Author of Sweet Hope and Happy Endings

Tag: Christian Historical Fiction (Page 1 of 4)

A Castaway in Cornwall: A Book Review


BOOK BY: Julie Klassen

Another long-awaited Julie Klassen tale at last!

As usual, Julie Klassen delivers a poignant regency that tells of love lost and the mystery that surrounds it.

Laura Callaway has lost everyone who loves her and struggles to find a place with a distant relative in Cornwall. She spends her days scouring the beaches for lost treasure she can return to the rightful owners, or to sell the unclaimed items. She assists her uncle who is a minister in recording the deaths of those washed up on shore from the shipwrecks that plague their small community.

Alexander Caraway is caught between a political shift in history, his loyalties lying with the crown of France though the throne has been stolen by Napoleon. A captain of a French military ship, he loses the battle and finds himself a prisoner of war and accused of crimes he has not committed. Caught in a storm, Alexander is one of two survivors to wash up on shore and the one Laura nurses back to health.

There is a whole slew of cast members that bring the story to life. Characters a reader can’t help but to love, hate and wish a better outcome for. Many characters have their own hardships which end satisfactorily, even some happily. It’s hard to pick a favourite secondary character from this bunch – so I won’t.

The connection between Laura and Alexander is seamlessly woven through the pages of this novel. A beautiful story of loving a neighbour – even when he or she is considered the enemy. It’s a story of overcoming the past, forgiveness and looking to God to provide.

And I have to admit, I’m thrilled to read a novel where the French guy gets the English gal (although I might be a biased when it comes to that).

In the beginning of the novel, I found there were quite a few spots with a lot of information – historical details that were significant to the time and geography but a bit jarring. It seemed quite out of the ordinary for a Julie Klassen novel. After about the third chapter the pertinent facts had been recalled and the story flowed from there.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

Her Secret Song (Brides of Hope Mountain 3)


BOOK BY: Mary Connealy

A happy conclusion with all the loose ends tied neatly in a bow for fans of Brides of Hope Mountain by Mary Connealy.

Oldest Nodegren sister Ursula finally gets her story and readers have the chance to see what makes her tick. Overcoming fears is a huge theme in this novel and Ursula has fears in spades. After a long winter isolated alone in her stone house carved into the mountain, she ventures out – curious about the world that has enticed her two youngest sisters away. On her way to the edge of the mountain she discovers an injured man and her fears can be put to rest – at least for a while.

Wax Mosby is a man in need of forgiveness. In need of a change and boy does he get it! When the spring thaw starts to come, Wax decides to climb the mountain to find the family his boss wants to run off the land. What he didn’t see coming was the mysterious gunslingers riding into the ranch he just vacated. A gun fight leaves Wax injured, precariously hanging from the side of the mountain.

Ursula and Wax’s story is a beautiful story of rescuing each other. Their worlds are so different, yet both of them struggle with fears the other can relate to.

Our happy couples from books one and two reappear and married life seems to suit each of them well. As all join forces for the ultimate battle, strength lies in numbers – but also in the silence of the Nodregren women.

An epilogue ties the series together and answers the one question the girls had been searching for: whatever happened to their parents when they left the mountain?

This book could be read as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend reading the first two books before enjoying the final instalment.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

Something Worth Doing (A Novel of an Early Suffragist)


BOOK BY: Jane Kirkpatrick

It’s been 100 years since women have had the vote in the US, so the novel seemed to be a timely theme.

Descriptions of Oregon are lovely and easy to picture. It’s not hard to imagine the isolation one would feel in the early settlement days. The story was also well researched.

The back cover had caught my attention and so I was excited to dig into the story. I’m sure it’s a difficult task bringing an historical figure to life in a fictional account. There were moments where the characters shone, but most of the time I had a difficult time connecting with Jenny or Abigail. She had a challenging life in months prior to the opening of the story, but at times she tended to whine more than get things done. I would have liked the romance part to take more time than what was given – though I understand the need to move into the meatier parts of Abigail’s story and that the romance wasn’t the main element (though her husband is very, very sweet!).

In the end, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped I would. Still, the author did a tremendous job in researching and sprinkling enough details throughout the novel so as to not overload the reader’s mind with facts.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Love Note


BOOK BY: Joanna Davidson Politano

This is a beautiful story of the power of our words – how they can either break relationships or build them up, and when they’ve broken one how they can begin building again.

There were so many wonderful things about this story that I feel I can’t do the novel justice by listing things in short order. You just have to read the novel yourself to appreciate the deeper meanings Joanna Davidson Politano weaves through the pages.

It’s a story about love, but not just romantic love. It’s about the love of our heavenly Father and how real it becomes when we surrender ourselves completely to His will. It’s a story of friendship – how there are friends that bring out the best in us and are the relationships worth pursuing. It’s a story of broken families – and how kindness can bring about healing. It’s a story of expectation – how we set ourselves up for disappointment in others when we expect the impossible from others. It’s a story of redemption – how it’s never too late to make amends for past offenses. It’s a story about finding the right marriage partner – how once you’ve found each other, to never let go.

Yes. That’s really what I took away from the novel.

The narrative is easy to follow and switches between third person and first person points of view. It isn’t jarring as some novels I’ve read are, so it was a nice surprise to read something that was an easy transition between the two. The reader is pulled into the setting with vivid descriptions and one could easily picture Crestwicke and the ruins where our heroine spends quiet moments contemplating life.

Willa Duvall is one of those heroines you just want to see have a happy ending, but what the author does with her story is quite unexpected. But at the end, the reader can’t help but to agree with how Willa’s story plays out.

Gabe Gresham is a silent, but strong hero. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about him and I was happy for the conclusion of his story.

The characters are memorable and each have their own issue to work through. I like the story line of Golda. She’s such a strong secondary character who had been broken early in life and there’s a beautiful story arc that comes full circle at the end of the novel. I quite enjoyed the parallels between her story and the heroine, Willa Duvall.

This is an historical romance with quite a thread of intrigue. Willa discovers a love note hidden in her writing desk which sends her on a mission to return the note to the rightful owner, but when the note is misplaced in her new place of employ, the note creates a chain reaction of events that will upend the residents of Crestwicke Manor forever.

I received an ecopy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

Bride of Convenience (The Brideships #3)


BOOK BY: Jody Hedlund

This third book in The Brideships series is an excellent follow up. I don’t think I’ve ever read a series where each book is equally as engaging as the first, nor as connected.

The story begins with the wedding kiss of Peter and Annabella (from book 2) and Pastor Abe’s obvious discomfort in watching the kiss. This is Pastor Abe’s story of a childhood love, betrayal, hasty decisions, a marriage of convenience and awkward situations that point him to his happily ever after.

Zoe is a mill worker from Manchester, determined to find the twin brother who’d fled England in anger. She sets sail on a bride ship in hopes of finding a man who would take her up the rugged mountain terrain to locate her brother. She’s willing to become a bride of convenience to get to him.

I loved both characters. Pastor Abe has always been a delightful character in previous books, but we get to see his heart in this one. He struggles with self-worth and his goals of becoming a bishop sees him working through a strenuous relationship with the Bishop of the Church of England who is rigid in his ways. It’s an interesting contrast between a servant heart and ministering to all the needs of the people vs what organized religion stands for.

Zoe is an outspoken character who fights for the poor and cares for the orphans. Her quick wit and generous spirit wins her over with the townspeople of Yale. She’s quick to take in stray children without thought of provision or how she’ll meet their needs, and she has a huge heart for the oppressed.

Through a misunderstanding, Pastor Abe and Zoe form a quick union and the rest of the story follows them trying to work through their new arrangement.

There’s some action and quite a bit of intimate tension, a bit more than one would expect for a Christian Fiction novel, however within the context of marriage it is appropriate.

I received an ecopy from the publisher through Net Galley. All opinions expressed are my own.

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