Friday, February 9, 2024

When the Waters Came Review


 

About the Book

Book: When the Waters Came

Author: Candice Sue Patterson

Genre: Christian/Historical/Romance

Release Date: January, 2024

An act of greed or an act of God?

Introducing a new series of 6 exciting novels featuring historic American disasters that transformed landscapes and multiple lives. Whether by nature or by man, these disasters changed history and were a day to be remembered.

Pastor Montgomery Childs has tended his flock in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, for two years. While his pews are full every Sunday, he most desires to see a reckoning between God and the kings of industry who recreate on Lake Conemaugh. The pleasure grounds, flowing alcohol, and business dealings of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club taunts Monty as he works to heal the wounds inflicted from his own privileged childhood among Pittsburgh society. Like Noah, Monty prays against the evil surrounding him, but he never expects God to send a flood.

It takes five days for the Red Cross to respond to the Johnstown flood disaster, but when it does, Annamae Worthington is ready to help. Apprenticing under Clara Barton has prepared her for the job, but nothing can prepare her for the death and destruction that awaits. As if the survivors haven’t suffered enough, typhoid fever ravages the town, resurfacing suppressed emotions regarding her father’s death.

Narrowly surviving the flood and the horrifying things he’s witnessed, Monty’s faith is floundering. Then a Red Cross nurse puts him to work helping with the typhoid fever victims arriving at the hospital tents every hour. Monty and Annamae work together distributing disinfectants and supplies, housing orphans, and serving those left behind. Slowly, his faith resurfaces. A kinship forms between them neither can ignore. But when an investigation into the collapsed dam points to the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, secrets emerge that may tear them apart.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Candice Sue Patterson studied at The Institute of Children’s Literature and is an elementary librarian. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, snuggling with her Great Pyrenees, or helping children discover books they love, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance–where the past and present collide with faith. For more on Candice and her books, visit www.candicesuepatterson.com.

 

 

 

More from Candice

On May 30, 1889, the industrious residents of Johnstown, Pennsylvania fell into slumber to the sound of rain pattering their rooftops, unaware that, for many, it would be their last night on earth. This was the thought I carried with me through the entire journey of writing When the Waters Came. Every survivor’s account of that day, every loss, every miracle, every emotion will stick with me for years to come.

My first knowledge of the Johnstown Flood came several years ago when I watched The Men Who Built America in its first airing on the History Channel. The idea that so great a loss of life could’ve easily been prevented by some of the richest men in the world strummed an invisible chord inside me. I remember looking at my husband and saying, “I’m going to write a book about it someday.”

A few more years went by and each time I sat down to plot a new story idea, Johnstown whispered across my heart, but the timing wasn’t right. Then, in 2021, I was shopping at our local community book fair and stumbled upon a first edition of History of the Johnstown Flood, Illustrated by Willis Fletcher Johnson, published in 1889, months after the disaster. Not meaning to sound hokey, I felt as if God handed me the book Himself and confirmed He wanted me to write this story. The next year, at the same book fair, I found a first edition of The Life of Clara Barton by Percy H. Epler, published in 1919. It contained transcripts of her journals and correspondence, some specifically mentioning the Red Cross and her role in aiding the survivors of the Johnstown flood. Once again, I felt that God had provided all the material I would need to tell my tale. Then, in 2022, when my publisher reached out looking for proposals for a new series centered on disasters, I knew the time had come to remind folks of that tragic day.

I’ll be honest, I shed a lot of tears during my research. The accounts are heartbreaking. But the faith and determination in some of those accounts are inspiring as well. Many of the characters in When the Waters Came are real survivors of the flood, and Clara Barton, herself, walks on and off the pages throughout the story.

In May 2023, a month before I turned the manuscript in to my publisher, my husband and I traveled nine hours to Johnstown to experience what we could for ourselves and to make sure my historical facts were correct. I stood where the South Fork Dam once did. I imagined the roar of the water as the dam crumbled. I toured the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club clubhouse, where America’s elite once recreated. I stood at Colonel Unger’s homestead where he’d stood that fateful day, powerless to reinforce the dam and save the folks in Johnstown below. I walked the rows of 777 graves in Grandview Cemetery honoring the unidentified bodies that were rescued. I thought of all the lost loved ones never found.

Where the retelling of the Johnstown Flood is hard and tragic, I also packed the story with plenty of faith, hope, and love to give readers a well-balanced experience. For on-site videos, behind-the-writing-scenes info, and more details about the Johnstown Flood, subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 27

Devoted To Hope, January 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 30

Mary Hake, January 30

Texas Book-aholic, January 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 2

She Lives To Read, February 3

Blossoms and Blessings, February 3

Simple Harvest Reads, February 4 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Cover Lover Book Review, February 5

Book Looks by Lisa, February 5

Life on Chickadee Lane, February 6

Pause for Tales, February 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 7

For Him and My Family, February 8

Connie’s History Classroom, February 9

To Everything There Is A Season , February 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Candice is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

 GIVEAWAY



My Thoughts


This was an interesting book about the flood that happened in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1889. I had no idea that this was a part of history and so that aspect had me focused on the story at the start. I can't imagine what those people went through and this book doesn't hold back on the hard parts. It is a clean read but with such a disaster you can't avoid the hard things of death and some details. There is a bit of a love story and you really get to see into the life of Pastor Montgomery Childs. I had a difficult time really getting into the last part of the book. I hate to say it but it just didn't hold my attention. I didn't care a lot about the romance and the historical aspects were interesting but just didn't grab me at the end. I think many people will love this story but it is just okay for me. I am glad that authors are taking little known historical events and making them come alive. 


Three Stars. 

"I received this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

Sunday, February 4, 2024

A Lady's Guide to Marvels and Misadventure Review




About the Book

 When Clara Marie Stanton's ex-fiancรฉ begins to spread rumors that her family suffers from hereditary insanity, it's all Clara can do to protect them from his desperate schemes and society's prejudice. Her family may be eccentric, yes, but they certainly aren't insane. Then Clara's Grandfather Drosselmeyer brings on an apprentice with a mechanical leg, and all pretense of normalcy takes wing.


Theodore Kingsley, a shame-chased vagabond skilled in repairing clocks, wants a fresh start far from Kingsley Court and the disappointed father who declared him dead. Upon returning to England, Theodore meets clockmaker Drosselmeyer, who hires him as an apprentice, much to Clara's dismay. When Drosselmeyer spontaneously disappears in his secret flying owl machine, he leaves behind a note for Clara, beseeching her to make her dreams of adventure a reality by joining him on a merry scavenger hunt. Together, Clara and Theodore set off to follow Drosselmeyer's trail of clues, but they will have to stay one step ahead of a villain who wants the flying machine for himself--at any cost. (Goodreads)





My Thoughts


This book has such a fun cover and as a debut novel I wasn't sure what to expect. I imagined this story to be fun and light and a tad silly. It did prove to be a light and silly read with needed life lessons throughout. The silliness at times was a bit over the top for me. There are some fun family dynamics that I enjoyed and this truly has a cast of colorful and unique characters. I struggled to fully be engrossed in this book. I love the idea and the travel adventures is great but at times it felt a bit slow. I did appreciate how this story shows a different side to personalities. Often with books set in this time period the people tend to be very much the same with perhaps one quirk about them. In this book it veers greatly and shows how people all have different personalities. This has always been true, it just isn't often written into the books we read. So I commend the author for taking a leap and writing something different. I am eager to read what comes next! 

Three Stars. 

" I received this book for free from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review." 










Thursday, February 1, 2024

One Wrong Move Review




About the Book

 Taunting riddles.

A deadly string of heists.
Two broken hearts trapped in a killer's game.

Christian O'Brady was pulled into a life of crime at a young age by his con artist parents. Now making amends for his corrupt past, he has become one of the country's foremost security experts. When a string of Southwestern art heists targets one of the galleries Christian secured, he is paired up with a gifted insurance investigator who has her own checkered past.

Andi Forester was a brilliant FBI forensic analyst until one of her colleagues destroyed her career, blaming her for mishandling evidence. She now puts those skills to work investigating insurance fraud, and this latest high-stakes case will test her gift to the limit. Drawn deep into a dangerous game with an opponent bent on revenge, Christian and Andi are in a race against the clock to catch him, but the perpetrator's game is far from finished, and one wrong move could be the death of them both. (Goodreads)





My Thoughts

Wow, this story starts off with a bang and keeps your hanging on until the very end! I love that this is the start of a new series.I think this is the best book that this author has written since her Alaska series. I love the setting and I am eager to see where the next book takes us. The characters in this story have a lot of layers and I really enjoyed getting to know each of them. The suspense and mystery is fantastic and it is all a tangled mess of murder and robbery and past history. I loved it! There is a lot happening and as a reader you really have to pay attention because there are a lot of details and moving parts that conclude in the end. The romance I honestly could have done without or perhaps just not as much. It isn't over the top it was just kind of there and I thought it happened way too fast. All that to say that this is a great read and kept me on the edge of my seat. I highly recommend! 

Five Stars. 

"I received this book from NetGalley for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."


















Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Cabrini | Official Trailer 2 | Angel Studios

This looks like an interesting film that shows a history that is not well known. I love that it is based on a true story! 

About the Film

From Alejandro Monteverde, award-winning director of ๐˜š๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ, comes the powerful epic of Francesca Cabrini, an Italian immigrant who arrives in New York City in 1889 and is greeted by disease, crime, and impoverished children. Cabrini sets off on a daring mission to convince the hostile mayor to secure housing and healthcare for society's most vulnerable. With broken English and poor health, Cabrini uses her entrepreneurial mind to build an empire of hope unlike anything the world had ever seen.

Releases in theaters March 8th!



***Disclaimer: This film is rated PG-13 and includes some (tastefully-portrayed) mature themes.

 #CabriniMovieMIN



Sunday, January 21, 2024

Double Take Review




About the Book

 Detective James Cross has been honorably discharged from the Army Criminal Investigation Division due to wounds sustained when an IED blew up near him. Now with the Lake City Police Department, he's rooming with this good buddy and partner, Cole, while he figures out his family dynamics.


Physician Assistant Lainie Jackson is eighteen months out from an attempted murder perpetrated by her ex, which ended when she managed to grab the weapon and shoot him. When he appears to have survived and is back to finish the job he started, Lainie insists it's not possible. But someone keeps trying to kill her, and she keeps seeing his face.

Together, Lainie and James must work together to find out who, exactly, is after her and why he wants her dead. And failure is not an option.

USA Today bestselling author Lynette Eason will leave you breathless with this fast-paced first book in a brand-new series. (Goodreads)







My Thoughts

This story starts off with action and doesn't let up until the very end. I really enjoyed Lainie's character the most and I felt for her through the book. There are creepy stalker scenes and also a confusing mystery of a past death that make up the majority of this book. The suspense is really well written and I tended to not read it at night if I was alone. I think the author did a good job in wrapping up the loose ends and taking the plot where it needed to go. I do wish I liked the secondary characters more and the romance just seemed super rushed and thrown in. I enjoy a good suspense novel and this book is pretty good. I just couldn't quite give it five stars. 


Four Stars. 


"I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."



















Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Juliet Code Review

 


 

About the Book

Book: The Juliet Code

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical Fiction

Release Date: December, 2023

 

Newlyweds Lord and Lady Astley Finally Reach Their Honeymoon Destination Only to Encounter a New Mystery in Need of Solving

Frederick and Grace Percy finally make it to Italy to enjoy a delayed honeymoon and explore the beauties of the historic city of Venice. To their surprise, their friend, Detective Jack Miracle, is also in the city, investigating a series of art heists starting at the house of eccentric millionaire, Laraby Covington. Drawn into a world of boat races, mysterious houses, and parties of the rich and unusual in Venice, Frederick and Grace learn of the existence of the Juliet paintings, (Renaissance paintings feature Shakespeare’s tragic heroine) rumored to hold a secret code to an underground vault of similarly treasured artwork assumed lost over the centuries. As Freddie and Grace are pulled deeper into the mystery and their beloved Detective Jack disappears, can they use their wits and work as a team to find the thieves and Jack before it’s too late.

The Juliet Code is a Freddie and Grace Mystery, sequel to The Mistletoe Countess and The Cairo Curse.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

 

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell’s Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

 

More from Pepper

The Ever After

I’ve always loved fairytales.

Especially the romanticized version (#romancewriter).

The wonderful sense of a two people meeting, overcoming obstacles to be together, and then the happily-ever-after?

Well, those are some of my favorite reasons to read and write fiction. However, I didn’t realize the challenge I took on when I agreed to write a second and third book with the main characters staying the same!

You know what I mean?

In most series, the main characters from book one become secondary characters in the consecutive books so that the secondary characters in book one can become the main characters in book 2 (everybody still following along? )

One of my favorite book series that do this so well is the Amelia Peabody series. I fell in LOVE with Amelia and Emerson in book one, but just loved watching their continued dynamic as a couple grow with each new book. I felt as if I got to know them so much better in their “ever after” while they engaged in all sorts of adventures together.

So…that’s what I hoped to accomplish with Freddie and Grace.

Where The Mistletoe Countess ends with a happily-ever-after, The Cairo Curse and The Juliet Code take over to show us more of the…ever after – my attempt at showing how two main characters continue to grow beyond the end of book one.

I didn’t realize what a daunting feat it would be. Watching two characters meet, fall in love, and show some growth in book 1 was what I was used to doing. But how was I supposed to continue that character growth in consecutive books?

Well, I had to grow myself as a writer to understand how small changes can make lasting differences especially when writing about a beloved couple.

I think The Juliet Code shows a little of that growth – of our Freddie and Grace have not only matured spiritually and, in Grace’s case, experientially, but also as a couple.

Do you have a series that you love where the main characters stay the same?

Blog Stops

The Sacred Line, December 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 28

Bigreadersite, December 28

Texas Book-aholic, December 29

Devoted To Hope, December 29

Mary Hake, December 29

She Lives To Read, December 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 30

Book Butterfly in Dreamland, December 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 31

Blogging with Carol, December 31

For Him and My Family, December 31

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 1

Back Porch Reads, January 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 2

Life on Chickadee Lane, January 2

Connie’s History Classroom, January 2

Book Looks by Lisa, January 3

Aryn the Libraryan, January 3

Girls in White Dresses, January 3

Daysong Reflections, January 4

Holly’s Book Corner, January 4

Splashes of Joy, January 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 5 (Author Interview)

Wishful Endings, January 5

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 5

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, January 6

Blossoms and Blessings, January 6

Pause for Tales, January 6

Tell Tale Book reviews, January 7

Cover Lover Book Review, January 7

Live. Love. Read., January 7

Labor Not in Vain, January 8

Mornings at Character Cafe, January 8

Worthy2Read, January 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, January 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 9

The Lit Lady, January 9

Lily’s Corner, January 10

By The Book, January 10

To Everything There Is A Season, January 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon eGift card and a print copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

GIVEAWAY

 

 

My Thoughts

This is the third book in a series and I have read them all. I do recommend reading them in order so you fully understand the backstory and relationship of Frederick and Grace. You could also pick up this book and read it as it is and enjoy it as well. This book is similar to the last where there is an ongoing mystery. I think these books would make really fun movies because they are set in wonderful places with mystery and romance but also a lot of silliness. The author takes us to Venice in this latest escapade. They end up meeting up with some interesting characters and getting involved in a situation that they weren't expecting. This isn't my favorite of the series but I enjoyed the humor and the setting. Fans of these books will love it and if you are wanting something light and fun you will probably enjoy this also!  


Three Stars. 


"I received this book from Barbour for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2024

 A new year always means new books. I am eagerly awaiting for many different books this year and this is just a small list. 


Peter Driscoll, an underground investigator to the wealthy, has never met anyone like Lily Temple. The beautiful silent-film actress spins fairy tales and plays frivolous roles in front of the cine-camera, but beneath the costumes and stage makeup is a woman with a quick wit--and a murky past.

Peter has been tasked with locating the legendary Briarwood Teardrop, an exquisite sapphire, which Lily wears beneath her gown. In order to stay close to her and hopefully unravel the mystery of her story--and the sapphire--Peter employs Lily's help on a case, which leads to a useful partnership. But as they are investigating together, Peter is also investigating Lily. The closer he gets to the truth, the more danger they face. And the closer he gets to Lily, the clearer it is that he needs her even more than she needs him.

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano whisks you away to Edwardian England in 1903 for a whimsical and layered tale that treads the crooked line between real and make-believe. (Goodreads)




Katherine Schneider's workaday life as a dentist in 1913 New York is upended when a patient reveals details of a deadly plot while under the influence of laughing gas. As she is plunged into danger, she seeks help from the dashing Lieutenant Jonathan Birch, a police officer she has long admired from afar.


Jonathan has harbored powerful feelings toward Katherine for years but never acted on them, knowing his dark history is something she could never abide. Now, with her safety on the line, he works alongside her through the nights as they unravel the criminal conspiracy that threatens her. And throughout it all, Jonathan fears what will happen should Katherine ever learn his deepest secrets. (Goodreads)


When Clara Marie Stanton's ex-fiancรฉ begins to spread rumors that her family suffers from hereditary insanity, it's all Clara can do to protect them from his desperate schemes and society's prejudice. Her family may be eccentric, yes, but they certainly aren't insane. Then Clara's Grandfather Drosselmeyer brings on an apprentice with a mechanical leg, and all pretense of normalcy takes wing.

Theodore Kingsley, a shame-chased vagabond skilled in repairing clocks, wants a fresh start far from Kingsley Court and the disappointed father who declared him dead. Upon returning to England, Theodore meets clockmaker Drosselmeyer, who hires him as an apprentice, much to Clara's dismay. When Drosselmeyer spontaneously disappears in his secret flying owl machine, he leaves behind a note for Clara, beseeching her to make her dreams of adventure a reality by joining him on a merry scavenger hunt. Together, Clara and Theodore set off to follow Drosselmeyer's trail of clues, but they will have to stay one step ahead of a villain who wants the flying machine for himself--at any cost. (Goodreads)



The Women is the story of one woman gone to war, but it shines a light on all women who put themselves in harm’s way and whose sacrifice and commitment to their country has too often been forgotten. A novel about deep friendships and bold patriotism, The Women is a richly drawn story with a memorable heroine whose idealism and courage under fire will come to define an era. (Goodreads)


FBI Agent Jude Camden handles every aspect of his job with by-the-book professionalism. There's no reason why his latest assignment—which calls for him to pose as the boyfriend of perfumer Gemma Clare—should be any different.

Except Gemma is different. She's creative, bold, and feisty. And as soon as she meets Jude, she wants to loosen him up, wrinkle his perfect shirts, and test every ounce of his towering self-control.

The FBI has an iron-clad rule against romances between those working together on operations. Jude's never met a rule he didn't respect. But adhering to this one is going to be tough because, as time goes by, he finds Gemma more and more irresistible.

Buckle up! It's going to be a rocky road. (Goodreads)


A young couple find themselves haunted by a string of gruesome murders committed along an old deserted road in this terrifying new novel.

July 1995. April and Eddie have taken a wrong turn. They’re looking for the small resort town where they plan to spend their honeymoon. When they spot what appears to be a lone hitchhiker along the deserted road, they stop to help. But not long after the hitchhiker gets into their car, they see the blood seeping from her jacket and a truck barreling down Atticus Line after them.

When the hitchhiker dies at the local hospital, April and Eddie find themselves in the crosshairs of the Coldlake Falls police. Unexplained murders have been happening along Atticus Line for years and the cops finally have two witnesses who easily become their only suspects. As April and Eddie start to dig into the history of the town and that horrible stretch of road to clear their names, they soon learn that there is something supernatural at work, something that could not only tear the town and its dark secrets apart, but take April and Eddie down with it all. (Goodreads)


A pair of hikers find a tarp-wrapped body in a clearing in the woods. When a search in the surrounding area yields two more, Sheriff Bree Taggert knows they’ve stumbled onto a serial killer’s dumping ground.

With the help of investigator Matt Flynn, Bree works the case. They go to interview Jana, the best friend of one of the victims. But when they arrive at her apartment, it’s been ransacked and set on fire. And Jana is missing.

It’s clear the killer is escalating. To make matters worse, he threatens Bree’s family and a young mother vanishes. Will Bree and Matt uncover the link between the victims before more women die? (Goodreads)


In 1910, Effie James is living a dream for two. Her younger sister is harboring a secret that has left timid Effie determined to fulfill her daring sister's grand plan of seeking out adventure in their small Iowa town. When a British gentleman arrives, disrupting their peace with efforts to find the wife many claim lived her final days at the now abandoned house at 322 Predicament Avenue, Effie is thrust into intrigue she couldn't have prepared for. But what she finds inside will forever link her to the scandal staining the house's walls and to a woman whose secrets promise a curse.

A century later, Norah Richman is living out her late-twin's dream of running their great aunt's bed-and-breakfast on Predicament Avenue--a place Norah believes nothing good can come out of after her sister's abduction and murder thirteen years ago. Her first guest is a crime historian and podcaster, and Norah resolves to stay far away from the charming and enigmatic man--until another guest is found dead. As they dig deeper, something sinister unfurls that will reveal an ominous unknown far greater than the possibility of death itself. (Goodreads)


Lady Anne Deveril doesn’t spook easily. A woman of lofty social standing known for her glacial beauty and starchy opinions, she’s the unofficial leader of her small group of equestriennes. Since her mother’s devastating plunge into mourning six years ago, Anne voluntarily renounced any fanciful notions of love and marriage. And yet, when fate puts Anne back into the entirely too enticing path of Mr. Felix Hartford, she’s tempted to run…right into his arms.

No one understands why Lady Anne withdrew into the shadows of society, Hart least of all. The youthful torch he once held for her has long since cooled. Or so he keeps telling himself. But now Anne needs a favor to help a friend. Hart will play along with her little ruse—on the condition that Anne attend a holiday house party at his grandfather’s country estate. No more mourning clothes. No more barriers. Only the two of them, unrequited feelings at last laid bare.

Finally free to gallop out on her own, Anne makes the tantalizing discovery that beneath the roguish exterior of her not-so-white knight is a man with hidden depths, scorching passions—and a tender heart. (Goodreads)


Valentine defies the emperor and becomes a hero . . . and the most wanted man in the empire. Compelled by his faith, he has nothing to lose, until a chance encounter with the daughter of a Roman jailor changes everything.

Rome, AD 270. In the wake of the emperor’s marriage ban, rumors swirl that there is one man brave enough to perform wedding ceremonies in secret. A public notarius and leader of an underground church, Valentine believes the emperor’s edict unjust and risks his own life for the sake of his convictions. But as his fame grows, so do fears for his safety.

Iris, the daughter of a Roman jailor, believes regaining her sight will ease the mounting troubles at home. Her last hope rests in searching out Valentine and his church, but the danger of associating with people labeled a threat to the empire is great. Still, as Iris's new friends lead her to faith in God, Iris is drawn to Valentine and they both begin to hope for a future together beyond the treacherous empire.

But when a past debt and a staggering betrayal collide, Valentine, Iris, and everyone they love must fight for their lives . . . and wrestle with trusting a God who can restore sight yet does not always keep His followers from peril. (Goodreads)