Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Bethany House Publishers

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Hawthorne House Series
Book 0.5: A Lady of Esteem
Amelia was raised by servants after going to live with a distant relative. She was more familiar with how the gentry treated their servants than how to be the one in charge of the household and servants.

Anthony Pendleton, Marquis of Raebourne is a reformed rake. After two years of being in the country, he returns to London. All his old vices...gaming, drinking and womanizing...are much harder to fight and Town tests his new faith. Especially when a beautiful woman falls into his arms.

This is the prequel to A Noble Masquerade. Anthony's country estate is next to the Hawthorne's. I really enjoyed both of these books and look forward to more from this author. 
Book 1: A Noble Masquerade
Lady Miranda Hawthorne is in her fourth London Season. It's not that she's a wallflower, more that she wants a man who loves her...not what her brother's title offers them. The woes of being the daughter and sister of a duke. Suddenly, there are two men in Miranda's life. One of them would be against the rules of society to love. The other one, she may be too embarrassed to actually meet.

Ryland Montgomery, the Duke of Marshington, has an unusual life. A path he chose nine years ago has kept him out of society. The time has come for him to return. The problem is that his past keeps getting in the way of the future he wants.

I was pulled into this book and it wouldn't let me go. Loved the story and the characters. Romance that is surrounded by intrigue. The first novella in this series is A Lady of Esteem, Amelia's story.
**Received from Bethany House for an honest review
Book 2: An Elegant Facade
Lady Georgina Hawthorne is a beauty and expected to make the best match of the Season. She has everything well plotted out as well. She needs a husband with such a hefty title that it will cover any and all of her flaws. A title such as a duke carries. Yes, a duke would be just what she needs.

Colin McCrae is wealthy in his own right, but he'll always be just a gentleman. Ignored and invisible to the aristocracy unless they need him to help with their investments. He has worked with the Duke of Riverton for some years but never the younger sister. And now that he has met her, she keeps entangling him into her schemes.

The first book is Miranda Hawthorne's story; A Noble Masquerade. This story adds to that book by adding Georgina's view of some of the events, as well as Colin's view where the Duke of Marshington is involved. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of these books and look forward to more in this series. The Prequel is A Lady of Esteem.
**Received through NetGalley for an honest review
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Book 3: An Uncommon Courtship
Amazon
Trent Hawthorne loves his family and life. He lives a clean life, not one of a rogue, but he's not ready to grow up and be responsible. None of that has changed since unique circumstances have him now married to a stranger.

Adelaide Bell has been ignored most of her life. Her mother was all about preparing her sister for the perfect match. And now she finds herself married to the brother of a duke, which makes her mother actually notice her. Sadly, her new husband ignores her the same as her family always had. At least she is in a house with very unusual servants who do notice her.

The author wrote Trent in such a way that you can't help but fall in love with him. Young and energetic. And no idea how to be a husband. He does such endearing things. I can't wait for Griffith's, the eldest brother and a duke, book as we get to see his character better in this book. Love this series.
**Received through Bethany House for an honest review
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Betsy Huckabee wants to write. She lives with her uncle who owns the local...very small-town...newspaper. The big city has rejected her reports on the local unrest. Then the new—quite handsome—deputy comes to town and influences her writing in a whole new way.

Deputy Joel Puckett isn't sure what to do about this woman. Every time he turns around she just appears. After what happened in Texas he doesn't trust the fairer sex. But he does need at least one ally in this town that doesn't want him there.

A fun, fast-moving story that keeps you guessing who the mischief maker is. I haven't read the previous books in the series and still enjoyed this one.
**Received through Bethany House for an honest review
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Porter Family Series
Book 1: Undeniably Yours
Book 2: Meant to Be Mine
Book 3: A Love Like Ours
Book 3.5: The Proposal
Amazon
Book 4: Her One and Only
Amazon
Dru Porter may be the only daughter in the family—but girly is the last word to describe her. A former Marine, like her three older brothers, Dru is an executive protection agent and after a year and a half of being in the office, she gets a new chance to go in the field. She has a lot to prove after her last case.

Gray Fowler has been running from his past for a long time—as a superstar on the NFL Mustangs team, he thinks the past is behind him. Only, the past has its ways of sticking with you. Gaining a stalker, he finds himself with twenty-four/seven bodyguards. How is a woman half his size going to physically protect him? Or maybe it's his hard heart that will need protecting.

This is the first book I've read from this author and I really enjoyed it. The suspense part of who is stalking Gray is great, the pool of suspects is wide, leaving the guilty party a surprise. The first books are her brother's stories and if you enjoy series, you'll want to get to know Bo, Ty, and Jake in their own books.
**Received from Bethany House for an honest review
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Like Jen's Amazon Page
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A Class of Their Own Series
Book 1: After a Fashion
 Harriet Peabody is a positive and easy going type of gal. Orphaned at a young age, she had to depend on her only relative to take care of her, Aunt Jane. Her aunt wasn't a kind or honest woman at all. Thankfully she would leave Harriet with different people and she learned life lessons from society manners to circus tricks. Minding her own business working for a hat maker, one simple hat delivery turns poor Harriet's world upside down.

Oliver Addleshaw is one of the most sought after bachelors. He was handsome and rich. And he wanted to be richer. When a simple invite to a society lady turns bad, he is desperate to find another woman to be at his side for an important business deal. Who better to fill in than the interesting hat lady? This high class gentleman is about to learn a thing or two about real life.

I enjoy reading books by this author as she always adds a touch of humor. In this book it was through the antics of a big dog named Buford. Poor Buford, if he wasn't ripping clothes off people, he was shaking in fear of heights or some other shadow that scared him. I'm looking forward to the books for her friends Millie and Lucetta. Millie's book is next...In Good Company.
**Received through Bethany House for an honest review
Book 2: In Good Company
Amazon
After spending her childhood in an orphanage, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm tend to bring about situations that have employers looking askance at her methods. After her most recent dismissal, Millie is forced to return yet again to an employment agency.

Everett Mulberry has suddenly and quite unexpectedly found himself responsible for three children he’s never met. Attempting fatherhood while also pacifying the less-than-thrilled socialite he intends to marry is made even more complicated when the children scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he’s desperate for competent childcare.

At wit’s end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance–with each other. Everett is wary of Millie’s penchant for disaster, and she’s not entirely keen on another snobby, grumpy employer, but they’re both out of options. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges and tries to stay one step ahead of them, Everett is more focused on achieving the coveted status of society’s upper echelons. As he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the children’s parents’ death, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?
Book 3: Playing the Part
Lucetta Plum is a very successful actress. Unfortunately, she has gathered the attention of the unwanted kind. She had thought she was rid of one man in particular...but worms like him always crawl back out of their holes. And thanks to her no-good stepfather, she is back in the man's sites. She has no choice but to go into hiding.

Bram Haverstein has many secrets. Secrets that have his own parents wondering what type of criminal activities he might be involved in. And he has a secret crush as well. He's trying to bide his time to approach the young woman but in the meantime, his castle gates have been stormed by women hoping to end his bachelorhood.

Three friends had lived together in a boardinghouse on the bad side of town until the widowed Abigail Hart took them in. Abigail prides herself on being a matchmaker and has successfully married off two of the girls. Lucetta's troubles help Abigail's plans along when they go to her grandson's home. I love Jen Turano's books. They are so full of humor. A goat who hates women...and swords, ghosts, a dungeon, and more had me turning the pages until the end.
**Received through Bethany House for an honest review
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Ladies of Distinction Series
Book 0.5: Gentleman of Her Dreams
Charlotte Wilson has a plan. She is an old spinster at age twenty-one and so she has decided it's time to marry. She has chosen Hamilton Beckett as her future husband. Now she just needs to meet the man so she can move forward with her plans. Only it seems that when Charlotte and Henry get together….disaster follows right along.

Henry St. James has returned from two years of adventure on the sea. He left because his dear friend Charlotte seemed to only want friendship. He wanted more. His hopes are dashed once again when the first thing she wants him to do is help her snag a husband.

Jen Turano writes her stories full of humor. This short novella gives you a small taste of what is yet to come in this series. You meet Hamilton Beckett and his five-year-old going on thirty daughter and his young son who likes using his sharp little chompers for more than eating. You can learn more about the Beckett’s in Book one of this series, A Change of Fortune.
Book 1: A Change of Fortune 
Lady Eliza Sumner has traveled from England to New York. She just lost her father, fiance and fortune. She can not get her father back, does not want her fiance back so she can only try and get her fortune from the man who stole it away from her. So starts her adventure of going from the Ton’s sweetheart to a simple governess.

Hamilton Beckett is a the most eligible man in New York, oh so his mother is letting people know. A widower with two young children and not personally in a hurry to marry again, not after what his first wife did to him. But Hamilton may have a change of heart when he meets the Watson's governess at a dinner party. He immediately recognizes there is much more to this woman than what she seems.

This was a fun and fast moving book. Humorous adventures and darling kids who for being so young were quite mischievous. Eliza and her new friend, Agatha, find some pretty daring adventures that are definitely not what proper young ladies should be into. Somehow Hamilton and his brother, Zayne, end up in the middle of their adventures just in time to play the knights in shining armor. I found the story line to be new and refreshing, unique. This is the first of four in what looks to be quite an entertaining series.
**Received through Bethany House for review
Book 2: A Most Peculiar Circumstance
Miss Arabella Beckett has one driving passion: to help the downtrodden women of America. Naturally, she supports the women's suffrage movement and eagerly attends rallies and lectures across the country. On her travels, she makes a simple offer of assistance to a young woman in need that goes sadly awry and lands both ladies in more trouble than they can manage. An independent sort, Arabella is loath to admit she needs help and certainly doesn't need help from an arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor.

Mr. Theodore Wilder, private investigator extraordinaire, is on a mission. A mission that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett, but swiftly evolved into a merry chase across the country. By the time he finally tracks down Hamilton's sister, Arabella, he is in a less than pleasant mood. When the lady turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he soon finds himself at his wit's end. 

When they return home to New York, circumstances force their paths to continue to cross, but the most peculiar feelings growing between them certainly can't be love. When the trouble Arabella had accidentally stirred up seems to have followed her to New York and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they might have landed in the most peculiar circumstance of all: love.
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With This Ring?
Amazon
A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry
Four well-written stories about love coming in the most unlikely of times. Each author has their own unique style to create this page turning book.

The Husband Maneuver by Karen Witemeyer
Marietta Hawkins has fallen in love with Daniel Barrett. The foreman on her father's ranch. When she unintentionally overhears a conversation she knows she has to make her move to get Daniel to propose to her. Loved this story. 

Her Dearly Unintended by Regina Jennings
Josiah Huckabee and Katie Ellen Watson were neighbors and had been best friends at one time. Lately, they seemed to avoid each other. Until the day the rain washed the bridge out to Katie's house and Josiah was trapped there as well. And then a stranger appeared and for their safety, they needed to pretend to be married and in love.

Runaway Bride by Mary Connealy
Carrie Halsey finds out how important it is to know people. To escape an unwanted wedding to a cruel man, Carrie asks her sister for help. Her sister asks a sister-in-law who asks her brother who asks Big John Conroy, a Texas Ranger. This short stories brings together several characters from her previous books.

Engaging the Competition by Melissa Jagears
Harrison Gray might be nearly blind without his glasses, but it takes getting them broken for both Harrison and Charlotte Andrews to see clearly. Competitive in their early years, Harrison backs away from Charlie after she embarrasses him. If only they'd known the truth and seen more clearly all those years ago...maybe it's not too late.
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Julie Klassen Homepage
Like Julie's Amazon Page
Youtube Book Trailer
The Tutor's Daughter
Emma Smallwood had a nemesis. Now that her mother has passed and her father’s boarding school hit hard times, they were going to the home of that very student. Her father would tutor his younger brother’s at their manor. As much as she feared the older brother, she enjoyed the younger one. Perhaps neither would be home.

Henry Weston was no longer into pranks. He had responsibilities and family secrets to keep. The Smallwood’s could not have arrived at their home during a worse time. Yet, he knew that Mr. Smallwood would be a good teacher for his younger step-brothers, Julian and Rowan.

This book was definitely a page turner and a book that was hard to put down. The Smallwood’s arrival is not welcome, there are strange noises at night, odd occurrences, and Emma knows some of the family members are definitely hiding something.

The author keeps the reader guessing who is up to what and who can be trusted. And the characters personalities just come to life. The story takes place in Cornwall, giving insight to the dangers of ships along the rocky shores.
**Received through Bethany House for review
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YouTube Book Trailer
Unending Devotion
1883 Michigan
Lily Young is only eighteen but she has been taking care of her younger sister for years. While Lily takes a job and tries to make a life for them, Daisy takes things in her own hands and runs away from the home she is in. Lily will not rest until she finds her sister and pulls her out of a life she knows her sister truly wouldn’t want to live. Rescuing other young girls along her journey. Lily has lost sight of one thing though, that God is in control and not her. Can the young woman learn to let go and trust God to handle things?

Connell McCormick works hard and lives a clean life. He tries to please his dad by building their lumber empire larger. When he meets Lily she challenges everything he believes. Can he take the chance to stand up for what’s right if it would hurt his father’s business? Will evil men be able to continue in their ways because not one good man will challenge them?

This was an excellent read. Very emotional because many of the facts are based on true history. It was a time in the lumber business when men became richer but morals were poor. Where an evil man truly did falsely advertise for young girls to work in his hotel when it was actually a brothel. Very intense but so good.
**Received from Bethany House Publishers for review
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Lisa Norato Homepage
Like Lisa's Amazon Page
Prize of My Heart
Captain Brogan Talvis has been searching for his son. Three years ago his late wife had taken their two year old boy and brought him away. Brogan has been searching for the boy he loves and has finally found a small lead...one that pans out. A rich shipbuilder has his son. So he has Nathaniel Huntley build him a ship, the very man who has Ben, and when it's finished he will take Ben and sail away. Although plans of man and plans of God are often very different. Brogan was told he was too bad for God to care for him, a base-born orphan, but he was told wrong and perhaps a beautiful woman and his son can show him God's love.

Lorena Huntley will only marry for love and her childhood friend, George Louder, just don't want understand that she won't marry for less. He has turned into a man who just wants money and power...he wants to possess Lorena but he don't love her or she him. Now the new Captain in town catches her eye and perhaps her heart. A giant of a man who has a gentle heart when it comes to young Drew.

Adventure on land and the high seas are in this story of two people with dark secrets. Secrets that will have them holding back on love until they are revealed, and once revealed...will they still be able to hang on to their love? When a perfect chance comes for Brogan to take his son, who they call Drew rather than Ben, can he take his new ship and head home...or will he rescue the woman who has a piece of his heart as well and give up his son?

An enjoyable book set in 1815. There are secrets being kept, kidnappings being planned, a young boy who's hero is David the King and he has learned to wield a sling shot just as well! We have our devious villain and more. I really enjoyed this book and the author kept you wondering and wanting to almost the very end. Which made it a book that I couldn't put down until the last page was read.
**Book received through Bethany House for review
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A Wedding Invitation
This story is told from the perspective of the main character, Samantha Bravencourt. In the beginning she goes from her present time, 1993, to her past when she worked at a refugee camp in the Philippines in the 1980's. So we get the background of her story. She fell in love with a young man named Carson Brylie but he had a girlfriend back home. Seven years later she still has a flame that burns for him even though they no longer have contact.

Samantha receives a wedding invitation for one her old college friends. She goes but does not recognize anyone, including the bride or groom! She does meet Taylor the PI though and so she stays for the reception. While in North Carolina she sees one of her students from the camp, Huy, and he invites her to their restaurant. His sister, Lien, who was quite a nuisance to Sam. Through meeting them she is reconnected to Carson but also she goes on a few dates with Taylor when she gets back home to Falls Church, VA. When Lien wants to find her mother, ends up she was living with her Uncle's family, Carson and Sam join together to find her and Taylor being a PI helps as well.

Samantha struggles to keep her heart from falling further for Carson as he already broke it once but the more they are together the harder it is. She stays with her Aunt Dovie when she goes to N.C. Aunt Dovie takes in all kinds of human strays with unique personalities. Cute story.
**Received from Bethany House for review
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Wonderland Creek
What an excellent book! The first chapters I could not help but laugh out loud and towards the end the tears came. Between than there was mystery and suspense as well. The story is told from the view of Alice Grace Ripley, a twenty-two year old woman who is lost in her world of books. Her boyfriend of one year, Gordon, breaks up after he catches her reading during a funeral at his parents funeral parlor. He tells her she lives more in her world of fiction than the real world. And the next day she loses her job at the beloved town library because of the depression. After moping around she has the choice of going with her Pastor father to help the poor or with her mom to see her somewhat deranged Aunt Lydia. She chooses to visit her aunt, and that opens the door to where God leads her next.



Alice has been collecting books to send to Kentucky. When her aunt mentions going to a spa in Kentucky, she asks to go along. So they pack up and go. Alice is sure Uncle Cecil is running from gangsters and it makes quite a funny story from Blue Island, Illinois to Acorn Kentucky. They drop her off at the library where she plans on staying with the librarian Leslie MacDougal. A scruffy bear of a man helps unload her books and Uncle Cecil takes off immediately. Problem one: Leslie is a he not a she. Problem 2: Acorn has no motel let alone anything else. And those are only the start of her problems.



Alice has not choice but to stay at the house/library even though Mack is not happy about it. After he is shot the next day she meets the house other inhabitant, Lillie the 100 year old woman. She ends up staging Mack's funeral, learning to ride a horse to deliver books so she can help bring things to Mack while he hides out until they find his murderer, tries to help end a sixty year feud and those are just some of the things that happen on Alice's adventure. She finds herself in town with no electricity or inside water so her work load is heavy. She has no time for reading but quickly finds out real life can be quite different than the books.



This is just a well rounded book, humorous at times and sad a others, there are mysteries and adventures. All in one.



**Received from Bethany House for review
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A Whisper of Peace
Clay Selby and his stepsister, Vivian, are heading to Alaska to become missionaries among the Athabascans Indians. Clay is trying to be the man is father is and Vivian is trying to earn forgiveness as she blames herself for her father's death. Clay becomes so focused on getting the mission building built so they can begin the school and so that he can stand behind a pulpit and preach that he loses sight of just ministering to people. A bit of pride in the building comes into play as well. Vivian surprises herself by enjoying the people and getting to know some of the children. Most of all she feels useful when she becomes friends with a village outcast by the name of Lizzie Dawson.



Lizzie was never bothered living outside the village when she had her parents with her but now she only has herself and her dogs. She hunts, cooks and tans the hides of what she catches. Lizzie does not realize the extent of her loneliness until she meets Clay and Vivian. Lizzie's father left them when she was twelve. He went back to San Francisco but said her mother would not fit in there. When her mother became ill, Lizzie promised her she would make peace with her grandmother and than go and live with her father. Vivian and Lizzie become friends as she teaches Vivian to cook and Viv teaches Lizzie how to behave like a white woman for when she leaves.



When her grandparents find out that Vivian and Clay have befriended Lizzie, who had been excommunicated by her tribe, they must make a choice; never speak to Lizzie again or leave their village. They could not disappoint the church that sent them to the mission field but they also struggled with giving Lizzie up.



I enjoyed this book and felt the story line was unique. Kim wrote to where you it was like you were cleaning the moose pelt with Lizzie or petting her dogs. I could imagine the dogs with their tongues hanging out looking as if they were smiling at you. Clear and descriptive writing and at parts it could draw tears.

**Book received through Bethany House for review.

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