Hope at Dawn by Stacy Henrie (Of Love and War #1)

The Specs:

HOPE AT DAWN (Of Love and War, Bk 1) by Stacy Henrie, 2014, Forever (an imprint of Grand Central Publishing), $8.00/C$9.00, pb. 384pp, 978-1-455-59880-9

hope at dawnLivy Campbell is the daughter of an all-American family; with two brothers fighting overseas, she desperately wants to help her family and accepts the first job she’s offered, as a schoolteacher in Hilden, Iowa. Friedrick Wagner, a handsome German-American living in Hilden, just wants to provide for and protect his family, but the fear and prejudice against people like him makes that increasingly difficult. Complicating things is his growing attraction to Livy, a match that can never be. With an uncertain future ahead of them, Livy and Friedrick must tread carefully to retain their faith and their freedom.

Condensing a timeline of real events in 1918-1919 including the liberty loan drives and a language law passed by the Governor of Iowa in 1918; Henrie sets the fictional town and characters of Hilden in a hotbed of anti-German sentiment and fear. While the romantic tension could be stronger and Friedrick’s rival more developed, Henrie keeps the plot simple and familiar. At its most ordinary, this is a romance novel that doesn’t whitewash the persecution against German-Americans during WWI, at its best; Henrie offers a compelling look at the danger of xenophobia, especially during times of war.

This review first appeared in the November 2014 issue of Historical Novel Review. I received a copy of the book for the purposes of a fair review.

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The Pursuit of Mary Bennet by Pamela Mingle

pursuit of mary bennetWith warmth, wit, and infinite charm Pamela Mingle brings to the page Pride and Prejudice’s reserved and awkward Mary Bennet and proves that there is always room for another Austen spin-off when it’s this good.

For most of her life Mary Bennet has been an object of ridicule. With a notable absence of the social graces, she has been an embarrassment to her family on more than one occasion. But lately, Mary has changed. She’s matured and attained a respectable, if somewhat unpolished, decorum.

But her peace and contentment are shattered when her sister Lydia turns up-very pregnant and separated from Wickham. Mary and Kitty are bustled off to stay with Jane and her husband. It is there that Mary meets Henry Walsh, whose attentions confound her. Unschooled in the game of love, her heart and her future are at risk. Is she worthy of love or should she take the safer path? In her journey of self-acceptance, she discovers the answer. (GoodReads) Continue reading

Undressing Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

undressing_doornebosSummary: Vanessa Roberts, a PR queen, has the envious task of shepherding around Julian Chancellor, a Mr. Darcy lookalike, at multiple JASNA conferences and finds herself growing more and more distracted by his multiple charms, but he’s an old-fashioned kind of guy, and she’s purely 21st-c. tech. The two are just not compatible.  Then there’s also that business with that pesky pirate. 😉 * — *

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A Match Made in Texas: A Novella Collection (Archer Brothers #2.5)

match_made_in_texasHeaven help the residents of Dry Gulch, Texas when one of their own decides to play matchmaker! This sweet collection of western romances brings in well-established authors Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy and Carol Cox and newer-to-the-genre Regina Jennings, each penning stories about cowboys, widows and town folk who find love. Continue reading

Everbound by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #2)

everbound-ashton

Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

In this enthralling sequel to Everneath, Brodi Ashton tests the bonds of destiny and explores the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love. (GoodReads)

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