Triumph and tragedy, love and betrayal, danger and sacrifice—the powerful emotions packed within inspirational-themed romance novels are sure to bring hours of reading pleasure. So curl up in your favorite chair and settle in for a most excellent reading adventure tinged with the spiritual.
AN IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE
With her latest novel, Ties That Bind, New York Times and Christian Booksellers Association best-selling author Cindy Woodsmall begins a new series, The Amish of Summer Grove. Wise and compassionate, lovely Ariana Brenneman is determined to find a man to build a family with, and she believes Rudy may be that person. Still, she’s never been able to forget, nor forgive, her childhood love, Quill Schlabach. When Quill left their Amish community to live in the outside world, he broke her heart and shattered her dreams. She can’t seem to fully recover.
Quill has never stopped loving Ariana, but his convictions demanded he reject the strict rules of the Amish world. Worse yet in Ariana’s eyes, he feels called to aid other Amish who want to leave the community. He knows Ariana will never be able to forgive him for his actions. He also knows that she is a woman who cannot—and will not—leave her Amish community.
While Quill and Ariana tread carefully through the minefield that is their non-relationship, her parents receive shocking news. They need Quill’s help, and what they learn will forever impact Ariana’s life.
Woodsmall’s depiction of Amish life feels true, and Quill and Ariana’s struggle to come to grips with their feelings for each other and their place in the bigger world is absorbing. Readers will cheer for these two honorable, dedicated characters and impatiently await the next installment in this new series.
LOVE DURING WARTIME
Kate Breslin’s sophomore novel, Not By Sight, is a wonderful historical tale set in 1917 England. The British are caught up in World War I, and wealthy suffragette Grace Mabry is determined to make a contribution to the war effort. She plots to expose men avoiding military service, but she mistakenly assumes the handsome Earl of Stonebrooke, Jack Benningham, is a malingerer. However, he is actually a spy working on the home front. There is an instant spark of attraction during their first meeting, which is all too brief. Months later, they find each other again when Grace is assigned to a work crew at one of Jack’s family estates. Jack has been injured and is recovering at the beautiful country home.
Circumstance and attraction draw them together, and Grace and Jack both struggle with their feelings. A dark cloud of suspicion hanging over Grace complicates their situation, and Jack will have to unravel a sinister plot, uncovering lies and betrayal to find the real enemy. It’s by no means certain that they will find a way to defeat evil forces and reach a happy future together.
Breslin’s research and attention to historical detail is impeccable. Britain in 1917 comes alive with lush landscapes, colorful period costumes and cultural references. The hero and heroine are compelling, their romance emotionally satisfying and the plot absorbing. Readers of historical romance will thoroughly enjoy this tale set in “Downton Abbey”-era surroundings.
A SEASON FOR CHANGE
Best-selling author Lynn Morris transports readers to Regency England in her latest novel, A Sapphire Season. Lady Mirabella Tirel is the daughter of a Marquess and has led an idyllic life. She has a warm, loving, supportive family and when she decides to spend the Season in London, determined to find a husband, she’s accompanied by her three best friends. One of those friends is neighbor Sir Gyles Knyvet, a Baronet, who feels far more than friendship for Mirabella. Gyles is in love with her, but due to his family’s tenuous financial circumstances, he feels unable to declare his feelings.
The three begin the social whirl that makes up the British social elite’s Season. Mirabella makes a list of possible suitors, but the list gradually grows smaller as each name is eliminated. As the weeks slip by, the four friends find themselves gaining a different perspective and discovering new things about themselves and each other. But will Mirabella’s new view of Gyles come too late to guarantee a happy ending for the couple?
This novel is absolutely charming, with witty dialogue, honorable and intelligent characters and a character-driven plot that will thoroughly engage readers. Fans of Julia Quinn will enjoy this lovely tale.
Lois Dyer writes from Port Orchard, Washington.