October Review Books
The Evergreen Bride is Book 3 in The 12 Brides of Christmas novella series. As I am reading through these delightful Christmas stories I am thinking of how perfect they are for the end of a busy day spent shopping, baking, wrapping gifts, etc. Each novel is the perfect length to curl up with by the fire or under a cozy throw and relax for an hour or so by losing yourself in a sweet Christmas romance.
Several factors in The Evergreen Bride contribute to its theme. Samuel describes Annabelle’s eyes as Evergreen, the story is set in the evergreen forest of Mississippi, and Samuel’s work involves cutting those very trees for lumber.
All Annabelle wants for Christmas is to get away from all that green and to experience a white Christmas with her cousin’s family in Illinois. Although Samuel has declared his intentions, he is concerned that Annabelle will find another man in Illinois and stay there. A special gift may very well turn the tide.
The Evergreen Bride is another special offering in The 12 Brides of Christmas series. If the first three books are any indication, this entire series will be well worth my time.
This book was provided for review by Barbour Publishing.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
More About The Evergreen Bride by Pam Hillman:
When Pam saw the list of proposed titles for the series, she jumped on The Evergreen Bride as her title. “I knew immediately the story would be set in my home state of Mississippi, which is an evergreen state. We rarely have snow and even in the middle of winter, we still have a lot of greenery,” thus the heroine’s trip to see a white Christmas with her own eyes. She chose her time period from local history:
“As more and more families settled in Mississippi in the mid-to-late 1800?s, it created a need for homes out of the most valuable resource available: miles and miles of virgin pine forests. Logging crews and sawmills sprang up all over the south as the need for lumber increased.”
Set near where she lives in those same piney woods, The Evergreen Bride tells the tale of a struggling sawmill owner who falls in love with a woman desiring a white Christmas in 1887. Will he get a chance to propose if she’s leaving for Illinois?
Christmas celebrations have changed over the years, Pam noted. “Christmas in the rural south in the late 1800?s wasn’t a lot of fluff and expensive presents. When families couldn’t afford to buy presents, they often made them. And many times, these handmade presents were treasured way beyond anything store bought.” You’ll have to read The Evergreen Bride to discover what gift the heroine received! Most of Pam’s family live nearby, and the celebration begins at Thanksgiving and continues through New Year’s. The Evergreen Bride is close to Pam’s heart in several ways.
“I was raised about a mile from Sipsey Creek, and even though the characters, the Sipsey Creek school and church, and the exact location are fictional, I drew from the area even as I pictured it the way it was in 1887.” She laughed, “other than being separated by a little over one hundred years, a few more gadgets that make life easier,” she lives in the area where her story was set.
Who is Pam Hillman?
Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age. Her debut novel, Stealing Jake, was a finalist in the International Digital Awards and the 2013 EPIC eBook Awards.
Pam is the financial officer/assistant director of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her family in Mississippi. Pam blogs on the sixteenth of the month for Heroes, Heroines, and History.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
I just reread my review from almost exactly a year ago for “Traces of Mercy”, the first book in the Mercy Medallion series. A couple of things I mentioned were my impatience to read the next book and wanting to read more about Elijah Hale. Well, both wishes have finally been fulfilled. I enjoyed Finding Mercy just as much as I anticipated and Elijah played a prominent role in it.
As Mercy’s story continued, so did the danger, action, excitement, adventure, and mystery. In fact, the plot moved along at a pretty steady clip until the very end. Once again the authors provided plenty of unexpected twists and surprises. Those surprises kept right on coming almost to the end. I loved the fact that the reader is kept in the dark about Mercy’s past right along with her. I would have hated knowing things about her that she didn’t know – the suspense was part of what kept the story so special to me.
I also liked the fact that although romance played its part in Finding Mercy, it took a back seat to the real story and seemed to be a natural progression that grew through mutual trust and care. I do hate to see this series end but was happy with its conclusion. Well done! I hope to see more from these authors soon.
The third volume of Tracie Peterson’s Lone Star Brides series, “A Matter of Heart” was an excellent conclusion to the series. In the previous book, Jessica Atherton was not a very likeable person and seemed to go out of her way to cause trouble for Alice Chesterfield and Robert Barnett. I did not like her even a little bit. Imagine my surprise to find Jessica the heroine of this novel!
Fortunately, Jessica has realized just how meaningless and miserable her life has become and finds that she only has herself to blame. There is quite a bit of introspection as Jessica examines her heart and attempts to turn her life around and make amends to those she has hurt. I enjoyed reading about her journey as she progressed from acknowledging her flaws to accepting the fact that she could not accomplish the changes she desired under her own strength but that she must allow the Lord to help her.
Of course in any Tracie Peterson novel there must be a little romance and a bit of mystery. “A Matter of Heart” is certainly not lacking in either with two (yes, two) men vying for Jessica’s attention and the continuation and eventual solution of the mystery that has carried over from the first two installments of this series.
“A Matter of Heart” could easily stand on its own but in my opinion, total enjoyment and understanding requires reading all the books of the series in order. Another Tracie Peterson novel added to my collection, “A Matter of Heart” is well worth the read.
This book was provided for review by
Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two new men come into her life, and both manage to stir her heart.
Harrison Gable is a successful young lawyer with ambitions that match Jessica’s dreams. His warm, attentive manner and thoughtful gifts make her feel special.
Austin Todd, a former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But after learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he’s drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes.
If Jessica follows her heart, where will it lead?
Read an excerpt from “A Matter of Heart” HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I first met Kate Ramsey in the pages of the first book of the Edwardian Brides series, The Governess of Highland Hall. At that time, Kate was pretty much a brat who was dedicated to making trouble for her new governess Julia, the heroine of that particular novel. I could not begin to imagine that Kate would become the focus of the next book in the series and that I would like her quite so much. Of course, brats do tend to grow up and usually mature both emotionally and spiritually. Fortunately Kate is one that did.
Turansky paints a vivid picture of Kate’s life in London as she is put through the rigors of her debut in proper society at the hands of her well-meaning but extremely overbearing Aunt Louisa. The author’s descriptions of all the wheeling and dealing involved in securing just the right husband for Kate was quite enlightening. Although primarily about Kate, the plot contained several subplots that when woven together created one captivating and exciting story.
I particularly enjoyed following Kate’s path as she grew from a self-absorbed young woman whose only desire was to marry a handsome and wealthy young man with the proper place in society into a compassionate person who found her true calling in helping others. Her spiritual growth from one who went to church and knew about God to one who became willing to trust Him with her life and future was compelling.
“The Daughter of Highland Hall” is a wonderful followup to The Governess of Highland Hall and I highly recommend both novels. I am looking forward to the next Edwardian Brides installment.
This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
What if the title, the estate, the life of security and splendor… what if it isn’t enough?
Book two in Carrie Turansky’s Edwardian Brides Series, The Daughter of Highland Hall, follows 18-year-old Kate Ramsey on a journey of self-discovery as she travels to London to make her societal debut. As Kate begins making the round of balls and garden parties, she attracts the attention of Edward Wellington, who seems to have all the qualifications on her list. Yet, is he the best choice? Will this lifestyle bring her true happiness? Will Kate have the courage to make an unpopular choice and to choose faith or will she give into an overbearing aunt’s expectations?
Strong-willed and beautiful, debutante Katherine Ramsey feels ready to take the London social season by storm, and she must. Her family estate, Highland Hall, has been passed to older male cousin Sir William Ramsey, and her only means of securing her future is to make a strong debut and find a proper husband. With her all-knowing and meddling aunt as a guide, Katherine is certain to attract suitors at the lavish gatherings, sparkling with Great Britain’s elite.
When a shocking family scandal sidelines Katherine, forcing her out of the social spotlight, she keeps a low profile, volunteering with the poor in London’s East End. Here Katherine feels free from her predictable future, and even more so as a friendship with medical student Jonathan Foster deepens and her faith in God grows. But when Katherine is courted anew by a man of wealth and position, dreams of the life she always thought she wanted surface again. Torn between tradition and the stirrings in her heart for a different path, she must decide whom she can trust and love—and if she will choose a life serving others over one where she is served.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carrie Turansky is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has written contemporary and historical romances, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Scott, and they have five adult children and four grandchildren.
Find out more about Carrie at http://carrieturansky.com.