Shy Expressions of Love Lead to Nine Historical Romances
Declaring one’s love can be hard—even risky—especially when faced with some of life’s greatest challenges. Separated by class, time, distance, and more, some loves must remain secret until the time is right. Instead, notes of affection, acts of kindness, gifts of admiration, and lots of prayer are circulated. From New England mansions to homestead hovels, love is quietly being nourished and waiting for the right time to be revealed. But when love can finally be boldly expressed, will it be received by love in return?
The Cost of a Heart by Amanda Barratt - Newport, Rhode Island, 1897
Nathaniel Evans has stood by Lily Montgomery through a broken marriage and the death of her husband. On the eve of her return into social life, he battles his attraction to her. But he is a servant, she a socialite.
The Advocate by Lorraine Beatty - East Texas, 1881
Hannah Davis tries to get Mitch Kincaid, the man she secretly admires, elected sheriff by printing anonymous articles about his qualifications and sterling character. But will the truth win his heart or break hers?
Too Many Secrets by Molly Noble Bull - Frio-Corners, Texas, 1882
Abigail Willoughby hides her feelings for Luke Conquest, the handsome cowboy who introduced her to her mail-order husband. How could she have guessed that her future husband was ninety-years-old?
Love in Store by Anita Mae Draper - Miles City, Montana, 1890
Hidden love notes hint at what’s in store for a reserved shopkeeper when a straight-talking spinster sneaks anonymous declarations of her affections among the shelves of his store.
The Last Letter by CJ Dunham - Kansas,1865
The Civil War has taken everyone Emilia Davis loves. When she receives her dead fiancé’s last letter, she embarks on a journey into the Kansas frontier to fulfill his last wish. So who is sending her anonymous gifts?
The Outcast’s Redemption by Jennifer Uhlarik - Blackwater, Texas, 1872
When a reformed rustler is framed for stealing cattle, his secret crush—the daughter of the disgraced lawman who arrested him—comes to his aid. But who really saves who?
Beside Still Waters by Becca Whitham - Lawton, Oklahoma, 1901
Sarah Maffey is receiving worrisome letters that make her feel vulnerable. Her handsome neighbor has vowed to keep her safe. . .or is he playing her for a fool?
The Princess of Polecat Creek by Kathleen Y’Barbo - Texas and Washington, DC, 1886
Scandal divided them. Two kidnappings and a wedding later, can a Texas cowboy turned Washington lawyer and the girl-next-door who secretly loved him since childhood save their marriage of inconvenience?
Love From Afar by Penny Zeller - Ellis Creek, Montana, 1880s
When secret love letters are written in a clandestine plot to bring two lonely hearts together, will love from a distance finally bloom into matrimonial bliss for Gabe and Meredith?
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
ECPA bestselling author Amanda Barratt, fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story—a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes inspirational historical romance, penning stories that transport readers to a variety of locales. These days, Amanda can be found reading way too many books, watching an eclectic mix of BBC dramas and romantic chick flicks, and trying to figure out a way to get on the first possible flight to England. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and through her website amandabarratt.net
Lorraine Beatty is a multi-published, bestselling author. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, she currently lives in Brandon, Mississippi, with her husband of forty-four years. Lorraine has written for trade books, newspapers, and company newsletters. Lorraine has lived in various regions of the country as well as in Germany. She is a member of RWA, PAN, and ACFW and is a charter member and former President of Magnolia State Romance Writers.
Molly Noble Bull has a Texas cattle ranch background and once lived in the Texas hill country where her historical novella, "TooManySecrets," is set. She has published with Zondervan, Love Inspired, and others. Sanctuary, her long historical, won the 2008 Gayle Wilson Award in the inspirational category and tied for first place in a second national contest for published authors that year. Gatehaven, Molly’s Gothic historical, won the Grand Prize in the 2013 Creation House Fiction Writing Contest. WhentheCowboyRidesAway won the 2016 Texas Association of Authors contest in the Christian western category and was a finalist in the 2016 Will Rogers contest for western writers in the Inspirational category.
Anita Mae Draper's historical romances are woven under the western skies of the Saskatchewan prairie where her love of research and genealogy yield fascinating truths that layer her writing with rich historical details. Her Christian faith is reflected in her stories of forgiveness and redemption as her characters struggle to find their way to that place in our heart we call home. Anita loves to correspond with her readers through any of the social media links found at on her website at www.anitamaedraper.com.
Readers can enrich their reading experience by checking out Anita's story boards on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/anitamaedraper.
CJ Dunham is an author, presenter, and storyteller. She has performed across the country, given creative writing presentations, has published a fully-illustrated children’s book and her work has appeared in national magazines. A mother of five and grandmother of thirteen, Dunham enjoys cycling and pretending she can paint. Learn more: authorcjdunham.com and @CJDunham1
Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a preteen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a BA in writing, she has won five writing competitions and was a finalist in two others. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and is a lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenage son, and four fur children.
Becca Whitham (WIT-um) is a multi-published author who has always loved reading and writing stories. After raising two children, she and her husband faced the empty nest years by following their dreams: he joined the army as a chaplain, and she began her journey toward publication. Becca loves to tell stories marrying real historical events with modern-day applications to inspire readers to live Christ-reflecting lives. She’s traveled to almost every state in the U.S. for speaking and singing engagements and has lived in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Alaska. She can be reached through her website at www.beccawhitham.com
Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than eighty novels with almost two million copies in print in the US and abroad. She has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and is the winner of the 2014 Inspirational Romance of the Year by Romantic Times magazine. Kathleen is a paralegal, a proud military wife, and a tenth-generation Texan, who recently moved back to cheer on her beloved Texas Aggies. Connect with her through social media at www.kathleenybarbo.com.
While Penny Zeller has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications. Today, Penny is a multi-published, award-winning author of inspirational books. She is a homeschool mom of two and actively devotes her time to coaching homeschool P.E. and teaching at her local homeschool co-op. Her passion is to assist and nurture women and children into a closer relationship with Christ. When Penny is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children while camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball.
Read an Excerpt
The Secret Admirer
By Molly Noble Bull, Kathleen Y'barbo, Amanda Barratt, Lorraine Beatty, Anita Mae Draper, CJ Dunham, Jennifer Uhlarik, Becca Whitham, Penny Zeller
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2017 Amanda Barratt
All rights reserved.
They'd quarreled that morning — she and Jackson. Argued about his latest scandal involving another woman and a hotel room at the Waldorf-Astoria. Or rather, she pleaded and he stared. Stone-faced. Except for that brief moment on the way out to the carriage when her husband grabbed her wrist in a noose-like grip and demanded in a low-cut whisper that she "keep smiling today."
Now at the Long Island racetracks, Lily Montgomery sat alongside fellow racegoers — mostly socialites like herself — smile wooden but firmly in place.
"My my, doesn't Jackson look dashing today, atop that fine black horse?" Kitty Carlisle waved a gloved hand at her own husband.
"He always looks dashing." Lily maintained her brittle smile. Never wavering. She'd performed this role often enough and, like a well-trained actress, remembered that the show must always go on.
The sham must always be firmly fixed.
The race began. Lily watched absently, having attended many of these events in years past. During their first year of marriage, she'd jumped and cheered, waving vigorously at Jackson as his horse rounded the track. Until he told her one evening in that granite-cold voice of his that she looked like an out-of-control poodle, with her "ridiculous hat" and "wild wriggling and waving."
She never cheered again, adopting instead, a pose of indifferent languor.
A gasp went up from the crowd. People rose to their feet, a wave of flowered bonnets and bowler hats, blocking her vision.
"What's going on?" Lily snagged Kitty's gaze. The petite blond stood on tiptoe, craning her neck. Whether the crowd muffled Lily's words or Kitty chose to ignore them, Lily couldn't be sure.
She turned instead toward a lanky youth, one of the tallest in her vicinity.
"Sir? What's happening?" She tugged on the sleeve of his jacket.
He swiveled around, a shock of black hair falling over his forehead. "There's been an accident. Didn't you see it, ma'am? The rider — thrown from his horse?"
She shook her head, feeling foolish. "I suppose I wasn't paying attention. Who was injured? Do you know?"
The youth stood even taller, as if proud to be the bearer of useful information. "Rider number twelve, it was. Yes, that's right. Number twelve."
The air leeched from her lungs. The waft of summer wind on her cheeks suddenly scorched her. Spots danced before her vision.
"My land, ma'am! Are you all right?" The youth grabbed her around the waist and half-carried her to a vacant seat.
"Number twelve ... My husband ... Can you find out if he's all right? I don't think I can stand ... just now." Blast her infernal weakness. Brought on, no doubt, by her constrictive lace collar and the lacing of her corset — meant to marshal her less-than-ideal waist to willow-slim.
"Of course, ma'am. Right away." The youth's eyes sparked with concern, before he took off, brushing past a gentleman with a drooping mustache and a corpulent lady carrying a fluttering parasol.
Lily waited, head bent, forcing breath in and out of her lungs.
In. Out. In. Out.
Keep breathing. Don't stop.
She hadn't seen the accident, lost in her own thoughts. Behaving as Jackson wanted — uninterested. Minutes passed, each dragging by like carriage wheels laced in lead.
Finally the young man returned, shoving through the crowd, despite angry protests from those he elbowed.
"And?" She found her feet. She must prepare to go to the hospital and be with Jackson, must be calm and strong ...
"I'm sorry, ma'am." The youth's Adam's apple jerked. Her world swirled, a thousand memories flashing through her mind, as the boy said with his eyes what he did not with words.
Jackson Montgomery was dead.
* * *
Two Years Later Newport, Rhode Island
Lily leaned toward the motorcar window, into the intoxicating fragrance of sea breeze and freshly trimmed grass. She balled her gloved hands into fists, willing the memories to return to the recesses of her mind with as much force as the rippling azure waves swept away from the shoreline and toward the vast expanse beyond.
Jackson wasn't waiting for her inside their marble mansion, that place of both paradise and prison. Not this time.
Not ever again.
Her gaze turned toward the front of the car, where Nathaniel Evans expertly manned the wheel. A navy chauffeur's uniform encased his wide shoulders, the matching cap partly concealing his walnut-hued hair. Sometimes she wished the man would turn around, offer a quick smile. But, no. Evans took every task most seriously, be it scouring the silver in his role as footman or chauffeuring her about in his job as driver.
At any rate, they were nearly there.
For a wild, insane instant, she nearly ordered him to stop the car. What a spectacle it would be if she gave into her longings. To divest herself of fussy hat, kid leather shoes, and silk stockings. Take them all off and race for the shoreline. Become one with the pounding waves and frothing surf.
What a story for the society columns that would make.
"Mrs. Jackson Montgomery, out of mourning at last, romped in the surf like a mad-woman, just moments after arriving in our fair city."
The car stopped, halting her inane musings. Evans opened the door and held out his palm. She placed her gloved fingertips in it, his masculine strength swirling over her like an exotic fragrance as he handed her down.
Strong men. The most dangerous sort.
"Tired after your journey?" Evans's green eyes showed true concern.
"Do I look as wilted as last season's tea roses?" She laughed, though the boning in her corset scarcely allowed true mirth to escape.
"Some watering wouldn't go amiss." The slightest curvature of a dimple appeared on one side of his mouth. "But then, it's the beautiful flowers that need the most care."
He often spoke in such a way, her footman/chauffer. A compliment here, a gesture of concern there. Those compliments and gestures had been her buoy, helping to keep her afloat during her tenure as Jackson's wife.
But she wouldn't spoil the day with more thoughts of that nature.
"What about you? Don't you need watering after your journey?"
He shook his head, that country boy smile ready on his lips. "I'm more tumbleweed than hothouse bloom, Mrs. Montgomery. But I wouldn't say no to a glass of milk and piece of blueberry pie."
With the salt-laden breeze filling her lungs, laughter came easier. "What is it about men and simple cooking, anyway? I think every chef within twenty miles of here has it all wrong. They serve roast duck and crepes suzette, hoping to please. But a steaming bowl of beef stew and a slice of warm blueberry pie are what would really make the gentlemen happy."
"You may have just invented the newest fashion. Fancy-dress dinners served servants' hall style. Complete with the kitchen maid spilling the gravy and the butler boxing her on the ears." A warm chuckle rumbled from his chest.
"I may have to give it a try." She stepped away, sending a smile over her shoulder, and made her way toward the wide double doors leading to the foyer of what the papers dubbed "Newport's Grand Trianon." Otherwise known as Seacombe.
As if on cue for the most spectacularly staged show ever produced, Osbourne, her Newport butler, opened the door.
"Welcome again to Seacombe, Mrs. Montgomery. I trust your journey was without incident." The man's ponderous nose twitched ever so slightly whenever he spoke.
"Thank you, yes." She inclined her head and stepped into the foyer. The place had Jackson written all over it. He, along with Richard Morris Hunt, had designed every inch of the marble-columned, Palladian-arched vestibule. Lily hadn't been permitted so much as a suggestion. Not that she cared much. The house was perfect, embodying everything Jackson himself had revered. All splendor, with little substance. A metaphor for their marriage.
Even their lives.
Still, the artist within her appreciated the perfect symmetry of it all. At least Jackson's tastes had not tended toward the outré.
She approached the small oak table and flipped through the cards and invitations atop the silver salver. Like a Metropolitan Opera performance, only the star names were present. Astor. Vanderbilt. Belmont. Kingsley. Wellington.
Hmm ... A ball to be held at the Wellington mansion just a few houses down on Bellevue Avenue. A shiver skittered down her back. During the past two years, the customary period of mourning had been her safety net. Garbed in suffocating black silk, she'd nonetheless been left in peace. To mourn, society assumed. A grieving young widow of only twenty-three, recovering from the death of her beloved husband in a horseback-riding accident.
She'd mourned, yes. For Jackson's life, as explosive, colorful, and short as a burst of fireworks.
More importantly, she delved into the recesses of her shattered heart and began to pick up the pieces. Two years later, she was still gathering. But now, instead of her own clumsy efforts to bind together with schoolroom paste what needed to be fused with steel, she sought comfort in the refuge of a Father who would never leave, nor forsake.
It was time to test herself. To finish the business of healing and get on with that of living. She was no longer the girl who had donned Brussels lace and floated to the altar with stars in her eyes and true love's kiss on her lips. Nor was she the bruised and broken woman who sat alone in an opera box season upon season, while Jackson showered charm, jewels, and attention upon countless other women.
No, she, Lily Montgomery, had been rebirthed.
And it was past time the world knew it.
* * *
Newport. Like the circus of every child's fantasy, it put on a show worth viewing. A spectacle of brilliance. A display of pomp and circumstance, rivaling the unrivaled.
And he, Nathan Evans, was smack-dab in the middle of it.
Whistling softly, he drove down Bellevue Avenue, the lady of the house in the backseat. Bedecked in light purple, sparkling gems adorning her throat, wrists, and ears, she looked like a woman ready to conquer society.
Conquer it, she would, his lady employer. Only he rarely thought of her in such lofty terms. For the past two years, longer even, she'd been Mrs. Montgomery in his words, Lily in his thoughts.
"Are you nervous?" He didn't look behind him, concentrating intently on the road and the throng of other cars approaching the Wellington mansion.
"You've known me for how long, and you honestly have to ask that?" She was smiling now, he could hear it in the timbre of her voice, how when her lips tipped upward her tone became more melodious, slightly higher. "You're not known for being disingenuous, Evans. Why start now?"
He chuckled. "My apologies. Let me rephrase. Are you 'my hands are shaking' kind of nervous or are you 'I need to stop the car so you can deposit your dinner in the bushes' terrified?"
"Let's just say I'm a happy medium between the two." He'd made her laugh, and he reveled in the sound of it. When he'd first known her, she never laughed. Oh, she smiled all right, but he noticed right away those smiles never reached her eyes. Two years ago, that all changed. Slowly, her smile had turned genuine. And then, in the most glorious of moments — an instant he would never forget as long as he drew breath — she laughed. He didn't remember what he had said to prompt the occasion. All he remembered were those musical, light sounds and what they had signified to them both.
"Well, don't risk things by trying the duck croquettes. I heard from the Wellingtons' chauffeur himself just how awful they are. And to tell you the truth, I don't understand why anyone would want to eat duck anyway. They're cute little things, flapping their wings and quacking."
She laughed again, and he sneaked a glance — quickly. One gloved hand pressed over her dainty lips, a stray black curl tumbling down her cheek.
"Do me a favor, Evans. Promise me that you'll never attend one of Mrs. Astor's balls. You'll nauseate every guest in the house with your elaborations on how 'cute' their food was during its life."
"I think I can safely make that promise." Nathan parked the car and climbed out. Lanterns hung from branches, their glow illuminating the fountain in the middle of the manicured English-style garden. Music spilled onto the air, rich notes of violin and piano. If champagne could make melody it would sound exactly like whatever it was the orchestra played.
He opened her door, and she clasped her fingers around his. Every time he touched them, he marveled afresh at how delicate they were, so dainty and fragile, and yet how they twined with his and held with surprising strength.
The moment passed quickly, and she withdrew her fingers. She always did, never lingering. A pang of guilt speared him. Some nights, he lay awake staring at the ceiling, reliving those instants ... wondering what it would be like to feel her hand without the protective sheath of her glove.
"So you're off?"
She nodded, the diamonds in her ears swaying.
"I know there will be a stir. You haven't seen many of these people for almost two years. Don't worry though. You'll still outshine them all. And when you need me, I'll be waiting. With the car, of course." He smiled.
"You're always so kind, Evans. Some days, I wonder what I'd do without your kindness." Her eyes gleamed brighter than any sapphire found in Tiffany's store window.
He swallowed, his tongue suddenly wooden. "Have a nice evening, Mrs. Montgomery."
She nodded, still smiling. He watched her go, her skirt brushing the gravel, head held high. Truly beautiful. The kind of woman who could make a man wonder why the single life held any pleasure whatsoever.
Make a man? Men who were Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, or Wellingtons. They could dream all they wanted, no risk attached.
Unlike men who were chauffeurs, footmen.
Such a world as his didn't permit such luxuries.CHAPTER 2
Even the air seemed to glitter tonight. Or perhaps it was the mingling scents of hothouse roses and French perfume that made it appear so.
The notes of a Strauss waltz spun through the air, flitting and dancing, as couples swirled through the ballroom to the melody. Lily inhaled deeply, Evans's words filling her mind.
"You'll still outshine them all."
During the last ball she attended, Jackson had been at her side. As usual, he'd behaved as if unaware of her existence the entire evening, recovering from his amnesia only once to partner her in a single waltz. She'd always dreaded such occasions, breathed a weighty sigh of relief when they returned home.
But Jackson wasn't with her. And so help her, she would not end tonight in humiliation.
The Wellingtons — rotund mister reaching sixty and petite missus only a few years older than Lily — stood beneath their favorite showpiece, a van Dyck, receiving guests.
She glided across the parquet floor.
"Well, if it isn't Mrs. Montgomery. Lovely to see you after so long, my dear." Bram Wellington bowed.
"Thank you so much for inviting me." She smiled. "Your gown is exquisite, Alesia."
"As is yours, Lily. You look wonderful." Alesia Wellington returned the smile. "Why, if I didn't know better I'd say you were still a seventeen-year-old girl, learning the steps of the quadrille under the stern eye of our horrid dancing master."
"You flatter me. As we both well know, I'm no longer seventeen. And I haven't danced a quadrille in ages, so after tonight, society might decree I need another round at Mr. Beverly's School of Dance and Deportment." More guests crowded in and Lily moved on, so as not to hold up the line.
"Enjoy the evening. And be sure to save a spot on your card for me," Mr. Wellington called after her.
A wave of awkwardness assailed her as she stood near an enormous potted palm. How did one reintegrate into a world one had been absent from for two long years? She recognized a few familiar faces — Oliver Belmont dancing with Mr. Wellington's debutante daughter ... Willie Vanderbilt in conversation with J. J. Astor.
But like an injured limb newly freed from a restrictive sling, the feeling of rightness was no longer there. And for a moment, she fought the urge to turn on her heel and run out the door, toward Evans and the car and the familiarity of home.
The voice made her lift her head, and she found herself looking into the eyes of Roland Kingsley.
"Why, Mr. Kingsley. What a surprise to see you here."
"A welcome one, I hope." Mr. Kingsley smiled. He'd aged some, since last she'd seen him. Probably his forty-fifth birthday had come and gone. A touch of silver around the temples that had not been there before, a few lines around the eyes. He was still tall though. And his smile still emanated genuine warmth.
Excerpted from The Secret Admirer by Molly Noble Bull, Kathleen Y'barbo, Amanda Barratt, Lorraine Beatty, Anita Mae Draper, CJ Dunham, Jennifer Uhlarik, Becca Whitham, Penny Zeller. Copyright © 2017 Amanda Barratt. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsThe Cost of a Heart,
Too Many Secrets,
Love in Store,
The Last Letter,
The Outcast's Redemption,
Beside Still Waters,
The Princess of Polecat Creek,
Love from Afar,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A delightful collection of new romantic novellas with a wide variety of people and settings. Ranging from the 1860's to early 1900's, in New York and Boston to Kansas and Montana, from the elite rich to the working poor. Fun scenarios created by one person having a crush on another, but not knowing how to overcome a barrier, sometimes class, or past mistakes, shyness or family differences. Many of these would make good full-length novels! I enjoyed them all, especially the ones with the gentlemen who were the strong, quiet, solid type, looking out for the ladies who needed help and protection sometimes. The tongue-tied shy ones like farmer Gabe in the last story, and cowboy Luke Tolliver, were especially endearing. Cyrus Holden in The Last Letter was my favorite though, with his quiet, sacrificial, faithful qualities, patiently helping Emilia. What a guy! The Advocate was a fun western too. Loved the ending on that one especially. Some sigh-worthy moments in them all when they reveal their true feelings. Recommend for fans of Christian historical romances! 4.5 stars (An e-book was provided by NetGalley and Barbour Publishing. All opinions are my own.)
I really enjoyed reading this collection. All the stories were well written and each one had its own charm. I was trying to figure out which story was my favorite and I really couldn’t because I liked them all. However, two of the ones that really kind of got my attention were Too Many Secrets and Love from Afar. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Historical Christian Fiction. I was received a copy of this book from one of the authors in exchange for my honest opinion. A positive review was not required.
The Secret Admirer Romance Collection This is a fun set of historical stories that take place in the late eighteen hundreds. Each has their own whimsical air that allows for smiles and a few happy tears. I enjoyed reading them and discovering love with nine different couples. The first story is The Cost of a Heart by Amanda Barratt. In this story, Nathaniel Evans, chauffeur to Lily Montgomery, knows that they can never be together because they are of two different social classes. However, he has watched her struggle for years with loneliness at the hands of her late husband and after his passing. He vows to be her friend and hides his feelings. However, when she begins courting someone else, he discovers that she may be falling into a new painful trap. Can he help her overcome this or will their social differences remain between them? In the next story, The Advocate by Lorraine Beatty, Hannah Davis journeys west to live with her aunt and help at her local newspaper. She had once read an article about the town sheriff, Mitch Kincaid, and couldn’t wait to meet him. The man she discovers is not the same one described in that long ago article though. This man is stubborn and doesn’t seem to like her, no matter how nice she tries to be. She decides to anonymously help him in his run for reelection as sheriff. She sends letters into the newspaper talking about what a great man he is and how the town should choose him. Will these letters finally bring her closer to her heart or will she head back home with her heart in her hands? In Too Many Secrets by Molly Noble Bull, Abigail travels with her younger siblings to become a mail order bride. When she arrives in town, her soon to be husband’s neighbor, Luke, drives her out to her new home, where she discovers that her intended is in his nineties. While they wait for the preacher to come to town, she spends time in town and gets to know Luke more. However, she made a promise and she will stick to it. But oh how her heart longs for more. What will she do? How will her heart survive? Love in Store by Anita Mae Draper is about a shopkeeper named Adam and a young lady who secretly admires him from afar. Janet decides to write him secret notes and leave them about his store in different places. At first, he believes they are for someone else, but soon realizes that they are meant for him. What will he do? He is not the marrying type, believing God can’t forgive him for his past. Will Janet help him find healing and love? In The Last Letter by CJ Dunham, Emilia Davis has lost everyone she loves in the Civil War: her father, brother, and fiancé. The day the war ends, she receives a letter from her long dead fiancé, telling her that he wants them to live together in the west and create a new life for themselves. She sets out for the frontier, intent on fulfilling her last wishes. Along the way, she adopts a young boy named Josiah and meets Cyrus, a man with his own past and secrets to hide. Will the frontier bring new love or only more heartbreak for Emilia? The Outcast’s Redemption by Jennifer Uhlarik combines cattle stealing, heartache, and romance in a tale to warm the heart. Maisie is the daughter of the former sheriff in town and, with the passing of her father, she works at a restaurant to help her family. Lucky is the quiet farmhand who comes to see her, but can’t ever get any words out when in her company. When cattle go missing in the area, Lucky’s past finds him. He was once a young boy who h
This is a collection of nine novellas with the common theme of a Secret Admirer in each of them. This is the perfect read when you don't have a lot of time to spend in one sitting and can complete each story quickly. I love the beautiful cover and deckled pages. Some of the authors are new to me and others are already favorites. This is a great way to be introduced to different writing styles and find new authors to check into. The Cost of a Heart by Amanda Barratt: This story made me love the character of Lily and I could identify with her and her circumstances. I loved how Nate remembered words of wisdom on Faith his mama taught him. The Advocate by Lorraine Beatty: This is a new author to me. Hannah is a spunky young lady who has a vivid imagination and sheriff Mitch Kincaid doesn't know what he is in for. This story left me chuckling and I enjoyed it. Too Many Secrets by Molly Noble Bull: This was one of my favorites. My heart goes out to Abby from the beginning and I'm grabbed in the throes of the story until the end. Luke's kindness, patience, and faith makes him a hero from the start. ❤️ Wish it was longer, as I didn't want it to end so quickly. Love In Store by Anita Mae Draper: Adam has a Secret past, so keeps his heart shielded, while Janet pursues him in secret love notes. Tender yet comical at times. Would love to hear her brothers stories. The Last Letter by C.J. Dunham: This is a new author to me that I find worth pursuing. Emilia grabs my heart and I feel her pain. Written at the end of the Civil War it is interesting, has believable characters, and has you weeping. The Outcasts Redemption by Jennifer Uhlarik: Maisie is trying to prove her fathers innocence by pouring over his journals and Lucky is a reformed cattle rustler that has ties to her father. I love how this story intertwines and shows God's plan for our lives. Beside Still Waters by Becca Whitman: This story deals with deception and learning to trust again. I enjoyed the concept and how it developed in such a small Novella. The Princess of Polecat Creek by Kathleen Y'Barbo: Just the title had me smiling and I was disappointed. What a delightful read. Ms. Y'Barbo stories are always engaging. Love From Afar by Penny Zeller: Another new author that I enjoyed. A sweet read that leaves you leaving this collection with a satisfied smile. I enjoyed this collection and look forward to more. I received a complimentary copy from the author. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.