"But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea."
~ Matthew 14:24-25
The Proposal at Siesta Key by Shelley Shepard GrayAmish Romance. Set in the real-life Amish village of Pinecraft, Florida, this charming 2nd in a series tells the story of 24-year-old Penny Troyer, who yearns to spread her wings. Finally standing up to her over-protective parents -- who've never gotten over the murder of their only other child 12 years ago -- Penny takes a job at the local bed and breakfast. There, she grows close to a guest, a handsome Mennonite amputee who travels the country sharing his testimony. Amish fiction fans who'd enjoy a trip to a sun-kissed beach should enjoy this moving tale of friendship, self-discovery, and love.
Maggie Bright: A Novel of Dunkirk by Tracy GrootHistorical Fiction. Hitler's forces threaten to overpower British and French soldiers in May 1940. The British hastily retreat to Dunkirk, on France's northern coast, but Prime Minister Winston Churchill knows that getting more than 300,000 soldiers home is a nearly impossible task with the military boats they have. The cry for civilian boats goes out, and the Maggie Bright, a 52-foot yacht, answers the call. Juxtaposing the story of soldiers stuck in France with that of Maggie's female owner and an American priest who mysteriously broke into the ship, this well-researched novel provides a fascinating look at World War II-era England and France.
Whenever You Come Around: A Kings Meadow Romance by Robin Lee HatcherRomance. After a devastating incident in college involving her hometown's local rich boy, author Charity Anderson has avoided Kings Meadow, Idaho like the plague. But when her beloved Boise home is flooded and a book deadline looms, she takes shelter at her parents' house. They've taken their dream trip to Europe, so it'll be quiet for writing -- but she doesn't count on finding her childhood crush, Buck Malone, living next door, or on her sweet dog, Cocoa, causing Buck to break his ankle and wrist. Charity helps Buck with meals and such, and he helps her deal with her past in this fast-paced, Western-flavored romance.
A Love Like Ours by Becky WadeRomance. Due to his military tour in Iraq, thoroughbred trainer Jake Porter has a facial scar and PTSD. He deals with his problems by keeping others at a distance, but he can't help but renew his childhood friendship with persistent Lyndie James. Lyndie, an artist as well as a horse exerciser and jockey, has just returned to their small Texas hometown after 20 years. As the couple gets reacquainted, Lyndie also helps take care of her adult sister with cerebral palsy and watches her friend and neighbor fall in love. Saddle up, horse fans -- this novel features plenty of time in the stables and on the race course. It's also the 3rd in the Porter Family series after Undeniably Yours and Meant to be Mine, but can be enjoyed on its own.
Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife by Rebecca KannerBiblical Fiction. Unnamed in the Bible, Noah's wife nonetheless plays an important role in the classic story of the ark and flood. In Sinners and the Sea, told from her perspective, readers learn how she overcomes a birthmark that some believe is the mark of a demon in order to become a virtuous wife and the mother of three sons. If you enjoy debut novelist Rebecca Kanner's writing style, mark your calendar for November when her second book, Esther, is published. For more absorbing Christian fiction about women of the Old Testament, try Jill Eileen Smith's Wives of the Patriarchs series or Orson Scott Card's Women of Genesis books.
Stranded by Dani PettreyRomantic Suspense. While investigating her reporter friend's mysterious disappearance from a cruise ship, former investigative journalist Darcy St. James tries to dig up the story that Abby was working on -- and worries that it might have cost Abby her life. After docking in Yancey, Alaska, Darcy runs into Gage McKenna, the man she might be falling in love with but hasn't heard from in five months. Suspense builds throughout this fast-paced 3rd entry in the Alaskan Courage series. For another romantic suspense story set in the 49th state, try Alaska Twilight by Colleen Coble.
The Voyage of Promise by Kay Marshall StromHistorical Fiction. In 1792 West Africa, Grace Winslow is the racially mixed daughter of a powerful African princess and an English sea captain -- but that doesn't keep her and her family safe from slave traders. Married to an African man and mother of a young son, she is devastated when slave traders kill her child, put her husband on a boat to America, and force her into servitude to a sea captain...and her mother does nothing to help. Circumstances find Grace a free woman living in London, determined to reunite with her beloved husband someday. Taking place in Africa, on board ship, and in England, this is the poignant, thought-provoking 2nd in the Grace in Africa trilogy.
A Captain for Laura Rose: A Novel by Stephanie Grace WhitsonHistorical Fiction. In 1867, it's against the rules for a woman to earn a riverboat captain's license, but that doesn't change the fact that Laura Rose White can read the river better than just about anyone. So when terrible tragedy strikes, Laura -- the daughter of a deceased captain, who named his steamboat after her -- must pilot a dangerous two-month journey on the Missouri River or risk losing the Laura Rose. Since she can't do it alone, she's forced to accept help from a man her father once fired, Finn MacKnight, who brings along his two sisters, straitlaced Fiona and free-spirited Adele. If you're interested in historical novels about strong women pushing against the confines of their time, this is a great choice.
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