July “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 July, I’ve set a modest goal of 16 books. Without further ado, my TBR is:

 

 

When war erupted, she traded a life of privilege for a life of significance.

Tending the Union army’s sick and wounded meant leaving the man Charlotte Waverly’s mother approved of, Phineas Hastings.  Charlotte chose a life of service over privilege—just as her childhood friend Caleb Lansing had when he became a military doctor.  By working in the army hospitals, Charlotte discovers she’s combating more than just the rebellion.  Would the two men who love her be able to stand by and watch as she fights her own battles at home, in the hospitals, and on the battlefield?  Or would their desire for her wage war on her desire to serve God?

 

She fought to get her place—she fought even harder to keep it.

Though Wedded to War is a work of fiction, the story is inspired by one Civil War nurse, Georgeanna Woolsey, whose letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering women nurses endured.  This is the first novel in the series Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War, offering an inside look at women’s contributions during times of war.

 

 

Take a trip back in time to beautiful Bridal Veil Island.

When Audrey Cunningham moved with her father to his ancestral home on Bridal Veil Island, Georgia, she hoped the beauty and remoteness of the place would keep him sober and close to God.  But now wealthy investors are buying up land to build a grand resort on the secluded island—and they want the Cunningham’s property.

Contractor Marshall Graham can’t imagine why Boyd Cunningham would ask him to look after Audrey.  Marshall has no desire to be saddled with caring for the fiery young woman who seems to think the worst of him.  But when someone appears to be sabotaging the construction work at the resort and Audrey’s life is endangered, Marshall realizes she holds more of his heart than he thought and he’ll do anything to keep her safe.

Amid a time of growth and change for Bridal Veil, can Marshall and Audrey find a foundation on which to build a love to last forever?

 

 

Can she solve the crime before they uncover HER TRUE IDENTITY?

Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it’s the perfect chance to put her acting skills and costumes to use.  Reluctantly, the agency agrees to give her one assignment, one chance to prove herself.  Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie travels to Arizona to begin her investigation.  When the need arises, she also transforms into the dazzling Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

Mine owner Steven Pierce is going to lose his business if he can’t figure out who’s stealing his silver shipments.  In his wildest dreams, he never expected to receive help from a gray-haired widow . . . or to fall in love with her beautiful niece.

Then the thieves come after Lavinia and Jessie, Ellie isn’t safe no matter which character she plays!  Should she give up and reveal her true identity?  What will Steven do when he realizes the woman he’s falling in love with doesn’t really exist?

Set in 1880s Arizona, Love in Disguise blends romance, humor, and mystery for a can’t-put-down read.

 

 

Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself.  Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself without an income.

Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed.  When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiancée causing the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can’t make her fashionable.  She’ll never truly fit into Oliver’s world, with its fancy dinners and elegant balls, but just as she’s ready to call off the fake relationship a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.

 

 

As owner of the 57th Illinois Watch Company, Mollie Knox’s future looks bright until the night the legendary Great Chicago Fire destroys her beloved city.  With her world crumbling around her, Mollie will do whatever it takes to rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Zack Karmarek, an influential attorney for one of Chicago’s finest department stores, is a force to be reckoned with among the city’s most powerful citizens.  Bold and shrewd, he’s accustomed to getting exactly what he wants—until he meets Mollie Knox, the beguiling businesswoman just beyond his reach.

As the people of Chicago race to rebuild, Mollie comes face-to-face with the full force of Zack’s influence.  Zack believes this may be his chance to win her, but can Mollie ever accept this man and his whirlwind effect on her life, especially with her treasured company on the line?

 

 

Everything is lost at the hands of the Confederate army as war rips through Gettysburg.

The farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is confiscated by the enemy and converted into a Confederate field hospital, bringing Liberty face-to-face with unspeakable suffering.  While Liberty’s future crumbles, the past comes rushing back to Bella, Liberty’s hired help and a former slave.  Bella finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers—and one reporter learns her secret.

In the wake of shattered homes and broken bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the fragments the battle has left behind.  Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life?  Or will she be able to trust God and the Confederate soldier who may not be who he seems?

 

Widow of Gettysburg is a work of fiction inspired by first-person accounts from women whose letters and journals offer a peek into the lives of women living in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath.  This is the second book in the series Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War, offering an inside look at women’s contributions during times of war.

 

 

Escape to a Beautiful, Historic Island Resort.

Melinda Colson has been waiting months for Evan, the assistant gamekeeper at the Bridal Veil Island resort, to propose.  Without an offer of marriage, she must return to Cleveland with the family she works for as a lady’s maid.

Evan isn’t afraid of hard work, and he hopes to be promoted soon.  He wants to marry Melinda—but not until he’s sure he can support her and a family.

Letters strengthen their romance until a devastating storm strikes the island.  With no word from Evan, Melinda knows she must journey back to Bridal Veil in search of her beloved.

But the hurricane isn’t the last calamity to shake up Bridal Veil.  Melinda finds a new job on the island, but still no offer of marriage comes her way.  Has she given her heart to the wrong person?  Will she ever find a man to love and cherish?

 

 

Fired from her most recent governess position, Melanie Ross must embrace her last resort: the Arizona mercantile she inherited from her cousin.  But Caleb Nelson is positive he inherited the mercantile and he’s not about to let an obstinate woman with newfangled ideas ruin all he’s worked for.  In hope of turning her interest elsewhere, he determines to get Melanie married off, and luckily, there are many single men in town quite willing to take her off his hands.

The problem is, Caleb soon realizes he doesn’t want her to marry any of them.  He’s drawn to her more every day, and he has to admit some of her ideas for the store offer unexpectedly positive results.

But someone doesn’t want the mercantile to succeed, and threatening words have escalated into destruction and danger.  Will Melanie and Caleb’s business—and budding romance—survive the trouble that’s about to come their way?

 

 

After growing up as an orphan, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen.  Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm aren’t always well-received and she finds herself dismissed from yet another position.

Everett Mulberry has quite unexpectedly become guardian to three children that scare off every nanny he hires.  About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he’s desperate for competent childcare.

At wit’s end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance—with each other.  As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges, Everett focuses on achieving the coveted societal status of the upper echelons.  But as he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the children’s parents, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?

 

 

In the shadow of the nation’s capital, Kate Livingston’s respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she’d hoped never to see again.  A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now.

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor’s risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis.  As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor’s past, his hidden depths fascinate her.  However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait, and Trevor’s closely guarded secrets are darker than she suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate finds themselves in a painfully impossible situation.  With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.

 

 

She hid from her past to find a future—and landed on enemy soil.

When Caitlin McKae woke up in Atlanta, the Georgian doctor believed Caitlin’s only secret was that she had been fighting for the South disguised as a man.  In order to avoid arrest or worse, Caitlin hides her true identity and makes a new life for herself in Atlanta as a governess for the daughter of Noah Becker—on the brink of his enlistment with the Rebel army.  Though starvation ruled and Sherman raged, could she keep her vow not to run again?

 

Yankee in Atlanta is a work of fiction inspired by first-person accounts written by those living in the heart of the Confederacy and by the soldiers who sought to defend it.  This is the third book in the Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War, offering an inside look at women’s contributions during times of war.

 

 

Come home to magnificent Bridal Veil Island resort.

Callie Deboyer arrives at Bridal Veil Island to spend the winter working as a governess for the Bridgeport family.  However, she finds she can’t fully enjoy the beautiful resort because questions about her future weigh heavily on her mind: Should she continue in this job she enjoys, or is God calling her to join her parents in their missionary work?

When she enrolls young Thomas Bridgeport in golf lessons, Callie meets instructor Wesley Townsend, who urges Callie to take lessons, as well.  During their time together, Callie comes to care for Wes—until she discovers that he’s been hiding something very important from her.

Then expensive pieces go missing from various homes around the island, and suspicion is aimed in Callie’s direction.  Callie wonders if this is a sign she should leave it all behind and join her parents in Africa.  Considering Wesley’s deceit will he ever be a man Callie can honor and trust for the rest of her life?

 

 

SOMETIMES THE TRUTH CAN BE DANGEROUS . . .

When Amelia Wagner takes over her father’s newspaper in 1893 Granite Springs, Arizona, she vows to carry on the paper’s commitment to reporting only the truth.  But Amelia soon learns that even the truth can have serious consequences.  Her father’s revealing articles about the Great Western Investment Company have caught the attention of the wrong people, and pressure mounts for Amelia to retract her father’s statements.

Determined to find out the real story, Amelia begins her own investigation.  She’s joined by Benjamin Stone, a Great Western employee who’s been assigned to keep tabs on her for the good of the company, a man Amelia finds both perplexing and intriguing.

What they uncover stuns them both—and has far-reaching implications for not only Ben and Amelia but all of Granite Springs.  Can they reveal the truth before the enemy finds a way to silence them for good?

 

 

Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but must abandon her starring role when a fan’s interest turns threatening.  Lucetta’s widowed friend, Abigail Hart, seizes the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta’s life and promptly whisks her away to safety at her eligible grandson’s estate.

At first glance, Bram Haverstein appears to be a gentleman of means—albeit an eccentric one—but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there’s much more to him than society knows.

While Lucetta has no interest in Abigail’s matchmaking machinations, she can’t ignore the strange things going on in Bram’s house and the secrets he hides.  As the hijinks and hilarity that Bram, Lucetta, and their friends are swept into take a more dangerous turn, can they accept who they are behind the parts they play in time to save the day?

 

 

Anna O’Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across the baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea.  Thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.

Luke Callahan was one of the nation’s most powerful congressmen before his promising career was shadowed in scandal.  Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship.

From the gilded halls of the Capitol to the scholarly archives of the nation’s finest library.  Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined.  Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for their futures?

 

 

When living a lie is the right thing to do.

The Confederate capital in the heights of the Civil War: no place for a Union loyalist.  But just the place for a spy.  Her father a slaveholder, her suitor a Confederate officer, and herself an abolitionist, Sophie Kent must walk a tightrope of deception in her efforts to end slavery.  As suspicion in Richmond rises, Sophie’s espionage becomes more and more dangerous.  If her courage will carry her through, what will be lost along the way—her true love, her father, her life?

 

Spy of Richmond is a work of fiction inspired by first-person accounts of Union loyalists and Confederates living in Richmond during the Civil War.  This is the fourth and final book in the series Heroines Behind the Lines: Civil War, which offers an inside look at women’s contributions during times of war.

 

 

What’s in your July TBR Pile?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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