June “To Be Read” Pile . . .


Hello Bookworms! It’s that time to post a new batch of books of the extensive To Be Read Pile. For the month of June, I’ve set a lofty goal of 28 books. Without further ado, my TBR is:



EDYTHE AMSEL IS DELIGHTED with her first teaching assignment: a one-room schoolhouse in Walnut Hill, Nebraska.  Independent, headstrong, and a firm believer in a well-rounded education, Edythe is ready to open the world to the students in this tiny community.  But is Walnut Hill ready for her?

Having raised his nephews since their parents’ untimely deaths, Joel Townsend is thrilled to learn the town council has hired a female teacher.  His sons could use a woman’s influence.  But he sure didn’t bargain on a woman like Miss Amsel.  Within the first week, she has the entire town up in arms over her outlandish teaching methods.  Of course, Joel can’t help but notice that she’s also mighty pretty—and just might make a good mother for his boys.

When Edythe decides to take her pupils to hear Miss Susan Anthony speak on the women’s suffrage amendment, the town’s outcry reaches new heights.  Even Joel isn’t sure he can support her newfangled ideas any longer.  And if he can’t trust her to teach the boys, how can he trust her with his heart?



With the lies of the past behind her, Addie finds love . . . and discovers her true Father.

Addie Sullivan leads a quiet life in a northern California lighthouse.  She mourns the death of her father and endures her mother’s bitterness, until the night a storm brings an injured stranger and a dark secret to her home.  The man insists she is not who she thinks she is, but rather “Julia Eaton”the child long lost and feared dead by her wealthy family.  Seizing the chance to be reunited with the Eatons, Addie leaves her lighthouse home but decides to keep her true identity a secret until they can unravel the mystery.

Addie loves the Eatons’ palatial home tucked away among the California redwood forests.  She feels secure with the jovial family, adores the young boy who is her charge as governess, and finds romance with his father John, a young widower.  But sinister shadows overtake Addie’s joy.  As dusty rooms and secret compartments give up their clues about her past, Addie finds a faith and a love she could never have guessed.  To embrace this new world of promise is to risk her life; but to run away is to risk losing the greatest love she’s ever known.



Sun, summer, and a scrumptious sailing instructor.  What more could a girl want?

When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will spend the summer of 1895 at Lake Manawa, Iowa, she couldn’t be more thrilled.  It’s the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon.  It’s also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews.

But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father’s secrets threaten to ruin the family forever.  Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father’s name and fortune?  Or will she follow her hearteven if it means hurting the family she loves?

Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves will whisk you away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday.




When her mother dies, Elizabeth Benjamin heads home to Key West, determined to transform herself into the perfect Southern belle her parents always wished her to be.  But nothing goes according to plan.  Her brother resents her, the servants do not obey her, and Rourke O’Malley, the dashing man she vowed to forget, refuses to relinquish his hold on her heart.  Worst of all, it becomes painfully obvious that her father is not the man he appears to be.

As family secrets come to light, Elizabeth is faced with a difficult choice: to perform her duty and abandon her dreams, or to leave her life of privilege behind to chase the man her father sees as little better than a pirate.

From the first emotional page, author Christine Johnson throws you into a world of impossible choices, hidden desires, and heart-melting romance in the steamy South.



She’s come to the New World to escape a perilous past.

But has it followed her to these far shores?

It is 1704 when Frenchwoman Geneviève Gaillain and her sister board the frigate Pélican bound for the distant Louisiana colony.  Both have promised to marry one of the rough men toiling in this strange new world in order to escape suffering in the old.  Geneviève knows life won’t be easy, but at least here she can establish a home and family without fear of persecution for her outlawed religious beliefs.

When she falls in love with Tristan Lanier, an expatriate cartographer-turned-farmer whose checkered past is shrouded in mystery, Geneviève realizes that even in this land of liberty one is not guaranteed peace.  Trouble is brewing outside the fort between the French colonists and the native people surrounding them.  And an even more sinister enemy may lurk within.  Could the secret Geneviève harbors mean the undoing of the colony itself?

Gulf Coast native Beth White brings vividly to life the hot, sultry South in this luscious, layered tale.



It was a gilded age for Americaand a golden age for love.

Having grown up on the mean streets of nineteenth-century London, Caroline St. James is used to fighting to survive.

So when her beloved motherabandoned and ignored by her wealthy familysuddenly dies, the scrappy twenty-two-year-old devises a plan to right this terrible wrong.  With nothing to lose, she sails to New York to find the man who turned a cold shoulder to her mother’s suffering: Caroline’s grandfather.

To settle the family score, Caroline infiltrates her grandfather’s privileged world, hoping to sabotage his business from the inside.  But as she sets her plot in motion, she meets Jackson Montgomery, a virtuous man who is struggling to recover from a family scandal of his own.

As their friendship grows, and Caroline begins to piece together the motives that led her family to turn its back, she is forced to make a decision: Should she risk everything in the name of justice?  Or can she look toward the future and let love and forgiveness guide her instead?



IT TAKES A CRIMINAL TO CATCH ONE, AND NICHOLAS BRENTWOOD IS just the man for the job.  Reformed in more ways than one, the rough-around-the-edges Brentwood is a member of the Bow Street Runners, London’s early nineteenth-century fledging police force.  There’s none better than Brentwood at catching the felons who ravage the city’s streets, and there’s nothing he loves more than seeing justice served.

Beautiful and beguiling, Miss Emily Payne is not the sort of miscreant Brentwood usually hunts down.  When he is assigned as her bodyguard, he vows to protect her from her father’s enemies, who will stop at nothing to carry out their mission fueled by greed and revenge.

All her life, Emily has longed for love, but it remains beyond her grasp.  This season she’s determined to find a husband, which is quite the undertaking with a hound-dog guardian like Brentwood watching her every step.  If he would just give her some measure of freedom, she is sure she could win the heart of society’s most eligible bachelor.

Emily’s headstrong persistence challenges Nicholas in ways he doesn’t expect, but of one thing he’s certainof all the cunning criminals he’s dealt with in the past, this time he’s met his match.



In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public lifebut behind closed doors treason and deception thrive.  Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility and bloody barbarity.  After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to healand to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey.  Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distanceuntil the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian.  As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman.  And when Julia realizes that Englandand the man she is falling in love withneed her help, she finds herself caught in the fray.  Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?




Any ship arriving from England means good news for Virginia colony farmers.  The “tobacco brides” would be on board—eligible women seeking a better life in America, bartered for with barrels of tobacco from the fields.

Drew O’Connor isn’t stirred by news of a ship full of brides.  Still broken-hearted from the loss of his beloved, he only wants a maid to tend his house and care for his young sister.

What he ends up with is a wife—a feisty redhead who claims she is Lady Constance Morrow, daughter of an Earl, brought to America against her will.  And she wants to go straight back to England as soon as she can.  She hasn’t the foggiest notion how to cook, dares to argue with her poor husband, and spends more time working on mathematical equations than housework.  What kind of a wife is that?  Drew’s Christian forbearance is in for some testing.

Headstrong and intelligent, deeply moral but incredibly enticing, Constance turns what was supposed to be a marriage of convenience into something most inconvenient, indeed.



Ostracized by her tribe because of her white father, Lizzie Dawson lives alone in the mountains of Alaska, practicing the ways of her people even as she resides in the small cabin her father built for her mother.  She dreams of reconciling with her grandparents to fulfill her mother’s dying request, but she has not yet found a way to bridge the gap that separate her from her tribe.

Clay Selby has always wanted to be like his father, a missionary who holds a great love for the native people and has brought many to God.  Clay and his stepsister, Vivian, arrive in Alaska to set up a church and school among the Athbascan people.  Clay is totally focused on this goal . . . until he meets a young, independent Indian woman with the most striking blue eyes he’s ever seen.

But Lizzie is clearly not part of the tribe, and befriending her might have dire consequences for his mission.  Will Clay be forced to choose between his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart?



When Katie answers the call of duty, she awakens the call of her heart.

Katie Russell loves working as a telephone operator in Mercy Falls, California.  But since childhood she has been expected to marry well.  Her family presses for an engagement to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster and though he doesn’t stir her heart, their engagement promises a secure financial future.

Working the phone lines one evening, Katie overhears a chilling exchange between her friend Eliza and a familiar male voice.  Katie soon learns that Eliza has disappeared, and the crime may be linked to another investigation by handsome new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson.  Katie and Will soon form an alliance.  An alliance that slowly blossoms into something more.

Despite the danger surrounding her, Katie is powerfully drawn to Will.  But she is not at liberty to marry for love.  And though society forbids their growing affection, Katie can’t help but notice Will’s sense of peace.  It’s a peace that rests on his trust in Goda trust that Katie has never had to depend on, with her future so clearly mapped out before her.

But the more Katie uncovers of the mystery, the more she discovers about herself, her past, and the brilliant future that could be hers if only she has the courage to trust in God and follow where her heart so fearlessly leads.



She wants to change the world.

He wants to change her mind.

It’s the beginning of a new century at Lake Manawa resort in Iowa, but some things never change.  When Emily Graham’s meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the resort guests, the spunky suffragist is determined to politely decline each and every suitor.  She has neither the time nor the need for a man in her busy life.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls baseball team, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer before he is forced into the straitlaced business world of his father.

When their worlds collide, neither Emily nor Carter could have guessed what would come next.  Will Carter strike out?  Or will Emily cast her vote for a love that might cost her dreams?

The perfect summer novel, A Great Catch will enchant you with its breezy setting and endearing characters.




Two years ago, Prosperity Jones waved farewell to her beloved David as the army sent him to faraway Key West.  Now with her parents gone, she has but one prospect for the future: make the dangerous journey from Nantucket to Key West to reunite with David and secure a happier life.

But when Prosperity arrives penniless in the South, she is dismayed to find David has not been eagerly awaiting their reunion.  In fact, he is married to someone else.  Scrambling to survive and nursing a broken heart, Prosperity gains the friendshipand the affectionof a kind doctor.  Could he be the answer to her loneliness?  Or will her life be upended by circumstance yet again?

With a deft hand, Christine Johnson fills the senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of Key West in this heartwarming story of honor lost, honor redeemed, and a love forged in adversity.



Torn between loyalties to family and flag, one young woman is about to discover that her most important allegiance is to her heart.

It is 1776, and all along the eastern seaboard the American struggle for independence rages.  But in the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is much quieterthough no less deadly.

Lyse Lanier may be largely French in heritage, but she spends most of her time in the company of the ebullient daughter of the British commander of Mobile.  When a charming young Spanish merchant docks in town, Lyse is immediately struck by his easy wit and flair for the dramatic.  But is he truly who he makes himself out to be?  Spies abound, and Spain has yet to choose a side in the American conflict.  Is Lyse simply an easy mark for Rafael Gonzalez to exploit?  Or are his overtures of love as genuine as Spanish gold?

With spectacular detail that brings the cultural gumbo of the Colonial Gulf Coast alive, Beth White invites you to step into a world of intrigue and espionage from a little-known slice of the American Revolutionary War.



It was a gilded age for Americaand a golden age for love.

Never was there a more charmed debutante than the impeccable Elizabeth St. James.  Her sterling reputation makes her a favored guest in the most exclusive homes in New York City.  But behind the gilded curtain of turn-of-the-century society, Elizabeth despises being her mother’s perfect “specimen” and refuses to forgive the woman for her treacherous family betrayal.  Now, with only two months before Elizabeth sets sail for London to marry a British lord, she resolves to live a lifetime of adventureincluding kissing a man under the moon and stars.  And Elizabeth has the perfect candidate in mind: Luke.

Lucian Griffin, the brother of Elizabeth’s dearest friend, intends to protect Elizabeth from letting her adventures forever sully her reputation.  He knows too well the regrets that come from taking unnecessary risks.  Soon his earnest fondness for the sweet debutante gives way to deep affection.  But if either is to have a chance at true love and happiness, they must have the courage to let go of the pastand the grace to embrace forgiveness.



Threats from abroad mean nothing when there’s danger at home.

Officer Alexander Moore goes undercover as a gentleman gambler to expose a high-stakes plot against the British crown in 1808and he’s a master of disguise, for Johanna Langley believes him to be quite the rogue . . . until she can no longer fight against his unrelenting charm.

All Johanna wants is to keep the family inn afloat, but when the rent and the hearth payment are due at the same time, where will she find the extra funds?  If she doesn’t come up with the money, there will be nowhere to go other than the workhousewhere she’ll be separated from her ailing mother and ten-year-old brother.

Alex desperately wants to help Johanna, especially when she confides in him, but his missionfinding and bringing to justice a traitor to the crownmust come first, or they could all end up dead.

It’s a race against time for them both.



In Regency England, appearances can be deceiving.

Leorah Langdon has no patience for Regency society’s shallow hypocrisy and unnecessary rules, especially for women.  She’s determined to defy convention by marrying for grand passion instead of settling for a loveless union like her parentsor wedding a stuffy, pompous gentleman like Edward, the Viscount Withinghall.  But when a chance meeting in the countryside leads to Leorah and Withinghall being discovered in his overturned carriagealone and after darkthe ensuing gossip may force them together.

Withinghall has his reasons for clinging to propriety; his father perished in a duel with his mistress’s husband, and Edward must avoid scandal himself if he wants to become prime minister.  He certainly has no time for a reckless hoyden like Miss Langdon.  But soon the two discover that Withinghall’s coach accident was no such thing: the vehicle was sabotaged.

Can the culprit be brought to justice?  Strong-willed Leorah and duty-driven Withinghall will have to work together if they have any hope of saving her reputation, his political careerand his life.




SPEAK POLITELY.  Even when you’re the only respectable woman around, protesting San Francisco’s decadent surrender to gold fever.

DRESS MODESTLY.  Wear your sunbonnet at all times.  Ensure nobody sees your men’s boots muddied by the city streets.

REMAIN DEVOTED TO FAMILY.  Protect your siblings from the temptations that surround them, even against their wishes.

STAND ABOVE REPROACH.  Most difficult when a captivating man turns out to be a saloon owner.

RISE ABOVE TEMPTATION.  No accepting gifts.  No bestowing favors.  No impeachable behavior . . . well, maybe just one . . . little . . . kiss?




Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family.  So when her stepfather is injured and can’t work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas.  Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent—though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined.  With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job.

Thad McKane comes to Goldtree to investigate reports of a bootlegging operation.  Once he earns enough money from the sheriff work, he plans to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.

Thad is immediately drawn to the lovely young singer who performs in Asa Baxter’s unusual opera house.  But when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he wonders if she’s far less innocent than she seems.  And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes Thad has come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?



At the elegant Mercy Falls masquerade ball, Olivia’s hidden identity will be revealed.

It is the dawn of a new century and Olivia Stewart is heiress to an empire.  Her family numbers among the Four Hundredthose considered the wealthiest and most distinguished in America.  Unfortunately their wealth has nearly disappeared, and now their security rests upon the Stewart daughters’ marrying well.

Olivia’s sister, Eleanor, was engaged to Harrison Bennett, one of the nation’s wealthiest men, but has since died.  Now the pressure is on Olivia to take her place, despite her suspicions about Eleanor’s fiancé.  Using her family’s long-forgotten English title, Olivia travels to Mercy Falls, California, as Lady Devonworth, hoping to learn more before committing to marriage.  There she finds that Eleanor’s death was no accident.  And Harrison is not the man she thought he would be.

When Mercy Falls holds a charity ball masquerade to raise funds for the new lighthouse, secretsand truths long hiddenwill be revealed.  But can Harrison really love Olivia when he finds her true identity?  Can she live with the repercussions of failing her family, or will she finally realize that nothingnot money, family, or romancewill ever compare to God’s unconditional love?



She’s planted firmly on solid ground.

He’s ready to sweep her off her feet.

The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six-year-old.  Widowed for three years, Lilly has decided to leave the home of her intrusive in-laws to stand on her own.  However, her in-laws find her new life as a cook at Lake Manawa utterly unsuitable for their grandson.  When an argument ensues, a handsome strangerwho designs roller coasters, of all thingsintercedes on her behalf.  But Lilly is not about to get involved with any man, especially this cocky gentleman.  Little does she know she is about to begin the ride of her life.

Filled with the sweet romance of summer, The Ride of Her Life will have you laughing out loud and sighing contentedly as you spend the summer of 1906 at Lake Manawa.




When Englishwoman Catherine Haynes loses both her father and her home in 1856, she decides to cross the Atlantic to find her American mother’s family in Louisiana.  She enlists the help of Tom Worthington, a dashing Key West man who makes his living salvaging wrecked ships.

When Catherine arrives at the plantation, she finds that her family has left it in the care of a managerwho’s let it fall into disrepair.  Torn between returning to Key West with Tom and beginning the hard work of restoring the plantation, Catherine soon finds herself snared in a plot to steal her inheritance.  When an incredible secret comes to light, both she and Tom will face a choice: grip their dreams ever tighter or step forward in faitheven if it costs them everything.



As the War of 1812 rages across the newly formed United States, another war rages in Fiona Lanier’s heartone that threatens to tear her family apart.

Fiona can scarcely take in the news of her brother’s capture and imprisonment by the British Navy.  It is almost as unbelievable as the half-drowned British sailor who is washed ashore on the beach of Navy Cove.

Charlie Kincaid claims to have no memory of his life before being discovered by Fiona, but in a world that seems saturated with treachery, she cannot be sure he is telling the truth.

As Charlie’s memory returns in agonizing jags and crashes, he and Fiona discover that falling in love may be as inevitable as the tide.  But when political allegiances collide, they’ll have to decide where their true loyalties life.



She’s an heiress masquerading as a maidand he’s the man who could reveal her secret . . .

Boston society darling Gigi Wentworth leaves behind everything she holds dear for the sake of loveonly to learn that the man with whom she’d planned to elope is nothing but a thieving scoundrel.  Abandoned in New York City and saddled with debt, Gigi must sell a prized family heirloom, but even that sacrifice isn’t enough to get her home.  Her determination drives her to take on work as a lady’s maid, keeping her identity a secret . . . until she’s discovered by a former friend with a hidden agenda.

Although dealing with his own serious family issue, Christopher “Fitz” Fitzpatrick sets out to return the missing heiress to her rightful place in society.  But the more he interacts with this new Gigi, the more shocked he is to find her so changed.  Gone is the frivolous beauty in expensive gowns.  In her place is a woman he could grow to love.  When secrets are revealed, will Gigi and Fitz find the trust they need to confront the past and open their hearts?



A Cross-Country Trip through Regency England Brings Intrigue, Rogues, and High Adventure.

Life couldn’t be better for Abigail Gilbertbut it’s been a long time in coming.  Having lived with a family who hated her, it’s finally her time for love.  Abby sets off on a journey across England to marry one of the most prestigious gentlemen in the landuntil highwayman upset her plans and threaten her life.

Horse patrol captain Samuel Thatcher arrives just in time to save Abby.  But she’s simply another victim in a job he’s come to despise.  Tired of the dark side of humanity, he intends to buy land and retire.

Abby pleads with him to escort her for the rest of her journey.  He refusesuntil she offers him something he desperately needs to achieve his goal . . . money.  Delivering her safely will give him more than enough to buy property.

So begins an impossible trek for the cynical lawman and the proper lady.  Each will be indelibly changed by the time they reach her betrothed, if they don’t kill one another firstor fall in love.



To save the monarchy from a devious plot, she’s risking more than her heart.

Just as merchant’s daughter Felicity Mayson is spurned once again because of her meager dowry, she receives an unexpected invitation to Lady Blackstone’s country home.  Being introduced to the wealthy Oliver Ratley is an admitted delight, as is his rather heedless yet inviting proposal of marriage.  Only when another of Lady Blackstone’s handsome guests catches Felicity’s attention does she realize that nothing is what it seems at Doverton Hall.

Government agent Philip McDowell is infiltrating a group of cutthroat revolutionaries led by none other than Lady Blackstone and Ratley.  Their devious plot is to overthrow the monarchy, and their unwitting pawn is Felicity.  Now Philip needs Felicity’s help in discovering the rebel’s secretsby asking her to maintain cover as Ratley’s innocent bride-to-be.

Philip is duty bound.  Felicity is game.  Together they’re risking their livesand gambling their heartsto undo a traitorous conspiracy before their dangerous masquerade is exposed.




Some Just Needs to Tell the Bride.

In 1860s Seattle, redwoods were plentiful but women scarce.  Yet a man with a wife could secure 640 acres of timberland for free.

Joe Denton doesn’t have a wife, though.  His died before she could follow him to Seattle, and now the local judge is threatening to take away his claim.  In desperation, he buys himself a Mercer bride—one of the eastern widows and orphans brought to the Territory by entrepreneur Asa Mercer.

Anna Ivey’s journey west with Mercer is an escape from the aftermath of the Civil War.  She signed on to become a cook—not a bride.  When she’s handed over to Denton, her stubborn refusal to wed jeopardizes his land.  With only a few months before he loses all he holds dear, can he convince this provoking, but beguiling, easterner to become his lawfully wedded wife?







Hoping to escape the poor conditions of 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines and her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher and their two children set off for Kansas aboard an unusual wagon train.  But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into a partnership with Joss that leaves them both questioning God and their plans for the future.

As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will they give up and go their separate ways?  Or will God use their time in Drayton Valley in a way they never expected?


What’s in your June TBR Pile?

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