Here are three great books to read. Choose one, or them all.
Title: TEXAS RANGER DAD
Author: Debra Clopton
Publisher: Love Inspired
Former Texas Ranger, Zane Cantrell has tracked Rose Vincent to Mule Hollow, Texas. He wasn’t sure how one woman could disappear so well, but he’d trained her well when she was in a witness protection program. Zane had loved Rose, but he felt her life was in more danger with him around, so he left. Now, he wants to apologize.
Rose isn’t exactly thrilled to see Zane. He abandoned her, leaving her pregnant, and now she’s finally managed to get her life together. Her and her teenage son, Max, have started a prickly pear cactus jelly business, they’ve bought land, and they have no intentions of leaving town to get away from Zane.
Now that Zane has found Rose, he’s in shock. How could she hide the fact that they had a son! Why didn’t she tell him? Zane is determined to have a relationship with Max, and Max is more than willing, but he wants to Zane to marry Rose so they can be a real family. Rose has no intentions of letting Zane near again. And that is where the Mule Hollow matchmakers come in.
Debra Clopton is one of my favorite Love Inspired authors. I fell in love with Mule Hollow when, in the first book, Lacy came roaring into town in a pink convertible. TEXAS RANGER DAD is the tenth book in the series, and I have the eleventh, Lone Star Cinderella in my to-be-read pile. Each of these books stand alone, yet the characters from each of the stories make a cameo.
Rose is quite prickly, but with good reason. She knows first hand how Zane loves ‘em and leaves ‘em and she doesn’t want Max to get hurt. Zane is quite apologetic, but he is a dear man that any reader can’t help but fall in love with. I highly recommend TEXAS RANGER DAD as well as any of the other books in the Mule Hollow series. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. Available at www.steeplehill.com. $5.50. 206 pages.
Title: A STRING OF MURDERS
Author: Darlene Franklin
Publisher: Heartsong Presents Mysteries
Cici Wilde is started when she gets a late night phone call from her fiancé, Audie Howe, asking her to go to her store immediately. When Cici arrives, she finds the front window shattered, the police there, and a dead body behind her cash register. The deceased is clutching a string of pearls in his hands. A threatening email is also discovered at the scene, but the only problem is that the email is written by a fictional character from one of Agatha Christy’s novels.
But then a whole string of threatening emails start appearing. All written by fictional characters from the same book. And all of them seem to be related in some way to Magda Grace Mallory’s strand of pearls…the pearls the dead man clutched when he was discovered.
Evidence begins pointing to the theatre community. And when a second body appears, also clutching the string of pearls, Cici is determined to find the killer before he or she strikes again.
A STRING OF PEARLS is the second book in Darlene Franklin’s A Dressed for Death Mystery series which will release in a three book combination sometime. The books stand alone, so you do not need to have read the first book in the series. I enjoyed reconnecting with Cici and the whole theatre community featured in the story, specifically, Cici’s colorful younger sister.
Set in Oklahoma, the story is true to the setting, also bringing in parts of the Route 66 that went through part of that state. Ms. Franklin is a talented author, writing in many genres. The mystery line has been discontinued, but you can still find A STRING OF MURDERS at www.barbourbooks.com, or www.amazon.com. $6.95. 253 pages.
Title: BEACON OF LOVE
Author: Darlene Franklin
Publisher: Heartsong Presents
After Sam’s father died at sea, Sam and his mother, Mary, left Capernaum Island to pursue Sam’s medical degree. Now, Sam is a Doctor, he has served in a war, and he feels the Lord is calling him back to Capernaum Island. The town welcome him back, but when they discover Sam has a fear of the sea, they treat him like a coward and taunt him with returning to the mainland.
Judith Morrison has kind of been a laughing stock of the island too. Her mother died when Judith was young, and she has been raised as the lighthouse keeper’s daughter and assistant. But she never learned womanly skills, and the town knows that if Judith cooked it, don’t eat it. Mary is quick to take Judith under her wings to start teaching her the skills she needs to make a good wife.
Sam asks permission of Judith’s father to court Judith, but he throws him out, claiming he will not have his daughter marry a coward, and he gives permission for another man, a fisherman, to court Judith. But Sam has already won Judith’s heart. What will it take to convince her father that he will make a good husband for Judith?
BEACON OF LOVE is the first historical I’ve read by Ms. Franklin. I did read and enjoy her cozy mysteries. Set on the ocean, with a lighthouse as a main fixture, BEACON OF LOVE was sure to strike a cord with me, as I love lighthouses and the sea. Sam is an intelligent, kind, caring hero, and Judith is a quick study, willing to learn the skills she needs from Sam’s mom. I couldn’t help but care for Mary as she is willing to teach the younger woman.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading BEACON OF LOVE and highly recommend it. This book will remind you of lazy Summer days spent on the beach, and also of the importance that the lighthouse played in the early navigational days—as well as the role that it still plays today. Don’t miss BEACON OF LOVE. $4.95. 170 pages.