The dreams of talented pianist, Amaryllis Brigham, attendee of the Boston Conservatory of Music, are dashed to pieces when one day she is unjustly expelled from the school. With both her parents dead, Amaryllis goes to stay with her Aunt Claudine as she returns from Europe. To Amaryllis’s shock, she is left her grandmother’s fortune. Aunt Claudine informs her, however, that she must marry within the year to obtain the fortune. For a girl who avoids men whenever possible, Amaryllis halfheartedly takes her place in her aunt’s society with the goal of somehow getting back to the west coast, the place she calls home.
Against her better judgement, Amaryllis finds herself falling for her cousin Lawry’s best friend, Nathan Everstone. Amaryllis believes Nathan’s father to be the reason she was wrongly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music and is determined to dislike him. But with Nathan showing up in her dreams and appearing during many of her waking moments, how can Amaryllis resist him. As Amaryllis finally lets herself freely and openly love Nathan, chaos pursues as events from the past haunt her. Additionally, her grandmother’s lawyer kidnaps her. Who is the real cause of all the pain Amaryllis has suffered the last eleven years? Not everything is as it seems. Will she be able to trust and find the love of a lifetime or lose herself in the past that haunts her?
Dawn Crandall’s first novel in her Everstone Chronicles series is a delight. Just when the reader thinks the events of the story are headed in one direction, another event unfolds, leaving the reader wondering what will happen next. This historical fiction romance novel is both entertaining and enriching with its pleasurable cast of characters and events. I would highly recommend this novel to those who like inspiration, adventure, and a bit a mystery tied in with a love story.
Series: The Everstone Chronicles
Genre: historical fiction; Christian fiction; romance; mystery; inspirational
Literary awards: Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for Excellence Romance Writers of America Contest, ACFW Genesis Contest Nominee, Clash of the Titles Olympia Contest Semi-Finalist
Publisher: Whitaker House Books
Publication date: August 1, 2014
Number of pages: kindle edition, 315
Other books in the series:
2-The Bound Heart
3-The Captive Imposter
As a child, Lydia Pallas, grew up aboard her father’s fishing boat alongside her mother and baby brother. Eventually, her mother insists that Lydia must go to school. Every day her father takes their family out in their boat after dropping her off at school. At the end of each day he fetches her. Lydia loves school and every day looks forward to going, but one day her father does not return to pick her up at the end of the day. Because the boat never returned to port, it is assumed that Lydia’s parents and brother died aboard the boat. Lydia is placed in an orphanage and, when old enough, is sent on her way.
Now Lydia is working at a Boston Harbor shipyard as a U.S. Navy translator because of her unique skills with languages, which brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, better known as “Bane.” Bane hires Lydia to do what seem to be innocent translations, but eventually Lydia gets in over her head as she falls for Bane and gets herself fired from her Navy translator job. She sets out on a quest to help Bane defeat the Professor, one of the most dangerous and illegal opium traders, as well as to rescue the lives of two innocent boys. Lydia must decide who she can trust and who she cannot as she struggles with her own addiction to Mrs. Winslow’s medicine, which she has been spoon fed since her time in the orphanage and contains opium.
Can Lydia save the lives of two little boys, find the love of her life, and overcome her opium addiction?
Once again, Elizabeth Cameden has written a delightful story. This novel continues the story of Alexander Banebridge, while including characters from the previous novel in this series, The Lady of Bolton Hill, and adding new characters. This page-turning novel will keep readers on the edge of their seats wondering what will happen next. Tugging at heart strings, readers will become attached to the characters in this novel as they learn their stories that include pain, grief, and at last happiness.
Genre: historical fiction, Christian fiction, romance, inspirational
Literary awards: RITA Award by Romance Writers of America for Best Inspirational Romance (2013), Christy Award for Historical Romance (2013),Daphne du Maurier Award for Inspirational Romantic Mystery/Suspense (2013)
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication date: October 2012
Number of pages: 362
When financial difficulties arise and her family is forced to sell their London home, Abigail Foster accepts an offer for a place for her family to live from an unknown solicitor. This new living arrangement is in a manor house, Pembrooke Park, which has been abandoned for eighteen years. Except for the layers of dust, Abigail is startled to find that the house looks like a family is still living here; as if someone has just temporarily left the room.
Upon arrival at Pembrooke Park, a handsome local curate welcomes the Foster family, but extends a warning that trespassers are drawn to the manor due to rumors of a secret room filled with treasure. Disappointed when her best friend and love interest falls for her younger sister, Abigail fears she will end up an old spinster. Needing an adventure and hoping to improve her family’s financial situation, Abigail decides to look for the secret room. Surprises come to light as anonymous letters addressed to Abigail find their way to her at Pembrooke Park.
In this gothic romance, will Abigail be able to find the lost room and the love of a lifetime or be caught in very grave danger?
Unlike her previous novels, Julie Klassen has added more mystery and bit of a gothic feel to this enchanting novel. This story is sure to keep readers up late and guessing about the “secrets” of Pembrooke Park, as well as wondering what will happen to Abigail, her friends, and her family. Not surprisingly, this historical fiction novel is well written, captivating readers who will likely want more novels by Julie Klassen.
Genre: historical fiction, Christian fiction, romance, mystery
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication date: November 25, 2014
Number of pages: 460
Bethany House Book Trailer
Book 1: The Heiress of Winterwood
Darbury, England, 1814
Heiress, Amelia Barrett, shockingly defies the wishes of her family when she insists on keeping a promise to a dying friend—to protect and raise her infant child. Amelia is engaged to another man that keeps telling her she cannot keep the child. One day the child’s father, a sea captain returns to find his wife is dead and Amelia is caring for his child. Amelia will stop at nothing to fulfill her promise to raise the child she has become so attached to, even going so far as to propose to the child’s father , Graham. Disaster strikes when the young child goes missing with only a ransom note hinting at her whereabouts. Will this tragedy bring Amelia and Graham closer together or tear them apart? What will become of the child and who will take care of her?
Book 2: The Headmistress of Rosemere
Darbury England, 1816
At age twenty-five Patience Creighton assumes her chance at marriage has long passed. She is content teaching at her father’s school, Rosemere’s School for Girls. Patience has always known what is expected of her, so with the sudden death of her father and the departure of her brother to London to take care of her father’s business matters, Patience takes charge of the school. But one day William Sterling, bachelor and master of Eastmore Hall and the tenant of the Rosemere School, shows up wounded on her doorstep. This sets up a chain of events, allowing Patience to become more acquainted with the man. Are the rumors of his dallying ways and financial ruin true? And what of his kind and caring nature towards her? To add to her confusion, after months of no communication, her brother comes home a married man, when Patience thought he was as good as engaged to her friend and fellow teacher at the school. Through it all, Patience is determined to keep her father’s dream and his school alive, even when her brother brings back a man, Ewan O’Connel, she once thought she was in love with and would marry. Do Patience and William have a chance with one another or will her past love interest and the truths about their past ruin everything?
Book 3: A Lady at Willowgrove Hall
Darbury England, 1819
Once Cecily Faire is too old to attend the Rosemere School for Girls, she begins to assist the teachers. But one day, she is asked to leave the school and go to Willowgrove Hall to become the companion to the elderly lady that lives there. As Cecily befriends the woman, secrets from the past of both women come to light. Once secret seems to revolve around Nathaniel Stanton, the steward of Willowgrove Hall and the other about the nephew of the woman Cecily is caring for. But these secrets cannot stay hidden forever. Everyone must face the past in order to face the future, to find happiness and possibly romance.
Enchanting and well written, this series by Sarah E. Ladd captivates readers with her charming Whispers on the Moors Series. Each novel is written about a different character, but ties in with the others in the series. I would highly recommend this series to those who love fun warm characters and regency romance novels.
Series: Whispers on the Moors
Genre: historical fiction; romance; regency; Christian fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication date: Book 1-April 9, 2013; Book 2-December 1, 2013; Book 3-October 7, 2014
Number of pages: Book 1-320; Book 2-312; Book 3-343
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