If I Were You by Lynn AustinThe setup: Aristocratic Audrey Barrett, the English widow of an American soldier, needs support from the in-laws she's never met and heads to the U.S. with her young son in 1950.
The problem: When she arrives at her in-laws' home, she discovers Eve, her friend and former maid, who also has a young son...and who has been impersonating Audrey for nearly four years.
Who it's for: Readers who enjoy sweeping historical fiction dealing with class issues should enjoy this faith-filled tale that includes vivid depictions of World War II-era England.
A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly DuffyStarring: clever Nora Shipley, the only female entomology student in her 1885 Cornell class; wealthy Owen Epps, Nora's academic rival.
What happens: The two recent grads join a research expedition to India, each hoping it'll lead to a scholarship for graduate study. But in this spellbinding land, the two grow closer and Nora is torn between helping a young local girl and advancing in her field.
Why you might like it: This vibrant debut novel has a sweet love story, fascinating details about insects, and an evocative setting.
Set the Stars Alight by Amanda DykesWhat it is: a lyrical, layered, and leisurely paced dual-timeline novel with well-drawn characters from vividly described periods.
What happens: In contemporary times, marine archaeologist Lucy and her childhood friend, forensic astronomer Dash, search for the shipwreck of the HMS Jubilee. In the 1800s, Frederick, who's never been able to please his Naval captain father, goes to sea at a young age, along with a friend who's in love with a girl back home.
For fans of: rich, complex novels.
The Heart of a Hero by Susan May WarrenStarring: former Navy SEAL Jake, who's now part of an international rescue team, and dedicated pediatric heart surgeon Aria Sinclair.
What happens: After meeting during a Mt. Denali rescue, Jake and Aria take steps toward friendship, so when Aria is in Key West for a conference and a hurricane approaches, Jake shows up to help.
Series alert: This is the 2nd in the Global Search and Rescue trilogy; the 1st book, The Way of the Brave, focuses on another couple but details the entire group's harrowing Mt. Denali ordeal. The series finale, The Price of Valor, arrives in October.
Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail WilsonStarring: Elizabeth, an unwed mother of a young child who's on her way to accept a housekeeper's position; Lord Torrington, a spy for the British crown and the widowed father of two teen daughters, who accosts Elizabeth's carriage by mistake.
What happens: To protect Torrington's vital mission, the two make a marriage of convenience, but threatening notes and a murder mean danger is closer than they thought.
For fans of: novels that combine wholesome Regency romances with a twisty mystery.
The Crow's Call by Wanda E. BrunstetterWhat it's about: After three family members are killed in a buggy accident, Amy King, her widowed mom, her widowed sister, and her younger brother mourn and try to keep their Amish greenhouse business afloat, but a vandal seems determined to destroy their work.
Series alert: This is the 1st entry in the Amish Greenhouse series; the 2nd book, The Mockingbird's Song, was recently released.
Don't miss: appearances by characters who starred in the author's Prayer Jar series, which is set in the same Pennsylvania location.
The Feathered Bone by Julie CantrellStarring: Amanda Salassi, a caring mom and a chaperone for her daughter Ellie's sixth grade school field trip to New Orleans.
What happens: One of the girls -- Ellie's best friend -- disappears without a trace. Devastated by pain and loss yet hoping for the girl's return, those left behind face personal trials, including severe depression.
Is it for you? Dealing with a variety of difficult subjects, this is a challenging but illuminating read with strong faith elements.
Life After by Katie GanshertStarring: Autumn Manning, who survives when a bomb goes off on a Chicago train and kills 22 people, though she can't recall any of it.
What happens: Drawn to the victims' families, Autumn records them sharing memories of their loved ones and connects with one family in particular, a husband and kids who lost their wife and mother -- but then secrets from the past complicate matters for everyone.
Why you might like it: Addressing grief and survivor's guilt, this thought-provoking book is poignant and unputdownable.
Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher MurrayTwo women of faith: Janice Johnson, a grieving African American mother whose only child, 17-year-old Marquis, is killed by a white man claiming the stand-your-ground defense; Meredith Spencer, the wife of the wealthy Philadelphia businessman who shot Marquis.
What happens: Janice and her husband grow apart as they deal with their son's death in different ways, and Meredith keeps troubling secrets as the investigation into the shooting moves to trial.
Is it for you? First published in 2015, this powerful novel remains just as timely today, though sensitive readers should know that there is some profanity, including racial slurs.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
If you are having trouble unsubscribing to this newsletter, please contact NextReads at 919-489-3713, 3710 Mayfair Street, Durham, NC 27707