Looking for books to fill your beach bag this summer? Check out these three inspiring historical romances from some of my favorite authors.
I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.
What’s in Your Beach Bag?
Ok, so I don’t actually carry physical books in my ‘beach bag,’ but I do carry around my phone with the Kindle app handy for reading in any spare minute I have!
What do you keep in your beach bag (virtual or real) in the summer? Do you tend to read a certain genre of book in the summer that you don’t normally read throughout the year?
These three new historical inspirational romances will keep you entertained and make you think (my favorite combination).
At Love’s Command
By Karen Witemeyer, Bethany House Publishers, June 2020, 379 pages.
Former U.S. Cavalry Captain Matthew Hangar and three of his men have left the service and moved far away from the horrors of the Indian wars. They banded together to bring justice to the innocent and help the helpless. They’ve taken a vow to help without killing, though—a difficult proposition in wild and wooly 1890s Texas.
When Matthew rushes one of his injured men to Purgatory Springs for medical attention, he doesn’t expect Dr. Joe to wear a skirt. Nor does he expect the spark of interest between them. After all, he vowed long ago that he would never marry or have a family. First the cavalry and now Hangar’s Horseman have provided all the family he’s needed.
Dr. Josephine Burkett doesn’t expect men to respect her abilities as a physician without having to prove herself over and over again. So when Matthew Hangar treats her like a professional, it takes her by surprise. What surprises her even more is the spark of attraction she feels for him. She knows God called her to serve through medicine, and had given up dreams of ever having a husband and family.
When she discovers her brother has fallen into the hands of kidnappers, Jo knows the only men who can save him—Matthew Hangar and his horsemen. After a successful rescue, things go south in a hurry, and Matthew and Jo must learn how to trust each other and the God they serve in order to bring the villain to justice.
Why I Loved This Book
Witemeyer always populates her books with quirky, yet relatable characters who struggle with many of the same things I struggle with—just in a different era. When the book opened with a prologue from Wounded Knee, I worried a bit. But Witemeyer handled the scene without whitewashing history.
If you love historical inspirational romance, you’ll love Witemeyer’s latest book (and all the rest of her books, too).
A Gilded Lady
By Elizabeth Camden, Bethany House Publishers, June 2020, 368 pages.
Book two in Elizabeth Camden’s Hope and Glory series features the irrepressible Caroline Delacroix, Washington socialite, and personal secretary to Ida McKinley. Caroline loves her job, even if it means dealing with the difficult First Lady and living in an uncomfortable dormitory on the top floor of the White House. More importantly, her job offers hope to get her twin out of jail in Cuba.
Caroline’s twin, Luke, has sat in a Cuban jail for months, and for some mysterious reason fires all the lawyers his brother Gray hires to represent him. Caroline worries about his health and knows in her heart of hearts that although he pled guilty to treason, he didn’t betray his country. She only has to convince President McKinley and obtain a presidential pardon.
Nathanial Trask, the nascent Secret Service bureau’s best counterfeit detection agent, receives the unwelcome task of establishing better security in the White House—for a President who doesn’t want to bother with security. His duties bring him into contact with Caroline Delacroix, the rule-flouting personal secretary to the irascible First Lady.
Sparks fly, especially when Caroline seems to hide important details from him, details that could endanger her or the President’s family. The sparks have a personal nature, as well, with both Nathanial and Caroline drawn to their polar opposite.
Why I Loved this Book
Camden weaves delightful tales with suspense, humor, and fun historical facts. She develops the main characters fully and gives them real-life problems, phobias, and prejudices. Caroline and Nathanial both wrestle with forgiveness—one in forgiving her sister-in-law for causing Luke’s arrest, and one in forgiving himself for not preventing a tragedy.
If I Were You: A Novel
By Lynn Austin, Tyndale Fiction, June 2020, 464 pages.
Audrey and Eve, friends for life—until Eve steals Audrey’s identity when she moves to the United States after the horrors of World War II. Growing up, the two girls lived firmly in separate classes—Audrey, a daughter of the manor, and Eve her scullery maid. But despite their differences, a friendship forms.
A friendship that carries through the horrible war years and teaches them to rely on God and the abilities God gave them. Each woman comes through the war with different burdens. When Audrey throws away her chance to immigrate to America, Eve, in a moment of desperation, decides to take her place.
Eve lies a lie for four years when the real Audrey shows up. How will she confess the truth and can the friendship forged in desperate times survive the deception?
Why I Loved This Book
We often wish our lives looked like someone else’s—whether a celebrity’s or a best friend. Austin takes the ‘what if I had her life’ question and sets it in the middle of the social upheaval in England during the Second World War. From a young age, each girl has wished for things the other has. They carry the longings into adulthood but never discuss them.
Austin develops the story like a master painter, laying down layer upon layer of color, nuance, and brushstrokes to reveal a final portrait of friendship and hope. The historical details and descriptions make the reader feel the power of the blitzkrieg in London and the devastation of a bombed city.Three new releases from Lynn Austin, Elizabeth Camden, and Karen Witemeyer will keep you entertained AND thinking this summer. #IfIWereYou #AGildedLady #AtLovesCommand #amreading #newreleases #NetGalley Click To Tweet
Wow, Anita. Each of these books sounds wonderful. I am especially intrigued by Lynn Austin’s book with the identity theft and its aftermath. Thanks for sharing these reviews! I have more books to add to my TBR list.
Jeanne Takenaka recently posted…Faith: When Everything Is Not Okay
Thanks, Jeanne! I love Lynn’s books :). They always make me think.