Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
What it’s about: Victorian-Era England Comes Alive in This Witty Romance
For years Charlotte Withersby has worked as an assistant to her father, an eminent English botanist. As she approaches the old age of twenty-four, her father pushes her out into society, swayed by an uncle who believes God’s only two roles for women are marriage and motherhood. When one of the Withersbys’ colonial correspondents, Edward Trimble, returns to England, he’s drafted as the new assistant so Charlotte is free to marry. This suits Edward’s plans quite well, since the last thing he wants to do is reunite with the family he is ashamed to call his own.
Though Edward proves himself vexingly capable on the job, Charlotte won’t surrender the job without a fight, and schemes with her best friend to regain her position. Perhaps if a proposal seems imminent, Charlotte’s father will see his error and ask her to return. Charlotte tries to make headway in her town’s social life, but reveals herself to be unaware of all the intricacies of polite society. Though Edward pitches in, tutoring her in society’s expectations, she just seems to make things worse. And the more she comes to know of her father’s assistant, the more trouble she has imagining life without him. Caught in a trap of her own making and seeing the hopelessness of her prospects, will Charlotte get to keep her work or will she have to cede her heart?
Why we want to read it: Rachel says, “All of Siri’s books delve into very different periods of history, which is one of the reasons I love her books so much. I always love, love, love historical novels that depict women doing something different from the norm, so I have high hopes for this one.”
Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
What it’s about: Irene and Rand come from very different walks of life. Will they find common ground in their fight to survive?
Irene has grown up in the jungle as a missionary with her Aunt Anita, but now she and countless others are imprisoned by Japanese soldiers at the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in the Philippines. Irene and her aunt are safe there, and she keeps busy with her duty of delivering censored messages to the camp’s prisoners, but like everyone else, she prays for the war to end and for her freedom. Rand is a wealthy, womanizing American, whose attempted escape from the internment camp has put himself and others in danger. When Rand and Irene’s Aunt Anita meet one another in the hospital, Irene learns more of his story and her heart is determined to save his family. But the danger outside the walls of the hospital worsens every day, and life in this exotic place is anything but luxurious. Can Irene find Rand’s family before they disappear forever? And can a humble missionary woman and an arrogant man find common ground in the face of their biggest fears?
Why we want to read it: “I like Liz’s previous novels because she has chosen a side of World War II that is not often written about,” says Marisa.
The Crimson Cord: Rahab’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
What it’s about: Wife to a gambler who took one too many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband’s debt. Forced into prostitution by Dabir, counselor to the Syrian king, Rahab despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime. In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from the authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho’s walls–or if she will ever know the meaning of love.
Why we want to read it: Danyelle says, “I can’t wait to see her take on Rahab. She’s one of my favorite Biblical characters.”
The Captive Imposter (Everstone Chronicles #3) by Dawn Crandall
Publisher: Whitaker House
Publication Date: April 1, 2015
What it’s about: Sent away for protection, hotel heiress Estella Everstone finds herself living undercover as a lady’s companion named Elle Stoneburner at one of her father’s opulent hotels in the mountains of Maine—the one she’d always loved best and always hoped to own one day, Everstone. The one thing she doesn’t like about the situation is that her ex-fiancé is in the area and is set on marrying someone else. Reeling from her feelings of being unwanted and unworthy, Estella reluctantly forms a friendship with the gruff manager of Everstone, Dexter Blakeley, who seems to have something against wealthy young socialites with too much money, although they are just the kind of people Everstone caters to.
When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer she can’t refuse. She sees no other choice aside from going back home to her family and accepts the position as companion to his sister. Throughout her interactions with Dexter, she can’t deny the pull that’s evidenced between them every time he comes near. Estella realizes that while she’s been hiding behind a false name and identity, she’s never been freer to be herself than when she is with Dexter Blakeley. But will he still love her when he finds out she’s Estella Everstone? She’s not entirely sure.
Why we want to read it: Marisa says, “Dawn writes historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her beautiful, writing, deep characterizations, and sense of mystery and romance make her a standout author.”
A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
What it’s about: Two women, one in the present day and one in 1942, each hope for a brighter future. But they’ll both have to battle through their darkest days to reach it.
Today: With the grand opening of her new gallery and a fairytale wedding months away, Sera James appears to have a charmed life. But in an instant, the prospect of a devastating legal battle surrounding her fiancé threatens to tear her dreams apart. Sera and William rush to marry and are thrust into a world of doubt and fear as they defend charges that could separate them for life.
June 1942: After surviving the Blitz bombings that left many Londoners with shattered lives, Kaja Makovsky prayed for the war to end so she could return home to Prague. But despite the horrors of war, the gifted journalist never expected to see a headline screaming the extermination of Jews in work camps. Half-Jewish with her family in danger, Kaja has no choice but to risk everything to get her family out of Prague. But with the clutches of evil all around, her escape plan crumbles into deportation, and Kaja finds herself in a new reality as the art teacher to the children of Terezin.
Bound by a story of hope and the survival of one little girl, both Sera and Kaja will fight to protect all they hold dear.
Why we want to read it: Kristy is another author that writes compelling stories set during World War II. She also blends modern-day storylines with historical storylines in a realistic, meaningful way.
Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson
Publisher: Tyndale House
Publication Date: June 1, 2015
What it’s about: One dress, five women, a lifetime of memories. Five single, fiercely independent women live together in a Chicago apartment in the early 1950s but rarely see one another. One Saturday afternoon, as they are serendipitously together downtown, they spy a wedding dress in a storefront window at the famous Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. After trying it on—much to the dismay of the salesclerk and without a single boyfriend or date between the five of them—they decide to pool their money to purchase it. Can one dress forever connect five women who live together only a short time before taking their own journeys to love and whatever comes happily ever after?
Why we want to read it: Christel says, “I have yet to read this author, but I am always eager to try someone new and the things I have heard about this title sound very promising!”
To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
What it’s about: It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montauk tribe, is enjoying her wedding feast when her groom is killed and she is kidnapped by a rival tribe and held for ransom. Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is nonetheless left to die in a Connecticut forest–until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her long friendship with family friend Benjamin Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice–stay true to her friend or follow her heart.
Why we want to read it: “I love a really good Native American romance,” says Danyelle. This one certainly looks promising.
Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
What it’s about: In the new novel by the three-time Christy Award-winning author of The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, a woman’s startling secrets lead her into unexpected danger and romance in Regency England…
One final cry…“God almighty, help us!” and suddenly her world shifted violently, until a blinding collision scattered her mind and shook her bones. Then, the pain. The freezing water. And as all sensation drifted away, a hand reached for hers, before all faded into darkness…
Now she has awakened as though from some strange, suffocating dream in a warm and welcoming room she has never seen before, and tended to by kind, unfamiliar faces. But not all has been swept away. She recalls fragments of the accident. She remembers a baby. And a ring on her finger reminds her of a lie.
But most of all, there is a secret. And in this house of strangers she can trust no one but herself to keep it.
Why we want to read: Two words. Julie. Klassen. Okay, I can say a few more words. Julie is an author that I automatically buy. Lady Maybe promises to bring a story of suspense, mystery and romance, and I know Julie can deliver.
Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
What it’s about: It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.
Why we want to read it: It’s the first in a new series! Sara says, “I really liked her previous series, and I like the way she writes about World War II.”
Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
What it’s about: Katharina von Bora has seen nothing but the inside of cloister walls since she was five. In a daring escape, Katharina finds refuge with Martin Luther and seeks his help to pair her with the noble, wealthy husband she desires.
As class tensions and religious conflicts escalate toward the brink of war, Martin Luther believes that each day could be his last and determines he will never take a wife.
As the horrors of the bloody Peasant War break out around them, the proud Katharina and headstrong Martin Luther fight their own battle for true love, in one of the greatest love stories of history.
Why we want to read it: Jody excels at bringing real historical figures to life in fiction. Her superb grip on historical details, tender romances and riveting plots put this novel high up on my wish list.