Tag: Kristi Ann Hunter

Quote from A Shot at Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas, featured in Christmas Heirloom

Book Review | The Christmas Heirloom: Four Holiday Novellas of Love through Generations

This is a fun novella collection from four popular authors, each writing in the genre they are known for. The stories are linked several ways—they are linked to each other as the heroines are gifted and then pass down a family heirloom, and each has a Christmas scene (enough to make it marketable as a Christmas collection, but not so Christmassy that it felt odd to read in October). Some of the stories are also linked to other stories from that individual author. Clever, and fun!

As is typical for novellas, the stories are quick and relatively fast-paced, but each is a complete and satisfying story.

Legacy of Love by Kristi Ann Hunter is loosely linked to her current Haven Manor series.

The heroine, Sarah Gooding, was raised at Haven Manor and has no idea who her parents are. She’s working as the companion to the Dowager Countess of Densbury and is secretly in love with Lady Densbury’s grandson, Mr Everard. Or perhaps that’s not-so-secretly …

The story is written in Hunter’s trademark fun style, with subtle humour that builds character and reduces tension rather than crossing over to the ridiculous. Despite the short length, Legacy of Love manages to pack quite the emotional punch—I can’t remember the last time I cried over a novel, let alone a novella.

Gift of the Heart by Karen Witemeyer introduces widow Ruth Fullbright and her daughter, Naomi.

Ruth has come to the resort town of Hope Springs to take a job as cook at the Homespun Cafe. But Ruth has no money to pay the deposit or advance rent on the only place in town she can afford, so she asks the owner if he’ll accept a broach, a family heirloom, as security. He does … especially because he’s curioius about and attracted to the small town’s new resident.

This is a feel-good romance, exactly what I expect from Karen Witemeyer. There are great characters, Christian themes, and plenty of subtle humour.

(As an aside, Hope Springs seems to be a popular name for fictional towns—I’ve just started Who I Am With You by Robin Jones Gunn, which also features a heroine living in Hope Springs. I guess Christian authors like the symbolism.)

A Shot at Love by Sarah Loudin Thomas features an unusual heroine.

She’s a crack shot who carves rifle butts and wants to own her own gunsmithing store one day. When Hank visits town for work, Fleeta soon finds he’s the only person she’s met—male or female—who can give her some competition for her shooting. But will he be content to settle a shooting, or will he want more?

This was the story I didn’t enjoy as much as the others. I haven’t read anything by Sarah Loudin Thomas before, so that could be because I was still trying to get used to her style. It could also be because I’m not a gun person, so the idea of anyone wanting to be a gunsmith is outside my experience.

However, that’s a statement of preference. There was nothing wrong with the story, the characters, or the writing. I just found it harder to related to Fleeta, which made it difficult to engage with the story.

The final story, Because of You by Becky Wade, is set in the present day.

It’s part of the Bradford Sisters Romance series, but it’s not about one of the Bradford sisters. Instead, it’s about Maddie Winslow, who works for one of the sisters.

Because of You is a classic friends-to-something-else plot, as Maddie is in love with her (dead) best friend’s husband. When they are assigned to be partners in the church Christmas project, they are forced to spend time alone together, and that changes things …

All in all, this was a fun novella collection centered around a family heirloom—a valuable brooch. If (like me) you already know and enjoy one or more of these authors, then the collection is a great way to be introduced to the others.

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

About the Authors

Kristi Ann Hunter

Author photo: Kristi Ann Hunter

Kristi is the RITA® award winning author of Regency romance novels from a Christian worldview. Her titles include A Noble Masquerade, An Elegant Façade, and An Uncommon Courtship. Beyond writing, she is also speaker, teaching classes in writing as well as Biblical and spiritual topics. She has spoken to writers’ groups, schools, and young women’s groups at churches.

When she is not writing or interacting with her readers, Kristi spends time with her family and her church. A graduate of Georgia Tech with a computer science degree, she can also be found fiddling with her computer in her free time. A born lover of stories she is also an avid reader. From very young she dreamed of sharing her own stories with others and praises God daily that she gets to live that dream today.

You can find Kristi Ann Hunter online at:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

About Karen Witemeyer

Author Photo: Karen WitemeyerFor those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warm-hearted historical romances with a flair of humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home.

Winner of the HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website.

Find Karen Witemeyer online at:

Website | Facebook

About Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author Photo - Sarah Loudin ThomasSarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency.

Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.

Find Sarah Loudin Thomas online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Becky Wade

Author Photo Becky WadeBecky is the Carol and Christy award winning author of heartwarming, humorous, and swoon-worthy contemporary inspirational romances.

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

These days, you’ll find Becky in Dallas, Texas failing to keep up with her housework, trying her best in yoga class, carting her three kids around town, watching TV with her Cavalier spaniel on her lap, hunched over her computer writing, or eating chocolate.

You can find Becky Wade online at:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

About The Christmas Heirloom

In Kristi Ann Hunter’s “Legacy of Love,” Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman’s grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer’s “Gift of the Heart,” widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas’s “A Shot at Love,” Fleeta Brady’s rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family’s brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade’s “Because of You,” Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

Find The Christmas Heirloom online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to The Christmas Heirloom below:

Click here to find this and other great Christian fiction at my Amazon shop.

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 41 | A Defense of Honor

It’s First Line Friday, which means it’s time to open the book nearest you and share the first line. Today I’m sharing from A Defense of Honor by the wonderful Kristi Ann Hunter. It’s a long one!

Okay, it’s long, but doesn’t it make you want to keep reading? Why is he bored? What’s going to get him out of his boredom? Something has to—no one wants to read a book about a bored man.

The other thing that intrigued me about this first line is that it’s the male point of view. Most romance novels start with the lady (or Lady).

About A Defense of Honor

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.

You can find A Defense Honor online at

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

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!

#Throwback Thursday | A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter

It’s Throwback Thursday, and today I’m sharing a review that originally appeared at Iola’s Christian Reads in September 2015. A Noble Masquerade was Kristi Ann Hunter’s debut novel, and it went on to win final in several awards, and won the 2016 Romance Writers of America RITA Award for Inspirational Romance. All were well deserved. I really must read this again!

A Noble Masquerade is Regency romance, my favourite historical period and one that is woefully underrepresented in Christian fiction. It’s also got a strong suspense plot, and it’s no secret romantic suspense is my favourite genre.

The book is off to a good start …

Lady Miranda Hawthorne might be titled and have been raised to be a lady, but she’s not a lady at heart. She has unladylike thoughts and sometimes does unladylike things, and she’s currently bemoaning her single state. For years, she’s been pouring her unladylike heart out to Marsh, her brother’s best friend since his school days. Not that she’s ever posted the letters. A single woman writing to a man is most unladylike.

But after one particularly stressful evening, in which Lady Miranda realises her shallow younger sister is going to eclipse her socially once she is “out”, Miranda finds herself in conversation with her brother’s new valet—his handsome new valet–and writing yet another letter to Marsh. Only the valet finds the letter and posts it, and a week later, Miranda gets a response from Marsh, the mysterious Duke of Marshington who no one has seen for nine long years. Oops.

Things soon get complicated.

Miranda finds herself fighting an attraction to Marlow, completely the wrong man, and getting to know Marsh through his letters … and finding herself attracted to him as well. Then the suspense plot takes hold, and I don’t want to say anything more because that would be a spoiler. You’ll just have to read it for yourself to find out what happens.

There were times when it didn’t seem like A Noble Masquerade was the first novel in the series at all.

It wasn’t as though I felt I was missing information, more that it felt like the characters had more history together than I was seeing on the page. When I checked Amazon, I found I was right: Kristi Ann Hunter also has a free prequel novella available, A Lady of Esteem. I obviously downloaded this immediately, and am planning to read it right after I finish this review …

A Noble Masquerade will appeal to fans of historical romance, especially Regency romance. The writing is excellent, with plenty of plot twists and turns, quirky characters and plenty of humour. But it’s definitely Christian fiction, and the faith elements are handled especially well. Recommended.

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

About Kristi Ann Hunter

Author photo: Kristi Ann Hunter

Kristi is the RITA® award winning author of Regency romance novels from a Christian worldview. Her titles include A Noble Masquerade, An Elegant Façade, and An Uncommon Courtship. Beyond writing, she is also speaker, teaching classes in writing as well as Biblical and spiritual topics. She has spoken to writers’ groups, schools, and young women’s groups at churches.

When she is not writing or interacting with her readers, Kristi spends time with her family and her church. A graduate of Georgia Tech with a computer science degree, she can also be found fiddling with her computer in her free time. A born lover of stories she is also an avid reader. From very young she dreamed of sharing her own stories with others and praises God daily that she gets to live that dream today.

You can find Kristi Ann Hunter online at:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

About A Noble Masquerade

Lady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, a duke–with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she’s heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother’s new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned.

When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men–one she’s never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.

You can find A Noble Masquerade online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to A Noble Masquerade below:

What’s your favourite Christian book genre?

Bookish Question #47 | What’s your favourite Christian book genre?

Asking a keen reader their favourite genre is like asking any addict about their favourite fix. Well, I assume it is. I haven’t spent a lot of time around addicts!

My favourite genre is romance, which shouldn’t come as any surpirse to anyone who reads my reviews on a regular basis. But romance is a huge genre, so what are my favourite novels within romance? I have three:

Regency Romance

Regency Romance is set in England during the period of the British Regency—when King George III was deemed mentally unfit to rule, so his son (the future King George IV) was named Prince Regent in his place. A lot of Georgette Heyer’s novels are set in the Regency period, and it’s also the time when Jane Austen was writing and publishing. Regency Romance characters are often members of the aristocracy, so the stories are complete fantasy when compared to my way of life!

My favourite Christian Regency Romance authors are Julie Klassen, Kristi Ann Hunter, and Carolyn Miller.

Romantic Suspense

I also enjoy romance with a suspense or thriller element. The mix of romance and suspense provides the classic mix of internal and external conflict, and provides plenty of opportunity for the hero and heroine to get to know each other as they work together to solve the crime (or stop one happenning).

My favourite Christian romantic suspense authors are DiAnn Mills, Lynette Eason, Terri Blackstock, and similar authors.

Contemporary Romance

My absolute favourite genre is contemporary romance. But not just any contemporary romance. I like stories that are a realistic and even a little gritty, that show life like it is but still show the hope of Jesus. And a little comedy doesn’t hurt, as a way of diffusing tension.

My favourite contemporary Christian romance authors are whichever book I’ve read most recently. Kara Isaac, Bethany Turner, Jennifer Rodewald, Brandy Bruce, Carla Laureano, Tammy L Gray, Courtney Walsh, Amy Matayo … the list goes on.

What about you? What’s your favourite Christian book genre?

Let me know in the comments, then pop over to Australasian Christian Writers and share there!

Book Recommendation | An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter

Excellent Christian Regency Romance

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, has decided it is time he completed his familial duty to marry and produce an heir. He has set his sights on Miss Frederica St Clare, who is perfect for him in every way. Except one: he discovers she has a previous love.

Can he compete with a dead man?

Worse, he finds himself attracted to Miss St Clare’s cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge. Miss Breckenridge is everything he doesn’t want in a wife—young, beautiful, a diamond of the first water. Or is she? As the Season progresses, he finds everything is not as it seems with the beautiful Miss Isabella and her uncle, the manipulative Lord Pontebrook.

I wasn’t entirely convinced by the setup.

It felt contrived and less than believable—as Isabella herself commented, it didn’t paint the ruling class in a good light. Also, a few Americanisms snuck into the narrative—campus, graduate, math, druggist. Most people wouldn’t notice them, but I’m not American, so I did. I also would have liked to have seen more of the faith aspect—Isabella and Griffith were both Christians, but that didn’t come out as much as it could have.

But I still enjoyed An Inconvenient Beauty.

Book quote

The dresses were beautiful, the balls glamorous, the dialogue witty. There were no kisses (which I know will disappoint some readers and reviewers), but there was so much attraction this was barely noticeable. Yes, the writing is excellent.

 

Kristi Ann Hunter is one of the rising stars of Christian Regency fiction, although her take has more focus on the romance than authors like Julie Klassen, as well as more humour.

Recommended for fans of Christian Regency Romance authors such as Carolyn Miller, and historical fiction authors such as Jen Turano and Karen Witemeyer.

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

Find Kristi Ann Hunter online at:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter 

Click below to buy An Inconvenient Beauty:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Kobo

Do you read Regency Romance? Who is your favourite author?

books I’m looking forward to reading

Bookish Question #13: What Books are you Looking Forward to Reading?

It’s the end of June (already!), which means we’re halfway through the year. I’ve read a bunch of books, but there are still more books to read. There are always more books to read.

Here are the books I’m looking forward to reading (click on the covers to buy on Amazon):

Books from Debut Authors

Count Me In by Mikal Dawn

An accountant as a heroine? I don’t think I’ve seen that before, so I’m looking forward to finding out Allegra’s story.

Someplace Familiar by Teresa Tysinger

I’ve heard good things about Someplace Familiar. It’s a debut novel, and the start of a series. Well, it’s best to start at the beginning, right?

 

 

Books I Own But Haven’t Read Yet

(Don’t judge me. You have a mile-high to-read pile as well. Don’t you?)

Finders Keepers by Sarah Monzon

Finders Keepers has just won the Selah Award, and I’ve read (and reviewed) the sequel, but somehow haven’t managed to read this yet.

 The Whys Have It by Amy Matayo

I love Amy Matayo’s writing and the way she shows authentic faith in a real world. And the cover …

My Unexpected Hope by Tammy L Gray

My Unexpected hope is the sequel to My Hope Next Door, which is a RITA finalist, and was one of my top picks for 2016. So I have to read it, right?

The Wayward Heart by Nerys Leigh

The Wayward Heart is the third book in Nerys Leigh’s unique mail order bride series—unique in that each of the stories in the series is happening at the same time, so you can read the series in any order.

 

Books I’m Waiting For

Ghost Hunter by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

Ghost Hunter is a suspense novel set in Tanzania and the United States. That’s all I know about it. But it’s by Lisa Harris, which pretty much guarantees a winner.

Ghost Hunter releases in August 2017.

A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

I love the way Elizabeth Camden melds new-to-me historical research with faith and romance.

A Dangerous Legacy releases in October 2017.

The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller

Regency romance is one of my favourite romance genres, and it’s great to see more Christian authors in this space.

The Captivating Lady Charlotte releases tomorrow! I can’t wait! Well, I can. Because I have to. But you know what I mean.

An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter

More Regency romance, from award-winning Kristi Ann Hunter. I’ve read and enjoyed every one of her books so far, so I have no doubts about this one. And the cover is gorgeous.

An Inconvenient Beauty releases in September 2017.

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

Legal suspense. What more do I need to know?

Legal Proof releases in September 2017.

 

What book or books are you most looking forward to reading in the second half of 2017?

Book Recommendations January/February 2017

Christian Fiction January February 2017

I’m still playing catch-up on my book recommendations. Today I’m covering the best books I read in January and February of 2017, and I’ll be back in two weeks with my top picks for March and April.

What’s unusual about my list this is that the books are four different genres, but none of them are my usual favourite—contemporary romance.

An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter

An Uncommon Courtship is the fourth book in Kristi Ann Hunter’s award-winning Regency romance series. It focuses on the forced marriage of Lord Trent and Lady Abigail, and their ability to try and turn an awkward situation into a real marriage. I especially enjoyed the fact they were both strong Christians, which gives the plot added depth. Click here to read my review.

Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert

Maybe It’s You is the third in her Crisis Hope medical drama series, and it’s a strong finish. It’s not a light drama—Sloane has a damaged past, and she’s learning to trust God for her future. I thought this was a real strength of the novel. The romance and suspense didn’t hurt! Click here to read my review.

As an unrelated aside, I got to meet Candace Calvert last month! She and her husband took a cruise around New Zealand and docked in my home town. If you’re ever lucky enough to be cruising around New Zealand, let me know when you’re in Tauranga or Mt Maunganui so I can take you for coffee!

Murder on the Moor by Julianna Deering

Murder on the Moor is the fifth in the Drew Fathering series, and I think it’s the best yet. The whole series is a must-read for fans of historical mystery novels from authors like Agatha Christie. Murder on the Moor sees Drew and Madeline visiting Yorkshire to investigate the murder of the local vicar. Excellent. Click here to read my review.

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

Long Way Gone is a modern retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son, set against the backdrop of the Nashville music industry, and in high-country Colorado. Everything about it was outstanding, from the opening line to the end. You can read my review at Australasian Christian Writers, and you can find the book on Amazon.
Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

What are the best books you’ve read so far this year?

What did you read in June 2016?

News!

I’m a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for unpublished writers, in the Novella category. I can’t tell you anything about the story, not even the title, until the results are announced at the end of August. I can tell you it won’t be published any time soon (sorry!).

There’s a simple reason why not.

As I was writing, I realised two of the minor characters needed to have their story told. So I started writing that story . . . only to find that the story I’ve finished is actually the third in the series. Or maybe the fourth.

Whoops. So now I’m working on books one and two.

Favourite Reads June 2016

And I’ve been reading . . .

I offered to judge the 2016 CALEB Award for fiction. The CALEB Award is run by Omega Writers, and celebrates the best in Christian fiction from Australian and New Zealand authors. I had to read the first 50 pages of 22 novels, some of which I’d read before (or edited via Christian Editing Services). But many were new to me, and have added an unnecessary number of books to a to-read pile that never seems to get any smaller.

The best novels I read in June 2016 were:

Medical Judgement by Dr Richard Mabry (click here to read my review.)

The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky (click here to read my review.)

From this Moment by Elizabeth Camden (click here to read my review.)

An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter (click here to read my review.)

Have you read any of these novels? If so, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

All this judging means I’m behind on my personal reading, so I’ve got lots of books stacked up to read in July. What are you planning to read in July? Leave a comment—let’s swap ideas!