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Summer Reading List

As a part of her blog tour, Sarah Cunningham, author of Picking Dandelions, asked bloggers to list some of their favorite summer reading books.  Three books Immediately came to mind.

Anne of Green Gables This is an oldie, but a goodie!  It was the adventures of this feisty red-head that first inspired me to become a writer.  The book was over 70 years when I first read it in the mid-eighties.  Still I could easily relate to Anne Shirley.  My dream then was—and still is today—to create just one character who lives and breathes and endures, one who is as real to my readers as L.M. Montgomery’s Anne is to me.

Before the Season Ends This is the first in a series of three books by Linore Rose Burkard, set in Regency England.  Think Jane Austen, with a Christian message.  The author’s detailed descriptions of homes, transportation, clothing, and mannerisms of the period transport the reader back in time.  The romance between Miss Ariana Forsythe and Mr. Phillip Mornay will leave you breathless.

The third book on my list is Waiting for Daybreak, by Kathryn Cushman.  Any of Cushman’s books could be on this list.  I’ve enjoyed all of them.  But I think Waiting for Daybreak is my favorite.  It’s the story of two strong women who are sort of floundering in life.  Perhaps I like it so much because it is the only one of her three books that doesn’t deal with a mother grieving the death of her child!  Whatever the reason, this book is definitely on my “Must Read” list.

Another Delightful Story

                Miss Beatrice Forsythe has grown up.  Now 17, she is ready to make her debut into London society.  Only her mother doesn’t think she is old enough.  And then

The Country House Courtship by Linore Rose Burkard

 there is that hasty promise, made five years earlier, to marry Peter O’Brien, the suitor rejected by her older sister.  Beatrice can’t possibly be held to that, can she?  Now that Ariana is Mrs. Mornay, there are so many more opportunities available to her younger sister.  Beatrice can’t possibly be expected to settle for life as the wife of a curate, not when the wealthy lifestyle her sister enjoys opens so many more doors for her in society.

                In The Country House Courtship, Linore Rose Burkard has again woven her masterful story-telling abilities with her expertise in Regency England to tell a delightful tale.  Her descriptions of Regency-era England are so real that the reader feels swept into that life.  Ariana, Beatrice, and their family come to life through the pages.  Seeing the book come to an end is bittersweet—I know I would love to spend more time with them.

                The best part of Burkard’s work, in my opinion, is the simple way that faith in Christ is shown in the characters.  They all seem to take a “show don’t tell” stance when it comes to their Christianity.  Not even Mr. O’Brien, the curate of a small London parish, is particularly “preachy”.  When illness invades their tight-knit circle, they are willing to pray together for healing.  Their love and acceptance of a woman in a very delicate situation is touching.  Through their gentle actions, these 19th century characters teach lessons of love that are still valid in the 21st century world we live in.

                Burkard has another winner on her hands with The Country House Courtship.  I am anxious to see what she follows this delicious book with.

Romantic Escape to the Past


The House in Grosvenor Square, by Linore Rose Burkard

I love a book that I can get lost in, the kind that transports me to another place or another time. A book where the characters are as real as the man sitting across the table from me and where I feel like I am not just watching the story unfold but I am actually a part of the story.

That is exactly what I found when I opened Linore Rose Burkard’s The House on Grosvenor Square.The story is set in London in the early 1800′s—the Regency Period. It centers on Miss Ariana Forsyth in the days leading up to her marriage to the dashing Mr. Phillip Mornay. Mr. Mornay is one of London’s most popular, most eligible bachelors, and there are plenty of people who are not pleased about his betrothal. When items begin disappearing from his home in Grosvenor Square, it appears that someone is out to get Ariana. The danger to the young woman becomes very real when she is kidnapped from a large social event.

Ms. Burkard’s vivid, detailed descriptions made 19th Century come alive. There were moments while reading that I felt like I was right there—sitting beside Ariana in a carriage or running through the streets with Phillip. Often I found myself speaking more formally and even curtseying to my husband. The descriptions of both characters and setting are so vivid.  It was hard to remember that I was not really a part of 19th Century London society.

And almost depressing to put the book down and see 21st Century Jackson outside my front window.

Ms. Burkard has written a wonderful tale, proving she is a master of this time period. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from her.

Regency Romance

Reading is my favorite way to escape reality.  Not that reality is really a bad thing.  God has blessed me beyond measure and far beyond what I deserve.  I really can’t complain about the life He has given me.  Still, every now and then I need to get away, to slip into a world where my children are not fighting and where money matters don’t matter.  Since I live in a world where finances are a concern, I can’t afford to take an exotic vacation every time I need a getaway.  But I can afford to escape into a book. 

The best authors are the ones who can create a fictional world that is so real the reader feels like a part of the story.  Linore Rose Burkard is one of those writers.  She has made her way into my top three favorite authors.

In her novel Before the Season Ends, Burkard writes about life in London in the early 19th century.  Often, we think about this as a simpler time, and I suppose in a many ways it was a simpler time.  Television, radio, and the internet had not yet been invented, meaning life offered fewer distractions.  Even without these modern conveniences, however, there were still plenty of chances for a young lady to find trouble.

Or in the case of Ariana Forsythe, for trouble to find a young lady.

And it seems no matter how hard she tries to avoid it, trouble does find Ariana.  Whether it is bumping into (literally!) members of the London’s upper class, falling out of a small boat, or being stuck in a tree, Ariana seems to always fall into some sort of trouble.  The worst of her troubles, though, comes when she finds herself drawn to two men.  One is a man of great faith but little means, intent on becoming a clergyman.  The other is a man of great means but little faith, content with the single life he is living.  Ariana is torn between the two men—and the love of God that fills her heart.  Her head tells her one thing while her heart tells her another.

Before the Season Ends is a beautifully written love story—a love story that centers around God.  Burkard’s characters and settings draw the reader into a new world.  Or is it an old world?  In either case, it is a world that is hard to leave.  Luckily, there is no reason to be in a rush to leave—Linore Rose Burkard has written two additional books about Ariana and her family.  I highly recommend that you read all three of these wonderful books.  If you only have time to read one, read—well, read whichever one you can get your hands on!  I promise, you won’t be disappointed.


PS Be on the lookout for my reviews of Linore Rose Burkard’s other books in the coming weeks!!!