Valentine's Day 2013 has come and gone. Just because it's after Feb. 14 doesn't mean we don't still need love or love stories. Today, my column contains some love stories that can be found on the new fiction kiosks at the Peter White Public Library.
Shelley Gray sets her latest book, A Texan's Choice, in 1874 Texas. Scott Proffitt, an infamous gambler and member of the Walton Gang, arrives to claim the Circle C Ranch only to discover that it's occupied by a woman named Rosemarie. He found the prize he had won was claimed as home by another. Although Scott and Rosemarie work out a plan that both can live on the ranch, the townspeople do not like their arrangement. Forced into marriage, the pair soon realize that caring can grow into something else.
The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis, another novel set in her beloved Hickory Hollow, Pa., tells the story of yet another young Amish woman. In this one, character Joanna Kurtz usually plays the part of "always a bridesmaid, never a bride," and she wants to be the bride. But she has secrets - unusual secrets for an Amish. She is a story writer and poetress in the English world, plus she has a secret beau, Eben. Family circumstances keep him in Indiana. Should Joanna follow her heart and go to Eben? Find out how their love plays a trick on them.
Continuing her interest in Russian history, Debra Dean uses 18th century St. Petersburg as the setting for The Mirrored World. She weaves triumphs and sorrows into her tale of Xenia, a young dreamer who loves, marries a soldier named Andrei, and becomes a mother only to lose it all following the death of her loved ones.
Dean continues Xenia's story and relates how Xenia handles her loss and shares her property and fortunes with those less fortunate. These acts precipitate her being named St. Xenia, patron saint of St. Petersburg and the Russian Orthodox Church.
Emma Smallwood is The Tutor's Daughter in Julie Klassen's newest novel. Emma and her father close Smallwood Academy and travel to Cornwall to become the private tutors of Baronet Weston's two younger sons. Philip and Henry, older sons of the family, are graduates of the academy; they remember a studious Miss Smallwood. One brother remembers her rather fondly. In true Regency style, Klassen writes a story of suspense, intrigue and romantic attraction as Emma answers the question of who should get her heart.
This Scarlet Cord by Joan Wolf reveals some of the back story in the love story of Rahab, a brave Canaanite young woman and Sala, a young Israelite. Readers will realize that this is another version of events surrounding the Battle of Jericho in which Rahab plays an important part that later places herself among the well-known women of the Bible. The copy owned by PWPL also includes a reading group guide of discussion points.
Haywood Smith's latest book, Out of Warranty, is exactly what Booklist says it is: "full of laughter and hope strength and friendship." Newly widowed Cassie Jones is experiencing a difficult time coping with her loss, resulting medical bills and her own health problems. At the doctor's office she meets Jack Wilson, who takes it upon himself to help Cassie.
Problems exist for each of them. Cassie needs better health insurance; Jack needs a mold-free home for himself. When all else fails, Jack proposes a platonic marriage to benefit both of them. Pick this title up to find out how the arrangement works out through sickness and health.
- Vicki Mann