Tuesday, June 20, 2017

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

Book review of With You Always by Jody Hedlund (Bethany House) by papertapepins

Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime Cost Them the Love of Their Lives?

One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children's Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society's orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother's shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn't be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they've been working toward?

Wow. Well done. Great character development here. I loved Elise all the way through and I can't wait to read about her sisters. I would imagine they are next. The orphan trains is not something I knew much about, and I didn't know that they also sent women out west to work in the new upcoming towns. When the economy crashes and Elise can't find work in New York, she boards a train to parts unknown in the hopes that she will make enough money to provide for her sisters and the two little orphans in their care. Little does she know that as a woman she will make far less than a man, and have the train ticket to pay off as well! 

I really did not like Thornton Quincy for the first third or so of the book, but then he grew on me. Thornton Quincy's father built an empire and has now pitted his twin boys against each other in a contest for leadership of his entire company. Thornton starts out to win at all costs but as he begins to see the people he's using as pawns in his game he has to decide what that cost would ultimately be and if winning would be worth it. Is there a way to win while treating those beneath him fairly? 

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


  1. Jody Hedlund
    © Sarah Davis Photography

    Jody Hedlund

    Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love UnexpectedCaptured by LoveUnending DevotionThe Preacher's Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She received a...
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Friday, June 2, 2017

To The Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

book review of To The Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden (Bethany House) by papertapepins

The unpredictability of her upbringing prepared army nurse Jenny Bennett to face any challenge at the Presidio Army base, but the sudden reappearance in her life of the dashing naval officer who broke her heart six years ago is enough to rattle even her. 

Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher is one of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring government mission overseas--an assignment that destroyed his reputation and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor-bound never to reveal where he was during those years, he can't tell Jenny the truth, or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk. 

Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution to his impossible situation, but he needs Jenny's help. While her loyalty to her country compels her to agree, she was too badly hurt to fall for Ryan again despite his determination to win her back. When an unknown threat from Ryan's past puts everything at risk--including his life--can they overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them in time?

Jenny Bennett is a nurse at the Presidio Army base and falls in love with one of the wounded men under her care. He appears to feel the same way too, but then one night says an abrupt goodbye and disappears from her life. She tries to find him and hears back once that he's alive but has moved on. Then one day he reappears on the base. . .

Ryan Gallagher is a soldier and a man of honor and when he's tasked with a top secret mission that requires him to cut off all contact with his current life he does so regardless of the cost to himself. 

I found this book a little slower moving than Elizabeth Camden's books usually are. There was less suspense and intrigue and plot action and more frustrated romantic emotion that got a little old. Some people like the more emotional based stories but it's not my favorite reading. I did however enjoy the historical details and learning about the pearl industry. She always does her research! I think there will be people who love this book as much as her others but it wasn't top of my list.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


  1. Elizabeth Camden
    Photo courtesy of Ginger Murray Photography

    Elizabeth Camden

    Elizabeth Camden is the author of nine historical novels and has been honored with the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the Carol Award. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on...
    Continue reading about Elizabeth Camden

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot

Book review of A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot (Revell) by papertapepins

The future she dreamed of is gone. But perhaps a better one awaits . . . 

From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners--like her. Lydia won't let that get her down, though. All will be well when she's reunited with her fiancĂ©. 

But when she discovers he has disappeared--and that he left behind a pregnant wife--Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?

I generally enjoy these stories, they're an easy read and kinda fun because of the setting and characters however I found this one too over the top sugary for me, and not just because of the candy descriptions! I have in the past read other historical romances by Ms Cabot and enjoyed them, for example the Texas Dreams series, but to me this one was not up to the same standard of readability. 

When Lydia arrives in Cimarron Creek to join her fiance and finds out not only has he disappeared but he has a pregnant wife in town she recovers quickly and with the help of the local sheriff finds herself living with his eccentric aunt. She needs a way to support herself and goes into business with this aunt by opening a sweet shop. Meanwhile there's a crimewave to solve ...

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


  1. Amanda Cabot

    Amanda Cabot

    Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of At Bluebonnet LakeIn Firefly Valley, and On Lone Star Trail, as well as the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW...
    Continue reading about Amanda Cabot

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