Love's First Bloom by Delia Parr
Given to me by Bethany House Publisher to review

Back Cover:
Life Changes drastically for Ruth Livingstone the day her father puts a young child in her arms and sends her under an assumed name to a small village in New Jersey. There she dutifully awaits his acquittal, certain that her father, Reverend Livingstone, soon will be cleared of the outrageous accusations against him.
When tragic events transpire, Ruth finds solace tending a garden along the banks of the Toms River-a place where she can find a measure of peace amid her growing heartache. It is also here that she meets Jake Spencer, a man who both frustrates and intrigues her. Fearful of the newspapermen intent on tracking her down and unsure of whom to trust, Ruth knows she must carefully maintain her identity as Widow Malloy. But as love begins to slowly bloom, can the tenuous affection growing between Ruth and Jake withstand the secrets that separate them?

This is a great book, A little slow at first, mainly because you don't have a lot of information. You're just thrown into this whirlwind of accusations, and false identities. Reverend Livingstone is accused of murdering a young woman of ill repute. So to keep his daughter out of the reporter's eyes, and the whispering of neighbors, he sends her along with the woman's daughter to New Jersey, under the cover of Widow Ruth Malloy with her daughter. Promising to send for them once he is released from the charges.
But little did either of them know, how determined the Newspaper Companies can be. To get their circulation up, the say he probably killed his daughter too...Causing Ruth to want to speak out...only thing is, she's not Ruth Livingstone anymore, and the reporters looking for her, would find her.
One Day while working on her garden, a wounded man came hobbling out of the woods, up to the cabin. At first glance, he looked like an old man, warped from years of hard work. But when Ruth meets him, she finds out, he can't be much older than her! Jake Spencer, states that he has broken his back, and has come here to finish his convalescing.
I would tell you more about Jake Spencer, but I believe in leaving secrets for the readers ;)
But I can tell you, they both have secrets, and a new found love...but are they willing to risk everything for that love?

I rate this book as 5/5 even with the slower beginning!

To the FTC and whomever else it may concern, I received this book from Bethany House Publisher. In return, I have promised to review the book but have been given the freedom by Bethany House, to give my honest opinions whether they be positive or negative.

This week I would like to welcome Jody Hedlund to Caffeine & Romance.

1. How long had you been writing before your debut novel released?

I’ve been writing approximately 16 years with a hiatus during the years when I was busy having babies and changing diapers. The Preacher’s Bride was the first book I wrote after coming back from my extended break.

2. Did you always want to be a writer?

I can’t remember wanting to do anything except write! For a time, I pursued a career in social work, but after I finished getting my master’s degree in social work, I was only able to find a part time job due to a glut in the job market. The free time allowed me to focus on my writing, learn the craft, and hone my skills. I wrote about five books during those early years of my writing career, which are now safely stashed away in a closet and will never see the light of day!

3. I was reading The Preacher's Bride, and came to the end to the Author's Note. What made you pick John and Elizabeth Bunyan to be the inspiration for your characters?
I homeschool my children and during the course of teaching them history, I began to learn more about some of the great heroes of the faith. I was particularly fascinated with the little-known women who helped shaped these great men. These wives were strong, courageous, and faithful. I decided their inspiring stories needed to have a voice and be told to this generation.
4. Do you have a book you’re working on right now? Or one that will be going into print soon?

My next book is called The Doctor’s Lady. It’s scheduled to release in September of 2011 and is another “inspired-by” novel. It’s a fictionalized story based on the first white woman to travel overland West to Oregon as a missionary to the natives. It’s a marriage of convenience story, but also the tale of how a young woman overcame the odds, endured a dangerous journey, and found true love along the way. In the process, her strength and courage paved the way for all the women who came after her.

5. If you could be in any time frame/era that you wanted, which one would you pick & why?

I would love to travel back in time to the 1650’s and stand next to Elizabeth (the heroine in The Preacher’s Bride), on the day she acted as “lawyer” for her husband. I would have cheered her on as she, a mere peasant woman, stood in front of a room full of pompous and rich judges and bravely attempted to get her husband released from prison.

6. What is your Favorite form of Caffeine? (and yes chocolate counts :)

I’m a straight-up, black coffee, no cream, no sugar, kind-of gal! In fact, the stronger and richer the coffee, the better. And you know what? That describes me and my writing perfectly. I’m a no-frills writer, telling-it- like-it-is, but hopefully with a deep and passionate message.

Thank you for being with us this week, Jody. Hope to have you back sometime soon! Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

I love to connect with readers! Please drop me a line on my Facebook Page or over on Twitter! I would love to hear from you! I’m also doing a first-sighting slide show on my website/blog. If you send me a picture of YOU with my book, I’ll add it to the slide show.

Jody Hedlund is a debut historical romance novelist who was a double finalist in the 2009 ACFW Genesis Contest in Historical Romance. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in Social Work. Currently she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund
Given to me by Jody Hedlund

Back Cover:
No matter the sacrifice, Elizabeth Whitbread would serve a wounded family.
No matter the danger, John Costin was determined to speak God's word.
Neither expected to fall in love. As enemies threaten to silence Costin- and those close to him- will following their hearts cost John and Elizabeth everything?

I didn't realize until I was completely done reading this story, that Jody based it on the life of John Bunyan's Wife Elizabeth. She state's in the back of the book, that part of the reason was, that we hear of John's trials...But what of the Woman he left at home to care for his children? And what it was like, not knowing if he would be arrested that day...Or if the judges would let him go? And I think she did a fantastic job capturing this in her story The Preacher's Bride.
It open's with John's first wife's burial preperations going on...and the agonizing screams of the babe she had given birth to. Mary Costin, Had contracted childbed fever...and few women every survive once they've gotten the fever. And this is the beginning of Elizabeth's growing love for the family. She takes pitty on the child...which everyone says won't last long...For few ever do without the nurishment of their mother. So she takes it upon herself to find the babe a wet nurse, and to care for the rest of the children and the Costin Household. Little did she know how involved she would become, or how much danger it would actually put her in!
John Costin, feels called by God to preach the gospel. Only he doesn't have the 'schoolin' so they nobles, and judges deem him unworthy of the call to preach...and are conspiring against him to make him fail, or end this 'ridiculous' claim and return to being the tinker he started out as.
Through the long process of grieving and healing, John finds himself relying on Elizabeth more and more...But she's betrothed to another, and he doesn't want another wife, right?

The Preacher's Bride goes through the trials, that both John and Elizabeth must face before they can be united in matramony...but their trials don't end there!

Jody Hedlund Did a great job of portraying her characters. And she admitts, to adding in fiction...but afterall it is a Historical Fiction piece. overall This was a great book!!
Come Back Tomorrow for a Interview with Jody Hedlund!!!

To the FTC and whomever else it may concern, I received this book Jody Hedlund. In return, I have promised to review the book but have been given the freedom by Jody to give my honest opinions whether they be positive or negative.

Masquerade by Nancy Moser

given to me by Bethany House to review

Back Cover:

They risk it all for adventure and romance, but find that love only flourishes in truth...

1886. Charlotte Gleason embarks from England with conflicting emotions. She is headed for New York to marry one of America's wealthiest heirs- a man she has never even met. When her doubts gain the upper hand, she swaps identities with her maid, Dora. She wants a chance at a 'real life.' even if it means giving up financial security. For Charlotte, it's a risk she's willing to take. But what begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl becomes a test of survival beyond her blackest nightmare.

For Dora, it's the chance of a lifetime. She is thrust into a fairy tale amid ball gowns and lavish manshions, yet is tormented by the possibility of discovery-and humiliation. And what of the man who believes she is indeed his intended? Is this what her heart truly longs for?


Maquerade is an overall good book. There where parts I didn't like...It seemed that once they where in America, the plot took a long time to come together. I would have preferred to of had some more interaction between Dora, and the heir she's supposed to marry. And between Charlotte and her love. For instance, You don't even know the man that eventually become Charlotte's fiance isn't married till Chapter 19... I just felt it was a slow moving story...A good one, but slow.

Charlotte's first experience in America, is being robbed of all her money and jewels, before she even leaves the docking area. An Italian lady saw the whole insident, and offered her a place to stay... Only it was NOTHING like what Charlotte was used to...9 people squished in a 1 room apartment, and horrible facilities. Not what she had in mind, when she decided to Abandon her Identity!

Dora Couldnt believe it! Their plan was working...and she was getting Along with Conrad. Only problem was, she liked someone from their boat trip over. And now she was possibly going to marry a man, under a false name, whom she doesn't really love.

Through all their trials, and adventures, they both end up maturing and learning that the other half wasn't as grand, nor as bad as they thought. But are they willing to sacrifice everything they dreamt of for true love?

I give this book a 3/5...It's still fun to read, but as I stated earlier, I thought it moved rather slowly!

To the FTC and whomever else it may concern, I received this book Bethany House Publisher's . In return, I have promised to review the book but have been given the freedom by Bethany House to give my honest opinions whether they be positive or negative.

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