A Groom for Christmas by Anne Greene

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Oh, dear heavenly Father, please send the right man. Seems quite a few men want a wife as well as have their way paid to the Oregon Territory. How shall I ever find the right groom?”

A Groom for Christmas, written by Anne Greene takes place in 1850. Felicity Daniels is traveling with her father to homestead 640 acres in the Oregon Territory. Her father catches cholera and dies before he tells her why they left Missouri in such a hurry and why she must marry and change her name. Felicity and a family friend, Jed have been in Laramie and will be leaving with the wagon train in a few days. Felicity must marry so she can get her land when she gets to Oregon. She puts a sign up and is overwhelmed with the amount of men who show up. Felicity and Jed make a list of requirements to cut down on the amount of men to interview. She wants a man who is intelligent and can carry on a conversation as well as one who does not smoke, drink and is a Christian who regularly attend church.. The men who make the list must put $10 in a box. But the one man Felicity wishes would come, does not.

Ben Bonneville is working to earn money to go to California to pan for gold to pay off his mothers medical expenses and to witness to the gold miners. All of his things are stolen and he is forced to meet with Felicity. Ben is chosen but finds out it is a marriage in name only so Felicity can get the land.

While on the wagon train, Ben is constantly showing his love for Felicity, but she stands firm. It is only when Felicity is carried down stream on a mule does she soften and start to think more about Ben.

This is a fun little story, just perfect for reading in one evening. I really enjoyed reading his story. Even though Ben has less going for him during his interview, he is the one that is chosen. This story is so well written it is easy to see the line of men apply to be Felicity’s husband or to feel the cold during their travel. This book would be enjoyed by those who enjoy reading American historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from the author through Book Club Network. I have written an honest review.

128 pages

ISBN: 9781547205431

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

You can read more about the author and books she has written at: http://www.annegreeneauthor.com/

You can buy this book at: https://www.amazon.com/Groom-Christmas-Anne-Greene/dp/1547205431

The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling

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The Promise of Dawn is the first book in the Under Northern Skies series written by Lauraine Snelling. Lauraine Snelling is my all time favorite Christian historical fiction author. And I think this is one of the best books she has written. The story takes place in 1909 when Einar Strand sends his family in Norway a letter asking for Rune and his family to immigrate to Benson Corner, Minnesota. Einar and Gerd bought property in Minnesota and Einar has been logging the trees. Gerd took care of their animals until she developed a heart condition that now has her bedridden and in need of help. The agreement is that Einar will pay for Rune and his family to travel to Blackduck in exchange of helping them. When the passage is paid off, Rune and his family will receive a piece of land as their own in exchange of helping.

Rune, Signe and their three sons travel to help the Strands but when they get there they find a house that is mouse and rat infested and filthy and with no beds to sleep on. The Strands are very hard people to work for. Einar is only concerned about the trees and demanding help. Gerd is constantly yelling for Signe to help her. Rune and their oldest son are to help with the trees and one day the young boy is injured. Then the middle son has to help with the trees. Signe finds herself having to go against Einar to protect her children. When Rune starts to stand up to Einar, Einar contacts the sheriff to lock them up and deport them. Signe has kept records of how much the family has worked for the Strands and has received the cost of their passage to show that they have worked more than enough to repay the Strands. The sheriff finds the Strands guilty of de facto slavery.

This story is awesome! Even though parts of the story are hard to understand, such as Rune not standing up for his family, that was a different time and Rune was appreciative of being given the chance to start a new life in America. And Signe showed so much patience to Gerd with caring for her. With Signe’s insistence, Gerd is able to get out of bed. I like the change that slowly takes place in Gerd as she is able to do more things on her own. I also liked how the neighbors came to help Signe in her time of need, even though Einar has run them all off before. I can understand how Signe would start to lose her trust in God with the situation they are in. But I so appreciate Rune being the type of husband that would be gentle with her and help her to see that God is with them.

This is a great book. I cannot wait to read the next in the series. I think anyone who enjoys historical fiction will enjoy this story. With the research the author has done as well as having lived in Northern Minnesota as a child, this story is very true to the time.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing. This is my honest review.

Series: Under Norther Skies (Book 1)

379 pages

ISBN: 9780764218965

Publisher: Bethany House

To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: http://www.laurainesnelling.com/

Some places you can purchase this book are:

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/snelling-lauraine/the-promise-of-dawn-under-northern-skies-1-soft/6986995.html

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https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Dawn-Under-Northern-Skies/dp/0764218964

The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman

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The Promise of Breeze Hills, written by Pam Hillman, is set in Natchez, Mississippi in 1791. Connor O’Shea was indentured to a master craftsman who past away. He was to continue working to pay for passage for his brothers to come to the United States. He is being auctioned off and Isabella Bartholomew has purchased his papers.

The Bartholomew plantation has been struck by bad luck. The house caught fire along with their cotton fields. Her father was severely injured in the house fire. Shortly after, Isabella’s brother was killed by highwaymen.

Isabella is now responsible for the running of the family home. With the loss of the cotton, they were not able to keep on their employees and only a few have remained. Her family does not believe in having slaves and there are not enough employees to do all the work. Connor is to repair the house in exchange of the Bartholomew’s bringing his brothers to the area. Even though Connor reports to Mr. Bartholomew, he has to work with Isabella and at times this is a struggle as they both have feeling for each other that they are trying to ignore.

Connor finds out they have a sawmill as well. With the help of a few employees, he starts cutting trees to make lumber to rebuild the house. One day Pastor Horne and his family stop by and ask to work in exchange of a place to stay, as his wife is expecting another child. The entire Horne family pitch in to help, some working at the sawmill, some on the house and some in the fields.

As the family’s mourning period comes to an end, men from the surrounding area come to visit Isabella. A neighbor, Nolan Braxton, plans to marry her to get the plantation to carry out his business.

This is a good story. I enjoyed reading about the strength and determination that Isabella had to try to save her family’s home and plantation. As well as the sacrifice Connor is making to help bring all his brothers from Ireland. Connor also gives assistance to those he meets that are in need. He also finds little things Mr. Bartholomew can do to give him something to do besides sit in his room. I appreciate the faith that the characters have. Even though the family does not have extra to spare, they take on the pastor’s family.

This story is fast paced with mystery and suspense woven through out it. The romance is not so strong that it overwhelms the story. The story is so well written it is easy to imagine the storm as well as the dangers the characters face. There a a lot of characters, but they are well introduced and easy to follow. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading early American historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing. This is my honest review.

406 pages

ISBN: 9781496415929

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction

To learn more about the author, go to: http://www.pamhillman.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/hillman-pam/the-promise-of-breeze-hill-a-natchez-trace-novel/7006107.html

https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Breeze-Natchez-Trace-Novel/dp/1496415922/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501528837&sr=1-1&keywords=9781496415929

https://www.christianbook.com/the-promise-of-breeze-hill/pam-hillman/9781496415929/pd/415922?product_redirect=1&Ntt=9781496415929&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCG

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-promise-of-breeze-hill-pam-hillman/1125140315?ean=9781496415929

Spur of the Moment Bride by Anne Greene

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With God’s help, perhaps getting married wouldn’t prove too awful.”

Spur of the Moment Bride is a novella written by Anne Greene. This story takes place in Wyoming in 1880. Abby Hollister has earned the reputation of being a heart breaker. Her father has now told her she must marry within a month or move out and and kiss her inheritance goodbye. She saw an add for a mail order bride and has decided to take the stage coach to Laramie to check out the man before she decides if she will marry him. She has a list of qualities she is wanting, the man must be poor, had to be ugly, had to be kind and older than her.

Stage coach driver Zach Tyler takes his job very seriously and feel he is responsible for his passengers until he gets them to their destination. He feel especially protective of Abby as she is the only woman passenger in an area where women are as scarce as a bird’s nest in a cockcoo clock. When the stage gets to Laramie, the men go crazy and start fighting over who will get Abby. Zach steps in and tries to help her but gets called on a duel instead. Zach is to face the fastest draw in the area, unless Abby is married before then. And even then Abby is not safe until she is with child.

This is a great funny little story, perfect for reading in one sitting. I really enjoyed the humor in the author’s writing. The story is written so well, it was easy to imagine the dust in the stage coach and the frustration Abby must have felt with the men traveling with her. This book would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys American historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Book Club Network. I have chosen to write this honest review.

102 pages

ISBN: 9781544638843

Publisher: Winged Publications

You can read more about the author and books she has written as: http://www.annegreeneauthor.com/

This book can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Spur-Moment-Bride-Anne-Greene/dp/1544638841

Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

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Beloved Hope is book two in the Heart of the Frontier series written by Tracie Peterson. This story takes place in Oregon City in 1850. Hope Flanagan was at the mission when it was raided by Cayuse Indians. She is now to be one of the witness to testify against the prisoners standing trial.

Lieutenant Lance Kenner is planning to leave the military and return to Louisiana to take over his family’s plantation and return to his legal work. One of his last military responsibilities to to make sure the prisoners are being treated fairly and to make sure nothing goes wrong at the trial.

After the prisoners are taken back to the jail, Hope goes to the jail to kill Tomahas, the man that abused her. Lance finds her and takes her home to the farm she lives with her sister’s and brother in law. This is just the beginning of the friendship between Lance and Hope. Lance takes a job working for Hope’s uncle to raise the fund to go home to Louisiana. While Hope finds peace tending the sheep and trying to heal from the abuse from Tomahas. Hope has a friendship with Lance that allows her to share what happened to her at the mission, something only her older sister knows.

I like this book, and this series so far. The story contains issues of rape and violence, which may bother some readers. The author has used these issues to bring across the message of healing, growing in faith and returning to God. The story also focuses on forgiveness when Alex and Lance realize they are connected by an incident in Louisiana. I especially like that the author continues the story of Grace and Alex. I really like this series and feel anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction will enjoy it.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany Publishers. This is my honest review.

Series: Hear of the Frontier (Book 2)

336 pages

ISBN: 9780764213281

Publisher: Bethany House

To learn more about the author visit: http://traciepetersonbooks.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/beloved-hope-9780764213281

https://www.amazon.com/Beloved-Heart-Frontier-Tracie-Peterson/dp/0764213288

https://www.christianbook.com/beloved-hope-heart-of-the-frontier/tracie-peterson/9780764213281/pd/213282

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http://www.deepershopping.com/item/peterson-tracie/beloved-hope-heart-of-the-frontier-2-softcover/6986979.html

The Whispering of the Willows by Tonya Jewel Blessing

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The Whispers of the Willows, written by Tonya Jewel Blessing, is set in the holler in the Appalachian Mountains during the 1920’s. This is a great story that shows some of the life situations of the area.

Ahab Ashby came home from the war injured and unable to work his hog farm. He also became a cold hurtful man and takes it out on his family. His wife allows him to hurt the children and make bad choices for them. Their oldest son has teamed up with the pastor’s son making moonshine. Their second son, Ernest, is the one that is tending the farm and pigs and helping his sisters. Once a girl graduates and is able to have a family, the parents find a husband for her and she spends the rest of her life having children and working very hard. Emerald Ashby is just fifteen years old and graduating from the eighth grade. Ahab has arranged for her to marry, Charlie, the pastor’s son. The day she graduates, Charlie rapes her and leaves her pregnant. When she reports this, her parents no longer want her, so she goes to live with Aunt Ada.

Under Ada’s care and teachings, Emie is able to move on with her life and work on healing from the abuse she has suffered. When Ada teaches Emie how to do a new thing, she teaches it with lessons from the Bible. Ada teaches Emie how to make baskets that she is able to sell. Ernest continues to watch out for Emie after she moves to Ada’s. He spends his night sleeping on the porch to protect her.

This is such a good story. There are topics in the story that are hard to read, such as the rape and abuse. This is a fast paced story with so many twists and turns in the story that it was hard for me to put down. I just wanted to keep reading to see how each difficult situation would be solved. I enjoyed the use of hymns in the story. I also enjoyed reading of the strength and generosity of Aunt Ada. Her love for others is very evident by her actions. I think this story would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys reading stories based during the early 1900’s.

The publisher has a note in the book that this book is for mothers and daughters to use as a mutual reading experience. The book combines women’s issues, the events surrounding Emie and the community. The story shows how girls are set apart from boys and how this can affect women.

I received this book through the BookCrash blogging program. I have written an honest review.

396 pages

ISBN: 9780997162547

Publisher: Capture books

To learn more about the author go to: http://www.tonyajewelblessing.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Whispering-Willows-Tonya-Jewel-Blessing/dp/0997162546

https://www.christianbook.com/the-whispering-of-the-willows/tonya-blessing/9780997162547/pd/162543?event=

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-whispering-of-the-willows-tonya-jewel-blessing/1123380625?ean=9780997162547

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels

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Do whatever you believe is right.”

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring is written by Carrie Fancett Pagels. This is a nice story that takes on Mackinac Island in 1895. Years earlier Maude’s grandmother had made the stipulation that her family companies would pass down to her family. Even if their spouses ran the businesses, they would not inherit. Maude’s mother recently died, and now the running of the inn is to pass to Maude. Maude’s father does will not allow her to run the inn unless she is married. The man Maude is suppose to marry has just returned to the island with a wife. Maude secretly takes a job at another in to prove to her father she can run the inn. Her father plans to move off the island with her brother Jack, so Jack can prepare to run in the Olympics when he is old enough.

Ben Steffan has been sent to the island to get a newspaper story. He is working undercover to write a story about men who pursue wealthy women. One of the couples he is trying to get a story on is Maude’s intended. If he is able to do this he will receive a promotion.

This is a really fun story to read. I really enjoyed reading the mischief Jack managed to get into. The story is so well written I could see Jack flying off the bike, or running around the town getting into trouble. I felt sorry for how Maude’s father had worked hard all the years to run the family businesses and now he is left having to start a new life.

The story is fast paced and has a lot of characters. The characters are introduced in a way that it is easy to follow along with them. I enjoyed reading how Maude’s father was able to reconnect with a special childhood friend and that she was able to help Maude’s father understand things he never knew about. The story I think anyone who enjoys reading Christian historical romance stories will enjoy reading this story. The story also has some mystery written into it as well.

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

Series: My Heart Belongs

256 pages

ISBN-13: 9781683220886

Publisher: Barbour Books

To learn more about the author go to: http://www.carriefancettpagels.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/My-Heart-Belongs-on-Mackinac-Island,14733.aspx?Tab=Books

https://www.amazon.com/My-Heart-Belongs-Mackinac-Island/dp/1683220889

https://www.christianbook.com/heart-belongs-mackinac-island-maudes-mooring/carrie-pagels/9781683220886/pd/220886

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/fancett-pagels-car/my-heart-belongs-on-mackinac-island-maudes-moori/6996564.html

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-heart-belongs-on-mackinac-island-carrie-fancett-pagels/1125314619?ean=9781683220886

as well as at Target and Walmart

My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca’s Plight by Susanne Dietze

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My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca’s Plight is written by Susanne Dietze. This book is a stand alone book that is part of the My Heart Belongs series. Cousins Thaddeus (Tad) and Theodore Fordham have both been corresponding to mail order brides with similar names. Thaddeus has been expecting his bride for a while and rushes to see if she is on the stagecoach.
Rebecca is on her way to Ruby City to marry Theodore. She is very low on funds and hungry. She is hoping they can get married right away. When Tad shows up at the station he finds Rebecca and without going through formal introductions they are married. Even though during the wedding ceremony, names are misspoken, they do not realize they married the wrong person until after the wedding. Now they have to wait until they can have their marriage annulled before Rebecca can marry her intended, Theodore.
During this time, Rebecca is very helpful to those in need. And she is able to see the difference between Tad and Theodore. Even though she has developed feeling for Tad, she remains true to Theodore.
I have read two other books in this series and this is my favorite so far. The story is very well written with well developed characters. The story has mystery written in it as well with the Gang. This is a Christian romance that shows the manners of the time. Tad moves into the jail to allow Rebecca to use his room until the annulment comes through. Rebecca and Theodore do not date while she is married to Tad. The story is not preachy, but is a good, clean, fun, light-hearted story to lose yourself in. The perfect to read to get away for a while. I also enjoyed the research the author has done to make this story. I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys reading stories based in the 1800’s. I also enjoyed the research the author has done to make this story.
“I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”

Series: My Heart Belongs

256 pages

ISBN:  9781683220114

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

To learn more about the author go to:  http://www.susannedietze.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/dietze-susanne/my-heart-belongs-in-ruby-city-idaho/7033500.html

https://www.christianbook.com/heart-belongs-city-idaho-rebeccas-plight/susanne-dietze/9781683220114/pd/220115

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-heart-belongs-in-ruby-city-idaho-susanne-dietze/1124707835?ean=9781683220114

 

 

Freedom’s Price by Christine Johnson

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Freedom’s Price, book 3 in Keys of Promise, is written by Christine Johnson. The story takes place in 1856. Catherine finds out that her family home has not been left to her with the passing of her father. Not wanting to accept the terms of the will she plans to travel with Mrs. Durning from England to her mother’s family in New Orleans. When the ship encounters problems she is forced to get off at Key West, Florida. She tries to find someone who will travel with her from Key West to New Orleans. Tom Worthington is sent to help with the ship. He teaches Catherine what is needed to get to New Orleans. Tom helps Catherine get to New Orleans.

When they get to Catherine’s family plantation, all is not what Catherine expected. Her family is not living there, instead it is run by a caretaker and slaves. It also has been left to deteriorate. They are warned about the plantation. But Catherine is determined to be at the plantation. While in New Orleans, Tom finds the ship that was stolen from his father years earlier near the plantation.

I enjoyed reading the story while Catherine was in Key West, I could see her walking the streets and going to check on getting a ride on a ship. Overall, I felt the story was a little lacking in character. Catherine’s character comes across as a person who always gets her way. It’s a little hard to understand that someone would change her inheritance and travel so far from what is familiar to them to visit family she knows nothing about. She relies on help from others to get what she want. I liked the other characters from Key West. They were all so helpful and friendly. The characters personalities change in New Orleans, they are more out to get what they want. I did appreciate the characters of Tom’s boss and his wife. They go out of their way to help others in need and Tom’s boss tries to make Tom see that the boat is not his to just take.

While this is part of a series, the books are not connected so they can be read as stand alone novels. I think this series will be enjoyed by those who enjoy early historical fiction and romance. The story does contain a lot of suspense as well.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. I have chosen to write this honest review.

Series: Keys of Promise (Book 3)

336 Pages

ISBN: 9780800723521

Publisher: Revell

To learn more about the author go to: http://www.christineelizabethjohnson.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Freedoms-Price-Novel-Keys-Promise/dp/080072352X

https://www.christianbook.com/freedoms-price-3-christine-johnson/9780800723521/pd/723528

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as well as at Wal Mart and Target

Gladden the Heart by Olivia Newport

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Gladden the Heart is book five in the Amish Turns of Time series written by Olivia Newport. The story is based in central Pennsylvania in 1847. There is a Methodist tent revival taking place and some of the local Amish are curious and attend. Some of them start wondering what a true spiritual experience is.

Shortly after the revival takes place, Susanna’s cousin, Noah, sleep preaches after their service. He has been doing this for some time but he and his wife have kept it a secret. After preaching, Noah has no memory of doing so. And while he is preaching, he is not aware of his surroundings so he needs to be watched for his safety. With the increasing amount of his sleep preaching, his wife needs help with the farm as well as needing someone to watch Noah.

Susanna goes to help with Noah and eventually her Methodist friends finds out and helps as well. As word gets out, the Amish start coming around the time Noah preaches. The Amish bishop turns against Noah. One day Noah leaves his farm and the sleep preaching starts earlier than normal. Noah wonders off into the mountain, and when it is found out that he is missing, many come to help look for him. But only a few are there when they find him. Among those are the Methodist minister, his daughter and the Amish bishop. Disagreements take place between the minister and the bishop.

I really enjoyed reading this story. It is not your typical Amish story with the Amish only interacting with other Amish. And this story brings in more of believing in Jesus than some Amish stories do. I have not read the previous 4 books in the series, but I was able to understand the story very well. The main part of the story is about Noah and his sleep preaching, but there is the story of Susanna and Adam. The story also has family dynamics that is taking place in Susanna’s family, with her parents considering moving.

This story contains family life as it was for the Amish in the mid 1800’s. It also contains suspense surrounding Noah and his preaching. And it contains romance with the deepening of Susanna and Adam’s relationship. I think anyone who enjoys reading historical stories will enjoy this. Especially if they also enjoy reading Amish stories.

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

Series: Amish Turn of Times (book 5)

320 Pages

ISBN: 9781683221104

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

To learn more about the author go to: http://www.olivianewport.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/Gladden-the-Heart,14742.aspx?Tab=Books&sj=286

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/newport-olivia/gladden-the-heart-jul/6996567.html

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https://www.christianbook.com/gladden-the-heart-5/olivia-newport/9781683221104/product-reviews/221107?rpp=5&event=GOOGORG&page=2

as well as Barnes and Noble and Walmart.