First Line Friday: A Modest Independence

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is taken from a digital galley and may differ from the published text.

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One of my current reads, because I generally have a few on the go, is the second book in the Parish Orphans of Devon series by Mimi MatthewsA Modest Independence.  Here is the description:

He Needed Peace…

Solicitor Tom Finchley has spent his life using his devious intellect to solve the problems of others. As for his own problems, they’re nothing that a bit of calculated vengeance can’t remedy. But that’s all over now. He’s finally ready to put the past behind him and settle down to a quiet, uncomplicated life. If only he could find an equally uncomplicated woman.

She Wanted Adventure…

Former lady’s companion Jenny Holloway has just been given a modest independence. Now, all she wants is a bit of adventure. A chance to see the world and experience life far outside the restrictive limits of Victorian England. If she can discover the fate of the missing Earl of Castleton while she’s at it, so much the better.

From the gaslit streets of London to the lush tea gardens of colonial India, Jenny and Tom embark on an epic quest—and an equally epic romance. But even at the farthest edges of the British Empire, the past has a way of catching up with you…

And here are the first lines:

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Lord of Her Heart by Sherrinda Ketchersid (review)

LordofHerHeart_ketchersid.jpgHow did one master the affairs of the heart?

Fans of Medieval Historical Romance have a new author to watch in Sherrinda Ketchersid.  Her debut novel, Lord of Her Heart, is an absolute treat.

As Lady Jocelyn escapes the convent disguised as a boy, she soon finding herself taken on as squire to an imposing, impressive, and chivalrous knight, Malcolm Castillon.  More than luck is at play, as they are both bound for her home of Ramslea.  He to win a title and land, and she to avoid an unwanted marriage and discover why her father has not written to her for a year. Continue reading

First Line Friday: The Cowboy Meets His Match

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today’s featured quote is taken from a digital galley and may differ from the published text.

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Though I’ve put a temporary moratorium on NetGalley requests, I couldn’t help requesting the second Haywire Brides novel, The Cowboy Meets His Match by Margaret Brownley.  It will be out from Sourcebooks Casablanca later this month and is currently available for pre-order.  Here is the description:

His first mistake was marrying her.
His second was falling in love.

Chase McKnight will do anything to secure his family’s ranch—but marriage to a complete stranger? That’s a hard pill to swallow. Yet the will is clear: Chase needs a wife by his side if he wants to keep his home, so he meets his veiled lady at the courthouse steps and reluctantly says “I do”.

Too bad he married the wrong bride.

When Boston runaway Emily Fields agreed to marry a Texas stranger to escape her family’s scandal, she wasn’t prepared to get hitched to the wrong cowboy! Stuck in a secret compromise, she has one year to learn the ways of the ranch and convince Chase’s family they’re happily married. But when the lie becomes true, the past catches up to them and they must save the love they never expected…

And here is the first line:

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Sneak by Evan Angler (middle grade book review)

sneak_angler_thnelsonSneak is the exciting follow-up to Evan Angler’s Swipe.  With a nearly breathless pace, readers are once again swept up into a dystopian future in a story that grapples with issues of politics, loyalty, and faith.  Where Swipe was an introduction to this apocalyptic world, Sneak is a story of the journey Logan takes to find the sister he was told had died when she flunked her Pledge. Continue reading

Spring Magic by D.E. Stevenson (review)

springmagic_stevenson_deanstpressSpring Magic had me from the beginning, as it begins with a set-up similar to other well-loved pieces of fiction with an almost amusingly horrid family, this time an aunt who is not really an invalid and an uncle who is ineffective, in charge of a young woman who finds her moment to break free.

Frances Field is often more an observer than catalyst, so that moment is a combination of her doctor’s advice and the bomb that drops in the square, upsetting her aunt’s conviction that the war and the blitz would not dare touch her neighborhood.  Conveniently having money of her own, she is off to a seaside vacation on the Scottish coast.

What follows morphs from a vacation with colorful locals into a story of entanglement with the affairs and fortunes of a group of Army officers and their wives and children.  And while there is an offer of romantic attachment by the local laird, it is among the officers that Frances eventually finds a reciprocated attraction.

While the romance is not terribly convincing, the various threads of this story keep the reader involved and entertained.  With a bit of peril and excitement woven through, the war is ever present even if not much discussed, and is brought to the fore when the village is bombed.

Overall, this novel from 1942 may not be the best of D.E. Stevenson’s writing, but it is rather endearing for what it is, a light and rather cozy wartime read with adventure, intrigue, and romance on the rugged Scottish coast.  And as Stevenson’s characters sometimes reappear in other books, I’m hopeful for a certain local-with-potential to make another, more central appearance.


Spring Magic by D.E. Stevenson | Dean Street Press, January 2019 (originally published in 1942) | paperback or ebook, 279 pages


From the publisher:

Frances was free. She had enough money for her holiday, and when it was over she would find useful work. Her plans were vague, but she would have plenty of time to think things out when she got to Cairn. One thing only was certain—she was never going back to prison again.

Young Frances Field arrives in a scenic coastal village in Scotland, having escaped her dreary life as an orphan treated as little more than a servant by an uncle and aunt. Once there, she encounters an array of eccentric locals, the occasional roar of enemy planes overhead, and three army wives—Elise, Tommy, and Tillie—who become fast friends. Elise warns Frances of the discomforts of military life, but she’s inclined to disregard the advice when she meets the dashing and charming Captain Guy Tarlatan.

The ensuing tale, one of D.E. Stevenson’s most cheerful and satisfying, is complicated by a local laird with a shady reputation, a Colonel’s daughter who’s a bit too cosy with Guy, a spring reputed to guarantee marriage within a year to those who drink from it, and a series of misunderstandings only finally resolved in the novel’s harrowing climax.

Spring Magic, first published in 1942, is here reprinted for the first time in more than three decades. Furrowed Middlebrow and Dean Street Press are also reprinting four more of Stevenson’s best works—Smouldering Fire, Mrs. Tim Carries On, Mrs. Tim Gets a Job, and Mrs. Tim Flies Home. This new edition includes an introduction by Alexander McCall Smith.

 

 

 

 

 

From the publisher:

Frances was free. She had enough money for her holiday, and when it was over she would find useful work. Her plans were vague, but she would have plenty of time to think things out when she got to Cairn. One thing only was certain–she was never going back to prison again.

Young Frances Field arrives in a scenic coastal village in Scotland, having escaped her dreary life as an orphan treated as little more than a servant by an uncle and aunt. Once there, she encounters an array of eccentric locals, the occasional roar of enemy planes overhead, and three army wives–Elise, Tommy, and Tillie–who become fast friends. Elise warns Frances of the discomforts of military life, but she’s inclined to disregard the advice when she meets the dashing and charming Captain Guy Tarlatan.

The ensuing tale, one of D.E. Stevenson’s most cheerful and satisfying, is complicated by a local laird with a shady reputation, a Colonel’s daughter who’s a bit too cosy with Guy, a spring reputed to guarantee marriage within a year to those who drink from it, and a series of misunderstandings only finally resolved in the novel’s harrowing climax.

Spring Magic, first published in 1942, is here reprinted for the first time in more than three decades. Furrowed Middlebrow and Dean Street Press are also reprinting four more of Stevenson’s best works–Smouldering Fire, Mrs. Tim Carries On, Mrs. Tim Gets a Job, and Mrs. Tim Flies Home. This new edition includes an introduction by Alexander McCall Smith.

 

First Line Friday: An Amish Reunion

Welcome to First Line Friday,

hosted by Hoarding Books.

The featured quote is from a digital galley provided to me by BookLookBloggers and may differ from the final text.

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This week I’m featuring An Amish Reunion: Four Stories by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvin.  I am currently reading Mended Hearts by Kelly Irvin:

Mended Hearts by Kelly Irvin

At eighteen Hannah Kauffman made a terrible mistake. Her parents and members of her Jamesport Amish community say they’ve forgiven her. But she feels their eyes following her everywhere she goes with eighteen-month-old Evie. Thaddeus, Evie’s father, escaped this fate by running away from Jamesport. Now that Thaddeus is gone, Hannah’s old friend Phillip is stepping up to be by her side. He has waited patiently for Hannah to realize just how much he cares for her. But when Thaddeus returns after two years, Hannah can’t deny the love she feels for him. Does the fact that Phillip has waited patiently for her all this time mean that she owes him something? Can she trust either one of them? Can she trust herself? She has repented and been forgiven by the One who is most important—her heavenly Father. But is she willing to risk making more mistakes by opening herself up to love?

An Amish Reunion is available now from Zondervan.  Here is the first line of Mended Hearts:

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When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell (review)

whenmountainsmove_cantrell_tnzI have set my pulse to the slow, steady rhythm of the mountains.  When the pale moon peaks beyond the rocky crown and the coyotes sing their night hymns, the blood within me steadies and I almost believe I am home. (p.136)

Julie Cantrell’s debut novel, Into the Free, was so moving that I’ve continually put off reading it’s sequel, not wanting to experience more heartbreak for her wonderful character Millie.  But having finally read When Mountains Move, I regret having waited.

While When the Mountains Move is an almost immediate continuation of Into the Free‘s depression era story that follows Millie from her difficult but somehow magical childhood in rural Mississippi through adolescence and into the bloom of her first love and the devastation of her greatest trials and heartbreaks, it is also a different and distinct story of it’s own. Continue reading