Readers' Favorite

April 10, 2023

Christian Romance Novels to Fall in Love With

by Susan Roberts

If you enjoy clean romance reads, then these two novels would be great to pick up. There is a little bit of suspense in the second novel if romantic suspense is more your thing.

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Second Time Around by Melody Carlson

book cover of Christian romance novel Second Time Around by Melody Carlson
March 2023; Revell; 978-0800742638
audio, ebook, print (304 pages); Christian romance

Who doesn't love a second chance?

I enjoy reading a good clean love story and this one had an extra bonus for me because the main characters were middle-aged.  This was a great story about finding love the second time around - even when you aren't looking for it.

Mallory is an empty-nester whose last child has just gotten married.  She raised her children without much help from her husband and she's happy to be on her own.  She owns a successful home decorating business but decides to take a vacation to Seaport, Oregon when she finds out that her grandmother has left her a small run-down tourist shop in her will.  She plans to take a week, check out the property, and put it up for sale.  On her first day there, she's approached by Grayson, a man that all the girls had a crush on when they were growing up.  Grayson was interested in buying the building and she thought it might be a good idea until she found out that he planned to tear it down to build a shopping center.  When she realizes that she wants to open a home design shop in the building, she contacts a person to do the needed renovations to the store and the apartment upstairs.  When the contractor lets her down and doesn't even start on the apartment, she's too ashamed to admit what had happened and moves into the descript apartment space.  When a renovation TV show asks to do a feature story on her shop, she's thrilled until she finds out that they also want to feature the apartment that they assume is completed.  She has to decide whether to leave town in shame or call on her new friends to complete the apartment renovation -- if there is even time!

Second Time Around was a light read and a nice simple romance.  It was fun to read about the renovations that were being done and by the end, I had a mental picture of what the shop and apartment looked like.  This book had a little bit of everything -- a strong independent woman, conflict from her cousins who thought that grandma should have left the shop to them, new friends, and an interesting romance with an old crush.  Plus it all takes place in a friendly little town that I think we'd all like to visit.

Buy Second Time Around at Amazon

After the Shadows by Amanda Cabot

book cover of Christian romance novel After the Shadows by Amanda Cabot
March 2023; Revell; 978-0800742652
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); Christian romance

A brighter future awaits--if she can escape the shadows of the past

1880 - Sweetwater Crossing, Texas

Emily returns to her family home after her abusive husband dies in a bar fight.  She is not sorry that he died because he kept her away from her family and physically abused her.  Her mother had recently died and she went home to mourn with her sisters and father but was met with anger from her sister because of a mean letter that she had supposedly written to the family.  Even though she knew that her husband had written it to make her depend on only him and not her family, she had decided not to share the details of her marriage with her sisters.  The same day she arrives home, they find their father dead in the barn.  There's a big mystery surrounding his death that isn't solved until the very end of the book.

As Emily is getting used to being back home and dealing with the continuing anger from her sister, the new school teacher is on his way to town with his young son Noah.  Craig is a widower and a fantastic to dad and plans to board with an older widow in town.  When her house burns down, Emily proposes that they live in her family home.  Because Emily's family has no income, she proposes that the family home become a boarding house.

Even though she is afraid of men due to the abuse from her husband, she and Craig get along well and she enjoys spending time with his son.  When she shares her doubts with him about her father's suicide, they start to work together to solve the mystery of what really happened.

This was a very enjoyable light read with some fantastic characters.  Emily and Craig were great as were the children.  There was an interesting mystery and a slow-moving romance but they ended up with their happily ever after.

After the Shadows is the first book in a new series by Amanda Cabot and I look forward to the future stories about the people in Sweetwater Crossing

Buy After the Shadows at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  


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