In “A Love So True” by Melissa Jagears, Evelyn Wisely and her parents run the local orphanage in Teaville, Kansas. They are employed by Nicholas and Lydia Lowe who had previously worked there. Evelyn has a secret, but no one knows anything about it. She has determined never to marry and is leery of men…all men. Because of this, she is very active in the Teaville Moral Society and works to bring help, food, medicine and faith to the “soiled doves” of Teaville. She plans on opening a shelter for these women who want to leave that “profession”, teach them a skill, and see that they get a job. Of course, all of the members of the Society are not in favor of this. She must overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to accomplish this.
David Kingsman has been sent to Teaville by his father, a cold, unfeeling man, to try to revitalize his father’s business there. He happens upon Evelyn as she is hosting a Saturday picnic for the children of the women she is trying to help. She wants them to at least have one good meal. Sometimes the mothers venture to this outing and Evelyn attempts to lead them away from the brothels. David is captivated by Evelyn and her cause and decides to help. Along the way, the two find each other, but with everything they have against them, their plans seem to go awry.
I found Ms. Jagears writing style to be very appealing. Her characters jump from the page as realistic and true. The story moves along at a steady rate which makes for a leisurely read.
I used to read Regency romances all the time, but got away from that for a while. So, it was with misgivings that I started reading “The Spring Bride” by Anne Gracie. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Not only was it humorous, witty and romantic; it had such a good story plot that I was swept away to that period. Ms. Gracie is an excellent writer and I very much enjoyed her colorful descriptions of people and places.
Ms. Jane Chance is determined to marry for money, security, and safety, but not so much for love. She accepts the first proposal that she receives although her beau’s reasons for asking for her hand were suspect. Then along comes a dark gypsy who helps her save the life of a little dog and decides to pursue her also. The gypsy is not who he really is, but Zachary Black has his reasons for his disguise. I found the whole book to be captivating because of the story and because of the way Ms. Gracie writes.
I was sent a free print copy of the book by NightOwlReviews.com in return for my honest opinion of the book.
“Distant Thunder” by Lisa Bingham Is a book set in Colorado in the late 1800’s. It is the story of two orphans, Susan Hurst and Daniel Crocker. Daniel has been Susan’s protector since she was a little baby. She was taken to an orphanage after her parents were murdered by deserters in the war. Daniel was an orphan living on the streets in a Pennsylvania town, but lived at the orphanage for a time. Their lives took divergent paths.
Susan was deathly afraid of men and decided to spend her life as a nun. Daniel fought in the Civil War and became a Pinkerton agent afterwards. Their lives came together again when Susan is about to take her final vows as a nun. Daniel is injured and trying to recover when he finds out what Susan is going to do. The story continues as the two of them rekindle their closeness and in the face of evil come to realize that neither can do without the other.
I enjoyed this book very much, but it seemed to be too predictable in light of others I have read. I downloaded this book from Amazon.com to my Kindle.
“Fair Play” by Deeanne Gist is a novel that is set in the late 1800’s during the Chicago World’s Fair. Dr. Billy Jack Tate has graduated from medical school at the top of her class and has decided to set up her practice in Chicago. However, since women are not seen as being good in occupations usually reserved for men, her practice is not flourishing. In fact, she has only seen one patient and that was a house call. She is supposed to give a talk in front of a women’s rights group in the Women’s Exhibition hall, but is late the hall is full. She is unable to convince the guards that she is, in fact, a participant in the program, so she decides to find her own way into the building. As she slithers through a window in the lower level, a security guard finds her in a compromising predicament. She is caught in the window unable to move forward or backward. He helps her enter and escorts her to the hall.
Hunter Scott is a Texas Ranger who aspires to being a Captain in the Rangers has taken a leave to become a guard at the Columbian Exhibition. He is then assigned to the Women’s Pavilion and comes to care for Dr. Tate.
Together, they decide to help the ragged children living in the squalor of the West End of Chicago, where homes are sometimes cardboard shacks and hygiene is non-existent. The children are on the streets at a young age and always courting trouble with the law.
This novel gives a good look at the end of the 19th century and exposes the disparity of class and income that pervades the American scene in cities. Chicago is a melting pot for the Midwest and the destination of the various nationalities that have come to call America home. The banter and friendship between Hunter and Billy Jack is fun to read as their road to love comes softly and sweetly.
I recommend this book as a genuinely good look at our country at the turn of the century. Although a fictional work, I believe that the research done for this novel makes it very convincing and believable.
I was sent this novel by Revell Publishers in return for my honest review.
“Echoes of Mercy”, by Kim Vogel Sawyer was a wonderful story. It was a novel of faith and hope. It dealt with questionable practices used in factories around the turn of the century, 1900’s. The employment of children in factories, sometimes in dangerous areas, and at a young age was prevalent. The heroine of this story, Carrie, is investigating a company where another undercover investigator was killed. Was it an accident or was it murder? It was her job to find the answer. While working undercover, she met Ollie, who was also not who he said he was. The two formed a shaky alliance to uncover any problems within the company. Carrie also became in involved with three orphaned children, tried to protect them and find a place for them where they would be safe and loved.
I enjoyed this book very much. I loved the characters. The central characters were quite believable and the supporting characters were very much that – characters. It made reading the story very entertaining. I would highly recommend this as a light read with a moral message.
I was sent a free print copy of this book by BloggingforBooks.com in return for my honest review.