day they met, but this time, Nick is determined to prove he never wanted to be her enemy. If only she’ll let him.

When their reignited adolescent rivalry gets out of hand, their boss insists they both go home, face the hurts of their pasts, and bury the hatchet once and for all. With help from her meddling family, this could be the Christmas they quit clashing and give love a fighting chance.

The Hearts of New Cheltenham by Chautona Havig

The only way not to break her best friend’s heart is to get someone else to steal it.

Jarod doesn’t need a month off and certainly not halfway across the country. His best friend doesn’t agree. She’s been researching places for him to go and has found him a perfect match on a dating website who just happens to live in New Cheltenham. It’s a match made online until she begins to wonder if she’s made a mistake trying to offload him on someone else.

A novella of love and friendship that defies a love triangle to interfere.

Destination Christmas offers a stress-free travel experience without traffic, delayed flights, or forgotten toothpaste. Instead, you’ll enjoy wonderful destinations, delightful new friends, and a heartwarming experience!

Whisper of Danger by Alexa Verde

The second chance at love or the last chance to survive?

The school counselor with sharpshooting skills, Lydia, guards her gut-wrenching secret with enough desperation to break off her engagement to the hometown cop Aidan Rowe. But when her friend’s child is kidnapped, Lydia has no choice but to unite forces with the man she still loves. When the search for the missing child leads her to a trail of past mistakes and painful personal connections, how much will she sacrifice for love and loyalty?

Aidan Rowe is torn between duty and reluctance to have his heart broken a second time. But he’ll do everything to keep Lydia alive and help her group of childhood friends nicknamed the Danger Girls. The closer they are to the answer, the clearer it is that one of them will have to pay a high price.

How will it end for the Danger Girls? Will all of them survive?

Secrets of Rios Azules series: sweet, wholesome books about faith, love, and murder. Welcome to Rios Azules, a small Texas town where rivers and emotions run deep, and the secrets are deadly.

Family Christmas on the Ranch by Deb Kastner and Carolyne Aarsen

Home for the holidays

Texas Christmas Twins by Deb Kastner

Celebrity photographer Miranda Morgan has left LA to become guardian of her sister’s twin babies in her hometown of Wildhorn, Texas. The twins’ handsome godfather, Simon West, isn’t thrilled about letting spontaneous Miranda into his carefully managed world. But the two band together to create a cozy country Christmas for the twins. Could this holiday transform Miranda and Simon’s tentative friendship into a forever love?

The Cowboy’s Family Christmas by Carolyne Aarsen

Leanne Walsh is stunned when Reuben Walsh returns to his family’s ranch for the holidays. Though she had married his stable brother, it was unpredictable Reuben who held her heart—until he broke it. Reuben built his dreams around Leanne once before and now is trying to resist her and her sweet young son. But in a season full of surprises, the promise of family is a gift too tempting to resist.

A Seaside Wonder by Melissa Tagg

In one evening, Indi’s world falls apart. Enter the shy professor her family mistakes for her fiancé…make that ex-fiancé.

Professor Philip West never wanted to return to Maine . . . or his grandfather’s miserable old house. But after his mother’s death, he’s now the guardian of a teenage half sister who doesn’t want anything to do with him. He longs to help her heal, but he’s exhausted and numb, desperate for relief of his own. Maybe that’s why he’s so easily distracted when he happens upon the little shop with an intriguing owner—one who happens to share a name with someone from his grandfather’s mysterious past.

More than a decade has passed since Indi Muir made the heartbreaking decision she’s never recovered from—though she’s certainly tried. She has a full life running her shop and creating the artsy pieces that fill its shelves. If she can just stay busy, she’ll keep her hurt and regret at bay. But when her ex-fiancé returns to Muir Harbor, he brings news that shatters her carefully built walls. Things only get worse when lurking danger comes calling at her childhood home.

The one bright spot amid Indi’s turmoil is the shy stranger who wandered into her shop months ago and his moody but lovable sister. As she confronts her past and the mysterious threat facing her family, she’s intent on helping Philip win over his sister. He just might win over Indi, too, if they can overcome old secrets and wounds, outrun rising peril . . . and take a chance on love.

Breathtaking romance, a captivating mystery, and an enchanting wintry seaside . . . return to Muir Harbor in bestselling author Melissa Tagg’s latest.

Lost in Winter’s Wonderland by Sandra Ardoin

Sometimes getting lost takes you right where you belong.

Seeking a peaceful week before the annual Callahan Christmas migration, Kelsey Callahan retreats to her mountain cabin in Tennessee. When a snowstorm dumps a lost love on her doorstep, Kelsey must choose between trusting in Justin’s appeal for a second chance at romance or giving in to fear and losing him forever.

A humiliating mistake steered Justin Strong away from the woman his teenaged-self had planned to marry and onto the path of business success. Years later, after being rescued by her, those old feelings reawaken, and once more, he questions his past decision. But with the lure of a long-sought client, Justin is torn between redeeming his youthful business blunder and proving he’s now a man Kelsey can rely on.

How much will each of them sacrifice to build a future together?

Christmas at Whispering Creek by Barbara M. Britton

All Samantha Williams wants to do is to use her teaching degree to instruct a classroom of second graders. But, after a breast cancer diagnosis at the age of twenty-three, and failed reconstruction surgery, Sam finds herself without a job and temporarily living with her parents. This isn’ t the life Sam expected. When a family friend dies and leaves Sam a house and land in Whispering Creek, Tennessee, Sam must decide if leaving Wisconsin for Southern living is in her lesson plans.

Nashville native, Cole Donoven, left his family’ s electrical business to write country music. When Cole’ s song-writing partner and girlfriend dumps him for a country music star, Cole abandons Nashville to hole up in Whispering Creek and compose one more song. The last thing Cole expects to find in the sleepy small town is a deceased friend, estate squabbles, and a Northern beauty. Will the chaos in Whispering Creek help create a bestselling song for Cole and possibly help him find a life-long collaborator?

Dial I for Identity by Chautona Havig

She’s got one chance to find herself and start a new life—with a little help from her radio psychologist. 

Quinn Kelly. Intelligent, responsible, hard-working, reliable. She’s also spontaneous and whimsical—when she lets herself be. Certain those two sides of herself cannot peaceably coexist, she takes a serendipitous windfall and a bit of risky advice from some old movies and decides to spend a couple of months at a chalet resort in Lake Vienna—as a pair of twins. (Hint: she doesn’t have a twin). Surely she can sort her issues in a couple of months… right?

Seth Clifton has his own issues—trust issues to be precise. But the girl he keeps running into offers a refreshing perspective on life. Right up to the moment he discovers she’s not who and what she seems.

They both have problems to overcome. They both have the same therapist, sort of. They could each be great for the other with a little work and a lot of help from Dr. Daphne Moore. What’ll it take for the radio doc to resolve their differences and heal hearts?

If you love rom-coms and sweet romance, get your copy of Dial I for Identity today, a sweet Christian contemporary romance novella. Enjoy all the books in this exciting series filled with romantic comedy, heartwarming drama, and inspirational romance. Readers are sure to want to collect them all!

Inspired by the Hero by Elle E. Kay

Can a blizzard be a blessing?

Casey Crawford knows how the town of Freedom, Colorado feels about her and her family. She’s heard the whispers and knows they have no more use for her than they have for AC in December.

So, when she gets trapped in a chalet in the woods with the object of her secret crush and he shows interest in her, she knows it can’t lead to happily-ever-after. He’ll eventually see that the Crawfords are nothing but trouble, and if she doesn’t get him killed first, she’ll ruin his reputation.

Gage Buchanan has had his share of trouble, and isn’t looking for more, but when he offers Casey a ride home from work, someone starts shooting at them. He can’t leave a damsel in distress to her own devices, and the more time they spend together the more she finds her way into the cracks in the wall he’s built up around his heart.

He knows she deserves better than him, but if she keeps turning those trusting blue eyes his way, he won’t be able to keep himself from wishing they could be more than friends. In order for that to happen, he has to keep her alive and figure out why someone wants her dead. He plans to do just that, but there are forces at work he can’t control, but God can, if he’ll turn to Him.

Return to Freedom, Colorado and enjoy the faith, friendships, and forever-afters of the Heroes of Freedom Ridge in this Christian Christmas romance.

Returning to Breakers by Rachel Skatvold

Sometimes God’s “why” comes too late… and just in time.

Tiffany Hill is a master at concealing her emotions. She can’t admit she has her own questions about God—like why He allowed her Marine husband to die in action. A single mom with three children to care for and the general store on Merriweather to run leaves little time for philosophizing. She has more pressing issues to deal with. Like how her dream of running the family business has become a burden.

Is keeping the business afloat even worth the effort anymore?

 After high school and an unfortunate falling out with his father, Liam Hadler left Breakers Head, determined never to look back. He failed on that one, and one of many regrets was leaving his high school sweetheart behind to chase an impossible dream.

 When his mother calls after his father suffers a stroke, Liam has a tough decision to make. Will he return to a place he’s avoided for sixteen years, and is making amends with his father even possible?

 A chance encounter with Tiffany after so many years never occurred to him, but memories of their time together rekindles something he thought he’d lost. What’ll it take to persuade her to give him a second chance?

Her Secret Son by Linda Goodnight

To protect her child…

She concealed the truth

The last person rancher Harlow Matheson expects to meet while out on horseback in a rainstorm is injured—and barely conscious—NFL star Nash Corbin. Four years ago, Nash betrayed Harlow’s family. Now she must nurse Nash back to health while concealing the truth from him—that he is the father of her son. But as the two grow close, how much longer can Harlow keep her secret?

The Christmas Switch by Zoey Marie Jackson

Keeping this secret gets complicated

with the family she wished for right next door.

Swapping places with her identical twin over the holidays sounds easy enough to Chanel Houston. But playing the role is trickier than expected when it comes to maintaining frosty relations with her sister’s neighbor and nemesis—especially since he has an adorable little girl and a rowdy puppy. Ryder Frost’s supposed to be grumpy and rude…so why does Chanel find the single dad so irresistible?

The Mistletoe Favor by Jill Kemerer

It will take one special cowboy

To make this season bright.

After gaining guardianship of his half sister, wealthy rancher Mac Tolbert hopes a part-time job during the holidays will help the grieving teenager. New coffee shop owner Bridget Renna has been on her own since sixteen and is immediately drawn to the shy orphan—and her handsome brother. But as Bridget grows closer to the siblings, will her troubled past ruin their chance at a Christmas together?

A Nanny for the Rancher’s Twins by Heidi Main

Returning to small-town Texas was her fresh start. She never expected a ready-made family.

What could be better than running a rustic wedding venue? Event planner Laney Taylor has it all laid out…except for the serious renovations her inherited property needs. Rancher Ethan McCaw will help — but only if she’ll nanny his toddler twins. Laney’s all about planning weddings for others and shielding her own heart, but Ethan, Zoe and Tori might be just the ones to change her mind…

Blown Cover by Jodie Bailey

Outrunning the past
might be the most dangerous mission…

The last person army special agent Makenzie Fuller expects to blow her cover for is her missing ex-partner who once betrayed her. But Ian Andrews doesn’t remember the past four years—or why the arms dealer Makenzie’s investigating wants him dead. Now on the run at Christmastime from her quarry and her own agency, Makenzie must keep Ian alive…even as she questions whether she can trust him.

Rescue Mission by Lynette Eason

A missing baby’s trail has gone cold.
But this K-9 unit has one last lead…

With a baby still missing after months of searching, Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit handler Lucas Hudson and his furry partner must protect the only witness as she recovers from amnesia. But the kidnapper wants Kate Montgomery silenced—permanently. Now hiding in the icy Montana mountains might be the key to their survival and to triggering Kate’s memories of the night baby Chloe Baker disappeared…

Explosive Christmas Showdown by Darlene L. Turner

A bomber brings terror to Christmas
as the presents go tick…tick…boom.

With criminal investigative analyst Olive Wells at the center of a bomber’s dangerous game, she’ll do anything to catch the culprit—even work with her ex-fiancé and his K-9 detector dog. But with the Christmas rampage drawing ever closer, Zac Turner’s convinced the attacks are personal. Can they piece together their ties to the bomber…before another gift explodes?

Texas Betrayal by Susan Gee Heino

To solve this cold case…
They must put the past behind them

When Willie Henner discovers her mother’s remains buried on the family ranch, she’s determined to do whatever it takes to solve the murder—even if that means working with Sheriff Jake Richards. Twelve years ago, Jake betrayed Willie and tore her family apart. Now he’s the only person who can help her find a cold-blooded killer hidden among the close-knit community of Laurel County, Texas.

Evidence Uncovered by Jacquelin Thomas

A string of unsolved murders…
An FBI agent out for justice…

With young New Orleans women turning up dead, FBI agent Lanier Barrow is sure that the Crescent City Strangler is back. But proving it to distrustful lead detective Daniel Jordan means she must hide her tragic connection to the case. And with their uneasy partnership already troubled, even more dangerous secrets will put their lives on the line…

The Bookshop of Secrets by Mollie Rushmeyer

A collection of lost books holds the clues to her family’s legacy…and her future.

Hope Sparrow has mastered the art of outrunning her tragic past, learning never to stay anywhere too long and never to allow anyone control over her life again. Coming to Wanishin Falls in search of her family’s history already feels too risky. But somewhere in the towering stacks of this dusty old bookshop are the books that hold Hope’s last ties to her late mother—and to a rumored family treasure that could help her start over.

Only, the bookshop is in shambles, and the elderly owner is in the beginning stages of dementia and can’t remember where the books lie. To find the last links to the loved ones she’s lost, Hope must stay and accept help from the townsfolk to locate the treasured volumes. Each secret she uncovers brings her closer to understanding where she came from. But the longer she stays in the quaint town, the more people find their way into the cracks in her heart. And letting them in may be the greatest risk of all…

The Plot Thickens by Susan Page Davis

Jillian only wants to redecorate one room at the Novel Inn—but first she has to deal with murder.

Murder strikes Skirmish Cove during the coastal town’s winter carnival. Jillian Tunney, part owner of the nearby Novel Inn, discovers the body of a clerk at her favorite bookstore. With her sister Kate and brother, Officer Rick Gage, she tries to find out who killed him.

Meanwhile, Jillian is immersed in redecorating one of the themed rooms, but Kate is annoyed when a mysterious guest at the inn doesn’t want to leave his room. The innkeepers find they have way too many secrets to solve.

Five Days Lost by Luana Ehrlich

Mylas Grey agrees to investigate a personal matter for Senator Davis Allen.
The investigation needs to be quick, thorough, and discreet.

It needs to be quick . . .
Because the senator is working against a deadline. But how can it be quick when it involves a long-forgotten incident?

It needs to be thorough . . .
Because the senator needs answers for his upcoming press conference. But how can it be thorough when a dead woman’s diary is all Mylas has to work with?

It needs to be discreet . . .
Because the senator is desperate to protect his reputation. But how can it be discreet when Mylas discovers he’s being followed?

As Mylas begins to unravel the mystery behind Senator Allen’s long-forgotten incident, Whitney arrives in Washington for a visit, but will his investigation prevent him from convincing her to move to the area? Can his faith sustain him when he faces uncertainty? Will the feelings Mylas and Whitney have for each other overcome their doubts?

Book V of the Mylas Grey Mystery Series is a riveting novel of bizarre circumstances, engaging characters, unexpected surprises, and complex relationships.

Dog Days of Summer by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Mishaps Abound as Second Chance Ranch Struggles to Get Its Start
 
Grab a lap dog to cuddle and relax into a fun small-town mystery as a new dog rescue project turns into a three-ring circus of calamities in book 2 of the Gone to the Dogs series.
 
Trina Potter, Nashville country music star, buys a ranch near her hometown in Brenham, Texas, to help her niece open a rescue facility for dogs. Her presence in town stirs up some old high school rivalries—and romance. Finding property to buy is a challenge, convincing her mother to move there with her is daunting, and navigating a string of strange accidents is perplexing. Sometimes Trina feels like she’s purchased her own three ring circus instead of a beautiful piece of land. But her first priority will be figuring out who wants Second Chance Ranch shut down before they even have the grand opening.

Word of Honor by Hallee Bridgeman

FBI Special Agent Lynda Culter is investigating an ecoterrorist organization in the Alaskan wilderness when her partner is taken captive and murdered before her very eyes. The only person who can identify the key players, Lynda gets assigned to take part in a joint operation in Istanbul to take the organization down.

As a woman in a Muslim country, she’ll find it much easier to move around undetected with a fake husband. Unfortunately for her, the man assigned to play the role is none other than US Army weapons specialist Bill Sanders–the man who crushed her heart into a million pieces back in college.

With a cargo bay’s worth of hurt and baggage between them, these two consummate professionals must play their parts perfectly if they hope to stop those responsible for bombing oil pipelines, killing innocent civilians, and threatening to destabilize the oil markets. But love long buried has a way of resurfacing at the most inopportune times–and protecting Lynda has become Bill’s primary focus.

Defending Honor by Lynette Eason and Kelly Underwood

She trusts no one…

Bodyguard Laila Rabbinowitz is all business. Tough and stoic, she was the perfect Mossad agent…until a terrible betrayal led to her worst nightmare. Being a bodyguard with the Elite Guardians allows her to keep her heart safe—she’ll never get involved with a client, never let anyone close enough to betray her again. And she’s certainly not going to trust anyone who doesn’t earn it.

He needs protection…

Billionaire Preston Whittaker walked away from his famous family after a terrible event, but he’s put that behind him—or so he thinks. When his father and brother are killed in a suspicious boating accident, he must take the helm of the family business and carry on the family legacy. But someone doesn’t want him at the helm. They want him dead.

She’ll have to pretend to be his wife to save his life…

Enter the Elite Guardians. Preston is going to need someone by his side 24/7, and the only solution is…a fake marriage. Laila needs to pull off acting as the trophy wife to the country’s most eligible bachelor. With the eyes of the paparazzi on them, she’ll have to convince everyone that she and Preston are in love.

But what will it cost her heart?

Preston’s reputation as a party playboy precedes him, and Laila doesn’t belong in his world filled with parties and money. But is there more to Preston Whittaker that the world doesn’t see? Maybe, in time, he’s someone Laila could learn to trust. Only problem is, the danger is closer than they both know…and time is running out.

Book three of the riveting, high-octane world of the Elite Guardians reboot!

Body of Evidence by Irene Hannon

Forensic pathologist Grace Reilly has seen her share of unusual deaths in rural Missouri. But when she begins to notice a curious pattern in autopsies of elderly residents whose demise appears to be natural, she takes her concerns to Sheriff Nate Cox.

Nate is skeptical about the link Grace is seeing between the deaths–and her suspicions of foul play. But her persistence is compelling. Once she finally convinces him her theory is credible and they join forces to investigate, danger follows. Because exposing the truth could destroy several lives–including Grace’s.

Queen of inspirational romantic suspense Irene Hannon closes out her bestselling Triple Threat series with this gripping tale of secrets revealed and romance sparked.

Concrete Evidence by DiAnn Mills

On the family’s Brazos River Ranch in Texas, Avery Elliott helps run her grandfather’s commercial construction business. Raised by Senator Elliott, Avery has never doubted her grandfather is the man of integrity and faith she’s always believed him to be . . . until the day she finds him standing with a gun over the body of a dead man. To make matters worse, Avery’s just discovered a billing discrepancy for materials supposedly purchased for construction of the Lago de Cobre Dam.

Desperate for answers, Avery contacts FBI Special Agent Marc Wilkins for help. As Marc works to identify the dead man Avery saw, threats toward Avery create a fresh sense of urgency to pinpoint why someone wants to silence her. With a hurricane approaching the Texas coast and the structural integrity of the Lago de Cobre Dam called into question, time is running out to get to the bottom of a sinister plot that could be endangering the lives of not only Avery and her loved ones but the entire community.

Wreathed in Disgrace by Robin Patchen

A famous actress, a protective bodyguard, a festive Christmas season, and a killer…or two…on the loose.

Everybody believes movie star Denise Masters abandoned her family to pursue her dream, but the truth is much more complex. For years, she’s longed to return to Coventry to repair her relationship with her daughter, but contractual obligations–and fear of being rejected–have kept her away. When a serial killer targets Hollywood actors, Denise decides to spend the Christmas holidays in New Hampshire. She will finally face the disgrace of her past.

Private security agent Jon Donley figures the woman he’s been hired to guard will turn out to be a paranoid, privileged prima donna. Instead, the more he gets to know Denise, the more he likes her. But he’s not being paid to get involved with her. His job is to keep her safe while he figures out what links her to the other victims.

But the serial killer on the west coast isn’t the only danger they face. A second one is closing in fast, threatening not just Denise but the little girl she’ll stop at nothing to protect.

Romance, suspense, and a New England Christmas. Don’t miss the next installment of the addictive Coventry Saga.

Circle of Vengeance by Ramona Richards

Revenge is best served cold–and this family has been waiting decades to dish it up

Twenty-five years ago, a body was discovered in the Turney family barn–and folks around town were all too ready to believe that killing blood ran through all the Turney’s veins. Every member of the family came under suspicion, their reputations crumbled to pieces, and with no convictions, no one could be cleared.

Daughter Jill, now a Chicago lawyer, is ready for this case to be solved and for her broken family to be repaired at last. Who better to find the answers than cold-case P.I. Star Cavanaugh? But as Star begins to dig into generations-old secrets, the killer resurfaces to make sure none of those skeletons leave the closet–no matter what the cost.

As the danger mounts, Star again joins forces with police chief, Mike Luinetti, and begins to uncover truths that the whole town has kept hidden. But becoming the target of the determined killer isn’t the way Star wants to find the answers. It’s a race to solve the case before it becomes a matter of her life or death.

Readers will love jumping back into the Star Cavanaugh Cold Case series as their favorite plucky heroine drives her vintage Airstream home straight into the heart of another town’s mystery.

Sundown by Susan May Warren

Former Delta Operative Colt Kingston knows when someone is lying. He may not know the truth, but he sure doesn’t trust Tae, the woman who is caring for his ailing father at Sky King Ranch. Behind those beautiful blue eyes, he can tell there is a troubled–and smart–woman.

A few of her stories prove true–he’s found the crashed plane and the dead body inside. Still, her story of survival seems too incredible to believe . . . until the thugs she claims to be hunting her show up and threaten Sky King Ranch. Now Tae must disappear, along with her secrets.

But Colt’s not about to let her go it alone. And when they discover that her secrets include the antidote to a plague that threatens the world, it’ll take all three Kingston brothers to save the country they’ve vowed to protect.

Susan May Warren brings her Sky King Ranch series to a climactic close with this high-stakes race against the clock.

The Premonition at Withers Farm by Jaime Jo Wright

The voices of the past cannot stay silent forever.

In 1910 Michigan, Perliett Van Hilton is a self-proclaimed rural healer, leaving the local doctor convinced she practices quackery. It doesn’t help that her mother is a spiritualist who regularly offers her services to connect the living with their dearly departed. But when Perliett is targeted by a superstitious killer, she must rely on both the local doctor and an intriguing newcomer for assistance.

In the present day, Molly Wasziak’s life has not gone the way she dreamed. Facing depression after several miscarriages, Molly is adapting to her husband’s purchase of a peculiar old farm. A search for a family tree pulls Molly deep into a century-old murder case and a web of deception, all made more mysterious by the disturbing shadows and sounds inside the farmhouse.

Perliett fights for her life, and Molly seeks renewed purpose for hers as she uncovers the records of the dead. Will their voices be heard, or will time forever silence their truths?

Kite by Kara R. Hunt

Moving from widow to newlywed, Kite Eagle begins to find balance between a love lost and her new life.

But Kite’s harmony and peace is disrupted by an impassioned plea from the husband of her cousin, Gypsy.

Kite is thrilled to hear of Gypsy’s return to Habakkuk, but joy turns to dread when Gypsy goes missing.

Gypsy’s husband suspects foul play and asks Kite–a former private investigator–to look into his wife’s disappearance.

Kite questions her cousin’s closest friends, and learns that Gypsy’s disappearance is more sinister than anyone could’ve realized.

A Model of Devotion by Mary Connealy

She’s finally claimed her independence . . . how far will she go to keep it?

A brilliant engineer, Jilly Stiles has been educated since childhood to help run her father’s lumber dynasty. With the company safe from her stepfather after the marriages of her two sisters, Jilly can now focus on her dream of building a mountaintop railroad–and never marry.

Nick Ryder came into Jilly’s life when he saved her mother from her no-good stepfather, and he’s prepared to protect Jilly from anything that threatens to harm her–as long as he keeps his heart from getting involved.

But when a cruel and powerful man goes to dangerous lengths to make Jilly his own, she must make a decision between her safety and her hard-won independence.

The Lady’s Mission by Mary Davis

Will Cordelia abandon her calling, for love?

Cordelia Armstrong wants nothing more than to escape the social norms for her station in society that require her to look pretty and do as she is told. However, unless she can skillfully maneuver her father into giving up control of her trust fund, she might have to concede defeat—as well as her freedom—and marry. To ward off potential suitors, she puts on a giggly persona.

Every time Lamar Kesner finds a fascinating lady, her heart belongs to another. He doesn’t merely want a beautiful wife. He wants an intriguing partner with intelligence and wit. Is he asking too much of any woman? When a vapid socialite is offered up as a prospective bride, he contemplates flying off in his hot air balloon instead.

Is Lamar the one to finally break the determination of Cordelia’s parents to marry her off? Or will this charming bachelor fly away with her heart?

Falling for the Cowgirl by Jody Hedlund

Years ago, he shattered her heart. Now she must trust him with her life.

As the only girl in her family, and with four older brothers, Ivy McQuaid can rope and ride with the roughest of ranchers. She’s ready to have what she’s always longed for–a home of her own. She’s set her heart on a parcel of land south of Fairplay and is saving for it with her winnings from the cowhand competitions she sneaks into–but her dream is put in jeopardy when the man she once loved reappears in her life.

After two years away, Jericho Bliss is back in South Park as an undercover Pinkerton agent searching for a war criminal. He has no intention of involving a woman in the dangerous life he leads, but one look at Ivy is all it takes for him to question the path he’s set out for himself.

Even though Jericho tries to resist his longtime attraction to the beautiful and vivacious Ivy, he finds himself falling hard and fast for her. In the process, his worst fear comes true–he puts her smack-dab in the middle of danger. With Ivy’s life in the balance, will Jericho give her up once again, or will he find a way back to her, this time forever?

A Hope and a Prayer by Julie Lessman

(NOTE! THIS BOOK IS A SWEET INSPIRATIONAL WITH A HIGHER LEVEL OF ROMANTIC PASSION)

She’s in love with her best friend.
He’s in love with her cousin.
But when the war reveals a gift so rare,
will they be saved by a hope and a prayer?


As Head Nurse at 2d Hospital in Nancy, France, Lieutenant Hope Dennehy is known for her healing touch, especially when it comes to mending the wounds and spirit of her best friend, Lieutenant Bren O’Neill. When Hope’s cousin breaks Bren’s heart, Hope is always there, helping to heal him with a friendship so anointed and deep, it threatens to break her heart too.

Flying high as a daredevil aeromedical evac pilot in the European Theatre, “Lieutenant Love” O’Neill crashes and burns when the woman he loves falls for another. Depending on the support and prayers of Nurse Hope Dennehy to save him, Bren re-evaluates his free-wheeling lifestyle when he witnesses the heinous atrocities of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Suddenly nothing in life is as important as taking care of those he loves … or is it? Battling demons from his past, Bren learns that only one thing can truly save him from himself.

The Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee

A gifted trainer in a time women are not allowed to race, Nora Fenton prefers horses to men. They’re easier to handle, they’re more reliable, and they never tell her what to do. After her father’s passing, Nora is determined to save her struggling horse farm, starting with entering her prize colt into the harness races at the 1905 Mississippi Fair. If she wins, she may have a chance at independence. But when a stranger arrives and starts asking disconcerting questions, she suspects he may have other motives than unseating her in the training job that is rightfully hers.

Silas Cavallero will do whatever it takes to solve the mystery of his father’s death–even if it means training an unwieldy colt for Nora, who wants nothing more than to see him gone. But when mysterious accidents threaten their safety and circumstances shrouded in secrets begin unlocking clues to his past, Silas will have to decide if the truth is worth risking ruining everything for the feisty woman he’s come to admire.

Mary by Shannon McNear

Worlds Collide Along the Shores of the Outer Banks
 
Immerse yourself in the “what if” questions related to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. What if an English boy and a native girl met in the wilderness? The push-and-pull between two very different worlds begins as one seeks simple friendship and the other struggles to trust. And can it—dare they—allow it to be more?

Sparks fly between Mushaniq, free-spirited daughter of Manteo, and Georgie Howe, whose father was brutally murdered by undiscovered native warriors before they’d been on Roanoac Island a full week. As Georgie struggles to make sense of his life and to accept that not all they call “savage” are guilty of his father’s death, Mushaniq grapples with her own questions about who Manteo has become. As tentative friendship becomes more, forged in the fire of calamity and attack upon their community, both must decide whether the One True God is indeed who He claims to be and whether He is worthy of their trust.

Under the Starry Skies by Tracie Peterson

Will their faith prove to be stronger than their fear?
   
Sensible and independent, Cassie Barton never anticipated being on her own at thirty-two. But after the death of her father and the marriage of her sister, she’s found joy in her work as a seamstress. When a minor accident leaves her unable to sew, she decides to use her time to compile a book of stories about the men working on the Santa Fe Railroad. But worry begins to grow in San Marcial as Mexican revolutionaries set out to destroy the railroad–and put many lives in danger.

With Europe at war and his longtime friend Cassie injured, railroad worker Brandon DuBarko is burdened by his troubles. He promised Cassie’s father he would watch over her, but as their comfortable friendship slowly transforms into something deeper, he feels trapped by a secret from his youth. When a vengeful man reappears in Brandon’s life, intent on causing conflict, Brandon must face his past before he can move forward.

As the danger intensifies, Cassie and Brandon must rely on God to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of a brighter future.

The Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano

When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant’s father dies, he leaves to her the care of an adult ward she knew nothing about. The woman is supposedly a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. The woman’s portrait is shockingly familiar to Vivienne, so when the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.

The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know. But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?

Fan-favorite Joanna Davidson Politano casts a delightful spell with this lyrical look into the nature of women’s independence and artistic expression during the Victorian era–and now.

Unchartered Christmas by Keely Brooke Keith

As Dr. Lydia Bradshaw makes her rounds in the village of Good Springs this Christmas season, each family she visits seems to be blessed in ways she is not. All the homes are beautifully decorated for the holiday, and every woman is expecting another baby.

Every woman but her, that is.

While the haze from the volcanic ash cloud outside the Land looms on the horizon, calls for the doctor force Lydia to work around the clock. Torn between fighting for the home life she craves and the career that defines her, Lydia needs a Christmas miracle.

Meanwhile, at Falls Creek…
Philip Roberts spends his lonely nights in the parsonage next to the humble chapel. Pastoring the church across from the Land’s only inn means encouraging many a road-worn traveler to carry on, whatever their journey might be. Philip also watches the ever-changing rotation of guests for the one person he prays will stay at Falls Creek forever.

Only he doesn’t know her name.

When the Vestal siblings break their journey to Good Springs at the inn for a much needed respite over Christmas, Philip is fascinated with the demure Lena Vestal. As he tries to get to know her, she stirs in him more questions than answers.

Can he discover who this intriguing woman truly is in such a short time, and is she the one he’s been waiting for?

This Christmas novella weaves past and future in a faith-filled story of life in a hidden land. If you enjoy the rural setting and wholesomeness of frontier romance and Amish fiction, you’ll adore Uncharted Christmas.

Within these Gilded Halls by Abigail Wilson

Hidden treasure and betrayal mingle with unexpected love within the walls of Avonthorpe Hall.

After studying art under Miss Drake, a renowned painter, Phoebe Radcliff is certain she can finally move beyond the childish mistake that’s kept her away from home. She is thrilled when Miss Drake employs her to complete a complicated ballroom renovation.

Everything changes, however, the moment Miss Drake is murdered. With her last breath she imparts the location of a clue to Phoebe. Can the biggest secret of Avonthorpe Hall be true—the rumored treasure real? Phoebe is tasked to finish her work in the ballroom by Miss Drake’s infuriatingly regimented yet all-too-handsome nephew, Lt. Graham Burke. Determined to fulfill the promise she made to her beloved teacher to find the treasure, Phoebe also works to uncover the truth about Miss Drake’s death—and she must do so before Lt. Burke leases the house.

But dark shadows line the gilded halls of Avonthorpe, and soon enough Phoebe realizes she’s not the only person who knows about the clues. What’s worse, she needs Lt. Burke’s help to stay ahead of whoever is hard on her heels. If only she weren’t so attracted to him.

Caught up in a deadly race for answers, Phoebe must find a way to breach the shroud of lies that surrounds every last resident in the house and, more importantly, face a past she’s been running away from for far too long.

Freedom’s Flight by Penny Zeller

Annalise Van Houten knows what it’s like to live in an oppressive situation. Sent to live with her conniving aunt and uncle in Ridge Gap, Tennessee, after her parents die, she dreads the plans they have for her future. When she discovers the handsome Reverend Matthias Sorenson assisting runaway slaves, can Annalise convince him to allow her to help?

Reverend Matthias Sorenson has a heart for serving others—and freeing them. An integral part of the Faith Train, he helps free slaves. When a beautiful newcomer to his church wishes to partake in the organization, can he trust her not to endanger their lives?

Lives in jeopardy. A race against time. Will mistrust prove fatal for all involved?


(This novella originally appeared as part of the Underground Railroad Brides Collection).

Keeping Christmas Volume 1

In castles far and near, long ago and yesterday, find happily-ever-afters wrapped in love and tied with Christmas joy.

The Lights of Castlebourne (by Cathe Swanson and Chautona Havig): He bowled her over at first sight–his dog, that is. Sydney just wanted a chance to do the landscape design at Castlebourne. She never dreamed the owner’s electrician would light up her heart at Christmas.

The Girl From Dalarna (by Olivia Talbott): She’s the most beautiful woman in Sweden, but she doesn’t want to be. A simple life among milk cows is all she desires. Will a scandal upend her plans and ruin her chances for love?

The Cross at Morioka Castle (by Kathleen J. Robison): In the ancient land of shoji screens and tatami mats, Ariko finds the stone ruins of Morioka Castle, and the mysterious cross that holds the secret of a Christian faith extending far deeper than Ariko ever imagined.

The Ghost of Christmas… (by Denise L. Barela): Abbigayl needs to get away for Christmas this year. No family, no questions about why she’s still single, no suggestion about being set up with someone’s friend. What will happen when Neuschwanstein Castle’s past converges with Abbigayl’s future?

Crystal Clear (by Marguerite Martin Gray): Rosalind’s muddied past and foggy future crystalize in Château Chenonceau, a refuge from gossip and more. Watch as the château and Christmas work their magic and break the bonds of propriety, and rejoice as Rosalind experiences the crystal-clear hints of peace, joy, and hope all around her.

The Weary World Rejoices (by Naomi Craig): Behind the elaborate furnishings of Herod the Great’s palace, conspiracy and distrust run rampant. Mysterious visitors from the east challenge everything Amal thinks he knows as palace scribe. Will his quest to uncover the Truth free him from the ornate shackles of palace life, or will he be the next victim of King Herod’s maniacal jealousy?

Grab a mug of something hot and delicious and curl up somewhere comfy. Your literary chariots await to take you on a journey from an early twentieth-century castle overlooking the Mississippi all the way back to the Holy Land at the time of Jesus’ birth. These six novellas, all set in castles real and fictional, celebrate the heart and joy of Christmas.

Keeping Christmas Volume 2

In castles far and near, long ago and yesterday, find happily-ever-afters wrapped in love and tied with Christmas joy.

Escape to Greenaway (by Chautona Havig): She just wanted to escape another holly, jolly family holiday. Because snowbound in a castle B&B with one of Santa’s elves (or as good as) is so much better. With the help of the castle’s owner, Tonya plays matchmaker in a bid to get that Christmas-loving girl out of her hair.

The King’s Promise (by Tabitha Bouldin): In a world of airships and kings, a prince makes a promise that tears him away from his love. An ordinary baker’s daughter finds herself caught in the middle of a game where the winner earns the queen’s crown. They both want what they can’t have as they struggle toward a seemingly impossible happily ever after.

A Castle for Christmas (by Susan K. Beatty): Sadie Foster abhors wealth. Will Randolph, on the other hand, works for the uber-wealthy owner of an over-the-top castle on the California coast–Sadie’s father. When Christopher Foster leaves the castle to her, Sadie doesn’t want anything to do with it or his money. But what if Sadie and Will use the castle and her inheritance for the good of others—together?

An Irish Christmas Heart (by Jennifer Sienes): Will she choose love or an arranged marriage? In the midst of post-famine unrest, Eleanor Blake, daughter of an English nobleman, is thrown into a maelstrom of emotions. How will she escape the duty for which she was born and the confines of the ill-fated Menlo Castle of Galway, Ireland to find her true love?

Christmas at Curwood’s Castle (by Melissa Wardwell): A Christmas party at Curwood Castle should have been Angel Davis’ Cinderella moment. Especially when her dear friend Jimmy arrives. Instead, one obstacle after another threatens to break any chance at a happily-ever-after.

Christmas in the Cotswolds (by Stacy T. Simmons): She’s a paleontologist and ardent Jane Austen fan. He’s enmeshed in the exactitude of mathematics, can they find common ground? Do opposites attract, will the romantic castle, and dashing duke be the undoing of Victoria’s plans?

Grab a mug of something hot and delicious and curl up somewhere comfy. Your literary chariots await to take you on a journey from an early twentieth-century castle in the San Gabriel Mountains of California all the way across the pond to the beautiful Cotswolds of England. These six novellas, all set in castles real and fictional, celebrate the heart and joy of Christmas in this second volume of castle Christmas novellas.

Where the Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner

Sometimes the hardest road of all is the road home.

When confident and handsome Eric Larson is sent to a rural Montana town to work in the local branch of his uncle’s financial company, he’s determined to exceed everyone’s expectations, earn a promotion, and be back in Seattle by the end of summer. Yet nothing could prepare him for the lessons this small town has in store.

At forty-six years old, eccentric and outspoken Eunice Parker has come to accept her terminal illness and has given herself one final goal: seek forgiveness from everyone on her bucket list before her time runs out. But it will take more courage than she can muster on her own.

After an accident pushes Eric and Eunice together, the unlikely pair is forced to spend more time with each other than either would like, which challenges their deepest prejudices and beliefs. As summer draws to a close, neither Eric nor Eunice is where they thought they would be, but they both wrestle with the same important question: What matters most when the end is near?

Dream of Kings by Sharon Hinck

The Future Never Sleeps

In the glacial nation of Norgard, Jolan the dream teller serves every seeker, whether peasant or high lord. Though she loves using her gift, she struggles to navigate the corrupt and dangerous court and the jealousies of the Guildagard.

When an old man’s nightmare imparts a dire warning, Jolan realizes her entire nation is in danger. But before she can sound the alarm, she is betrayed by the guilds and sold into slavery in a rival kingdom far to the south. As a slave in a foreign land, at first Jolan can’t see beyond her singular focus: return home to warn Norgard of the coming calamity. After facing new dangers, making new friends, and forgiving old wrongs, she must fulfill the purposes the Provider has set before her.

Only then can she face a decision that could cost her the man she loves, her calling, and her freedom—all to save a people who abandoned her.

Book Recommendation – Sea Glass Castle by T. I. Lowe

Book Description:

Sophia Prescott is still mending from the embarrassment of a highly publicized divorce from a pro football player, and the now-single mother is back in Sunset Cove, surrounded by the supporting love of her family and the Sand Queens. Sophia doesn’t think there’s any hope for starting over until an unexpected trip to the pediatrician’s office gives her a second chance after all.

Dr. Weston Sawyer knows all about lives shattering into millions of pieces. His own all but ended when a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and barreled head-on into his pregnant wife’s sedan, killing her instantly and leaving Wes with a soul so wounded that it has refused to heal. He packed up and left swampy southern Alabama for South Carolina with the hope of fading into the sleepy coastal town of Sunset Cove. Instead, feisty brunette Sophia Prescott will have him braving something different and entirely unexpected. If Sophia and Wes can take the leap to give love another try, they just might find that hope has a way of coming back around and weaving into one’s heart.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Sea Glass Castle, set in a beach town in South Carolina. Sophia is a single parent with an adorable three year old son, Collin. Her former husband is a famous NFL football star who cheated on Sophia during their short marriage. Sophia also experienced domestic violence in her marriage. She has moved back to her home town where her parents, and her two best friends, Josie and Opal, can help her adjust to life as a single parent. Sophia wears straw hats and large lens dark sunglasses to hide her identity, and she’s very protective of Collin.

Wes is a paediatrician and a widower who lost his pregnant wife in a tragic accident. Grief is his constant companion, and Wes moves from Alabama to South Carolina for a fresh start at the clinic run by his friend who’s the retiring paediatrician. Sophia and Wes do not get along when they first meet, and Sophia, in particular, makes a terrible first impression on Wes. Sophia isn’t happy when she learns that Wes is Opal and Lincoln’s new neighbor in the beach house next door. Sophia needs a job, and Wes is reluctant to employ her. 

Sophia and Wes are carrying emotional scars and, for different reasons, are reluctant to seek out a new relationship. They start fake dating to stop the single women in town bothering Wes, and a lovely friendship turns into something more as Wes bonds with Collin. Sophia and Wes have to overcome past hurts and obstacles in the story, and open their hearts to take a risk on loving again.

The story has many humorous moments, including the senior ladies in town and Collin’s hilarious potty training journey. I recommend Sea Glass Castle to contemporary romance readers who like enemies-to-love single parent romances with emotional depth, a touch of humor, and a relevant faith element in the story.

Book Recommendation – Molly by Sarah Monzon

Book Description:

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I absolutely refuse to tell a lie no matter the consequences. So don’t ask me a direct question unless you’re prepared for a direct answer—that’s something my SoCal sewing girlfriends have learned the hard way. But who would have thought my honesty policy would get me fired from my job at the preschool? Or that a desperate—and not to mention devastatingly handsome—single father of one of my (now-former) students would hire me that same day as a nanny for his daughter? I’m an education professional. How hard can taking care of a four-year-old and her over-stressed, over-worked father be?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Molly, the first book in Sarah Monzon’s Sewing in SoCal series set in California in the San Diego area. My first impressions of Molly were mixed, and I didn’t quite know what to make of her and her choices. Molly had made a pact to always truthfully answer direct questions, and be honest in how she relates to people.

The story opens with Molly, a Montessori early childhood educator, being fired by her boss because she’d blurted out answers to her preschooler’s questions that a tactful person would have dodged by redirecting the child to ask their parents. I was confused by Molly’s willingness to die on this particular hill, and lose a job she loved, and disappoint the preschool kids who loved her. The story is in first person point of view, and it’s not my favorite viewpoint when I’m struggling to relate to the main character. That said, I’m glad I overcame my initial reservations and kept reading. Later in the story I was happy to discover the reasons that explained why Molly was on a truth crusade. 

The hero, Ben, was adorable, and the main reason I kept reading the story. Ben is a doctor, a widower, and single dad to Chloe, his four year old daughter who was in Molly’s preschool class. Ben had been called to the school to discuss his frequent late pickups of Chloe from preschool due to his work schedule at the hospital. Ben overhears the conversation where Molly is being fired, and he knows who Molly is because Chloe talks about her. This eventually leads to Molly accepting Ben’s job offer to work as Chloe’s nanny. 

I am a fan of the nanny romance trope, and Chloe was adorable and mischievous. The story has many fun and humorous moments, often involving Chloe. I enjoyed meeting Molly’s friends in her sewing group, who feature in later books in the series. I recommend Molly to readers who like single dad falling for the nanny romcoms with quirky characters and a light faith thread in the story.