Fans of inspirational romance will appreciate Beth Wiseman’s The House that Love Built. Young widow Brooke Holloway is busy raising her two kids and running the family hardware store when a new man comes to her small Texas town. Handsome Owen Saunders moves into the old Hadley place—a house that is in urgent need of restoration and is rumored to have a secret bunker and hidden treasure. Brooke’s curiosity leads her to strike up a friendship with the newcomer. To be friends is all Owen wants, bitter as he is after a failed marriage, but it’s hard to keep his distance from pretty Brooke and her charming children. Despite his cynical outlook on life, Owen reaches out to his elderly uncle and a teen in trouble, and soon the old mansion becomes home for all three. Meanwhile, Brooke struggles with her growing feelings for Owen, as well as the strange behavior of her long-divorced mother. With a gentle pace that includes genuine moments of doubt and despair, this story of forgiveness and second chances demonstrates how hearts can be healed. A warm, sweet tale of faith renewed and families restored.
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A Regency “miss” seeks to avoid spinsterhood in Elizabeth Boyle’s And the Miss Ran Away With the Rake. After spying a newspaper advertisement from a “sensible gentleman” seeking a wife, Daphne Dale has begun a correspondence—signing her letter as “Miss Spooner”—with one “Mr. Dishforth.” Although the ad was placed by one of his drunken relatives, Lord Henry Seldon decides on a whim to write back. Six weeks later, Daphne travels to London for the engagement ball of her friend, where she hopes to encounter her anonymous swain—whom she believes is her true love. Henry wonders if his correspondent might be the one for him, too, but there’s the small matter of her unknown identity . . . and the attraction he has for a woman he meets in person, a member of the Dale family, which the Seldons have despised for generations. What transpires is an engaging comedy in which words and deeds sometimes confuse minds and hearts, and the happily-ever-after seems just out of reach. A charmer.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
Nora Roberts takes readers to New England’s coastline in Whiskey Beach. Former criminal attorney Eli Landon moves into his family’s historic home, Bluff House. He’s glad to have left Boston, where he had been under suspicion for his wife’s unsolved murder. In the small community of Whiskey Beach, he meets Abra Walsh, another survivor of life’s slings and arrows. Her good-natured prodding and genuine, caring nature lead Eli to open up, and soon he’s at work on writing a book . . . and beginning to think more clearly about what may have happened to his late wife. With a modern-day murder to solve and an intriguing legend of treasure to spice things up, there are plenty of motives and suspects to keep the guesswork going. With her superb storytelling skills, Roberts fleshes out the world of Whiskey Beach with realistic secondary characters and chronicles the burgeoning romance between the two leads with a deft hand that will leave book lovers satisfied and smiling.
Having been wrongly suspected of his wife's violent murder and with his law career in shreds, Eli Landon leaves his Boston life and heads for Whiskey Beach to write, sort things out, and take care of the family home, Bluff House, while his grandmother recovers from a fall. But spirited, intuitive yoga expert and housekeeper Abra Walsh is a totally unexpected flash of light in his gloom, and as they work together to unmask the true killer, they find a loving, healing relationship neither had thought possible. VERDICT With faultless plotting, flawless character development, and a remarkable ability to draw readers into her fictional world, Roberts delivers another dazzler. Sleuthily inclined readers might figure out the real killer's identity, but it won't detract from the impact of the story as readers will already have fallen in love with the characters and immersed themselves in the setting. Roberts (The Perfect Hope) lives in Keedysville, MD.[Page 66]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This spellbinding contemporary from romantic fiction doyenne Roberts (The Perfect Hope) explores the centuries-old secrets of a New England seaside home. Eli Landon is suspected of murdering his adulterous wife, but there's no evidence to convict him. Needing to escape his old life, he returns to his family's ancestral home of Bluff House, along New England's Whiskey Beach. Eli is caught off guard by his attraction to Abra Walsh, the house's beautiful caretaker. When Abra is attacked by a mysterious intruder, a private detective starts asking questions about Eli, and he decides that he will never find closure until his wife's killer is caught. The mysteries behind the murder of Eli's wife and the suspicious incidents at Bluff House are very creatively combined with the budding romance between Eli and Abra, who must face their past demons before they can embrace the possibility of a future together. Roberts enthralls the reader with enigmatic characters and effortless plotting from the first page of this masterfully crafted novel. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Apr.)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC