From historical, regency, and contemporary romance, to fantasy and nonfiction, here are 15 great books to add to your summer reading list:
– Historical Romance –
Summer of Promise (Westward Winds Series, Book One) by Amanda Cabot
Though she had planned to spend the summer in Vermont with her sweetheart, Abigail Harding cannot dismiss her concerns over her older sister. Charlotte’s letters have been uncharacteristically melancholy, and her claims that nothing is wrong ring false, so Abigail heads West to Wyoming. The endless prairie seems monotonous, but when her stagecoach is attacked, Wyoming promises to be anything but boring. Luckily, the heroics of another passenger, Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, save the day.
When circumstances–and perhaps a bit of matchmaking–put Abigail and Ethan together, there’s certainly attraction. But Abigail is planning to marry another man and return to life in Vermont as soon as she is finished attending to her sister. And Ethan loves his life in the Army and the wilds of Wyoming. When summer ends, will Abigail go back East? Or will she fall in love with this rugged land herself?
The Cactus Creek Challenge by Erica Vetsch
Anything he can do, I can do better. At least that was what Cassie Bucknell thought before she pinned on Ben Wilder’s badge and took to patrolling the streets of Cactus Creek, Texas. Cassie has been in love with Ben since primer school, but Ben treats her like a little sister. When they are picked to swap jobs for a month as part of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge in their Texas hometown, the schoolhouse is thrown into an uproar, the jail becomes a temporary bank vault, and Cassie and Ben square off in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts.
When Love Calls (The Gregory Sisters Series) by Lorna Seilstad
Hannah Gregory is good at many things, but that list doesn’t include following rules. So when she is forced to apply for a job as a telephone switchboard operator to support her two sisters, she knows it won’t be easy. “Hello Girls” must conduct themselves according to strict–and often bewildering–rules. No talking to the other girls. No chatting with callers. No blowing your nose without first raising your hand. And absolutely no consorting with gentlemen while in training.
Meanwhile, young lawyer Lincoln Cole finds himself in the unfortunate position of having to enforce the bank’s eviction of the three Gregory girls from their parents’ home. He tries to soften the blow by supporting them in small ways as they settle into another home. But fiery Hannah refuses his overtures and insists on paying back every cent of his charity.
When one of Hannah’s friends finds himself on the wrong side of a jail cell, Hannah is forced to look to Lincoln for help. Will it be her chance to return to her dreams of studying law? And could she be falling in love?
The Underground Railroad Brides Collection
Love Guides Hearts Along the Road to Freedom
Nine historical couples walk the road to love even as they dare to escape and help others break free from the injustices of slavery between 1849 and 1860. From Southern states of Georgia and South Carolina to above the Mason-Dixon Line in Indiana and Pennsylvania, they work within the network known as the Underground Railroad.
– Emma Underground by Barbara Tifft Blakey
– Follow the Christmas Star by Ramona K. Cecil
– Under the Sails of Love by Lynn A. Coleman
– The Bakery Bride by Cecelia Dowdy
– Place of Refuge by Patty Smith Hall
– Free to Love by Terri J. Haynes
– The Winter Quilt by Debby Lee
– The Song of Hearts Set Free by Darlene Panzera
– Freedom’s Flight by Penny Zeller
There is hope for the future when people come together to fight evil, and when men and women find love in the midst of great challenges. And through it all, faith is the key to victory in these stories from nine inspiring Christian authors.
Heart of Gold (Women of Faith Series) by Robin Lee Hatcher
The truest treasure is found deep in the heart.
Back in her beloved Virginia, Shannon Adair loved nursing injured soldiers back to health. But in Grand Coeur, Idaho-the rough-and-tumble place where her father has been called to lead the church-she’s not sure where she fits in. Then a critically ill woman arrives, and Shannon knows her place at last: to care for this dear woman and ease her pain.
Matthew Dubois is the fastest and most reliable stagecoach driver on Wells Fargo’s payroll. But his widowed sister is dying and he’s about to inherit his young nephew. So he takes a job at the Wells Fargo express office in Grand Coeur until he can find the one thing he needs to get back to driving: a wife to care for the boy.
What neither of them knows is that God is at work behind the scenes-and is lovingly bringing them together to discover the true desires of their hearts.
In Russian Wonderland: An American’s Odyssey in Soviet Russia by Charles Cole
It seems every day we hear about Russia. But how much do we really know about that far off place? Travel back in time with the author and get a bird’s eye view of life in the old Soviet Union – the society that spawned today’s Russia and made indelible imprints on her history and culture. For over thirty years during the Cold War, the former United States Information Agency (USIA) sent cultural exchange exhibits to the Soviet Union and other Iron Curtain countries. This book describes in detail what it was like to serve as a Russian-speaking “guide” at the various cities in which the exhibit Research and Development in the USA was shown in 1972 and contains examples depicting the lives of average Soviet citizens of the time. This is what it’s like to live in a society run by a large, omnipotent government. There can be no better time than now to look back at this history. Had the Soviet Union survived as a country, 2017 would have marked the 100-th anniversary of its founding. As we strive to understand Russia’s current policies and actions, we need to look at her Soviet roots to fully understand them.
Cloak of the Light (Wars of the Realm Series, Book One) by Chuck Black
Drew is caught in a world of light – just inches away from the dark
What if…there was a world beyond our vision, a world just fingertips beyond our reach? What if…our world wasn’t beyond their influence?
Tragedy and heartache seem to be waiting for Drew Carter at every turn, but college offers Drew a chance to start over—until an accident during a physics experiment leaves him blind and his genius friend, Benjamin Berg, missing.
As his sight miraculously returns, Drew discovers that the accident has heightened his neuron activity, giving him skills and sight beyond the normal man. When he begins to observe fierce invaders that no one else can see, he questions his own sanity, and so do others. But is he insane or do the invaders truly exist?
With help from Sydney Carlyle, a mysterious and elusive girl who offers encouragement through her faith, Drew searches for his missing friend, Ben, who seems to hold the key to unlocking this mystery. As the dark invaders close in, will he find the truth in time?
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Dare (The Blades of Acktar, Book One) by Tricia Mingerink
Courage could cost him everything.
Third Blade Leith Torren never questions his orders or his loyalty to King Respen until an arrow wound and a prairie blizzard drive him to the doorstep of the girls whose family he once destroyed.
Their forbidden faith and ties to the Resistance could devastate their family a second time.
Survival depends on obedience, but freedom beckons. How far does he dare go to resist the king and his Blades?
No matter what Leith chooses, one thing is certain.
Someone will die.
Daughter of Light (Follower of the Word Series, Book One) by Morgan Busse
What if with one touch you could see inside the soul?
Rowen Mar finds a strange mark on her hand, and she is banished from her village as a witch. She covers the mark with a leather glove and seeks sanctuary in the White City. She lives in fear that if she touches another person, the power inside her will trigger again, a terrifying power that allows her to see the darkness inside the human heart . . .
But the mark is a summons, and those called cannot hide forever. For the salvation of her people lies within her hand.
Resistance (Ilyon Chronicles, Book One) by Jaye L. Knight
“Don’t you know? Animals like you have no soul.”
Could God ever love a half-blood all of society looks upon with such fear and disdain? Jace once believed so, but when a tragic loss shatters the only peace he’s ever known, his faith crumbles as the nagging doubts he’s tried to put behind him descend on his grieving heart. With them come the haunting memories of the bloodstained past he longs to forget, but can never escape.
Taken from home at a young age and raised to serve the emperor, Kyrin Altair lives every day under a dangerous pretense of loyalty. After her unique observation skills and perfect memory place her into direct service to the emperor, Kyrin finds herself in further jeopardy as it becomes increasingly difficult to hide her belief in Elôm, the one true God.
Following the emperor’s declaration to enforce the worship of false gods under the penalty of death, many lives are endangered. But there are those willing to risk everything to take a stand and offer aid to the persecuted. With their lives traveling paths they never could have imagined, Jace and Kyrin must fight to overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.
Orphan’s Song (The Songkeeper Chronicles, Book One) by Gillian Bronte Adams
Her solo is a death sentence.
Deep within the world of Leira flows a melody that was sung at the beginning of time by Emhran, the Master Singer. Now it is broken, buried, forgotten. But in each generation, a Songkeeper arises to uphold the memory of the Song against those who want it silenced forever.
When Birdie first hears the Song coming from her own mouth, her world shatters. She is no longer simply an orphan but the last of a hunted people. Forced to flee for her life, she must decide whom to trust–a traveling peddler, a streetwise thief, or a mysterious creature who claims to know her past.
With enemies at her heels and war threatening to tear her homeland apart, Birdie soon discovers an overwhelming truth: the fate of Leira may hinge on one orphan’s Song.
Prophet (Books of the Infinite, Book One) by R.J. Larson
Ela Roeh of Parne doesn’t understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She’s undignified and bad-tempered, and at age seventeen she’s much too young. In addition, no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as Parne’s elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite’s prophet, Ela knows she will die young.
Yet she can’t imagine living without Him. Determined to hear the Infinite’s voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite’s word to a nation torn apart by war. There she meets a young ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela battles how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.
-Contemporary Romance –
Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K Paul
Can mysterious matchmaking booksellers bring two lonely hearts together in time for Christmas?
In a sleepy, snow-covered city, Cora Crowder is busy preparing for the holiday season. Searching for a perfect gift, a fortuitous trip to Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad’s (a most unusual bookshop) leads to an unexpected encounter with co-worker Simon Derrick. And the surprise discovery of a ticket for a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball.
Every year, the matchmaking booksellers of the Sage Street bookshop host an enchanting, old-fashioned Christmas Ball for the romantic matches they’ve decided to bring together.
This year, will Simon and Cora discover a perfect chemistry in their opposite personalities and shared faith? Or will the matchmakers’ best laid plans end up ruining everything this holiday?
-Regency Romance –
A Spy’s Devotion (The Regency Spies of London, Book One) by Melanie Dickerson
In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.
At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?
The Elusive Miss Ellison (Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace) by Carolyn Miller
Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.
That’s the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister’s daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won’t take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia’s pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother–who stole the most important person in Livvie’s world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he’s just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there’s already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn’t the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.