Hello, Bookworms! It’s that time to post a new batch of books from the “To Be Read” pile. I’ve been in a massive reading slump throughout 2020, so here’s to a new year! Winter is my favorite season, so I’m hoping it will inspire me to read more. I’m starting with the books pre-selected from my 2021 TBR list and added to it. I’ve set an ambitious reading goal this month to read 29 books for January. Without further ado, my TBR is:
When Miss Charlotte Wilson asks God for a husband, she decides he must want her to pursue Mr. Hamilton Beckett, the catch of the season. The only problem? She’s never actually met Hamilton. Fortunately, one of her oldest and dearest friends, Mr. Henry St. James—who has returned to New York after a two-year absence—does know Hamilton. Must to Henry’s chagrin, Charlotte immediately ropes him into helping her meet Hamilton. However, none of her plans to catch Hamilton’s eye go as she expected, and she is even more confused when her old feelings for Henry being to resurrect themselves. In the midst of the mayhem Charlotte always seems to cause, she wonders if the gentleman of her dreams might be an entirely different man than she thought.
1779—Winter Reeves is an aristocratic American Patriot forced to hide her heart amid the British Loyalists of the city of New York. She has learned to keep her ears open so she can pass information on British movements to Robbie Townsend, her childhood friend, and his spy ring. If she’s caught, she will be executed for espionage, but she prays the Lord’s protections will sustain her, and Robbie has taught her the tools of the trade—the wonders of invisible ink, secret drop locations and, most importantly, a good cover.
Bennet Lane returns to New York from his Yale professorship with one goal: to find General Washington’s spy hidden among the ranks of the city’s elite. Searching for a wife was supposed to be nothing more than a convenient cover story for his mission, but when he meets Winter, with her too-intelligent eyes in her too-blank face, he finds a mystery that can’t be ignored.
Both are determined to prevail at any cost . . . and each is committed to a separate cause. Will God lead them to a shared destiny or lives lived apart?
EVEN A PROPER VICAR’S DAUGHTER CAN MAKE A MISTAKE . . . and now Charlotte Lamb must pay a high price for her fall. To avoid the prying eyes of all who know her, she hides herself away in London’s forbidding “Milkweed Manor,” a place of mystery and lore, of old secrets and new birth.
But once there, she comes face-to-face with a suitor from her past—a man who now hides secrets of his own. Both are determined, with God’s help, to protect those they love. But neither can imagine the depth of sacrifice that will be required.
Sprinkled with fascinating details about the lives of women in Regency England, Lady of Milkweed Manor is a moving romantic drama about the redemption of past failings and the beauty of sacrificial love.
One woman searches for love—and herself—in a wild land.
LOVELY AND HIGH-SPIRITED, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father’s ties to the Shawnee Indians and her family’s past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded. As she faces the many trials of life on the frontier, Lael draws strength from the rugged land. But the arrival of a handsome doctor threatens her view of her world, her God, and herself. Can the power of grace and redemption break through in this tumultuous place?
This epic novel gives you a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman who would not be defeated.
No matter the sacrifice,
Elizabeth Whitbread would serve a wounded family.
No matter the danger,
John Costin was determined to speak God’s word.
Neither expected to fall in love.
As enemies threaten to silence Costin—and those close to him—will following their hearts cost John and Elizabeth everything?
Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.
Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.
When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting to her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one. Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she’s forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride. Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect. Both must learn to accept God’s sovereignty and relinquish control so they can grasp the future He has planned for them.
When Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain’s worlds collide after twelve years apart, the spark that was once between them immediately reignites into a romance neither of them thought possible.
But time has changed them both.
Daniel is an industrial titan with powerful enemies.
Clara is an idealistic journalist determined to defend underprivileged workers.
CAN THEY WITHSTAND THE COST OF THEIR CONVICTIONS WHILE THEIR HEARTS—AND LIVES—HANG IN THE BALANCE?
As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked. Besides, it suits her; she’s never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl—she’d rather work with her father’s horses and assist with the ice harvest. And though she’s been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors.
When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle’s carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn’t intimidated by them or by Merrill’s strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build . . . until Rurik’s former fiancée shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.
Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God—and each other—when scandal threatens their newfound love?
Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. After losing her family, her fiancé, and her faith, the disappearance of her fortune is the last straw. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she’s determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.
Much to Mr. Hamilton Beckett’s chagrin, all the eyes of New York society—all the female ones, at least—are on him. Unfortunately for all the matchmaking mothers and eligible daughters, he has no plans to marry again, especially with his hands full keeping his business afloat and raising his two children alone.
When Eliza’s hapless attempts to regain her fortune put her right in Hamilton’s path, sparks instantly begin to fly. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces, but with all their plans falling by the wayside and their enemies getting the better of them, it will take a riot of complications for Hamilton and Eliza to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.
This bonus romantic novella is set in the intervening years between Ring of Secrets and Whispers from the Shadows.
In 1789 General Isaac Fairchild travels across the Channel on a very special assignment. After surviving the American Revolution, he is now gathering information on life at King Louis XVI’s court. But he must also locate a countess and her grown daughter and escort them back to England before Revolution explodes in France. He knows the danger is in the task set before him, but when he meets the beautiful Julienne, a new peril beckons him deeper into the intrigue of Versailles.
Lilly Haswell remembers everything—whether she wants to, or not . . .
AS LILLY TOILS IN HER FATHER’S APOTHECARY SHOP, preparing herbs and remedies by rote, she is haunted by memories of her mother’s disappearance. Villagers whisper the tale, but her father refuses to discuss it. All the while, she dreams of the world beyond—of travel and adventure and romance.
When a relative offers to host her in London, Lilly discovers the pleasures and pitfalls of fashionable society and suitors, as well as clues about her mother. But will Lilly find what she is searching for—the truth of the past and a love for the future?
Blending romance, family drama, and fascinating historical detail, The Apothecary’s Daughter is a novel to savor and share.
CAUGHT BETWEEN THE WILDERNESS AND CIVILIZATION, MORROW LITTLE MUST FIND HER WAY TO TRUE LOVE.
MORROW LITTLE is haunted by the memory of the day her family was torn apart by raiding Shawnee warriors. Now that she is nearly a grown woman and her father is ailing, she must make difficult choices about the future. Several men—ranging from the undesired to the unthinkable—vie for her attentions, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to a forbidden love that both terrifies and intrigues her. Can she betray the memory of her lost love ones—and garner suspicion from her friends—by pursuing a life with him? Or should she seal her own misery by marrying a man she doesn’t love?
This sweeping tale of romance and forgiveness will envelop you as it takes you from a Kentucky fort through the vast wilderness of the West.
Pricilla White KNEW God wanted her to be a missionary, NOT A WIFE.
Then, the missionary board declares the ONLY WAY she can serve is to be MARRIED.
Now, married IN NAME ONLY, her epic journey west will test her spirit . . . and the new LONGINGS of her heart.
PATIENCE CREIGHTON HAS DEVOTED HER LIFE TO RUNNING HER FATHER’S BOARDING SCHOOL. BUT WHEN THE ENIGMATIC MASTER OF THE ESTATE APPEARS AT HER DOOR, BATTERED AND UNCONSCIOUS, THE YOUNG HEADMISTRESS SUDDENLY FINDS HER LIVELIHOOD—AND HER HEART—IN THE HANDS OF ONE DANGEROUSLY HANDSOME GENTLEMAN.
At twenty-five, Patience Creighton is already a spinster. The busy headmistress of Rosemere always expected a dashing man to sweep her off her feet and take her away . . . but that man never came. And since her father’s death, keeping the school running and her mother happy has been plenty to keep her occupied.
William Sterling dallied his way into financial trouble and mortal danger. When he is assaulted by his creditors’ henchmen on the road home from a tavern, he guides his horse to the doorstep of his tenant, the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. After being tended to by Patience, the wounded William rides off into the dawn—but makes a point to learn more about the lovely headmistress.
As he spends more time at Rosemere, something delicate beings to develop between William and Patience. But that will not deter William’s creditors. With little money to repay his debts, and less for the upkeep of his estate, it becomes clear that sacrificing Rosemere may be the only way to preserve his legacy. But it may also cost him his happiness.
In the small town of Colden, Massachusetts, Libby Sawyer leads a quiet, predictable life. Yet beneath the surface, she is haunted by a secret.
Newly arrived on American shores, Michael Dobrescu is far from predictable, and his arrival in Colden is anything but quiet. Michael’s shocking claim to be the rightful owner of Libby’s father’s house immediately alienates him from the appalled citizens of Colden.
Despite her own outrage, Libby is unwittingly fascinated by this enigmatic man who seems equally intrigued by her. As the court’s decision about the house looms, and the layers of mystery surrounding Michael’s past are unveiled, Libby’s loyalties are tested in ways she never imagined.
TORN BETWEEN FAMILY OBLIGATION AND THE STIRRINGS OF HER HEART, DARE SHE TRUST A MAN WHOSE INTENTIONS AND AFFECTIONS ARE SO UNCERTAIN?
Emmalyne Knox has always loved Tavin MacLachlan. But when tragedy strikes her family, Emmalyne’s father declares she can no longer marry. Despite Tavin’s pleas to defy the decision, Emmalyne refuses. In her act of obedience, she gives up the future she’d always dreamed of.
When Emmalyne’s father returns to the quarry business years later, Tavin and Emmalyne meet again. And though circumstances have changed in both of their lives, they cannot deny the feelings that still exist.
Can Emmalyne find a way to heal the decade-long wound that has fractured the two families . . . and change the hearts of those who stand in the way of true love?
Miss Arabella Beckett, defender of the downtrodden women of America, is returning from her travels in support of the women’s suffrage movement when she suddenly finds herself in a spot of trouble. Arabella, always loath to accept help, is particularly reluctant to receive assistance from the arrogant, narrow-minded knight in shining armor who shows up just in time.
Private investigator extraordinaire Mr. Theodore Wilder is on an assignment that began as a favor to his good friend Hamilton Beckett but swiftly evolved into a merry chase across the country. When he finally locates Hamilton’s sister, and she turns out to have radical ideas and a fiercely independent streak, he’s at his wit’s end.
Much to their chagrin, Theodore and Arabella’s paths continue to cross when they return to New York. When the trouble Arabella accidentally stirred up in her travels follows her home and threatens her very life, the unlikely couple must face the possibility that they have landed in the most peculiar circumstances of all: love.
I LOVE HER . . . CAN I TRUST HER?
I LOVE HIM . . . IS HE SAFE?
1814—England and America are again at war. Sudden and implacable treachery causes Gwyneth Fairchild’s world to crumble in a moment’s time. The daughter of a British general, she barely saves her life by fleeing London aboard a ship bound for America. Her goal is to find refuge with the Lane family in Maryland. Yet after meeting the Lane’s son, Thaddeus, Gwyn wonders how safe she is. For she discovers that this family trades in a dangerous commodity—espionage.
Thad Lane is a prominent citizen in the city of Baltimore. He has the ear of everyone, and he is in a unique position to pass on to leaders of government exactly what he hears. Not long after the beautiful and British Gwyneth Fairchild finds safe haven in his community, he experiences the tug of love, though he fears it may blur lines of loyalty. With family playing the part of enemies and enemies proving themselves friends, a future with Gwyn is more than uncertain—it could be life threatening.
In the end, with the British advancing relentlessly on Baltimore, Thad and Gwyn have to trust in their shared faith in God to be a shield about them. To give them a future and hope.
OLIVIA KEENE IS FLEEING HER OWN SECRET.
SHE NEVER INTENDED TO OVERHEAR HIS.
BUT NOW THAT SHE HAS, what is Lord Bradley to do with her? He cannot let her go, for were the truth to get out, he would lose everything—his reputation, his inheritance, his very home.
He gives Miss Keene little choice but to accept a post at Brightwell Court, where he can make certain she does not spread what she heard. Keeping an eye on the young woman as she cares for the children, he find himself drawn to her, even as he struggles against the growing attraction. The clever Miss Keene is definitely hiding something.
Moving, mysterious, and romantic, The Silent Governess takes readers inside the intriguing life of a nineteenth-century governess in an English manor house where all is not as it appears.
CAN LOVE SURVIVE THE SECRETS KEPT BURIED WITHIN A TORMENTED HEART?
Roxanna Rowan may be a genteel Virginia woman, but she is determined to brave the wilds of the untamed frontier to reach a remote Kentucky fort. Eager to reunite with her father, who serves under Colonel Cassius McLinn, Roxanna is devastated to find that her father has been killed on a campaign.
Penniless and out of options, Roxanna is forced to remain at the fort. As she spends more and more time with the fiery Colonel McLinn, the fort is abuzz with intrigue and innuendo. Can Roxanna truly know who the colonel is—and what he’s done?
Immerse yourself in this powerful story of love, faith, and forgiveness set in the tumultuous world of the frontier in 1779.
A Love That Would Shape History Forever
Because she’s a woman, higher learning was always closed to Susanna Smith. But her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. And she’s determined to marry well, so she’ll be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.
Growing up with little to his name, poor country lawyer Benjamin Ross dreams of impacting the world for the better. When introduced to the Smiths he’s taken by Susanna’s intelligence and independent spirit, but her parents refuse to see him as a suitor for their daughter.
When the life of a runaway indentured servant is threatened, Susanna is forced to choose between justice and mercy, and Ben becomes her unlikely advisor. But drawing closer to this man of principle and intellect lands her in a dangerous, secret world of rebellion and revolution against everything she once held dear.
HER SECRET CLOAKS HER IN ISOLATION AND LONELINESS. HIS SECRET TRAPS HIM IN A LIFE THAT IS NOT HIS OWN.
Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could expose her disgrace. But soon after becoming a lady’s companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she’s desperately hidden for years.
Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own—one that has haunted him for years and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove Hall. To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breath a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he’ll never be free to find his own way in the world. He’ll never be free to fall in love.
When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and fight for a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long kept?
After a childhood rampant with uncertainty, Lydia Pallas has carved out a perfect life for herself. She spends her days within sight of the bustling Boston Harbor, where her skill with languages has landed her an enviable position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.
Lydia’s talents bring her to the attention of Alexander Banebridge, a mysterious man in need of a translator. Driven by a campaign to end the opium trade, Bane is coolly analytical and relentless in his quest. He cannot afford to fall for Lydia and must fight the bittersweet love growing between them.
When Bane’s enemies gain the upper hand, he is forced to turn to Lydia for help. Determined to prove her worth, Lydia soon discovers that carrying out Bane’s mission will test her wits and her courage to the very limits.
WHEN FORCES CONSPIRE AGAINST THEM FROM WITHOUT AND WITHIN, CAN THEIR LOVE SURVIVE?
When Chantel Panetta’s younger sister claims to be in love with Orlando Calarco, Chantel knows there is no hope. The Panettas and Calarcos have been sworn enemies for decades, and young love cannot heal the deep wounds between the two iron-mining families. Yet, unable to resist Isabella’s pleas, Chantel agrees to help her sister spend time with Orlando . . . only to have a run-in with Dante, Orlando’s brother.
Chantel can’t deny the attraction that flares when she’s with Dante. But when a tragedy occurs at the min, is there any hope that the hatred that has simmered between these two families might be resolved?
Or will Chantel and Isabella’s hope for love be buried amidst decades of misunderstanding?
For years, Miss Felicia Murdock’s every thought and action have been in pursuit of becoming a minister’s wife. When the minister she’d set her sights on has other ideas, she decides something in her life needs to change—and soon—before she wastes any more time pretending to be someone she’s not. If that means spreading her wings and embracing a more lively way of life, who’s to say nay?
Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton, has had his fill of spreading his wings and only hopes to settle into the life of a respectable New York gentleman. Prompted by friends to life the spirits of the disappointed-in-love Miss Murdock, he is surprised to encounter an adventurous young lady with an unfortunate knack for stumbling into troublesome situations.
Just as Grayson decides he’s had quite enough of her antics, his past comes back to haunt him and his presence in Felicia’s life endangers her. As they work to extricate themselves from this latest complication, will Grayson and Felicia decide they want to spend the rest of their lives keeping each other out of trouble?
January 29, 1835 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Twenty-year-old Julienne Lane eagerly awaits the return of her fiancé and naval officer, Jack Arnaud, but she has not been idle. She and her best friend, Freeda Payne, have been working hard to support the abolitionist movement. Their efforts have been clouded in secrecy, but when Freeda shows up in Julienne’s cellar with a runaway slave, the need for secrets becomes imperative. When Jack returns home, will Julienne threaten his career in the Navy by including him in their plans, or will she hide news of the slave from him and put his trust to the test? Moreover, why does her fiancé appear to be hiding a secret of his own?
Despite a harrowing tour of duty in the North Atlantic, Jack’s hopes for rest and recuperation are put on hold. His wedding to Julienne is in two days, but a more pressing matter comes to his attention from his associates in the Culper Ring. Should he ask his beautiful fiancée to postpone the wedding for the third time in two years? How will he and the Culper Ring foil the malicious plans they have uncovered? And why does Julienne blush so brightly when he asks about the cellar? The clock is ticking. Danger looms. Can justice prevail? Will their love survive?
Mariah Aubrey lives in seclusion with her secrets. Will an ambitious captain uncover her identity . . . and her hidden past?
Banished from the only home she’s ever known, Mariah Aubrey hides herself away in an abandoned gatehouse on a distant relative’s estate. There she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how—by writing her novels in secret.
When Captain Matthew Bryant leases the estate, he is intrigued by the beautiful girl in the gatehouse. But there are many things he doesn’t know about this beguiling outcast. Will he risk his plans—and his heart—for a woman shadowed by scandal?
Intriguing, mysterious, and romantic, The Girl in the Gatehouse takes readers inside the life of a secret authoress at a time when novel-writing was considered improper for ladies and the smallest hint of impropriety could change a woman’s life forever.
After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancée, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes—by hook or by crook—she’ll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.
Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home . . . until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha’s determined to nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they’ll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.
Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth—until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?
A Glimpse Was All She Had . . .
A Glimpse Was All She Needed.
1865—Marietta Hughes never wanted to be a spy, but the family legacy of espionage is thrust upon her as the War Between the States rolls on. Unknown to her, the Knights of the Golden Circle—a Confederate secret society bent on destroying the Union her brother died for—has been meeting in a hidden lair beneath her home. Faced with the secrets of her late husband and his brother, whom she thought she could trust with anything, Marietta’s world tilts out of control. Can she right it by protecting a Union agent infiltrating the KGC?
Slade Osborne, an undercover Pinkerton agent, is determined to do whatever is necessary to end the conflict between the North and South. When he infiltrates this secret cell, it isn’t just their inner workings that baffle him—it’s the beautiful woman who seems to be a puppet for the new leader and yet . . . so much more.
Do they dare trust each other in this circle of intrigue? Will their shared faith sustain them? And can Mari and Slade stymie the enemy long enough to see their beloved country reunited?
What is in your JANUARY “TBR” Pile?