The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse


The Express Bride, by Kimberley Woodhouse, is book 9 in The Daughters of the Mayflower series. This is my favorite book in the series so far. Even though this is a series that advances in history, these are stand alone stories that do not require reading previous ones. The characters do not follow through in the series, with the exception of a possible reference to ancestors.

Set in 1860 in Utah territory, Jackie takes over managing her fathers stage coach and Pony Express station after his death. Single handedly she manages the crew and cares for them. She meets every Express rider that comes to her station. When a stage comes with two men seeking answers, they turn to Jackie for help. Mr. Crowell has asked for her help in tracking down forged treasury notes that are being shipped in the Express mail. Elijah has been sent to find his bosses daughter, who was taken away many years earlier by her mother. While Elijah stays at the station, waiting for a response from his boss, he and Jackie develop a friendship and Elijah questions if Jackie could be the one he is looking for.

This is a great story that is hard to put down. The author uses scripture to bring out the message of forgiveness in the story. This story is also one of action and mystery. It is written so well, it captures the readers attention until the very end. It is fun to read a story based on the Pony Express and that time in history, when staying in contact with those far away was not easy.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Series: The Daughters of the Mayflower (book 9)

253 pages

ISBN: 9781643520636

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All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner


All Manner of Things, by Susie Finkbeiner, is an outstanding story that takes place during the Vietnam War. The characters are so well defined it is easy to feel they could be friends or family members. This is an emotionally filled story that focuses on topics such as war, PTSD and family issues.

Annie’s father was not the same man when he returned from the Korean war and left his family without ever contacting them. Now many years later, Annie’s brother, Mike has enlisted in the Vietnam War as a medic. He has asked Annie that if something should happen to him, to contact their father. With the death of their grandfather, Annie contacts their father. He comes home, but is not welcomed by their mother. As a young adult, just out of school, Annie takes on a lot of responsibilities in the family. When Mike is having extreme struggles in Vietnam, she is the one he turns to. When her mother is not able to forgive her father, it is Annie that reaches out to him. And she is the one that is there for the younger brother.

I loved this story and so wish it could have gone on a lot longer. I enjoyed the little things mentioned about the mother’s cooking abilities. The author has blended a little humor into a very serious story. The story is so well written it is easy to get pulled in with the family as they cling to the news broadcasts regarding the war. I received a copy of this book from the Revell Reads Blog Program. This is my honest review.

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A Reluctant Bell by Beth White

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A Reluctant Belle is book two in The Daughtry House Series by Beth White. This story takes over where book one ends, so it is best to read them in order. The author gives background information to fill in for those who do not read the first book. The story takes place in Mississippi following the Civil War, during the Reconstruction Era.

Following the death of the Daughtry sister’s father, Schuyler Beaumont invested in the Daughtry House to keep the sister from losing it. The sisters, including Joelle, are responsible for overseeing the renovation that turns the house into a resort hotel. Joelle works on the plantation, and secretly writes politically charged articles for the local paper to support the school for the freed slaves, where she teaches. Joelle and Schuyler have known each other since childhood. After an argument with him, Joelle impulsively accepts a proposal from the local pastor, whom she does not love.

Schuyler’s father was murdered while on the political trail. Schuyler works with a friend and Pinkerton agent to find his father’s murderer. All while the Ku Klux Klan are gaining power and include people who would never be suspected.

This is an good story that was well researched, to be as accurate as possible. There is adventure, suspense, family loyalty and romance within the story. The story is fast paced with only a handful of well defined main characters. I would recommend this story to those who enjoy reading Christian stories based on our country’s history.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads Blog Program. This is my honest review.

Series: The Daughtry House (Book 2)

349 pages

ISBN: 9780800726904

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Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett


Ever Faithful is book three in A Vintage National Park series by Karen Barnett. This story is set in Yellowstone National Park in 1933. While being part of a series, these stories are stand alone novels. The author has written an awesome story that shows what the park was like and all the workers that was needed to keep the park going. Her writing is so descriptive, it is easy to envision watching the animals and the environment. I enjoyed the terms of the employees that was used based, on what they did. I also enjoyed the accuracy of how the park was at the time. This story gives great history of the park as well as how the park was affected by the depression.. This is my favorite book in the series so far.

President F. D. Roosevelt’s New Deal is set in place during the Great Depression to give jobs to unemployed young men. Nate tries to take the blame for what his brother did, to keep his brother out of trouble. He is given the chance to work with the Civilian Conservation Crops (CCC). He is quickly chosen for a leadership position, which will help send more money back to his family. To do so he has to keep a secret.

Elsie is the daughter of a Park Ranger. She has worked as a maid in the park’s hotel for years and hopes this year will give her the money she needs to go to school. When jobs are being cut, she takes on a second job teaching the men of the CCC.

I received an uncorrected proof of this story from Waterbrook Multnomah publishing. This is my honest review.

Series: Vintage National Park Series (book 3)

352 pages

ISBN: 9780735289581

Karen Barnett is a former park ranger. She also worked as a ranger naturalist and an outdoor educator.

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The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma


The Pink Bonnet, by Liz Tolsma, is the second book in the True Colors series by Barbour Publishing. These stories are based on true crimes that took place in American History. This one is based on Georgia Tann, who ran the Tennessee Children’s Home Society from 1924 until 1950. She kidnapped an estimated 5000 children and sold them to the highest bidders. She stole them from hospitals, from the streets and playgrounds. Children were not safe and Ms. Tann’s black Cadillac was greatly feared. She was able to do this by have a judge and other prominent people involved.

In this story Cecile has left her three-year-old daughter with a neighbor while she looks for a job. The neighbor calls Ms. Tann and the child is taken away. Cecile will stop at nothing to get her daughter back. When trying to confront Ms. Tann, Cecile meets Ms. Tann’s attorney and her actions cause him to rethink what he is helping Ms. Tann do. He helps Cecile search for her young daughter.

This is a fast paced, suspenseful story that kept me reading to find out what happens in the end. The story is well written. The descriptions are so good, the story comes to life while reading it. If I could give this book ore than 5 stars I would. The author has also written a short description of the true crime that actually took place.

This is such a good series. The stories are not connected, so they make great stand alone novels that do not need to be read in order.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing but was under no obligation to write a review.

254 pages

IBSN: 9781643520452

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The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep


The Noble Guardian is the third and final book in the Bow Street Runners series by Michelle Griep. Even though this is part of a series, it is also a great stand alone book. The story does reference the heros from the previous two stories.

Abby is excited to leave her family to travel to marry a Baron her father promised her to. Her family is not there to send her off nor do they provide a manservant to get her to the Baron safely. She is left all alone to find someone to get her across England to the Baron safely.

Samuel is a Bow Street Runner whose contract is almost up, struggling with what to do to earn the money he needs to buy his own place. He is on the horse patrol that is trying to find the man responsible for killing travelers. After he kills the man’s brother, he finds his life is also in danger. Abby asks him to get her to the Baron for the exact amount he needs. When he seeks help from a friend, he finds himself also responsible for getting his friend’s young daughter to her aunt. Together Samuel and Abby care for the young girl while traveling to the Baron.

This is a fun story to read. It is fast paced, full of adventure and suspense. Samuel and Abby both have family history they are running from that have made them the strong people that they are. I enjoyed reading this story. While Abby is the daughter of a wealthy merchant she has the strength and determination to do what she needs to. Samuel left his family at a very young age, yet he has become a very trust worthy and faithful man of integrity. The story is so well written it is easy to envision what the manor looks like and the areas they travel through.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Series: Bow Street Runners (Book 3)

316 pages

ISBN: 9781683227496

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Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens

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Shadow Among Sheaves, by Naomi Stephens, takes place in England in 1857. Using the Biblical story of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz, the author has written a beautiful story. This story grabbed me from the very beginning and kept my attention through the very end, even wanting for more.

With the death of her husband and father-in-law, Indian native, Rena, leaves her family and country to go with her mother-in-law, Nell, back to England. The women are starving and living in a tiny, filthy room in the back of a bar. Desperate, Rena stops at a field and picks up left behind stubs of grain. Once confronted by the land manager, she is given permission to continue working in Lord Barric’s field. Being from India, she is looked down upon and treated badly, especially by Lord Barric’s cousin. Believing Nell’s families home goes to her husband’s family, they find out another will was written that gives Nell their home, Hawthorn Glen, if Rena marries someone in their family line to reunite the fractured family. Lord Barric’s is in the family line. Wanting the home to return to Nell so she will never go hungry again or have to worry, Rena goes to Lord Barrich regarding the stipulation. He feels he must offer her to his uncle, who has long coveted Hawthorn Glen.

I loved this story, the similarities to the Bible story are just enough to show Rena’s love and loyalty to her husband’s mother. Yet the rest of the story show the prejudices and struggles Rena went through to care for Nell. The story is made up of strong, caring characters, but my favorite is Parson Richardson. His observations give him just enough knowledge to give wise counsel to others.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review”.

315 pages

ISBN: 97816832293

This is Naomi Stephens’ first noel. She is a teacher who lies in Ohio with her husband and two children.

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The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

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I don’t care about what you do, because God loves you no matter what, and I’m going to do the same.”

The Golden Bride is book 8 in The Daughters of the Mayflower series. This story, by Kimberley Woodhouse, takes place in San Francisco in 1849 during the gold rush. This is Olivia Livingston Brighton and Joseph Sawyer’ story.

In just a few weeks, Olivia lost her parents, married a man she didn’t know, traveled with him and lost him from a hunting accident. All alone and determined, she continues to San Francisco to find her brother.

In San Francisco Olivia’s brother owned a very prosperous restaurant and is good friends with Joseph, a wealthy gold mine owner. Olivia despises gold miners and vows to never marry one, but Joseph is different, he uses his financial gain to help others. Olivia is given journals her ancestors have written and draws inspiration from them. She, her bother and Joseph start a daily Bible study in the restaurant. With rumors of men, women and children being taken as slaves, Joseph goes under cover to help the newly assigned law enforcement find them and those responsible.

What a wonderful story! It is so well researched and written. With just enough detail to imagine being there with all the people and smells, even the bad ones. The story shows of some of the lawlessness of the time and how the town starts to try to bring the crime and corruption under control. I enjoyed the theme of helping others in this book. Not just of Joseph building a church and helping find the missing people, but also Olivia’s brother offering very good meals without over charging for them, which others did. I especially liked Olivia befriending a madam, knowing that it would affect how others felt of her as well. I liked that the author referenced Mary from book 1 in the series. This is a great story full of adventure with growing friendships and romance.

While this is part of a series, the books are stand alone stories. The books are written by different authors.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review”.

Series: The Daughters of the Mayflower (Book 8)

251 pages

ISBN: 978168912

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Almost Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse

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Almost Home, by Valerie Fraser Luesse, is based in Alabama in 1944. At a time when our country is at war and almost everyone is struggling, Si and Dolly Chandler have turned her family home into a boardinghouse to earn the money to pay taxes. They have rented rooms to several people who come from various places and backgrounds to work in the munitions plant.

This is a heartwarming story that shows the financial and personal struggles the character go through, being unemployed, losing farms, struggling marriages and losing loved ones. This story also shows the importance of worshiping together and helping out others. The young war widow helps the injured soldier heal from his physical and emotional injuries. The young soldier helps repair others vehicles. And the renters help out Si and Dolly without being asked. I enjoyed how the young husband would help Si out when he wasn’t working, but he made a point of setting aside time to spend with his wife. I especially enjoyed reading the parts about the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the original owners on their wedding day. I like how the author is able to bring the surroundings alive in her story. The descriptions are so clear it is easy to imagine sitting by the lake, going for a walk in the woods or just sit in the home and watch for the flutter of the curtains. I would recommend this story to those who enjoy a good clean Christian story that has a great message and strong characters.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing, this is my honest review.

318 pages

ISBN: 9780800729639

To learn more about the author go to: Valerie Fraser Luesse is a award winning magazine written. She also does freelance writing and editing. She is also the author of “Missing Isaac”.

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A Tender Hope by Amanda Cabot


A Tender Hope is book three in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy by Amanda Cabot. While this is a series, the stories are written so that they can also be stand alone stories. Several characters are carried forward from the first story, but the author has done a great job of re-introducing them.

Thea has moved to Cimarron Creek, along with friend Aimee to start a new life after the death of her husband and newborn son. Almost immediately she is visited by Ranger Jackson Guthrie. He has come to Cimarron Creek to investigate Thea’s husband death and part in a gang that robbed and murdered people. While traveling, he found a baby left all alone and takes the little boy to Thea and Aimee to care for.

This is a nice story full of adventure, suspense and romance. The story is one in which the members of the community care for each other, even the new ones. There are many parts to this story I found enjoyable. One is the describing of the homes that were built by the towns founders. Another is that while the matchmakers are busy, the friendships that are formed and built upon surprise them. I enjoyed reading this series and feel anyone who enjoys Christian historical fiction would enjoy this story.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, this is my honest review.

Series: Cimarron Creek Trilogy (book 3)

327 pages

ISBN: 9780800727581

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