Eloise Drake is a successful account in New York City in 1908, a job for which she has worked hard and is very proud. She is attracted to stability and numbers and therefore finds herself drawn to her stoic and levelheaded boss. Recognizing her talents, her boss tasks her with analyzing the value of homes in Duval Springs before the city destroys it to create a reservoir for clean water. But Eloise is dreading this assignment because it means returning to the town that she spent many childhood summers and seeing once again the spontaneous and adventurous Alex, her young crush. Alex is determined to save his town and will do anything to make it happen, even if it means clashing with the girl he once loved—a girl that he again finds himself falling in love.
What a great ending to a great series! Elizabeth Camden always does such a wonderful job of crafting characters with complex personalities and great depth, and this novel is no exception. I liked the interactions between Alex and Eloise and that their friendship and relationship was not entirely predictable. It was fascinating to read about the building of a reservoir at the turn of the twentieth century and I felt myself drawn into the well-researched history and the emotions of the fictional characters. The storyline flowed well and it was easy to enjoy this fabulous novel! Although it is not necessary to read this series in order, it is fun to read about previous characters in this book. I highly recommend this novel!
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers/Elizabeth Camden in exchange for an honest review.
In 1908, Thea arrives to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in hopes of uncovering why her mother left her at an orphanage when she was young. She discovers a secretive asylum tucked into the woods and is able to gain entrance with groundskeeper Simeon and her postmortem photography skills. But as she unearths ghosts and the tale of Misty Wayfair, Thea learns that there may be more than meets the eye. More than a century later, Heidi also travels to Pleasant Valley after she receives a plea from her mother fighting dementia. Heidi also exposes family secrets of ghosts and soon she finds herself on a journey involving Misty Wayfair and events that cause her to fear her own life.
What an exciting book! The opening line, “melancholy was a condition of the spirit and soul, but also of the mind,” draws you in with its eerie mystery immediately and the grip of the words does not let up until the last page. This book has ghost like suspense that left me with heart pounding and eyes scanning to find solutions to the supernatural. I love Jaime Jo Wright’s writing as it is packed with details that allow me to really envision each scene and imagine the thrilling events. She has such a unique gift! The characters are rich in depth with imperfections and struggles that are realistic and relatable. Jaime Jo tackles difficult social topics in this book, including but certainly not limited to, autism and its effects on loved ones, depression and anxiety and its misconceptions, childhood trauma and its psychological aftereffects, and the treatment of the mentally ill in the early 20thcentury. What a phenomenal read! I could hardly put the book down and stayed up much too late on several evenings to finish it (really, my only complaint here is the lack of sleep I had while reading, ha!). The central theme of identity is clearly woven so uniquely throughout and ultimately draws on the Christian principle of identity in Christ. I did not used to like split time novels, but Jaime Jo has a special gift to craft books that weave together a story that comes together into a well-structured and satisfying ending, and has definitely made me a fan of these books. I truly loved this book and cannot wait to see what she pens next! Most highly recommended!
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers/Jaime Jo Wright in exchange for an honest review. 5/5
Lieutenant Jack Hennessey is tasked with approaching the Arapaho tribe to negotiate the safe transfer of Hattie Walker, a childhood friend who is attacked while traveling by stagecoach to Denver. Hattie is determined to prove to her parents that she is not ready to settle down and marry; instead, she strikes a deal with them to allow her to paint for several months before returning home. However, her detour with the attack and rescue delays her plans, which are delayed yet again when a communication error with the Arapaho force her to spend more time at Fort Reno with the handsome Lieutenant.
I really enjoyed this book! The story has spunky characters, fun dialogue, real faith, and sprinkles of surprises and danger to make an interesting read. I enjoyed the history associated with the setting and the interactions with the neighboring Indians. The plot flowed well and was easy to read. I liked the conflicts and flaws that made the characters more realistic. You do not have to read the first book to enjoy this one, although I do recommend both of them and I look forward to the next book in the series!
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers/Regina Jennings in exchange for an honest review.
Katherine FitzGilbert returns to London society for business after turning her back on it years ago. She stumbles upon Lord Graham Wharton, a gentleman who is searching for his missing sister. Although she desires to help Graham, she cannot reveal what she knows about women who disappear to escape the scorn of society. And as she is forced to run for her life, she dreads putting everyone she loves in danger.
I was excited for this new series by Kristi Ann Hunter and this first book was a great start! I liked the characters in this novel, as they are flawed and relatable but also forgiven and redeemed. The history was well researched and written with details that made it easy for me to envision the ballroom scenes and backdrop for the story. There were surprising twists and turns that keep me reading and engaged. I enjoyed this first book and look forward to the next one in the series!
I received an e-copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Previously a thief, Barclay Pierce now uses his observation skills and connections to aid in The Great War in 1915 England. His newest assignment takes him to a tranquil neighborhood where he is surprised to come across a mugging and finds himself rescuing a strong, independent lady. Evelina Manning is hurt when her fiancé cuts off their engagement because of her progressive views, but she does not let this disappointment slow down her efforts to aid in the war. The elusive Barclay, who takes an interest in her father’s work, intrigues her, and soon she finds herself drawn to help his cause, despite the growing danger involved in his work.
I really enjoyed this series by Roseanna White and was particularly excited to finally learn more about Barclay! The characters in this series have been interesting and the “family” that they form from their unique backgrounds is definitely endearing. This book contains intrigue and mystery interspersed with romance and character development. The history was well researched and fascinating. I was sorry to see the series end because I think several more books could be written about the other siblings! I liked this book and look forward to more by this author.
I received an e-copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review,
I am so excited to partner with Lynn Austin to promote her newest novel, Legacy of Mercy. I have recently shared my book review (direct link: https://lifeofliterature.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/legacy-of-mercy-by-lynn-austin/). Here is a quote from the book that stuck with me! I have also copied a message from Lynn Austin to readers below. Seek out this novel when it releases today! You will not be disappointed!
I’m so happy that you decided to join me on what I hope will be a fun adventure. I’m very excited to share my newest novel, “Legacy of Mercy,” with you because it was you—my readers—who inspired me to write it! I received many, many letters asking if there would be a sequel to “Waves of Mercy.” The main character, Anna, is only in her twenties and is a new Christian, so when she decides to return to Chicago and marry her fiancé at the end of “Waves of Mercy,” readers wanted to know what happens next in her life. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to explore what happens next for Anna, too. She has just discovered who her birth mother is, so naturally she’ll wants to learn more about her. She’ll also want to solve the mystery of who her real father is and what became of him. Might he still be alive? Lots of material for a story here!
I really hope you enjoy “Legacy of Mercy.” I believe you’re in for a few surprises along the way!
Anna Nicholson returns from her summer trip to Michigan intent on learning more about her birth mother, hiring Pinkerton detectives to help her dig up the past. As secrets are revealed, however, Anna soon discovers that her past may actually alter her future. And amidst the craziness of planning for a wedding and maneuvering through society, she realizes that her commitment to seek God daily is not as easy as she had planned. She finds encouragement in her grandmother, Geesje, who is facing a challenge of her own after she accepts a young, timid girl with a complicated history into her home. As these two women navigate their trials, they find that God’s purpose and forgiveness is the only thing that truly matters.
I absolutely loved the prequel to this novel, Waves of Mercy, so I was thrilled to discover that the author responded to the overwhelming encouragement to continue Anna and Geesje’s story. Anna faces trials that make her a realistic and relatable character and has a depth to her that allows me as a reader to connect with her and feel her struggles and emotions. Geesje as well is a compassionate soul with godly wisdom that reaches beyond the pages and encourages me as a reader. There is mystery surrounding Anna’s story that is unpredictable and the romance becomes complicated, leading to twists and turns unexpected. I loved the history of the Dutch heritage and the incorporation of many spiritual truths. I most highly recommend this novel!
I received a copy of this book from Lynn Austin and Bethany House Publishers.