Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke

Summary:

For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees . . . if Claire will stay to help. Though desperate to return to France and the man she loves, Claire has few options. But her tumultuous upbringing—spent in the refuge of novels with fictional friends—has ill-prepared her for the daily dramas of raising children, or for the way David Campbell, a fellow American boarder, challenges her notions of love. Nor could she foresee how the tentacles of war will invade their quiet haven, threatening all who have come to call Bluebell Wood home and risking the only family she’s ever known.

Set in England’s lush and storied Lake District in the early days of World War II, and featuring cameos from beloved literary icons Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, Until We Find Home is an unforgettable portrait of life on the British home front, challenging us to remember that bravery and family come in many forms.

My Thoughts:

Until We Find Home is a World War II era novel that gives a glimpse of what life was like for those living in Britain during this time. It was inspiring and heartbreaking to read about children who were separated from their families and forced to unfamiliar places in order to ensure their safety. The backdrop of Bluebell Wood is a beautiful safe haven for Claire and the children she rescued. The challenges and obstacles of the war were present and obvious, but Claire and her Aunt Miranda also faced some emotional issues and grief that they had to overcome. Miranda’s character underwent a large amount of growth in this story. She didn’t have a grasp of the reality of the war until she was faced with the care of the children. While there were hardships and struggles in this story there was also forgiveness, friendship and growth for the characters. Fans of World War II novels will enjoy this latest novel from Cathy Gohlke.

To purchase a copy of Until We Find Home or learn more about the author visit on of the links below!

Amazon: Until We Find Home

http://authorcathygohlke.com/

*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

Summary:

When colonial Williamsburg explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution, Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiancé and suspected of being a spy for the hated British. No one comes to her aid save the Patriot Noble Rynallt, a man with formidable enemies of his own. Liberty is left with a terrible choice. Will the Virginia belle turned lacemaker side with the radical revolutionaries, or stay true to her English roots? And at what cost?

My Thoughts:

The Lacemaker is everything I could ask for in a Historical Romance novel. This book flows so effortlessly, immersing the reader completely in the time period of this novel. The characters were well developed and the story was captivating. The relationship between Liberty and Noble was developed so beautifully. It was a relationship with depth, and growth that was slow,sweet, and natural. Noble was my favorite character in this book. He truly is the definition of a gentleman. There were definitely some tense moments in this book and some achingly sweet romantic ones as well. I have to say that I have not read many Historical novels set during this time period and I loved it! Also, the cover of this book is stunning! I would absolutely recommend reading this if you are a fan of Historical Fiction or Historical Romance novels. I really enjoyed it!

To purchase a copy of The Lacemaker or learn more about the author visit one of the links below!

Amazon: The Lacemaker

http://laurafrantz.net/

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Someplace Familiar by Teresa Tysinger

Summary:

Artist Livy Johnson needs a fresh start. That’s what a broken heart and forgotten dreams can do to a person. On little more than a whim, she reclaims her grandmother’s old home in quaint Laurel Cove, North Carolina and vows to restore its original charm. When she literally collides with childhood friend, Jack Bowdon, Livy wonders if she’s back for an entirely different reason.

Jack can’t believe his childhood crush is back. As the owner of Bowdon’s Supplies, and once again the town’s most eligible bachelor, he offers to help Livy with repairs. Together they embark on the project—and an undeniable whirlwind romance.

But it’s not all smooth sailing. Can they survive the destructive pain of their pasts to discover God’s grace waiting to renovate their hearts?

My Thoughts:

This story was sweet through and through. Someone recommended this book to me and I am so glad! I am making more of an effort this year to read more e-books (not my fave) and try more new authors. This book accomplished both of those items! I enjoyed this contemporary romance set in Laurel Cove, North Carolina. The characters were flawed, but experience growth throughout this story both spiritually and emotionally. There were so many moments where I was reading along and thinking “oh no, she’s totally going to do this and I will be annoyed” however I was happily wrong and at many pivotal points in the story I found the characters trusting God, forgiving misunderstandings and working through issues while being honest and open. Just so refreshing! The romance between the characters was fun, sweet, and one that you were rooting for. I appreciated that Livy and Jack each had separate issues that they had to work through before they could come to a place of acceptance and forgiveness. There was a lot of spiritual content in this story as the characters dealt with issues from thief pasts, but it was never heavy or to much for the moment. There were some flirty, almost pushing the limit, scenes of physical contact but I do feel that it was likely very realistic for a dating couple. I just might not recommend this particular book for a young teen reader. A little bit of a tense moment towards the end of this book which added an unexpected twist, but the conclusion was sweet and satisfying. I enjoyed this book and would gladly read more from this author!

To purchase a copy of Someplace Familiar or learn more about the author visit one of the links below!

Amazon: Someplace Familiar

https://teresatysinger.com/

Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings

Summary:

Louisa Bell never wanted to be a dance-hall singer, but dire circumstances force her hand. With a little help from her brother in the cavalry, she’s able to make ends meet, but lately he’s run afoul of his commanding officer, so she undertakes a visit to straighten him out.

Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno. He can barely control his rowdy troops, much less his two adolescent daughters. If Daniel doesn’t find someone respectable to guide his children, his mother-in-law insists she’ll take them.

When Louisa arrives with some reading materials, she’s mistaken for the governess who never appeared. Major Adams is skeptical. She bears little resemblance to his idea of a governess–they’re not supposed to be so blamed pretty–but he’s left without recourse. His mother-in-law must be satisfied, which leaves him turning a blind eye to his unconventional governess’s methods. Louisa’s never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough?

My Thoughts:

This book was fun, charming and full of laughs! I felt as if every character in this book was full of personality and characteristics that really brought this story to life. I really enjoyed that this story takes place at a fort and involved the calvary. It was such a unique change of pace from a lot of the historical fiction that I have read set in the Old West. I am always drawn to books that have a lot of humor and this one had several laugh out loud moments that I loved! Major Adams character was probably my favorite character in this story. As a widower and a Major in the calvary he shoulders a lot of responsibility in his personal life and as a commander of his troops. However, he Major Adams is perceptive, fair, forgiving and even has a sense of humor lurking underneath his rough exterior. Major Adam’s two daughters Daisy and Caroline were another thing I loved about this story. Usually I don’t really connect with children in stories because they are mostly secondary characters that don’t add as much interest to the story, but these girls were favorites from the beginning. They are so important to the story and added humor, heart, and mischief! This book just hit the spot for historical romance! It was so sweet and fun, and I love a good lighthearted read! It has put me in the mood to watch some movies about the U.S. Calvary. If you need me I will be watching Yellow Ribbon and Fort Apache!

To purchase a copy of Holding the Fort or learn more about the author visit one of the links below!

Amazon: Holding the Fort

http://www.reginajennings.com

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Death at Thornburn Hall by Julianna Deering

Summary:

Drew Farthering arrives in idyllic Scotland for the 1935 British Open at Muirfield hoping for a relaxing holiday, but he soon finds a mystery on his hands. Lord Rainsby, his host at Thorburn Hall, fears his business partner may be embezzling and asks Drew to quietly investigate. Before Drew can uncover anything, Rainsby is killed in a suspicious riding accident.

Thorburn Hall is filled with guests, and as Drew continues to dig, he realizes that each might have had a motive to put Raisnby out of the way. Together with Madeline and Nick, he must sort through shady business dealings, international intrigue, and family tensions to find a killer who always seems to be one step ahead.

My Thoughts:

I am a fan of the Drew Farthering Series by Julianna Deering. Death at Thornburn Hall is the next book in this series and it is a great addition to the previous books. This cozy mystery combines murder and humor and is set during the 1935 British Open. I thought the setting of this book was fun and I love historical fiction. Drew’s character was humorous, charming, and quick witted as always. I really enjoyed that Madeline was more involved in solving the mystery during this book. It was fun to see Drew and Madeline working together and bouncing ideas off of one another. I have been a big fan of Nick and Carrie during the series and was happy to see a reunion at the beginning of this book. There are some quirky characters and everyone seems to be suspicious for one reason or another, which keeps the reader guessing throughout the book. There are several mentions of political unrest, Hitler and Germany which not only has the reader wondering if there is more than meets the eye to this murder, but also gives a subtle background for what is going on during the time period. Fans of cozy murder mysteries will enjoy Death at Thornburn Hall. If you are looking for a murder mystery series that hints at Agatha Christie, but has humor and wit you need to check out the Drew Farthering series!

To purchase a copy of Death at Thornburn Hall or learn more about the author, visit the links below!

Amazon: Death at Thornburn Hall

Juliannadeering.com

*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Christy by Catherine Marshall

Summary:

The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.

But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her–and her one-room school–as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.

My Thoughts:

Confession, I had never read this book before now! My only knowledge of this story was the television series that aired when I was younger. I remember really enjoying that show and even though I was a big reader, I never really thought about the book it was based on. First things first, this book is longer than my usual read. 500-ish pages to give a rough estimate. Catherine Marshall’s writing is super descriptive. Her writing creates an atmosphere and the feeling of what’s happening in a scene for the reader. I think that this book is extremely well written and it is no surprise to me that is is well known, beloved, and has stood the test of time. The struggles and the poverty of the mountain people Christy encounters is just poured into each page of this book. This book uniquely shares life’s struggles, heartaches, questions, and joys in spite of difficult circumstances. This book shows Christy finding her purpose in the midst of very difficult and heartbreaking conditions of life in Cutter Gap. I loved the transformation she goes through spiritually to find her trust and assurance in God and His Word. The heart of this book is the stories of the people and how they impact Christy and her time in Cutter Gap. Not the biggest fan of this cover, but if you peek under the book flap there is a beautiful hardback with gold lettering that is stunning!

To purchase a copy of this book or learn more about the author visit the links below!

Amazon: Christy

http://gileadpublishing.com/christy/

*I was given a free copy of this book to provide an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

Summary:

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this quick holiday read! I love anything historical with a bit of mystery thrown in, so this was right up my ally. My description of the feel of this book would be a blending of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, Clue, and A Christmas Carol. I enjoyed that there was enough mystery to keep me intrigued and guessing, but it was done in a way that did not make the story dark or depressing. The setting of the manor house gave the story interest and was perfect for creating that mysterious atmosphere needed to draw the reader in to the story. I thought the plot twists were well done, and the conclusion was surprising, but a satisfying end to this story. Clara and Ben were great characters. Ben particularly, was very funny, which I really enjoyed. I really enjoyed this book, it seemed to be the perfect length for the story that was told. I also really love that the paperback copy pages are made to look like torn parchment. It is such a small, but fun detail, but honestly makes me even more fond of this book! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction and/or Christmas themed stories. Curl up by the fire with a nice cup of tea and read this!

To purchase a copy of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor,or learn more about the author, visit the links below!!

Amazon:12 Days at Bleakly Manor

https://michellegriep.com/books/