The Hidden Palace

Author: Dinah Jefferies

Series: Daughters of War #2

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release Date: November 22, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The next installment of the Daughters of War series brings new romances and twists that will keep readers intrigued to the end!

After discovering that her true father was German, Florence Baudin manages to escape newly liberated France in 1944 before she can be accused as a collaborator.  Travelling with Jack, an allied war specialist who Florence and her sisters help remain hidden from the Germans, she reaches his small village of Devon in England.  She soon travels to visit her mother, where she learns that she has an unusual request.  Her mother had a younger sister that ran away from Paris when she was young to the island of Malta.  Her mother’s health is failing, and she wants to make amends with her sister before it is too late.  Florence and Jack set off to Malta for a project of Jack’s and to see if they can find her aunt before its too late for her mother.

Twenty years earlier, Rosalie Delacroix left Paris to escape her father’s gambling addiction and parents’ overbearingness on her life.  After many days of travel, she arrives in Malta with experience as a cabaret dancer to earn her living.  While there, she stumbles upon a human trafficking ring that she attempts to break up.  She also meets the love of her life, who also ends up being a Baron.  Years later, the Germans and Italians bomb Malta relentlessly to break up the Allies stronghold in the Mediterranean. Rosalie lives in danger constantly and worries she may never see her family again!

Such an interesting read regarding the island of Malta during the World War II campaigns, but not focused too much on that.  It really depicts life more between 1925 and the start of the second world war.  Most of the books is split between Rosalie and Florence’s viewpoint until they finally collide at the end.  If you were a fan of Florence in the first book, then you’ll love this one as it is really focused on her story leaving France.

I really enjoyed the first book with viewpoints of the three sisters as well as their efforts to aid against the occupied powers to turn the war.  My favorite character was probably Elise, but she is not very present in this book, mostly in letters and then at the end.  However, it was interesting to continue to she how their stories play out with their mother and now her sister Rosalie and all that she did while in Malta. 

There is some occasional foul language throughout, but not much for the size of the book.  There is also a couple of sex scenes, but nothing graphic.

I recommend this book to lovers of the first but also to those who like learning about something new during World War II.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

A Feeling of Home

Author: Susan Anne Mason

Series: Redemption’s Light #3

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: July 5, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If you are looking for a WWII romance that will transport you back in time and make you feel as if you are there with the characters, this is the book for you.

Isabelle Wardrop has lost everything: her wealth, her family and now her home. Now, she and her sister are forced to move to the lowest part of the city and live with former servants. When nothing else works to find work, she turns to her final option, working for the man she blames for the death of her mother, Dr. Mark Henshaw. Dr. Henshaw wants to make up for what happened to Isabelle’s mother and works to make amends before anything more happens to make it where Isabelle will never forgive him.

Historical romance novels always have a way of pulling at my emotions. Isabelle is just the kind of strong character to pull at readers and make them root for her success. After all she has suffered it is not hard to want her to pull through the other side and find happiness for herself and her sister. At first, I wanted to hate Dr. Henshaw, but he became the kind of character that I also wanted to root for to find happiness as well as Isabelle. Overall, this was a quick read that took me back to the past and kept me there with these characters on their journey. I would recommend this to fans of historical romance.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Where the Road Bends

Author: Rachel Fordham

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: June 7, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Where the Road Bends is a perfect blend of romance, twists, and a journey of hope.

Norah King has one goal, to save her family’s land. It’s 1880 in Iowa and the land is all she has left. To save the land, she might have to marry a man she doesn’t love or know very well. Right before she is to be married, she finds a man injured on her property and tries to help him. This one act is enough to endanger the life she has worked for and change her future, maybe for the better.

Have you ever read a book where the characters win your heart from the very first chapter? This book did that for me, Norah was able to pull at my heartstrings and had me rooting for her to find the love her heart wanted. Noah and Quincy had the perfect witty banter to keep a smile on my face while turning the pages. This was a straightforward historical romance with not much mystery or anything else to it. Fans of this genre will not want to pass this one up.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

The Apostle’s Sister

Author: Angela Hunt

Publisher: Bethany Hosue

Release Date: June 1, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hunt always amazes with her Biblical fiction!

Aya has enjoyed her life as a merchant’s daughter in Tarsus.  Her Jewish family is well respected among both Jews and gentiles. She has enjoyed her life of singing and learning the Torah scrolls with her brother Sha’ul before he moved to Jerusalem to become a temple scholar.  But all that changes when her father decides to have her betrothed to another scholar.  She and her brother have both of their weddings in the same week and soon she moves to Jerusalem as well.  There she hears of the workings of a man named Yeshua, but believes like her brother that he must be stopped.  After Yeshua is executed, her brother seeks out his followers to shut down the sect known as The Way, but on the way to Damascus, he has an encounter that changes his life forever.  Aya cannot believe that her brother has been converted and doesn’t know who to respond when he sends her letters.  Soon after her husband and parents die and she feels completely abandoned, but there is only one who can save her.

This is biblical fiction at its best.  It’s very subjective as Paul’s sister and son are mentioned by reference only in the bible, but it is a great work to craft a story as seen through the eyes of his sister.  Hunt placed many of Paul’s well-known stories throughout the book and gave some backstory on his time in Tarsus as well so that readers can understand how he was born a Roman citizen.  Great job with the history of that era as well as incorporating common characters.  One of the top reads of the year!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Falling for the Cowgirl

Author: Jody Hedlund

Series: Colorado Cowboys #4

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: October 11, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The fourth book in the Colorado Cowboys series will take readers on a fun journey with great characters!

Ivy McQuaid has lived her life in a family full of boys with four older brothers. While living on their ranch, she wants to have her own family and a home of her own. The land she wants to buy with the money saved is in danger when an old love resurfaces in her life. Jericho Bliss has been gone for two years searching for war criminals and doesn’t want to get anyone else involved in his dangerous life. But the heart wants what it wants and right now his wants Ivy!  No matter how hard he tries to avoid his attraction to Ivy, she is hard to resist. When Ivy is in danger Jericho, must decide what he is willing to do for love.

For fans of historical romance, this will be a fun and fast read. Ivy McQuaid makes for a great female lead that made the story fly and kept me engaged as a reader. This is the fourth in the series and fans of the series will enjoy this new edition and the love angle is swoon worthy. I loved the way Jericho did all he could to keep everyone safe and yet love won his heart over but also put in jeopardy all he cares for. Love is a powerful thing and can keep a story moving. This story was moved by the love within the pages. Each chapter had great tension and really moved the story forward with the way I cared for the characters and what they were going through. I recommend this book and series to fans of historical romance.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Worthy of Legend

Author: Roseanna M. White

Series: The Secrets of the Isles #3

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: September 13, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Another historical romance with a great ending to a fun series.

Emily Scofield and her friends have spent the summer searching for pirate treasure and now must hide their treasures. Emily’s brother wants to impress their father and will go to any means necessary to do it, even taking his sisters treasure for his own. Bram Sinclair loves stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. This love takes on a whole new meaning when a diary is found that could lead to a secret area with special artifacts relating to King Arthur. Bram and Emily work together to find this new treasure and keep it away from her family.

Roseanna White has finished this series with the best book yet. This is a series that needs to have all books in the series read to fully enjoy the story. I loved the premise of this story and the characters had excellent chemistry to make the story fly. Usually, historical romance aren’t as quick of a read for me but this one flew by and I couldn’t wait to see how the treasure hunt would end. Of the three books in the series. this one read the quickest and had the best storyline. The way this story is written with multiple viewpoints gives the readers so much more to the story and makes it more enjoyable for readers. I would recommend this story to anyone that loves historical romance and add to that a fun treasure hunt mystery.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Under the Starry Skies

Author: Tracie Peterson

Series: Love on the Santa Fe #3

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: October 4, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Great conclusion to the Santa Fe love series!

Cassie Barton lives alone in the bustling town of San Marcial, New Mexico after her father was killed in a train derailment accident suspected to the be work of Pancho Villa and his gang.  Her sister left years ago after their mother died and has since become married and lives in Denver.  Now over 30, Cassie feels that she may never marry and has settled into work as a seamstress until she is knocked down by a group of young railway works and breaks her hand.  Her longtime friend, Brandon DuBarko, arranges for his workers to pay her wages while she is out of commission, but she hopes that maybe he has more in mind than just helping her out.

Brandon DuBarko is one of the most respected railway foremen in the Santa Fe’s employment, but he has a past that he has been trying to forget for years.  When his friend Cassie is hurt, he plans to help her get back on her feet and begins to enjoy time with her as he did with her dad for years.  What he never counted on were the feelings that he would develop for her.  Can she love him if she discovers his past?

For the final story of Love on the Santa Fe, readers meet the likely couple of Cassie and Brandon.  I say likely, because they have known each other for several years through Cassie’s father, but never really had a quality connection until he was gone. The romance never really felt forced, just more like it was expected to happen, which it eventually did.  There are a couple of common characters between books with the Pastor and his wife, but I really wish that the main characters between the books would have made random appearances to pull the series together a little more.  All that said, this also makes it very easy to have three standalone novels with no connection other than the Santa Fe railway through New Mexico.  Fans of Peterson will continue to enjoy her writing.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Enchanting the Heiress

Author: Kristi Ann Hunter

Series: Hearts of the Hearth #3

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: March 1, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Another historical romance from Kristi Ann Hunter that is sure to entertain and bring enjoyment to readers.

Harriet Hancock uses her status as an heiress to help others in Newmarket. This is not something she flaunts, instead she tries to go about anonymously and keeps her distance to protect a deep held secret. After a friend asks for her help on a personal project, Harriet has reservations but can’t help but want to be there for her friend. Harriet enlists the help of Jonas Fitzroy, a stable hand that only agrees to help to keep his twin sister safe. The more they work together, the closer Harriet and Jonas become, and it is hard to resist the attraction between them, but they both wonder if it is enough to risk their hearts for what might happen?

A lot of historical romances are the same but this one had a different vibe to it and I enjoyed that. The characters were not what I expected, but in the best way. Jonas was not the typical male protagonist of a story like this, he doesn’t want much, he isn’t trying to form a relationship, he just wants to keep his sister safe and is willing to do what he needs to make sure that happens. The romance here flowed freely and went with the pace of the story very well. I think the one thing that bothered me about this story was the slow start, once it was going it wasn’t bad at all, but the start was a bit slow for my liking. This is the kind of story that fans of Hunter, and historical romance novels will not want to miss out on.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

In Honor’s Defense

Author: Karen Witemeyer

Series: Hanger’s Horsemen #3

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: June 7, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A fun and whimsical historical romance that fans of the genre will greatly enjoy.

Luke Davenport thought the hardest thing he would ever have to live through was his time on the battlefield. He’s fought for those around him unable to fight for themselves and now he is the only one of his Horsemen brothers left to battle his demons within. Fighting and protecting others is in his blood; when a job comes up for him to track down bandits, he knows it is perfect for him. Damaris Baxter has moved to Texas to care for her nephew, Nathaniel, after her brother passes away. Having a family was never something she wanted until it was thrust upon her, now she craves to provide support and stability to Nathaniel. When Luke tries to help Nate and grows fond of Damaris, he also finds a family he never knew he needed and wants desperately to keep.

Karen Witemeyer tackled some very tough topics with this book but did so in a way that readers won’t be turned away be the hard issues. That is a hard task for any author to attempt, let alone do well, but this is a case of an author that knows what she is doing. The Characters of Luke and Damaris lead us through the story with grace and ease, readers will feel for the characters and be drawn into the story with all they are having to deal with. This is the third in the series and the continuation of characters and their stories makes for a great read. Historical fiction can sometimes be a slow read for me, but I felt like this story went quickly and kept my attention throughout. I would recommend reading this series in order to get the most out of it. Readers that enjoy historical romance will surely want to add this to their collection.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

To Tame a Cowboy

Author: Jody Hedlund

Series: Colorado Cowboys #3

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: May 3, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An old west romance that shows how healing the heart can help in more ways than one.

Brody McQuaid may have survived the war, but he is not the same man as before he left, something inside of him died. He spends his days trying to save wild horses and time with his niece. The horses are being killed off by ranchers angry that the horses are feeding on the open grass and taking the land and food away from their cattle. Veterinarian Savannah Marshall ends up working with Brody to try and save the horses after running away from the man her father had chosen for her to marry. Now they both have the trouble of the ranchers and Savannah’s family coming after them.

When reading a historical romance, especially a western historical romance, you go in with a certain expectation as a reader. I am not usually entertained as much with these types of books but did find this one enjoyable. I don’t know if it was the horse aspect or what, but I did enjoy the story. This is the third in a series and I had not read the others but felt that this was still enjoyable on its own. Brody and Savannah had a great chemistry and even with all they were both dealing with they were able to work together and moved the story along at a great pace. If you enjoy western romantic suspense this will be a great one to add to your collection.