Sunday, June 2, 2013

TAKE THESE TITLES TO HEART--inspiring historical western romance from Bethany House Books!

Love in the Balance
Molly Lovelace and Bailey Garner were secondary characters in author Regina Jennings debut work, "Sixty Acres and a Bride". Now, in "Love in the Balance", Molly and Bailey have their own journey of faith, sparked by a childhood friendship which turns to love. Theirs is not an easy relationship, and the roses along the path are not without thorns. Molly is used to a certain social status and creature comforts, and Bailey has no measurable material worth. Her parents don't approve of them seeing each other, and her father has always pressured Molly to find a suitable match. He expects Molly to marry a wealthy husband who will ensure the stability of the Lovelace family finances and keep their business afloat. The attraction between Molly and Bailey, along with their years of knowing each other, makes it difficult for them to see clearly about their future. Eventually, Bailey makes a plea in church for the congregation to pray for him to find the strength to move forward and find work elsewhere so that he can secure his future. Molly and her family are embarrassed by his outburst, but he pleads with her to understand and to wait for him. Molly's father schemes to have Molly connect with the local banker's son, who is already courting one of Molly's friends. Molly agrees, thinking a false courtship will bring Bailey to his senses, but when the plot fails, Molly must find another wealthy suitor. A stranger in town, Edward Pierrepont, appears to be the answer to her prayers and the personification of her father's wishes. With Bailey keeping his distance, pressure from her father, and persistence from Edward, Molly's heart and hopes truly hang in the balance. Bailey has his own series of misadventures, and life for them both takes many unexpected twists and turns before they come full circle. As they each experience trials and tribulations, they also experience spiritual growth and personal maturity. Will the people they become be the ones who are meant for each other, or have their hearts found another direction? "Love in the Balance" is an involving, inspiring romantic tale which also offers humorous moments and unexpected story line elements. Read "Sixty Acres and a Bride", and then follow up with "Love in the Balance". You will enjoy the storytelling talents of author Regina Jennings.

Review Copy Bethany House Books
Sixty Acres and a Bride
Regina Jennings' debut historical romance work, "Sixty Acres and a Bride", is written with great heart, humor, and honesty. I enjoyed this book very, very much. I could feel the author's spirit in her words. She obviously treasured her characters and crafted her story line with care. While the hero, Weston Garner, is a very worthy fellow indeed, it is the heroine, Rosa, who will capture the reader's affections. Rosa is the widow of Weston's cousin, Mack Garner. Rosa's husband and father-in-law were both killed when an earthquake struck the area of the Sierra Madres in Mexico where the family hoped to find a fortune in the silver mines. Rosa and her mother-in-law, Louise return to the family home in Texas, only to find that they are about to lose the ranch due to back taxes. Weston Garner is a widower who carries great guilt over his wife's death, believing that he did not help her when she needed it most. For over five years, he has kept mostly to himself, refusing to believe that he deserves to find happiness. Rosa's unpretentious loveliness, honesty, gentle strength, and courage begin to thaw his frozen hopes. She finds him equally appealing, but her marriage to his cousin was one of hidden unhappiness, and she is afraid to trust her heart. Weston is drawn more and more into helping his extended family, much to the displeasure of those around him with their own hidden agendas. You will come to love Rosa. She is a heroine to appreciate and admire, one of the most refreshing and delightful female characters that I have read about in quite some time. She is so honest and real that her beauty shines from within, making her as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside. Her wise innocence is as much a healing balm for Weston's soul as is her lilting flute music soothing to his spirit. Recommended for romance lovers and readers in need of a lighter heart.

Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Publishers
A Noble Groom
An exceptional historical romance, "A Noble Groom", from author Jody Hedlund, will not leave the reader untouched. You will long remember the trials and tribulations of these characters, the resilience of their faith--both old and new, and the enchantment of the romance at the core of the story. Seeking freedom from the oppressive constraints of the class system of Germany of the 1800's, a group of miners and their families settle in the United States in Michigan. Their hopes to continue mining in Northern Michigan are dashed by the brutalities of Winter, and they move southward to an area of the state where the soil is suitable for farming. However, it is wild and uncleared, and seemingly endless back-breaking labor is undertaken before the land is usable. Even though they endured much to gain a freer way of life, old traditions still hold fast, and men still regard women as little more than servants. Women live under the rule of the men, and they have very little personal freedoms. Such a woman is Annalisa Werner, wife of Hans, and mother of little Gretchen. Hans is a an unrepentant gambler, wasting away the precious little financial resources which Annalisa has worked so hard to keep from his reach. One day, she is unable to bear his selfish ways any longer. With another child on the way, and young Gretchen cold and hungry, Annalisa goes in search of her husband and finds him horribly dead. Some in the community suspect that he was murdered by the man who wants the Werner's land for his sawmill business. Annalisa's father is more concerned with securing her a new husband, and he sends word to his brother Matthias in Germany to find a groom for Annalisa. The man who arrives is sent by Matthias, not as a groom, but as a helper for Annalisa at her farm until her real betrothed can finally make the journey. Carl Richards, is no farmhand. He is really Carl von Reichart, a nobleman framed for a crime he did not commit. About to face the guillotine, he is freed at the last moment by Matthias, his manservant, who sends him to Michigan to his niece's farm. Carl is obviously not used to manual labor, but he works hard and applies himself to the task, using his intelligence and charm along with his growing physical strength. Annalisa has never met a man like Carl, who treats her with kindness and respect. Carl never expected to fall for the lovely young widow, but he is smitten just the same. Together they work to pay off the debts left by Annalisa's husband so that she won't lose the farm. They face much adversity, both from man and Mother Nature, but as they toil side by side, their feelings for each other deepen and grow into something rare and beautiful. All the while, they know that Annalisa's groom is still to come from Germany. Carl also knows that his own fateful flight from his near-execution is a secret which could change all their lives forever. Is there a future for Annalisa and Carl and the children? Will his name be cleared and the truth be revealed in his homeland? Will the mystery of Hans Werner's death be solved? Author Jody Hedlund has written an unforgettable and inspirational historical romance. Highly recommended.
Review Copy Gratis Bethany House Books
Unending Devotion
Michigan, 1883

In Her Darkest Hours, Is He the Man She Needs?

Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer's assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan--and the sights of Connell McCormick.

Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father and figures as long as he's living an upright life, that's what matters. But when Lily arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turn a blind eye.

Vexing but persuasive, Lily soon secures Connell's help, drawing them ever closer to each other. Will standing for what's right cost them both everything?
A Hidden Truth (Home to Amana, #1)
In the closed communities of the Amana Colonies, hidden truths are about to change everything for two young women....

East Amana, Iowa, 1892

When Karlina Richter discovers that a new shepherd will be sent to her village, she fears she'll no longer be allowed to help her father with the sheep. She'll be relegated back to kitchen work, stuck inside all day. Her fears increase when the new shepherd shows little interest in the flock--or in divulging why he's suddenly been sent to East. Is he keeping secrets that will impact Karlina's family?

Dovie Cates visits the Amana Colonies to learn more about the place where her mother grew up. But when Dovie begins to ask questions about her mother's past, no one seems willing to reveal anything, so she decides to take matters into her own hands. Will the answers she finds spell disaster for her future plans and the longings of her heart?

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