Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, so he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. While he’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, she is strangely elusive, and he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.
Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, she has no choice but to agree to a bargain that puts her at odds with all her romantic hopes—as well as her conscience. And the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she regrets the unpleasant obligation that prevents her from any dream of a future with him.
As all Griffith’s and Isabella’s long-held expectations are shaken to the core, can they set aside their pride and fear long enough to claim a happily-ever-after?
Praise for An Inconvenient Beauty:
“With the latest superbly written installment in her Hawthorne House series, RITA award-winning Hunter once again proves she has the key to inspirational-romance and traditional-Regency readers’ hearts as she gifts them with another gracefully executed love story that delivers all of the richly nuanced characters, impeccably researched historical plotting, and sweet romance they could ever crave.”
“The final book in the Hawthorne House series brings Hunter’s saga to a sigh-worthy conclusion. These family members have become like real people, and although readers will celebrate that the characters have found love, it is bittersweet to say goodbye. The plot moves briskly, yet the romance never feels forced. The period details are, as always, charming, and entrench the reader in the culture and traditions of the era.”—RT Book Reviews
“Hunter’s final installment in the Hawthorne House series will delight those already invested in the series as well as any reader who enjoys stories set in Regency-era England. . . . As the London Season plays out, secrets are revealed, past loves return, and hearts align—despite a fair amount of underhanded conniving–to create a fitting finale to the series and a lovely addition to the Regency genre.”—Publishers Weekly starred review
Stories have the ability to touch our souls and inspire our minds, no matter what form they come in. Books, movies, songs all of them can transport us into another person’s world for just a little while.
When I work on a story idea, I frequently look to music to inspire the story I’m constructing. I’ve found nothing else that can encapsulate a theme or emotional arc in a nutshell better than music. Today, I’m sharing with you the inspiration playlist for my most recent novel, An Inconvenient Beauty. Apparently when I was plotting this book, I was going through a phase of listening to country music from my high school days. Hopefully that means you’ll find some old favorites in this list as well as a few new-to-you songs you can add to your own music library.
Must Have Done Something Right by Relient K
I Don’t Dance by Lee Brice
Heart Don’t Fall Now by Sawyer Brown
Haven’t Even Kissed by Moriah Peters
Remind Me Who I Am by Jason Gray
Forever by Third Day
Get Back Up by tobyMac
You’re Beginning to Get to Me by Clay Walker
For me, playing these songs together paints the story of love sneaking up on a man who had other plans and a woman who thought she’d given up her chance. In the end, they both learn that God has had a better plan in mind for them all along and that love can change their lives in ways they never imagined.
Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner and Christy Award finalist. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.
Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance Publisher: North Loop Books
Date of Publication: April 25, 2017
Number of Pages: 198
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Decoursey dreads the upcoming weekend. A big NASCAR race is taking place at the speedway near her home–and her abusive, murder-threatening ex-husband just so happens to be a member of a NASCAR pit crew. Determined not to let her ex-husband have a decent opportunity to make good on his threat, Decoursey puts an ad online, hoping to find some security in the form of a guy needing a place to crash.
Enter Kennan, a storm chaser looking to get away for a few days. Fresh off a failed storm chase, Kennan doesn’t make the best first impression. But that quickly changes as Decoursey gives Kennan a chance and finds the recently broken heart of a gentleman hidden beneath the surface. As sparks fly, so do hopes that they can dream of romance once again. But when their newfound trust is broken, will Decoursey and Kennan weather the storm to find a love that lasts?
Racing Storms,the exciting debut in Sara Russell’s Chasing Desire trilogy, will get your heart pumping all the way to the finish line.
Praise for Racing Storms:
“In Racing Storms, fresh new voice Sara Russell begins her three-book series with a courageous and adorable hero, a sassy but vulnerable heroine, spicy love scenes and an insider’s view of daredevil storm chasers! What more could you want from a romance?”
— Vicki Lewis Thompson, New York Times bestselling author
“Russell’s debut successfully tackles the idea of finding love when you least expect it.”
“Austin-area writer Sara Russell’s self-described ‘first foray into fiction’ is a smoothly written, nicely plotted romance novel that will entertain many readers who like books with contemporary Texas settings.”
Let me just start by saying that I love this title. It’s witty! The crazy, stalker ex-husband works for NASCAR; the love interest is a storm chaser. So, Racing Storms… Get it? Get it?! Amazing, I know. Just like the rest of the book.
The main character, Decoursey, is instantly likeable. She’s not perfect, tall, and blonde. She’s not working at her dream job and she’s certainly not making perfect decisions. Then you meet Kennan, who is hanging with some very real and douchey guys. He is also not so perfect in the sense that he fails to physically fulfill Decoursey’s ideal (read: tall or big enough to ward off the crazy ex).
If you read romance books at all, you can kind of guess where this is all going, and you’d be right. But how it all goes down would surprise you. And that’s what reading these lovely books is all about, right? It’s about the journey. And where I really applaud Russell, is that she doesn’t give us the obvious where she clearly could have. And she doesn’t pull the rookie mistake of throwing complete curveballs either. Every moment of tension between Decoursey and Kennan is completely believable, because they as characters are believable.
There is no suspension of disbelief necessary to imagine this curvy, down-to-earth girl who enjoys things your grandma likes to do – there’s been a revolution of these retro lovelies if you haven’t noticed. And while it’s all so dreamy to imagine the hunky guy who got his broken by the gorgeous ice princess, I know a few of those as well. Ok, maybe one. But the point is, he’s real too. And in my imagination, I want those two to get together as well.
Russell’s writing is flawless. No need to reread passages that confuse or mucking through clunky dialogue. I can hear these character’s voices in my head perfectly. The whole book actually played out as a nice little movie in my head.
Some scenes are spicy enough to make you need a cold beer, but overall it’s a safe read while in the waiting room or taking a break from work. I cannot wait for the next installment. I look forward to anything else this author writes. Russell, feel free to hit me up if you want to crochet together sometime.
Sara Russell is a near-native Texan who sees nothing wrong with using “y’all” in formal conversation. She maintains that one can do practically anything in a cute dress and flats, including storm chasing, attending motorsports events, and exploring the endless delights of the Austin area, where she’s lived since childhood. When not writing or hunting & gathering at Whole Foods, Sara spends time with friends & family and enjoys live music and dancing.
Bestselling Author Transports Readers to the Appalachian Mountains for Adventure and Healing
Packed with history, These Healing Hills by bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart introduces readers to the fascinating and difficult life of frontier nursing.
When the soldier Francine Howard planned to marry after WWII writes to tell her he is in love with a woman in England, Francine is devastated and in need of a change. She seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Services.
It is in these mountains that Francine crosses paths with Ben Locke, a soldier still very much suffering from the horrors of war. With his future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.
While Francine and Ben find they are from completely different worlds and possess very different values, they both learn that things don’t always go the way we plan. Ann H. Gabhart invites readers to witness the healing power of love and step forward to tantalizing new possibilities.
Praise for These Healing Hills:
“Reading These Healing Hills is like wrapping up in a beloved quilt and stepping back in time. Ann H. Gabhart captures a fascinating slice of Appalachian history in this tale of a mountain midwife and a soldier, bringing it to life as only a native Kentuckian can. Poignant and romantic, witty and wise, with enduring spiritual truths, this is my favorite novel of hers to date.”
—Laura Frantz, author of A Moonbow Night
“What a wonderful story! Filled with true-to-life characters (including some four-footed ones) and fascinating historical details, These Healing Hills is a beautifully written, heartwarming story of life in the Appalachian Mountains at the end of the Second World War. Ann Gabhart combines vivid descriptions, meticulous research, and a deep understanding of the human heart to create a story that will linger in readers’ memories long after the last page is turned. This is a book to savor, not just once, but over and over. A true keeper.”
—Amanda Cabot, bestselling author of A Stolen Heart
“Ann H. Gabhart delivers a rich tale set in Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains at the close of World War II. Francine buries the painful loss of the man she loves beneath the difficult work of a frontier nurse-midwife. The mountain people touch a place deep in her heart, and she gladly sacrifices the life she always wanted in order to serve them. But can she ever be truly happy among the hills and hollows where modern medicine often gives way to ancient folk cures? These Healing Hills is a fascinating and beautifully crafted story that I highly recommend.”
—Virginia Smith, bestselling author of The Amish Widower
“You are sure to enjoy this endearing story of love lost and found in the enchanting hills of Kentucky.”
—Jan Watson, author of the Troublesome Creek series
I love reading historical fiction as an adult because history was one of my worst subjects in school growing up. Books like this teach me something about a time period, place, or people that my history classes either failed to cover or that my overstimulated teenage brain couldn’t comprehend at the time. How fascinating that a British woman would choose to start a midwivery school in America; in Kentucky of all places!
I imagine that the women who joined the Frontier Nursing Service were plucky and maybe even adventure junkies. Or perhaps they just wanted to save the poor and uneducated women and children from early deaths like FNS founder, Mary Breckinridge. At any rate, these women often left a life of comfort to rough it out among people who sometimes did not appreciate their assistance.
Gabhart’s use of dialect in the story is among the best I have set eyes on. With other books I’ve read, I often have to read passages aloud to decipher clunky dialect. But this was never the case with this book. The author’s writing style is natural, giving the characters an added dimension of authenticity.
There were times where I thought that the mountain people stereotypes were drilled in a bit much, but I think that Gabhart intended to drive home the stark contrast between outsiders and the mountain people. You know, just in case the reader is not aware of the conflicts that existed during that time in the Appalachian area. My only prior knowledge of these issues came from reading Christy by Catherine Marshall years ago. I like that Gabhart’s portrait of the mountain people is much kinder than Marshall’s.
Maybe because I’m a delayed launcher myself, I felt like this was sort of a coming of age book. After suppressing her true desires to please her mother and fill the void of her father’s absence, Francine finally goes out into the world alone to find out what she’s made of. Not to mention, she is finally free to do things that she has never been able to do before. The devastation of her broken engagement is reminiscent of that first heartbreak. Francine might be 23 years old, but Seth was her only boyfriend and high school sweetheart. I could also relate to the complicated mother-daughter dynamic.
I found this to be a really lovely book and it has been added to my collection of cozy books to be reread while drinking a nice cup of cocoa.
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels—The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted—as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky.
Copy of These Healing Hills + The Kentucky Snack Basket (11 items including a Derby Pie Tart, Bourbon Pecan Brittle, Bourbon Chocolates, Spiced Pretzels, Modjeskas, Coffee, Snack Mix, Candy Bar, Caramel Corn, and a Horseshoe from Churchill Downs!)
Copy of These Healing Hills + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
Copy of These Healing Hills + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
Glen Aaron was born in Big Spring, Texas and raised in Midland. In 1962, while attending Baylor, he ran for State Representative from Midland at he age of 21. He lost that election in a runoff by 42 votes. Deciding politics was not for him, he graduated Baylor with a BA and moved on to the University of Texas law school. There, he won the Moot Court competition arguing before the Supreme Court of Texas sitting en banc. After acquiring his JD, Glen spent forty years in trial law and international business and banking. Today, he lives in Midland with his wife Jane Hellinghausen and two rottweilers. He enjoys writing and working with the Permian Basin Bookies. Author of: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime; The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranking military officer convicted of spying; The Prison Experience; The Prison People.