Start the year off right with a few new additions to your “To Be Read” pile.
The Beekeeper’s Son by Kelly Irvin When Deborah Lantz arrives in drought-stricken Bee County, she longs for her lush, green Tennessee home. But more than that, she wants her mother, a widow with six children, to be happy again. Even if that means moving to a wasteland and accepting a new stepfather. Then she meets the beekeeper’s son. Phineas King’s face is disfigured by scars from an accident that killed his mother and destroyed his trust in God. Both Phineas and Deborah are rarely alone, but always lonely. Through their encounters both begin to realize the beauty in all of God’s creation. Deborah begins to see Bee County through Phineas’s eyes and Phineas learns to see himself through hers. (Amish Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing [Zondervan])
You Get What You Pray For by E.N. Joy — Lorain has been a prisoner of secrets almost all of her life. At the age of thirteen, she’d managed to keep her pregnancy a secret, discarding the infant she’d given birth to and leaving it for dead. She also never revealed the fact that the baby’s father was her middle school guidance counselor. Not even when her mother married her molester, years later. To complicate matters, Lorain discovers that the baby she abandoned all those years ago survived, and God has placed Lorain in the now adult child’s life. It seems the legacy of secrets has been passed on, too, as Lorain helps her daughter conceal the true details behind her own pregnancy. Lorain has managed to maneuver the secrets and lies like a strategic game of chess, but even her lavish new life as a doctor’s wife is a lie. With the rug about to be pulled from underneath her by the woman who raised her abandoned child, all Lorain prays for is that everything will end well. In this cycle of lies, secrets, shame, and guilt, will Lorain get what she prays for? (Contemporary from Urban Christian)
Daddy Wanted by Renee Andrews — Former wild child Savannah Bowers goes from being happily single to the guardian of three children after the sudden death of her best friend. Struggling with her new role, Savvy’s not sure if Brodie Evans’s offer to help is a welcome one. She has trouble forgiving her childhood friend’s past mistakes, but she gives him a chance for the sake of the kids. Their growing mutual attraction catches her off guard. If Brodie can prove he’s changed his ways, he might just be this instant family’s perfect daddy. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
At Home in Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong — Kaitlyn Reed and Steven Braden have always had a similar philosophy of life: when the going gets tough, they get going–out of town and away from the problem. Now they are both back in Last Chance, New Mexico, and trying to start over. Kaitlyn is working to reestablish a relationship with the seven-year-old daughter she left behind six months earlier. Steven is trying to prove to his family that he is not the irresponsible charmer they have always known him to be. As Kaitlyn and Steven find themselves drawn to one another, one big question keeps getting in the way: How will they learn to trust each other when they don’t even trust themselves? (Contemporary Romance from Revell – A Division of Baker Publishing Group)
A Match for Meghan by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Life has taught Meghan Black she is unlovable, so she focuses her attention on finding her friends their perfect match. Her plan backfires when the handsome veterinarian she’s matching asks her out. Ben Young’s plan to stop Meghan’s meddling backfires when he finds himself falling for her instead. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Lakeside Redemption by Lisa Jordan — Zoe James is starting over. She’s worked hard to get past the foolish mistakes that landed her in trouble four years ago. Now the young mom is back in Shelby Lake and ready to reconnect with her son. When she bumps into old friend Caleb Sullivan and his two adorable girls, she sees the possibility of a happy future. Caleb has always secretly loved Zoe, but her turbulent past brings up tough memories of his own. As they spend time together training his girls’ new puppy, Zoe and Caleb will learn that if they can forgive themselves, they might have a chance at a new life-and new love-together. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Small-Town Fireman by Allie Pleiter — Karla Kennedy doesn’t belong in Gordon Falls. The aspiring restaurateur has far loftier goals than running her grandfather’s quaint coffee shop. The only person who seems to relate is handsome volunteer firefighter Dylan McDonald. Dylan understands dreams—he risked everything to start his fishing charter business. Now he needs Karla’s help to make it succeed. As they work together, Karla and Dylan quickly discover that while their timing may be bad, their chemistry is undeniable. Karla always thought of Gordon Falls as a layover on her way to a big-city career, but could it be where her heart truly belongs? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Rodeo Family by Shannon Taylor Vannatter — Running from her abusive ex-boyfriend, Tori Eaton settles in Aubrey, Texas, where she is surprised by a helping hand from the church’s new song director, Brant McConnell. And by the warm emotions he inspires. Brant is drawn to Tori. But Tori is still hounded by her past, and the walls she’s built around her heart are high. Can he convince the wounded beauty that he’s exactly the kind of man she needs-and deserves? (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])
Dakota Love by Rose Ross Zediker — Modern South Dakota individuals use quilting to bring them joy and comfort, but suddenly quilting is leading them to romances they didn’t even know they wanted. Caroline and Rodney have each been loaded with many worries, but a tattered quilt could bring them together to share their burdens. Sarah and Mark embrace their independence until a quilting class throws them together and reveals their need for companionship. Lil is outgoing where Walt is private, but as they use quilting for physical therapy, an old secret could be revealed that will expose just how different they really are. (Romance from Barbour Publishing)
Hope Reborn by Caryl McAdoo — New York novelist May Meriwether decides a heroic Texas Ranger will make a great love interest for her new novel’s heroine. Stuffing away dreams for a husband and children, she sets out to the Lone Star State looking for adventure with her constant companion and confidant, Chester, in tow. But a near-perfect Texan widower resurrects a smidgen of romantic hope. Only his impenetrable, superstitious religious beliefs stand in the path to her falling head over heels, those and his love for his dead wife. (Historical Romance, Independently Published)
Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden — Map librarian Anna O’Brien works a predictable job at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across a baffling mystery of a missing ship. When she turns to a dashing congressman for help, she opens a world of danger they never saw coming. (Historical Romance from Bethany House [Baker] Publishing)
Brentwood’s Ward by Michelle Griep — Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)
The Salt Covenants by Sylvia Bambola — Spain 1493: Isabel has broken her mother’s heart by becoming a sincere convert to Christianity. But when she is noticed by Friar Alonso at La Casa Santa, the Holy House, she is forced to flee the Inquisition by entering into a loveless marriage and sailing with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World. But all too soon Isabel is forced to struggle alone in her new life and new faith. With all the risks and hardships how is she to survive? And will she ever find love in this strange land? What of the dangerous Enrique Vivar? Will his hidden agenda cost her her life? (Historical, Independently Published)
The First Principle by Marissa Shrock –– In the not-too-distant future, the United Regions of America has formed. Governors hold territories instead of states, and while Washington, DC, is gone, the government has more control than ever before. For fifteen-year-old Vivica Wilkins, the daughter of a governor, this is life as usual. Until an unexpected, now-illegal pregnancy pits her against the Population Management Officer Marina Ward. She has to decide whether to get the mandatory abortion–or follow her heart, try to keep the baby, and possibly ruin her mother’s chances at becoming president. A rebel group called the Emancipation Warriors, who are fighting to restore freedoms once held unalienable, offer her asylum. But with everything crashing down around her, Vivica no longer knows whom to trust. (Young Adult from Kregel Publications)
So, what stories are in your stack to keep you entertained during the cold, snowy (maybe) days of winter?
Note: This list is compiled from those books registered by ACFW member authors on Fiction Finder and reprinted with permission of ACFW.
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