Page-turning suspense to come

Gwen’s Picks. Book Recommendations.


by Varina Denman

As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man … and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart … and a thirst for hope.

Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. She teaches creative writing and literature, volunteers in her local cooperative, and is a home educator to her five children. She resides with her family in North Texas. This is her first novel. 

This book kept me up late at night.  I was enthralled with the story and wanted to keep reading more.  Jaded is Book one of the Mended Heart Series and I think you will enjoy reading this beautiful story about a young woman who struggles with her and her mother’s past with the local church and at the same time learns about love and forgiveness.

Check it out!

Start With Me

by Kara Isaac

Lacey O’Connor is finally a sure thing for the promotion she’s spent ten years working for. But when a scandal rocks her firm she finds herself on a collision course with the one person she has spent five years trying to forget. Only to discover he doesn’t even remember her…

Victor Carlisle has spent the last three years trying to convince his family he’s no longer the playboy alcoholic who tore their life apart. When a company merger is announced with a US sister firm, he’s presented with the perfect opportunity to prove he’s changed. Only to find himself falling for his competition and the one woman his family will never accept.

As the competition intensifies the choice looms between the professional and the personal. Can they find a way beyond their past decisions and present aspirations to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?


My sister called one day wanting to pass on a book recommendation to me, but it was difficult understanding her as she tried to explain the story between fits of uncontrollable laughter.  I figured if my sister was laughing this hard about a book then for sure I was going to check it out.  I wasn’t disappointed.  The book has its funny moments, but the story also reminds me that despite our past, there is forgiveness and God does have a plan for our lives. 

I think you will enjoy this one!

The Runaway Pastor’s Wife

by Diane Moody

What could possibly drive a pastor’s wife to run away from home?

After years of frustration from life in a church fishbowl, Annie McGregor walks away from it all and bords a plane for Colorado.  She has no way of knowing her college sweetheart is headed to the same cabin in the Rockies, terrified and gravely wounded.  Their unexpected reunion couldn’t have come at a worse time.  Or could it?  Bewildered that God would allow Michael Dean to walk back into her life, Annie pleads with Him to keep her heart true to her husband and her family.  God answers her prayer, but in a way she would never expect. 

This story had suspense, drama, good vs evil and spiritual challenges.  A peek into what our pastors and their families today go through at times.  Author, Diane Moody reminds the reader that there is always redemption and love which completed the story beautifully.

Squeaky Clean Mysteries: Hazardous Duty

by Christy Barritt

Buying a gun to kill your wife: $3,000. Hiring Trauma Care to clean afterward: $1,500. Having that same cleaner uncover evidence that frames you: priceless.

On her way to completing a degree in forensic science, Gabby St. Claire who drops out of school and starts her own crime scene cleaning business. When a routine cleaning job uncovers a murder weapon the police overlooked, she realizes that the wrong person is in jail. But the owner of the weapon is a powerful foe…and willing to do anything to keep Gabby quiet.

Murder, mystery, suspense and funny. I enjoyed this book and ended up reading all the books that make up the Squeaky Clean Mysteries. You will find it hard to put this book down. I know, I ended up losing some sleep because I needed to turn the page to read on to the next chapter..

Check it out!

Fancy Pants
(Only In Gooding #1)

by Cathy Marie Hake

Humorous Romance.

When Britisher Lady Sydney Hathwell’s father dies, the American who planned to wed her suddenly reneges. Stranded in America and penniless, Sydney contracts a relative in Texas who, mistaking her male-sounding name, invites his “nephew” to join him on his ranch.

“Big Tim” Creighton, however, is appalled when this mincing fop arrives at Forsaken. He determines -he’ll turn Fancy Pants Hathwell into a man before the boss returns home. From the get-go, he has “the kid” mucking stalls, clearing and plowing a field, and assisting with a difficult calving. But when Sydney’s true identity is uncovered, Tim resents being deceived. Yet in time, he also finds that he doesn’t like all the attention Sydney garners now that she’s wearing pretty gowns…

Together Sydney and Tim will discover the importance of family and what it means to be a man—and a woman—of God.

This book was fun to read with some romance. It kept me enticed to the end.

The Rose Legacy
(Diamond of the Rockies #1)

by Kristen Heitzmann

Driven by hope and vengeance, Carina Maria DiGratia leaves her idyllic home in Sonoma, California, for a new life in the mining town of Crystal, Colorado. Though the town has a rough element, Carina is determined that it is the place her dreams will come true. Early on, two men vie for her trust, but neither is what he seems. Will Carina discern the truth in time to prevent tragedy?

Do you feel like you’re in a mood for a romance story? The first book is the beginning of a well written series? The story draws you in wanting to help this young woman who travels far away from home to succeed with her dream.

Kristen Heitzmann is another favorite author of mine and has many books out that all are enjoyable to read.

The Telegraph Proposal (A Montana Brides Romance Book 3)

by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitham

Fall 1888 // Helena, Montana

In the rough and rugged Montana Territory, the journey to true love is filled with unexpected twists—and sweet rewards—for daring frontier women who faithfully believe every heart has a home . . .

With the help of the Archer Matrimonial Company, Yancey Palmer has finally put

Hale Adams, the man she’s loved for ten years—sometimes not wisely or well—behind her. Yancey is so sure of her love for the man the agency matched her with, she readily promises a friend that she’ll help Hale with his mayoral campaign without chasing him.

Hale has also engaged the services of the matrimonial agency. He’s so pleased with one lady, he requests that she join him in Helena to commence a sixty-day courtship. But instead, the Archer ladies arrive in town to reveal the true identities of both

Hale’s and Yancey’s matches: each other. Can they look past their misunderstandings and hurt to see that they are still a perfect match?

An enjoyable read about grace and forgiveness.  Both authors have a flare for words.  There are two other books that complete the A Montana Brides Romance saga.  Check them out.

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