With This Pledge by Tamera AlexanderWhat it is: a Civil War-era romance novel based on a real-life love story.
What happens: Governess Lizzie Clouston nurses soldiers after the Franklin, Tennessee, home she lives and works in is converted into a Confederate hospital. Engaged to one soldier, abolitionist Lizzie must be true to her own heart while standing for what she knows is right, even as she falls in love with one of her wounded patients...who's a slave owner.
Series alert: This atmospheric novel is the 1st in the Carnton series (after the prequel novella, Christmas at Carnton).
We Hope for Better Things by Erin BartelsWhat it is: a moving, multigenerational debut novel.
What happens: Detroit journalist Elizabeth Balsam loses her job, but continues to pursue the story she was working on about the 1967 Civil Rights riots in her city. This leads her to a box of photos, a great-aunt she has never met, and a series of discoveries about her family's history that goes all the way back to the Civil War.
For fans of: thoughtful fiction with realistic characters and engaging reads that tackle tough topics like racism.
The Bride of Ivy Green by Julie KlassenWhat happens: In a Regency England village, several women face change and choices. First, Mercy Grove is forced to close her girls' school and ponders life as a spinster governess; Jane Bell is in love, but to marry means giving up her inn; and a new seamstress has arrived, but there's something she's hiding.
Series alert: This is the sweet 3rd entry in the Tales from Ivy Hill series. Newcomers may want to start with the 1st book, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill, to see characters develop over the course of the trilogy.
For fans of: Jane Austen and regency romances.
The Line Between by Tosca LeeWhat it's about: In this compelling dystopian thriller with a touch of romance, an ancient dementia-like disease is discovered in the melting Alaskan permafrost and begins to spread.
Starring: Wynter Roth, who's been expelled from the religious doomsday cult she grew up in...and ends up on a quest to save the world that she's always been told is evil.
Book buzz: TV rights have been already sold, and a sequel, A Single Light, is due in September.
Perennials by Julie CantrellWhat it's about: Two estranged middle-aged sisters face each other for the first time in decades.
What happens: In the weeks leading up to their parents' 50th anniversary party, their dad plants a special memory garden for their mom and wants his daughters' help, but bitterness from the past may keep the sisters' relationship taking root and growing.
For fans of: Southern fiction (Perennials is set in Oxford, Mississippi) or books with thought-provoking themes like truth and redemption.
Whenever You Come Around: A Kings Meadow Romance by Robin Lee HatcherWhat it is: a fast-paced, Western-flavored romance with appealing characters; the 2nd in the Kings Meadow trilogy.
Starring: author Charity Anderson, whose house in Boise, Idaho, floods, sending her and her sweet dog Cocoa to her childhood home.
What happens: With her parents on a long trip, Charity should have time to write -- but when Cocoa causes her high school crush (and only neighbor) to break his ankle and wrist, Charity's obliged to help him.
The Proving by Beverly LewisWhat happens: Having left the Amish life five years ago after a disagreement with her twin sister, Amanda is shocked when her widowed mother dies and leaves Amanda her popular bed-and-breakfast.
The catch: In order to keep the Lancaster County B & B, she must return home and run the business for a year...and it must remain profitable.
Read this next: Shelley Shepard Gray's Florida-set Amish Brides of Pinecraft series, which has plots often revolving around a B & B.
The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. WrightFeaturing: siblings Malcolm (a businessman with a failing marriage), Matthew (who's had trouble with the law and is in love with an engaged woman), and Samantha (a single mom and police officer).
What happens: After the deaths of their parents, they return home and find boxes of love letters that their father wrote to their mother each Wednesday -- and inside the letters, they discover shocking truths.
For fans of: Hallmark movies or emotional, leisurely paced stories about marriage, family, and forgiveness.
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