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A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh

Carolyn Miller. Kregel, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-8254-4589-7

Miller (The Making of Mrs. Hale) delivers a winsome exploration of life, love, and faith in Regency England. The snobbish Caroline Hatherleigh can’t imagine finding interesting people of the right social rank in the coastal town of Devon, where she is visiting her grandmother, until she meets Emma Kirby and her husband, the handsome and intelligent fossil scientist Gideon Kirby. Her growing friendship with Emma and attraction to Gideon brings Caroline inner discontent and curiosity about their Christian faith—for Emma seems to radiate peace. Indeed, Gideon and Emma are hiding a secret that could erupt in scandal if discovered: they are actually siblings, and Emma is hiding from her abusive husband. Between tending to his sister’s well-being, his burgeoning career, and his growing feelings for Caroline, Gideon’s world threatens to unravel—but he prays for a miraculous resolution. Caroline, determined to mature from her haughty aloofness, learns how to be a true friend, and how to trust her newfound faith. In a lively subplot, Miller delves into the 19th-century conflict between the Christian faith and the science of paleontology. But it is her inclusion of faith issues with an authentic portrayal of Regency society that will continue to delight her growing fan base. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 01/25/2019 | Details & Permalink

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The White City: True Colors

Grace Hitchcock. Barbour, $12.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-68322-868-4

In 1893 Chicago, the World’s Fair brings excitement to residents and visitors, and danger to a group of young ladies in this rousing solo debut novel from Hitchock (after the anthology The Southern Belle Brides Collection). Winnifred Wylde, the police inspector’s debutante daughter who yearns more for adventure than for matrimony, witnesses a woman’s abduction at the fair. In need of help with the case, her father allows her to discreetly investigate and assigns detective Jude Thorpe to tail her for protection. Winnie quickly discovers the undercover cop, and when she meets the man she believes is the criminal, Mr. Henry Howard Holmes, Jude partners with her in a sting operation. Winnie finds real-life danger much different from that in the novels she enjoys reading, but her fortitude and faith sustain her through several suspenseful moments. Will she find the evidence she needs to reveal Holmes’s perfidy, or will she become his next victim? The dangerous project draws Winnie and Jude closer together, but her father’s refusal to consider a lawman as his daughter’s husband thwarts their desires. Hitchcock keeps the pace quick and tension high as the characters face dangers both physical and emotional. Readers will enjoy the snappy dialogue, vivid depictions of the famous World’s Fair, and the surprising historical details. Agent: Tamela Hancock Murray, Steve Laube Agency. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 01/25/2019 | Details & Permalink

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