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Showing posts from 2012

"Sinister Sprinkles," by Jessica Beck

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"Sinister Sprinkles," by Jessica Beck

Just in time for the Winter Festival, a glistening layer of snow has covered the streets of April Springs, North Carolina. Of course, it reminds donut shop owner Suzanne Hart of sweet delicious frosting. But her visions of sugar plums plummet when her ex’s ex-girlfriend gets iced …

Suzanne could never understand why her ex-husband and actor Max cheated on her with Darlene Higgins. Why Darlene’s body was found wearing another woman’s clothes is an even bigger mystery. Now Max is suspected of murder—and Suzanne is sifting through her mixed-up love life looking for clues. If she can’t sprinkle evidence on her half-baked theories of whodunit, Max is as good as fried….

This is a fun book, fast paced and with enough mystery and fun to keep you interested.  I had no idea until the mystery was solved as to who did it.  Bonus with this book there are recipes included in the book.  Decided I don't want to be a donut baker though as they have to …

"Sisters of the Sari," by Brenda L. Baker

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"Sisters of the Sari," by Brenda L. Baker
A debut novel about an American woman and an Indian woman who are about to dramatically change each other's lives-along with the lives of those around them.

While vacationing in India, Kiria Langdon, the opinionated and driven CEO of a major company, meets Santoshi, a former slave who now works as a cleaning lady and lives in a shelter for homeless women in Chennai. Appalled by the conditions in the shelter, Kiria becomes obsessed with the idea of building decent housing for poor working women in India. Santoshi reluctantly agrees to help, even though she thinks Kiria's ideas are too crazy to succeed.

Embarking on a rich journey of personal discovery, both women will learn invaluable lessons about themselves as they forge a powerful bond of sisterhood across the barriers of language and culture-a bond that makes anything possible.



This was such a fun book to read.  Made you laugh and happy and sometimes a little sad, …

"The Breath of Dawn," by Kristen Heitzmann

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"The Breath of Dawn," by Kristen Heitzmann


Corporate turnaround specialist Morgan Spencer, dubbed the "success guru," has a Midas touch in business. But losing his wife sent him to the brink, and his two-year-old daughter, Livie, is all he's living for--until they encounter a woman whose trouble just might draw him out of his own.

Four years ago Quinn Reilly did the right thing. Now the man her testimony put in jail is getting out. Though she has put up barriers to protect herself and those around her, she has come to care for the Spencer family, especially the winsome Livie and her mercurial father. Unwilling to put them at risk when the threats begin, she requests something she hopes the super-successful Morgan might be able to deliver.
Fixing problems is what Morgan does best, but his counter proposal takes them in a direction neither is equipped to handle. Determined to confront the past, will they survive to build a future?
I rather liked this book it kept me …

"Courting Cate," by Leslie Gould

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"Courting Cate," by Leslie Gould
When This Couple Gets to Courting, Sparks Will Fly!

In Paradise, Pennsylvania, Cate Miller is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Her sweet and flirty sister, Betsy, on the other hand, seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!
But the sisters' wealthy father has made one hard-and-fast rule: older Cate must marry first, before younger Betsy can even start courting. Unfortunately, untamable Cate has driven away every suitor--until Pete Treger comes to town, that is.
Prodded by the men of the area, Pete turns his attention to winning Cate's hand. But is his interest true or is there a scheme at play?
I have to admit I was getting "Amish Book Burnout," prior to this book, as it was beginning to feel like they were all basically the same.  I am very pleased to say this book was different from the others.  It had a fast pace to the book with enough twists and turns in …

"A Change of Fortune," by Jen Turano

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"A Change of Fortune," by Jen Turano


Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. After losing her family, her fiancé, and her faith, the disappearance of her fortune is the last straw. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she's determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.
Much to Mr. Hamilton Beckett's chagrin, all the eyes of New York society--all the female ones, at least--are on him. Unfortunately for all the matchmaking mothers and eligible daughters, he has no plans to marry again, especially with his hands full keeping his business afloat and raising his two children alone.

When Eliza's hapless attempts to regain her fortune put her right in Hamilton's path, sparks instantly begin to fly. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces, but with all their plans falling by the wayside and their enemies getting the better of them, it will take a riot of complications …

"Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing," by Kathy Cano-Murillo

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"Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing," by Kathy Cano-Murillo
Sometimes to find your life's true path, you have to stray outside the lines . . .

Scarlet Santana is never happier than when creating fabulous fashions for women of all shapes and sizes. Now, after years of hard work, she finally has the chance to live her dream and study under the hottest designer in New York. To raise money for her move, Scarlet opens an after-hours sewing school in a local record shop, teaching a type-A working mom whose rigid parenting style is causing her family to unravel and an enigmatic seamstress with a mysterious past.

But as stitches give way to secrets and classmates become friends, the women realize an important truth: There is no single pattern for a good life. Happiness is always a custom fit.

This book was really good, fast paced and interesting.  It's easy to get engrossed in the book and the main character Scarlet is great.  Just trying to imagine her in real lif…

"A Year of Biblical Womanhood," by Rachel Held Evans

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"A Year of Biblical Womanhood," by Rachel Held Evans
What is “biblical womanhood” . . . really?

Strong-willed and independent, Rachel Held Evans couldn’t sew a button on a blouse before she embarked on a radical life experiment—a year of biblical womanhood. Intrigued by the traditionalist resurgence that led many of her friends to abandon their careers to assume traditional gender roles in the home, Evans decides to try it for herself, vowing to take all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible for a year.

Pursuing a different virtue each month, Evans learns the hard way that her quest for biblical womanhood requires more than a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4). It means growing out her hair, making her own clothes, covering her head, obeying her husband, rising before dawn, abstaining from gossip, remaining silent in church, and even camping out in the front yard during her period.
See what happens when a thoroughly modern woman starts referring …

"Debt-Proof Your Christmas," by Mary Hunt

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"Debt-Proof Your Christmas," by Mary Hunt
Christmas--with no debt, less stress, and more joy!

Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also one of the most stressful--and most expensive. Expectations run high, and it's tempting to whip out the credit cards to create the perfect Christmas, with lavish meals, new decorations, and the latest, greatest gadgets and fashions for everyone on your gift list.

But you don't have to overspend or go into debt to have a fabulous holiday.

Financial expert Mary Hunt shows you how to assess your situation, commit to no new debt, and think creatively about gifts. With Mary's guidance, you'll discover what caused you to overspend in the past and how to approach this Christmas with a plan. It just might be the best gift you can give yourself and your family.

First let me say I have NOT read this entire book........YET, but I wanted to let you know how good this book is.  If you celebrate Christmas and even…

"The Christmas Pony," by Melody Carlson

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"The Christmas Pony," by Melody Carlson
With Christmas around the corner, the Turnbull family is in need of a few small miracles.

It is 1937, and Lucy Turnbull knows better than to wish for a pony this Christmas. Her mother has assured her in no uncertain terms that asking for a pony is the same as asking for the moon. Besides, the only extra mouths they need at their boarding house are the paying kind. Then an interesting pair of strangers comes to town, and Lucy's world changes forever.

Again this book was a lovely book.  I loved the lead character Lucy, she was a character with so much depth and wisdom, especially for her age.  This book highlighted how outward appearances mean nothing, it's what's inside of you that counts and shines through.

There are no real surprises and you will know what is going to happen, but regardless it was one of those books that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.  It's also an easy one or two afternoon read, and with a Christma…

"Christmas Roses," by Amanda Cabot

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"Christmas Roses," by Amanda Cabot
Celia Anderson doesn't have a husband on her Christmas wish list. But when a traveling carpenter finds lodging at her boardinghouse, she admits that she might remarry if she found the right man--the kind of man who would bring her roses for Christmas. It would take a miracle, though, to find roses during a harsh Wyoming winter.

But Christmas, after all, is the time for miracles . . .

First let me say the link above is too an e-book, I read the hardcover book.  This is a book you should be able to read in an afternoon or two.  It's a feel good Christmas book, with no real surprises; well there was one.  It's a book that will make you feel good about life and it wants you to know that things do happen for a reason.  Also good things do happen to good people.

Stars out of 5: 4.5  The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because of the price of the book.  It is $14.99, granted it is a hard cover book, but I think it was a little exp…

"The Christmas Pearl," by Dorothea Benton Frank

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"The Christmas Pearl," by Dorothea Benton Frank

"Theodora is the matriarch of a family that has grown into a bunch of truculent knuckleheads. While she's finally gotten them all together in South Carolina to celebrate, this Christmas looks nothing like the extravagant, homey holidays of her childhood.
What happened to the days when Christmas meant tables groaning with home-cooked goodies, over-the-top decorations, and long chats in front of the fire with Pearl, her grandmother's beloved housekeeper and closest confidante?
Luckily for Theodora, a special someone who heard her plea for help arrives, with pockets full of enough Gullah magic and common sense to make Theodora's Christmas the love-filled miracle it's meant to be."
I am a huge fan of this author, mainly because her books are set in South Carolina, and I love South Carolina as much as Tennessee.  
This is one of those feel good books where it starts out with troubles and people disliking one an…

"Busy Body," by M. C. Beaton

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"Busy Body," by M. C. Beaton


Agatha Raisin has never been one for enforced holiday cheer, but her friendly little village of Carsely has always prided itself on its traditional Christmas festivities. But this year the bells will not be ringing out Silent Night as Mr John Sunday, an officer with the Cotswold Health and Safety Board, has chosen Christmas as the time to crack down what he sees as gross misconduct by every man, woman, and child in the vicinity.

The village shop is told it can no longer have wooden shelves which have been there since the time of Queen Victoria 'in case someone is inflicted with a splinter.' The village school is ordered to leave lights on at night 'to prevent unauthorized intruders from tripping in the dark.' And children are warned to not play with 'counterfeit banknotes' after passing around toy money in the playground.

But finally Mr Sunday goes too far when he rules that there cannot be a Christmas tree atop the church to…

"The Potted Gardener," by M. C. Beaton

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"The Potted Gardener," by M. C. Beaton

Agatha goes digging where she shouldn't...

Agatha is taken aback when she finds a new woman ensconced in the affections of her attractive bachelor neighbour, James Lacey. The beautiful Mary Fortune is superior in every way, especially when it comes to gardening - and with Carsely Garden Open Day looming, Agatha feels this deficiency acutely.

So when Mary is discovered murdered, buried upside down in a pot, Agatha seizes the moment and immediately starts yanking up village secrets by their roots and digging the dirt on the hapless victim. But Agatha has an awkward secret too . . .


This is the third in the Agatha Raisin series, which I have only discovered now!!  I think it would be a help if you read them in order, but not totally necessary.  Wasn't sure if I was keen on old Agatha, as she seems to be a grumpy old thing, despite only being in her 50's.  For those of you who enjoy the television series "Murder She Wrote,"…

"Empty Cradles," by Margaret Humphreys

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"Empty Cradles," by Margaret Humphreys
Also published as Oranges and Sunshine.

In 1986 Margaret Humphreys, a Nottingham social worker, investigated a woman's claim that, aged four, she had been put on a boat to Australia by the British government. At first incredulous, Margaret discovered that this was just the tip of an enormous iceberg. Up to 150,000 children, some as young as three years old, had been deported from children's homes in Britain and shipped off to a 'new life' in distant parts of the Empire, right up until as recently as 1970.

Many were told that their parents were dead, and parents were told that their children had been adopted. In fact, for many children it was to be a life of horrendous physical and sexual abuse far away from everything they knew. Margaret and her team reunited thousands of families before it was too late, brought authorities to account, and worldwide attention to an outrageous miscarriage of justice.


I found out about this bo…

"A Home in Drayton Valley," by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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"A Home in Drayton Valley," by Kim Vogel Sawyer
Hoping to escape the poor conditions of 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines and her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher and their two children set off for Kansas aboard an unusual wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into a partnership with Joss that leaves them both questioning God and their plans for the future.
As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will they give up and go their separate ways? Or will God use their time in Drayton Valley in a way they never expected?
Loved this book.  It was a lovely book of courage, resilience and how love will win out in the end.  The main characters Tarsie and Joss were portrayed just how you would think they would be.  It again shows how despite being segregated  both coloured and white folks could get on with one another.  It also shows you if you truly believe in God he will look after you.

It also showed you resourceful people we…

"All Things New," by Lynn Austin

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"All Things New," by Lynn Austin
The war is over. The South has lost.
Josephine Weatherly struggles to pick up the pieces of her life when her family returns to their Virginia plantation. But the realities of life after the war cannot be denied: her home and land are but a shell of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken.


Her life of privilege, a long-ago dream.
Josephine soon realizes that life is now a matter of daily survival--and recognizes that Lizzie, as one of the few remaining servants, is the one she must rely on to teach her all she needs to know. Josephine's mother, too, vows to rebuild White Oak--but a bitter hatred fuels her.


Can hope--and a battered faith in God--survive amid the devastation? I love this time period in history and all things Southern.  This book brings home the fact that most people would prefer things to stay the same throughout their l…

"No Safe Harbor," by Elizabeth Ludwig

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"No Safe Harbor," by Elizabeth Ludwig
New York City, 1897

She came to America searching for her brother. Instead all she's found is a web of danger.
Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, desperate to find him. Her search leads her to a houseful of curious strangers, and one man who claims to be a friend--Rourke Walsh. Despite her brother's warning, Cara trusts Rourke, revealing her purpose in coming to New York.

She's then thrust into a world of subterfuge, veiled threats, and attempted murder, including political revolutionaries from the homeland out for revenge. Her questions guide her ever nearer to locating her brother--but they also bring her closer to destruction as those who want to kill him track her footsteps. With her faith in tatters, all hope flees. Will her brother finally surface? Can he save Cara from the truth about Rourke... a man she's grown to love? This book is v…

"Full Disclosure," by Dee Henderson

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"Full Disclosure," by Dee Henderson
Ann Silver is a cop's cop. As the Midwest Homicide Investigator, she is called in to help local law enforcement on the worst of cases, looking for answers to murder. Hers is one of the region's most trusted investigative positions.
Paul Falcon is the FBI's top murder cop in the Midwest. If the victim carried a federal badge or had a security clearance, odds are good Paul and his team see the case file or work the murder.
Their lives intersect when Ann arrives to pass a case off her desk and onto his. A car wreck and a suspicious death offer a lead on a hired shooter he is tracking. Paul isn't expecting to meet someone, the kind that goes on the personal side of the ledger, but Ann Silver has his attention.
The better he gets to know her, the more Paul realizes her job barely scratches the surface of who she is. She knows spies and soldiers and U.S. Marshals, and has written books about them. She is friends with the …

"The Gaither Homecoming Bible," Bill and Gloria Gaither, General Editors

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"The Gaither Homecoming Bible," Bill and Gloria Gaither, General Editors
The Gaither Homecoming Bible will make the Bible come alive for those seeking truth in the twenty-first century, even for those who think they already know it. For years, Bill and Gloria Gaither have reached millions of people across generations with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Their music of joy, thanksgiving, and praise ushers people into the presence of God so that He can do His wondrous work in their lives. Featuring inspirational and insightful Scripture devotions by the Gaithers and other favorite Homecoming artists; articles on beloved hymns, gospel songs, and Gaither classics and the inspiration behind them; original poetry by Gloria Gaither to enlighten and inspire; and quotes by greats of the faith, reflecting on the importance of music in the life of believers, this beautiful Bible featuring the New King James Version® (NKJV) is one that readers will treasure for years to come.

Now don'…

"Dear Deb," by Margaret Terry

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"Dear Deb, A Woman with Cancer, a Friend with Secrets and the Letters that became their Miracle," by Margaret Terry

"I want you to know that if my illness inspired you to write these stories, the cancer was worth it."—Deb

What stories could possibly make cancer worth it?

Stories that represent a miracle—a lifetime of miracles. Stories that changed the writer as she wrote them and stories that will touch the heart of the reader, one by one by one. Stories that are not just stories.

They started out as words of encouragement to a dying woman. They turned into a collection of sparkling and intimate moments, pulled from the past to finally be understood and shared with new meaning.

Story by story, letter by letter, Margaret Terry uncovered powerful pictures in her own life of the one truth that could help carry her friend Deb from this life to the next: God is at work.

Together, Deb and Margaret found renewed hope in all the ways God shows up right to the very end. Which is …

"The Bridesmaid," by Beverly Lewis

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"The Bridesmaid," by Beverly Lewis
Joanna Kurtz has made several trips to the altar, but never as a bride. The young Amishwoman is a closet writer whose stories aren't her only secret.

Eben Troyer hopes to make Joanna his bride--if he can ever leave his parents' farm in Shipshewana, Indiana. Yet Eben's hopes to build a life with Joanna hinge on his brother's return from the English world....
Have to say I enjoyed this book and read it over a couple of weeks, which is very unusual for me, as I normally read books in a day or two.  We were busy though, and I did find I was able to pick up where I left off no problem.  It did want me to spend more time reading it to see what happened next, again a good point. It pushes the point that you have to believe in God's will and you will end up doing the right thing, but not before being tested first. If you have read any of Beverly Lewis' books, you will recognise some of the names in the book as characters fr…

"With Every Letter" by Sarah Sundin

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"With Every Letter" by Sarah Sundin

Lt. Mellie Blake is looking forward to beginning her training as a flight nurse. She is not looking forward to writing a letter to a man she's never met--even if it is anonymous and part of a morale-building program. Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa, welcomes the idea of an anonymous correspondence--he's been trying to escape his infamous name for years.

As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other's true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face-to-face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage by their pasts?

Combining a flair for romance with excellent research and attention to detail, Sarah Sundin vividly brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing--and true love. 

I am not a huge fan of World Wa…

"Love's Reckoning," by Laura Frantz

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"Love's Reckoning," by Laura Frantz

On a bitter December day in 1784, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of blacksmith Liege Lee in York County, Pennsylvania. Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship quickly and move west. But because he is a fast worker and a superb craftsman, Liege endeavors to keep him in York by appealing to an old tradition: the apprentice shall marry one of his master's beautiful daughters.

Eden is as gentle and fresh as Elspeth is high-spirited and cunning. But are they truly who they appear to be? In a house laced with secrets, each sister seeks to secure her future. Which one will claim Silas's heart--and will he agree to Liege's arrangement?

In this sweeping family saga, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. This is the Ballantyne Legacy.

This is the first book in the Ballantyne Legacy and what a great book to start the series.  This story reminded me a…

"A Hidden Truth," by Judith Miller

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"A Hidden Truth," by Judith Miller


East Amana, Iowa
1892

When Karlina Richter discovers that a new shepherd will be sent to her village, she fears she'll no longer be allowed to help her father with the sheep. She'll be relegated back to kitchen work, stuck inside all day. Her fears increase when the new shepherd shows little interest in the flock--or in divulging why he's suddenly been sent to East. Is he keeping secrets that will impact Karlina's family?

Dovie Cates visits the Amana Colonies to learn more about the place where her mother grew up. But when Dovie begins to ask questions about her mother's past, no one seems willing to reveal anything, so she decides to take matters into her own hands. Will the answers she finds spell disaster for her future plans and the longings of her heart?
I loved this book.  It's easy to get caught up in the story.  Love the two main characters and how different they are but how much they care about one anoth…

"Precisely Terminated," by Amanda L. Davis

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"Precisely Terminated," by Amanda L. Davis

With microchips implanted in their skulls at birth, the slaves of Cantral and Cillineese have labored under the tyrannical rule of the Nobles and their computers for decades. Monica, a Noble who avoided the implanting and escaped a death sentence at the age of four, is now sixteen and is in hiding. She lives with the slaves inside the walls of the Cantral palace, pretending to be one of them while the slave council plots a way to use her chip-less state to destroy the all-powerful computers that strike down any hint of rebellion. The Nobles hear of Monica’s survival and try to exterminate her before she ruins their upper-class utopia. The rebels send her to find a missing paper bearing instructions on how to shut down the computers that control the chips in Cillineese, a major city-state. The Nobles are alerted to the plan and prepare to seal Cillineese in a giant dome to gas the inhabitants, including Monica. The fate of millions ride…

"The Haven," by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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"The Haven," by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Spring brings new life, young love, and second chances to Stoney Ridge.
On a warm spring day, Sadie Lapp returns home to her quiet, unassertive life in Stoney Ridge after spending the winter in Ohio.
Gideon Smucker, an awkward schoolteacher, has been in love with Sadie since childhood and eagerly awaits her return. But does Sadie feel the same about him?
Will Stoltz, a charming and impetuous college student, has been banished for a semester and sent to babysit endangered peregrine falcons nesting at the Lapp farm. He'd rather be anywhere else . . . until he befriends Sadie.
As the hopes and ambitions of these three young people converge, life in Stoney Ridge may never be the same.

This is the second book in the Stoney Ridge Series, and it was really good.  The story kept going and kept you interested all the way through.  I thought the story was going one way and it went another.  I like how you read about situations that you can lea…

"To Love and Cherish," by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

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"To Love and Cherish," by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller
Melinda Colson has been waiting months for Evan, the assistant gamekeeper at the Bridal Veil Island resort, to propose. Without an offer of marriage, she must return to Cleveland with the family she works for as a lady's maid.

Evan isn't afraid of hard work, and he hopes to be promoted soon. He wants to marry Melinda--but not until he's sure he can support her and a family.

Letters strengthen their romance until a devastating storm strikes the island. With no word from Evan, Melinda knows she must journey back to Bridal Veil in search of her beloved.

But the hurricane isn't the last calamity to shake up Bridal Veil. Melinda finds a new job on the island, but still no offer of marriage comes her way. Has she given her heart to the wrong person? Will she ever find a man to love and cherish?


Confession first.  The only reason I got this book is I read the first one in the series; this one is the se…