The Thorn Bearer by Pepper Basham
Publication Date: April 11, 2015
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing
What’s it about: From the decks of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of France, Ashleigh must choose between the forgiveness of her past, life in the present, and a Savior who can rescue her from them all.
When her fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed – who could ever love a soiled woman?
In an attempt to escape the shame and disappointment of her past, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone.
Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and protection as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend’s former fiancé and his own childhood companion.
As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.
When the truth of Ashleigh’s past explodes in the middle of war and Sam rejects her, Ashleigh must decide if God is enough – or if the double weight of her betrayal and past will crush her life forever.
Sarah’s Thoughts: I have wanted to read this book for a year. I heard so many great things about it when it first came out and I’ve heard nothing but great things about this author since then. I recently read another of her novels, A Twist of Faith, and LOVED it so I am shuffling my TBR pile around a bit to make sure to read the rest of her books as quickly as I can.
No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Bethany House
What’s it about: Men are optional. That’s the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts preached and why she started a successful women’s colony in Harper’s Station, Texas. But when an unknown assailant tries repeatedly to drive them out, Emma admits they might need a man after all. A man who can fight–and she knows just the one.
Malachi Shaw finally earned the respect he craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s plea arrives, he bolts to Harper’s Station to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.
As the danger intensifies, old feelings grow and deepen, but Emma and Mal will need more than love to survive.
Sarah’s Thoughts: Karen Witemeyer is one of my go-to authors. I don’t have to read the book’s blurb to know I’m going to be in for an enjoyable read. I’ve read every single book she’s written and have never been disappointed. I know this one won’t be an exception.
The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
What’s it about: Marie Carrington is running from a host of bad memories. Broke and desperate, she’s hoping to find safety and sanctuary on Prince Edward Island, where she reluctantly agrees to help decorate a renovated bed-and-breakfast before it opens for prime tourist season.
Seth Sloane didn’t move three thousand miles to work on his uncle’s B&B so he could babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her. He came to help restore the old Victorian–and to forget about the fiancée who broke his heart.
The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just three months will take everything they’ve got. Can these two wounded souls find hope, healing, and perhaps a bit of romance on this beautiful island?
Step into the Red Door Inn, a lovely home away from home tucked along the north shore of fabled Prince Edward Island. It’s a place where the wounded come to heal, the broken find forgiveness, and the lonely find a family. Won’t you stay for the season?
Sarah’s Thoughts: I want to read this book because Prince Edward Island. That’s right, I’m dying to read it based solely on setting. Can you say Anne Shirley? L.M. Montgomery was a master story teller, and I’ve wanted to visit that enchanted island ever since I was 11 and devoured every word penned about Anne of Green Gables or Emily of New Moon. The fact I’ve heard great things about The Red Door Inn doesn’t hurt either.
The Storm Siren Trilogy by Mary Weber
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
What’s Storm Siren about: As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth—meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.
Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war or be killed.
Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.
But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for? Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.
Sarah’s Thoughts: If I had a guilty pleasure genre, speculative fiction would be it. However, I have a little rule. I won’t start reading a trilogy until all the books have been published. It’s just too much cruel and unusual punishment to have to wait A. Whole. YEAR. to find out what happens next in the story. I just can’t. So I wait until the whole series has been published and devour them at once. The Storm Siren Trilogy has gorgeous covers, won prestigious awards, and has been recommended to me a few times, so I am excited to dive in.
The Circle Series by Ted Dekker
Publication Date: July 28, 2009 (reprint)
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
What’s it about: Fleeing assailants through deserted alleyways, Thomas Hunter narrowly escapes to the roof of a building. Then a silent bullet from the night clips his head . . . and his world goes black.
From the blackness comes an amazing reality of another world where evil is contained. A world where Thomas Hunter is in love with a beautiful woman.
But then he remembers the dream of being chased through an alleyway as he reaches to touch the blood on his head. Where does the dream end and reality begin?
Every time he falls asleep in one world, he awakes in the other. Yet in both, catastrophic disaster awaits him . . . may even be caused by him.
Some say the world hangs in the balance of every choice we make. Now the fate of two worlds hangs in the balance of one man’s choices.
Sarah’s Thoughts: Okay, I’m a bit ashamed to admit this, but I’ve never read anything written by Ted Dekker. I know. I feel like a recalcitrant avid reader. That’s going to end soon, however. Ted Dekker is going to be the speaker at a writing conference I am attending in August, and I WILL have read his writing by then. As a newbie to his work, The Circle series was recommended to me.