The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano

About the book:

Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1859 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings–mostly negative ones–about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa’s search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words. 

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.

My Thoughts:

I was pulled into this story right from the beginning and I didn’t want to put it down. With many unexpected twists, I was kept guessing and turning pages to find out what would happen next and how it would all turn out in the end. Joanna Davidson Politano has written a delightfully captivating story, but beyond that this gem points the reader over and over again to God and his unfailing love for us, and reminds us that true love is sacrificial.

With dynamic characters and an exciting plot this story is one that you are sure to be talking about with all your friends!

(I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

  Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

First Line Friday: The Love Note

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am happy to be featuring The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano. I’m super excited to be reading this book. I hope you check it out also!

Brighton, England, 1865

It always came to this, didn’t it? Amid the glittering swirl of music and gowns, I looked up into the handsome face of Lord Cumberland and forced a smile as if nothing at all were about to happen.

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

About the book:

Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie’s pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves–but he is the one person who can never know.

In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can’t seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

Fan-favorite Rachel Fordham brings to life the dusty streets of an 1880s frontier town in this story that affirms where you come from matters far less than where you’re going.

My Thoughts:

From the very first chapter until the last word on the page I was completely invested in the characters of this story. Written with such detail and care, Rachel Fordham invites the reader to join with the characters in the story. My heart went out to Agnes, she sacrifices her own dreams for what she feels is best for those she loves. Several years later when she comes face-to-face with her past, will she make the same choices a second time?

Amid uncertainty and calamity Agnes clings to the truth that God loves her and has a plan for her life. A beautiful reminder to us all that even when things look bad, God can make a blessing out of it. God’s love for us can right any wrong!

(I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

About the Author:

Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook //

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

Synopsis:

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the U.S. Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for—fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family—the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-Day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true?

The Land Beneath Us (Sunrise at Normandy #3)

My Thoughts:

I loved everything about this story! There were moments that I gasped out-loud in surprise, yelled out warnings to characters that could not hear me, and gripped the book tightly holding my breath to see what would happen next. I both cried with Leah and cheered for her successes. More than once I wished I could reach in and hug these characters. I didn’t just simply read the story, I felt like I was right there in the story with them.

The struggles these characters faced felt real. I enjoyed watching their growth throughout the story. I felt like the author invited us to walk the trials with them as they struggle with self-image and forgiveness. Things that I think we all struggle with at one time or another. We watched them struggle to let go of past hurts and give their future to God.

This marriage of convenience story is one that you won’t want to miss. I loved how the relationship built over time and how they came to love each other. The dialogue and banter are superb. Sarah Sundin’s ability to bring the details and nuances of history to life is exceptional.

This is the third, and final book in the Sunrise at Normandy series. While you could read The Land Beneath Us as a stand-alone, my recommendation would be to read the stories in order. There are details mentioned in the course of this story that would spoil a few surprises for you in the earlier books. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy to enjoy. I highly recommend this entire series!

(I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

SarahSundin  Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of The Sea Before Us(coming February 6, 2018), the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, When Tides Turn), the Wings of the Nightingale series, and the Wings of Glory series. Her novels Through Waters Deep and When Tides Turnwere named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Through Waters Deep won the 2016 INSPY Award and was a Carol Award finalist.

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

The Land Beneath Us (Sunrise at Normandy #3)

  The Sky Above Us (Sunrise at Normandy #2)

  The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy #1)

An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

Synopsis:

Unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical 18th-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical 18th-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the French and Indian War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa’s long-lost friend, Keturah, a redeemed Indian captive like himself.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand–and heart–are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.

Intense, evocative, and laced with intricate historical details that bring the past to life, An Uncommon Woman will transport you to the picturesque and dangerous western Virginia mountains of 1770.

 An Uncommon Woman

My Thoughts:

I didn’t want this story to end, but like all good things, end it did. I instantly wanted to hug the book, and then flip back to the beginning and start it all over again! I laughed, I cried, I held my breath in anticipation and sighed with contentment. Vivid, realistic, and filled with drama this story is everything I could have asked for and more!

Occasionally a book will come along that so envelops my imagination that not only am I feeling what the characters are going through but I hear the soundtrack of the story playing in my imagination as I read. This story played like a movie in my head as I walked in the very footprints of the characters. Sometimes those prints were boot prints, sometimes barefoot prints and other times moccasin prints, but I was right there in the thick of it, and loving every moment!

Pick up your copy today and take an exceptional journey back in time with Tessa Swan, Clay Tygart, Keturah and a full cast of delightful characters that are sure to steal your heart and imagination!  You, like me, may just find a new favorite book for your “keeper shelf”!

(I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I am not required to write a  review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

laura-frantz-2016  I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.

My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries.

I attended college at Denison University in Ohio and also in England, living in a manor/castle and studying the American Revolution from the British perspective. Shakespeare and 18th-century literature form the backbone of my English degree. Strangely enough, I only took one creative writing class.

It was never a desire of mine to be published. I simply love to write for the sheer joy of writing – and that was enough. But as Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

An Uncommon Woman

 

 

Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano

Synopsis:

Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London’s east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.

Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within–and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.

My Thoughts:

This story captured my attention from the very first chapter! With dynamic, complicated characters that pull you into their uncertain web of mystery and emotions, this story packs an impressive punch! The gothic undertones of the story are reminiscent of works by Bronte or Gaskell, yet unique in its own sweeping romantic drama.

With a plethora of unexpected twists and turns, and a strong message of faith this story is sure to delight any bibliophile. You will want a copy of this book for your keeper shelf! I appreciated the quotes at the beginning of each chapter that gives the reader a glimpse into the inner thoughts and turmoil of the heroine.

Fans of Victorian romance will swoon with pleasure of this newest addition to the Gothic Romance genre. Simply stated, I loved reading this story from author Joanna Davidson Politano and I strongly encourage you to snag a copy of this story for you own reading pleasure!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

Joanna-Davidson-Politano  Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

 

   Finding Lady Enderly

Also from Joanna Davidson Politano:

Lady Jayne Disappears

A Rumored Fortune

Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham

Synopsis:

For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people’s mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more–a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn’t expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.

When Penny’s undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring–perhaps too much–for the one who wrote it.

Yours Truly, Thomas

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this sweet romance. I especially loved reading the letters from Thomas and found myself cheering for Penny as the story progressed. This tender story of love, redemption and discovering God’s purpose for our lives.

Reminiscent of endearing love stories from Grace Livingstone Hill, this story is sure to wrap itself around your heart and bring a gentle smile to your face as the story unfolds in all its beauty.

With engaging characters, and a charming setting, this is a story you won’t want to miss. I highly recommend this fantastic, stand-alone story to anyone looking for a sweet romantic story to while away the hours.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

RachelFordham Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook //

Click on the title below to snag your copy:

Yours Truly, Thomas

Also from Rachel Fordham:

The Hope of Azure Springs

Happy Book Birthday!

Your bookshelves are about to expand! Today is the release day for 5 phenomenal books that you won’t want to miss. I have read all but one of these, and it won’t be long before I get to the last one.

I’ll share these in the order I’ve read them. Clicking on the title of the book it will take you to my review. Clicking on the author’s name will take you to that author’s web page. Let’s dive right in!

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

TheKingsMercyWhen captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.

The King’s Mercy

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund

AReluctantBrideLiving in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she’s offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

  A Reluctant Bride (Bride Ships #1)

More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

MoreThanWordsCanSayAfter fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free to live life on his own terms. No family entanglements. No opportunities to disappoint those he cares about. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away once again when the baker of his favorite breakfast treat is railroaded by the city council. As hard as he tries to avoid getting involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. Not the stoic lumberman who oozes confidence without saying a word whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when around him.

When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. As trust grows between Zach and Abby, she finds she wants more than his rescue. She wants his heart.

More Than Words Can Say (Patchwork Family #2)

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

TheNumberOfLoveThree years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together.

  The Number of Love (Codebreakers #1)

All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner

AllMannerOfThingsWhen Annie Jacobson’s brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he hands her a piece of paper with the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know.

In Mike’s absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. As they work toward healing and pray fervently for Mike’s safety overseas, letter by letter the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.

Author Susie Finkbeiner invites you into the Jacobson family’s home and hearts during a time in which the chaos of the outside world touched their small community in ways they never imagined.

  All Manner of Things

 

Now that your summer is fully booked, be sure to snag your copies today!

 

The Sky Above Us (Sunrise At Normandy #2) by Sarah Sundin

Synopsis:

Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion.

Violet Lindstrom wanted to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, where she arranges entertainment for the men of the 357th in the Aeroclub on base and sets up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long estrangement.

Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near. And secrets can’t stay buried forever.

Bestselling author Sarah Sundin returns readers to the shores of Normandy, this time in the air, as the second Paxton brother prepares to face the past–and the most fearsome battle of his life.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed my time spent reading this story about Adler Paxton. The historical details are exceptional as to be expected. The characters are vibrant and multifaceted. The plot was well written and Sundin even tossed in a surprise that I didn’t see coming! The only downside is that I have to wait a year before I can get my hands on the next book.

Violet has dreamed of becoming a missionary since she was a little girl. On the cusp of seeing that dream come true, it was snatched away when her fiance decided that he no longer wanted to be a missionary or get married. Devastated Violet turned to the Red Cross deciding that she could do good elsewhere even it wasn’t what she had first planned. Even though she is homesick for her family, she is determined to step out on her own and make a difference.

Adler has been running ever since that horrible day 3 years ago when he lost his fiance and then got into a fight with his brothers. Running from trouble and difficulties has become so second nature that he hardly even stops to think about it. But when his past starts catching up with him, he realizes that it’s time to stop running. Will his new friends stand by his side when the ugly truth of his past is brought to light? Will Adler be strong enough to forgive himself for what is in the past?

I appreciated how Sarah Sundin seamlessly wove strong threads of faith and Biblical truth throughout this story.  An overarching theme of forgiveness and humility. A gentle reminder that all have sinned and fallen short.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

About the Author:

SarahSundin  Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of The Sea Before Us(coming February 6, 2018), the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, When Tides Turn), the Wings of the Nightingale series, and the Wings of Glory series. Her novels Through Waters Deep and When Tides Turnwere named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Through Waters Deep won the 2016 INSPY Award and was a Carol Award finalist.

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

  The Sky Above Us (Sunrise at Normandy #2)

  The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy #1)

Book 3: The Land Beneath Us (Sunrise at Normandy #3)  coming spring 2020

First Line Fridays: A Bound Heart

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m excited to be featuring A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz. With descriptive beauty and vivid detail, this epic story is one that you will want on your keeper shelf to pull out and enjoy again and again! CLICK HERE to read my full review!

ABoundHeart

Isle of Kerrera, Scotland, 1752

As the sun slid from the sky, Lark pressed her back into the pockmarked cliff on the island’s west shore.

Snag your copy today!

    A Bound Heart

Before you run off to check out the other first lines, do be sure to enter the Giveaway running this week for Amber Lynn Perry’s new book So Bright A Hope. CLICK HERE

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

aboundheart(lark)