A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera AlexanderHistorical Romance. In 1871, 23-year-old violinist Rebekah Carrington unhappily returns home to Nashville. She's been studying in Vienna for ten years, but her money's been cut off by her estranged mother and stepfather since her paternal grandmother unexpectedly (and suspiciously) passed away. Rebekah hopes to play with the newly formed Nashville Philharmonic, but woman aren't allowed. Still, when conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb needs help finishing the symphony that he's writing for his ill father, he calls on Rebekah, to whom he feels a connection. This conclusion to the Belmont Mansion trilogy (which includes A Lasting Impression and A Beauty So Rare) will be music to the ears of readers who like lyrically told tales with a hint of mystery and note-perfect romances.
If I'm Found by Terri BlackstockSuspense. Casey Cox has been a fugitive for a while now, changing her appearance and name as needed. The police think she murdered her best friend, Brent, but she knows she's been set up by crooked cops -- and now Dylan (a former military investigator with PTSD who's been hired to find Casey) just might know it too. Casey isn't sure if she can trust Dylan, but she knows she needs help. If she's arrested, she's as good as dead, but that doesn't stop her from putting herself in danger to help an abused child and the innocent man accused of hurting her. Narrated by both Casey and Dylan, this fast-paced 2nd in a suspenseful series is fine for newcomers, but those who want all of the details should start with If I Run. Terri Blackstock fans who don't like cliffhanger endings may want to wait until the 3rd and final book, If I Live, comes out next year.
To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth CamdenHistorical Romance. In 1898 San Francisco, as the Spanish American war gets under way, a whirlwind romance leads Naval officer Ryan Gallagher to propose to Presidio hospital nurse Jenny Bennett -- but his sudden departure and subsequent break-up letter leave her confused and guarded. Six years later, Ryan's returned...with a four-year-old half-Japanese daughter in tow. In spite of the government secrets he's keeping, Ryan soon decides to try to earn Jenny's forgiveness -- and he also needs her help getting an opioid addict clean before an important military operation. With historical, atmospheric details, author Elizabeth Camden provides a fascinating backdrop to a compelling love story featuring a strong female lead.
The Sisters of Sugarcreek: A Novel by Cathy LiggettGeneral Fiction. A fire destroys a Sugarcreek, Ohio church, killing two people and leaving their loved ones floundering. With her Amish volunteer firefighter husband now dead, Lydia Gruber, an Amish woman from Pennsylvania, finds herself lonely and unsure of her future. Then there are those left behind by Rose, the owner of a knitting and quilt shop, who was also killed in the blaze. She leaves behind her niece, Jessica Holtz (a single mother who inherits the shop), and Liz Cannon (Rose's best friend and partner in a secret society of two who delivered gifts to those in need). When the three women's lives intersect, they form a faith-filled friendship and work together to keep the craft store open, help Lydia deal with the loss of a husband she discovers she didn't know all that well, and provide hope for all of their futures.
Child of Mine by David and Beverly LewisRomance. For the past eight years, ever since her daughter was kidnapped as a baby and sold to a black market adoption ring, Kelly Maines has hired investigators and tracked down leads. Desperate but hopeful about a new possibility, she engineers a meeting with single dad Jack Livingstone. She secretly believes he may be raising her biological child with the help of an Amish nanny, who was with the girl even before Jack (he became guardian of the girl after her adoptive parents died in an accident). While Kelly and Jack form a strong connection and fall in love, her deception may ruin their bond. Meanwhile, others have their own secrets that come to light in this moving tale by veteran author Beverly Lewis, writing with her husband.
Thunder and Rain by Charles MartinGeneral Fiction. Texas Ranger Tyler Steele lives for his job, which might be partially why his wife left, leaving him to raise their 12-year-old son Brodie alone. But things get more complicated when he helps save Samantha and her daughter Hope from an abusive man at a rest stop and offers them shelter. At Tyler's ranch, the hurting characters try to heal and trust again, including young Hope, who writes letters to God about all that's happened, even as their pasts refuse to stay hidden. This is a powerful story, beautifully told, but it does feature disturbing subject matter as well as minor instances of colorful language.
The Second Half: A Novel by Lauraine SnellingGeneral Fiction. With his retirement just days away, Ken, a university dean, and his wife Mona find their plans for part-time work and travel upended by a phone call: their son, who serves in the Army's Special Forces, is being deployed to Pakistan in less than a week, and since his wife abandoned the family, he needs his parents to watch their two kids...for up to a year. With their dreams of never setting the alarm clock again shattered, Ken and Mona set to scheduling the kids' swimming lessons and Vacation Bible School -- not to mention helping them deal with the absence of both parents. Meanwhile, Mona struggles with worry and depression. If you'd like a memorable book peopled with likable characters close to retirement age, check out The Second Half.
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