Top 19 Books of 2019

There were so many good books this year. This list presents you with the Top 19 in 2019.

bestof2019

secretscover

Secrets and Suitors by Joanna Barker

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Reluctantly returning to London for yet another Season, shy Nora Hamilton has nearly given up hope that she will ever find the love match she longs for. After all, the one man she does harbor feelings for—her closest friend, James—has made it perfectly clear he views her as just that: a friend. With James traveling half a world away and Nora’s father pressuring her to marry for wealth and status, Nora is forced to set aside her desire for love and accept the future she has always dreaded.

Until James returns unexpectedly and Nora’s feelings once again rush unbearably close to the surface. Determined to save what is left of their friendship, Nora ignores her own heart and allows herself to be swept up in the London Season, soon finding herself the object of two very different gentlemen’s affections. Though she should be thrilled, both men come with a glaring fault: neither is the one man who holds her heart.

But there is much more at stake than heartbreak. When long-kept secrets are laid bare, Nora must face the fears that have plagued her all her life and decide what true love is worth.


gracecoverDiscovering Grace by Sally Britton

Review

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To avoid being sent across an ocean, Grace switches places with her sister. The only man aware of their deception? A dear friend, and her secret love.

Grace Everly has no desire to set sail for the Caribbean, unlike her adventurous twin sister, Hope. Thanks to her sister’s irresponsible behavior and subsequent banning from the journey, Grace’s father decides to send her in Hope’s place. Desperate to remain where things are familiar, Grace proposes an unthinkable plan: that she and sister switch places. They only have to keep up the act long enough for Hope to board a ship in London. When the man who has stolen Grace’s heart learns of their secret, things get more complicated.

Jacob Barnes, soon to be ordained a vicar, has known Grace and Hope his whole life. Though close to both sisters, he’s dreamed of courting Hope for months. When he realizes his friends have switched places, putting the woman he admires out of his reach, he agrees to help with the subterfuge despite his bruised heart. As he watches Grace stumble in her acting abilities, attempting to change who she is, he realizes how much she means to him. But how does he tell her, without risking their friendship?

The deception puts their relationship to the test. As Grace hides her heart and her identity, Jacob examines his feelings, and no one in their community will be happy when the truth is discovered.


provisionA Provision for Love by Heather Chapman

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The only place Ivy Linfield feels truly uninhibited is within the walls and gardens of Bridgestone. There, she is free of society’s expectations and her worries of the future. With the death of Lord Percival Barrington, the only grandfather figure she’s ever known, Ivy is torn between the grief of losing him and her beloved summer home.

Losing Bridgestone, even to one as worthy and handsome as Percival’s great-nephew Henry, seems cruel and unfair. So when Ivy learns of a provision in the will, she is more than willing to go to great lengths to secure the inheritance for herself. The only catch? Ivy must marry a man that fits a list of requirements before the season ends.

She quickly learns, however, that love has its own set of rules–rules that are not so easily defined nor understood. What if her opponent is actually the man she’s been searching for? Can Ivy secure a match before her time runs out, or will surrendering her heart mean losing all that was intended for her?


aimingAiming for Love by Mary Connealy

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Josephine Nordegren is one of three sisters who grew up nearly wild in southwestern Colorado. She has the archery skills of Robin Hood and the curiosity of the Little Mermaid, fascinated by but locked away from the forbidden outside world–a world she’s been raised to believe killed her parents. When David Warden, a rancher, brings in a herd much too close to the girls’ secret home, her older sister especially is frightened, but Jo is too interested to stay away.

David’s parents follow soon on his heels, escaping bandits at their ranch. David’s father is wounded and needs shelter. Josephine and her sisters have the only cabin on the mountain. Do they risk stepping into the world to help those in need? Or do they remain separated but safe in the peaks of Hope Mountain?


rookBy Hook or By Rook by Rebecca Connolly

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The most dangerous journeys…

Jeremy Pratt is a spy for the Crown, and one of the best. He had been in more dangerous situations than he can admit, and has always come out unscathed. But escorting his colleague’s cousin home to her family, even in disguise, just might be beyond his skills, and the temptation beyond his ability to withstand.

May be ones of the heart…

Helen Dalton is convinced there is more to this man escorting her than meets the eye, and something familiar about him, as well. There is only one man in the world who looks at her so intensely, banters with her so easily, and makes her blush so furiously. And when he manages a daring and heroic rescue, she wonders if she ever knew him at all.


vicarcoverThe Heart of a Vicar by Sarah M. Eden

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Young love is all too fleeting, as Harold Jonquil painfully discovered years ago when Sarah Sarvol, the niece of a neighboring landowner, captured his heart. After an idyllic few weeks in the throes of blossoming love, reality intervened. They could have no future. Following their disastrous parting, Harold attempted to push aside thoughts of love and regret, but Sarah has never left his heart. Now, years later, he has achieved his lifelong aspiration of becoming the local vicar. However, the role proves more difficult than he imagined. He feels hollow and uninspired—until the most important person in his past returns, challenging him as no one ever has.

When Sarah’s ailing uncle summons her back to the family estate in England, there is only one person from her past she is reluctant to see again: Harold Jonquil, the only man who has ever claimed her heart. But when she comes face-to-face with her former beau, she hardly recognizes the aloof and dull man before her. She is determined to help Harold rediscover the passion he once felt toward his chosen profession. Soon, despite their exasperation with each other, they cannot deny the stirring of feelings long buried—but is it too late for second chances?


thomasYours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham

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For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people’s mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more–a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn’t expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.

When Penny’s undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring–perhaps too much–for the one who wrote it.


propercoverA Proper Scandal by Esther Hatch

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Grace Sinclair has been callously cast out of her home. And though taken in as an orphaned child by the vicar and his wife, her unsurpassed beauty makes it impossible for her to remain in the vicar’s household—with two daughters of their own about to enter Society, the vicar and his wife see Grace as nothing but competition. Thankfully, Grace’s estranged Aunt Bell has agreed to take her in to her home in London. But Grace soon learns her situation has just gotten much worse.

It takes only a moment’s acquaintance for Grace to ascertain that her aunt has married a detestable rake. And Aunt Bell, recognizing the danger of having her lovely niece too near her husband, gives Grace an ultimatum: the young woman has two weeks to find a man to marry, after which she will be turned out. With no experience in the art of attracting a husband, Grace quickly realizes that a worthy suitor might not be so easy to ensnare.


gentlemanIn Pursuit of a Gentleman by Arlem Hawks

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He’s running from love. Can she outfox him?

Andrew Backus was never supposed to be an heir. But with the possibility of a fine inheritance looming, every Society matron is throwing her daughters at him in hopes to catch the careless dandy. Unfortunately for them all, Andrew will not be caught and dragged into the responsibilities of matrimony.

The youngest of nine children, Isabella Todd longs for a match that would finally make her parents and Society take notice of her. When she crosses paths with Mr. Backus, she realizes a marriage to him could give her the desired recognition and she hatches a plot to snare the heir before he suspects.

Acting the part of friend, Isabella unintentionally falls for the fun-loving Andrew rather than his expected fortune. When he uncovers her plot just before Christmas, Andrew must decide if he can believe the truth of her love before her parents call her to London for their own schemes.


pursuitcoverA Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter

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In early 1800s England, Jess Beauchene has spent most of her life in hiding and always on the move in an effort to leave her past far behind her. But when she learns the family she thought had died just might be alive and in danger, she knows her secrets can only stay buried for so long.

Derek Thornbury loves the past, which has led him to become an expert in history and artifacts. He knows Jess has never liked him, but when she requests his help deciphering the clues laid out in an old family diary, he can’t resist the urge to solve the puzzle.

As Jess and Derek race to find the hidden artifact before her family’s enemies, they learn as much about each other as they do about the past. But can their search to uncover the truth and set history right lead to a future together?


majorThe Major’s Daughter by Regina Jennings

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Caroline Adams returns to Indian Territory after tiring of confining society life. She wants adventure, and when she and her friend Amber come across swaggering outlaw Frisco Smith, they find his dreams for the new territory are very persuasive. With the much-anticipated land run pending, they may just join the rush.

Growing up parentless, all Frisco Smith wanted was a place to call his own. It’s no wonder that he fought to open the Unassigned Lands. After years of sneaking across the border, he’s even managed to put in a dugout house on a hidden piece of property he’s poised to claim.

When the gun sounds, everyone’s best plans are thrown out the window in the chaos of the run. Caroline and Frisco soon find themselves battling over a claim–and both dig in their heels. Settling the rightful ownership will bring these two closer than they ever expected and change their ideas of what a true home looks like.


daisiescoverDaisies and Devotion by Josi S. Kilpack

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Timothy Mayfield is ready to marry for love, but, since his personal finances are thinner than he’d like, he knows he’ll also need to find a wife with wealth. After receiving an unexpected inheritance, Timothy’s circumstances change, and he is free to pursue his “perfect woman”—one with blonde hair, blue eyes, a light laugh, arched eyebrows, elegant fingers, and a dazzling smile, among nearly twenty other characteristics.

Maryann Morrington doesn’t match anything on Timothy’s list—except for wealth. An heiress in her own right, she is tired of men pursuing her only for her money. But at nearly twenty-two years old, and not a particularly stunning beauty, she can’t be as picky as her friend Timothy is.

The two friends end up playing matchmaker for each other. Timothy will find a decent gentleman for Maryann, and Maryann will prove to Timothy that his “perfect woman” doesn’t exist.

Until Miss Shaw comes to London.

Now, with Timothy’s heart captivated by the blonde, blue-eyed beauty, Maryann must decide if she should risk her heart and reveal her true feelings for her friend, or if she should settle for someone else. It’s an up-and-down game of “he loves me, he loves me not” with both hearts and friendship on the line.


guardedA Guarded Heart by Heidi Kimball

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Three years after a shocking scandal destroyed her family and forced her into isolation, Eleanor Hayward finally has an opportunity to put her painful history and dashed hopes behind her. But reentering society is no simple task. In her cousin’s glittering ballroom, Eleanor is stunned when she comes face-to-face with the man who broke her heart those years before.

Edmund Fletcher thought he had laid the past to rest until he unexpectedly encounters the woman who so nearly became his wife. Soon to be engaged to another, Edmund knows he must let go of the complicated feelings he harbors for Eleanor. However, when the Hayward scandal resurfaces and the truth behind their parting is revealed, Eleanor and Edmund are left reeling. Tormented by thoughts of what could have been, they realize it is impossible to rewrite history. But is there a future in which they might both find happiness—and true love?


governesscoverThe Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

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Cornwall, England, 1811—Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request for her to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she’s tried desperately to forget.

Jac Twethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced, he battles both grief at his brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.


hopeThe Highest of Hopes by Susan Anne Mason

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After her beloved grandfather’s death, Emmaline Moore is shocked to discover that her “deceased” father is actually living in Canada. Having no other family, Emma decides she must find him, and so embarks on a journey across the ocean, accompanied by her best friend, Jonathan. Unfortunately, Randall Moore and his well-to-do family aren’t thrilled by her arrival, fearing her sudden appearance will hinder his chance at becoming mayor of Toronto in 1919. Despite everything, Emma remains determined to earn their affection.

Jonathan Rowe has secretly loved Emma for years and hopes that during their trip he can win her heart. Concerned that Randall might reject her, Jonathan is ready to console Emma and bring her home. When she informs him that she has no intention of returning to England, Jonathan begins to despair. Can he convince Emma to find value within herself rather than seeking it from a virtual stranger? And will she ever come to see that Jonathan is her true home?


herocoverA Hero for Miss Hatherleigh by Carolyn Miller

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Can a proper noble lady find a future with a fossil-hunting man of faith?

As the daughter of Viscount Aynsley, Caroline Hatherleigh knows every rule of society–and she’s always followed them precisely. But when she visits south Devonshire and encounters a fossil-hunting scientist and his sister, her assumptions about what is right are shaken. Questions she has never considered about the importance of friendship and faith suddenly confront her–and her comfortable understanding about how the world works is thrown off balance. What if God wants to be the center of her life, rather than merely a social obligation?

Gideon Kirby loves science, and hunting down proof of past lives is a joy he won’t willingly give up. But his scientific leanings are being challenged both by his personal beliefs and by local smugglers in the Devonshire countryside. And every day his sister’s illness becomes more desperate, her care growing more demanding. Adding a viscount’s daughter to the mix is a complication Gideon never expected–especially since he must stay far away from this young woman he’s falling for in order to protect his beloved sister’s secret.

When a mysterious stranger visits the village, that secret will be exposed, no matter how Gideon fights. Then tragedy strikes in a smugglers’ cave. And the threat of scandal may lead to broken hearts and passionless propriety. Will the shaky bond these two have nurtured be strong enough to overcome their differences–or will the trust they’ve withheld from each other tear three lives apart?


unwelcomecoverAn Unwelcome Suitor by Ashtyn Newbold

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Falling in love with her sister’s suitor had never been part of her plan.

After losing her parents, Elizabeth Watts and her two sisters are taken under the care of their great-aunt, who has promised them her estate upon her death. From a young age, however, Elizabeth has learned not to expect to keep things that can be taken away. An unforeseen change in the will reveals that Elizabeth and her sisters may have the estate, but only if the eldest weds Dr. Luke Pembroke, their great-aunt’s beloved physician, who needs the estate just as desperately as they do.

Knowing her sister to be in love with another, Elizabeth is appalled when she begins courting Dr. Pembroke, intent to sacrifice her own happiness. Nothing if not determined, Elizabeth makes plans to sabotage the courtship. With her schemes underway, she quickly learns that her sister’s suitor is nothing if not clever—nothing except, perhaps, handsome, kind, and infuriatingly charming. When the feelings between them become impossible to ignore, Elizabeth discovers that love has a scheme all its own, and it might just be the most determined of all.


grandA Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott

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Meg Pero has been assisting her photographer father since she was big enough to carry his equipment, so when he dies she is determined to take over his profession–starting with fulfilling the contract he signed to serve on an Army survey of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1871. What she doesn’t realize is that the leader of the expedition is none other than the man she once refused to marry.

Captain Ben Coleridge would like nothing more than to leave without the woman who broke his heart, but he refuses to wait even one more day to get started. This survey is a screen for another, more personal mission, one he cannot share with any member of his team.

As dangers arise from all sides, including within the survey party, Meg and Ben must work together to stay alive, fulfill their duties, and, just maybe, rekindle a love that neither had completely left behind.


wordscover

More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

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After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn’t the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?


 

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