A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason

A Most Noble Heir book cover

Growing up as a stable boy, Nolan Price’s world is turned upside down when his mother reveals on her deathbed that he is the son of the Earl of Stainsby.  Nolan was planning to marry kitchen maid, Hannah, but his new father now adamantly insists that Nolan take his place as head of the family and marry above his station.  Torn between his duty and his love, Nolan must fight for what he believes is right during this turbulent time.

This novel has an fascinating premise and gives a great glimpse into the divide between social classes in 1880s England.  I thought the plot was interesting and contained surprises and twists that kept my attention.  I did not like Nolan and Hannah’s relationship as much as I think I should have; despite giving them some leeway for the circumstances, I still found their actions too immature to allow me to like their romance.  Nonetheless, I truly did enjoy the book as there are many remarkable characters—the spunky nature of Aunt Iris is one of my favorites of the book. I recommend this novel and look forward to more by this author.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Rebel Heart by Beth White

A Rebel Heart book cover

Selah Daughtry is struggling to keep her family from dire straits five years after the end of the Civil War.  Her home plantation, once thriving and successful, now lies in ruins and debt. She is nearly ready to give up her homeland when she meets Levi Riggins, who suggests turning her home into a hotel in order to save it.  Selah agrees, only to discover that Levi is harboring a few secrets of his own, secrets that could put her and her family in danger.

This novel is full of interesting history and creative twists and turns.  I read many historical novels that take place during the Civil War but it was unique to read more about the time after the war, when families were struggling to rebuild.  The characters face challenges that change them and form them into more mature individuals.  I liked the interactions between the characters.  I struggled to like Levi as much as I think I was meant to, but I liked Selah and overall enjoyed the romance.  I am looking forward to reading more about the Daughtry family in the rest of the series.  I recommend this historical novel!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley

Justice Betrayed book cover

When Detective Rachel Sloan receives a strange visit from an Elvis Impersonator with a photo of her murdered mother and suspicions about her death, she decides to open the cold case—only to have her only witness murdered before she can even get a head start. Determined more than ever to get to the bottom of these events, she navigates Elvis week in Memphis, questioning anyone connected with the case.  She is tasked with working with her old flame Lieutenant Boone Callahan.  But Rachel is afraid that Boone will not let her get close to the case with her emotional ties and begins to withhold secrets from her coworkers, causing the enemy to be able to close in on Rachel herself.

If you like suspense novels, this book is for you!  I like the action in the novel but also appreciate how the author slows down the timeline to develop the characters and their relationships.  It allows me, as the reader, to better understand the actions and events of the story.  The author also gives the reader a peek into the mind of the villain, contributing a suspenseful plot.  Additionally, I liked that there was a special needs character in the book.  This novel has mystery, unpredictable events, and sprinkles of romance and spirituality.  A joy to read and recommended to lovers of contemporary fiction!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren

Keturah book cover

Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson is used to facing hardships—and overcoming.  Her marriage is over, her beloved childhood home in tatters, and her sisters in need of assistance.  So when she receives word that her father has passed away and left the estate in the West Indies, she resolves to bring her family across the ocean to the unknown in an attempt to save what little remains.  The hardships only begin when Keturah lands on dry land, however. Facing a life-changing family secret and forced to move forward despite attempts to derail her, Keturah leans on every once of her strength and discovers that God may be the only thing that can sustain her.

What a wonderful start to this series!  I liked Keturah instantly—she posses a quiet determination that pulls you into her circumstances and allows you to easily connect with her.  She is not afraid to go against popular beliefs for what she believes in.  I appreciate that the author did not create a perfect world for the main characters, instead being willing to tackle difficult subjects such as abuse and slavery with frankness and honesty.  The romance was well done and the spiritual truths are interwoven well among a backdrop of interesting history and beautiful scenery.  I highly recommend this novel and look forward to the rest of the series!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.