It’s February—the month of love—and I have two books that you will definitely love!

My first book recommendation is A Not-So-Distant-Love by Heidi Kimball. Lady Charlotte Darrington’s path is set as she will one day inherit her father’s Scottish dukedom, but she wants to experience more of life before she settles down. Her cousin has made plans to go to America, and Charlotte gets permission to go with him. When they arrive in Pittsburgh, Charlotte is introduced to Dr. Alec Galloway, who is brusque and distant to her from their very first meeting. But Charlotte and Alec are thrown together when Charlotte’s chaperone takes ill and they start to see each other in a different light. Charlotte soon discovers why Alec has isolated himself from those who love him and she’s determined to help him find happiness again. But will she find happiness with him, too?

This emotional romance was full of tender moments, but also plenty of laugh out loud scenes, including some that feature a pig! The author has done a wonderful job of showing how grief can change a life and healing may take time. There are several touching moments as both Alec and Charlotte deal with the trials they are facing, both individually and together. Although there were times when the story felt more about Alec’s issues since Charlotte doesn’t have as heavy of an emotional burden, the reader will still come to love both our hero and heroine. A Not-So-Distant Love is a charming early American romance with a sweet ending you won’t want to miss.

A Not-So-Distant Love by Heidi Kimball, published by Covenant Communications, 337 pages, available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook.

The second recommendation is Cry Wolf by Kathi Oram Peterson. This romantic suspense has some similarities to the movie, The Fugitive, when Dania comes home to find her husband is dead and a masked man missing some fingers is the killer. The fingerless man gets away, however, and Dania is convicted of her husband’s murder. During a prison transfer, Dania escapes and is determined to clear her name. Her husband’s best friend, U.S. Marshal Brett Rollins, is tasked with hunting down Dania and he’s drawn into a web of secrecy and lies that surrounds Dania’s case. But can Brett help Dania track down a killer before they’re both caught?

This action-packed suspense is like sledding—plenty of bumps along the way as you are speeding down a hill and going faster by the moment. Readers will love how this dangerous mystery unfolds of who killed Dania’s husband and will be experiencing all the twists and turns right along with Dania and Brett. Because of the strong suspense element, the romance was a bit overshadowed, but it was nice to see Brett and Dania learning more about each other and learning to trust again. Brett’s dog Jasper was an adorable addition and the secondary cast added an extra layer to this exciting mystery suspense.

Cry Wolf by Kathi Oram Peterson, published by Covenant Communications, 289 pages, available in ebook, paperback, and audiobook.

After winning $10 in a second-grade writing contest, Julie Coulter Bellon knew she wanted to be a published author someday. That dream came true and she is now an award-winning author of thirty books. She is also a podcast host for Authors Off the Page and Book Chat with Julie.