Tag Archives: Bethany House Publishers

True to You by Becky Wade

True to You book cover

Nora Bradford is dedicated to her work as a genealogist and historian, hoping that her career can help her forget her heartbreak three years ago. She is thrilled when a former Navy SEAL and attractive man John Lawson enlists her help to research his ancestry. But John is focused on the present whereas Nora likes to dwell on the past. As Nora and John work through their differences towards a common goal, Nora finds herself drawn to John. However, their lives may be too complicated for them to enjoy a future together.

This novel is a good introduction to the Bradford sisters. Nora is quirky and unique but adorably passionate about her job; I did not love her at first but learning more about her throughout the story, I came to enjoy her character. John is a hero but he’s not without struggles, the most pressing of which involves his health, which is why he’s determined to find his birth parents. There is a complexity to the characters that serves as a good backdrop for their romance, which has surprising twists and turns. I am excited to read more about the other sisters, especially Willow, and look forward to the next books. A good start to a new series!

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

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Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Behind the Scenes book cover

Miss Permilia Griswold grew up travelling with her father on his business trips, so when her stepmother wishes her to simply attend balls and snag a worthy suitor, Permilia’s odd upbringing forces hers to be banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom. Nevertheless, Permilia uses her anonymity in society to write gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill,” filled with tidbits she hears from mingling on the fringes of parties. During one of her evenings, Permilia is shocked to hear a threat against none other than the irritatingly handsome Mr. Asher Rutherford. When she attempts to warn Asher, however, he does not believe her, and she must set out to prove her suspicions correct before it is too late.

One of my favorite aspects of Jen Turano’s writing is her ability to craft such hilarious escapades with tenacious, independent, interesting characters, and this novel delivers yet again! I particularly liked Permilia as she is practical and down to earth, content with her wallflower position in society but also determined to make the best of her situation. The witty banter between characters provides the perfect contrast to the bits of mystery and suspense sprinkled in the story. Add humorous romantic tension and more serious spiritual developments and you have another fantastic book by this well-loved author. I highly recommend this novel and cannot wait for book two in the series!

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

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To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

To the Farthest Shores book cover

Jenny Bennett thinks Ryan Gallagher is the best thing that’s ever happened to her, until he leaves suddenly and shatters her heart. Six years later, Jenny is stunned to find Ryan once again at the Presidio military base, this time with many secrets and an inability to give Jenny a good explanation for his absence. Jenny is determined not to fall for Ryan’s charms again, but when he asks her for a favor for a friend, she has a hard time saying no. As Jenny and Ryan are forced to endure a project together, they are required to face their pasts and determine if they are able to forgive.

I love Elizabeth Camden’s books because she is not afraid to delve into difficult topics. I greatly appreciate her detail in describing the effects of opium withdrawal and the consequences it has on others. I also really liked how the theme of forgiveness came up time and time again, all from different perspectives – those who can forgive easily, those who struggle to move past bitterness, and those who do not feel worthy to accept it. No matter your walk in life, you will find significant spiritual meaning in this story with which to connect. I also loved the characters in this book and felt drawn to each one in such a unique way. The author crafts such deep personalities among the pages. Not every aspect of the characters’ pasts is etched out in the first pages and I was excited to discover more to each character as the story progressed. Another wonderful aspect of this novel was the detail that the author put into the parts of crafting pearls from clams and the history surrounding this interesting time period. I greatly enjoyed this novel and most highly recommend it to all readers!

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

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A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

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Rebekah Carrington has the talent and class of a master violinist but there is one problem—she is a female in 1871 Nashville, Tennessee, where women are considered far too delicate for the rigors of an orchestra. After a tense situation causes Rebekah to leave home, she attempts to audition for the Nashville Philharmonic to earn money, only to discover that the new conductor, Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb, agrees with the public’s opinion of female musicians. Meanwhile, Tate is focused on completing his symphony before a deadline, attempting to concentrate his attention on music despite his father’s health rapidly declining. He is initially frustrated by Rebekah’s tenacity, but then he finds himself drawn to her quiet strength. As Tate and Rebekah are forced to work together on a project, Tate tries to earn Rebekah’s trust despite her animosity towards his traditional views on orchestra players.

It is easy to fall in love with Tamera Alexander’s stories because she crafts such rich depth to her characters. I absolutely adored Rebekah in this novel. She is tenacious, she is resilient, she is strong, she has gumption—she has a quiet strength that allows her to pick up the pieces of her broken past and forge ahead, throwing her entire being into her passion for music despite society’s limitations. I could feel the emotions of the characters in the pages and almost hear the impact of the music among the storyline. I loved the surprising twists in the novel and the realistic hardships that the characters had to overcome. It is difficult to book the book down, as every part of the plot is engaging and fascinating. It is definitely a must read and I highly recommend it!

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

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An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter

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Lord Trent Hawthorne is thrilled to be able to marry for love, like his two sisters and his parents did before him. But when a compromising situation forces him to suddenly marry the quiet and meek Lady Adelaide Bell, he is unsure if love is truly possible for him. Determined to make the best of his circumstances, he decides to do something rather unique and court his own wife. As the pressures of London culture and the expectations of the social elite build and cause a drift in their tremulous relationship, Trent and Adelaide must rely on the things they are learning about each other and the growing feelings of their hearts.

I really enjoyed the characters of Trent and Adelaide. They are both unique and quirky and their insecurities and interactions are endearing. I did think the novel moved a little slow in the middle of the storyline and I did hope for a more engaging plot, but nonetheless, the overall story is enjoyable. It was also fun to catch up with a few characters from the first two novels, although reading the stories in order is not required. I did not think the characters in this particular novel developed quite as well or quite as deeply. However, I did think it was a pleasant novel and a worthy read. I recommend this to lovers of historical fiction!

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

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The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

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Jane Bell suddenly finds herself reluctant landlady of The Bell, a historic coaching inn in the quaint village of Ivy Hill. Jane is unsure why she was left the inn since she has no experience managing it and learns it has a substantial debt attached to it, a debt she is uncertain she will ever be able to repay. She hesitantly turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for assistance, hoping Thora’s experience managing the inn can save them. Thora has her own reasons for returning to Ivy Hill, but she did not expect to interact with two men from her past, nor did she expect the feelings they stir in her. As Jane and Thora are forced to work together to save the inn, they both learn new things about themselves and about their relationships with others.

I have always loved Julie Klassen’s novels due to the wonderful character depth, poignant scenes, and fascinating storylines. This is the author’s first installment in her first series and, due to this, I thought the storyline and character depth developed at a slower pace than her previous novels. It took me just a little longer to connect with the characters, but like all of her books, once I understood them better, I did indeed enjoy reading about them. This particular novel set up the stage well for subsequent books. The point of view in this book is interesting as it alternates only between two females, and I must say I missed the male perspective. I am greatly anticipating the next book and cannot wait to see how the characters continue to develop. Like all of Julie Klassen’s books, I recommend this novel!

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

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For the Record by Regina Jennings

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Betsy Huckabee is motivated to submit articles to a big city newspaper in order to support her budding career as a writer. The only issue is that her sleepy town of Pine Gap, Missouri, does not have enough unique excitement to sell her stories. That is, until the dashing Deputy Joel Puckett arrives in town. His goal might be to establish the law and show the masked marauders who is boss, but he is surprised when a feisty female is the one who seems to be resisting his methods. As Betsy attempts to elaborate Joel’s attributes in order to sell stories, she soon realizes that her stories may harm those she loves and entangle her heart in a messy situation.

I like strong heroines in novels so I was excited to read this story, as Betsy has spirit and gumption to carry her through all sorts of adventures. Her independence, however, never overshadows her desire to help her family, a trait I can admire. There were several surprising twists and the villain in the story keeps you guessing. This particular novel can be read alone as the story develops entirely in this book. I expected a little more humor to the dialogue, but I did still enjoy the characters, the setting, and the overall plot. The main protagonists both grow up a little in the novel and I enjoyed watching their friendship and eventual romance develop. I recommend this novel to lovers of historical fiction!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers and the generous author, Regina Jennings, in exchange for an honest review.

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