No matter where you call home, we’re all on the cusp of a new season, right? In the United States, this weekend marks the end of summer. Most will observe Monday as a national holiday, celebrated with a casual backyard barbeque, a last trip to the lake or one more lazy weekend lying by the pool. If children aren’t already back to school, they will be by Tuesday. Although we’re still steeped in our fair share of humidity around here, each morning offers a hint of the coolness to come.
In my corner of the world, all three of my children are in school. When they were babies and toddlers, one day felt like a thousand hours. Now the space between nine in the morning and two in the afternoon flies by in a blink. I’m learning to re-structure my days, no longer in a rush to get home for lunch and settle the littles in for an afternoon nap. There’s time to flip through a magazine, grab coffee with a friend or stare aimlessly out the window as I daydream about characters in my current work-in-progress. Most of all, I have more time to read because my children attend schools with the world’s longest carpool lines. While there’s nothing wrong with a mindless game of Candy Crush, I’m making a concerted effort to reach for a book instead of my phone.
Here are ten books I can’t wait to read this season:
Falling Like Snowflakes (A Summer Harbor Novel) by Denise Hunter
Eden Martelli is too busy fleeing the clutches of danger to realize she’s running straight into the arms of a new love.
Speeding north through rural Maine, Eden Martelli wonders how her life came to this—on the run with her mute five-year-old son dozing fitfully in the passenger seat. When a breakdown leaves them stranded in Summer Harbor, Eden has no choice but to stay put through Christmas . . . even though they have no place to lay their heads.
Beau Callahan is a habitual problem solver—for other people anyway. He left the sheriff’s department to take over his family’s Christmas tree farm, but he’s still haunted by the loss of his parents and struggling to handle his first Christmas alone.
When Eden shows up looking for work just as Beau’s feisty aunt gets out of the hospital, Beau thinks he’s finally caught a break. Eden is competent and dedicated—if a little guarded—and a knockout to boot. But, as he soon finds out, she also comes with a boatload of secrets.
Eden has been through too much to trust her heart to another man, but Beau is impossible to resist, and the feeling seems to be mutual. As Christmas Eve approaches, Eden’s past catches up to her.
Beau will go to the ends of the earth to keep her safe. But who’s going to protect his heart from a woman who can’t seem to trust again?
Okay, true confession. I already read it. Devoured it in a weekend. Denise Hunter is one of my favorite authors and this new release does not disappoint. I enjoyed it so much, I’m giving away an eBook copy. Details to follow at the end of this post.
Unexpected Family (Love Inspired) by Jill Kemerer
After five years apart, Tom Sheffield is shocked to find his ex-wife, Stephanie, on his doorstep. The news that they share a child he’s never met sends him reeling. Four-year-old Macy has his eyes, his mouth and, from their first encounter, his heart. Things with her mother are much more complicated. He doesn’t understand what went wrong between them or why she kept their daughter a secret. And he’s afraid of falling in love all over again. Yet he feels a glimmer of hope that somehow he can convince Macy and Stephanie to stay in Lake Endwell—and with him—for keeps.
I really enjoyed Jill’s debut novel, Small-Town Bachelor, and I look forward to reading this new release, as well.
The Seakeeper’s Daughters (A Carolina Heirlooms Novel) by Lisa Wingate
From modern-day Roanoke Island to the sweeping backdrop of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Roosevelt’s WPA folklore writers, past and present intertwine to create an unexpected destiny.
Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at the Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney’s estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney’s only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a Depression-era love story change everything?
Lisa Wingate’s novels are almost an automatic buy for me. After thoroughly enjoying The Storykeeper, this new release is highly anticipated. It officially releases September 8th.
Come Rain or Come Shine (A Mitford Novel) by Jan Karon
In Come Rain or Come Shine, Jan Karon delivers the wedding that millions of Mitford fans have waited for. It’s a June day in the mountains, with more than a few creatures great and small, and you’re invited—because you’re family.
By the way, it’s a pretty casual affair, so come as you are and remember to bring a tissue or two. After all, what’s a good wedding without a good cry?
Two words: Mitford and Dooley Kavanagh. Okay, that’s more than two, but my point is, I’ve adored Dooley’s progression as a character throughout this series. Such a beautiful picture of God’s plan for our lives. I don’t quite know how the author will devote an entire novel to one couple’s wedding, but I’m eager to find out. This novel officially releases September 22nd.
Silver Linings: A Rose Harbor Novel by Debbie Macomber
Set in Cedar Cove’s charming Rose Harbor Inn, Debbie Macomber’s captivating new novel follows innkeeper Jo Marie and two new guests as they seek healing and comfort, revealing that every cloud has a silver lining, even when it seems difficult to find.
Since opening the Rose Harbor Inn, Jo Marie Rose has grown close to her handyman, Mark Taylor. Jo Marie and Mark are good friends—and are becoming something more—yet he still won’t reveal anything about his past. When Mark tells her that he’s moving out of town, Jo Marie is baffled. Just when she is starting to open herself up again to love, she feels once more that she is losing the man she cares about. And as she discovers the secret behind Mark’s decision to leave, she welcomes two visitors also seeking their own answers.
Best friends Kellie Crenshaw and Katie Gilroy have returned to Cedar Cove for their ten-year high school reunion, looking to face down old hurts and find a sense of closure. Kellie, known as Coco, wants to finally confront the boy who callously broke her heart. Katie, however, wishes to reconnect with her old boyfriend, James—the man she still loves and the one who got away. As Katie hopes for a second chance, Coco discovers that people can change—and both look to the exciting possibilities ahead.
Heartwarming and uplifting, Silver Linings is a beautiful novel of letting go of the past and embracing the unexpected.
I love the fictional community of Cedar Cove. Do you watch the television series starring Andie McDowell? Even if you can’t access the Hallmark channel, I think there’s other viewing options. Wait. This is a post about reading. Didn’t I just unofficially vow less screen time and more reading? All kidding aside, I look forward to reading Silver Linings, as I’m quite smitten with the premise of the story.
The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay
When Lucy’s secret is unearthed, her world begins to crumble. But it may be the best thing that has ever happened to her.
Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.
In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else.
As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change.
Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.
We’ll have to wait a bit for the latest novel from Katherine Reay. November will be here before we know it, though. I’m sure it will be worth the wait … Lizzy & Jane is one of my all-time favorites.
Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion by Jody Hedlund
She was a nun of noble birth. He, a heretic, a reformer…an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.
In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther.
His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself.
Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different.
But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love.
Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.
Very intriguing. Jody Hedlund writes such captivating historical fiction. This one is sure to be a page turner, too.
Harper’s Wish (A Findlay Roads Story) by Cerella Sechrist
A recipe for disaster…or redemption?
A few weeks ago, Harper Worth wouldn’t even have eaten at the Rusty Anchor, let alone worked there. But now she’s in no position to be choosy. Fired from her lofty post as Washington, DC’s, toughest restaurant critic, she’s…desperate. Desperate to build a new life for herself in Findlay Roads. And desperate to prove to brooding Connor Callahan, owner, chef and overwhelmed single dad, that she can be a real asset to the Rusty Anchor. Maybe even to him. If he’ll just give her a chance. But he may never forgive her for the scathing review that cost him his DC dream. Or the plans she’s hatching for his current restaurant…
Harlequin Heartwarming isn’t inspirational but it is clean, wholesome romance. If you haven’t read this line before, I recommend it. This is a new-to-me author and I’m wooed by the restaurant setting.
The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck
For sixty years, a wedding chapel sat silent, waiting for love. But times have changed and the hour has come when it just might be too late.
Retired hall-of-fame football coach Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook never imagined anything would come of his labor of love—the wedding chapel he built for Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in ‘49. But now an offer has come to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be—a place for love—and Jimmy sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.
Photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. Leaving her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, she put a lot of things behind her, including her family’s abysmal marriage rate. But love surprises her when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester, a top ad man. Their whirlwind romance results in an elopement, and a mountain of doubt. Jack, while genuine in his love for Taylor, can never seem to overcome his own demons to find the words of his heart.
When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown, but into a world of family secrets buried beneath the sands of time.
When Taylor’s journey intersects with Coach’s, they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and that the love they long to hold is right in front of them. And worth every waiting moment.
The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall
From the bestselling and award-winning author of Whistling Past the Graveyardcomes an adventure tale about two daredevils and a farm boy who embark on the journey of a lifetime across America’s heartland in the Roaring Twenties.
Set in the rapidly changing world of 1920s America, this is a story of three people from very different backgrounds: Henry “Schuler” Jefferson, son of German immigrants from Midwestern farm country; Cora Rose Haviland, a young woman of privilege whose family has lost their fortune; and Charles “Gil” Gilchrist, an emotionally damaged WWI veteran pilot. Set adrift by life-altering circumstances, they find themselves bound together by need and torn apart by blind obsessions and conflicting goals. Each one holds a secret that, if exposed, would destroy their friendship. But their journey of adventure and self-discovery has a price—and one of them won’t be able to survive it…
Susan Crandall is also a new-to-me author. My father-in-law loaned me his copy of Whistling Past the Graveyard, which I haven’t taken the time to read yet. I started The Flying Circus this week and it’s phenomenal so far.
Your turn: Please leave a comment below stating the name of one book you’re looking forward to reading between now and Christmas. It doesn’t have to be from this list. One randomly selected winner will receive an eBook copy of Denise Hunter’s Falling Like Snowflakes. Giveaway closes at 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, September 11th.
Happy reading, friends!
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