Tag Archives: Bethany House Publishers

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano

Out of the Ordinary book cover

Miss Gertrude Cadwalader may be simply a paid companion, but working for the eccentric Mrs. Davenport is never dull. From wearing odd costumes that her employer creates to returning random stolen goods the woman pilfers, Gertrude is rarely bored. However, when Mrs. Sinclair catches Getrude in the act of returning items to the Sinclair yacht, a misunderstanding may cost her the friendship of the dashing and successful Harrison Sinclair, a friend of hers and a man who is becoming quite dear to Gertrude despite his lack of fashion sense. As one misunderstanding leads to another adventure, Gertrude must attempt to solve the mystery of other stolen goods before her friendship and her livelihood are destroyed.

I love Jen Turano’s novels because they are always full of hilarious escapades and laugh out loud adventures with eccentric, extraordinary characters. This book is no exception! I loved Gertrude from page one, with her dear generous heart and kind thoughtful spirit. She may be cast as a wallflower in society, but her fortitude and tenacity demonstrate a stronger soul beneath her exterior. I also loved Harrison and his ability to see the deeper Gertrude as well as his laughable sense of fashion and close relationship with his family. Indeed I quite enjoyed all of the characters although I do have to admit that I found Mrs. Davenport less than desirable, even though her antics were explained well with her history. Nevertheless, there is great history and wonderful spiritual growth. I do most heartedly recommend this novel to all lovers of books everywhere—I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

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

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The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

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Two years after her husband dies, Kaine Prescott decides to move across the country, impulsively buying an old abandoned home in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. Convinced that her husband was murdered and his murderer is stalking her, but unable to prove it, she attempts to move on and start over. Only the strange events that were taking place in California to her begin to occur in Wisconsin, increasing Kaine’s suspicions. Meanwhile, a century earlier, Ivy Thorpe helps her father identify a dead woman found in a tree near the old house on Foster Hill. As she untangles the mystery, odd discoveries cause her to question the strange happenings at the old house. Danger mounts for both Ivy and Kaine as their investigations lead to more similarities that crosses decades and ties together at an old house.

This story is a perfect blend of mystery and suspense! I liked how the two story lines were separated by time but connected in a very unique way and I did not find them to be confusing at all. This author may be fairly new, but her writing style, creative plot, and suspenseful story craft a novel that speaks of an experienced writer. I had a hard time putting the book down! I really enjoyed the tasteful romance and sprinkles of history as well. There is definitely enough spooky suspense enough to keep you up at night. I highly recommend this novel and look forward to more from this author!

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

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A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

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Lucy Drake loves her job as a decoder of Morse code at the Associated Press news agency, where she uses her skills to be the first to discover news around the world. But since the Associated Press has not yet finished its sub-Pacific cable line, she has to interact with the insufferable Sir Colin Beckwith, a rival at the British news agency Reuters and her source for Eastern news. As she and Colin spar during work hours, she realizes that he could be helpful to her long-standing family feud and lawsuit. But when Lucy decodes a secret message that has larger implications than herself, she turns to Colin to help her, endangering them both and entangling them in a precarious game.

This particular book grabbed me from the first page and did not let go until the last. One of my favorite parts of Elizabeth Camden’s books is her ability to craft such deep characters with realistic and engaging struggles; this novel is no exception! I absolutely loved Lucy. She has made mistakes, like any one of us, but she has a loyalty to her family and develops a deeper sense of morality and peace as the story develops. The historical setting is really fascinating, tackling a lot of interesting topics at the turn of the century, and the author’s dedication to thoroughly researching the history is admirable. I also was impressed with the amount of suspense and mystery in this book and surprised by all the twists and turns. I most highly recommend this book!

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

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An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter

An Inconvenient Beauty book cover

The Duke of Riverton, Griffith, is the eldest Hawthorne and uses order, logic, and control in order to succeed in his role as a Duke and in his business dealings. It makes sense to him to apply these same principles to choosing a mate. It should not matter that his choice stirs no romantic feelings whatsoever in himself—only it does matter, because her cousin, the beautiful and elusive Isabella, does stir those romantic feelings. But Isabella is complicated and independent, not at all what Griffith considers a perfect match. Isabella, meanwhile, is caught up in a family scheme, perhaps causing her to have to sacrifice all that she holds dear.

This novel is an enjoyable end to a wonderful series. It was great to finally read about Griffith and get to know his stoic personality a bit more. The characters had good depth and conflict and it was additionally fun to read about previous personalities from the other novels. Faith and love are intertwined with a charming historical setting that makes it easy to picture the scenes, the gowns, and the parties. I thought the book slowed a bit in the middle with repetitive details and the romance did not quite seem to fit like the first three books, but nonetheless I did like the characters, making this a memorable last installment. I recommend this entire series to those who love historical regency romance!

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

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The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling

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Rune and Signe Carlson take a leap of faith and move their family across the ocean from Norway to America in hopes of a better life by accepting an offer from Signe’s uncle to work on their farm. Signe is hesitant for the journey and the life of the unknown, but she trusts her husband’s promises of open, free land and better opportunities. However, upon arrival to Minnesota, Signe’s optimistic expectations are dashed when she encounters a sourly aunt and uncle and lots more work than she planned. As her hope of a better life begins to fade, Signe also finds herself struggling with her faith in God. It may take tragedy and strength to draw her back to her dreams and her Savior.

Lauraine Snelling always does a great job of in-depth research of historical facts and lives and this novel is no exception. The descriptive scenes allow me to easily visualize the life the Signe must have endured as a young Norwegian immigrant. Although the list of daily chores and activities at times overshadows the storyline and slows it down, I nonetheless enjoyed reading about their lives and circumstances. The characters face realistic trials that strengthen them and allow me to connect with their growth in faith. I look forward to more stories in the series and recommend this first installment in the new saga!

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

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A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

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Rosemary Gresham is a talented thief in 1914 London, but she has moved past picking pockets and instead targets high value items among the upper-class society. Her family and closet friends consist of a group of former urchins, so when she receives the opportunity to provide for them by determining whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or Germany, she accepts. Peter Holstein is awkward and solitary but his influence stretches far as he is a close friend of the king. His German last name, however, is causing strife during the rumbling of World War I. He hires Rosemary to investigate his family name and dig into his family’s past. As Peter and Rosemary each attempt to accomplish their own goals, danger in the background brings them together.

A great book to start a new series! I love the imperfections of the two main characters, particularly Peter’s stutter, a realistic characteristic that makes him more relatable. I liked the diverse group of Rosemary’s family and am looking forward to reading more about them. The Christian themes are also artfully and wonderfully intertwined without being preachy or obnoxious. I thought the beginning of the story was a little slow but the pace eventually picked up and became more interesting. This novel has romance, mystery, history, and faith. I recommend this book and am looking forward to the rest of the series!

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

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With You Always by Jody Hedlund

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Elise Neumann is tired of being a poor immigrant in New York City—she is tired of starving daily and tired of being worked to the bone to care for her sisters. When she is presented with the opportunity to travel west in order to secure her future, she reluctantly leaves behind her family so she can provide for them. Along the rails, she reconnects with Thornton Quincy, a man she ran into in the middle of a gang scuffle several months ago in New York. Elise is cautiously thrilled to meet a friend, but she is uncertain why Mr. Quincy is also moving west and what his intentions might be for their friendship. But when someone threatens Elise’s new livelihood and the business of Mr. Quincy, their friendship takes a deadly turn.

What a wonderful start to a new series by a beloved author! I recommend reading the free novella before starting this book as it gives even more background to the characters in this first installment. The time period and events in this novel are very interesting to read about, and I appreciated that the author did not shy away from giving vivid descriptions of the deplorable conditions poor immigrants found themselves in upon arriving to America in the 1850s. The characters face certain difficulties, which make them realistic and relatable. I love the way the romance develops between the two main characters and that it does not feel rushed. I also enjoyed the surprises near the end of the book that were not altogether predictable. I am greatly looking forward to the rest of the series and highly recommend this novel!

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

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