Tag: Nerys Leigh

It seemed he was a perfectly reasonable man, to anyone not attempting to court his daughter.

Book Review | The Judge’s Daughter by Nerys Leigh

The Judge’s Daughter is the seventh book in Nerys Leigh’s Escape to the West series. George Parsons met and fell for Millicent in one of the earlier books in the series, after Millicent travelled to the small California town of Green Hill Creek to escape her abusive husband. Now George is heading to New York City to renew his relationship with Millicent.

I have read all the earlier books in the series but can’t actually remember the circumstances which brought Millicent to Green Hill Creek, although I do vaguely remember the start of their relationship. No matter. That’s not what The Judge’s Daughter is about, and it’s not even set in Green Hill Creek.

The new setting means new characters—Millicent’s mother, who is friendly and amenable to George’s pursuit of their daughter. And Millicent’s father, the judge, who is a lot less friendly. There are also the adorable/annoying children he meets at the train station, some of many who struggle to survive in New York.

It’s great to see a romance between an older couple. It’s especially great to see a romance with a divorced woman in a time when divorce was frowned upon by most of polite society. Being older, George and Millicent knew themselves and their own minds better. But they still had to content with the overprotective father (although he had good reason to be), and their own differences in upbringing and expectations. I enjoyed that, and I enjoyed (as always) the humour and the Christian elements.

The Judge’s Daughter is another fun romance from Nerys Leigh. I recommend it for fans of Christian historical romance, especially westerns.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Nerys Leigh

Nerys LeighNerys Leigh writes thoroughly romantic Christian historical love stories. She loves heroes who are strong but sweet and heroines who are willing to fight for the life they want.

She’s from the UK, which you would think puts her in a unique position to not write about mail order brides in the American west, but the old adage of writing what you know has never appealed to her. She has an actual American read each book before publishing to make sure she hasn’t gone all English on it.

No One’s Bride is the first in the Escape to the West series which tells the stories of a group of women willing to travel across America to find happiness, and the men determined to win their hearts.

You can find Nerys Leigh online at:

Website | Facebook

About The Judge’s Daughter

After being a widower for almost half his life, fifty-one-year-old George Parsons didn’t count on ever falling for a woman again, until Millicent came along. After meeting her in his tiny home town of Green Hill Creek, he’s smitten. So when Millie asks him to visit her in New York, he doesn’t hesitate to make the week-long journey from California to see her again.

But what was easy in Green Hill Creek seems next to impossible in the city, and in the midst of the ostentatious wealth and desperate poverty of 1870 New York, George will have to overcome snobbery, prejudice and danger to win Millie’s heart.

Find The Judge’s Daughter online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Goodreads

You can read the introduction to The Judge’s Daughter below:

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

A lot of people don't like progress, specifically the idea of women being in charge and creating their own success.

Book Review | An Agent for Belle by Nerys Leigh

Isabelle Wood has left home to avoid being forced to marry.

Instead, she’s joined the Pinkerton Detective Agency as one of their new wave of female agents. But the letter offering her employment missed out one vital detail: that she will be required to enter into a marriage of convenience as part of her first training assignment.

(Yes, this is pretty far-fetched, but it does illustrate something I’ve recently realised about good fiction: if you’re going to ask your reader to buy into some far-fetched idea or coincidence, introduce it in Chapter One. Or on page one. Because then anyone who can’t buy into the idea will stop reading. Those of us who think it sounds like fun will keep reading and forgive the unbelievable set-up.)

Belle’s new husband is equally unenthusiastic about the idea. His idea of a good marriage is one he’s not part of.

Anyway, Belle and Val (yes, the hero is Valentine) are sent to Cheyenne to save a burlesque show from being sabotaged. But they’ll have to work undercover, which means Belle gets a job as a dancer (complete with what she considers to be an inappropriate costume), while Val hires on as a stage hand (which involves more manual work than he’s used to).

An Agent for Belle was a quick and enjoyable read.

I especially enjoyed the sassy and witty dialogue, and the scenes where Belle gets one up on Val. He has occasional male chauvinist tendencies (he’s a man of his time—the 1870s), but Belle wastes no time in putting him in his place and demonstrating that she does have an aptitude for investigative work … among other things.

It was fun to watch two people who were actively against marriage fall for each other, especially given how reluctant they were to admit it. It’s also a story of women ahead of their time, from Belle the Pinkerton agent to Maria, who is a savvy businesswoman who just happens to manage and lead a troupe of burlesque dancers.

Overall, the story has a great mix of romance and suspense, all pitched against an intriguing yet fun concept, and with lots of great lines. Recommended for fans of historical westerns.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Nerys Leigh

Nerys LeighNerys Leigh writes thoroughly romantic Christian historical love stories. She loves heroes who are strong but sweet and heroines who are willing to fight for the life they want.

She’s from the UK, which you would think puts her in a unique position to not write about mail order brides in the American west, but the old adage of writing what you know has never appealed to her. She has an actual American read each book before publishing to make sure she hasn’t gone all English on it.

No One’s Bride is the first in the Escape to the West series which tells the stories of a group of women willing to travel across America to find happiness, and the men determined to win their hearts.

You can find Nerys Leigh online at:

Website | Facebook

About An Agent for Belle

Marriage is the last thing Belle wants, but she’ll have to get married to avoid it.

When Isabelle Wood answers a newspaper advertisement for female Pinkerton detectives, it seems the perfect way to avoid her parents’ desire for her to wed… until she discovers she has to marry her training agent for the duration of her first case.

It would be easier if her temporary husband, Valentine Stevens, wasn’t so ridiculously charming and attractive. But all they have to do is stop whoever is sabotaging a burlesque show in Cheyenne, and then she can go back to being happily unattached. Surely she can resist temptation for that long.

But with criminals on the loose, the glamorous lead actress taking an interest in Val, and a hefty dose of stage fright, Belle’s first case is going to be far from easy.

Find An Agent for Belle online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | ChristianBook | Koorong

Read the introduction to An Agent for Belle below:

Quote from More than Gold: He couldn't be set in his ways yet. He was only thirty-four. He didn't plan on being set in his ways for at least another ten years.

Book Review | More Than Gold (Escape to the West #6) by Nerys Leigh

Gabriel Silversmith is the gold miner we first met in The Truth About Love, where his mail order bride left him for another man. Not that we blamed her—Gabriel is rough around the edges, to put it politely.

Now he’s married to Grace Myers, and married life isn’t exactly going as planned.

Grace has opinions of her own and isn’t afraid to express them. And she’s refined … perhaps too refined for a gold miner living in a one-room shack with no running water. Will Grace stay, or will this be another disaster?

Grace chose to become a mail order bride to get away from her jealous and selfish stepmother.

She’d thought anything would be better than marrying Felicia’s choice for her, the ancient Mr Howard who has hair growing out both ears. Gabriel is younger and probably more attractive … if she can get him to shave off that awful beard and stop chewing the tobacco that makes him smell like an outhouse.

I have to admit that while I wanted Gabriel to get his happy-ever-after after the way Jo treated him, I also see Grace’s point. She’s a lady, and Gabriel is certainly not a gentleman. Or an angel. And is he really a successful gold miner? If so, wouldn’t he live somewhere nicer that a one-room shack?
But Grace and Gabriel are both determined to make the marriage work, and that’s a great starting point for an enjoyable marriage of convenience story with a touch of suspense.

The first five books in Nerys Leigh’s Escape to the West series can be read in any order, because they all take place simultaneously. More than Gold is the exception—it’s best to read The Truth About Love first, because that covers some of Gabriel’s history, and shows why Grace arrives alone, after the other brides.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Nerys Leigh

Nerys LeighNerys Leigh writes thoroughly romantic Christian historical love stories. She loves heroes who are strong but sweet and heroines who are willing to fight for the life they want.

She’s from the UK, which you would think puts her in a unique position to not write about mail order brides in the American west, but the old adage of writing what you know has never appealed to her. She has an actual American read each book before publishing to make sure she hasn’t gone all English on it.

No One’s Bride is the first in the Escape to the West series which tells the stories of a group of women willing to travel across America to find happiness, and the men determined to win their hearts.

You can find Nerys Leigh online relaxing and generally enjoying the view at:

 Website | Facebook

About More Than Gold

Does “second time lucky” apply to mail order brides?

Let’s just say that Gabriel’s first attempt at marriage didn’t go well. But his new bride, Grace, she has curves he can’t keep his eyes from, and he’s determined this time will be different. Until he ends up sleeping in the barn.

Why are women so difficult to figure out? All he wants is someone to cook, clean, and warm his bed. But Grace wants more. She wants respect and someone to care about her. She wants love.

So now Gabriel has to learn how to court his wife just so he can sleep in his own bed again. As for falling in love, though, he just isn’t the type.

But he’s been wrong before.

You can find More Than Gold online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Goodreads

You can read the introduction to More Than Gold below:

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

Quote from No One's Bride: "I'm sorry. I don't know what happened." That was the traditional opening line after a feigned swoon, and she didn't see any need to change it now.

#Throwback Thursday | No One’s Bride by Nerys Leigh

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of No One’s Bride by Nerys Leigh, the first in the unique Escape to the West series. This review originally appeared at Australasian Christian Writers.

Orphan Amy Watts lies when she agrees to become a mail order bride.

She has no intention of marrying Adam Emerson, the bank and post office clerk from a tiny town in Northern California. She only knows she wants to go to San Francisco—as far away as possible from her rich, influential and lecherous New York employer.

Adam has prayed for God to bring him a wife, and he is overjoyed at his first sight of Amy—she is beautiful. He’s also pleased to find out she’s a likeable person—until she confesses that she doesn’t want to marry him. But she’s going to do the honourable thing and stay in town long enough to pay him back the money he spent in bringing her here.

While Amy was a great character and I fully understood her motive for her inappropriate behaviour, it was Adam who caught my attention. He’s the perfect gentleman, the perfect romance hero (if he has a fault, it is perhaps that he has no faults. Hey, it’s 1870 and the guy can cook and do laundry!).

I very much liked the Christian content.

Adam and Amy each had a strong Christian faith, and this showed consistently throughout the book. I thought the writing was strong, especially for a debut author, and I especially liked the humour sprinkled throughout.

Amy was one of five mail order brides delivered to the tiny town of Green Hill Creek, and I think the remaining novels in the Escape to the West series will be the stories of the other four women.

Overall, No One’s Bride is an excellent debut novel, and I’m now looking forward to the next book in the series—Sara’s story. And waiting for Jo’s story because of what wasn’t said …

Recommended for fans of Christian historical romance from authors such as Mary Connealy, Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Carol Cox, Jen Turano and Lucy Thompson.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Nerys Leigh

Nerys LeighNerys Leigh writes thoroughly romantic Christian historical love stories. She loves heroes who are strong but sweet and heroines who are willing to fight for the life they want.

She’s from the UK, which you would think puts her in a unique position to not write about mail order brides in the American west, but the old adage of writing what you know has never appealed to her. She has an actual American read each book before publishing to make sure she hasn’t gone all English on it.

No One’s Bride is the first in the Escape to the West series which tells the stories of a group of women willing to travel across America to find happiness, and the men determined to win their hearts.

You can find Nerys Leigh online relaxing and generally enjoying the view at:

 Website | Facebook

About No One’s Bride

Small town romance meets the Wild West!

The last thing Amy wants is a husband, but her only hope of escape from a dangerous situation is to answer postmaster Adam Emerson’s advertisement for a mail order bride.

When her desperate plan to trick Adam into paying her way across the country goes awry, her guilty conscience compels her to stay in the small Californian town of Green Hill Creek to find a way to repay him the cost of the train fare before she moves on. The trouble is, she’s completely unprepared for the effect of his kindness, charm, wit, and ridiculously blue eyes.

As her dream of a new life in San Francisco falters and her past catches up with her, can Amy hold onto the one thing she never thought she’d want but now can’t bear to lose?

Five mail order brides, one small Californian town, a lot of romance! The Escape to the West series tells the stories of five young women in 1870 who travel across the country to find love. These uplifting Christian historical romances will transport you to a time of courageous women longing for a better life and the strong men dedicated to winning their hearts. Each novel can be read on its own or as part of the series.

You can find No One’s Bride online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

You can read the introduction to No One’s Bride below:

The Blacksmith's Heart

Book Review | The Blacksmith’s Heart by Nerys Leigh

The Blacksmith’s Heart is the first book in Nerys Leigh’s Back to the West series, so you don’t need to have read any of her other books in order to enjoy this one. Having said that, if you have read any of her earlier Escape to the West mail order bride stories, you will recognise some of the characters in The Blacksmith’s Heart (even though the Escape to the West books are set around 15 years later than The Blacksmith’s Heart).

The Blacksmith’s Heart is the story of widower Peter Johnson, the blacksmith in Green Hill Creek, and father to ten-year-old Jesse. He’d never planned to marry again, but that was before Miss Malinda Wilson moved into town with her sister and brother, the new doctor. (I’m guessing they are the hero and heroine of the next two novels in the series, The Doctor’s Courtship and The Spinster’s Hope, both apparently coming in 2018).

Anyway, Peter isn’t looking for a wife, which is good because Malinda isn’t looking for a husband. Although Peter is handsome and smart and interesting and funny, with broad shoulders and brilliant blue eyes …

Okay, so this is a romance novel, which means we all know how it’s going to end. But the fun part is the journey, and it’s definitely fun. Peter has a disabled son, Jesse (who we later see in An Unexpected Groom). But right now Jesse is a mischievous ten-year-old who wants to ride and fish and pick blackberries … all the things a normal child would want to do.

It’s a great story, perfect for long summer days (if you’re Down Under, like me) or long winter nights (for the rest of you). Recommended for fans of Christian romance from authors such as Regina Jennings and Karen Witemeyer.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Nerys Leigh

Nerys LeighNerys Leigh writes thoroughly romantic Christian historical love stories. She loves heroes who are strong but sweet and heroines who are willing to fight for the life they want.

She’s from the UK, which you would think puts her in a unique position to not write about mail order brides in the American west, but the old adage of writing what you know has never appealed to her. She has an actual American read each book before publishing to make sure she hasn’t gone all English on it.

No One’s Bride is the first in the Escape to the West series which tells the stories of a group of women willing to travel across America to find happiness, and the men determined to win their hearts.

You can find Nerys Leigh online at:

Website | Facebook

About The Blacksmith’s Heart

Can true love strike twice in a lifetime?

Peter Johnson met the love of his life when he was nineteen. Three years later, she was gone, leaving him to raise their son alone. Knowing he would never love another woman the way he loved his wife.

But when a new doctor arrives in town ten years later, bringing with him his smart, beautiful, funny, opinionated sister, desires Peter never dreamed he’d feel again begin to surface.

Malinda Wilson, however, is fiercely independent and doesn’t want a husband. Which is good, because Peter doesn’t want another wife.

He’s almost sure of that.

Christian historical romance The Blacksmith’s Heart is the first in a prequel trilogy to the bestselling Escape to the West series. Lose yourself in the romance of the old west with this heart-warming, uplifting novella!

You can find The Blacksmith’s Heart online at:

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon UK | Goodreads

You can read the introduction to The Blacksmith’s Heart below. If you like it, pop over to www.nerysleigh.com and download your free copy!

As a woman, she didn't need to be blissfully happy. She just needed to be secure, safe, and provided for.

Book Recommendation | An Unexpected Groom by Nerys Leigh

Nerys Leigh’s Escape to the West series is unique.

All the books run concurrently, which means the stories can be read in any order as none comes first. Each book follows one of five women who have come west to California as a mail-order bride.

The Unexpected Groom is the fourth book in the Escape to the West series.

Louisa has been raised to believe she must marry well in order to be happy. She’s arrived in California to marry Jesse Johnson, an accountant with the local bank—a man with the right kind of social standing for Louisa. But when she arrives, she finds Jesse’s letters neglected to tell her one significant fact …

Jesse Johnson is used to women calling off relationships when they find out what’s wrong with him. So, despite his better judgement, he agrees when his friend Adam suggests he doesn’t mention his problem. Instead, let the lady arrive and get to know the real Jesse before making a decision.

Louisa is taken aback at first, but agrees to stay for two weeks, to get to know Jesse. But she finds more than bargained for and has to make the difficult decision to follow her parents, follow her heart … or follow God.

The Unexpected Groom was an excellent romance.

I loved the growing romantic tension between Lousia and Jesse almost as much as I loved the Christian element. It was great to see a character really consider their Christian faith and deepen their relationship with God, even over the relatively short timeframe of this novel (a few weeks).

The one problem with the story was the excess of run-on sentences (Leigh uses British spelling and grammar, which explains Britishisms like gammon, but run-on sentences are wrong in all versions of English). But these didn’t detract from the excellent story, and the great use of humour:

A proper lady knows that breaking a leg is one thing, but allowing anyone to see it is far, far worse.

Recommended for fans of Western Christian historical romance.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Nerys Leigh

Nerys LeighNerys Leigh writes thoroughly romantic Christian historical love stories. She loves heroes who are strong but sweet and heroines who are willing to fight for the life they want.

She’s from the UK, which you would think puts her in a unique position to not write about mail order brides in the American west, but the old adage of writing what you know has never appealed to her. She has an actual American read each book before publishing to make sure she hasn’t gone all English on it.

No One’s Bride is the first in the Escape to the West series which tells the stories of a group of women willing to travel across America to find happiness, and the men determined to win their hearts.

You can find Nerys Leigh online relaxing and generally enjoying the view at:

 Website | Facebook

About The Unexpected Groom

When heart and mind pull in opposite directions, which way do you turn?

Louisa Wood’s parents have always taught her that appearance is everything, and to behave like a lady because one day she would marry a man who could make her one. But without money or social standing, New York society has proved beyond Louisa’s reach. The answer? Go where no one knows who she is.

A young accountant advertising for a mail order bride seems the perfect solution, until Louisa arrives in California to find that Jesse Johnson has been keeping a secret and isn’t at all what she’s expecting. What he is, however, is charming and handsome, and she agrees to stay for two weeks despite knowing she will likely return home at the end.

But as a mystery at the bank where Jesse works draws them closer and her heart wakes to new possibilities, for the first time in her life Louisa finds herself doubting everything she’s been raised to believe.

Find The Unexpected Groom online at:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Top 10 Christian Novels of 2016

I’ve missed a few of my monthly book recommendation posts, so I’m going to catch up over the next few weeks. This week I’m covering the top 10 Christian novels I read last year, in a post originally published at Australasian Christian Writers in December 2016.

How many of my Top 10 Christian novels have you read? What did you think?

Every year I write a post of the top ten novels I read, and every year I struggle. How to condense a year of reading into just ten books? In 2016, I decided the only way I could do it was to stick to novels published in 2016—cutting non-fiction and novellas.

So here are my Top Ten Christian Novels published in 2016 (in alphabetical order. It was enough trouble to narrow them down to ten without having to rank them!):

Since You’ve Been Gone by Christa Allan

Since You’ve Been Gone starts with a twist on a cliché: a groom who doesn’t show up to the wedding, and a bride-to-be who is left to work out why. The obvious is soon discovered (he’s dead in a car wreck), but that doesn’t answer the important questions … Click here to read my review.

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

An excellent dual timeline story from Lynn Austin, showing the difficulties faced by early American settlers, and their determination to succeed. And their faith. Click here to read my review.

The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall

This is the fourth novel in The Everstone Chronicles, and it’s as good as the rest. Don’t worry—you don’t have to read them all. But you’ll want to. Excellent historical romantic suspense. Click here to read my review.

Quote from Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Intermission by Serena Chase

Intermission isn’t Serena Chase’s first novel, but it’s the first one I’ve read—an excellent Young Adult novel with some valuable lessons about God and obedience. Click here to read my review.

Can’t Help Falling by Kara Isaac

Kiwi author Kara Isaac has actually released two books this year: Close to You, and Can’t Help Falling. While I’ve read and enjoyed both, Can’t Help Falling is definitely my favourite. Click here to read my review.

A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears

A Heart Most Certain looks like a typical romance novel set in the American West in the late 1900’s—a sweet romance between two almost-perfect characters. Bland, predictable. But it’s anything but, and that’s what makes it so good. Click here to read my review.

No One’s Bride by Nerys Leigh

I love a good mail order bride story, and this one was excellent. Even better, it’s the start of a series and I’m already holding the date to review book two. Click here to read my review.

The Thirteenth Chance by Amy Matayo

Everyone has been telling me I need to read Amy Matayo’s work. I finally did, and everyone was right. She’s brilliant—real characters with real strengths and failings. I’ll certainly be reading more. Click here to read my review.

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer by James L Rubart

No, I didn’t include this simply to include a token male author (although I do read a lot more female authors than male). James L Rubart is an excellent writer of almost-speculative fiction. I say ‘almost’ because we serve a God of miracles, so who is to say these things couldn’t happen? Click here to read my review.

On the Edge by Theresa L Santy

On the Edge won the FaithWriters 2013 Page Turner Contest … and it certainly was a page turner. I’ll be watching for more from this debut author. Click here to read my review.

Although my choices are a mix of contemporary and historical, American authors and authors from England and New Zealand, they all have one thing in common. No, they’re not all romance novels (although yes, most are).

No, the one thing they all have in common is flawed characters doing their best to become better people.

Just like we all do in real life.