~~~~ Reviews from my jumbled perspective. ~~~~
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**Not all lists are updated
**I apologize for the poor grammar in the earlier book reviews.
have been blessed to be able to visit most of the regions I’ve
written about. For my regency England settings, I was able to travel
to London and parts of Yorkshire some years ago. There is no
substitute for being able to touch, feel, see and absorb the place
you are writing about, even though you have to make allowances for
how the place appeared 200 years ago.
I was also able to travel to Paris about five years ago to revisit a place I had lived in as a student. I did a lot of research both in the city and at a chateau out in the countryside, for a story I have not yet completed but hope to finish soon.
I lived some years in the Netherlands where I researched and wrote In Your Eyes, a novel I self-published last year. This manuscript was written when I first started writing (it was actually the second novel I ever wrote). It was one of five finalists in the national Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest. That was the first confirmation I received that I could someday make it as a published writer. It was published some years later in the Netherlands by a Dutch publisher, but it is now available in English on Amazon as an e-book.
you write about places you have lived?
question is related to the first one. Most of my other stories, which
are not set in regency England, take place in late 19th
century coastal Maine, an area I have visited since very young. I
summered here during my childhood and lived full-time in the 90s and
now for the last five or so years. It is an unspoiled place with a
rough beauty, from its rocky coastline to jagged skyline of spruce
and balsam fir trees. My latest Maine-set story is called The Lady
and the Logger. It follows the characters in Her Good Name, another
you sad to end a series and leave the characters behind?
I first start writing a story, I usually get ideas along the way for
some of the secondary characters. This is how a series forms. I may
write only two books in that series or up to four or five. But when
no secondary character clamors for my attention, then I can put the
time and setting to rest and move on to a new idea.
is what happened with my latest regency series from Baker/Revell
Books. I wrote Moonlight Masquerade (published last year). During the
research and writing, I became interested in the young woman the hero
thought he was in love with. By the end of the book, she feels
spurned. I wanted to know what happened to her and who would be a
good hero for her. This story became a regency coming out in March, A
Heart’s Rebellion. I also have an idea in mind for the hero in this
book’s younger sister, but that idea is still mulling around in my
you read the same types of books you write?
My favorite reads since about fourth grade have been historical
romances! I am always on the lookout for new favorite authors. I will
read other genres, but I always come back to historical romances. I
love Jane Austen and will reread her books every few years. My
favorite historical romance authors are Melanie Dickerson, Julie
Lessman, Laura Frantz, Grace Livingston Hill, Georgette Heyer, Dawn
Lindsay, Sarah Sundin, Maureen Lang, Linda Lee Chaikin, Liz Curtis
Higgs, and Stephanie Grace Whitson—among others!
Ruth Axtell knew she wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote her first story—a spy thriller—at the age of twelve. She studied comparative literature at Smith College, spending her junior year at the Sorbonne in Paris. After college, she taught English in the Canary Islands, then worked in international development in Miami, Florida, before moving to the Netherlands, where for the next several years she juggled both writing and raising three children. In 1994, her second manuscript was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart competition. In 2002, her sixth manuscript took second place in the Laurie Contest of RWA’s Smoky Mountain chapter. The final judge requested her full manuscript and this became her first published book, Winter Is Past. Since then, Ruth Axtell has gone on to publish sixteen historical romances and one novella. Her books have been translated into Dutch, Italian, German, Polish, and Afrikaans. Her second historical, Wild Rose, was chosen by Booklist as a “Top Ten Christian Fiction” selection in 2005. Ruth lives on the coast of Maine where she enjoys gardening, walking, swimming, reading romances, and gazing at the ocean plotting her next romance.
her next book, A Heart’s Rebellion, (Baker/Revell, March 2014),
Ruth returns to Regency London.
******************** Ruth Axtell Maine Historical Romance
In the 1890 thriving coastal town of Holliston, Maine, the leading lumber baron's son, Warren Brentwood, III, returns from his years away at college and traveling to take up his position as heir apparent to his father's business empire.
Esperanza Estrada is the daughter of a Portuguese immigrant fisherman who has grown up surrounded by a brood of brothers and sisters and a careworn mother. Unable to pretend she is anything but "one of those Estradas," Espy has no chance with Warren, no matter how striking she is. When she overhears of a position to clean house at a local professor's home on Elm Street, she jumps at the opportunity, hoping to be able to run into Warren Brentwood now and again as well as to imbibe the cultural and intellectual atmosphere of the Stocktons.
When rumors about Espy and this respected, married gentleman of the community begin to circulate, the entire church congregation and then the community pronounce judgment on her behavior. The man Espy is in love with, Warren, believes the lie and his loss of faith in her causes Espy to give up without a fight. She leaves her family and hometown for the nearest city with little money and no acquaintances and is forced to spend the night on the street. A man who heads a mission for the homeless finds Espy and offers her shelter. Espy finds the true love of God while working at the mission. Will she be able to forgive the townspeople and return home?
Annalise Brentwood has given up on love and marriage. She’s the kind of girl young men don’t look at twice if a more vivacious girl is nearby. On the verge of twenty-four, she knows her suitors are only interested in her family name and father’s wealth.
When brash logger Ashton West rolls into Holliston, Maine on the spring river drive, he takes one look at Annalise and decides she’s the one for him, little knowing who she is.
But it’ll take a lot more than swagger and charm to win the shy and bookish daughter of the town’s leading lumber baron—especially when her father decides to establish a town library and puts his daughter in charge, with handsome librarian Edmund Kimball to work alongside her.
Lady Celine Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need--or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess's butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is in her fashionable townhouse in London's West End, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver as he falls under Lady Wexham's spell.
Will he find the proof he needs? And if she is a spy after all, will he do the right thing?
Ruth Axtell deftly creates a world where black and white burst into a confusion of colors and no one is who they seem. Readers will be hooked from the very first scene to the final page.
Dutiful Jessamine Barry is tired of waiting patiently for a man to decide her future. So even though Lancelot Marfleet, second son of an aristocrat, is taking an interest in her during the London season, she refuses to consider him as a suitor. Instead, she's ready to take fashionable society by storm--and finds a rakish young man all too willing to help her do it.
When things go too far, Jessamine will learn that the man who is faithful through thick and thin is more worthy than the one who speaks pretty words. But will her disgrace keep Lance from reconsidering her as a wife? And when tragedy strikes and Lance becomes his father's heir and a titled gentleman, will he think she only wants him now because of his title?
Fans old and new will love this lush Regency London story of discovering one's true self and finding one's true love.
Haunted by war and his own dissolute behavior, Gerrit Hawkes finds no peace in postwar 1815 London. While the rest of society celebrates the British victory over Napoleon at Waterloo, Gerrit seeks to escape the memories that haunt him.
Into his life steps Hester Leighton, from the Maine Territory across the ocean. Despite his warnings, Hester puts her trust in him. She refuses to see the evil and darkness he keeps telling her is in him. Knowing he needs the Redeemer's love, she offers him the gift of friendship. When her father takes her back home, Gerrit must face the prospect of remaining in London and completing the self-destruction he's begun, or leaving all his familiar moorings and following the only woman who offers him hope.
rising star in Parliament, widower Simon Aquilar needs a reliable
woman to care for his gravely ill daughter, Rebecca. He finds an
exemplary nurse—and much more—in the indomitable Althea Breton.
amid privilege, Atlhea renounce wealth and social position to serve
God, and is reluctant to work for a man who became a Christian only
to further his political career. But realizing that all things are
possible with God's love, she accepts the position in the Aguilar
Simon's skepticism, Althea comforts Rebecca by teaching her about God
and salvation. Meanwhile, an attraction grows between the darkly
handsome MP and the understated beauty whose integrity and competence
win over his entire household. Althea admires Simon's devotion as a
father, his sense of justice as a politician and his tenderness as a
man, but his antipathy toward her faith divides them. When Simon's
world suddenly falls apart, can Althea convince him to open his heart
to God's love—and her own?
the backdrop of glittering ballrooms, gritty factories and quiet
parlors of Regency England comes a man's remarkable journey of love
her life, Geneva Patterson had known what it was to be an outcast in
Haven's End, a little town on the harsh Maine seacoast. Plain,
awkward, thought to be unmarriageable, she endured the cruel taunts
of the townspeople in solitude. But then she encountered a man who
made her dream that there could be something more for her...
Phelps, too, was an outcast. Once a respected sea captain, he'd been
accused of a shameful crime. He still held his head high, but pain
shone in his eyes. And Geneva, believing in his innocence, longed to
help this proud, unyielding man find redemption in the town's
view—and his own—through God's grace and a woman's love...
of a prominent nineteenth-century Maine shipbuilder, Cherish Winslow
had a deep love for ships, the ocean—and her father's apprentice,
Silas Van Der Zee. Once her childhood companion in Haven's End,
Cherish wished Silas could see she was no longer a girl in pigtails
but a woman in love.
To Silas, Cherish was a beacon of light, illuminating his lonely life...yet he doubted a lowly apprentice could win the heart of such an elegant young lady. A stolen kiss brought a moment's hope...but he soon found himself tossed out on the street, with no job, no home, no chance of a future. In his darkest hour, Silas must find the strength to fight for his life—and for his beloved Cherish.
home to Regency London after his brother's death. Tertius Pembroke,
Earl of Skylar, must marry quickly and produce an heir. Lady Gillian
Edwards seems the ideal bride: young, beautiful and innocent. But Sky
is no ideal husband, having returned from the Indies gaunt, ill and
plagued by a darkness that he dare not reveal—even to his
Lady Gilllian had promised Sky her hand in marriage but cannot give him her heart—not when she gave it to another man three years ago. Afraid of repudiation, Gillian buries her secret so deep inside herself, no one will ever know—or so she hopes.
lies and deceit, their marriage slowly unravels. Then Sky becomes
deathly ill, and his new found faith offers two virtual strangers a
second chance at becoming husband and wife.
he'd found his life's calling ministering to London's underclass, Dr.
Ian Russell hadn't yet found his life's mate. Then the former army
surgeon encountered the enchanting stage actress Eleanor Neville.
good works and strong faith set him apart from other men Eleanor
knew. But despite his fascination with her glittering world. Eleanor
feared her notorious past would end their future together before it
had even begun. Could true love and faith overcome all obstacles and
make their lonely hearts beat as one?
Norton had long since resigned herself to her spinster's lot. Her
life was devoted to her simple yet enduring faith, to good works and
to the elderly lady whose companion she was. She believed herself
content. But that was before her mistress's handsome nephew returned
to London, after many years spent abroad as an archaeologist.
shadows in Reid Gallagher's memory-haunted eyes touched Maddie's
heart. When he asked her to travel with his family, to help with his
work, she could scarcely refuse. And as she came to know this man
better, amid the breathtaking beauty of the Scottish Highlands, she
began to wonder if two solitary souls might yet find new life—and
moments from the hangman's noose, Jonah Quinn escapes from infamous
Newgate Prison. Taking prison volunteer Florence Hathaway hostage is
a masterstroke, but Jonah intends to end their acquaintance once he's
free. God, however, has other plans.
caring spinster's mission is to turn Jonah's life around. The burly
fugitive scoffs at the notion he can be groomed into respectability,
much less win a royal pardon. He knows that donning a waistcoat and
cravats does not change a man. But a woman's stubborn faith? That can
accomplish miracles. Florence sees right into the depths of his
roguish heart, and Jonah finds himself wanting to become the man she
was her father's poor bank clerk. She was a wealthy young lady.
Though they were worlds apart, their innocent friendship bloomed into
a mutual admiration. Then suddenly Nicholas Tennant was wrenched from
Alice Shepard's life.
years later, he has returned to London society wealthy and
influential, determined to seek revenge on Alice's father—and Alice
herself. But she is no longer the spoiled schoolgirl Nicholas
remembers. She is a beautiful young widow of conviction and faith,
raising a son on her own. Now Nicholas must look deep into his heart.
For only in abandoning his thirst for revenge can he finally become
the man most worthy of her love.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a lady of rank and distinction is no match for an impoverished preacher. Yet Damian Hathaway is entranced from the moment he spies Miss Lindsay Phillips entering his church. She doesn't appear any different from the other pampered society ladies—and she's betrothed to a gentleman of the ton. But Damian is determined to find the pure heart he's sure exists underneath all the ruffles and lace. The unlikely friendship formed by Damian and Lindsay is revelation to them both, but is frowned upon by her parents—and Damian's parishioners. Torn between two worlds, the pair must trust that their love can bridge the divide—and conquer all.
and tragedy destroyed Rianna Bruce's chance at happily ever
after...or did it? Reuniting with her first love, Noah Samuels,
proves that her feelings haven't gone away. In helping his young
daughter, can Rianna show the disillusioned Noah the blessing of a
This book also has; Mountain Rose by Cheryl St. John
been six years since Luke Travis has seen his native England..and
his son, Sam. But his hopes for a joyful reunion are shattered when
he learns that Sam wants nothing to do with him. There's one ray of
hope—Luke's former sister-in-law, Bobbie Gardner. The kindhearted
woman has been a mother to Sam for all these years, and she promises
to help mend the breach between father and son. But can Luke trust
another Gardner? His wife betrayed and abandoned him, and his
father-in-law took his son away. Bobbie must prove to him that she in
not her sister, or her father, but a woman who is all that Luke could
wish for in a wife.
years traveling in Europe with her musician husband, all that widow
Mara Keller wants is security for her son. A half-share in her
father's Maine farmhouse is the only refuge she has left, even if her
resentful stepmother treats Mara as a little more than a servant. But
there is one bright spot the unexpected kindness of neighbor Gideon
widowed farmer with a teenage daughter, Gideon hardly pictures
himself as any one's Prince Charming. Especially a woman of Mara's
refinement. Yet his quiet, rugged strength makes her fell as though
she's found her rightful place by his side, if they can find faith
enough to forge their own happy ending.