Hope Reborn (Texas Romance Series Book 3) by Caryl McAdoo

About the Book

Historical Christian ‘Western Adventure’ Romance Novel Hope Reborn is Book 3 in Caryl McAdoo’s Texas Romance series and debuted December 20, 2014.

Set in 1850, it tells the story of May Meriwether, a successful New York dime novelist thinking life is slipping away unfulfilled. She’s bored with the same old heroes and heroines and stories and Uptown social circles. Then she spots an interesting article in the Tribune. Texas Ranger Levi Baylor and his Captain Wallace Rusk have captured the Comanche War Chief Bold Eagle.

The wheels start turning. Throwing caution to the wind, she charges her companion, Chester, to arrange passage to Texas for the both of them. The Rangers will be wonderful hero models for some fresh stories wrought with adventure and intrigue. May couldn’t know the troubles she’d find in Texas and what she could lose there in the new wild west state.

Hope Reborn follows Book 1 Vow Unbroken set in 1832 and released by Simon and Schuster’s Howard Books March 4th, 2014 wherein Levi is the orphaned nephew of Susannah Baylor, a gritty young widow scratching out a living from the untamed Tejas prairie.

And Book 2 Hearts Stolen that debuted September 5th, 2014 indie published by Ron and Caryl McAdoo. Twelve years have passed, and young Levi Baylor is now twenty-six and making quite a name for himself as the Ranger who always gets his man.

Dispatched to the peace camp of Comanche Chief Bold Eagle to pick up the stolen white woman bargained for in Sam Houston’s treaty, But the beautiful redhead he spots Sassy Fogelsong, a girl from back home he happens to notice, but her name isn’t on his list.

My Review

I must confess I have a weakness for stories about Texas. I lived in the D/FW area for many years, and it still holds a huge piece of my heart.

Caryl McAdoo writes a delightful story about Patrick “Henry” Buckmeyer, Texas Ranger extraordinaire and his family, and about an author of dime novels, May Meriwether. However, May has many secrets. Secrets she’d rather stay that way, but a certain Texas Ranger may “tickle” the truth out of her.

One of my favorite characters was May’s friend Chester. Chester acts as chaperone, helper and friend to May.  He also helps guide her through life, something she needs as a single woman in the 18800s. But the thing I enjoy most about Chester…he knows May better than she knows herself and can get in those little zingers that only someone who really knows and cares about you could or would be allowed to do.

Hope Reborn has a very distinct and constant theme of Christianity and makes no apologies for it, either. Part of the storyline deals with the strong faith of many of the characters and the lack of faith on the part of an individual essential to the narrative. I appreciate McAdoo’s handling of the situation and its resolution.

I enjoyed reading Hope Reborn and getting reacquainted with the Buckmeyers, Baylors and Wheelers. I have always relished reading stories that follow a family, or in this case families, and continue throughout several books.

Caryl McAdoo wrote this story several years ago. I read it at the time, then read the others in the series. I had the chance to reread it and review it, so I jumped at the opportunity.

I received a free copy of this book/eBook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Publisher’s Summary

New York dime novelist May Meriwether decides a heroic Texas Ranger will make a great love interest for her new heroine. Bored to tears and loving adventure, she sets out to the Lone Star State with her constant companion and confidant Chester in tow.

Dreams for a husband and children are relegated to the recesses of her heart, the self-confessed old maid deems it too late. But the near-perfect widower resurrects a smidgen of hope. Only his impenetrable, superstitious religious beliefs stand in the path to her falling head over heels, those and his love for his dead wife. Would there ever be room for her in his heart? And would he give up his fanaticism for God?

An unexpected romance surprises both. Hope is reborn in God’s unfailing love and grace. Can a life built on lies find the Way to confession, forgiveness, and true joy? In a day when the church offers the only stability on the 1850 Texas prairie, these unlikely players find one another and fall in love. But will it be enough?

Author Bio

In April 2012, Caryl met Mary Sue Seymour at NETWO’s Spring Conference and wrote her first historical Christian romance set in the 1800s especially for the agent. (Whose maiden name was remarkably ‘McAdoo’!) Mary Sue offered representation in August, and VOW UNBROKEN sold in October to Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. It debuts on March 4, 2014.

Six months later, book two in the Texas Romance series debuted, HEARTS STOLEN set in 1839-1844, Then two months later a new Biblical fiction series The Generations was born with volume one A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, the story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Sheriah, and Abel in Paradise with a kindly old cherub named Namrel!

Caryl, also known as Grami, has fourteen grandsugars (one more than she has books now) and enjoys painting and gardening. A proclaimed psalmist, she’s dedicated to serving God, loving praise and worship and that He frequently gives her new songs. Caryl believes all good things are from Him and prays her new books will minister His love, mercy, and grace to her readers.

Contact Information

Website: http://carylmcadoo.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caryl.mcadoo/author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarylMcAdoo
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/pub/caryl-mcadoo/23/623/5
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CarylMcAdoo/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/181587.Caryl_McAdoo?from_search=true
Amazon link:http://www.amazon.com/Hope-Reborn-Caryl-McAdoo/dp/1502817047/ref=la_B00E963CFG_1_6_title_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420728398&sr=1-6

#cwareviewcrew

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Red Sky Over America (Ladies of Oberlin Book 1) by Tamera Lynn Kraft

My Review

Tamera Lynn Kraft’s book Red Sky Over America (a great play on words, btw!) has many characters integral to the story. However, the main characters are America (Merry) Leighton and William Woods, both students, though from very different parts of the country, at Oberlin College.

Merry grew up in Kentucky, the daughter of a slave owner, but she begins to realize just how wrong it is to be a part of slave ownership.

William is a student at Oberlin and an abolitionist preacher who spends his winter break in Kentucky preaching against slavery.

Kraft doesn’t shy away from writing about some very harrowing situations that were challenging for me to read. The book deals with the treatment of slaves in a very gritty way. The imagery is grim and incomprehensible in some cases; the life portrayed of some slaves was grueling. However, I believe, as inconceivable, unfathomable and beyond understanding that the cruelty some circumstances were, they only touched on the tip of the iceberg.

I appreciated the attention to details and to the reality of life in 1850’s South, even as I cringed and felt sick to my stomach reading about it. Kraft’s extensive research resonates throughout the story, and her words stir up graphic and powerful mental imagery of the time.

I was surprised, but fascinated, by how the novel, tagged as a romance, addresses the interaction between the two love interests almost as an afterthought. Instead, we become acquainted with them as individuals. Each separately carries out the plans they feel God has called them to do. At the same time, they are learning the lessons necessary to trust Him in their walk with Him and to bring them together if it is His will.

Red Sky Over America is a profoundly moving book that features a large cast of characters in a myriad of situations, but it flows smoothly and effortlessly.  I am looking forward to reading the other novels in the series as soon as they become available.

I received an advance copy of the book from the author. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

William and America confront evil, but will it cost them everything?

In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.

America’s classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.

The Innkeeper’s Daughter by Michelle Griep

About the Book

Title: The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Author: Michelle Griep

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: March 1, 2018

A London officer goes undercover to expose a plot against the Crown
Dover, England, 1808: Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the king—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue. . .until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

MichelleGriep

Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit www.michellegriep.com.

My Review

Michelle Griep’s book, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, is filled with mystery, intrigue, (swoon-worthy) romance plus a man that dresses very strangely and lets his puppet talk for him more than he does himself.

I started reading The Innkeeper’s Daughter  late one evening. I should have known from having read Griep’s novella, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, Book 1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep (my review), that I wouldn’t be able to put the book down! I was right; I couldn’t!

The writing is incredibly descriptive. For example, you can feel every pothole the wagons go over, see the neglect of the inn due to lack of funds and smell the stench from the wharves. In addition, you feel the emotions of the characters’, be it love, loathing, fear or the gluttonous, insatiable need for control and to harm.

The story is well researched with interesting tidbits of history during the Regency Era, to include some historical notes at the end of the book. There are some scenes of violence, threats of violence and other insinuations of harm that may be intense for some readers.

I received this book (in print or e-book form) from Celebrate Lit, Barbour Publishing and NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Guest Post from Michelle Griep

Celebrating Oak Apple Day

Spring is just around the corner, or maybe it’s in full bloom in your neck of the woods. Regardless, by this time of year, everyone is ready to celebrate. . .and nothing new is under the sun. For centuries people have been eager to welcome budding greenery and warmth.

In my recent release, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, I incorporated a spring holiday that’s been around for over 500 years in England, one you may never heard of.

Oak Apple Day.

This ancient celebration dates back to the year 1651. At the time, Charles II escaped the Roundhead army by taking cover in an oak tree. Everyone loved ol’ Charlie and was glad he lived, so in his honor, a new national holiday was born—one that in some parts of England is still celebrated today.

Another name for this annual event is Royal Oak Day and the festivities occur every May 29th. Celebration traditions vary from parades to the ringing of bells, but one thing that is standard is that it’s a day to pin an oak leaf on your lapel. If you fail to wear one, you could end up getting pinched.

The hero in my latest release is kind enough to remind the heroine that she forgot to pin on her leaf, thus saving her from untoward pinches. Interested in hearing more about this gallant fellow and the forgetful miss? Here’s a blurb about The Innkeeper’s Daughter

Tension is high with the threat of a Napoleonic attack in Regency England, but risk from abroad means nothing when there’s danger at home.

Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gambling gentleman to expose a high-stakes plot against the crown—and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue . . . until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds? If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhouse—where she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his mission—finding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crown—must come first, or they could all end up dead.

It’s a race against time for them both.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, March 15

Fiction Aficionado, March 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 15

The Morning Chapter, March 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 16

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 16

Mommynificent, March 16

Blogging With Carol, March 16

Among the Reads, March 17

Connie’s History Classroom, March 17

Mary Hake, March 17

Blossoms and Blessings, March 17

Karen Sue Hadley, March 18

The Power of Words, March 18

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, March 18

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 18

Kathleen Denly, March 19

Faithfully Bookish, March 19

Captive Dreams Window, March 19

Red Headed Book Lady, March 19

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 20

Remembrancy, March 20

Inklings and notions, March 20

Book by Book, March 20

Moments Dipped in Ink, March 21

Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, March 21

Singing Librarian Books, March 21

To Everything a Season, March 21

Bookworm Mama, March 22

Two Points of Interest, March 22

Vicky Sluiter, March 22

Carpe Diem, March 22

Pause for Tales, March 23

Have A Wonderful Day, March 23

A Baker’s Perspective, March 23

margaret kazmierczak, March 23 (Interview)

proud to be an autism mom, March 24

Bibliophile Reviews, March 24

A Greater Yes, March 24

Texas Book-aholic, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 25

Janices book reviews, March 25

A Reader’s Brain, March 26

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 26

Simple Harvest Reads, March 26 (Mindy Houng Guest Post)

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, March 27

My Writer’s Life, March 27

Pursuing Stacie, March 27

Bigreadersite, March 27

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 28

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 28

Pink Granny’s Journey, March 28

The PhD Mamma, March 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of The Innkeeper’s Daughter and a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb72

The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy Book #1) by Sarah Sundin

My Review

The Sea Before Us is Sarah Sundin’s first book in her new series, Sunrise at Normandy. The story focuses on Dorothy Fairfax, a WREN (The Women’s Royal Naval Service-WRNS, known as WREN/S), and Lt. Wyatt Paxton.

First, I have to say, that the research and authenticity of the story is astounding. The time-frame is from January through June of 1944. There are so very many historical (and very sad) tidbits of information highlighting the time leading up to and including D-Day.

As you read, you are transported back to a different era and three different countries, England, France and Scotland. It’s not hard to picture yourself right in the middle of everything going on-from the urgency of preparing for a military invasion to the freneticism of trying to squeeze the last drop of normalcy from a life that seems as if it will never be normal again.

Both Dorothy and Wyatt have some significant issues in their lives and need to learn to rely more fully on the Lord. The spiritual thread is woven seamlessly into the book, with most of the truths applicable to anyone’s life.

I have always loved historical fiction, and The Sea Before Us doesn’t disappoint.

I received this book from Library Thing. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

(Release date February 6, 2018)

Publisher’s Summary

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “WREN” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

The Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas

My Review

I was interested in the book, The Sound of Rain, because of the settings of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, West Virginia and Kentucky. I lived and worked in Myrtle Beach just before Hurricane Hugo hit, then visited after Hugo and was amazed at the devastation to the area and changes to the shoreline. I also lived for a short while in St. Albans, West Virginia. In addition, I was interested because Sarah Loudin Thomas is a new author to me.

The story’s premise is about Judd Markley, a coal miner from West Virginia, and Larkin Heyward, the daughter of an affluent family in Myrtle Beach.

Judd leaves the hills of West Virginia and moves to Myrtle Beach after a coal mining accident left him permanently injured and killed his brother. His main reason for moving is to honor his brother’s dream of going to Myrtle Beach.

Larkin wants to move to Kentucky to give meaning to her life and help the poor who live there.

I am not sure how I feel about the book. Several elements of it are good, and other aspects made it less than enjoyable for me. The sequence of events during Hurricane Hazel didn’t seem realistic in many ways, especially considering the destruction it caused. Plus, Larkin’s deception toward Judd and deliberate disobedience to her father bothered me, too.

Overall, I felt the author tried to put too much into the book, making it feel watered down (no pun intended). There were characters I would have liked to have gotten to know better, for instance, Granny Jane, Ben and Larkin’s mother.

The Sound of Rain was interesting but not as compelling as other stories I have read.

I enjoyed reading about Myrtle Beach in 1954 and was sad to hear The Pavilion had its last season in 2006 and was demolished for redevelopment in 2007.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Review

Judd Markley is a hardworking coal miner who rarely thinks much past tomorrow until he loses his brother–and nearly his own life–in a mine cave-in. Vowing never to enter the darkness of a mine again, he leaves all he knows in West Virginia to escape to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s 1954, the seaside community is thriving, and Judd soon hires on with a timber company.

Larkin Heyward’s life in Myrtle Beach is uncomplicated, mostly doing volunteer work and dancing at the Pavilion. But she dreams of one day doing more–maybe moving to the hollers of Kentucky to help the poor children of Appalachia. But she’s never even met someone who’s lived there–until she encounters Judd, the newest employee at her father’s timber company.

Drawn together in the wake of a devastating hurricane, Judd and Larkin each seek answers to what tomorrow will bring. As opposition rises against following their divergent dreams, they realize that it may take a miracle for them to be together.

Out of the Ordinary (Apart from the Crowd Book #2) by Jen Turano

My Review

Jen Turano’s delightful book, Out of the Ordinary, reintroduces us to Gertrude Cadwalader whom we met in At Your Request (Apart From the Crowd): An Apart From the Crowd Novella and in Behind the Scenes (Apart From the Crowd Book #1).

Out of the Ordinary is an out of the ordinary story. I laughed so hard at some sections; I literally had tears running down my eyes. I would be hard-pressed to explain which comedic moment was my favorite as they all have their own laugh-out-loud, crack up moments. However, don’t let that mislead you. There are some very serious aspects to the story.

Gertrude is paid to be a companion to Mrs. Davenport, an eccentric lady with a propensity to take things that aren’t hers, thereby creating many precarious situations for Gertrude to correct. I really felt sorry for poor Gertrude when one situation leads to a disastrous misunderstanding and a less than ideal situation for unfortunate Gertrude.

Harrison Sinclair is a lovable hero. He has absolutely no fashion sense, and his problems with being able to see colors as others do lead to some unusual combinations of clothing. He loves his family, is loyal to his friends and overall, makes a great champion for those he cares about.

I enjoyed catching up with other characters from earlier stories. In spite of the fact that there is overlap of characters in the series, Out of the Ordinary works easily as a stand-alone.

Jen Turano has written another historical novel with quirky characters, messages of faith and humor interspersed between serious subjects.

I received this book from Bethany House and NetGalley. However, I was not required to write a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Miss Gertrude Cadwalader hoped her position as the paid companion to Mrs. Davenport would be easy. But as she becomes acquainted with her employer, she realizes the wealthy Mrs. Davenport has a strange tendency to be a bit light-fingered with other people’s trinkets. Gertrude is relieved when Mrs. Davenport decides to have a quiet summer away from the social scene–until the woman changes her mind in order to help a young socialite launch into society.

When Gertrude is caught in the act of trying to return one of the trinkets by Mrs. Sinclair, the mother of shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair, the woman jumps to an unfortunate conclusion. Harrison is determined to mend fences with Miss Cadwalader, but he’s unprepared for the escapades a friendship with her will entail.

The Space Between Words by Michèle Phoenix

My Review

Jessica and Vonda thought a trip to Paris to visit their best friend Patrick was a fantastic idea until . . . it wasn’t.

I received this book from NetGalley several months ago and had just started to read it when the Las Vegas attack occurred. For that reason, and the inherently disturbing imagery (mostly from the place of my imagination and PTSD), I did not finish reading it, nor did I review it. However, early last week I received a paperback copy from The Fiction Guild. I decided to give it a second chance.

I am at a loss to describe this book. The plot is primarily set overseas after the 2015 terrorist attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, recounting the main character’s life in the aftermath of this horrific event. Another setting is also in France. However, it deals with the persecution of the Huguenots centuries ago.  The plot strands run in a dual timeline, but the emphasis is on present times.

Parts of The Space Between Words defy description, and some emotions can only be experienced through the gut-wrenching reading of the events. Other aspects of the book challenge description in the believability of the character’s story. I didn’t have a problem with one detail of Jessica’s dealing with Patrick and her PTSD, though I can see how many would (I don’t want to give any spoilers). I did have a hard time accepting the ease with which Mona, the innkeeper, welcomed Jessica. As a mother, I found it a little unlikely that another mother would not feel a threat to her child by someone in the throes of a mental and emotional breakdown. Nor do I believe that, as a business person, Mona would have let Jessica stay there for free for such a long time.

Overall, the story is well written, the characters well developed and the narrative believable. I ran a gamut of emotions, from a heightened sense of fear to laughter and relief. Be prepared for a roller-coaster ride if you read it, as you learn more about Jessica and, also, the persecution of the Huguenots in the late 1600’s.

I received this book from NetGalley and Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

“There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned.”

When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn’t left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they’d planned before the tragedy.

“The pages found you,” Patrick whispered.

“Now you need to figure out what they’re trying to say.”

During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before—her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.

“I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival.”

Determined to learn the Baillard family’s fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn’t understand.

Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica’s survival?

Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection: Nine Stories of Poverty and Opulence During the Gilded Age by Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Anne Love, Gabrielle Meyer, Natalie Monk, Jennifer Uhlarik, Erica Vetsch, Jaime Jo Wright and Kathleen Y’Barbo

My Review

Of Rags and Riches Romance Collection is a delightful set of nine novellas chronicling the lives of nine couples from a variety of socio-economic stations in life. The stories are set between the years 1867 and 1899, during a time in US history known as the Gilded Age (The term was coined from a satirical Mark Twain novel, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today).

I enjoyed each of the stories in the compilation-some, of course, more than others, but each had its own endearing qualities. I learned a few new words (which, by the way, I love to do when reading). For example: faille, a word defined by Wiktionary as a fabric woven from silk, cotton, or rayon with slight ribs.

I was so engrossed in the story of the all-female baseball team in Susanne Dietze’s The Right Pitch that I was startled when members of the team were transported by carriage. The story is such a captivating and timeless saga that I forgot it was set in the 1800s!

Debut author Natalie Monk does an extraordinary job with her novella, For Richer or Poorer. I was drawn to Marcella Lipski and her plight in wanting to find a way to bring her family to America.

Each novella has a sweet story with messages of faith, hope and love; some have stronger messages than others, but all complement their stories well.

If you want a quick read or would rather spend more time lost in history, Of Rags and Riches is the perfect book to curl up with and get lost in the Gilded Age.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Love Flourishes during America’s Gilded Age

Journey along in nine historical romances with those whose lives are transformed by the opulence, growth, and great changes taking place in America’s Gilded Age. Nine couples meet during these exhilarating times and work to build a future together through fighting for social reform, celebrating new opportunities for leisure activities, taking advantage of economic growth and new inventions, and more. Watch as these romances develop and legacies of faith and love are formed.

Union Pacific Princess by Jennifer Uhlarik – Cheyenne, Dakota Territory, 1867
In the hell-on-wheels rail town of Cheyenne, grieving Boston socialite Dara Forsythe must choose between her estranged father; Connor, a bigwig with the Union Pacific Railroad; and Gage Wells, a former Confederate sharpshooter bent on derailing the Transcontinental Railroad’s progress.

The Right Pitch by Susanne Dietze – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1876
Guarded industrialist Beck Emerson agrees to sponsor his sister’s all-female baseball team. But when pretty pitcher Winnie Myles throws a curveball that makes him team manager, it challenges his plan to play it safe in life and love.

A Gift in Secret by Kathleen Y’Barbo – New Orleans, Louisiana, 1871
May Bolen offers Sam Austin a marriage of convenience. He will get to run the company that drove his into bankruptcy, and she will be free from her father’s rule to travel the world. But when Sam meets May, he knows the offer is too good to be true—or convenient—when hearts become tangled.

For Richer or Poorer by Natalie Monk – Newark, New Jersey, 1885
In order to bring her starving family to New Jersey, Polish immigrant Marcella Lipski must marry wealth. So she takes Americanization lessons from the poor-but-mysterious cart driver teaching her English—and loses her heart in the process.

A House of Secrets by Michelle Griep – St. Paul, MN 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

Win, Place, or Show by Erica Vetsch – New York City, 1890
Beryl Valentine, a socialite with a passion for horses, finds herself falling in love with her riding instructor, a man her parents will never accept. Will she follow her parents’ wishes, or let Gard Kennedy ride away with her heart?

The Fisherman’s Nymph by Jaime Jo Wright – Flambeau River, Wisconsin, 1890
The reclusive daughter of a fly-fisherman guide must read the waters for a wealthy gentleman’s sport and send him back where he belongs before he hooks her heart and takes her away from the river she was born to love.

The Gardener’s Daughter by Anne Love – Bay View, Michigan, 1895
When the nephew of a prestigious Chautauqua resort founder sets his eye on the new library assistant believing her an academy student, it will take more than reciting poetry for love to bloom when he learns she’s the humble gardener’s daughter.

A Tale of Two Hearts by Gabrielle Meyer – Little Falls, Minnesota, June 1899
Reputations and jobs are on the line when lady’s maid, Lucy Taylor, and neighboring footman, Elijah Boyer, compete against each other for a place of honor during the annual community appreciation event hosted by their wealthy employers.

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar

My Review

The My Heart Belongs series is fast becoming one of my favorite  go-to series for appealing and likeable, quick to read romantic history novels, and My Heart belongs in Shenandoah Valley continues the lore!

Lillyanna “Lilly” Laughlin is the oldest sister of two brothers, all three of whom are orphans. Mr. Silas Everett, her late father’s closest friend and confidante, takes on the guardianship of the three, convincing them, and a judge, it is their father’s wish. Yet, when Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright purchases land Lilly believes to be hers from Mr. Everett, she begins to question Mr. Everett’s altruism.

I enjoyed most of the interplay and teasing between Lilly and Mac, but at times it seemed a little too dramatic. However, I may be a little less sympathetic because I prefer honest, straightforward dialogue, even with myself, and felt Mac wasn’t always honest with himself.

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley sheds light on problems those returning from the war of 1812, the second war of independence, encountered while trying to assimilate into society.

Andrea Boeshaar has written a charming, compassionate and at times heartbreaking story of life in 1816’s Shenandoah Valley.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Journey into the Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where…
With Very Little Left of the Family Farm, Lily May be Forced into a Loveless Marriage.

Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lillyanna Laughlin—or so she erroneously thinks. Mac sets her straight and despite a poor start, the two become friends. . .if only he were financially stable to offer her more.

When Lily’s life is threatened and his whole future goes up in flames, Mac truly becomes a man without means, and Lily is forced to make the impossible choice between a loveless marriage with a man twice her age or the man who has shown her what true love could be. How can she choose between love and economic security? Her family is depending on her. Is her heart destined to break?

Journey into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where a woman’s dreams and future happiness are on the line.