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Culture Books

Deception, mystery, and romance

Books

Deception, mystery, and romance

Four novels from Christian publishers

If I Were You by Lynn Austin: Audrey and Eve become fast friends as children on an estate near London. They grow up and grow apart until the onset of World War II rekindles their friendship. Audrey plans to move to the United States with her American husband after the war. But when he’s killed, she opts to stay in familiar surroundings in England. Seeing a way out of poverty, Eve assumes Audrey’s identity and moves to America, duping Audrey’s in-laws into thinking she’s their dead son’s wife. When Audrey finally travels to New York to meet her in-laws, she discovers her old friend’s deception. This engrossing story explores the power of friendship and forgiveness and illustrates God’s willingness to welcome back His children when they return to Him in repentance.

The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton: Lily Bishop woke one morning to find divorce papers and a shocking goodbye note from her husband. Recently relocated to rural Alabama for her husband’s new job, she has no friends or connections to the place. A chance encounter leads her to apply as the live-in hairdresser at Safe Harbor Retirement Village. The village manager is a gruff woman who for some reason feels empathy for Lily, and she offers her the job on the spot. Despite her age difference to most of the residents, Lily builds a new life for herself in the community. A friendship with a local shrimper hints at possible future romance. This hope-filled starting-over story features quirky characters in a Southern coastal setting.

Carolina Breeze by Denise Hunter: When the tabloids declare her guilt in a Hollywood scandal, actress Mia Emerson needs somewhere to hide from paparazzi. She takes refuge in remote Bluebell, N.C.—the destination of her now-canceled honeymoon, as well as her dead mother’s childhood home. There she meets innkeeper Levi Bennett, a hardworking guy trying to take care of his sisters and keep the family business afloat. An old journal written by Mia’s grandmother suggests a valuable necklace could be hidden at the inn. Mia and Levi team up to search for it. Their mutual attraction grows despite their lives being worlds apart. Mia’s insecurity stemming from her father’s abandonment further complicates their relationship. This charming tale is Book 2 in the Bluebell Inn Romance series but works as a standalone.

Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson: Set in 1815 England, Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey is a well-balanced mix of historical romance and murder mystery. Lord Adrian Torrington, owner of Middlecrest Abbey, is a British spy against the French. To disguise his latest covert mission, he proposes marriage to Elizabeth Cantrell. The single mother sees no better option and reluctantly agrees to a marriage of convenience. Ironically—and secretly—the father of her child is Lord Torrington’s wayward brother. Both Adrian and Elizabeth assume their sinful past decisions have forever doomed them to unhappiness. But they find that with the forgiveness of God and each other, they have a chance for love and contentment.