August Reads


I’m a little late posting this, but I hope it will add to your “to read” list!

We were able to take a few days away in August, which, of course, afforded even more time to read! I’m so thankful that my husband and I both consider it a successful “vacation” when we finish several books!

Two themes seemed to emerge in my reading this month: Books I’ve been meaning to read and Regency romance.

Are you settled in? Because the list is long.

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

I remember having coffee with Ariel when she was in Austin at the Texas Book Festival a couple of years ago and talking with her about this book. What intrigued me was not only the subject matter (who doesn’t love a historical mystery?), but the storytelling framework. This book begins in the past and in the “present” (the most forward part of the story). The past story then works itself forward while the “present” story works itself backwards. The end is where both stories meet. Honestly, it’s a mind-blowing way to read, I can’t imagine writing it! To be honest, it took several chapters for my brain to get the hang of it, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. And the ending? Wow! It truly was the perfect way to write the story to maintain all the suspense.

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

About a year or so ago a friend recommended this book. I put it on my list, but to be honest, I wasn’t really excited about it. Not sure why. Then, while on vacation, I was looking to buy a new kindle book from my wish list—and looking for one on sale—and there it was. I figured for $2 bucks I’d give it a shot. And wow! I’m so glad I did! This is one of my new favorite books. Why? The characters. They feel like people you know. They feel like yourself. They mirror the things you don’t want to become. And the things you do. I will get a physical copy of this book for my shelves. It was that good.

The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

The second in the new Serendipity and Secrets series. I thought it would be hard to outdo the first book—The Lost Lieutenant—but oh, my! I read this book in 24 hours! I could not put it down! Book three isn’t here for another few months, but you can bet I’ll be getting it as quickly as I can.

The Grace and Truth Paradox by Randy Alcorn

My non-fiction read this month. Nothing I didn’t really know, but he stated it in such a way that it felt new. In today’s world we truly do need to understand how to live out both grace and truth, not just one or the other.

The Social Tutor by Sally Britton

Sally Britton is one of the Regency romance authors I’ve recently discovered. A delightful story of unexpected love. 

Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson

I’ve really enjoyed Abigail’s gothic-style romances, although I think I missed one in the middle and wasn’t quite up to speed on some of these characters. Still, she spins a good yarn, both romantic and suspenseful!

A Return to Devotion  and A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter

I love Kristi’s stories, and when I saw she had book one of a new series out, I knew I had to finish the previous series! So I read books two and three of the Haven Manor series. I adored all three books. Very unique characters and situations.

The Bride of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen

This is book three of the Tales from Ivy Hill series, which I have loved! But I had to hurry up and get to this one, long on my list, before the Ivy Hill Christmas novella this fall! I’m so excited! She did a good job wrapping up most of the cast of characters we’ve come to love in Ivy Hill. I quickly remembered their stories as they appeared again here. A very satisfying conclusion.

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands

My nephews and I were talking books when we were visiting last, and they gave me this first book of a series they’ve loved. And I can see why! This book is all boy. I wish it had been around when my boys were younger. The protagonist, a thirteen-year-old apothecary’s apprentice in 1600’s England, gets into all kinds of trouble (with his best friend) as he has to solve the mystery of his master’s murder before it is pinned on him. It was a complex story with lots of fighting and intrigue and putting together of clues. And of course it was historical, so it would have been hard for me not to love!

The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

I cannot resist stories set in Cornwall! And apparently this is book one of a whole series set in Cornwall! Yipppeee!!! Anyway, this was another delightful read, complete with family secrets, smugglers, and, of course, romance.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Yes, I read this so many years ago when it came out. I enjoyed it then, but I was also reading to be able to be an informed parent in case my kids wanted to read it. This time I read purely for enjoyment. And once again I realized what a great storyteller J.K. Rowling is. I want to eventually read the rest, which I have never read.

The Innkeeper’s Daughter by Michelle Griep

Michelle’s stories always hold my interest. This second of the Bow Street Runners series was no exception. While the plot seemed to get a little convoluted (there was a lot going on!), it definitely scored high on the suspense scale. And I absolutely loved the characters. Not just the hero and heroine, but also many of the secondary characters—her brother, Thomas, her mom, Mr. Nutbrown, etc, etc. I will get to the third book in this series more quickly, because the hero in that one was such a mysterious character in this book!

An Awakened Heart by Jody Hedlund

This novella, which I believe precedes Jody’s series on the orphan train, has been in my queue for ages. Such a quick and wonderful read. Now if I can just get to the full length books that spring from this “prologue” of sorts!

That’s it for August!

What will September hold?

Happy reading, y’all!