Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

I enjoyed reading Together Forever, the second book in the Hedlund’s Orphan Train series. Created around the historical orphan trains that took children who were orphans from the streets of New York City, this story shows how they were relocated with families living in the rural Midwest. Through the strong character of Marianne, and her kind yet mysterious coworker Andrew, we follow a group of children from the city to new homes.

Written with grace, depth and meticulous historical accuracy, Jody Hedlund creates a poignant retelling of a truly complex historical happening in the United States. While some children found loving families to care for them, Hedlund shows how these good intentioned orphan trains sometimes created more heartache for the children they were meant to help. Through strong characters, authentic details, complex emotions and unexpected plot twists, Hedlund creates an unforgettable story about the orphan trains and their far reaching consequences. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Together Forever by Jody Hedlund for my candid review.

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The Heart’s Appeal by Jennifer Delamere

In the second book of her London Beginnings series, Jennifer Delamere creates a powerful story of perseverance, tenacity and hope. Julia longs to become as doctor but few women practice medicine in London during the last nineteenth century and even fewer are socially accepted for doing so. Michael Stephenson, an upcoming barrister wants to be recognized in leading legal and social circles. When a tragic accident throws Julia into Michael’s life, both find themselves surprised at the opportunities and complications they face.

With strong characters set into an authentic historical situation, author Jennifer Delamere shares a well written and engaging story about women seeking to help others by practicing medicine while fighting again the social restrictions that hampered them from freely doing so. Full of tension and intrigue, The Heart’s Appeal introduces readers to the struggle of early female medical practitioners. Through Julia and her colleagues, Delamere adeptly shows how a few courageous women pioneered paths to help other women have easier access to professional help and training. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of The Heart’s Appeal by Jennifer Delamere for my candid review.

The Orient Express: Timeless Victorian Collection

The Orient Express from the Timeless Victorian Collection is a new twist on the intrigue and luxury travel with which people associate the real Orient Express. Authors Elizabeth Johns, Annette Lyon and Nancy Campbell Allen introduce us to Kate, Grace and Emily, three young ladies on traveling on the Orient Express. Finding themselves traveling alone for various reasons, they all encounter unexpected friendship and intrigue as they travel the famed international route.

These award winning authors create well written stories with resilient characters that entertain, amuse, and charm. Great characters, unexpected plots and plenty of scheming along the way, The Orient Express is entertaining reading. I received a complimentary copy of A Grand Tour for my candid review.

Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren

I enjoyed reading Keturah, the first book in the new series The Sugar Baron’s Daughters. Set in the Caribbean among the plantations of the sugar barons, Bergren introduces us to Keturah, Verity and Selah who are determined to make their late father’s sugar plantation profitable again. Alone and unfamiliar with the world of slavery and the West Indies, the sisters do not find a ready welcome. Forced to rethink their privileged upbringing, they find themselves doing and thinking differently.

Full of intrigue and intense emotion, Keturah is fast moving with strong characters. I loved the character of Keturah. She was so emotionally vulnerable and yet so fiercely loyal and attentive to her sisters and slaves under her care. Using an intricate plot full of danger, loss and pain, Bergren deftly introduces us to the culture of the West Indies during the sugar plantation era and shows us how slavery was a tragic practice for everyone involved.  Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren for my candid review.

A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White

A Song Unheard is a captivating story by Roseanna M. White. The second book in her new Shadows over England series, White takes us into the intrigue of Willa’s story. Willa, younger sister to Rosemary from A Name Unknown, finds herself working for the shadowy Mr. V. To do her job, Willa travels to Wales, and finds music like she had only dreamed about. Lukas De Wilde, violinist extraordinaire, and a refugee is intrigued with Willa and her musical gift.

Full of intrigue and intense emotion, A Song Unheard is fast moving with strong characters. I loved the character of Willa. She was so believable and yet so gifted, so emotionally scarred and yet so fiercely loyal and attentive to those she calls family. Using an intricate plot full of danger, loss, and pain, White deftly shows us how WWII affected different people so in so many tragic ways. But as Willa struggles to find herself, White shows us the strength and resilience that comes from hope and believing in God. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White for my candid review.