Author of Sweet Hope and Happy Endings

Tag: Christian Historical Fiction (Page 1 of 5)

Top Reads of 2020

Despite the global pandemic, not all of 2020 was bad.

When looking back through my book list of books read, I’m surprised at how many are on my list. My goal of reading 24 books through the year was shattered. It’s a new record for me and probably one I likely won’t repeat as the world opens up again.

2020 was a special year for me. My debut novel, Snowbound in Winterberry Falls released on November 6. If you haven’t read it, you should try it (of course, I’m not biased… wink).

But all joking aside, here are the books, in no particular order that I enjoyed and would put in my TBRA pile – To Be Read Again.

Contemporary

Suspense/Procedural

Historical/Regency

Christmas

Worth Mentioning

These books were interesting reads, but didn’t quite make it in my I’ll definitely read these again category (but there’s also a good possibility I will). They were totally worth the investment of time I made reading them.

I have a bunch more books on my bookshelf to read that released in 2020, but I didn’t have time to get to them. I hope to read them as time permits and will post reviews either on my blog or at least a starred review on GoodReads.

How about you? Are any of these books on your list?

To Steal A Heart Book Review

BOOK REVIEW

BOOK BY: Jen Turano

The first book in the new Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency series is an interesting read. Gabriella Goodhue used to be a street thief and has put her rusty skills to good use with the women of her boarding house. A friend has been falsely accused of a crime committed against one of the New York 400’s most eligible bachelors and the women set out to prove her innocence – and to capture the real culprit.

Nicholas Quinn was Gabriella’s best friend, until he was taken in by a wealthy professor and given a new identity. Now he’s another bachelor of the New York 400 and tasked with the same mission as Gabriella, though unbeknownst to either party.

In classic Jen Turano style, humour is the thread that binds the characters together is strong. Characters are likeable and the story moves along. There are twists and secrets revealed that may surprise readers.

I enjoyed the story for the most part, but due to my ARC missing several pages the story skipped lots of parts. I didn’t enjoy it as much as other books I’ve read by the same author, but again it’s likely because I missed chunks of the story in my copy.

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

A Castaway in Cornwall: A Book Review

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 REVIEW

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 REVIEW

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.

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