Rachel’s Summer Reading List

Love romance?  How about Amish?  Rachel shares with us what she’s reading this summer.

Rivers EndRiver’s End by Nora Roberts
Publication Date: March 1, 1999
Publisher: Putnam 

What’s it about:

Olivia’s parents were among Hollywood’s golden couples…until the night a monster came and took her mother away forever. A monster with the face of her father…

Sheltered from the truth, an older Olivia only dimly recalls her night of terror—but her recurring nightmares make her realize she must piece together the real story. Assisted by Noah Brady, the son of the police detective who found her cowering in her closet so many years before, she may have her chance. Noah wants to reconstruct the night that has become an infamous part of Hollywood history. He also wants to help Olivia and heal the longing in her lonely heart. But once the door to her past is opened, there’s no telling what’s waiting on the other side. For somewhere, not too far away, the monster walks again…

Rachel’s Comments: I’ve been an avid romance reader for about five years now, yet I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve not picked up a Nora Roberts book yet. My mum recommended this title to me a few years ago, and although I quickly got hold of a copy, it’s languished on my shelves since then. This year, I vow to jump on the Nora Roberts train and see what all the fuss is about.


The Good FatherThe Good Father by Diane Chamberlain
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Mira

What’s it about:

A beloved daughter. A devastating choice. And now there’s no going back.

Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown made a choice: to raise his newborn daughter on his own. While most of his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home, changing diapers and worrying about keeping food on the table. But he’s never regretted his decision. Bella is the light of his life. The reason behind every move he makes. And so far, she is fed. Cared for. Safe.

But when Travis loses his construction job and his home, the security he’s worked so hard to create for Bella begins to crumble….

Then a miracle. A job in Raleigh has the power to turn their fortunes around. It has to. But when Travis arrives in Raleigh, there is no job, only an offer to participate in a onetime criminal act that promises quick money and no repercussions.

With nowhere else to turn, Travis must make another choice for his daughter’s sake.

Even if it means he might lose her.

Rachel’s Comments: This is another “I didn’t make time for it back then” entry. I discovered Diane Chamberlain a few years ago and still have a long way to go on her back catalogue—and some of her newer releases, as it appears. I spotted this one at my tiny, part-time local library (which I’m eager to support as I know so many libraries are having their budgets slashed) and decided it was time to finally read this one. I’m sure I’ll ball my eyes out, but it’ll be worth it.


Full Steam AheadFull Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Bethany House

What’s it about:

When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole’s father has always focused on what she’s not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it’s too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family’s greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father’s rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole’s plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father’s rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family’s legacy?

Rachel’s Comments: This one came out last year, but I was otherwise occupied looking after a newborn at the time. How can an entire year have gone by without making the time to read this book? I’ve loved everything Karen Witemeyer has written, and hopefully this won’t be an exception.


In Your DreamsIn Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins
Publication Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin HQN

What’s it about:

Everyone loves Jack Holland, but Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancé is getting married in Malibu and, obviously, she can’t go to the wedding alone. In Manningsport, New York, tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Holland is practically a cottage industry when it comes to rescuing desperate women. He knows the drill, Em figures, so he won’t get the wrong idea.

What Jack needs is an excuse to leave town. Ever since rescuing four teenagers from a car wreck, he’s been hailed as a hero and the attention is making him itchy, especially since his too-pretty ex-wife is back, angling for a reunion. He’s always liked Emmaline. She needs a weekend date? No problem.

So when they wind up in bed together, Em chalks it up to red wine and chocolate cake, just one impulsive night not to be repeated. But Jack’s pushing for more, and if she lets down her guard, either she’ll get her heart crushed again, or discover that Jack’s worth more than just dreaming about.

Rachel’s Comments: This novel has a decidedly wintery cover, but that isn’t putting me off. I’ve adored all of the previous books in the Blue Heron series and I’ll admit that I’ve let this one languish on my shelves because once I’ve read it, I’ll only have two more Kristan Higgins books left to read before I’ve read them all! And then what will I do with myself? Besides wait for her next novel, of course. Kristan Higgins writes fantastically laugh-out-loud contemporary romances, and they’re the perfect pick-me-up when I’m feeling stressed or just a bit blue.


A New HopeA New Hope by Robyn Carr
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Mira

What’s it about:

Starting over is never easy, but in Thunder Point, where newcomers are welcome and friends become family, it’s possible to find yourself again. #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr takes us on a moving and rewarding journey as a young woman finds new hope.

After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she’s excited to be assisting with the Lacoumette wedding.

In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger is swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride’s brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself when he tries to make a pass at Ginger, forcing her to flee the scene in embarrassment.

But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.

Rachel’s Comments: Robyn Carr’s contemporary romances always make for great summer reads. I always speed through them, but that doesn’t mean that they’re completely “light” reads—as you can tell from the synopsis. I was intrigued by Ginger’s character when she was introduced in the last book in the Thunder Point series, so I’m looking forward to learning more about her.


Made with LoveMade with Love by Tricia Goyer & Sherry Gore
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Harvest House

What’s it about:

A Dash of Love, a Pinch of Hope, and a Whole Lot of Good Cooking

Lovina Miller should be thrilled. Pinecraft, Florida, has everything a young Amish woman could ask for: sun, sand, volleyball games, and evening singings in the park. But Pinecraft lacks the one thing Lovina desperately wants—a pie shop of her own. She longs for a place to gather with the community and serve the treat she loves.

A young carpenter named Noah Yoder strolls into her life and offers a way to make her dream come true. But before Noah and Lovina can build a shop—and a life—together, they must each face heartaches from the past. Is their new love stronger than their regrets?

Rachel’s Comments: If you know anything about me, you’ll know that Tricia Goyer is one of my favourite Amish authors. She doesn’t write your typical Amish fiction, and as such, I have high hopes for this novel. I’m intrigued to see what Sherry Gore brings to the table with this book (besides her fabulous recipes, of course). I also love this cover! It’s so entirely different from the Amish covers Harvest House usually creates. Sometimes simplicity is more eye-catching than a swooning Amish maiden 😉


Counting on a CowboyCounting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

What’s it about:

After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk.

Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.

Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.

This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.

Rachel’s Comments: I listened to the first Four of Hearts Ranch novel on audiobook earlier this year and really enjoyed it. I’m not exactly a cowboy kind of girl, but I do love small town contemporary romances, so this series works for me.Plus, isn’t this cover fantastic? Romance covers can feel a bit boring and samey after a while, so this one immediately grabbed my attention.

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