First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 96 | A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate

It’s First Line Friday! That means it’s time to pick up the nearest book and quote the first line. Today I’m sharing a combination cover reveal and first line from A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Australian author Jessica Kate. Woot!

So here’s the cover!

Isn’t that fun? I love the colours, and the little kangaroo bouncing along the bottom …

And here’s the first line:

Samuel Payton was an idiot. Kimberly Foster jammed her phone in her pocket and rushed down the sunny Charlottesville street in a Mr Potato Head costume, peep-toe heels, and a murderous rage.

 

 

What’s the book nearest you, and what’s the first line?

About A Girl’s Guide to the Outback

Kimberly Foster needs help from the last man in the world who would give it.

She and Samuel Payton fought so much during their three-year stint as colleagues that they now reside in different halves of the globe. She’s still the business director of the Virginia-based youth ministry that Sam founded, while he’s back at his family’s farm in rural Australia.

But Kimberly can’t find a suitable replacement for Sam, and the ministry is in trouble. She needs him back. What she doesn’t know is that the Payton farm’s finances are scarier than statistics on Australian spider bites.

She and Sam strike a deal: if she can use her business savvy to save the farm, he’ll return to Virginia and recruit and train his replacement.

Soon Kimberly’s on the edge of the Outback, working more closely with Sam than ever before. Can she protect his family’s legacy, the ministry, and her heart?

You can find A Girl’s Guide to the Outback online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Kobo

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

You can then click the link which will take you to the master page of all this week’s #FirstLineFriday posts.

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

And don’t forget to click here to check out my Amazon shop for my top picks in Christian fiction!

 

It isn't us who are on trial, it is science itself. And I am confident we will win.

#ThrowbackThursday | A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m sharing my review of A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden. She is one of my favourite historical romance authors because I love the way she finds fascinating scraps of history to share about—like the fight for clean water in the growing cities of Golden Age America. It’s not the typical background to a romance novel, but it works!
This review first appeared at Australasian Christian Writers in June 2018.

Rosaline Werner lost both her parents to cholera when she was just ten years old. The loss changed her life, but eighteen years later she’s back in America, working as a biochemist fighting to eradicate waterborne diseases including typhoid. She’s convinced the answer is to chemically treat the city’s supply of drinking water with chlorine, but not everyone agrees.

Nicholas Drake is a plumber, and a commissioner of the State Water Board of New York, responsible for ensuring the citizens have access to clean water. But he can’t see that adding poison to water is the solution—he prefers the tried-and-true method of filtering the water.

It’s a great set-up: two people who want the same thing.

Two people with noble reasons. But two people who fundamentally disagree on the best process, to the point where their factions are fighting it out in court. It’s a plot that isn’t going to allow for compromise. Rosaline will win, or Nicholas will win. Unless Rosaline can convince Nicholas to change his mind …

It’s also a unique concept for a novel. Plumbing. Water. Dams. Chlorination. Filtration. Most of us in developed countries take safe drinking water for granted, and it’s hard to believe that it’s only been a little over a century since the idea was mooted, accepted, and popularised. Elizabeth Camden is known for taking little-known and intriguing historical factoids and turning them into compelling historical novels with plenty of romance and more than a little suspense.

The one possible fault with A Daring Venture is that while Elizabeth Camden’s earlier novels were definitely Christian, this (and the previous novel in this Empire State series, A Dangerous Legacy) do not have any overtly Christian content. But nor are they general market titles, with all that implies. Perhaps it’s that the faith element is woven in so subtly that it’s not noticeable.

And in some ways, it shouldn’t be. A Daring Venture isn’t a faith-based story. It’s the story of clean, disease-free water, and some of the people who helped change our world for the better by fighting for what was right. Which, if you think about it, is the outworking of the Christian faith.

A Daring Venture is an excellent novel with a unique premise.

Recommended for fans of historical fiction, especially romances and novels with a basis in historical fact. I hope there will be a sequel, because I want to see more of Nicholas and his growing family.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.

Find Elizabeth Camden online at:

Website | Facebook

About A Daring Venture

As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against waterborne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city–but only if she can get people to believe in her work.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York, Nicholas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team’s techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is surprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

While Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction, they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, the odds stacked against these two rivals swiftly grow more insurmountable with every passing day.

You can find A Daring Venture online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to A Daring Venture below:

New Releases in Christian Fiction

New Releases in Christian Fiction | June 2019

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance:

The Art of Rivers by Janet Ferguson — Can a woman whose life has been damaged by addiction trust her heart to a man in recovery? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

I’ve been lucky enough to read an advance copy of The Art of Rivers. I’ll post my review next week, but it’s a great read—the best kind of Christian fiction.

Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher — Horse rescue farmer Ashley helps Ben start an equine therapy barn on his great-great grandfather’s farm. When they consider a relationship together, her bitter experience with her opioid addict brother reins in any hope for a future with Ben, who is five years in recovery from alcoholism. Ben knows that with God, all things are possible—but will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance? (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Risking Love by Toni Shiloh — Nikki lives with a perfect trifecta of noes. No guys. No dates. No way. After years of keeping men at bay, Nikki Gordon has it down to a science. No one, not even sweet, hunky Shorty Smalls can change her mind. Period. So if she’s got it all figured out, why does her heart sink to her toes when she sees Shorty with another woman? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)

This sounds like a fun read. I’ll have to check it out!

General:

Uncharted Destiny by Keely Brooke Keith — When Bailey sets out to rescue her lost friend in the Land’s dangerous mountain terrain, she discovers more about the Land—and herself—than she bargained for. (General from Edenbrooke Press)

I’ve enjoyed all the Uncharted books so far, and I’m looking forward to reading Uncharted Destiny. Watch out for my review later this month.

Six Houses Down by Kari Rimbey — Two days after Sharon Webster’s distant husband returns for a surprise visit, their autistic son slips out of the house and is lost in historic Washington D. C. As they search for their boy, Sharon is forced to rely on the husband she believes no longer loves her. An elderly black couple down the street seems to understand her unspoken hurts. Has God sent them to help her find trust again? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)

 

Historical:

In the Shadow of the King by Melissa Rosenberger — Beset by doubts and jealousy about prophecies spoken over her brother Yeshua, Hannah struggles to see the truth before her eyes until it is too late…or is it? (Historical from Carpenter’s Son Publishing)

Interesting—I’ve never read any fiction from the point of view of one of Mary’s daughters.

Historical Romance:

This Healing Journey by Misty M. Beller — An adventure-seeking wilderness girl and an ex-cavalryman looking to settle down fall in love while caring for a wounded Indian child that shows up in his barn. Will their differences keep them apart or become their greatest strengths? (Historical Romance, Independently Published)

Cameo Courtships by Susanne Dietze, Debra E. Marvin, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Kathleen Y’Barbo — In 1851, a special cameo is gifted by Queen Victoria to Letitia Newton, who though considered an old maid, meets the perfect gentleman minutes after donning.

Told by the Queen the cameo is to be shared, Letitia gifts the “Victoria Cameo” to a woman in her family, hoping adventure and romance will follow each of its subsequent wearers.

Adventure indeed follows two competing journalists, one of whom carries the cameo while looking to expose a smuggler, a trouser-wearing frontierswoman and a reverend who are on a mission to ransom the cameo from a manipulative brothel owner, two Pinkertons who are charged with the care of the cameo but must rely on one another when the cameo is once again stolen, and a young woman who doubts the cameo can help her when a handsome Scottish library administrator ruins her dream of overseeing the new Carnegie Library children’s department and keeps a social chasm between himself and her father. (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Mail-Order Refuge by Cindy Regnier — Carly Blair from Baltimore buys a train ticket to Kansas where she will become the wife of a man she’s never met. She must leave Baltimore to escape the evil plans her ex-fiance has for using her artistic talents for a counterfeit operation. Rand Stafford, Kansas cattle rancher is looking after his two orphaned nieces, but knows they need a mother. He’s not interested in love since being left at the altar so he advertises for a mail-order bride, willing to do whatever it takes to give Mary Jo and Jenna a proper home and upbringing. Can Carly and Rand find love where they least expect it, or will the shadows of the past dash their hopes for the future? (Historical Romance from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas)

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky — Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans—but was that the truth? (Historical Romance from Waterbrook/Multnomah [Random House])

A promising start to a new series from Carrie Turansky. My review will post later this month.

Romantic Suspense:

Darkwater Truth by Robin Caroll — Adelaide Fountaine, general manager, is enthusiastically renovating parts of the Darkwater Inn. Her intentions come to a screeching halt when a skeleton is found behind a makeshift wall—an axe beside it. As Adelaide works alongside owner Dimitri Pampalon and Detective Beau Savoie, the two men who have been pursuing her heart, she learns the eerie death has tentacles that reach deep into the seedy past of both the Darkwater Inn and the evil underground of New Orleans.

The past and the present collide as the stakes are upped—not only for Adelaide’s heart, but for her very life and her father’s life as well. The threats are deadly, the coils of evil are tightening around everyone involved, and they are more powerful than anyone could have ever imagined. (Romantic Suspense, Independently Published)

I read and enjoyed the first in this series, but somehow seem to have missed Book #2, because this is the third in the series!

Over the Line by Kelly Irvin — Gabriela’s brother is missing, he’s a suspect in a murder, and she’s in the cross hairs of a criminal organization. The only person who can help her is the one man she can’t trust. Will Gabby & Eli find her brother before it’s too late? (Romantic Suspense from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

I’ve already read and reviewed Over the Line—click here to read my review.

Long Walk Home by DiAnn Mills — As an Arab Christian pilot for a relief organization, Paul Farid feels called to bring supplies to his war-torn countrymen in southern Sudan. But with constant attacks from Khartoum’s Islamic government, the villagers have plenty of reasons to distrust Paul, and he wonders if the risks he’s taking are really worth his mission.

American doctor Larson Kerr started working with the Sudanese people out of a sense of duty and has grown to love them all, especially Rachel Alier, her young assistant. But despite the years she’s spent caring for them, her life feels unfulfilled. It’s a void noticed both by Paul and by Rachel’s older brother, Colonel Ben Alier of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army.

When Rachel is abducted, Paul, Ben, and Larson agree to set aside their differences to form an unlikely alliance and execute a daring rescue. Their faith and beliefs tested, each must find the strength to walk the path God has laid before them, to find their way home. (Romantic Suspense from Tyndale House)

This sounds very similar to a book I read from the church library several years ago, which highlighted the southern Sudanese struggle for independence. South Sudan gained independence in 2011, so this might be a reprint.

That’s all for June!

There is plenty of winter (or summer) reading on this list. What’s going on your to-read pile?

Which Christian romance has the best first date scene?

Bookish Question #111 | Which Christian romance has the best first date scene?

This question puzzled me at first, because it took me a while to any Christian romances which had an official “first date” scene. Most seem to have the couple meet and spend time together in normal life, rather than in the context of an official date.

They may be thrown together by work, through another character (e.g. a child if one is a parent) or through a crime (especially in romantic suspense). They spend time together, and the relationship develops from there.

This seems more natural to me than the official “date”, which often feels contrived and doomed to failure. (A view which might be affected by the number of characters in Christian fiction who are dating the wrong person!)

But then I remembered True Devotion by Dee Henderson.

Here’s the Amazon description:
Kelly Jacobs has already paid the ultimate price of loving a warrior; she has the folded flag and the grateful thanks of a nation to prove it. Navy SEAL Joe “Bear” Baker can’t ask her to accept that risk again—even though he loves her. But the man responsible for her husband’s death is back; closer than either of them realize. Kelly is in danger, and Joe may not get there in time.

(That’s not the cover on my paperback version. I don’t much like my cover, but I like it better than this cover.)

True Devotion is a slow-build romance between long-time friends, and the first date doesn’t happen until around halfway through the book. But it’s worth waiting for: Joe wants to make it a memorable occasion, but only has three hours to organise the date. He calls a bunch of favours and gets a window table at the classiest restaurant in town, and even manages to buy Kelly flowers and a bear (which is a bit of a pun, as Joe’s SEAL nickname is Bear).

Kelly is suitably impressed, and it’s a great scene.

What’s your favourite first date scene in Christian romance?

Over the Line by Kelly Irvin

Book Review | Over the Line by Kelly Irvin

I really enjoyed Tell Her No Lies, Kelly Irvin’s first foray out of Amish into romantic suspense.

Over the Line? Not so much. The writing was excellent. There was an action-filled plot with plenty of suspense. There were two romances (although I was more interested in the secondary romance than the primary romance).

One of my problems was the sheer number of characters. There were a lot, and I found that confusing at times. But my main problem was the political focus. I don’t mind Christian fiction that debates current issues, but I want Christian fiction to focus on universal issues, not US-centric issues like gun control. It’s a deeply divisive political football, and I see nothing in the debate (from either side) that brings people closer to God—surely the purpose of Christian fiction.

But let’s get back to the actual story and the actual characters.

It was apparent early on that Gabriella and Eli had broken up because Gabriella thought she’d caught Eli being unfaithful. It was equally apparent that this is one of those conflicts that could have been solved in half a paragraph if Gabriella had been adult enough to listen to Eli’s explanation. In this, she behaved more like a rebellious Amish teenager than successful attorney-turned-chef.

Perhaps that’s what made the conflict so annoying: as an attorney, Gabriella was trained to consider both sides of an argument. Yet she didn’t.

Eli wasn’t any better. He was an odd mix of get-in-there-and-shoot-the-baddies and too-scared-to-confront-his-girlfriend. It was as though he was simply there to be Gabriella’s love interest … That’s why I found the secondary romance more interesting.

On the other hand, Natalie and Deacon were excellent characters. I would have liked to have seen more of them and to see their developing relationship. It has challenges, to be sure (as Natalie is a widowed paraplegic with two children), but I’d like to see how a couple overcomes those challenges.

I found the actual suspense side of the plot confusing, and I found it hard to divorce the plot from the wider politics of the situation. That affected my enjoyment. However, I’m sure Americans who live in border states will have a different view.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Kelly Irvin

Author Photo: Kelly IrvinKelly Irvin is the bestselling author of the Every Amish Season and Amish of Bee County series. The Beekeeper’s Son received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, who called it a “beautifully woven masterpiece.” The two-time Carol Award finalist is a  former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to read books by her favorite authors.

Find Kelly Irvin online at:

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

About Over the Line

“You have something we want. We have something you want.”

Gabriella has never forgiven her former fiancé, homicide detective Eli Cavazos, for breaking her heart. Then a man she’s never met shows up at her restaurant, a bullet in his chest and her brother’s name on his lips. Gabby soon realizes this man is connected to a powerful ring of criminals who know far too much about her.

Against her better judgment, Gabby turns to Eli for help in finding her brother. When she receives a cryptic text from her brother’s cell phone, she realizes she is in deep and may be dragging Eli down with her. With her brother nowhere to be found and pain from her past threatening to overwhelm her, Gabby wonders how she will make it through this unexpected quest unscathed—or alive.

Taking us into the heat of Laredo, Texas, the secrets of a gun-smuggling ring, and the tensions on both sides of the border, Over the Line will keep you guessing until the last page.

Find Over the Line online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koboicon | Koorong

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week #95 | Falling for Grace by Janet W Ferguson

It’s First Line Friday! That means it’s time to pick up the nearest book and quote the first line. Today I’m sharing from Falling for Grace by Janet W Ferguson:

It was finally over. Like some kind of cruel joke, mile after mile of long rays of Florida sunlight splashed across the steering wheel of the Toyota Camry, highlighting Grace Logan's empty ring finger.

Falling for Grace is a novella in Janet W Ferguson’s Coastal Hearts series, and I will confess I couldn’t stop at this first line!

What’s the book nearest you, and what’s the first line?

About Falling for Grace

Grace Logan has taken a lot of tumbles in life, but she works hard to bounce right back. Dreams shattered and hope for reconciliation gone, Grace needs a place where she can pick herself up now that her ex is marrying her former best friend. Her boss’s beach house in Santa Rosa seems like the perfect getaway, but stumbling into the attractive-but-damaged handyman next door isn’t part of the plan.

After losing his infant son—and his marriage—Seth Gibbs is left with smothering grief and guilt. Bad memories make it difficult to find a new normal, so he escapes to his family’s vacation home. Three years later, he’s still in Santa Rosa with no plans to leave. That is…until Grace falls into his life.

You can find Falling for Grace online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

You can then click the link which will take you to the master page of all this week’s #FirstLineFriday posts.

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

And don’t forget to click here to check out my Amazon shop for my top picks in Christian fiction!

Quote from Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin

#ThrowbackThursday | Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin. He’s one of my favourite male Christian fiction authors, with a real strength in structuring stories so I can’t predict what’s going to happen.

About Send Down the Rain

Allie is still recovering from the loss of her family’s beloved waterfront restaurant on Florida’s Gulf Coast when she loses her second husband to a terrifying highway accident. Devastated and losing hope, she shudders to contemplate the future—until a cherished person from her past returns.

Joseph has been adrift for many years, wounded in both body and spirit and unable to come to terms with the trauma of his Vietnam War experiences. Just as he resolves to abandon his search for peace and live alone at a remote cabin in the Carolina mountains, he discovers a mother and her two small children lost in the forest. A man of character and strength, he instinctively steps in to help them get back to their home in Florida. There he will return to his own hometown—and witness the accident that launches a bittersweet reunion with his childhood sweetheart, Allie.

When Joseph offers to help Allie rebuild her restaurant, it seems the flame may reignite—until a 45-year-old secret from the past begins to emerge, threatening to destroy all hope for their second chance at love.

In Send Down the Rain, Charles Martin proves himself to be a storyteller of great wisdom and compassion who bears witness to the dreams we cherish, the struggles we face, and the courage we must summon when life seems to threaten what we hold most dear.

Send Down the Rain is an unusual story in many ways.

It starts decades ago with two brothers the day their father moves out, then jumps forward to the present. The first part shows three different characters, and it wasn’t until about a quarter of the way through that it became clear who the main character was.

Joseph is a 63-year-old Vietnam war veteran who has been running for more years than seems possible. We get to know him only gradually, as the story bounces back and forth between his past and his present, highlighting his failures (and sometimes his successes), his weaknesses and sometimes his strengths. He’s a strong narrator because he is weak: he’s humble and unpretentious and focuses more on what he’s done wrong than what he’s done right.

I got to about the 90% point in this book and thought it was good, but it hadn’t reached the heights of The Mountain Between Us (now a major movie starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba) or Long Way Gone (a modern retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son).

But by the time I finished Send Down the Rain I had changed my mind.

It’s at least as good as these, but the power builds up and up and only bites at the end. There isn’t an obvious Christian thread or an overt parallel with a Bible story (as there was in Long Way Gone). Send Down the Rain is more of an exploration of love, loyalty, and family, a story of sacrifice and second chances. And that pretty much sums up the gospel.

An outstanding novel of love and faithfulness, in Martin’s trademark understated yet compelling style. Recommended.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Charles Martin

Author Photo: Charles MartinChristy and I married in 1993. If you include dating, I’ve known and loved her for more than half my life. She is and always will be the home for my heart. We have three boys. Charlie, John T. and Rives. Folks often ask me, which of my books do I like the best. You might as well line up my sons and ask me who I love the most.

My hobbies are bow hunting, working out (a blend of old school stuff and martial arts, called Fight Fit) and Tae Kwon Do. In October 2012 I earned my black belt but I’m still the least flexible person you’ve ever met. The guy that trains me, laughs everytime I start warming up. My boys are far better at Tae Kwon Do than I but I doubt they have as much fun – I get to do and watch. They just do.

I also like to write, but that’s another story.

You can find Charles Martin online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

You can find Send Down the Rain online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads

You can read the introduction to Send Down the Rain below:

Do you like it when a reviewer includes quotes from the book in their review?

Bookish Question #110 | Do you like seeing quotes in a book review?

I’m a reviewer, so my view may well be biased 🙂

I like to include quotes in my reviews. I think a pertinent quote helps break up the text of a review. More importantly, it gives the person reading the review a feel for the author’s writing style and the tone of the book.

I also like including quotes because they’re great for social media.

It only takes a few minutes to turn a quote into a pretty meme that can be shared on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. I think it’s a win-win. I’m promoting the book and the author, but I’m also promoting my own website (because I always include my site address on my memes).

I like reading reviews with quotes for the same reason. It gives me a feel for the author’s writing style, and the choice of quote gives an insight into the mind of the reviewer. What made that line stick out for the reviewer? Does it resonate with me in the same way? If so, I’ll probably enjoy the book.

For example, here’s a quote from Sweet on You by Becky Wade from blogger DailyDoseofSon:
Men who did dishes spoke her love language
via @DailyDoseofSon

Housekeeping is not my spiritual gift, so this quote definitely got my attention and showed me the character could be someone I’d relate to. Here are a couple of my favourite from the same book:

He hadn't worshipped from a place of gratitude. He'd worshipped from a place of duty.

Loving her was his greatest blessing. But it was also his greatest curse.

As you can see, I like quotes to be short and to the point.

I don’t like reviews (or author blog posts) with long passages from the novel e.g. the first chapter. They can be hard to read in a blog post, and they don’t give any more information than someone could get from checking the book out on Amazon.

That’s my view as a reader and as a reviewer. I’d be interested to know what authors think—do they like seeing quotes from their books in reviews and on social media?

What about you? Do you like it when a reviewer includes (short) quotes in their review?

We're all good. We're all bad. The hero in our own stories. The villain in someone else's.

Book Review | The Number of Love by Roseanna M White

Margot De Wilde escaped the German occupation in Belgium, and now she and her mother are living in London where Margot works in Room 40 of the Old Admiralty Building. She’s a codebreaker—one of the stars of the department, despite being the youngest cryptographer and the only female.

She has a unique brain, in that numbers seem to rearrange themselves into words and messages.

Drake Elton is a British spy disguised as a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. He is half-Spanish so is the obvious choice to work as an undercover agent in neutral Spain. He finds himself back in London after a mission goes wrong. But the mission follows him to London and is now targeting him and those around him …

Including Margot

The whole concept of coding has always fascinated me, as I suspect it has fascinated Roseanna M White. I understand the basic principles of cyphers and codes, but I am clueless when it comes to the maths behind creating and (especially) cracking codes. That’s why I find a heroine like Margot De Wilde fascinating. She might be only a teenager, but she’s cleverer than most of the men working in her department and has gained their respect because of her skill.

While the research was generally excellent and well-integrated into the plot, there were a couple of anachronisms that threw me out of the story. Yes, rulers have used humans to provide intelligence on the opposing forces ever since Moses sent the twelve spies into Israel after the Hebrews escaped from Egypt. But that’s only been called HUMINT recently—it may have been human intelligence in 1917, but it certainly wasn’t HUMINT. SIGINT is equally problematic, as is hun (which should be capitalised, in the same way as american or canadian should be capitalised).

If you read Roseanna M White’s excellent Shadows Over England series, then you’ll recognise Margot De Wilde and her family from A Song Unheard. And if you’ve read The Cypher Ring series, then you’ll know Roseanna M White has a longstanding fascination with codes and codebreakers.

But don’t worry if you haven’t read them: The Number of Love is an excellent standalone novel that combines White’s love of codes with an excellent romantic suspense story set against the backdrop of World War I London.

The characters are fascinating, the writing is excellent, and the result is a unique page-turner.

Recommended for fans of historical fiction, and for those intrigued by movies such as Enigma or Hidden Figures. I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

The Numbers of Love by @RoseannaMWhite is excellent. The characters are fascinating, the writing is excellent, and the result is a unique page-turner. #BookReview #ChristianFiction Click To Tweet

About Roseanna M White

Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna has a slew of historical novels available, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia.

Find Roseanna M White online at:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube 

About The Number of Love

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network–field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the intelligent Margot, but how can he convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amid biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.

You can find The Number of Love online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 94 | Red Carpet Summer by Melissa Fergusson

It’s First Line Friday! That means it’s time to pick up the nearest book and quote the first line. Today I’m sharing from Red Carpet Summer by Melissa Ferguson:

First line from Red Carpet Summer by Melissa Ferguson: It's an unnerving experience waiting to see if the hallucinations will come.

What’s the book nearest you, and what’s the first line?

About Red Carpet Summer

Twenty-four-year-old missionary Addie Wells returned home with two goals: marry Danny and devote the rest of her life to aiding the Kenyan orphanage. Simple, right? Find a teaching job in her small hometown in Tennessee, cherish the loyal man of her youth, and save all her pennies to ship overseas.

But when a midnight attempt to help a stranger at a Waffle House turns into aiding none other than Skyler Young, one of the most idolized singers in the country, Addie is given the chance to jump on tour—then and there—for the job of a lifetime.

Suddenly Addie’s world shifts from dirt-clad floors to marble, and it’s all she can do to remember those she left behind—especially when her new bunk mate is Skyler’s winsome opener, Luca. Despite her pledge to Danny, there’s no space on a forty-foot bus to escape her growing attraction to the no-rules hippie with charm to spare. And eventually, Addie finds she doesn’t really want to hide. But will she risk losing every plan and everyone she holds dear in exchange for all that glitters?

For better or worse, this red carpet summer is bound to change everything.

Red Carpet Summer is FREE!

Click here to visit Melissa Ferguson’s website, where it’s available as a free download.

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