A Seat by the Hearth by Amy ClipstonWhat it is: a touching modern Amish romance with a marriage-of-convenience theme.
Starring: desperate Priscilla, who leaves her abusive boyfriend, and with nowhere else to go, returns to her Amish roots with her out-of-wedlock six-year-old son in tow; and handsome, fun-loving Amish farmer Mark, who works at the horse farm owned by Priscilla's strict father.
Series alert: This 3rd in the Amish Homestead series tells Mark Reihl's story; the 4th entry, A Welcome at Our Door, comes out in May and is about his sister Cindy.
Jerusalem's Queen: A Novel of Salome Alexandra by Angela HuntStarring: Salome Alexandra, an intelligent child who moves to Jerusalem with her mother to live with wealthier cousins after the deaths of her father and sister...and eventually becomes queen of Judea.
Series alert: This is prolific author Angela Hunt's 3rd Silent Years novel, set during the 400-year period between the Old and New Testaments; look for the concluding volume, King's Shadow, this summer.
Read it for: a clever heroine and a richly detailed historical story.
On Magnolia Lane by Denise HunterWhat happens: Flower store owner Daisy has often met with Pastor Jack for spiritual counseling...and he has fallen for her. Since their small Georgia town isn't overflowing with young men, Daisy uses a dating app. Jack's friends find out and set up a profile for him using his initials...and Daisy connects with "TJ" online.
Series alert: This is the heartwarming 3rd book in the Blue Ridge Romance series, though fans of the author's standalone novel Sweetbriar Cottage will also recognize a few characters.
Tell Her No Lies by Kelly IrvinStarring: talented photographer Nina Fischer, who was adopted by her uncle, a church-going judge, after her mother abandoned her.
What happens: After her uncle is murdered, Nina becomes the San Antonio cops' number one suspect. To find the real killer, she gets help from the two men in her life -- her childhood friend, who's now a lawyer, and a news videographer she's working with on an art project -- and unearths shocking secrets about her own family.
Is it for you? If you like romantic suspense with strong Christian elements and a love triangle, give Kelly Irvin's latest a try.
The Inn at Ocean's Edge by Colleen CobleStarring: businesswoman Claire Dellamore, who goes to a Maine hotel for work and inexplicably has a severe panic attack.
What happens: While walking on the beach nearby, she meets Luke Elwell, home on leave from the Coast Guard, and learns that her family hid the fact that she went missing from the hotel as a child, and that Luke's mother also disappeared then...but was never found.
Series alert: This is the 1st fast-paced romantic suspense novel in the Sunset Cove series.
Her Secret by Shelley Shepard GrayIntroducing: Hannah Hilty, the 20-year-old Amish victim of an English stalker, whom she hopes she's left behind in Ohio when her family moves to quiet Hart County, Kentucky, for a fresh start.
What happens: The Hiltys have trouble adjusting (especially Hannah's siblings), friends are made (including handsome Isaac Troyer), upsetting secrets come to light, a health crisis occurs, and the stalker returns.
Series alert: This is the opening book in in the Amish of Hart County series, which are charming Amish romances with suspenseful elements.
Home to Holly Springs by Jan KaronWhat it's about: After he receives an anonymous letter reading "come home," newly retired Episcopal priest Father Tim returns to his Mississippi hometown for the first time in decades, an event that leads to his discovery of long-buried secrets.
Series alert: Home to Holly Springs is the 1st in the Father Tim series and the 10th Mitford novel.
Is it for you? All of the Mitford books weave scripture and religious discussions into the everyday lives of characters, but this entry deals with more intense topics than some earlier books.
Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson PolitanoWhat it is: a witty Victorian romance and story-within-a-story that calls to mind the world of Charles Dickens.
What it's about: After her novelist father dies, Aurelie Harcourt leaves debtor's prison (the only home she's ever known) and tries to fit in with his wealthy family (who had no idea she existed). She also sets out to finish his book about her mother's disappearance, but she needs help from an intriguing house guest to uncover family secrets.
Who it's for: those who appreciate lyrical Gothic romances and fresh Christian fiction.
Room for Hope by Kim Vogel SawyerFeaturing: Neva Shilling, a shop owner who grew up an orphan and is a mom to two teenagers in 1930s Kansas; Arthur, a widowed neighbor who wants to buy her store; and Jesse Caudel, the kind new sheriff.
What happens: A shocked Neva learns her husband is dead, along with his secret second wife, and that their three small children need a home.
For fans of: Depression-era historical novels, thought-provoking stories of forgiveness, and Isaiah 40:29.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Villa Park Public Library
305 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, Illinois 60181